Taylor & Francis Newsroom

, Oxford.

Watch out internet meanies. Game could soon be over for you.

Bullies and mean girls have been around forever but, with the arrival of smartphones and social media, meanness has taken on new forms and dramatically extended its reach. Digital abuse is now so widespread, and such are its dramatic effects on victims, that the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a stern warning about the risks posed by cyberbullying to adolescents’ mental health. But how much do we really know about how to tackle online bullies, asks a new study from Taylor and Francis?

Recently published in the journal of Information, Communication & Society, this original piece of research is based on an in-depth analysis of 1094 comments from singer songwriter Amanda Palmer’s viral blog, written in response to the suicide of a young victim of online abuse, Amanda Todd. The study provides a unique and authentic glimpse into the experiences of traditional bullying as well as cyberbullying, and sheds new light on the coping techniques employed by sufferers.

While cyberbullying ‘is rooted in traditional bullying, the distinctive properties of online environment [such as anonymity, constant connectivity, and a vague and vast audience] introduce new dynamics’ that distinguish it from its offline variety, explain the team leading the research. What’s more, add the academics, ‘the difficulty to escape one’s tormentors and identify them’ magnifies the intensity of harmful actions. Determined to base their investigation on authentic records, the team rejected traditional respondent-based practices, such as interviews and surveys, in favour of naturalistic methods of investigation, like those based on diaries and medical records. Because self-censorship and self-consciousness are reduced by the anonymity of the Internet, Palmer’s blog was viewed as an ideal inlet to access genuine comments on the issue. Following a detailed analysis of all the blog entries, the team were able to identify a number of key topics. In line with previous research, results showed the top reason for being abused was physical appearance, followed by sexual orientation and an inclination for non-mainstream interests. Although only 25% of all the bullying stories referenced to cyberbullying, a large part of commentators pointed out to the negative role played by the Internet in magnifying the effects of online harassment; only a small minority stuck up for technology emphasising the importance of being backed up by a supportive online community. The findings also brought to light ‘two primary types of coping strategies: behavioural and cognitive’, reveal the researchers. While the former included techniques such as seeking social support and ignoring the bully, the latter focused on shaping individuals’ microsystem and drawing in their own personal supportive resources.

This original study offers unprecedented insights into the issue of cyberbullying and shows the importance of finding ways to effectively support victims. While suffers should employ both behavioural and cognitive strategies in response to persecution, it is key to show them ‘problem doesn’t reside in them’ but in the perpetrators, add the research team. This, most than anything else, is how you throw internet meanies off their track.

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS
When referencing the article: Please include Journal title, author, published by Taylor & Francis and the following statement:

* Read the full article online:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1369118X.2014.952657

About Taylor & Francis Group

Taylor & Francis Group partners with researchers, scholarly societies, universities and libraries worldwide to bring knowledge to life.  As one of the world’s leading publishers of scholarly journals, books, ebooks and reference works our content spans all areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, Behavioural Sciences, Science, and Technology and Medicine.   From our network of offices in Oxford, New York, Philadelphia, Boca Raton, Boston, Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Stockholm, New Delhi and Johannesburg, Taylor & Francis staff provide local expertise and support to our editors, societies and authors and tailored, efficient customer service to our library colleagues.  For more information please contact:

Marita Eleftheriadou, Marketing Executive, Journals

email: Marita.Eleftheriadou@tandf.co.uk

, Oxford.

Worksite health promotion programmes: why don’t people participate?

Worksite health promotion (WHP) programmes are designed to help identify and address health and lifestyle issues, and are offered by 40–75% of employers in Europe and the US. But research suggests that a high proportion (50–75%) of workers do not participate. Why do so many employees choose not to take part? Toker, Heaney and Ein-Gar investigated the reasons for nonparticipation, and have identified a variety of barriers, as published in the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology.

According to the World Health Organization, workplaces are “one of the priority settings for health promotion into the 21st century”. Previous studies suggest that WHP programmes can enhance employees’ health, offering significant physiological, behavioural, and work-related benefits. However, the success of these programmes is limited by the high rates of nonparticipation.

Toker, Heaney and Ein-Gar surveyed 1,926 university employees who had been invited to take part in a two-stage WHP programme. The first stage was an online health risk assessment (HRA) questionnaire, for which participating employees received a US$150 incentive payment. This stage had to be completed in order to move on to the second stage, a health education workshop.

The researchers focused on five employee characteristics and beliefs (“implicit barriers” to participation): age, gender, position at work, perceived personal health, and perception of organizational commitment to employees’ health. They also considered “explicit barriers”, which were employees’ self-reported reasons for nonparticipation (e.g. lack of time, low expectations). In addition, they tied the two types of barriers to give a better understanding of nonparticipants’ decision processes.

The Conservation of Resources (COR) theory was used as a framework. COR concerns the way in which individuals try to retain and protect the things they value, such as time, energy and access to information. If such resources are threatened, individuals aim to minimize losses. In the case of a WHP programme, nonparticipation can be seen in terms of reducing the loss of resources, or as a response to low expectations of resource gain.

The study found a range of reasons for nonparticipation. Generally speaking, men, employees in lower occupational positions, and employees with impaired health tended to withdraw from both stages of the WHP programme. Nonparticipation in the first stage – the questionnaire – was more common among older employees, and employees who perceive the organization as not committed, while for the second stage – the workshop – nonparticipation was more common among younger employees and those who were not interested in making lifestyle changes.

Toker, Heaney and Ein-Gar conclude: “Our findings suggest that organizations should not only pay attention to the potential gains that WHP programmes offer but should also identify the resources that are at risk and minimize their actual and perceived potential loss.”

The main practical implication is that WHP programmes should be tailored to specific employee groups. This could include tailoring communication channels to particular types of employees to ensure full awareness of the programmes. Employees’ fears about confidentiality in completing the online questionnaire could be addressed by providing reassurance on anonymity. Having a designated health educator could help in encouraging participation from those employees who need the programme most (namely those with impaired health) but who are less likely to take part.

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS
When referencing the article: Please include Journal title, author, published by Taylor & Francis and the following statement:

* Read the full article online:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1359432X.2014.968131

About Taylor & Francis Group

Taylor & Francis Group partners with researchers, scholarly societies, universities and libraries worldwide to bring knowledge to life.  As one of the world’s leading publishers of scholarly journals, books, ebooks and reference works our content spans all areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, Behavioural Sciences, Science, and Technology and Medicine.

From our network of offices in Oxford, New York, Philadelphia, Boca Raton, Boston, Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Stockholm, New Delhi and Johannesburg, Taylor & Francis staff provide local expertise and support to our editors, societies and authors and tailored, efficient customer service to our library colleagues.

For more information please contact:

Louise Phillips, Marketing Executive, Taylor & Francis Journals

email: louise.phillips@tandf.co.uk

, Oxford.

Do numbers simply not add up for British engineering students?

British IQ is in for a boost this winter. From a pledge to double the number of A-level students doing maths and physics in three years, to a recent £64m initiative to improve number-crunching standards in schools, the government is firmly set on producing more scientists and mathematicians. But how do students embarking on heavily maths-based degrees really fare?

Recently published in the International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, this original piece of research explores the relation between first year engineering students and mathematics; it also claims current pedagogical practices in UK universities simply don’t add up.

‘Mathematics has long been known to be problematic for university engineering students and their teachers,’ explain the team behind the study. Whilst ‘there has been much research into how engineers should be taught the essential mathematics,’ things have yet to be put into practice.

To establish what is hindering the teaching of mathematics in higher education, the team looked at 13 degree programmes across five UK universities, surveying a total of 1,778 students and interviewing 110 of them. The research monitored students’ experiences and engagement with mathematics at various stages during their first year of study, with a focus on the issues encountered by learners tackling highly mathematical-based courses; the study also exposed the problems caused by a non-contextualised approach to the teaching of maths in engineering programmes.

After a great deal of data crunching, key themes begun to emerge: the lack of information about the amount of mathematics first year students were required to digest was often a shocking surprise for learners; mathematics was rarely taught in the context of the engineering practice, resulting in students failing to grasp the importance and utility of mathematics in relation to their degree; last but not the least, learners were unanimously asking for the inclusion of more hands-on examples on the application of mathematics to engineering in their training.

This interesting study pulls no punches, warning that the opportunity to foster a perception of the ‘use-value’ of mathematics is lost when maths becomes disembedded from its use. Continuing effort is needed to make plain the importance of it to students, and ‘this can only be achieved by engineers themselves designing the whole curriculum’. But more than anything else, what this research really brings to light is the importance of mathematics as a crucial skill that transcends the limits of the classroom to permeate every-day life. Could how we do the maths be the key to propelling the UK economy into the future?

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS
When referencing the article: Please include Journal title, author, published by Taylor & Francis and the following statement:

* Read the full article online:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0020739X.2014.979893

About Taylor & Francis Group

Taylor & Francis Group partners with researchers, scholarly societies, universities and libraries worldwide to bring knowledge to life.  As one of the world’s leading publishers of scholarly journals, books, ebooks and reference works our content spans all areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, Behavioural Sciences, Science, and Technology and Medicine.

From our network of offices in Oxford, New York, Philadelphia, Boca Raton, Boston, Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Stockholm, New Delhi and Johannesburg, Taylor & Francis staff provide local expertise and support to our editors, societies and authors and tailored, efficient customer service to our library colleagues.

For more information, please contact:

Ben Hudson, Taylor & Francis Group

Email: Benjamin.Hudson@tandf.co.uk

, Oxford.

‘Natural’ support networks: how social media supports African-American women wearing natural hair

Social networking sites (SNS) like YouTube have become an essential resource for women all over the world seeking beauty advice. But for many African-American (AA) women, these sites are more than just a place to check out the latest styling tips: they’re often their only means of support after taking the decision to stop straightening their hair and ‘go natural’. 

Writing in the International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education, Tameka N. Ellington of Kent State University outlines the complicated relationship many African-American women have with their hair. She reflects on how the legacy of slavery, the Civil Rights Movement, notions of ‘presentability’ and modern (White) views of beauty can all affect how African-American women view and style their hair.

According to Ellington: ‘Natural hair is not fully accepted among either AA sub-cultures or within mainstream society. Consequently, AA women often lack knowledge of how to care for their natural hair, and report a fear of going “natural”.’

For her study, Ellington carried out interviews with 17 college-aged women who made the choice to stop relaxing their hair. As expected, most reported getting little support, especially among their AA friends and relatives, for their decision to ‘go natural’. As she explains: “The AA community’s lack of acceptance of natural hair is rooted in history and the societal meaning of lesser status that comes with having kinky natural hair.”

For many of the women, social networking sites offered the support and comfort that they were not able to get elsewhere. As might be expected, the absence of local support had a devastating effect on many women’s self-esteem. However, in many cases, regular and frequent online contact meant other SNS users became ‘friends and family’. This increased the women’s self-esteem and helped them to accept their own choices, thus increasing their self-esteem even further. Crucially, the SNS did not provide the motivation to ‘go natural’ in the first place, but provided essential information for the women about how to maintain their new natural styles, and offered support on their journeys.

This article is a fascinating insight into how what might seem at first to be a simple aesthetic decision is in reality a difficult choice for many AA women, informed by political, cultural and practical concerns. It’s also a good example of how the use of SNS can empower people who might otherwise lack local support networks to make – and have confidence in – their own decisions.

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS
When referencing the article: Please include Journal title, author, published by Taylor & Francis and the following statement:

* Read the full article online:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17543266.2014.974689

About Taylor & Francis Group

Taylor & Francis Group partners with researchers, scholarly societies, universities and libraries worldwide to bring knowledge to life.  As one of the world’s leading publishers of scholarly journals, books, ebooks and reference works our content spans all areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, Behavioural Sciences, Science, and Technology and Medicine.   From our network of offices in Oxford, New York, Philadelphia, Boca Raton, Boston, Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Stockholm, New Delhi and Johannesburg, Taylor & Francis staff provide local expertise and support to our editors, societies and authors and tailored, efficient customer service to our library colleagues.

For more information please contact:
Lauren Harvey - Senior Marketing Coordinator
Education Journals
Email: lauren.harvey@tandf.co.uk

, Philadelphia.

The Educational Forum wins a trends award

Routledge and The Educational Forum are pleased to announce that the journal has been awarded the bronze medal in the Scholarly/Technical/Scientific Journal category in the Association TRENDS All-Media Contest.  The journal was selected from among 410 entries in 22 categories of association communications. Winners will be recognized at the TRENDS annual Salute to Association Excellence, Feb. 6 at the Capital Hilton in Washington. Congratulations to Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education and The Educational Forum on their well-deserved honor!

The Educational Forum is the official journal of Kappa Delta Pi, publishing research reports and essays on diverse topics of significance to educators globally. Through the inclusion of compelling research findings and thought-provoking perspectives, The Educational Forum serves as a catalyst for stimulating and encouraging research and dialogue and for advancing and transforming education. Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education, was founded in 1911 to foster excellence in education and promote fellowship among those dedicated to teaching. For over a century, the Society has consistently grown, starting with a local chapter to become the international organization it is today, with an initiated membership that exceeds 1.2 million.

Learn more about TRENDS and this year’s award winners here

Visit The Educational Forum home page to learn more about the journal, submit an article,
subscribe, or view most read/most cited articles.

About Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group

Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group is one of the world’s leading publishers of academic journals. We are dedicated to the dissemination of scholarly information, drawing on expertise development since first publishing learned journals in 1798. Taylor & Francis now publish over 1,600 scholarly journals in association with over 460 learned societies and scholarly institutions. We operate from a network of 20 global offices, including Philadelphia, Oxford, Melbourne, Stockholm, Beijing, New Delhi, Johannesburg and Singapore.  To learn more about our portfolio, please visit: http://www.tandfonline.com/

Contact Information

Emily Matthias │Senior Marketing Associate, Education

Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

530 Walnut Street│ Suite 850

Philadelphia, PA 19106

(215) 606-4238│emily.matthias@taylorandfrancis.com

, Oxford.

Child workers in South East Asia: exploitative trafficking or migratory self-improvement?

In recent years there has been a substantial increase in disillusioned children leaving home independently and migrating to another country in search of work. A new paper published in Children’s Geographies explores the complex issues surrounding child migration in Southeast Asia, asking whether these children are exploited victims of trafficking, or if they genuinely seek to improve their ‘lot in life’?

The term ‘child worker’ conjures imagery of an oppressed, vulnerable individual, trafficked or forced by those seeking to exploit them. Though undoubtedly true in many cases, this notion rules out the child’s influence on their own destiny. The author, Dr Harriot Beazley, of the University of the Sunshine Coast, questions the dominant protectionist views, drawing on first-hand accounts from Indonesian street children. They reveal fascinating insights into children’s perspectives, experiences, and the complex social and economic factors that lead to migration. 

The article argues that child migration is not always forced, and children often voluntarily decide to move for work. The author states “Child migration for work is much more than an economic phenomenon, and involves psychological dimensions, including the impact of traditional practices as well as consumerism and modern cultures of mobility”.

Interestingly, Beazley’s research also reveals that many children cited the ‘pursuit of personal freedom, excitement and adventure’ as their motivation to leave home to find work; this is in part influenced by the depiction of ‘global youth culture’ in magazines, films, TV and on the internet.

There are also other cultural and social issues at play; in many situations, the construction of a child is not compliant with Western views - a girl married at 15 is no longer a child and many children are expected to contribute earnings to the family at a young age. Furthermore, in some Southeast Asian nations there is a culture of a young ‘wandering hero’ that is derived from many traditional stories; inspired by this ‘rite of passage’, young teenage boys leave, make their fortune and return with new found status, many with money to build houses. There is a hope and expectation amongst young people, they aspire to a better life and see migration as their future.

However, despite this positive ambition and opportunity, the study suggests that many children experience negative aspects of migration; physical and verbal abuse, rape, prostitution, imprisonment, non-payment, poor living conditions, poor food and little rest to name but a few. The article goes on to highlight that there is significant domestic and international migration of adolescent girls into the sex industry in Southeast Asia, particular in East Java; and that trafficking is also a large scale problem, affecting an estimated 250,000 annually in Asia.

Nevertheless, the experiences of migrant children described in this paper demonstrate children’s strong autonomy and rejection of their ‘victim’ status. Many children want to migrate and there are examples that demonstrate that migration for work can be a positive experience for many children. In conclusion Beazley urges for more child-centred research “to give children opportunities to convey their multiple identities and multiple realities through their individual migration stories and to ensure that childrens rights are not being violated in the name of protection”.

To find out more, please access the full article, free of charge, online at:

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14733285.2015.972620

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS AND EDITORS

Please reference the article as “Multiple identities, multiple realities: children who migrate independently for work in Southeast Asia”, by Harriot Beazley, Children's Geographies, 2014, published by Taylor & Francis Group. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14733285.2015.972620
 

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About Taylor & Francis Group

Taylor & Francis Group partners with researchers, scholarly societies, universities and libraries worldwide to bring knowledge to life.  As one of the world’s leading publishers of scholarly journals, books, ebooks and reference works our content spans all areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, Behavioural Sciences, Science, and Technology and Medicine.

From our network of offices in Oxford, New York, Philadelphia, Boca Raton, Boston, Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Stockholm, New Delhi and Johannesburg, Taylor & Francis staff provide local expertise and support to our editors, societies and authors and tailored, efficient customer service to our library colleagues.

For more information, please contact:

Alan Crompton, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group Email: Alan.Crompton@tandf.co.uk Tel: +44 (20) 701 74225

, Oxford.

The Jaws Effect: biting review finds shark policy based on movie myths

The film Jaws has heavily influenced Western Australia’s stance on sharks, a review of over a decade of state government policy has found.

Dr Christopher Neff of the University of Sydney has examined the narratives and shark hunt policies implemented by different WA Governments between 2000 and 2014 and found striking similarities to the 1975 Spielberg classic.

"In particular, the Western Australian Government's current ‘Imminent Threat’ policy to catch and kill ‘rogue’ sharks is predicated on Hollywood fiction,” says Dr Neff, a lecturer in public policy at the University’s Department of Government and International Relations.

In October this year, the West Australian government withdrew an application to the federal government to extend its drumline policy, albeit securing permission to kill sharks deemed by the government to pose ‘imminent threat’ to beachgoers.

“This policy is using myths as the basis for killing sharks that are protected by law and which provides no real beach safety,” he says.

"This fiction serves an important political purpose because films allow politicians to rely on familiar narratives following shark bites to blame individual sharks in order to make the events governable and to trump evidence-based science."

"The message from this research is that politicians do not have a right to their own set of scientific facts about sharks, no matter how popular the movie."

Dr Neff’s research, which has been published online in the Australian Journal of Political Science, spells out the ‘Jaws Effect’ as a political device based on three themes from the film: the intentionality of sharks, the perception that all human-shark interactions are fatal and the idea that killing 'the shark' is the only solution.

“Unpacking the politics of shark bites, or any public policy issue, involves addressing the way words and images are used to paint a picture for the public and inform policy choices. This research therefore offers broader implications for policy analysis,” says Dr Neff.

“[It] identifies a worrying style of policymaking where widely known fiction can be used to navigate the attribution of blame and to prescribe policy responses,” he says.

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS

When referencing ‘The Jaws Effect’, Please include the text: ‘Australian Journal of Political Science, published by Routledge’ and the following statement:

* Find out more about ‘The Jaws Effect: How movie narratives are used to influence policy responses to shark bites in Western Australia’ at www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/10361146.2014.989385

Visit our newsroom at: http://newsroom.taylorandfrancisgroup.com/

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About Taylor & Francis Group

Taylor & Francis Group partners with researchers, scholarly societies, universities and libraries worldwide to bring knowledge to life.  As one of the world’s leading publishers of scholarly journals, books, ebooks and reference works our content spans all areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, Behavioural Sciences, Science, and Technology and Medicine.   From our network of offices in Oxford, New York, Philadelphia, Boca Raton, Boston, Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Stockholm, New Delhi and Johannesburg, Taylor & Francis staff provide local expertise and support to our editors, societies and authors and tailored, efficient customer service to our library colleagues.

For more information please contact:
Mark Robinson
Taylor & Francis Journals
Email: mark.robinson@tandf.co.uk

, Oxford.

A commitment to excellence and a ‘can do’ attitude sees Routledge presented with the prestigious RSA Institution Award

A commitment to excellence and a ‘can do’ attitude sees Routledge presented with the prestigious RSA Institution Award

The Regional Studies Association (RSA) has acknowledged its successful 22 year partnership with Routledge by presenting the publisher with its Institution Award. One of several awards given at the President’s Event in London, the Board recognised the professionalism of the Routledge team and their support of the academic community.

The award citation states that, “Routledge plays a direct role in the health and vitality of the field’s research ecology”. On hand to accept the award for Routledge were Dr David Green, Global Publishing Director, and Jessica Vivian, Editorial Director. Other awards presented on the night highlighted outstanding contributions to the field, including the best book, papers, reviewers and early-career scholar. The full list of award recipients can be found on the Association’s website.

Routledge, part of the Taylor & Francis Group, partners with the RSA to publish a book series and four scholarly journals: Regional Studies; Spatial Economic Analysis; Territory, Politics, Governance; and the new open access title, Regional Studies, Regional Science.

The full award citation reads:

“The Regional Studies Association has chosen to award its prestigious Institutional Award to Routledge Publishing who have published the Association’s journals portfolio for 22 years.

Under the stewardship of Dr David Green and Jessica Vivian the portfolio has grown substantially. Regional Studies has moved from six issues a year to monthly publication and the following hybrid titles have been added – Spatial Economic Analysis and Territory, Politics, Governance. In late 2013, the Association began publishing Regional Studies, Regional Science, its gold open access journal.

A defining characteristic of working with Routledge has been the calm professionalism of the journals team and their robust “can do” attitude. They have consistently supported the Association’s Board providing careful and reflective advice. The impressive keystone of the Routledge team’s philosophy has been a total commitment to excellence and support of the academic community.

The Routledge commitment to small team working means the Association has benefitted by working with the same individuals over many years building both trust and institutional memory. The Association is indebted to many of the Routledge staff team but in addition to David Green and Jessica Vivian particularly to Jon Manley, Carolyn Haynes and more recently Mark Robinson.

The Association recognises the direct contribution that Routledge has made to its work and to the delivery of its charitable aims and objectives serving the regional studies and science communities. It acknowledges that in partnering so effectively with the Association and through its own initiatives of philanthropy, author, referee and editor training as well as the development of new technologies and new faster more searchable journal platforms, Routledge plays a direct role in the health and vitality of the field’s research ecology.”


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Visit our newsroom at: http://newsroom.taylorandfrancisgroup.com/

Follow us on Twitter @tandfnewsroom

About Taylor & Francis Group

Taylor & Francis Group partners with researchers, scholarly societies, universities and libraries worldwide to bring knowledge to life.  As one of the world’s leading publishers of scholarly journals, books, ebooks and reference works our content spans all areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, Behavioural Sciences, Science, and Technology and Medicine.   From our network of offices in Oxford, New York, Philadelphia, Boca Raton, Boston, Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Stockholm, New Delhi and Johannesburg, Taylor & Francis staff provide local expertise and support to our editors, societies and authors and tailored, efficient customer service to our library colleagues.

For more information please contact:
Mark Robinson
Taylor & Francis Journals
Email: mark.robinson@tandf.co.uk

, Oxford.

Why do home birth rates remain so low despite evidence that they minimise the risk of medical intervention and hospital infection?

Research published in Health, Risk & Society discusses why home birth rates remain so low despite evidence that they minimise the risk of medical intervention and hospital infection.

The new National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines on child birth in the UK make it clear that home births for most women are a safe option, protecting them from a cascade of medical interventions and the risk of hospital infection.  Yet despite the apparent benefits of home births, as Kirstie Coxon1 and her colleagues point out, the home delivery rates have remained low over the past two decades and virtually static at 2.5% of all births in the UK.

Professor Mark Baker, NICE’s clinical director, indicates he is puzzled by the increase in medical interventions in health settings.  However, social research on midwifery practice provides a clear explanation for the apparent paradox that while normal childbirth is highly valued and associated with good outcomes in the UK, there has been a relentless expansion of the hospitalisation and medicalisation of childbirth associated with increased complications with caesarean sections, forceps and ventous deliveries.  Mandie Scamell2 in her study of midwifery practice shows midwives aspire to provide normal deliveries, but in reality their awareness of the ever present possibility of harmful outcomes (and the blame they would receive if they occurred) means that a birth can only be classified as normal once the baby has been safely delivered and both mother and baby are well. Thus hospital practices tend to create an environment in which all births are categorised as risky, and there needs to be an ever present vigilance and willingness to intervene.  In this context imagined futures in which things go wrong are a reality and dominate decision making.  

1. To what extent are women free to choose where to give birth? How discourses of risk, blame and responsibility influence birth place decisions

Kirstie Coxon, Jane Sandall and  Naomi J. Fulop
Health, Risk & Society
Volume 16, Issue 1, 2014

2. Fateful moments and the categorisation of risk: Midwifery practice and the ever-narrowing window of normality during childbirth

Mandie Scamell & Andy Alaszewski
Health, Risk & Society
Volume 14, Issue 2, 2012

 

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS

When referencing the above articles, Please include the text: ‘Health, Risk & Society, published by Taylor & Francis’ and the following statement:

* Find out more about To what extent are women free to choose where to give birth? How discourses of risk, blame and responsibility influence birth place decisions at http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13698575.2013.859231  and find out more about Fateful moments and the categorisation of risk: Midwifery practice and the ever-narrowing window of normality during childbirth at http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13698575.2012.661041

About Taylor & Francis Group

Taylor & Francis Group partners with researchers, scholarly societies, universities and libraries worldwide to bring knowledge to life. As one of the world’s leading publishers of scholarly journals, books, ebooks and reference works our content spans all areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, Behavioural Sciences, Science, and Technology and Medicine.

From our network of offices in Oxford, New York, Philadelphia, Boca Raton, Boston, Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Stockholm, New Delhi and Johannesburg, Taylor & Francis staff provide local expertise and support to our editors, societies and authors and tailored, efficient customer service to our library colleagues.

For more information please contact: Caroline Blake, Marketing Executive, Behavioral Science, Health and Social Care Journals email: caroline.blake@tandf.co.uk

, Oxford.

The French burqa ban: are prescriptive feminine aesthetics a barrier to true citizenship?

The French burqa ban: are prescriptive feminine aesthetics a barrier to true citizenship?

In 2007 President Sarkozy pledged to ‘protect’ women from oppression. He led a nationwide consultation and political campaign centred on gender and nationalism to publicise and promote the law banning the full veil from public spaces. This brought forward tensions with Islam and raised questions about the exclusionary nature of French citizenship. In 2011 an act was passed prohibiting the concealment of the face in public spaces; the burqa ban. A new article by Claire Hancock in Gender, Place and Culture studies the implications for gender, race, religion and citizenship in France. Can a veiled woman be truly French?

This article originates from fieldwork, with young Muslim women in a banlieue of Paris, most of whom are from an immigrant background. Many of these young women have expressed, in interviews, their sense of being in many ways ‘non-French’ and often also physically inadequate. They tell stories of abuse, either physical or verbal, from complete strangers, in different areas of the Paris region where they live, and quite often the abuse centres on the way they dress, and implies that they do not belong. Many of them also point to television and newspaper coverage of Islam as a trigger of these aggressions and a major influence on their everyday experiences.

Some of this abuse, the paper argues, can be attributed to this campaign by the French government, which was proudly entitled ‘the Republic is lived with an uncovered face’. A leaflet for the campaign (see Fig.1) comments that: “To oblige a woman, whatever her age, to hide her face, is an offense to her dignity. It also contravenes the principle of equality between men and women.” These remarks, Hancock argues, assume that veil wearing is imposed on the wearers by (presumably male, presumably fundamentalist) external influences. Not only does this go against research findings, it also exemplifies a patronizing attitude to women that somehow, in France, is allowed to parade as ‘feminist.’

Furthermore, the campaign implied that veil wearing French women fall short of the widely perceived ideal of a French woman; represented here by a classical bust of ‘Marianne’, a national symbol of the French Republic, liberty and traditional female identity. So whilst the intention of this campaign may have been to liberate young Muslim women, it instead served to alienate them further in French society.

Hancock notes, “veil-wearing women seem to encapsulate many of France’s contradictions in its attitudes to gender, race, and citizenship, and have been scapegoated in ways that sometimes suggest they are the single most important threat to the French nation.”

To find out more, please access the full article, free of charge, online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0966369X.2014.958061

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS AND EDITORS

Please reference the article as “‘The Republic is lived with an uncovered face’ (and a skirt): (un)dressing French citizens”, by Claire Hancock, Gender, Place & Culture, 2014, published by Taylor & Francis Group. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0966369X.2014.958061

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