• WhatsApp in Sierra Leone : burning bridges or building them?

      Silverman, Jon; ; University of Bedfordshire (Indiana University Press, 2020-11-19)
      The text messaging application WhatsApp has been heavily criticized for acting as a vehicle for the spread of misinformation and unsubstantiated rumour, leading, in some parts of the world, to violence and even death. But the closed nature of WhatsApp groups has presented a structural problem as a subject for credible social science research. A collaborative project between the Universities of Bedfordshire (UK) and Sierra Leone has tracked messaging in an experimental student WhatsApp group using critical discourse analysis in order to generate a deeper understanding of discursive influences in a fragile society. It asks whether the affordance of a WhatsApp group necessarily amplifies offline polarizations and explores routes to consensuality in a divided post-conflict state. It concludes that more robust interventions by group administrators could foster free speech while avoiding the need for intrusive regulation from outside agencies. Key words – social media; discourse; rumours; WhatsApp;ethno-regional;divisive
    • Wheels of Desire: The Popular Adaptations of A.E.W. Mason’s Thrillers from 1900s to the 1930s

      Weedon, Alexis; Baker, William; University of Bedfordshire; Northern Illinois University (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2015-07-01)
      In the early twentieth century, Alfred Edward Woodley Mason’s (1865-1948) stories were adapted across the media in an early form of today’s practice of transmedia publication. He wrote over twenty stories in the 1920s and 1930s and had a remarkable number of film adaptations. For literary and film historians and scholars of contemporary publishing, he is an example of a British author engaging in process of adaption as his works were transferred to the stage, “realised” by the movie studios and adapted for the new medium of BBC radio. His films were cited as “Britain’s reply to the American talkie monopoly” in 1931. Mason was not as active as some of this contemporaries in exploiting the potential of his work across the different media: authors like H.G. Wells who he commended for being involved in film, Hugh Walpole and Elinor Glyn were far more deeply engaged with the studios. However his particular gifts as a storyteller, traveller and observer of character lead him to write the film-story. And if that story was not yet structured through film grammar to keep suspense or quite with a movie’s narrative arc, the adaptations of his works were milestones in that development.  
    • “When are you coming back?” Presenteeism in UK Prison Officers

      Kinman, Gail; Clements, Andrew James; Hart, Jacqui Ann; University of Bedfordshire (Sage, 2019-03-21)
      Presenteeism has negative implications for staff wellbeing and the safety of prisons, but little is known about its prevalence and causes.  This mixed-methods study examines these issues among 1,682 UK officers. Most respondents (84%) reported working while sick at least sometimes, with 53% always doing so. Six linked themes were identified that underpinned presenteeism in the prison sector: punitive absence management systems; pressure from management; short-staffing and fear of letting colleagues down; job insecurity; fear of disbelief and shaming; and duty and professionalism. The implications of presenteeism for the health and job performance of prison officers are considered. 
    • Where has all the youth crime gone? youth justice in an age of austerity

      Bateman, Tim (Wiley, 2014-07-18)
      Youth justice under the Coalition government in England and Wales has been characterised by considerable gains — falling youth crime, increased diversion and substantial reductions in child imprisonment — that would generally be associated with a progressive agenda. Focusing on youth justice policy in England and Wales, this article suggests that the tensions implicit in a government of the new right delivering outcomes that demonstrate an increased tolerance to children who offend can be explained by the logic of austerity. That same logic brings with it other policy measures that are potentially less compatible with children's well-being.
    • Where were you in 1992? : rumours of war

      Egbe, Amanda; Novakovic, Rastko (2018-04-28)
      Singe Screen Short Film, 15mins
    • Where were you in 1992?: fighting racism, fascism and nationalism, activism in the 90s

      Egbe, Amanda; Novakovic, Rastko (2019-02-08)
      Presentation and screening of Where Were You in 1992?: Rumours of War to the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research, Birmingham City University
    • Where were you in 1992?: surveillance - monitoring

      Egbe, Amanda; Novakovic, Rastko (2019-07-03)
      Singe Screen Short Film, 10 mins
    • Which way to SoTL utopia?

      Draeger, John D.; Price, Linda; Open University (Georgia Southern University, Center for Excellence in Teaching, 2011-01-01)
      Where is the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) movement headed? This paper offers a vision for the future by using an Aristotelian model of virtue to sketch an account of intellectual habits. We argue that these habits allow students, teachers, and scholars to engage in the endless pursuit of learning. We call this place 'SoTL Utopia' as the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning is the vehicle that allows us to reach this destination. While utopian, we argue that these habits will improve learning in higher education through more ubiquitous engagement in SoTL.
    • "Whither media in English"

      Connolly, Steve M. (Routledge, 2018-10-17)
    • Who protects their health? Factors that influence health preventive behaviours and body mass index

      Chater, Angel M.; Cook, Erica Jane (2008-09-30)
      Background: This study aimed to identify the extent to which levels of happiness and self-efficacy could predict preventive health behaviours (such as healthy eating and exercise) and body mass index (BMI). Methods: Data was collected from 100 adults (59% female), mean age 24.75 years, measuring generalised self-efficacy beliefs, happiness, health preventative behaviours, BMI, age and gender. Findings: Results indicate that both happiness and generalised self efficacy significantly predict health preventative behaviours, explaining 20% and 26% of the variance in the behaviours respectively. Mood was negatively correlated with BMI (r¼0.17, p50.05). Relationships were also noted between generalised self efficacy, happiness and BMI. Discussion: Evidence presented here suggests that happiness and high self-efficacy beliefs can significantly enhance health protective behaviours. Moreover, those who express higher levels of happiness, also exhibit higher levels of self efficacy and have a lower BMI. Suggestions are made to tailor health promotion campaigns towards enhancing mood and personal control beliefs.
    • Who represents the revolutionaries? examples from the Egyptian revolution 2011

      Mellor, Noha (Informa {UK} Limited, 2013-11-12)
      Recently, there has been a debate among Egyptian intellectuals about who ideally represents the Tahrir (liberation) revolutionaries. This article reflects on this debate with a focus on selected examples of middle-class liberal revolutionaries and their mediated accounts of the so-called Battle of Camel, which took place on 2 February 2011. The examples help illustrate how the mediation and construction of this event enforces the image of protestors as secular middle class, thereby relegating to the background the role played by religious groups such as the influential Muslim Brotherhood. The accounts also marginalized working-class voices, although this group significantly contributed to the success of the revolution. The selected examples indicate the dynamism of the protests as a multi-layered text and a cultural artefact, open to multiple interpretations with regard to the representation of the revolutionaries.
    • Who uses foodbanks and why? Exploring the impact of financial strain and adverse life events on food insecurity

      Prayogo, Edwina; Chater, Angel M.; Chapman, S.; Barker, M.; Rahmawati, N.; Waterfall, T.; Grimble, G.; University College London; University of Bedfordshire; University of Bath; et al. (Oxford University Press, 17-11-14)
      Background Rising use of foodbanks highlights food insecurity in the UK. Adverse life events (e.g. unemployment, benefit delays or sanctions) and financial strains are thought to be the drivers of foodbank use. This research aimed to explore who uses foodbanks, and factors associated with increased food insecurity. Methods We surveyed those seeking help from front line crisis providers from foodbanks (N = 270) and a comparison group from Advice Centres (ACs) (N = 245) in relation to demographics, adverse life events, financial strain and household food security. Results About 55.9% of foodbank users were women and the majority were in receipt of benefits (64.8%). Benefit delays (31.9%), changes (11.1%) and low income (19.6%) were the most common reasons given for referral. Compared to AC users, there were more foodbank users who were single men without children, unemployed, currently homeless, experiencing more financial strain and adverse life events (P = 0.001). Food insecurity was high in both populations, and more severe if they also reported financial strain and adverse life events. Conclusions Benefit-related problems appear to be a key reason for foodbank referral. By comparison with other disadvantaged groups, foodbank users experienced more financial strain, adverse life events, both increased the severity of food insecurity.
    • Who uses NHS health checks? Investigating the impact of ethnicity and gender and method of invitation on uptake of NHS health checks

      Cook, Erica Jane; Sharp, Chloe; Randhawa, Gurch; Guppy, Andy; Gangotra, Raj; Cox, Jonathon (BioMed Central Ltd., 2016-09-01)
      Background NHS Health Checks is a national risk assessment prevention programme for all individuals aged 40-74 that reside in England. Through the systematic assessment of an individual’s ten year disease risk, this programme aims to provide early identification and subsequent management of this risk. However, there is limited evidence on how socio-demographic factors impact on uptake and what influence the invitation method has on uptake to this programme. Methods NHS Health Check data from April 2013 to March 2014 was analysed (N = 50,485) for all 30 GP Practices in Luton, a culturally diverse town in England, UK. Data was collected for age, ethnicity, uptake (attendance and non attendance) and invitation method (letter written, verbal face-to-face, telephone). Actual usage of NHS Health Checks was determined for each ethnic group of the population and compared using Chi-square analysis. Results The overall uptake rate for Luton was 44 %, markedly lower that the set target of 50–75 %. The findings revealed a variation of uptake in relation to age, gender, level of deprivation. Ethnicity and gender variations were also found, with ‘White British’ ‘Black Caribbean’ and ‘Indian’ patients most likely to take up a NHS Health Check. However, patients from ‘Any Other White Background’ and ‘Black African’ were significantly less likely to uptake an NHS Health Check compared to all other ethnic groups. Ethnicity and gender differences were also noted in relation to invitation method. Conclusions The findings revealed that different invitation methods were effective for different ethnic and gender groups. Therefore, it is suggested that established protocols of invitation are specifically designed for maximizing the response rate for each population group. Future research should now focus on uncovering the barriers to uptake in particular culturally diverse population groups to determine how public health teams can better engage with these communities.
    • Who's opting-in? a demographic analysis of the U.K. NHS Organ Donor Register

      Penn-Jones, Catrin Pedder; Papadopoulos, Chris; Randhawa, Gurch; University of Bedfordshire (PLOS, 2019-01-02)
      The NHS Organ Donor Register (NHS ODR) is a centralised database for U.K. residents wishing to be organ donors. Opt-in membership to the NHS ODR demonstrates an expression of a wish to donate, which can be key in decisions made by family members at time of death. By examining the demographic breakdown of the 24.9 million registrants, campaigns can be better targeted to increase membership among those groups underrepresented on the NHS ODR. Data from the NHS ODR (as of March 2017) was analysed using Chi2 Goodness of Fit analyses and Chi2 Test of Independence for the categorical variables of gender, nation of residency at time of registration, ethnicity, organ preference, registration age and age at registration. Goodness of fit analyses showed significant differences between demographic representation on the NHS ODR compared to the U.K. population. Cramer's V showed significant associations were only of note (above 0.1) for age, ethnicity in the U.K. as a whole and ethnicity in England. Older (70+) and younger people (0-14) were underrepresented and those of White Ethnicity overrepresented on the NHS ODR. Although association strength was weak, more women and less residents of England were present compared to the U.K. population. Tests of independence showed significant differences between age at registration and current age on the register and cornea donation preferences. These results indicate areas for targeting by campaigns to increase NHS ODR membership. By understanding the strength of these associations, resources can be utilised in areas where underrepresentation is larger and will have the most impact to demographics of the NHS ODR. Additionally, by identifying which groups are over and underrepresented, future research can explore the reasons for this in these demographic groups.
    • ‘Whose land is it anyway?’ deconstructing the nature of property rights and their regulation

      Ravenscroft, Neil; Church, Andrew; Parker, G. (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012-10-18)
      Contemporary Western legal theory is posited on a claim that property rights have ‘evolved’ as a response to competition over the use of land and that the distribution and regulation of ownership rights reflect society. Other branches of the social sciences regard regulation and rights distributions as being produced by a more complex and shifting interplay of governmentalities. The governance of land has therefore produced emergent hybrid sets of arrangements that reflect various sources and types of power circulating through social institutions and the wider political economy. Garrett Hardin’s ‘tragedy of the commons’ has been highly influential, in arguing that external or private regulation of land use is all that prevents over-exploitation of common property resources. Many critics have sought to expose weaknesses in Hardin’s arguments, and Hardin himself later limited his thesis to explaining the fate of unmanaged commons. Yet his central thesis, about the deployment of property rights, has largely remained unchallenged. As E.P. Thompson has argued, this has (erroneously, in his belief) included a central notion that land is not only capable of being ‘owned’, but that ownership is discrete, hierarchical and, ultimately, ‘natural’. In agreeing with Thompson, Munton has recently observed that the dynamism of contemporary land use and the interests shaping its regulation increasingly renders obsolete singular ideas of tenure in favour of understanding property as a ‘bundle of rights’ that can be allocated differentially as required. In building upon Thompson and Munton’s arguments, we seek to challenge Hardin’s thesis, by arguing that: (a) far from being natural, property rights are human directed inscriptions on land; (b) the institution of property has a natural (or preferred) form, to the extent that it is allowed to emerge and evolve by common convention; (c) contrary to advanced liberal doctrine, land has a tendency towards common, rather than individual, regulation and use; and (d) liberal theory has been used to justify and shift regulation from the common to the individual. In advancing our arguments, we have borrowed ideas from Marcel Mauss’ description of the socio-economic gift relationship, in which he posits the root of social power being contained in the value of the gift made from one person to another and the indebtedness of the other until the gift is reciprocated with interest. Since reciprocation demands further reciprocation, Mauss shows that only the most powerful can survive a process that, ultimately, serves to underpin the hegemony of tying social practice to the dominant ideology of exchange.
    • Why are there still so few men within Early Years in primary schools: views from male trainee teachers and male leaders?

      Mistry, Malini Tina; Sood, Krishan (Routledge, 2013-01-29)
      One of the challenges facing the Early Years (EY) sector is how to encourage more male practitioners to counterbalance a largely feminised workforce. Using case studies of male trainees at different stages of their primary undergraduate Initial Teacher Training course at one university, we attempt to consider data why there is under-representation of men within the leadership strata in EY settings. Questionnaires and interviews were conducted with the male sample groups and male leaders in primary schools to gain an overview regarding gender stereotyping. Our findings suggest that male trainees enjoy working in the EY sector, but they need mentoring by strong leaders to help them overcome the perceived contextual barriers of male stereotypes in that setting. In conclusion, we consider some of these barriers of stereotypes, attitudes, values, beliefs existing and the actions needed in addressing such stereotypes if a long-lasting change is to happen.
    • Why barcode? High-throughput multiplex sequencing of mitochondrial genomes for molecular systematics

      Timmermans, Martijn J.T.N.; Dodsworth, Steven; Culverwell, C. Lorna; Bocak, Ladislav; Ahrens, Dirk; Littlewood, D.T.J.; Pons, J.; Vogler, Alfried P. (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2010-09-28)
      Mitochondrial genome sequences are important markers for phylogenetics but taxon sampling remains sporadic because of the great effort and cost required to acquire full-length sequences. Here, we demonstrate a simple, cost-effective way to sequence the full complement of protein coding mitochondrial genes from pooled samples using the 454/Roche platform. Multiplexing was achieved without the need for expensive indexing tags (‘barcodes’). The method was trialled with a set of long-range polymerase chain reaction (PCR) fragments from 30 species of Coleoptera (beetles) sequenced in a 1/16th sector of a sequencing plate. Long contigs were produced from the pooled sequences with sequencing depths ranging from 10 to 100 per contig. Species identity of individual contigs was established via three ‘bait’ sequences matching disparate parts of the mitochondrial genome obtained by conventional PCR and Sanger sequencing. This proved that assembly of contigs from the sequencing pool was correct.Our study produced sequences for 21 nearly complete and seven partial sets of protein coding mitochondrial genes. Combined with existing sequences for 25 taxa, an improved estimate of basal relationships in Coleoptera was obtained. The procedure could be employed routinely for mitochondrial genome sequencing at the species level, to provide improved species ‘barcodes’ that currently use the cox1 gene only.
    • Why feminist dissent?

      Varma, Rashmi; Dhaliwal, Sukhwant; Nagarajan, Chitra (University of Warwick, 2016-07-01)
      This essay lays out the historical and intellectual lineage of the idea behind the journal Feminist Dissent. As the “Rushdie Affair” was both the backdrop and the catalyst for a group such as Women Against Fundamentalism, the current conjuncture characterized by an exponential expansion of fundamentalism, neo-liberal austerity, rollback of the rights of women and sexual minorities, and racist control of borders and migration has necessitated a different kind of analysis, one that is absent from academic and popular discourse at the moment. This essay is an attempt to propose a new way of looking at the intersection of gender and fundamentalism, and underscores the importance of highlighting dissent as a crucial feminist strategy.
    • Why has the UK prosecuted so few war criminals?

      Silverman, Jon; University of Bedfordshire (2018-04-11)
    • Why is it difficult to improve student learning?

      Price, Linda; Richardson, John T.E.; Open University (2003-09-03)