Archive for May, 2011

Knowing our ‘true self’ is the key to a fulfilling life

May 31, 2011

Feeling like you know who you are: perceived true self-knowledge and meaning in life

From Personality and Social Psychology Bulleti

“Who in the world am I?” asks Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland and refers to this as the “great puzzle”. The true self is defined as who a person really is. Many people believe that this true self is a vitally important part of a person’s identity. It has been argued that one function of the true self-concept is to create meaning in people’s lives. This research examines whether the subjective feeling of knowing one’s true self also predicts meaning in life. It adds to the growing literature implicating the true self’s association with psychological health and well-being. It is clear that people value the traits and roles that most accurately represent their true self concept. Uncertainty in understanding one’s true self may lead to doubt about the purpose of one’s life.


The conflicts of the gentrification of neighborhoods through the encouragement of nightlife businesses

May 26, 2011

Dilemmas of the nightlife fix: post-industrialization and the gentrification of nightlife in New York City

From Urban Studies

Nightlife has an important role in the enhancement of the city and for the promotion of gentrification in derelict neighborhoods. Looking back to Misrahi, a developer-cum-landlord of several buildings in the Lower East Side of New York City In the mid 1990s, he rented out 18 vacant store­fronts on one street to bars, restaurants and counter-cultural performance clubs, which he expected to “bring in the hipsters and change the neighborhood”. Indeed, it is evident that within a decade, Misrahi and other similar landlords were successful. The process brought with itself condominium apartments and boutiques for new residents, known often as ‘yuppies’. By helping to create a hipster ‘vibe’ through the encouragement of nightlife businesses, Misrahi had created fertile ground for gentrification in a neighborhood that had not yet attracted the attentions of real estate developers. It is observed however that once gentrification settles in, nightlife businesses have been pushed out of the very neighborhoods that they helped to market as interesting to outsiders. This paper details this contra­dictory process in which this approach, together with rising property values and the tastes of newly transplanted yuppie populations, has reshaped nightlife into a cluster of more upmarket or corporate establishments, while marginalizing underfunded clubs that are often related to alternative and experimental sub-cultures. This transformation also signifies that, in post-industrializing and gentrifying cities, certain nightlife cultures are more valorized than others and that cities are increasingly left with a narrowing scope of nightlife cultures.

This article recognizes a need to provide a critical appraisal of the ways in which academics and governmental officials have, explicitly or not, promoted the gentrification of nightlife and what important aspects of our social and cultural life have been lost through this process. This effort will add an important dimension to ‘the right to the city’ movements, which have largely focused on the right to affordable housing, social services and public space, but very little on the disappearance of important sub-cultural spaces in cities.


Misogyny in rap music

May 25, 2011

Misogyny in rap music: a content analysis of prevalence and meanings

From Men and Masculinities

Rap music is renowned for being misogynistic, but little research has investigated this dimension of the music. This study assesses the portrayal of women in a representative sample of rap songs, it outlines key themes in this music and considers what specific messages are conveyed. In comparison to other genres rap music stands out for the intensity and graphic nature of its lyrical objectification, exploitation, and victimization of women. This paper argues that changing the portrayal of women within this music requires deeper shifts, altering the conditions under which it is created: socioeconomic disadvantage and associated gender relations in local communities, the material interests of the record industry, and the larger cultural objectification of women and associated norms of hegemonic masculinity.


‘Trial by media’ demonstrates the power of the rising news media and its influence on policing philosophy in the UK

May 24, 2011

‘Trial by media’: Policing, the 24–7 news mediasphere and the ‘politics of outrage’

From Theoretical Criminology

This article examines the ‘trial by media’ that preceded Sir Ian Blair’s dramatic decision to resign as London Metropolitan Police Commissioner on 2 October 2008. It aims to construct a theoretical framework for researching how the interconnected spheres of news media politics, party politics and police politics coalesced to create a mediatization process in which Britain’s most senior police officer could be publicly ridiculed, baited, cajoled and relentlessly hounded by an increasingly antagonistic press. This research indicates that this situation laid down a clear symbolic marker about what ‘type’ of Commissioner and policing philosophy is acceptable in contemporary Britain, and demonstrated the power of the rising news media ‘politics of outrage’. Blair’s ‘politically correct’ policing was at odds with the conservative wave of public opinion demanding a tougher ‘law and order’ response to ‘Broken Britain’.


Trust and social networks facilitate fraud

May 19, 2011

Anatomy of a Fraud: Trust and Social Networks

From Bulletin of Sociological Methodology/Bulletin de Méthodologie Sociologique

This article examines the link between trust and social networks with the case study of a fraud – the Santa case. It concerns mainly members of theGreenlandmilitary stationed in Agarie. The fraud relates to alleged high-yield financial investments involving companies domiciled in tax havens. Two officers canvassed members of the military to propose so-called high-return investments to them. The interest of this particular case of fraud lies in its duration – more than ten years – and extent nearly 500 victims.

The study recognises that the fraud was only able to take place because of the support furnished by trust devices, serving as guarantee for the sellers. This analysis identifies that the sellers and victims were not only equal in hierarchical status, but also generally belonged to the same armed service. The findings relate to the field of economic sociology and the issue of social embeddedness of market relations under severe uncertainty.


Looking beyond Westerncentric International Relations theories

May 18, 2011

Dialogue and discovery: in search of International Relations theories beyond the West

From Millennium – Journal of International Studies,

It is recognized that the International Relations discipline is currently Westerncentric. Its theories and methods often neglect voices and experiences outside of the West. An important challenge is to find some agreement on how to redress this problem and move forward.

The goals of this article are to discuss some of the issues of contention that have arisen in the vaguely articulated and highly diversified project of making the study of IR more inclusive of non-Western worlds and also to identify areas where further reflection and research could significantly advance the project. It concludes that by uncovering the assumptions and power structures that obscure IR theory’s global heritage we can move from dissent to dialogue and then dialogue to discovery.


Envy rather than admiration motivates people to better themselves

May 17, 2011

Why envy outperforms admiration

From Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin

This paper considers what motivates people to improve themselves. Across four studies the authors find that benign envy stimulates better performance. They reveal that admiration feels good but does not lead to a motivation to improve oneself. This has been labelled happy self-surrender, a feeling that the other is so good at something that one can only look with appreciation at how good the other is. Benign envy (not malicious envy), on the other hand, feels frustrating but it does lead to a motivation to improve. Labelled unhappy self-assertion, a negative feeling about oneself that arises from a comparison to the outstanding other but that does elevate effort and performance. So, the answer to the question whether to admire or to be envious might depend on what matters most: feeling better or performing better.


Recommended guidelines for the drug treatment of Schizophrenia

May 12, 2011

Evidence-based guidelines for the pharmacological treatment of schizophrenia: recommendations from the British Association for Psychopharmacology

From Journal of Psychopharmacology

This paper provides recommended guidelines for the pharmacological treatment of schizophrenia. An impressive review of up-to-date evidence based treatment; it offers guidelines that cover the pharmacological management and treatment across the various stages of the illness. Clinical expertise in choosing and managing drug therapy for an individual patient involves an understanding of the research evidence concerning the efficacy, effectiveness and efficiency of the options. It is therefore hoped that the recommendations will help to inform clinical decision making for practitioners, and perhaps also serve as a source of information for patients and carers.   


The Glastonbury experience is a great way of achieving personal growth and self-discovery: The impact of festivals on well-being

May 11, 2011
The impact of music festival attendance on young people’s psychological and social well-being

From Psychology of Music

The benefits of music are well known, but this article considers an area not well researched. The impact of music festivals on participants’ psychological and social well-being. Using qualitative surveys and focus groups from young festival goers, the study found four distinct facets of the experience – the music experience, the festival experience, the social experience and the separation experience. The findings of this study suggest that one of the most important functions performed by music festivals is to provide a time and space where young people can experience personal growth and self-discovery. Further research is needed into the ways music festival experiences can be tailored to opti­mize their positive outcomes. 


Links between delays in Emergency Medical Services response times and remote residential areas

May 10, 2011

New and fringe residential development and Emergency Medical Services response times in the United States

From State and Local Government Review

The aim of this study is to determine whether there is a difference between remote suburban and exurban areas and urban areas when it comes to how quickly emergency services respond to a crisis. The American Red Cross warn that delayed emergency medical services (EMS) response times can mean the difference between life and death. Every delayed minute in a medical emergency risks greater damage or at worst the failure to save a life.

This article highlights the debate between antisprawl groups on one side and developers and public choice advocates on the other. The results of this study suggest there is a connection between the built environment and delays inEMS. These findings could help consumers and policymakers make more informed decisions.


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