34,374 research outputs found

    Balancing the urban stomach: public health, food selling and consumption in London, c. 1558-1640

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    Until recently, public health histories have been predominantly shaped by medical and scientific perspectives, to the neglect of their wider social, economic and political contexts. These medically-minded studies have tended to present broad, sweeping narratives of health policy's explicit successes or failures, often focusing on extraordinary periods of epidemic disease viewed from a national context. This approach is problematic, particularly in studies of public health practice prior to 1800. Before the rise of modern scientific medicine, public health policies were more often influenced by shared social, cultural, economic and religious values which favoured maintaining hierarchy, stability and concern for 'the common good'. These values have frequently been overlooked by modern researchers. This has yielded pessimistic assessments of contemporary sanitation, implying that local authorities did not care about or prioritise the health of populations. Overly medicalised perspectives have further restricted historians' investigation and use of source material, their interpretation of multifaceted and sometimes contested cultural practices such as fasting, and their examination of habitual - and not just extraordinary - health actions. These perspectives have encouraged a focus on reactive - rather than preventative - measures. This thesis contributes to a growing body of research that expands our restrictive understandings of pre-modern public health. It focuses on how public health practices were regulated, monitored and expanded in later Tudor and early Stuart London, with a particular focus on consumption and food-selling. Acknowledging the fundamental public health value of maintaining urban foodways, it investigates how contemporaries sought to manage consumption, food production waste, and vending practices in the early modern City's wards and parishes. It delineates the practical and political distinctions between food and medicine, broadly investigates the activities, reputations of and correlations between London's guild and itinerant food vendors and licensed and irregular medical practitioners, traces the directions in which different kinds of public health policy filtered up or down, and explores how policies were enacted at a national and local level. Finally, it compares and contrasts habitual and extraordinary public health regulations, with a particular focus on how perceptions of and actual food shortages, paired with the omnipresent threat of disease, impacted broader aspects of civic life

    The labour supply and retirement of older workers: an empirical analysis

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    This thesis examines the labour supply of older workers, their movement into retirement, and any movement out of retirement and back into work. In particular the labour force participation, labour supply and wage elasticity and other income elasticity of work hours are estimated for older workers and compared to younger workers. The thesis goes on to look at the movement into retirement for older workers as a whole by examining cohorts by gender, wave and age. The thesis also presents a descriptive and quantitative • examination of the changes in income and happiness that occur as an individual retires. Finally the thesis examines the reasons why an individual may return to work from v . retirement. The results of the findings suggest: that younger workers are significantly more responsive to wage and household income changes than older worker

    The company she keeps : The social and interpersonal construction of girls same sex friendships

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    This thesis begins a critical analysis of girls' 'private' interpersonal and social relations as they are enacted within two school settings. It is the study of these marginal subordinated worlds productivity of forms of femininity which provides the main narrative of this project. I seek to understand these processes of (best) friendship construction through a feminist multi-disciplinary frame, drawing upon cultural studies, psychoanalysis and accounts of gender politics. I argue that the investments girls bring to their homosocial alliances and boundary drawing narry a psychological compulsion which is complexly connected to their own experiences within the mother/daughter bond as well as reflecting positively an immense social debt to the permissions girls have to be nurturant and ; negatively their own reproduction of oppressive exclusionary practices. Best friendship in particular gives girls therefore, the experience of 'monogamy' continuous of maternal/daughter identification, reminiscent of their positioning inside monopolistic forms of heterosexuality. But these subcultures also represent a subversive discontinuity to the public dominance of boys/teachers/adults in schools and to the ideologies and practices of heterosociality and heterosexuality. By taking seriously their transmission of the values of friendship in their chosen form of notes and diaries for example, I was able to access the means whereby they were able to resist their surveillance and control by those in power over them. I conclude by arguing that it is through a recognition of the valency of these indivisiblly positive and negative aspects to girls cultures that Equal Opportunities practitioners must begin if they are serious about their ambitions. Methods have to be made which enable girls to transfer their 'private' solidarities into the 'public' realm, which unquestionably demands contesting with them the causes and consequences of their implication in the divisions which also contaminate their lives and weaken them

    Reforming the United Nations

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    The thesis deals with the financial crisis that the United Nations faced starting in 1985 when the US Congress decided to withhold a significant part of the US contribution to the UN regular budget in order to force a greater say for the major contributors on budgetary issues, budgetary restraint and greater efficiency. The UN responded by the adoption of resolution 41/213 of 19 December 1986 that was based on the recommendations of a Group of High-level Intergovernmental Experts ("G-18") set up a year earlier. A new system was introduced regarding the formulation of the regular budget of the United Nations Organisation and a broader process of reform was initiated including a restructuring of the Secretariat and of the intergovernmental machinery in the economic and social fields. After an introductory chapter (Chapter I), the thesis examines the UN problems at the budgetary/financial and administrative/structural levels, the solutions proposed from within and without the United Nations established framework and the actual attempts at reform (Chapters II and ifi). The realisation that the implementation of reforms is rather disjointed and often unsuccessful (e.g. the failure to restructure the intergovernmental machi.neiy) prompts a search for the deeper causes of the UN problems at the political level and the attitudes of the main actors, namely the USA, the USSR, some up-and-coming states, notably Japan, the Third World states and, finally, of the UN Secretary-General and the Secretariat (Chapter 1V). Although the financial crisis may have subsided since 1988 and the USA seem committed to paying up their dues, the deeper UN crisis of identity has not been resolved and is expected to resurface if no bold steps are taken. In that direction, some possible alternative courses for the UN in the future are discussed drawing upon theory and practice (Chapte

    Facial expression recognition and intensity estimation.

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    Doctoral Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.Facial Expression is one of the profound non-verbal channels through which human emotion state is inferred from the deformation or movement of face components when facial muscles are activated. Facial Expression Recognition (FER) is one of the relevant research fields in Computer Vision (CV) and Human-Computer Interraction (HCI). Its application is not limited to: robotics, game, medical, education, security and marketing. FER consists of a wealth of information. Categorising the information into primary emotion states only limit its performance. This thesis considers investigating an approach that simultaneously predicts the emotional state of facial expression images and the corresponding degree of intensity. The task also extends to resolving FER ambiguous nature and annotation inconsistencies with a label distribution learning method that considers correlation among data. We first proposed a multi-label approach for FER and its intensity estimation using advanced machine learning techniques. According to our findings, this approach has not been considered for emotion and intensity estimation in the field before. The approach used problem transformation to present FER as a multilabel task, such that every facial expression image has unique emotion information alongside the corresponding degree of intensity at which the emotion is displayed. A Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) with a sigmoid function at the final layer is the classifier for the model. The model termed ML-CNN (Multilabel Convolutional Neural Network) successfully achieve concurrent prediction of emotion and intensity estimation. ML-CNN prediction is challenged with overfitting and intraclass and interclass variations. We employ Visual Geometric Graphics-16 (VGG-16) pretrained network to resolve the overfitting challenge and the aggregation of island loss and binary cross-entropy loss to minimise the effect of intraclass and interclass variations. The enhanced ML-CNN model shows promising results and outstanding performance than other standard multilabel algorithms. Finally, we approach data annotation inconsistency and ambiguity in FER data using isomap manifold learning with Graph Convolutional Networks (GCN). The GCN uses the distance along the isomap manifold as the edge weight, which appropriately models the similarity between adjacent nodes for emotion predictions. The proposed method produces a promising result in comparison with the state-of-the-art methods.Author's List of Publication is on page xi of this thesis

    The transformation of the Foreign Office 1900-1907

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    The Foreign Office underwent an important transformation at the beginning of the twentieth century. This development coincided with the new course of British foreign policy which has been called "the end of isolation." One reason for this transformation was the rapid promotion of new men with new ideas to fill the senior posts both in the Foreign Office and the Diplomatic Service. Two men in particular, Sir Francis Bertie and Sir Charles Hardinge, benefited from Royal influence to become, respectively, Ambassador at Paris and Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office. These two men, and a number of their contemporaries, began to wield more influence than their predecessors, and attempted with some success to bring about the promotion of men of whom they approved in preference to those of whom they did not approve. Their activities introduced a new body of men at the top of the Foreign Office and brought about an atmosphere of intrigue and rivalry which had not previously been present. Another reason for this transformation was the reform and consequent reorganisation of the Foreign Office. This development brought about a devolution of responsibility and encouraged the permanent officials to begin to put forward their own views and to influence the execution of British foreign policy. The men who were being promoted to the important senior posts were, therefore, provided with an administrative machinery which facilitated their desire for a more active role in the formulation of policy. -2- The other reason for the transformation was the rise of "anti-German" feeling in the Foreign Office, which came to a head at exactly the same time. Towards the close of the nineteenth century the important members of the Office began first to criticise the methods of German diplomacy, and then to see the aims of German foreign policy as inimical to British interests. This mounting criticism was dramatically affected by the collapse of Russia and the aggressive policy pursued by Germany shortly after. Some of the more influential members of the Foreign Office began to suspect that Germany was attempting to impose a hegemony over Europe. They were divided about the importance which they felt should be attached to the potential threat from Russia, but so long as that Power remained weak they began to regard Anglo-German relations as the most important factor to be taken into account when considering British foreign policy. The men at the forefront of this opinion were by and large the same men who were able to take advantage of the new organisation of the Foreign Office to exploit their new positions to the full. When a general consensus was finally reached that Germany was moving towards a bid for hegemony the transformation of the Foreign Office was complete. The Foreign Secretary was surrounded by a body of forceful senior officials, who took advantage of the new and efficient organisation to advance the same overall policy. The Foreign Secretary did not always follow the advice that he was given, but after this time that advice was something which he had to take into consideration. The transformation of the Foreign Office was the watershed between the nineteenth century office and the twentieth century bureaucrac

    The Moral and Political Status of Microaggressions

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    This dissertation offers a robust philosophical examination of a phenomenon that is morally, socially, and politically significant – microaggressions. Microaggressions are understood to be brief and routine verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities that, whether intentional or unintentional, convey hostility toward or bias against members of marginalized groups. Microaggressions are rooted in stereotypes and/or bias (whether implicit or explicit) and are connected to broader systems of oppression. Microaggressions are philosophically interesting, since they involve significant ambiguity, questions about speech and communication, and the ability for our speech to encode and transmit bits of meaning. Microaggressions prompt reflection about the nature of blameworthiness and responsibility, especially for unintended acts and harms. They involve questions about how we perceive and treat one another, and whether or not people are treated as true equals in our social and political worlds. For all of these reasons, microaggressions are a critical area in need of philosophical reflection, specifically reflection in feminist philosophy, philosophy of language, moral philosophy, and social and political philosophy. This dissertation seeks to advance the philosophy of microaggressions through three distinct aims: a conceptual aim (chapters 2 and 3), an epistemological aim (chapters 1 and 2), and a moral aim (chapters 4 and 5). The conceptual aim involves clarifying how we should understand and categorize microaggressions. The epistemological aim involves identifying some of the epistemological assumptions undergirding discussions of microaggressions in the literature, including assumptions made by critics of microaggression theory, and arguing for an alternative epistemological framework for theorizing about microaggressions. The moral aim involves better understanding the harms of microaggressions, including their role in reinforcing structures of oppression and unjust social hierarchy. Taken together, these chapters make some progress on the conceptual, epistemological, and moral questions that microaggressions generate, and which philosophers have not yet adequately analyzed. It thus offers a meaningful contribution to the conversations philosophers are beginning to have about the morally and politically salient phenomenon of microaggressions

    Exploiting Semantic Similarity Between Citation Contexts For Direct Citation Weighting And Residual Citation

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    This study used the semantic similarity between citation contexts to develop one scheme for weighting direct citations, and another scheme for allocating residual citations to a publication from its nth citation generation level publication. A relationship between the new direct citation weighting scheme and each of five existing schemes was investigated while the new residual citation scheme was compared with the cascading citation scheme. Two datasets from biomedical publications were used for this study, one each for the direct and residual citation weighting aspects of the study. The sample for the direct citation aspect contained 100 publications that received 7317 citations, 11,234 citation contexts, and 9,795 citation context pairs. A sample of 981 citation context pairs was given to two human experts for annotation into “similar”, “somewhat similar”, and “not similar” classes. Semantic similarity scores between the 11,234 citation contexts were obtained using BioSent2Vec word-embedding model for biomedical publications. The residual citation aspect sample included ten base articles and five generations of citations from which 5272 citation context pairs were obtained. Results of the Spearman’s rank correlation test showed that the correlation coefficients between the proposed direct citation weighting scheme and each of the weighting schemes “number of positive sentiments,” “number of multiple citation mentions,” “sum of multiple citation mentions,” “number of citations,” and “number of citation mentions” were .83, .89, .89, .93, and .99 respectively. The average residual citations received from the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th citation generation level papers were 0.47, 0.43, 0.40, and 0.37 respectively. These average residual citations were significantly different from the averages of 0.5, 0.25, 0.125, and 0.0625 suggested by the cascading citation scheme. Even though the proposed direct citation weighting scheme and the residual citation scheme require more complex computations, it is recommended that they should be considered as credible alternatives to the “number of citation mentions” and cascading citation scheme respectively

    Music Sounds Better With You

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    Electronic Dance Music (EDM) is a catalyst for creative expression, from the solo dance form known as shuffling, to “Flow Arts” activities (forms of self-expression inducing a flow state) like poi, hula hooping, orbiting, and gloving. Gloving is a subcultural practice and artform that couples LED lights with dexterous finger movements. It is a method of expression for dance music enthusiasts (also known as ravers) and has become an important component of the EDM scene, particularly over the past decade. Glovers engage in “secondary” performances to live music (DJs) using complex techniques such as symbolism, word painting, and what the community refers to as “musicianship.” Performances are comprised mainly of improvisatory gestures and movements drawn from a large lexicon, known collectively as “concepts.” Learning the skill of gloving involves taking part in oral transmission, cyphering, community building activities (both online and in-person), and cultivating a gloving identity with an accompanying pseudonym. This monograph illuminates the lacuna in the discourse regarding the lack of attention given to Canadian rave culture within the field of Electronic Dance Music Culture (EDMC). It elucidates primarily the practices of gloving within the Toronto rave scene. Toronto has played an integral role in the history of gloving from its earliest roots in “liquiding,” a style of dance that originated at raves during the 1990s. Several glovers and liquid dancers active in the Toronto rave scene between 1990 and 2020 are informants for the work. The work’s methodologies draw from existing practices, pulling from several fields including musicology, sociology, and ethnography. The work itself takes the form of an autoethnographic study, rooted in the participatory approaches of journalists Hunter S. Thompson and Simon Reynolds. The format is unconventional, embracing casual language, audio-visual materials, participant observation methodology, fieldnotes and meta-reflections, interviews, and pictures, presented in a mosaic approach à la Marshall McLuhan. The work also lacks a traditional critique, preferring to infer through storytelling and descriptions by informants from within the scene itself. The author of the work offers a robust critique of the theoretical idealization of fieldwork in EDMC scholarship by purposefully utilizing fluid positionality as a defining quality. The overarching arguments are threefold and include advocating for the acknowledgment of Toronto as a city of importance in the global rave scene, Flow Arts as a pathway to self-actualization, and calling to action the implementation of “Fluid Positionality” as an optimal way to negotiate “the vibe” for more nuanced data collection
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