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Societies, Volume 4, Issue 2 (June 2014), Pages 127-350

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Research

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Open AccessArticle You Are How You Eat? Femininity, Normalization, and Veganism as an Ethical Practice of Freedom
Societies 2014, 4(2), 127-147; doi:10.3390/soc4020127
Received: 5 March 2014 / Revised: 27 March 2014 / Accepted: 2 April 2014 / Published: 10 April 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (273 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper I argue that the practice of veganism is, or can be, a Foucauldian ethical practice of freedom. I begin by sketching out the problematization of alimentary practices within a normalizing patriarchal framework, which some feminists argue is dominant within contemporary
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In this paper I argue that the practice of veganism is, or can be, a Foucauldian ethical practice of freedom. I begin by sketching out the problematization of alimentary practices within a normalizing patriarchal framework, which some feminists argue is dominant within contemporary North American society. Within this problematization, eating—for many women—is a way to manage the body’s appearance and bring it into conformity with feminine norms, and also an ongoing opportunity to exercise the will over unruly bodily desires. I then consider the narratives of women who claim that veganism helped them to relinquish disordered eating habits, temper the emotional and psychological turmoil that surrounded their alimentary practices, and mitigate antagonism toward their own bodies. In short, the practice of veganism appears to have reproblematized eating for these women. Thus, I suggest, veganism can be an ethical practice of freedom: it can loosen the tight grip of patriarchal normalization as constituted in and through disordered eating habits, and constitute subjects that are “a little less governed” by this form of power. I conclude by considering objections to this thesis, and in particular, the concern that veganism is linked to healthism, another worrying form of normalization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alimentary Relations, Animal Relations)
Open AccessArticle Vocalizing the Angels of Mons: Audio Dramas as Propaganda in the Great War of 1914 to 1918
Societies 2014, 4(2), 180-221; doi:10.3390/soc4020180
Received: 3 June 2013 / Revised: 20 April 2014 / Accepted: 28 April 2014 / Published: 8 May 2014
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Abstract
Sound drama production prior to the onset of the “Radio Age” underwent a pioneering development during the Great War. This was achieved by the making, publication and distribution of short audio dramas acted with sound effects and music in front of early microphones
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Sound drama production prior to the onset of the “Radio Age” underwent a pioneering development during the Great War. This was achieved by the making, publication and distribution of short audio dramas acted with sound effects and music in front of early microphones and released in the form of 78 rpm phonograph discs. Entertaining storytelling through dramatic performance was mobilized for the purposes of improving recruitment and disseminating patriotic endorsement recordings. This article focuses on the sound dramatization of the myth of “The Angels of Mons” released by Regal in 1915. The recording is examined as a text for its significance in terms of propaganda, style of audio-drama, and any cultural role it may have played in the media of the First World War. The Regal disc was an example of what was described at the time as “descriptive sketches.” This article explores why a sound phonograph was used to dramatize the myth that angels intervened to assist the British Expeditionary Force to resist the German Army invading France through Belgium in 1914. A number of historians have discussed the First World War as being a theatre for the first modern media war, in which the process of propaganda was modernized. To what extent does “The Angels of Mons” phonograph and the genre of descriptive sketches support this analysis? Does this short sound drama play have any relevance to the cultural phenomena of spiritualism, modernism and patriotic Christianity identified as being important during the Great War period? Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue War/Wars and Society)
Open AccessArticle Diversity, Multiethnicity, and Latino Social Networks
Societies 2014, 4(2), 222-239; doi:10.3390/soc4020222
Received: 3 March 2014 / Revised: 20 April 2014 / Accepted: 13 May 2014 / Published: 19 May 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (372 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Given the steady increase of ethnic diversity in the US, greater numbers of people develop the ability to negotiate ethnic boundaries and form multiple ethnic identifications. This paper explores the relationship between intra-ethnic and cross-ethnic relationships—defined in terms of social networks—and patterns of
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Given the steady increase of ethnic diversity in the US, greater numbers of people develop the ability to negotiate ethnic boundaries and form multiple ethnic identifications. This paper explores the relationship between intra-ethnic and cross-ethnic relationships—defined in terms of social networks—and patterns of ethnic self-identification among New York City (NYC) Latinos. Drawing on theory and methods from the field of social network analysis, one hypothesis is that people with ethnically heterogeneous networks are more likely to have multiple ethnic identifications than people with ethnically homogeneous networks. The paper further explores the relationship between network ethnic diversity and the demographic and network characteristics of Latinos from four different Latino subgroups: Colombian, Dominican, Mexican, and Puerto Rican. A total of 97 NYC Latinos were administered ethnic self-identification and factorial surveys, and a social network questionnaire. Blau’s diversity index was used to compute the level of ethnic diversity present in participants’ networks. Results provided modest support for the hypothesis that multiple ethnic identifications would be associated with network ethnic diversity. There were important differences between the four groups in terms of network diversity, network ethnic composition, and ethnic self-identification. Results provide some support for the notion that weak ties introduce diversity to social networks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cross-racial and Cross-ethnic Personal and Group Relationships)
Open AccessArticle Crossing the Color Line: Black Professional Men’s Development of Interracial Social Networks
Societies 2014, 4(2), 240-255; doi:10.3390/soc4020240
Received: 26 February 2014 / Revised: 7 May 2014 / Accepted: 13 May 2014 / Published: 22 May 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (358 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sociologists have established that social networks often play an important role in hiring, promotions, and occupational mobility. For black workers, however, social networks can be racialized in ways that work to their disadvantage. In this paper, I consider how black professional men develop
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Sociologists have established that social networks often play an important role in hiring, promotions, and occupational mobility. For black workers, however, social networks can be racialized in ways that work to their disadvantage. In this paper, I consider how black professional men develop and maintain interracial social networks with white men and women. I argue that these networks are shaped by intersections of race and gender and are intentionally constructed in response to black professional men’s perceptions of their positioning within male-dominated occupations. Specifically, this paper examines how black men establish social networks with white men, their perceptions of how diverging levels of social capital shape these networks compared to their white male peers, and their observations of ways that women are less advantaged than they are in constructing social networks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cross-racial and Cross-ethnic Personal and Group Relationships)
Open AccessArticle The Touch Pad Body: A Generative Transcultural Digital Device Interrupting Received Ideas and Practices in Aboriginal Health
Societies 2014, 4(2), 256-264; doi:10.3390/soc4020256
Received: 2 April 2014 / Revised: 12 May 2014 / Accepted: 20 May 2014 / Published: 27 May 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (262 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Yolŋu Aboriginal understandings of the body, health, life and sickness, and roles their ancestral epistemologies and knowledge practices play in making agreement have seldom been taken seriously in the biomedical world. In this paper, we describe how insights developed in three different cross-cultural
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Yolŋu Aboriginal understandings of the body, health, life and sickness, and roles their ancestral epistemologies and knowledge practices play in making agreement have seldom been taken seriously in the biomedical world. In this paper, we describe how insights developed in three different cross-cultural collaborative transdisciplinary research projects led to the design of a digital device aimed at intervening in communicative practices around body, health, life and sickness, interrupting the received practices and assumptions on both sides of the practitioner-client divide. The interrupting device slows down and opens up communication practices potentially leading to mutual understanding, collective agreement making, and bottom-up changes in remote Aboriginal health policy and practice. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Cross-Racial Interactions during College: A Longitudinal Study of Four Forms of Interracial Interactions among Elite White College Students
Societies 2014, 4(2), 265-295; doi:10.3390/soc4020265
Received: 27 February 2014 / Revised: 20 May 2014 / Accepted: 28 May 2014 / Published: 4 June 2014
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Abstract
College and universities present distinct opportunities to interact across racial and ethnic lines that may influence people’s prejudice toward different groups. This study examines the influence of four forms of cross-race interaction on traditional and modern forms of racial prejudice among white college
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College and universities present distinct opportunities to interact across racial and ethnic lines that may influence people’s prejudice toward different groups. This study examines the influence of four forms of cross-race interaction on traditional and modern forms of racial prejudice among white college students at 28 of the most selective colleges and universities in the US. This study finds that, although white students’ level of racial prejudice declines over four years, interracial contact during college does not significantly influence their level of prejudice. Moreover, a race-related form of social identity is the most consistent influence on students’ racial prejudice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cross-racial and Cross-ethnic Personal and Group Relationships)
Open AccessArticle Understanding Digital Health as Public Pedagogy: A Critical Framework
Societies 2014, 4(2), 296-315; doi:10.3390/soc4020296
Received: 22 April 2014 / Revised: 28 May 2014 / Accepted: 29 May 2014 / Published: 10 June 2014
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (239 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper argues on behalf of a public pedagogy approach to developing a critical understanding of digital health technologies. It begins by appraising the hitherto polarised articulations of digital innovation as either techno-utopian or techno-dystopian, examining these expectations of technology and considering the
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This paper argues on behalf of a public pedagogy approach to developing a critical understanding of digital health technologies. It begins by appraising the hitherto polarised articulations of digital innovation as either techno-utopian or techno-dystopian, examining these expectations of technology and considering the tensions between them. It subsequently outlines how a public pedagogy approach can help mediate between these views, offering a more contextualised, socio-political perspective of mHealth. This approach teases out the nuances of digital health by engaging with the complexities of embodied learning. Furthermore, it urges caution against viewing these pedagogical forces as one of transference, or simple governance. To this end, we therefore contextualise our critique of digital health, within an attempt to reconstitute an understanding of public pedagogies of technology. Full article
Open AccessArticle Practicing Patienthood Online: Social Media, Chronic Illness, and Lay Expertise
Societies 2014, 4(2), 316-329; doi:10.3390/soc4020316
Received: 31 March 2014 / Revised: 2 June 2014 / Accepted: 9 June 2014 / Published: 13 June 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (209 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The use of digital technologies and social media by people with serious illness to find, share, and create health information is much celebrated but rarely critiqued. Proponents laud “Health 2.0” as transforming health care practice and empowering patients. Critics, however, argue that a
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The use of digital technologies and social media by people with serious illness to find, share, and create health information is much celebrated but rarely critiqued. Proponents laud “Health 2.0” as transforming health care practice and empowering patients. Critics, however, argue that a discourse of developing lay expertise online masks the disciplinary practices of the neoliberal state’s emphasis on individual responsibility. Notably, the perspectives of people who are engaging with social media related to their health and illness are under-represented in this debate. This research examines the experiences and perspectives of women who blog about their lives with Multiple Sclerosis in order to situate them in the context of these conflicting ideologies. Methods consisted of an ethnographic content analysis (N = 40), an online survey (n = 20), and an online discussion forum (n = 9). Findings revealed that blogging is neither inherently empowering nor inevitably disciplinary. Rather, it simultaneously offers opportunities for patients to gain medical knowledge and resist medical patriarchy, as well as compounds expectations placed upon patients to assume greater responsibility for managing their care. Full article
Open AccessArticle “Maternal Devices”, Social Media and the Self-Management of Pregnancy, Mothering and Child Health
Societies 2014, 4(2), 330-350; doi:10.3390/soc4020330
Received: 1 April 2014 / Revised: 3 June 2014 / Accepted: 5 June 2014 / Published: 13 June 2014
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (526 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years the smartphone has revolutionised lay people’s management of health and illness, particularly in regards to pregnancy and parenting. This article analyses smartphone applications, or apps, and social media platforms as mediating technologies which act as performative devices. These devices encourage
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In recent years the smartphone has revolutionised lay people’s management of health and illness, particularly in regards to pregnancy and parenting. This article analyses smartphone applications, or apps, and social media platforms as mediating technologies which act as performative devices. These devices encourage particular enactments of subjectivity and technologies of the self which combine the expert patient ideal with ideologies of mothering. Some apps and social media can be disciplinary and invoke biological responsibility in various ways including the monitoring of specific behaviours via “push responsibilisation”. Apps claim to allow for greater convenience, connectivity, flexibility, efficiency, and what will be characterised in this article as the “tidbitisation” of information. This article suggests the ways in which health-conscious pregnant or maternal subjects are likely to view apps and social media sites as a means to improve and monitor their pregnancies, health, and their children’s development and health. Full article

Review

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Open AccessReview The Effectiveness of Hard Martial Arts in People over Forty: An Attempted Systematic Review
Societies 2014, 4(2), 161-179; doi:10.3390/soc4020161
Received: 7 January 2014 / Revised: 3 April 2014 / Accepted: 22 April 2014 / Published: 30 April 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (348 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The objective was to assess the effect of hard martial arts on the physical fitness components such as balance, flexibility, gait, strength, cardiorespiratory function and several mental functions in people over forty. A computerized literature search was carried out. Studies were selected when
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The objective was to assess the effect of hard martial arts on the physical fitness components such as balance, flexibility, gait, strength, cardiorespiratory function and several mental functions in people over forty. A computerized literature search was carried out. Studies were selected when they had an experimental design, the age of the study population was >40, one of the interventions was a hard martial art, and when at least balance and cardiorespiratory functions were used as an outcome measure. We included four studies, with, in total, 112 participants, aged between 51 and 93 years. The intervention consisted of Taekwondo or Karate. Total training duration varied from 17 to 234 h. All four studies reported beneficial effects, such as improvement in balance, in reaction tests, and in duration of single leg stance. We conclude that because of serious methodological shortcomings in all four studies, currently there is suggestive, but insufficient evidence, that hard martial arts practice improves physical fitness functions in healthy people over 40. However, considering the importance of such effects, and the low costs of the intervention, the potential of beneficial health effects of age-adapted, hard martial arts training, in people over 40, warrants further study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Martial Arts and Society: Developing Co-Constituting Perspectives)

Other

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Open AccessConcept Paper Socio-Economic Inequality, Human Trafficking, and the Global Slave Trade
Societies 2014, 4(2), 148-160; doi:10.3390/soc4020148
Received: 21 January 2014 / Revised: 8 April 2014 / Accepted: 21 April 2014 / Published: 28 April 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (278 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to discuss human trafficking within the broader framework of socio-economic inequality. The presence of socio-economic inequality in the world creates a system where those in power very easily dominate and take advantage of those people without power.
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The purpose of this paper is to discuss human trafficking within the broader framework of socio-economic inequality. The presence of socio-economic inequality in the world creates a system where those in power very easily dominate and take advantage of those people without power. One of the most serious contemporary effects of inequalities between and within nations is the phenomenon of global sex trade or human trafficking for the purposes of sex. Deriving from unequal power relations, human trafficking is a serious global crime that involves the exploitation of many, but mostly females and children. This paper provides an extensive discussion of inequality and its links with human trafficking as contemporary slavery. In conclusion, the paper provides a list of selected intra-national and multi-national service organizations that are adopting strategies for combating trafficking through the reduction of social and economic inequality. Implications for social welfare advocates and international collaborative efforts are highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Inequality and the Global Slave Trade)

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