29,929 research outputs found

    Implementing Health Impact Assessment as a Required Component of Government Policymaking: A Multi-Level Exploration of the Determinants of Healthy Public Policy

    Get PDF
    It is widely understood that the public policies of ‘non-health’ government sectors have greater impacts on population health than those of the traditional healthcare realm. Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a decision support tool that identifies and promotes the health benefits of policies while also mitigating their unintended negative consequences. Despite numerous calls to do so, the Ontario government has yet to implement HIA as a required component of policy development. This dissertation therefore sought to identify the contexts and factors that may both enable and impede HIA use at the sub-national (i.e., provincial, territorial, or state) government level. The three integrated articles of this dissertation provide insights into specific aspects of the policy process as they relate to HIA. Chapter one details a case study of purposive information-seeking among public servants within Ontario’s Ministry of Education (MOE). Situated within Ontario’s Ministry of Health (MOH), chapter two presents a case study of policy collaboration between health and ‘non-health’ ministries. Finally, chapter three details a framework analysis of the political factors supporting health impact tool use in two sub-national jurisdictions – namely, QuĂ©bec and South Australia. MOE respondents (N=9) identified four components of policymaking ‘due diligence’, including evidence retrieval, consultation and collaboration, referencing, and risk analysis. As prospective HIA users, they also confirmed that information is not routinely sought to mitigate the potential negative health impacts of education-based policies. MOH respondents (N=8) identified the bureaucratic hierarchy as the brokering mechanism for inter-ministerial policy development. As prospective HIA stewards, they also confirmed that the ministry does not proactively flag the potential negative health impacts of non-health sector policies. Finally, ‘lessons learned’ from case articles specific to QuĂ©bec (n=12) and South Australia (n=17) identified the political factors supporting tool use at different stages of the policy cycle, including agenda setting (‘policy elites’ and ‘political culture’), implementation (‘jurisdiction’), and sustained implementation (‘institutional power’). This work provides important insights into ‘real life’ policymaking. By highlighting existing facilitators of and barriers to HIA use, the findings offer a useful starting point from which proponents may tailor context-specific strategies to sustainably implement HIA at the sub-national government level

    Building body identities - exploring the world of female bodybuilders

    Get PDF
    This thesis explores how female bodybuilders seek to develop and maintain a viable sense of self despite being stigmatized by the gendered foundations of what Erving Goffman (1983) refers to as the 'interaction order'; the unavoidable presentational context in which identities are forged during the course of social life. Placed in the context of an overview of the historical treatment of women's bodies, and a concern with the development of bodybuilding as a specific form of body modification, the research draws upon a unique two year ethnographic study based in the South of England, complemented by interviews with twenty-six female bodybuilders, all of whom live in the U.K. By mapping these extraordinary women's lives, the research illuminates the pivotal spaces and essential lived experiences that make up the female bodybuilder. Whilst the women appear to be embarking on an 'empowering' radical body project for themselves, the consequences of their activity remains culturally ambivalent. This research exposes the 'Janus-faced' nature of female bodybuilding, exploring the ways in which the women negotiate, accommodate and resist pressures to engage in more orthodox and feminine activities and appearances

    Supernatural crossing in Republican Chinese fiction, 1920s–1940s

    Get PDF
    This dissertation studies supernatural narratives in Chinese fiction from the mid-1920s to the 1940s. The literary works present phenomena or elements that are or appear to be supernatural, many of which remain marginal or overlooked in Sinophone and Anglophone academia. These sources are situated in the May Fourth/New Culture ideological context, where supernatural narratives had to make way for the progressive intellectuals’ literary realism and their allegorical application of supernatural motifs. In the face of realism, supernatural narratives paled, dismissed as impractical fantasies that distract one from facing and tackling real life. Nevertheless, I argue that the supernatural narratives do not probe into another mystical dimension that might co-exist alongside the empirical world. Rather, they imagine various cases of the characters’ crossing to voice their discontent with contemporary society or to reflect on the notion of reality. “Crossing” relates to characters’ acts or processes of trespassing the boundary that separates the supernatural from the conventional natural world, thus entailing encounters and interaction between the natural and the supernatural. The dissertation examines how crossing, as a narrative device, disturbs accustomed and mundane situations, releases hidden tensions, and discloses repressed truths in Republican fiction. There are five types of crossing in the supernatural narratives. Type 1 is the crossing into “haunted” houses. This includes (intangible) human agency crossing into domestic spaces and revealing secrets and truths concealed by the scary, feigned ‘haunting’, thus exposing the hidden evil and the other house occupiers’ silenced, suffocated state. Type 2 is men crossing into female ghosts’ apparitional residences. The female ghosts allude to heart-breaking, traumatic experiences in socio-historical reality, evoking sympathetic concern for suffering individuals who are caught in social upheavals. Type 3 is the crossing from reality into the characters’ delusional/hallucinatory realities. While they physically remain in the empirical world, the characters’ abnormal perceptions lead them to exclusive, delirious, and quasi-supernatural experiences of reality. Their crossings blur the concrete boundaries between the real and the unreal on the mental level: their abnormal perceptions construct a significant, meaningful reality for them, which may be as real as the commonly regarded objective reality. Type 4 is the crossing into the netherworld modelled on the real world in the authors’ observation and bears a spectrum of satirised objects of the Republican society. The last type is immortal visitors crossing into the human world. This type satirises humanity’s vices and destructive potential. The primary sources demonstrate their writers’ witty passion to play with super--natural notions and imagery (such as ghosts, demons, and immortals) and stitch them into vivid, engaging scenes using techniques such as the gothic, the grotesque, and the satirical, in order to evoke sentiments such as terror, horror, disgust, dis--orientation, or awe, all in service of their insights into realist issues. The works also creatively tailor traditional Chinese modes and motifs, which exemplifies the revival of Republican interest in traditional cultural heritage. The supernatural narratives may amaze or disturb the reader at first, but what is more shocking, unpleasantly nudging, or thought-provoking is the problematic society and people’s lives that the supernatural (misunderstandings) eventually reveals. They present a more compre--hensive treatment of reality than Republican literature with its revolutionary consciousness surrounding class struggle. The critical perspectives of the supernatural narratives include domestic space, unacknowledged history and marginal individuals, abnormal mentality, and pervasive weaknesses in humanity. The crossing and supernatural narratives function as a means of better understanding the lived reality. This study gathers diverse primary sources written by Republican writers from various educational and political backgrounds and interprets them from a rare perspective, thus filling a research gap. It promotes a fuller view of supernatural narratives in twentieth-century Chinese literature. In terms of reflecting the social and personal reality of the Republican era, the supernatural narratives supplement the realist fiction of the time

    TOWARDS AN UNDERSTANDING OF EFFORTFUL FUNDRAISING EXPERIENCES: USING INTERPRETATIVE PHENOMENOLOGICAL ANALYSIS IN FUNDRAISING RESEARCH

    Get PDF
    Physical-activity oriented community fundraising has experienced an exponential growth in popularity over the past 15 years. The aim of this study was to explore the value of effortful fundraising experiences, from the point of view of participants, and explore the impact that these experiences have on people’s lives. This study used an IPA approach to interview 23 individuals, recognising the role of participants as proxy (nonprofessional) fundraisers for charitable organisations, and the unique organisation donor dynamic that this creates. It also bought together relevant psychological theory related to physical activity fundraising experiences (through a narrative literature review) and used primary interview data to substantiate these. Effortful fundraising experiences are examined in detail to understand their significance to participants, and how such experiences influence their connection with a charity or cause. This was done with an idiographic focus at first, before examining convergences and divergences across the sample. This study found that effortful fundraising experiences can have a profound positive impact upon community fundraisers in both the short and the long term. Additionally, it found that these experiences can be opportunities for charitable organisations to create lasting meaningful relationships with participants, and foster mutually beneficial lifetime relationships with them. Further research is needed to test specific psychological theory in this context, including self-esteem theory, self determination theory, and the martyrdom effect (among others)

    The crisis of cultural authority in museums : contesting human remains in the collections of Britain

    Get PDF
    Museums in Britain have displayed and researched human remains since the eighteenth century. However, in the last two decades human remains in collections have become subject to claims and controversies. Firstly, human remains associated with acquisition during the colonial period have become increasingly difficult to retain and have been transfered to culturally affiliated overseas indigenous groups. Secondly, a group of British Pagans have formed to make claims on ancient human remains in collections. Thirdly, human remains that are not requested by any community group, and of all ages, have become the focus of concerns expressed about their treatment by members of the profession. A discourse arguing for 'respect' has emerged, which argues that all human remains should be treated with new care. The claims made on human remains have been vigourously but differentially contested by members of the sector, who consider the human remains to be unique research objects. This thesis charts the influences at play on the contestation over human remains and examines its construction. The academic literature tends to understand changes to museums as a result of external factors. This thesis argues that this problem is influenced by a crisis of legitimacy and establishes that there are strong internal influences. Through a weak social constructionist approach I demonstrate that the issue has been promoted by influential members of the sector as part of a broader attempt to distance themselves from their foundational role, as a consequence of a crisis of cultural authority stimulated by external and internal factors. The symbolic character of human remains in locating this problem is informed by the unique properties of dead bodies and is influenced by the significance of the body as a scientific object; its association with identity work and as a site of political struggle, in the high modem period

    Steering is initiated based on error accumulation.

    Get PDF
    Vehicle control by humans is possible because the central nervous system is capable of using visual information to produce complex sensorimotor actions. Drivers must monitor errors and initiate steering corrections of appropriate magnitude and timing to maintain a safe lane position. The perceptual mechanisms determining how a driver processes visual information and initiates steering corrections remain unclear. Previous research suggests 2 potential alternative mechanisms for responding to errors: (a) perceptual evidence (error) satisficing fixed constant thresholds (Threshold), or (b) the integration of perceptual evidence over time (Accumulator). To distinguish between these mechanisms, an experiment was conducted using a computer-generated steering correction paradigm. Drivers (N = 20) steered toward an intermittently appearing “road-line” that varied in position and orientation with respect to the driver’s position and trajectory. One key prediction from a Threshold framework is a fixed absolute error response across conditions regardless of the rate of error development, whereas the Accumulator framework predicts that drivers would respond to larger absolute errors when the error signal develops at a faster rate. Results were consistent with an Accumulator framework; thus we propose that models of steering should integrate perceived control error over time in order to accurately capture human perceptual performance

    Analyzing Tail Latency in Serverless Clouds with STeLLAR

    Get PDF

    The association between neurodegeneration and local complement activation in the thalamus to progressive multiple sclerosis outcome

    Get PDF
    The extent of grey matter demyelination and neurodegeneration in the progressive multiple sclerosis (PMS) brains at post‐mortem associates with more severe disease. Regional tissue atrophy, especially affecting the cortical and deep grey matter, including the thalamus, is prognostic for poor outcomes. Microglial and complement activation are important in the pathogenesis and contribute to damaging processes that underlie tissue atrophy in PMS. We investigated the extent of pathology and innate immune activation in the thalamus in comparison to cortical grey and white matter in blocks from 21 cases of PMS and 10 matched controls. Using a digital pathology workflow, we show that the thalamus is invariably affected by demyelination and had a far higher proportion of active inflammatory lesions than forebrain cortical tissue blocks from the same cases. Lesions were larger and more frequent in the medial nuclei near the ventricular margin, whilst neuronal loss was greatest in the lateral thalamic nuclei. The extent of thalamic neuron loss was not associated with thalamic demyelination but correlated with the burden of white matter pathology in other forebrain areas (Spearman r = 0.79, p < 0.0001). Only thalamic neuronal loss, and not that seen in other forebrain cortical areas, correlated with disease duration (Spearman r = −0.58, p = 0.009) and age of death (Spearman r = −0.47, p = 0.045). Immunoreactivity for the complement pattern recognition molecule C1q, and products of complement activation (C4d, Bb and C3b) were elevated in thalamic lesions with an active inflammatory pathology. Complement regulatory protein, C1 inhibitor, was unchanged in expression. We conclude that active inflammatory demyelination, neuronal loss and local complement synthesis and activation in the thalamus, are important to the pathological and clinical disease outcomes of PMS
    • 

    corecore