Archive for April, 2012

Exploring early childhood musical play through video sharing and social networking

April 26, 2012

‘Now can I watch my video?’: Exploring musical play through video sharing and social networking in an early childhood music class

From Research Studies in Music Education

Enjoyment is central to children’s musical play. Engaging in musical play can support musical development, nurture creativity, and increase children’s musical skills, in addition to providing social, emotional, and cognitive benefits to the overall development of a child. Musical play also impacts children’s social experiences and development. The purpose of this research was to describe and analyze play-enhancing and play inhibiting behaviors in home and class through the use of video sharing by parents and teacher in an early childhood music course using an online social networking interface. Continued exploration could further strengthen aspects of early childhood music instruction.


Facebook facilitates a narcissistic fascination with self-display: Online opportunities and risks

April 25, 2012

Taking risky opportunities in youthful content creation: teenagers’ use of social networking sites for intimacy, privacy and self-expression

From New Media & Society

Over recent years there has been a global explosion in social networking sites. Embraced  particularly by an enthusiastic youth, the public response has tended to be one of puzzled dismay regarding a generation that, supposedly, has many friends but little sense of privacy. This article explores teenagers’ practices of social networking in order to uncover the subtle connections between online opportunity and risk. The study finds that these sites are important for identity development. Influencing the balance between opportunities and risks online are the specific affordances of social networking sites, especially their conception of ‘friends’ and the provision of privacy settings.


Is Norway killer Anders Behring Breivik the tip of the iceberg?

April 24, 2012

The diffusion of racist violence in the Netherlands: Discourse and distance

From Journal of Peace Research

Currently images and reports are circulating around the globe of the televised court trial of Anders Behring Breivik, the man arrested for the July 22 2011 killing spree in Norway where he claimed 77 victims. The incident executed in the killer’s mind to save Europe from destruction at the hands of radical Islam, has devastated the country and shocked the world. Is this case the actions of a lone extremist or does it reflect the unanticipated but intense waves of xenophobia that have swept through Western Europe over the last decade? Could it prompt more incidents by like minded people? This article uses data to simultaneously investigate the geographical and temporal development of waves of racist violence specifically in the Netherlands during the turbulent period 2001–03, when the country lost its reputation as a multicultural paradise. The results provide evidence for the fact that previous riots enhance the legitimacy of violence elsewhere, especially if they are visible in the mass media, resonate with public debates on immigration and take place in nearby regions. This study demonstrates that the outbreak of violence is related to city size. It highlights that European cities are characterized by an explosive combination of sociocultural segregation and economic interdependence. This dual process activates cultural cleavages while at the same time increasing the number of between-group interactions, both of which are necessary conditions for the outbreak of ethnic conflict.


Special issue on trade union cultures

April 19, 2012

From Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research

This special issue examines trade union cultures. Articles cover a range of aspects and perspectives, considering history and looking forward. It may be useful for those people, scholars and practitioners alike, who continue to be interested in the future of the trade union movement.


Robotic cats: A veterinary oddity

April 18, 2012

Slowly progressive lymphohistiocytic meningoencephalomyelitis in 21 adult cats presenting with peculiar neurological signs

From Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery

Vets have been trying to explain strange symptoms in 21 cats that arrived in North-East Scotland, between 2001 and 2010. The animals appeared to have a slowly-progressing neurological disease. This paper observes how the cats walk with an odd gait with stiff, extended tails. Dubbed “robotic cats” due to their movements – presented a veterinary oddity not seen before. Cats with a slightly different but possibly related condition have been spotted in Sweden and Austria, where it was referred to as “staggering disease.” One of authors suggests “All the cats included in our study, and most of the cats reported with ‘staggering disease’, belong to the rural population accustomed to hunting birds and rodents”. It can be speculated that the agent may be transmitted from these animals to cats. The authors conclude that the late onset age of this disease, its slow progression, peculiar clinical signs and the data from the tests suggest these cats were affected by the same unique, previously unreported condition.


Parolees behaving badly: Exploring ways to decrease risky behavior among parolees in the community

April 17, 2012

Substance Use and Sexual Behavior among Men Prior to Parole Revocation: Prevalence and Correlates

From Journal of Correctional Health Care 

Police officers are always trying to control the misconduct of those who are on parole in order to control crime in the community, but what types of behaviors land them back in jail and what can law enforcement officials do about it? This article discusses how to target the most common risky behaviors among specific groups of parolees in order to lower crime in the community. 126 state-prison inmates were interviewed who had been reincarcerated due to parole violations. These ex-parolees were asked about their behavior throughout the three-month period prior to their parole revocation. The researchers found that throughout this period of time, a majority of men shared two things in common: drug use and sex with multiple partners.

The authors wrote, “Our findings further document the need to focus effort on the prevention of substance abuse and sexual risk behavior among men who are on parole.” The researchers stated that certain prevention programs could be created to target the behaviors among specific types of men on parole. Two thirds of people released from prisons in the United States are reincarcerated within three years, many for substance use violations. This reveals that current prison treatment programs do not effectively enable men to avoid drug relapses after they are released from prison.


The effects of early experience and stress on children’s brain and behavioral development

April 12, 2012

Special Issue: The effects of early experience and stress on brain and behavioral development

From International Journal of Behavioral Development 

The collection of papers in this special issue reflects presentations from a 2010 conference, The theme was the effects of stress and early adversity on children’s development. Ranging from individuals studying stress resilience in nonhuman primates to researchers studying the effects of exposure to political violence within the context of the Middle East.

Three themes emerged from this series of papers. First, and most obvious, was the evidence that infants and children exposed to different types of adversity (specifically, trauma, neglect, or violence) are significantly affected by such exposure, and that these effects often persist. Second was identification of the underlying neurobiology of stress adversity. A third theme of the presentations provided a balance to the dire consequences and outcomes of early exposure to adversity. A number of papers suggested that individual differences in genetic, temperamental, or contextual factors could moderate exposure to stress such that certain children may     flourish or at least show a diminution of negative outcomes over time.


Domestic abuse prevention after Raoul Moat (UK)

April 11, 2012

From Critical Social Policy

In this paper the author charts the development of domestic abuse policy between May 2010 and June 2011, a period in which the UK witnessed one of the most high profile domestic abuse cases pass almost without recognition as such. This event refers to the tragic incident where Raoul Moat went on a killing spree starting with injuring his ex partner and killing her boyfriend. After a police chase and further casualties and deaths the episode concluded when Raoul shot himself. As details of Raoul’s life unfolded it became obvious that he was a very troubled and violent man with a history of unleashing domestic abuse.  The article uses both the research literature on domestic abuse and the case of Raoul Moat to argue that preventative work in this field needs to keep issues of gender – especially masculinity – in the political frame. It suggests that the after­math of the Raoul Moat case was a missed opportunity for reflecting on the relationship between masculinity, violence and personal crisis, raising, as it did, the spectre of a dangerous man consumed by loss, whose violence could not be contained by a police service that knew him only too well. The paper also recognizes that during the time of the Raoul Moat incident, much of the infrastructure designed to tackle and prevent domestic abuse outside the criminal justice system began to be dismantled in anticipation of cost-cutting reform designated necessary to the advent of the ‘Big Society’.


The “ecosystem-based adaptation” approach: A critical element in climate change response strategy

April 10, 2012

Exploring ecosystem-based adaptation in Durban, South Africa: “learning-by-doing” at the local government coal face

From Environment and Urbanization

The lack of progress in establishing ambitious and legally binding global mitigation targets means that the need for locally based climate change adaptation will increase in vulnerable localities such as Africa. This paper examines the “ecosystem-based adaptation” (EBA) programme implemented in Durban to consider the opportunities associated with the approach, it also recognizes the limitations and realities faced in the world’s most rapidly urbanizing continents. There are growing calls for biodiversity and ecosystems to be considered critical elements in any climate change response strategy. This paper considers the shift to “ecosystem-based adaptation”. The approach is being promoted as a cost-effective and sustainable approach to improving adaptive capacity. Furthermore, the concept of “community ecosystem-based adaptation” (CEBA) is being developed to highlight the mutually beneficial and positively reinforcing relationship that exists between ecosystems and human communities.


Children having children? Religion, psychology and the birth of the teenage pregnancy problem

April 5, 2012

From History of the Human Sciences

In recent years the phrase ‘children having children’ has been used by politicians, academics, policy focussed NGO’s and Children’s charities to describe the worrying trend in the UK of rising teenage parenthood. This expression is not exclusively British and has been a recurring theme in the public discussion of ‘teenage pregnancy’ in the USA. Five decades after London County Council officers began separating ‘pregnant children’ from older women who conceived out of wedlock, governmental concern with ‘children having children’ persists.  This article explores government work with ‘unwed mothers’ and identifies the shifts associated with the ascent of governmental concern with ‘teenage motherhood’. There is much debate regarding young people’s bodily and mental ‘maturity’ in relation to parenthood. Much consideration fails to acknowledge the historical and cultural contingency of contemporary western notions of ‘teenage’. This article suggests as long as contemporary scientific claims regarding young people’s maturity go unchallenged, the ‘problem’ of teenage parenthood will persist.


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