Archive for February, 2011

Notes from a prison cell: PEN’s Writers in Prison Committee

February 24, 2011

From Index on Censorship  

This issue  brings together some of the world’s finest writers to look back at one of the longest running campaigns for freedom of expression: PEN’s Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC). Run mostly by writers, for writers, it marks its fiftieth anniversary this year, and while its case histories and supporte rs read like a hall of literary fame, the continuing necessity of its existence can never be a cause for celebration. The contributors to this issue also explore the moral dilemmas and pitfalls that face all human rights campaigners.


Information anywhere, any when: the role of the smartphone

February 23, 2011

From Business Information Review

The library of the future is in your pocket, and over the next few years accessing information over mobile phones and other mobile devices is going to transform access to online services and the internet. This is the beginning – we’ve collected valuable data on which mobile devices are being used to access Communications content. This article examines the technological advances we have made, whilst recognising the limitations we currently face. It looks to our future path in both the short term and long term.  (more…)

‘An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth’: political violence and counter-insurgency in Egypt

February 22, 2011

From Journal of Peace Research

This article
examines the violent political conflict in Egypt that paved the way for the recent anti-government protests forcing the resignation of the country’s president. It investigates the cycle of violence between the politically motivated attacks by Islamists and the counter-insurgency measures used by the Egyptian government. It considers the socio-economic consequences of political violence and recognises a direct link between poverty and the intensity of radical Islamist activity. Outlining the policy implications, finally it warns how the existence of significant spillovers in the Middle East from upsurges can spark instability in neighbouring territories as is evident with the domino effect on Bahrain and Libya.  


Sexual violence, social policy and the need to identify sexually positive ways of being a man

February 17, 2011

Invisible men: social reactions to male sexual coercion – bringing men and masculinities into community safety and public policy

From Critical Social Policy 

This paper outlines the gendered nature of sexual violence and considers the social reactions to male sexual violence. It identifies amongst other reactions; moral panics, risk assessments and denial. The paper highlights that acts of sexual coercion are perpetrated by a wide range of people, mostly men or boys, many of whom never come into contact with the criminal justice system. Thus, a policy to alleviate the ‘suffering and distress’ caused by sexual coercion requires more than a focus on the convicted offender. It looks at how the UK government identified aims for its ‘Action plan’ focussing on prevention and victim care and support.  A significant challenge for public policy is how to address the atti­tudes and behaviours of young people towards sex and violence and the social structures that support them. Whilst some policy initiatives could occur within a health framework, it is argued the other area of policy that is possibly most relevant is education. It concludes that an important step in this area is to identify and recognise pro-social and sexually positive ways of being a man.


Advocating health programs through social media

February 16, 2011

Advocacy 2.0: Advocating in the Digital Age

From Health Promotion Practice

To improve health, we must continue to engage in advocacy for people, programs, policies, and the profession.  Economic difficulties and competitive interests leave health education programs in a vulnerable position. More and more, professional organizations embrace advocacy as a significant component within their organizations. Traditional methods of advocacy such as letters to advocacy such as letters to the editor, public service announcements, visits with policymakers, emails and phone calls are proven and worthwhile. However the explosion of technology and freedom of the Internet provide a multitude of possibilities for revitalized advocacy efforts. This article suggests just a few examples of how we might engage in Advocacy 2.0., developing advocacy using our website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, blog radio, and more, to enhance our ability to advocate in a timely, efficient, and cost-effective manner.  (more…)

New Labour’s youth justice legacy

February 15, 2011

The sleep of (criminological) reason: Knowledge—policy rupture and New Labour’s youth justice legacy

From Criminology and Criminal Justice


This article looks at how the UK youth justice system has experienced many reforms under the 3 terms of New Labour. There is an understanding that the treatment of children— particularly those in conflict with the law—is an important signifier of a society’s civility, maturity and humanity. It represents a profound symbolic marker of its core values, principles and moral integrity. The argument here is that by effectively negating knowledge/evidence in the construction of policy, successive New Labour Ministers have mutated justice and surrendered their claim to be regarded as honest brokers in the complex debates surrounding children, young people and crime. This raises serious questions pertaining not only to knowledge/evidence–policy relations but also to the democratic process itself, political power and public accountability.


”My mother’s keeper”: the effects of parentification on black female college students

February 10, 2011

From Journal of Black Psychology

The Black family—both nuclear and extended—has been responsible for the survival of Black people in America. Despite shifting dynamics due to the evolution of the family structure during the past 50 years, the family is one of the most important and strongest institutions in the Black community.  This paper illustrates how parentification of studied black American females impacts on their college experience and examines the push and pull factors from their families of origin while pursuing their degrees. Understanding the perceptions and experiences of young Black women who carry the burden of their family’s survival is essential to their emotional, mental, and financial well-being. Such knowledge and insight will assist in the creation of interventions and programs that meet the needs of their family and enhance their opportunity for personal growth and academic persistence.


Ignore Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and the rest, to your detriment: the importance of social media

February 9, 2011

Be where the conversations are: the critical importance of social media

From Business Information Review

It has become clear that the website is no longer the most important single online source of information. It is now vital that we pay attention to social media conversations.  People and companies have a presence in a wider variety of places with the increase of social media. Therefore the question really is ‘how do we engage with social media’ rather than ‘should we engage with social media’. The author of this article argues that the first step is to change the organizational mindset as reputation is no longer based on what we know, but on the extent to which we can freely make it available. The conversations will continue to take place whether we engage with social media or not. The author suggests that social media and Web 2.0 tools need to be understood, embraced, and utilized to the benefit of the organization.


Invaluable British survey gauges the national mood after 3 terms of Labour government

February 8, 2011

From British Social Attitudes – The 27th Report

The annual British Social Attitudes survey is an indispensable guide to political and social issues in contemporary Britain. This 27th Report delivers the public’s verdict after thirteen years of Labour rule. It shows a nation at a political crossroads. On the one hand attitudes on welfare have hardened to the right. On the other, many think there were marked improvements in health and education under Labour, creating potential resistance to reform or cuts in these areas.

It is twenty years since Margaret Thatcher left office, but public opinion is far closer now to many of her core beliefs than it was then.  Findings show that attitudes have hardened over the last two decade, and are more in favour of cutting benefits and against taxing the better off disproportionately. But just as Blair and Brown incorporated key concepts of Thatcherism into New Labour’s ideology, Britain today is sending a clear message to Cameron and Clegg that it values the investment Labour has made in this country’s core public services.

‘The Rolls Royce of opinion surveys.’ – The Times 


The far healthier diet and exercise intake of our Stone Age ancestors

February 3, 2011

Paleolithic nutrition twenty-five years later

From Nutrition in Clinical PracticeThis article 

presents the findings of a review of research since the original paper presented 25 years ago, where the 1980’s diet of average Americans was compared to that of early man. A quarter of a century ago recommendations pointed to the benefits of the Paleolithic diet and lifestyle, this more up-to-rate comparison outlines how the hunter-gatherer lifestyle is even more ideal today as westernized lifestyles have  become worsened over recent decades. We are all too familiar with the regular headlines warning of obesity rates. Data averages show Americans today eat more, of the wrong kind of foods, exercise less, are less mobile for work and leisure and added to that many smoke and drink significant amounts of alcohol. When looking at our at our ancestral diet and exercise patterns this research highlights again that the diet of early man had lower levels of refined carbohydrates and sodium, higher levels of fiber and protein and physical activity levels were also much higher, resulting in higher energy. It is argued that a shift to the Stone Age balance is a healthier regime, the nutrition is far superior than to unscientific ‘fad’ diets popular today and the model would contribute further to primary prevention of several important diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. We are reminded that the high mortality rate and short life span of our ancestors were overwhelmingly due to infectious diseases we now control, not due to their diet or exercise intake.



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