Societies2015, 5(2), 325-338; doi:10.3390/soc5020325 - published 15 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper proposes a journey through some of the many novels written by Honoré de Balzac, through the mythic constitution of his world, his epic, which summons up the same recurrent circle of figures: his “human comedy” will offer surprising insights for a better understanding of the crimes of the powerful.
Societies2015, 5(2), 314-324; doi:10.3390/soc5020314 - published 15 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Informed by body-phenomenology, pragmatism, and critical theory, this aphoristic essay comprises a consideration of some of the more dire consequences of human Empire-building among anthropic animals. The notion of human teleology, active beneath social class, gender, and other anthropic qualifiers, is theorized as a dead end, an abstraction translated into real power and propped up at the cost of actual bodyselves—fully corporeal living individuals—and attentiveness to their needs. In this context, animal liberation, usually referring to ending the domination of other animals at anthropic hands, is posited as pertinent to anthropic animality, especially under late modernity’s “desomatizing regime”. Animal liberation, it is held, speaks to each and every one of us, though in ways depending on the specificity of our lived situations, and unmasks the ultimate absurdity of attempts to overcome our animal condition, attempts historically coalescing precisely in human Empire.
Societies2015, 5(2), 295-313; doi:10.3390/soc5020295 - published 14 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This article applies feminist theory with cultural criminology to explore the role of theatre in the lives of criminalized women. Theatre initiatives for criminalized populations are growing worldwide, and so we are seeking to better understand how these two realms intersect. This article is based on a case study which was conducted at the Clean Break Theatre Company in London, England in the summer of 2013. We explore some of the emerging themes, which took shape from a thematic analysis. First we describe how theatre can be used as a lens into the experiences of criminalized women, and then as a tool for growth in their lives. The role of environment at Clean Break, and the role of voice from practicing theatre in a women-only environment are then discussed. Lastly, the roles of transformation and growth overall for the participants are explored in relation to their experiences with theatre practices. This article works to understand how theatre practices can elevate and adapt cultural criminology into a new form of imaginative criminology, and questions how we can embrace this form of engagement between theatre and criminology within a Canadian context.
Societies2015, 5(2), 277-294; doi:10.3390/soc5020277 - published 13 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In this paper I argue that one problem we face in understanding relations between school leadership and student learning is that core constructs in our work are often variably and weakly defined. Loose constructs pose problems because they contribute to fuzzy research, especially if constructs such as school leadership, management, or even instruction are weakly (or never explicitly) defined and operationalized. Fuzzy conceptualization makes comparing across studies, essential to the development of a robust empirical knowledge base, difficult if not impossible. Arguing that a critical but often overlooked challenge in studying relations between school administration and student learning is conceptual in nature, I begin by conceptualizing school administration and instruction from what I refer to as a distributed perspective, using theoretical work in distributed and situated cognition, activity theory, and micro sociology. I show how conceptualizing phenomena under study in particular ways shapes how we might frame and hypothesize relations among these phenomena. I contrast a distributed conceptualization with more conventional, individually focused conceptualizations of both phenomena. I then consider the entailments of my conceptualization of the two core phenomena for framing relations between them.
Societies2015, 5(2), 256-276; doi:10.3390/soc5020256 - published 27 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Although principals are ultimately held accountable to student learning in their buildings, the most consistent research results have suggested that their impact on student achievement is largely indirect. Leithwood, Patten, and Jantzi proposed four paths through which this indirect influence would flow, and the purpose of this special issue is to examine in greater depth these mediating variables. Among mediating variables, we assert that trust is key. In this paper, we explore the evidence that points to the role that faculty trust in the principal plays in student learning and how principals can cultivate trust by attending to the five facets of trust, as well as the correlates of trust that mediate student learning, including academic press, collective teacher efficacy, and teacher professionalism. We argue that trust plays a role in each of the four paths identified by Leithwood, Patten, and Jantzi. Finally, we explore possible new directions for future research.
Societies2015, 5(2), 245-255; doi:10.3390/soc5020245 - published 27 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Due to the ongoing debate regarding the definitions and measurement of cyberbullying, the present article critically appraises the existing literature and offers direction regarding the question of how best to conceptualise peer-to-peer abuse in a cyber context. Variations across definitions are problematic as it has been argued that inconsistencies with regard to definitions result in researchers examining different phenomena, whilst the absence of an agreed conceptualisation of the behaviour(s) involved hinders the development of reliable and valid measures. Existing definitions of cyberbullying often incorporate the criteria of traditional bullying such as intent to harm, repetition, and imbalance of power. However, due to the unique nature of cyber-based communication, it can be difficult to identify such criteria in relation to cyber-based abuse. Thus, for these reasons cyberbullying may not be the most appropriate term. Rather than attempting to “shoe-horn” this abusive behaviour into the preconceived conceptual framework that provides an understanding of traditional bullying, it is timely to take an alternative approach. We argue that it is now time to turn our attention to the broader issue of cyber aggression, rather than persist with the narrow focus that is cyberbullying.