Archive for September, 2011

Oncologists’ attitudes towards life-extending treatments for terminal cancer patients

September 29, 2011

How long and how well: Oncologists’ attitudes toward the relative value of life-prolonging v. quality of life-enhancing treatments

From Medical Decision Making

Headlines across the UK papers this week announced how doctors have advised patients with terminal cancer should not be given life-extending drugs, as the treatments give false hope and are too costly for the public purse. This study however considers physicians attitudes towards quantity versus quality of life in the US for terminal patients where unlike the UK there are no governing bodies to set limits to costs of treatments.

The study confirms doctors are more apt to recommend a more costly therapy to patients if it were determined to prolong the patient’s life. Using a survey of the decision-making process, authors were able obtain data to determine the relative importance oncologists place on quantity of life compared to quality of life in chemotherapy decisions. From this, they found a significant majority of respondents (71.8%) illustrated a greater value they placed on life-prolonging treatments rather than on quality-enhancing ones. The study recognizes that there are no adopted methods for physicians to analyze cost-effectiveness in this or any other scenario in the United States.


Getting back in the game: What helps middle-aged women get hired after long absences from the workplace?

September 28, 2011

The Resume Characteristics Determining Job Interviews for Middle-Aged Women Seeking Entry-Level Employment

Journal of Career Development

Finding a job in today’s economy is difficult in the best of circumstances, but many women are facing an even bigger challenge: returning to the workforce after a long absence.  In this study researchers  looked at the characteristics on older women’s resumes that received the most success in securing job interviews. The top characteristic that resulted in job interviews for middle-aged women seeking an entry level job was vocational or computer training. Researchers looked at the effects of age, job-related experience, vocational training, outside activities, and length of gaps in work history.  and studied the responses from employers interested in conducting interviews with their “candidates.” Employers represented various fields of industry and the jobs listed were all entry-level positions requiring up to one year of post-high school education and combined work experience.

Contrary to the advice of many career guides, outside activities did not carry the same importance as many profess. Instead job seekers are encouraged to gain further education or vocational training to stay current with today’s sought after skills.  Frustratingly for women in the position of wanting to get back into the workplace at this stage of life the results confirmed a previous study that showed a negative correlation between age and hiring.


Does language matter? The impact of English-language ads on Latino voting turnout

September 27, 2011

Does language matter? The impact of Spanish versus English-;anguage GOTV efforts on Latino turnout

From American Political Research

This study indicates that English language ads have a greater impact in mobilizing Latino voters than Spanish language ads. The research examined the effects of direct mail pieces on Latino voters. The direct mail piece, which was written in either English or Spanish, was sent to two separate groups while a third who received no mailing was used as a control group. The experiment was conducted in New York City Council District 21 prior to the February 2009 special election to fill a vacancy on the New York City Council. Latino voters comprise a growing segment of the voting electorate, yet their levels of participation in elections lags behind the general population. The English language materials not only had a greater impact, but also drew in a broader voter demographic.


Internet trolls: Inciting the censorship versus free speech debate

September 23, 2011

Meet the trolls

From Index on Censorship

This article examines trolling subcultures revealing what they are and how they operate. It considers how attention to the movement has placed trolling squarely at the centre of emergent debates surrounding online censorship. It recognizes this group of internet users as an anonymous community that circulates exploitative messages. Trolls meet the following basic profile: they self-identify as trolls, they tend to be intelligent, playful, mischievous, and antagonistic. They deliberately court controversial and transgressive humor to inflict emotional distress and regularly invade people’s privacy. Trolls are as likely to circulate racist messages as to harass members of the KKK. They are equal-opportunity offenders.

In the US, trolling is, for the time being, protected by the First Amendment. More and more fre­quently, however – in both America and in Britain – trolling is equated with ‘cyberbullying’ (a problematic term in itself) and therefore risks being legally categorised as fighting words (an offence in the US) and/or outright harassment. Whether or not one regards trolling as morally or politically distasteful, the impulse to silence trolls embodies the brewing fight within and between governments regarding the perceived necessity for online censorship.



Computers are oversold and underused in Middle East classrooms

September 21, 2011

Promoting the Knowledge Economy in the Arab World

From SAGE Open

This article discusses the need for a deeper institutional reform that will bring Arab classrooms into the 21st century. The research studies educational programs in Bahrain, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates, information and communication technology (ICT) is not effectively utilized in classrooms in the Middle East. Many technology-related policies overlook the real needs of students. While ICT infrastructure aims to incorporate electronic classes and teaching systems that enhance students’ and teachers’ technological abilities, in reality it has become little more than a way to mechanically optimize the operation of equipment and to perpetuate cultural traditions. The author observes “This is undoubtedly a reflection of the difficulties inherent in implementing an agenda for modernization and reform within countries which have only been free from colonial domination for a few decades”. He called for more rigorous research that goes beyond mere speculation about ICT implementation. “If the findings from this research are able to identify best practices that can be replicated in different settings, then educationalists can begin to be satisfied that computers in the classroom are not just ‘oversold and underused’.”


Violence costs an estimated $60 billion annually and remains in the top 10 causes of death

September 20, 2011

Special issue: Lifestyle Medicine, Public Health and Violence

From American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine

Suicide, child abuse, playground fights, gang violence, sexual assault, and domestic violence are just a few examples of violence that touch people in all walks of life and communities everywhere. Homicide and suicide remain in the top ten leading causes of death for people from birth to age 64. How do you combat an issue that takes so many forms and has so many causes? This special issue developed by The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine takes a closer look at violence prevention. Because of the complexities surrounding violence, its impact on society is deep and multifaceted. Aside from the physical effects, which have prompted the American Medical Association to recognize violence as a health issue, there are also very real monetary effects. According to the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, the estimated annual cost of medical care and productivity lost because of violence each year is estimated at more than $70 billion. Considering violence prevention this article focuses particularly on efforts most relevant for health care providers outlining the integral role of clinicians.


Assassinating justly: Reflections on justice and revenge in the Osama Bin Laden killing

September 16, 2011

From Law, Culture & the Humanities

On Sunday night, May 1, 2011, United States President Barack Obama addressed America and the world. He told them, the “United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden.” This was an act that many had hoped to hear confirmed for a long time to feel justice for the killing of thousands of innocent people that as the terrorist leader he was responsible for. While the vast majority were relieved to hear the news of Bin Laden’s assassination there were a few Human Rights lawyers or supporters who raised concerns as they felt unlike the masses that although the United States was legally justified in violating Pakistan’s sovereignty to apprehend an indicted and active international criminal, it was not legally justified in assassinating him. They felt the just thing to do was to arrest him and make him go through a trial for his offences and face punishment this way. This article argues that assassinations, which under certain conditions are justified under international law, can also be just, but only when they are accompanied by the risk of a jury trial, a trial – even a trial after the fact of the assassination –  this offers the potential to reconcile assassination and justice


Why are Texan men more likely to be aggressive risk takers, prone to accidental death?: The dangers of a “culture of honor”

September 14, 2011

Living dangerously: Culture of honor, risk-taking, and the non-randomness of ‘accidental’ deaths”  

From Social Psychological and Personality Science

This study reveals that men sometimes prove themselves by taking risks that demonstrate their toughness and bravery. Putting yourself in peril might establish manliness, but it can also lead to high rates of accidental death, particularly among men who live in states with a “culture of honor,” A culture of honor puts a high value on the defense of reputation—sometimes with violence. It can develop in environments with historically few natural resources, danger of rustling, and low police presence. States with strong cultures of honor in the U.S. are in the South and West, such as South Carolina, Texas and Wyoming.

People who most believe in a culture of honor—who agree that “A real man doesn’t let other people push him around” or that aggression is a reasonable response to being insulted—told the researchers they were quite willing to engage in risky behaviors, such as bungee jumping or gambling away a week’s wages. Exposing yourself to potentially deadly situations is proof of strength and courage, and because this proof is such a concern for people living in cultures of honor, they suffer from a higher rate of accidental fatalities.


When David met Victoria: Forging a strong family brand

September 13, 2011

From Family Business Review

Creating a family brand as successful as David and Victoria Beckham’s is a matter of adhering to practices that promote a family’s distinctiveness and visibility. The author of this study collected more than 2,500 pages of data about the Beckham family from published biographies, official websites, magazines, and various social media sites. Findings suggest that in order to create brand distinctiveness, a family should carefully craft a dynamic personal story with distinct persona cues that are particularly interesting for a target audience and can be embellished by the media. One example noted in the article discusses how the Beckhams created a unique image with ties to both fashion and traditional family values. In order to create brand visibility, families should take opportunities to make their brand familiar to wide audiences through documentaries, television cameos, and interviews, and should create their own methods for brand visibility through social media outlets.


This article seeks to understand how distinctive family brands are created. Recent studies in family business have focused on the benefits for a firm to be known as family owned or family controlled. Few studies have paid attention to the distinct meanings stakeholders associate with a given family or to how that family comes to have those associations in the eyes of external stakeholders. Based on a case study of one of the entertainment industry’s most successful family brands—The Beckhams—four practices conducive to building brand distinctiveness and brand visibility are identified.

Read this research for free

Article details

Parmentier, M. (2011). When David Met Victoria: Forging a Strong Family Brand Family Business Review, 24 (3), 217-232 DOI: 10.1177/0894486511408415

9/11 The day that changed the world: A selection of articles

September 9, 2011

This Sunday marks the ten year anniversary of 9/11. SAGE has opened access to a selection of relevant articles to recognize the occasion from a range of journals considering different aspects and impacts.


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