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The Whole World Revolves Around It

Sex Education and Sex Reform in First Republic Czech Print Media

Karla Huebner

This article explores attitudes towards sex and sexuality in First Republic Czechoslovakia (1918–1938), focusing on the urban Czech population. By looking at articles, advertisements and references to sex and sexuality in Czech periodicals from 1920 to 1935, it shows that inter-war Czechoslovaks were enthusiastic participants in closely linked discourses about hygiene, physical culture, sex education, birth control and sex reform, and provides evidence that Czech discourse about sex and sexuality was al- most always – apart from erotica and pornography – closely tied to discourse about health, hygiene and social reform. The article also shows how inter-war Czechoslovaks participated in the struggle for sexual minority rights. By exploring these discourses, this article helps place Czech ideas about sexuality within the larger framework of European ideas about sexuality, especially in relation to the German discourses with which Czech writers and activists were in constant dialogue.

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Femininity (Con)scripted

Female Images in Soviet Wartime Poster Propaganda, 1941–1945

Susan Corbesero

During the Second World War, legions of Soviet women behind the lines participated in war-time production in both industry and agriculture. Soviet propaganda, despite the overwhelming numbers, contributions and sacrifices of women, graphically portrayed them in ways that both re-established the pre-war patriarchal gender relations of the Stalinist era and circumscribed women’s wartime experiences. This article examines how, during the initial and la er years of the conflict, and in the important and under- studied source of Soviet poster propaganda, the symbolic configuration and recon- figuration of femininity and the female image was transmitted through shifting official policies and attitudes on the role of women. While early posters portrayed women’s wartime participation as atypical, temporary and unwomanly, propaganda by the end of the war featured hyper-feminised representations of women while the Soviet state moved to reassert political controls and institutionalise conservative gender policies to serve the needs of war and reconstruction.

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Peter R.A. Oeij, Steven Dhondt and Noortje M. Wiezer

The European situation of new forms of work organisation and stress risks in jobs are described against the 'decentralisation-human factor orientation model', which discerns types of work organisation. 'Flexible firms' based on lean production have the highest probability of high strain jobs, predicting negative health effects. Among European employees, those working in high strain work organisations report the highest number of complaints with musculoskeletal problems, allergies and asthma and stress-related problems. Although new forms of work organisation are limited in occurrence, most of them tend towards lean production, indicating growing stress risks for employees. The authors suggest to reduce stress risks in jobs by redesigning those organisational conditions labelled as sources for these risks into work situations with a better balance in job demands and job control.

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Elites and their Representation

Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives

Jean-Pascal Daloz

The term “elite” was introduced in the seventeenth century to describe commodities of an exceptional standard and the usage was later extended to designate social groups at the apex of societies. The study of these groups was established as part of the social sciences in the late nineteenth century, mainly as a result of the work of three sociologists: Vilfredo Pareto, Gaetano Mosca and Roberto Michels. The core of their doctrine is that at the top of every society lies, inevitably, a small minority which holds power, controls the key resources and makes the major decisions. Since then, the concept of elite(s) has been used in several disciplines such as anthropology, history or political science, but not necessarily in reference to this “classical elite theory.” The concept is strongly rejected, however, by many “progressive” scholars—precisely because of its elitist denotation.

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Patrick Colm Hogan

Our emotional responses are determined not only by actual experience, but also by anticipation. Indeed, we respond not only to anticipations per se, but to the relation between anticipations and experiences. Such anticipations operate on different time scales, linked with distinct neurological substrates. Some—such as those involving expectations about the immediate trajectory of objects—are very brief. The relations between experience and very short-term expectations can have significant emotional consequences. One purpose of the standard continuity editing system is to avoid disruptions in our short-term projections. However, the manipulation of discontinuities, thus the controlled disruption of short-term anticipations, can significantly contribute to the emotional impact of film. It is possible to isolate distinct varieties of anticipation and disruption, examining their emotional consequences in different cases. Muzaffar Ali's Umrao Jaan provides a virtual catalogue of such disruptions and their emotional effects.

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When They Write What We Write

Young People's Influence on Policymaking in Northern Ireland

Rosellen Roche

This article discusses young people's influence on a recent policy initiative conducted among Catholic and Protestant school leavers in Northern Ireland's second largest urban area, Derry/Londonderry. The programme, the Toward Reconciliation and Inclusion Project or TRIPROJECT, was Northern Ireland's first dedicated attempt to target young school leavers in a survey project and sought to involve the young people in the selection of questions used within the survey. The article opens with a brief discussion on the predicament of anthropology's situation of 'informants' and the criticism that often follows post-field discussions. The article then moves to discuss TRIPROJECT as a case example of applied anthropology actively involving 'informants' in the process of knowledge gathering and analysis presentation, emphasising how informants had control over the process of scholarship. The article ends by addressing this experience within the context of anthropology and the interpretation of questions and answers between 'informants' and those who study them.

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Jaime Rollins

This essay explores the differences between a practice called body modification and the behaviour known as self-injury (or self-harm, self-inflicted injury, self-mutilation, etc.), in which individuals purposefully harm themselves to get relief from strong emotion or in an attempt to gain control over themselves or their emotions. Although some consider both self-injury and body modification to be synonymous, I argue that self-injury is more like an addiction to many sufferers, making it like a mental illness or a disease. I use a narrative interview with a friend called 'Eva' to illustrate these differences from a self-harmer's point of view, and hope to show that while body modifiers are often proud of their transformations and view the process as a rite, self-harmers, in contrast, are often secretive and ashamed of their behaviour or addiction.

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Robert R. Clewis

How should a film's appearing dated affect critical evaluation of it? This article distinguishes enjoyment of a film from evaluation and describes how films undergo positive, negative, and comic dating. The affective responses of nostalgia, boredom, and humorous amusement, respectively, are associated with each of these kinds of dating. Insofar as these affective responses are unintended and thus beyond the control of the filmmakers, they have little influence on the film's artistic value, which is understood in terms of the filmmakers' achievement. Conversely, these states do affect levels of enjoyment. By recognizing this, evaluators can rationally resolve disagreements that are grounded on these unintended affective responses to dated films. Several films and film reviews are examined, yet no attempt is made to give close readings or analyses of the films discussed.

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A War of Words over an Image of War

The Fox Movietone Scandal and the Portrayal of French Violence in Algeria, 1955-1956

Emma Kuby

During the Algerian War, films and published photographs documenting brutalities committed by French forces were exceedingly rare, due to censorship and strict controls on journalistic access to the military. However, a dramatic exception to this state of affairs came at an early moment in the war, after a Fox Movietone cameraman captured footage of a French gendarme as he summarily executed an Algerian with a bullet in the back. When the journal L'Express printed frames from the film in December 1955, a scandal ensued that implicated the sitting government in Paris and stoked French anti-Americanism. This article explores the reasons for the scandal, its anatomy, and its longer-term implications for French representations of the violence of the Algerian conflict. It argues that widespread French assumptions about the appropriateness of France's role in Algeria ultimately served to neutralize the story told by the images, even as they were recognized as incontrovertible evidence of atrocity.

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Irwin M. Wall

The French elections of 2012 resulted in an unprecedented and overwhelming victory by France's Socialist Party, which gained control of the presidency and an absolute majority in the National Assembly to go with the party's existing domination of most of France's regions and municipalities. But the Socialist Party remains a minority party in the French electoral body politic, its victory the result of a skewered two-ballot electoral system. The Socialist government, moreover, remains hampered in its action by its obligations toward the European Union and its participation in the zone of countries using the Euro as it attempts to deal with France's economic crisis. As a consequence of both of these phenomena the government may also be sitting atop a profound political crisis characterized by the alienation of a good part of the electorate from the political system.