37,926 research outputs found

    Lift EVERY Voice and Sing: An Intersectional Qualitative Study Examining the Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Queer Faculty and Administrators at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

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    While there is minimal literature that address the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans* identified students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), the experiences of Black, queer faculty and administrators at HBCUs has not been studied. This intersectional qualitative research study focused on the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer identified faculty and administrators who work at HBCUs. By investigating the intersections of religion, race, gender, and sexuality within a predominantly Black institution, this study aims to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts at HBCUs by sharing the experiences of the LGBQ faculty and administrators that previously or currently work at an HBCU as a full-time employee. The research questions that guided this study were 1) How have LGBQ faculty and staff negotiated/navigated their careers at HBCUs? and 2) How do LGBQ faculty and staff at HBCUs influence cultural (relating to LGBQ inclusion) change at the organizational level? The main theoretical framework used was intersectionality and it shaped the chosen methodology and methods. The Politics of Respectability was the second theoretical framework used to describe the intra-racial tensions within the Black/African American community. The study included 60-120 minute interviews with 12 participants. Using intersectionality as a guide, the data were coded and utilized for thematic analysis. Then, an ethnodramatic performance engages readers. The goals of this study were to encourage policy changes, promote inclusivity for LGBQ employees at HBCUs, and provide an expansion to the body of literature in the field pertaining to the experiences of LGBQ faculty and administrators in higher education

    Modelling Digital Avatars: a tuple space approach

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    Preprint de: A. PĂ©rez-Vereda, C. Canal, E. Pimentel. Modelling Digital Avatars: a tuple space approach, Science of Computer Programming, vol. 203, Elsevier, 2020, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scico.2020.102583.The development of the Internet of Things (IoT) came with the manufacturing of a huge amount of smart things equipped with sensors for making them aware of their environment, and with network connection for allowing remote interaction with them. However, most smart things still lack enough autonomy and context-awareness, hindering them from being people-friendly and actually useful for their users' everyday tasks. IoT devices should take advantage of their sensors and smartness to react automatically to the needs of their users and to provide seamless interactions with them. Within this field, the authors work on the design of Digital Avatars, a mobile computing framework for dynamically programming interactions among smart devices. The framework is based on the virtual profile of the user, which is inferred, stored, and shared by their smartphone. The profile provides a personalized context for running scripts which interact with IoT devices. This way, smartphones become a digital avatar of the user, capable of acting as a personal and seamless interface with their IoT environment. In this work, we present a formalization of Digital Avatars by means of a Linda-based approach with multiple shared tuple spaces. By means of a case study, we show how properties of the systems can be proved, and we briefly describe an implementation of both the Digital Avatars framework and the case study

    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

    Queer spies in British Cold War culture: literature, film, theatre and television

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    This PhD thesis investigates how male homosexuality has been represented in British spy fiction from the 1950s to the 2010s in multiple media: literature, film, television and theatre. Due mainly to the betrayal of the Cambridge Spy ring around the middle of the century, British culture has associated spies with homosexuality, while the wider Anglophone world was in the grip of a homophobic atmosphere created by McCarthy's Red Scare. My thesis explores how this history is reflected in the spy genre from the Cold War to the present, in which male homosexuality and secret agency intersect as “queer”, in so far as they were both considered to be discreet and criminal, existing outside of the heteronormative order. By following multiple texts across media and time, I discuss how some writers, television and film directors and actors update queer identity in spy fiction, creating a shifting image of queer spies through decades. I refer to the findings of adaptation studies and queer studies, along with numerous studies on spy fiction. I conclude that the interrelation of different media has contributed to the re-drawing of queer identity in spy fiction. These developments have enabled the spies' queer identity to transcend its pejorative history in British culture, towards its more flexible and pliant sense which is designated by the term's modern usage. I also discuss that spies’ homosexuality has been represented as a fleeting ghost in most of the texts examined, hovering on the margins of pages and screen. Although homosexuality is not “the love that dare not speak its name” anymore, clandestine queer spies have been preserved as spectral others in the genre for many years. Spy fiction is a cultural repository retaining the memory of violence inflicted against those who have been called “queer” in twentieth century Britain, and the spectral nature of queer spies narrates this history reaching back to the Oscar Wilde trial in 1895, from which point British queer identity as we know now developed. This thesis benefits the study of spy fiction by filling a gap in the investigation of homosexual representation. It also contributes to the field of gender studies of literature, film, television, and theatre by illustrating queer history in a genre which has not received a great deal of focus on its representation of homosexuality. Spy fiction occupies a central position in British popular culture, and by exploring this genre in terms of homosexuality, this research will identify the role which same-sex desire has historically played in the British cultural imagination

    Data-to-text generation with neural planning

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    In this thesis, we consider the task of data-to-text generation, which takes non-linguistic structures as input and produces textual output. The inputs can take the form of database tables, spreadsheets, charts, and so on. The main application of data-to-text generation is to present information in a textual format which makes it accessible to a layperson who may otherwise find it problematic to understand numerical figures. The task can also automate routine document generation jobs, thus improving human efficiency. We focus on generating long-form text, i.e., documents with multiple paragraphs. Recent approaches to data-to-text generation have adopted the very successful encoder-decoder architecture or its variants. These models generate fluent (but often imprecise) text and perform quite poorly at selecting appropriate content and ordering it coherently. This thesis focuses on overcoming these issues by integrating content planning with neural models. We hypothesize data-to-text generation will benefit from explicit planning, which manifests itself in (a) micro planning, (b) latent entity planning, and (c) macro planning. Throughout this thesis, we assume the input to our generator are tables (with records) in the sports domain. And the output are summaries describing what happened in the game (e.g., who won/lost, ..., scored, etc.). We first describe our work on integrating fine-grained or micro plans with data-to-text generation. As part of this, we generate a micro plan highlighting which records should be mentioned and in which order, and then generate the document while taking the micro plan into account. We then show how data-to-text generation can benefit from higher level latent entity planning. Here, we make use of entity-specific representations which are dynam ically updated. The text is generated conditioned on entity representations and the records corresponding to the entities by using hierarchical attention at each time step. We then combine planning with the high level organization of entities, events, and their interactions. Such coarse-grained macro plans are learnt from data and given as input to the generator. Finally, we present work on making macro plans latent while incrementally generating a document paragraph by paragraph. We infer latent plans sequentially with a structured variational model while interleaving the steps of planning and generation. Text is generated by conditioning on previous variational decisions and previously generated text. Overall our results show that planning makes data-to-text generation more interpretable, improves the factuality and coherence of the generated documents and re duces redundancy in the output document
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