This collection is licenced under a Creative Commons licence. The collection may be reproduced for non-commerical use and without modification, providing that copyright is acknowledged.
What Can Politics Academic Practice Learn from the Experience Politics Students Have of Expressing Their Political Views?The aim of the research is to identify implications for the practice of Politics academics from the experience their students have of expressing their political views. This exploratory study is set within the wider debate of power and performativity in the HE classroom. It is situated in a study of practice and perceptions in one Department at the University of Chester and conducted through a review of the literature and empirical qualitative research with both Politics students and Politics academics. The research found that while Politics students wish to express their political views, these may not be their actual political views. Politics students indicate that the Politics academic can affect their expression of political views. They prefer academics who express their own political views and they do not like politically neutral academics. They may wish to know an academic’s political views in order to gain advantage for themselves. Knowing an academic’s political views enables the student to avoid expressing political views which some Politics academics find offensive. The research highlights the part played by power and performativity in the expressing of the Politics student’s political views and identifies some of the complexities arising from this. The practice outcomes provide guidance on how Politics academics can approach the issue of the Politics student’s expression of political views. This single case study’s value lies in these contributions to wider practice. Research is identified which will explore the findings further.
Client Perspectives and Experiences of CongruenceThis small scale enquiry looks at the value of Rogers’ concept of congruence from the perspectives and experiences of clients rather than those of the counsellor, as, it is the view of the author that the value of congruence is only established if it is perceived so by clients. It contributes to the debate about Rogers’ definition of congruence and offers a research informed perspective, relevant to a range of therapeutic interventions, of the nature and function of congruence in the counsellor-client relationship. The study involved me as the researcher and six participants from two cultural backgrounds who had responded to a leaflet after having experienced therapy with a qualified counsellor other than me. A pilot study was carried out followed by six semi-structured, face-to-face and telephone interviews that were transcribed and analysed using a qualitative, thematic analysis approach. A decision was made to divide participants into those who had experienced person-centred counselling and those who had experienced CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) or integrative therapy. This was not an original decision but one that was made during the study in order to compare the presence and the importance of congruence in different models of therapy. Results revealed that there were terms that were central to, related to and unrelated to Rogers’ definition of congruence. Factors that were centrally related to congruence were: connection and demeanour. Therapist facilitative factors that were tangentially related to congruence were: respect; understanding; empathy; self-disclosure; trust; body language; conveying emotion and caring. Participants also referred to non-related facets such as therapist competence. Due to the majority of codes being related to congruence, this led to the conclusion that participants held a wide definition of the concept, implied by proxy (as a substitute). Participants confirmed the value of congruence, suggesting that Rogers’ theory, that is, that therapist congruence is necessary for positive growth to occur in clients, is important in counselling (Rogers, 1957). Congruence therefore cannot be described as an outdated theory or professional ideology but as a key concept that is prized and valued in modern day therapy. This study offers an original contribution to knowledge and professional practice because it provides not professionals but clients with the opportunity to have their voices heard. It allows service-users to put into words their experiences, thereby offering a better understanding of the phenomenon of congruence. The study has therefore allowed the provision for a more empowering, research-informed counsellor-client experience. A second claim to the study being unique and a valid contribution to knowledge is that the research has a particular focus on Rogers’ definition of congruence and enquires if this is relevant for service-users as opposed to service-providers.
Great expectations: A qualitative examination of restorative justice practices and victim interactionThis thesis presents original empirical research concerning a restorative justice practice currently operating within England. Specifically, it examines the expectations and experiences of victims participating in a restorative practice. It establishes the extent to which victims‘ expectations may impact upon their experiences of the restorative justice process. Throughout this research, original empirical data is presented which demonstrates that victims possess a limited understanding of restorative principles and practices, which persists despite preparatory meetings. This research suggests victims place almost exclusive reliance upon gatekeepers of the process, specifically the police or restorative facilitator, in both the formation of their expectations of the process and in their decisions to participate. This thesis argues that the existence of restorative practices as complex interactionary processes enables victims to experience aspects of the process negatively, whilst continuing to view the process as beneficial. It is submitted that negative experiences can arise from an expectation-reality gap, which the preparatory meetings fail to rectify. Throughout the restorative process, this research demonstrates that victims continue to possess a punitive perspective and continue to rely upon aspects of the traditional criminal justice system and courtroom imagery. Such reliance exists in contradiction to central themes of restorative justice theory, including victim rejection of an empowered decision making role during the process, and the irrelevance of offender remorse.