29,622 research outputs found
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The main purpose of this paper is to examine the validity of the contention that, over the past decades, we have been witnessing the rise of the ‘posthuman condition’. To this end, the analysis draws on the work of the contemporary philosopher Rosi Braidotti. The paper is divided into four parts. The first part centres on the concept of posthumanism, suggesting that it reflects a systematic attempt to challenge humanist assumptions underlying the construction of ‘the human’. The second part focuses on the concept of post-anthropocentrism, demonstrating that it articulates a desire to reject the twin ideas of ‘species supremacism’ and ‘human exceptionalism’, which it seeks to replace with ‘species egalitarianism’ and ‘monistic vitalism’. The third part is concerned with the concept of critical posthumanities, positing that its advocacy is based on the cross-fertilization of posthumanism and post-anthropocentrism. The fourth part offers an assessment of the ‘posthuman condition’ thesis, evaluating the extent to which it sheds new light on the ways in which our engagements with the world are shaped by the confluence of zoe-, geo-, and techno-based dimensions. The paper concludes with a brief summary of the key insights gained from the preceding inquiry
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Vitamin D deficiency is a common public health problem worldwide. However, little is known about the epidemiology of vitamin D deficiency in Africa. In this thesis, I aimed to determine: 1) the prevalence of and risk factors associated with vitamin D deficiency in studies conducted in Africa; 2) the prevalence and predictors of vitamin D deficiency in African children; 3) the association between vitamin D and iron deficiency in African children; and 4) genetic variants that influence vitamin D status in Africans.
In a systematic review and meta-analyses of previous vitamin D studies in Africa, the average prevalence of low vitamin D status was 18.5%, 34.2% and 59.5% using cut-offs of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels of <30 nmol/L, <50 nmol/L and <75 nmol/L, respectively. Populations at risk of vitamin D deficiency included newborns, women, and people living in high latitudes or urban areas.
In an epidemiological study of young children living in Africa, the prevalence of low vitamin D status was 0.6%, 7.8% and 44.5% using cut-offs of 25(OH)D levels of GC2 variant of the group-specific component (GC) gene, which encodes vitamin D binding protein.
Vitamin D deficiency was also associated with 80% higher odds of iron deficiency in these children. Adjusted regression models revealed that vitamin D deficiency was associated with higher ferritin and hepcidin levels suggesting lower iron status, and reduced sTfR and transferrin levels and increased TSAT and serum iron levels suggesting improved iron status.
Genome-wide association study (GWAS) in Africans revealed genetic variants that influence vitamin D status in vitamin D metabolism genes: DHCR7/NADSYN1, CYP2R1 and GC. However, the majority of SNPs from previous European GWASs did not replicate in the current GWAS.
Findings from this thesis indicate that vitamin D deficiency is prevalent in many African populations and should be considered in public health strategies in Africa
This thesis investigates the social and political significance of conspiracy theories, which has been an academically neglected topic despite its historical relevance. The academic literature focuses on the methodology, social significance and political impacts of these theories in a secluded manner and lacks empirical analyses. In response, this research provides a comprehensive theoretical framework for conspiracy theories by considering their methodology, political impacts and social significance in the light of empirical data. Theoretically, the thesis uses Adorno's semi-erudition theory along with Girardian approach. It proposes that conspiracy theories are methodologically semi-erudite narratives, i.e. they are biased in favour of a belief and use reason only to prove it. It suggests that conspiracy theories appear in times of power vacuum and provide semi-erudite cognitive maps that relieve alienation and ontological insecurities of people and groups. In so doing, they enforce social control over their audience due to their essentialist, closed-to-interpretation narratives. In order to verify the theory, the study analyses empirically the social and political significance of conspiracy theories about the Dönme community in Turkey. The analysis comprises interviews with conspiracy theorists, conspiracy theory readers and political parties, alongside a frame analysis of the popular conspiracy theory books on Dönmes. These confirm the theoretical framework by showing that the conspiracy theories are fed by the ontological insecurities of Turkish society. Hence, conspiracy theorists, most readers and some political parties respond to their own ontological insecurities and political frustrations through scapegoating Dönmes. Consequently, this work shows that conspiracy theories are important symptoms of society, which, while relieving ontological insecurities, do not provide politically prolific narratives
By documenting the harsh realities of the era, The Grapes of Wrath (‘GOW’) calls to mind those distressing UN Country Reports that both describe and denounce avoidable landscapes of poverty, hunger, homelessness, and dispossession. Steinbeck embeds the novel’s harrowing images within an unforgiving framework of human rights violations, most of which flow directly from human greed. The novel’s prescient yet timeless warnings speak not only to the various humanitarian crises brought about by climate change and unethical commercial practices, but also to many ongoing, perennial global atrocities: corrupt political regimes, gendered injustices, ethnic cleansing, and displacement of entire populations. It is landscapes such as these that still serve to both spark and underpin refugee existence: the need for a compassionate system of asylum-granting, firmly grounded in human rights law, clearly remains as urgent now as it was in Steinbeck’s time. As witnesses to such chronic disregard for human dignity, readers of the novel are not only tasked with judging those responsible: we must also evaluate the perennial failings of the various global and domestic systems that have enabled and perpetuated such egregious rights violations. The final scene, drenched in symbolism, still serves as a quasi-courtroom: before the bared breast of a Lady Justice figure we become jurists, and cannot help apportioning blame for all that has been witnessed over the course of the Joad’s journeying. A close reading now, almost a century later, serves as a timely reminder that similar atrocities continue: migrant and refugee populations remain especially vulnerable, not least where they have been displaced by poverty or political crises from all that was once familiar. This article argues that the novel’s central focus on “social realism” demands much in the way of “moral and emotional effort” (Benson, 9) from the reader: we should leave the book with nothing less than a highly “active compassion for the dispossessed” (Wyatt, 12). It is perhaps best viewed as a collection of first-hand witness testimonies, akin to those gathered and collated by the United Nations (UN) various Committees and which serve to reveal, record, and address the horrendously fine detail of abject human rights violations and their impacts upon the most vulnerable. It is Steinbeck’s “consistently catchy eyewitness quality” (De Mott, xiii) which both brings and retains this timeless sense of urgency and immediacy, without directing any clear response: it is up to the conscience of the individual reader to determine how best to process or address the various challenges presented
COVID is having immediate and long-term impacts on the use of libraries. But these changes will probably not alter the importance of the academic library as a space. In the decade pre COVID libraries saw a growing number of visits, despite the increasing availability of material digitally. The first part of the paper offers an analysis of the factors driving this growth, such as changing pedagogies, diversification in the student body, new technologies plus tighter estates management. Barriers to change such as academic staff readiness, cost, and slow decision making are also presented. Then, the main body of the paper discusses emerging factors which are likely to further shape the use of library space, namely: concerns with student well-being; sustainability; equality, diversity and inclusion, and decolonisation; increasing co-design with students; and new technologies. A final model captures the inter-related factors shaping use and design of library space post COVID
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The number of British Schools in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is growing. The National Curriculum of England is used by an increasing number of such schools. As well as exporting a culturally-specific curriculum, these schools usually adopt an ideology of monolingualism, thus potentially limiting communication for emergent bilinguals and failing to acknowledge the multiple ways of meaning-making.
Current studies of translanguaging are moving the focus to multimodal forms of communication as a resource for thinking and communicating (García and Wei 2014, Wei 2018). Building on the work of Kress (1997, 2010) I explore pre-school emergent bilinguals’ wider signifying practices and create an analytical framework, which I call MMTL (multimodal translanguaging), used as a lens to illustrate meaning-making.
Valley Hill in Cairo, Egypt is a British school which encourages ‘English-only’ as the medium of instruction in the kindergarten. Using a case study methodology, this research explores the meaning-making practices of eight emergent bilingual children aged 3–4 during child-initiated play, later reduced to four in the thesis to provide a detailed multimodal analysis. The principal aim is to explore their speech, gaze, gesture, and their engagement (layout/position) with artefacts during play.
The findings of this study suggest that although there is an ‘English-only’ approach, these young emergent bilingual children are meaning-making in a variety of ways. Children are translanguaging but it is never in isolation from other modes of communication. Emergent bilinguals use a range of modes to mediate their understanding and communication with others. They use gesture, gaze, and artefacts alongside translingual practices to move meaning across to more accessible modes, enabling communication and understanding. The implications for schools should be to embrace such hybrid practices and for teachers to be more responsive to young children’s meaning-making to enable learning
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Copyright © 2022 The Authors. Despite the increasing proliferation of deploying the internet of things (IoT) in the global value chain (GVC), several challenges might lead to a lack of trust among value chain partners, for example, technical challenges (i.e., confidentiality, authenticity, and privacy); and security challenges (i.e., counterfeiting, physical tampering, and data theft). In this study, we argue that blockchain technology (BT), when combined with the IoT ecosystem, will strengthen GVC and enhance value creation and capture among value chain partners. Therefore, we examine the impact of BT combined with the IoT ecosystem and how it can be utilized to enhance value creation and capture among value chain partners. We collected data through an online survey, and 265 U.K. Agri-food retailers completed the survey. Our data were analyzed using structural equation modeling. Our finding reveals that BT enhances GVC by improving IoT scalability, security, and traceability combined with the IoT ecosystem. Moreover, the combination of BT and IoT strengthens GVC and creates more value for value chain partners, which serves as a competitive advantage. Finally, our research outlines the theoretical and practical contribution of combining BT and the IoT ecosystem
This article proposes literature and psychoanalysis as forms of critical education, putting in urgent question the market-driven, instrumental models of learning that currently dominate higher education policy. In psychoanalytic terms, it argues, the primary mechanism at work in such a policy is what psychoanalysis calls splitting, which involves above all a kind of banishment of doubt and a rigid assurance in the rightness of the status quo that precludes meaningful change or transformation in the self and the world. The article goes on to identify in psychoanalysis and literature more ‘unsplit’ modes of thinking that refuse the reduction of the human being to a purely functional value. It ends with a reading of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go as a critical meditation on this reductive tendency