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Anat Herbst

This study applies critical discourse analysis to examine the relationship between the imagery and the legitimacy attached to single mothers, as well as the social policy designed for them. The correlation between images, legitimacy, and policy was examined during three decades (the 1970s, 1990s, and 2000s) of extensive legislation pertaining to single-parent mothers. The data have been drawn from a diversity of sources, including Knesset debates, Knesset committee discussions, women's organizations, the media, and semi-structured interviews. The study shows that welfare policy necessarily encapsulates cultural perceptions and basic assumptions pertaining to certain segments of society. These beliefs anchor justifications for the expansion or limitation of social rights and reveal how the development of social rights is linked to cultural and social apprehension.

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A FRENCH PARADOX?

Toward an Explanation of Inconsistencies between Framing and Policies

Henri Bergeron, Patrick Castel and Abigail C. Saguy

The French news media has framed “obesity” largely as a product of corporate greed and social inequality. Yet, France has—like other nations including the United States—adopted policies that focus on changing individual-level behavior. This article identifies several factors—including food industry lobbying, the Ministry of Agriculture’s rivalry with the Ministry of Health and alliance with the food industry, and competition with other policy goals—that favored the development of individual-level policy approaches to obesity in France at the expense of social-structural ones. This case points to the need to more systematically document inconsistencies and consistencies between social problem framing and policies. It also shows that national culture is multivalent and internally contradictory, fueling political and social struggles over which version of national culture will prevail at any given moment.

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Satirical Panels against Censorship

A Battle That Raged during the Spanish Transition

Gerardo Vilches

In mid-1970s Spain, many new satirical magazines featured a strong political stance opposing Francisco Franco’s regime and in favour of democracy. Magazines with a significant amount of comics-based content constituted a space for political and social critics, as humour allowed them to go further than other media. However, legal authorities tried to censor and punish them. This article analyses the relationship between the Spanish satirical press and censorship and focuses on the difficulties their publishers and authors encountered in expressing their criticism of the country’s social changes. Various cartoonists have been interviewed, and archival research carried out. In-depth analysis of the magazines’ contents is used to gain an overview of a political and social period in recent Spanish history, in which the satirical press uniquely tackled several issues.

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Jeanette Edwards

Local family historians in the north of England are not only intent on "finding" their ancestors but in adding "flesh" to the bones of genealogy. Many are as interested in the social life of their ancestors as they are in their family tree or pedigree and, through their research, they excavate particular social and classed histories which combine discourses of land, labor, love, and loss. As well as deepening a sense of the workings of class in England, their research renders class identity more contingent than other contemporary public and media-driven versions. This article argues that family history and genealogical research destabilizes readings of English class identities as fixed, bounded and inescapable by revealing the vagaries of fate and chance and by making explicit other relevant and overlapping social distinctions in the provenance of one's ancestors.

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Introduction

Envisioning Ethnography—Exploring the Meanings of the Visual in Research

Gerry Bloustien

Visual images are ubiquitous which, inevitably, is part of their appeal and their difficulty. As is the case with all sensory experience, the process of sight becomes naturalized for us, and it is easy to forget that how we interpret what we see is historically and culturally specific (Banks 2001). Similarly, the representations of what we see are influenced by our historical and cultural perspectives. In the forms of photographs, video, film, and new electronic media, these representations increasingly and apparently, often unproblematically, play a central role in the work of researchers, not just from anthropology, but also from a range of disciplines. As part of a broader ethnographic methodology, photography, film, and video have now been embraced by anthropology, sociologists, cultural studies, media studies, geographers, and other social scientists. The visual images are present in the form of cultural texts or they represent aspects of ethnographic knowledge and methodological tools. They can exist as the basis for the sites of social interaction amongst the informants or between the researcher and the researched. They can take the form of pre-existing images, such as television programs or contemporary or archival photographs and films (Banks 2001). It is hardly surprising, then, that visual images have become so important to the ethnographic endeavor. Yet, as Mac- Dougall laments above, relatively little has been written about how best to analyze and interpret the visual images, not only in anthropology, but indeed, in all of the social sciences.

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Online Documents of India’s Past

Digital Archives and Memory Production

Katja Müller

How can the online distribution of heritage facilitate successful forms of collective online memory production? Two online archives from India are taken as case studies to analyze practices that make online archives effective as devices for recalling and constructing the Indian past. It is not only contextual conditions of the Internet age, but also particular applied practices of presenting, communicating, and using social media that enable it. Yet, the analysis of the two recently created online archives, which are partially driven by the idea of widening access, show that they do not so much set up counterpositions to established conceptions of archives as regulating entities, but rather aim at becoming acknowledged heritage agents.

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Marco Giuliani and Erik Jones

The year 2009 was a period of uncertainty, during which the Italian

political world appeared to be floundering and in need of a compass.

As evidenced by the chronological overview, many events continued

to beleaguer the political and social life in Italy. Some, such as the

result of the European elections and the escalation of the economic

crisis and its repercussions, were foreseen or, in any case, predictable.

Others, including the numerous scandals and irregularities that

tarnished the political year, continuously feeding the mass media with

distractions and nurturing the public debate with less then edifying

themes, were less expected.

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Anthropology

Its Importance and Implications for Policy and Practice in Pakistan

M. Sajjad Abro

A seminar on ‘Anthropology: Its Importance and Implications for Policy and Practice’ was collaboratively organised by the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, in the University of Sindh in Pakistan, and Anthropology in Action (Figure 1). The event was also supported by the civil society organisations Al-Mehran Rural Development Organization (AMRDO) and Dev-Con. The objective of the event was to create awareness among the public and the media regarding the importance and scope of anthropology and how anthropologists can better design social policies and interventions that have limited negative unintended consequences. The speakers were academic and practicing anthropologists who delivered lectures based on their personal extensive encounters with development in Pakistan.

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Abjection and the Cinematic Cholo

The Chicano Gang Stereotype in Sociohistoric Context

Richard Mora

In this brief research note, the author uses a sociohistoric lens to examine selected films that have employed the cholo, or Chicano gang member, stereotype. He finds that the cholo is a prevalent archetype of Mexican and Mexican American youth. The author argues that the depiction of the cholo as a hypermasculine, abject personage threatening the social order converges with how actual Latino youth are constructed in sociopolitical and media discourses—as both marginalized young men and migrants unworthy of membership in U.S. society.

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Technological Nonviolence and Girls

Creating a Counter Discourse

Claudia Mitchell

The idea of devoting a special issue of Girlhood Studies to what Jonathan Bock (2012) calls technologies of nonviolence comes at a critical time in girlhood studies. On the one hand, technology—especially digital technology— and various social media platforms are firmly entrenched in the everyday lives of many young people around the world. On the other, questions regarding who has access to technology and how technology is used and abused continue to dominate the fields of girlhood studies in particular and of youth studies more broadly.