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Anna Henkel

This article starts with the observation that a sociological analysis of interactions concerning drugs cannot rely on accounts of drugs that were generated in the field because these accounts (such as the distinction between drugs and non-drugs or between intended effects and side effects) are shaped by strong interests. The article suggests two approaches to obtaining actor-independent accounts, both of which are based on comparisons. The first approach is a symmetrization of perspectives, which can be achieved by including the perspectives of as many different actors as possible as well as the abstract actors of science and law. The second approach starts from the definition of a problem that is contingent but grounded in practices of the field. In the case of drugs, this problem can be constructed as how laypersons can rate the identity and quality of specific things as unproblematic. In both cases, an ontological idea of the “drug as such” is replaced by a social-constructivist view of the drug, which at the same time takes the drug's materiality into account.

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Familial Intimacy and the ‘Thing’ between Us

Cuddle Curtains and Desires for Detached Relationality in Germany, Austria and Switzerland

Andreas Streinzer, Almut Poppinga, Carolin Zieringer, Anna Wanka, and Georg Marx

what is tense about similar ‘things’ in other contexts. When we think about institutional configurations in which physical proximity and risk work in similarly problematic and contagious closeness – camps, prisons or brothels – the ‘thing’ has not

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The Lost Thing

Moving Media Language from a Picture Book to a Short Film

Johanna Tydecks

The transformation of a picture book into a film is a special case of film adaptation because this process involves inherently intermedial qualities. In media literacy terms, when viewers look at a picture book that has been made into a film, they familiarize themselves with the story's imagery and plot, which makes it easier for them to comprehend the techniques employed by the film to create meaning. The Oscar-winning short film The Lost Thing is exemplary of this, as it narrates the same story as the original picture book, dealing with social as well as existential issues. This comparative analysis focuses on the two di erent narrations of this story with regard to the literacy skills required to comprehend them.

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Facing the Thing

The Green Man, Psychoanalysis and Kingsley Amis

Robin Sims

A range of texts published since the late nineteenth century take for their theme the forest, presented as an ambiguous and ‘uncivilised’ space, as deadly as it is seductive, and as frightening as it is bursting with life; they portray the wooded realm as the habitat of shadowy supernatural presences which embody these contradictory qualities. The work of the anthropologist Sir James George Frazer suggested every wood to be teeming with imagined vegetation spirits; the eerie fin-de-siècle fictions of Arthur Machen and Algernon Blackwood presented sylvan settings as the garden of the Arcadian Pan, reborn as a creature of ecstasy and terror. Latterly, such imagery has often centred on a supposed British wood-god, the ‘Green Man’. It is my contention that this marginal, though persistent, tradition can be understood in the terms of a theory that the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan set forth, in a wholly different context, in 1959–1960: that of the Thing, the life-giving yet deathly object of the drive to escape the ‘original curse’ of language. This article aims to elucidate Lacan’s theory, and its relevance to ambivalent visions of the mythic forest, in a reading of Kingsley Amis’s novel of death, desire and the supernatural, The Green Man, published in 1969.

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Policing at a distance and that human thing

An appreciative critique of police surveillance

David Sausdal

said, it would be wrong to simply conclude policing at a distance is always a problem and that policing in more proximal ways is always a good thing. In terms of policing and surveillance, many examples demonstrate that police proximity doesn't bring

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A 'base and spurious thing'

Reading and Deceptive Femininity in Ellen Wood's Parkwater (1857)

Janice M. Allan

Concentrating on Ellen Wood's Parkwater, a little-known New Monthly Magazine serial, this article attempts to complicate the long-standing construction of Wood as a 'quiet sensationalist'. It argues that Wood's serial was self-consciously appealing to the New Monthly's male readers and thus incorporated scenes and details of a surprisingly graphic nature. At the same time, the article situates the narrative within the context of a new commodity culture, as well as the 1857 murder trial of Madeleine Smith, suggesting that Wood's exploration of deceptive femininity resonates with current events in a particularly insistent manner.

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Shelley Stagg Peterson

J. L. Powers. 2011. This Thing Called the Future. El Paso, TX: Cinco Puntos Press.

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Ron Tamborini, René Weber, Nicholas David Bowman, Allison Eden, and Paul Skalski

Historically, debates over media violence have been a central focus of media research. Yet lacking from these debates is a meaningful discussion about the conceptualization of media violence. We argue that violence is not a monolithic construct, and is based on viewer perceptions of specific types of images and framing in media content. This idea has scholarly precedence: In 2002 and 2003, Potter and his colleagues proposed that perceptions of violence are formed as audience members make assessments about the relative levels of (in order) graphicness, realism, and justification for witnessed, on-screen violent actions. This article furthers this tri-partite conceptualization by using a binary-choice conjoint analysis to determine the role of each attribute in guiding audience perceptions of and preference for violent media in film and video games. For both media types, justification was the most central factor in shaping perceptions of violence, but realism was the most important predictor for the preference of violence.

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‘Tu Numeris Elementa Ligas’

The Consolation of Nature’s Numbers in Parlement of Foulys

C.W.R.D. Moseley

it is possible to hold the view of one’s total unworthiness at the same time as to plead one’s deserts? 46 But the speeches’ real keynote is the idea of proof in love – the very thing that is impossible and, even if it were, would be irrelevant. The

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Bruno Haas, Philipp Schorch, and Michael Mel

shows to what extent communication between very different cultural positions is possible through a material “object” or “thing,” which, in our case, is a painted mask. 7 We prefer “thing” over “object,” which is essential for our purposes here. 8