Abstract: Twenty-three of 26 participants, mainly women from six local agencies involved in the reception of refugees, completed a university course titled “Refugee-related stress and mental health—local cooperation”, which was spread over seven days in 2011. The course was based on evidence and clinical experience and was commissioned to serve as competency training by Stockholm County Council and Södertälje Municipality. It received funding from the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare. It was a continuation of an earlier one-week full-time university course from 2010 with the same title. As a result of a new law relating to refugee reception, which led to organizational change, the participants requested a continuation of the original course. The learning objectives were met (5.4 on a 6-point scale; 1 = strongly disagree, 6 = strongly agree). The general assessment of the course as a whole by the participants was 5.7 (on a 6-point scale, 1 = very unsatisfied, 6 = very satisfied). The participants thought that their skills had increased, and their perception was that they had significantly better control of their work situation following completion of the course. The most important findings were that participants from different agencies at the local level: (1) perceived that they had developed the sense that there was a local inter-cultural and inter-professional inter-agency collaboration in the reception of newly arrived refugees and (2) will continue efforts to stabilize and develop this together. This method of teaching, in terms of skills training, is not a “quick fix.” It is a process, and it needs support from those in power in order to continue.
Abstract: Research highlights how usage and claims of Islamophobia tend to be simplistic and without nuance. Using a case study approach, this article considers the claims of Islamophobia made in relation to the proposed Dudley ‘super-mosque’. Setting out a narrative of the ‘super-mosque’, this article draws upon primary and secondary research to consider the claims and discourses of the major actors in the Dudley setting: the Dudley Muslim Association, Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, the far-right especially the British National Party and the English Defence League, as well as individual political figures. Considering each in detail, this article seeks to evaluate the extent to which each of the actors and the claims of Islamophobia made against them might be valid. As well as exploring claims of Islamophobia within a ‘real’ environment, this article seeks to critically engage the opposition shown towards the mosque, the way in which the opposition campaigns were mobilized and engineered, and how the ideological meanings of Islamophobia was able to be readily utilized to validate and justify such opposition. In doing so, this article concludes that the claims and usage of Islamophobia was weak and that a more critical and nuanced usage of the term is urgently required.
Abstract: Deaf people negotiate their embodiment through corporeal experiences to provide a perception of what it means to be human. Some deaf people search for a framework where being deaf is human, not a disability. Other deaf people experience their deafness as a disability and use technology as a means to negotiate their embodiment and experiences. The role of technology or cybernetics, particularly cochlear implants, for the deaf will be examined as a way to understand cultural identities and diverse ideological perspectives concerning what it means to be deaf and normal. Then, this paper focuses on social constructed ‘bodies’ for the deaf using embodied theory and action as a part of a theoretical framework to showcase theoretical ideas and actualities of some deaf people’s lives and experiences. These discussions are ways to open dialogues and collaborative inquiries on larger important issues such as what it means to be deaf and, in essence, human.
Abstract: Woody plants have increased in density and extent in rangelands worldwide since the 1800s, and land managers increasingly remove woodland plants in hopes of restoring pre-settlement conditions and/or improved forage for grazing livestock. Because such efforts can be controversial, especially on publicly owned lands, managers often attempt to frame issues in ways they believe can improve public acceptance of proposed actions. Frequently these framing efforts employ conflict metaphors drawn from military or legal lexicons. We surveyed citizens in the Rocky Mountains region, USA, about their beliefs concerning tree-removal as a management strategy. Plants targeted for removal in the region include such iconic tree species as Douglas-fir and ponderosa pine as well as other less-valued species, such as Rocky Mountain juniper, that are common targets for removal nationwide. To test the influence of issue frame on acceptance, recipients were randomly assigned surveys in which the reason for conifer removal was described using one of three terms often employed by invasive biologists and land managers: “invasion”, “expansion”, and “encroachment”. Framing in this instance had little effect on responses. We conclude the use of single-word frames by scientists and managers use to contextualize an issue may not resonate with the public.
Abstract: In this article, I endeavor to recount the odd history of how we have come to perceive plants like we do, and illustrate how plants themselves perceive and sense the world and, most importantly, what they can tell us about Nature. Through examples of the ingenious ways plants have evolved to thrive, I engage the idea that our modern society is afflicted by a severe disorder known as plant blindness, a pervasive condition inherited from our forefather Aristotle and accountable for the current state of vegetal disregard and hence environmental dilapidation. I propose that the solution to this state of affairs rests in a radical change of perspective, one that brings the prevailing, yet defective, Aristotelian paradigm together with its expectations on how Nature should behave to an end. Enacted, such change releases us into a new experience of reality, where the coherent nature of Nature is revealed.
Abstract: Does culture matter in decision-making? Existing literature largely assumes that the cognitive processes that inform decision-making are universally applicable, while only very few studies indicate that cultural norms and values shape cognitive processes. Using survey based quasi-experimental design, this research shows that subjects with higher levels of individualism tend to be more rational in their decision processing, while those with higher levels of collectivism tend to be more dependent and less likely to betray the interests of members of more central ingroups in favor of less central ingroups. Furthermore, the results indicate that in conflict settings that seem familiar, individuals are more likely to compromise in order to achieve peace.