26,852 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

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    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

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    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

    Towards a sociology of conspiracy theories: An investigation into conspiratorial thinking on Dönmes

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    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

    The temporality of rhetoric: the spatialization of time in modern criticism

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    Every conception of criticism conceals a notion of time which informs the manner in which the critic conceives of history, representation and criticism itself. This thesis reveals the philosophies of time inherent in certain key modern critical concepts: allegory, irony and the sublime. Each concept opens a breach in time, a disruption of chronology. In each case this gap or aporia is emphatically closed, elided or denied. Taking the philosophy of time elaborated by Giorgio Agamben as an introductory proposition, my argument turns in Chapter One to the allegorical temporality which Walter Benjamin sees as the time of photography. The second chapter examines the aesthetics of the sublime as melancholic or mournful untimeliness. In Chapter Three, Paul de Man's conception of irony provides an exemplary instance of the denial of this troubling temporal predicament. In opposition to the foreclosure of the disturbing temporalities of criticism, history and representation, the thesis proposes a fundamental rethinking of the philosophy of time as it relates to these categories of reflection. In a reading of an inaugural meditation on the nature of time, and in examining certain key contemporary philosophical and critical texts, I argue for a critical attendance to that which eludes those modes of thought that attempt to map time as a recognizable and essentially spatial field. The Confessions of Augustine provide, in the fourth chapter, a model for thinking through the problems set up earlier: Augustine affords us, precisely, a means of conceiving of the gap or the interim. In the final chapter, this concept is developed with reference to the criticism of Arnold and Eliot, the fiction of Virginia Woolf and the philosophy of cinema derived from Deleuze and Lyotard. In conclusion, the philosophical implications of the thesis are placed in relation to a conception of the untimeliness of death

    'The talk': risk, racism and family relationships

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    Parents employ a wide range of anticipatory strategies to prepare their children for, and protect them against, risks of racism. This paper argues that, whilst black children need to be equipped with the skills and understanding to navigate racist societies, these practices are also the site of a significant injustice for minority families. Specifically, the imperative to take strategic steps to protect children against threats of racism creates unfair barriers to the enjoyment of some valuable relationship-based goods. In advancing this argument, the paper brings recent philosophical work on the family into dialogue with a rapidly developing body of empirical research on racial and ethnic socialization. I show that Brighouse and Swift’s “familial relationship goods” framework generates a valuable new perspective on some contested empirical terrain. But I also highlight, and seek to begin to redress, a problematic silence on race within contemporary philosophy of the family

    Creativity and security as a cultural recipe for entrepreneurship

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    We posit that societal cultural values of creativity and security are associated with the likelihood that a person will engage in a business start-up. Creativity supports the opportunity identification and security the opportunity exploitation aspects of entrepreneurship. In contrast, both emphasis on performance and acceptance of risk-taking may not play the role that is typically assumed. To verify our hypotheses we construct a multilevel dataset, combining Global Entrepreneurship Monitor individual-level data with country-level data from the World Values Survey. We use a multilevel logit model to address the hierarchical structure of our data. We found that odds of start-up engagement are higher if people in a society value security, yet also appreciate thinking up new ideas and being creative. Our results support McCloskey’s distinction between aristocratic and bourgeois values, and John and Storr’s proposition that different cultural traits support different aspects of entrepreneurship
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