Societies2015, 5(1), 65-88; doi:10.3390/soc5010065 - published 22 January 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper derives from research I conducted in the archives of the Vegetarian Society, in Manchester, in October 2011 on the figure of Beatrice Lindsay, a graduate from Girton College, Cambridge, who, in 1885, became the first female editor of the Society’s journal, the Dietetic Reformer and Vegetarian Messenger. In addition to her position as editor, Lindsay contributed a monthly column on “New Foods” in which she displayed her fluency with scientific terminology not simply to advocate the vegetarian diet, but to make the diet practicable for readers. I argue that her column uses the serial form of the periodical, which presents novel content within a regular structure, to shape inchoate vegetarianism: she gradually constituted the emerging diets, habits, and bodies of vegetarians by, each month, introducing readers to novel content (“new foods”) within a recurrent form.
Societies2015, 5(1), 43-64; doi:10.3390/soc5010043 - published 13 January 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Because of the negative effects of cyberbullying; and because of its unique characteristics; interventions to stop cyberbullying are needed. For this purpose, more insightful information is needed about cyberbullying victims’ (i.e., the target group) experiences, perceptions, attitudes and motivations related to (coping with) cyberbullying. Five schools with 66 low-educated Dutch adolescents between 12 and 15 (53% female) participated in 10 focus group interviews. Results show that victims do not perceive all behaviors as cyberbullying and traditional bullying is generally perceived as worse than cyberbullying. Cyberbullies are perceived as sad, cowards and embarrassing themselves. Victims are perceived as easy targets; they wear strange clothes, act in a provocative manner and have a bad appearance. These perceptions often depend on context, the level of anonymity, being in a fight or not, the person sending the message and his/her behavior. Further, victims reacted to cyberbullying by acting nonchalant, by not actually saying anything and seeking help from others (i.e., parents are not often asked for help because they do not want to bother them; fear of restricted Internet privileges). It can be concluded that asking cyberbullying victims about their experiences in an open manner, and allowing them to discuss these experiences, likely results in new and insightful information compared to using self-reports. In this questioning the perception of adolescents is key to see what is perceived as cyberbullying.
Societies2015, 5(1), 14-42; doi:10.3390/soc5010014 - published 12 January 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to better understand how the complex problem of human trafficking is addressed in international debates. How the discussion about human trafficking develops and how it is debated ultimately influences how the decision-making process unfolds. In order to understand the formation of public policy and laws, therefore, it is important to study the debate that occurs prior to decision making. This analysis focuses on the narratives used by major, well-established human rights and political actors that argue for necessary actions to be undertaken—such as the formation of new policies and laws in the European Union—as an attempt to protect citizens of the EU and other regions in the world from becoming victims of trafficking networks. Our research examines how the topic of human trafficking is framed and how this framework is intertwined in the debate with other social problems. We focus on how human trafficking is discussed by two well-established human rights Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Amnesty International (Amnesty) and Human Rights Watch (HRW), in addition to the European Parliament (EP). The research questions for this study include: (1) In what context is human trafficking discussed by the three actors? (2) How do these actors frame the definition of human trafficking in their presentations? To answer these questions, we have conducted a systematic content analysis of documents that include official statements and research reports of the NGOs, as well as resolutions and recommendations of the EP. Altogether, 240 documents were analyzed in detail. These findings indicate that the two human rights organizations, Amnesty and Human Rights Watch, along with the European Parliament, all address human trafficking as an important social problem, albeit to varying degrees. Each actor has a different method of correlating human trafficking with many other social problems, thereby emphasizing different causes and effects. In our analysis, we examine the concept of framing and, in particular, responsibility framing in order to understand the causal relationships between actors and events. The findings of this study suggest that the formation of various social policies and laws in the international political forum are deeply affected by the dynamic interrelatedness between the political issues, actors, and form and content of the debates about human trafficking that precede the formation or revision of a policy and law.
Societies2015, 5(1), 1-11; doi:10.3390/soc5010001 - published 24 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In this paper, I argue that animal domestication, speciesism, and other modern human-animal interactions in North America are possible because of and through the erasure of Indigenous bodies and the emptying of Indigenous lands for settler-colonial expansion. That is, we cannot address animal oppression or talk about animal liberation without naming and subsequently dismantling settler colonialism and white supremacy as political machinations that require the simultaneous exploitation and/or erasure of animal and Indigenous bodies. I begin by re-framing animality as a politics of space to suggest that animal bodies are made intelligible in the settler imagination on stolen, colonized, and re-settled Indigenous lands. Thinking through Andrea Smith’s logics of white supremacy, I then re-center anthropocentrism as a racialized and speciesist site of settler coloniality to re-orient decolonial thought toward animality. To critique the ways in which Indigenous bodies and epistemologies are at stake in neoliberal re-figurings of animals as settler citizens, I reject the colonial politics of recognition developed in Sue Donaldson and Will Kymlicka’s recent monograph, Zoopolis: A Political Theory of Animal Rights (Oxford University Press 2011) because it militarizes settler-colonial infrastructures of subjecthood and governmentality. I then propose a decolonized animal ethic that finds legitimacy in Indigenous cosmologies to argue that decolonization can only be reified through a totalizing disruption of those power apparatuses (i.e., settler colonialism, anthropocentrism, white supremacy, and neoliberal pluralism) that lend the settler state sovereignty, normalcy, and futurity insofar as animality is a settler-colonial particularity.
Societies2014, 4(4), 785-809; doi:10.3390/soc4040785 - published 18 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Theoretical approaches as well as empirical results in the area of social capital accumulation on social networking sites suggest that weak ties/bridging versus strong ties/bonding social capital should be distinguished and that while bonding social capital is connected to emotional support, bridging social capital entails the provision of information. Additionally, recent studies imply the notion that weak ties/bridging social capital are gaining increasing importance in today’s social media environments. By means of a survey (N = 317) we challenged these presuppositions by assessing the social support functions that are ascribed to three different types of contacts from participants’ network (weak, medium, or strong tie). In contrast to theoretical assumptions, we do not find that weak ties are experienced to supply informational support whereas strong ties first and foremost provide emotional support. Instead we find that within social networking sites, strong ties are perceived to provide both emotional and informational support and weak ties are perceived as less important than recent literature assumes.