The Faculty offers an extensive portfolio of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, taught predominantly at the Chester Campus, but with provision in Public Relations and Policing taught at Warrington. A key feature of work in all four specialist subject areas below is the inter-relationship between social science and issues of everyday concern that have relevance for policy making.

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Recent Submissions

  • Remote rural home based businesses and digital inequalities: Understanding needs and expectations in a digitally underserved community

    Philip, Lorna; Williams, Fiona; University of Aberdeen; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2018)
    The digital economy offers home based micro-businesses in rural areas many advantages but stubborn social, economic and territorial digital divides continue to create challenges for this sector of the rural economy. Complex digital inequalities are illustrated in our case studies of the digital behaviour and Internet experiences of those running micro, home based businesses in a remote, digitally underserved rural community before, during and after the deployment of broadband technology. Findings draw attention to the role and importance of fit-for-purpose broadband in promoting digital inclusion for individuals, households and small, home based businesses: in a fast changing digital national and global economy remote rural home based micro-businesses are at risk of being left behind.
  • Traditional Oath-Taking as an Anti-Corruption Strategy in Nigeria

    Ekhator, Eghosa; University of Chester (Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) Nigeria, 2019)
    The concept of corruption is culture-bound. In the UK, it is unusual and criminal for public officers to accept gifts. However, corruption is seen to be part of the culture of many developing (especially Asian and African) countries. In Nigeria, corruption is seen to be a negative part of the administrative or bureaucratic culture and a way of life. This paper will argue that because of the institutional failures of the Nigerian state in the area of corruption, recourse to the ‘traditional’ oath-taking akin to the variant used in customary arbitration cases amongst many communities (in Nigeria) to corruption cases might be a useful strategy to help fight the scourge of corruption. Furthermore, this chapter suggests that the Nigerian government should extend the jurisdiction of customary courts (via constitutional amendment) to try corruption cases arising from the anti-corruption statutes enacted since the return of democracy in 1999. This will reduce the pressure on the superior courts of records in the country.
  • Rethinking Bicycle Histories

    Cox, Peter; University of Chester (Brill, 2018-09-11)
    Bicycle history and historiography is currently undergoing significant reassessment. Historical studies on bicycles and bicycle mobility have been dominated by the legacy of chronologically organised accounts of the bicycle as artefact. While valuable, this approach has had a tendency to elide significant differences between specific histories of the place of the bicycle as a component of broader mobility systems in varying geographical locations. New areas of social and cultural history are combining with colonial and post-colonial analyses to understand both the Eurocentric nature of dominant accounts and the hidden possibilities of multiple and plural narratives. Moving away from an artefactual bicycle history, this study embraces recent developments in the study of technology and draws on use-pattern approaches to the study of bicycle technology. Shifting focus to a use-centred account and comparing experiences across geographical and other boundaries reveals substantial differences in patterns and timescales of user experiences of cycles and cycling beyond its function as mass mobility. The chapter therefore explores bicycle historiography and historiology, examining in particular the implications of oversimplified periodization and schematic linear histories of bicycle development. Subjecting these narratives to critical scrutiny, the chapter considers how they serve both to continue to render the bicycle invisible, even within dramatically changing mobility scenarios, and to limit understanding of the potential of bicycles and other human-powered and hybrid human-motor vehicles to sustainable mobility futures.
  • The Missing Link: Relational Exploration in Working with Suicide

    Reeves, Andrew; University of Chester (Regent's University, London, 2018-09-01)
    Empirical research has driven the agenda around suicide risk assessment for many years leading to mental health services and allied professionals, including counsellors and psychotherapists, relying more heavily on risk factor-based questionnaires as the primary mechanism for identifying suicide potential. Research also suggests however, that the efficacy of such risk questionnaires is, at best, questionable and does not really provide a reliable insight into the likelihood of harm. This article argues the position that while factor-based information can be contextually helpful, the only way in which a deeper understanding of the meaning of, and potential for, suicide can be achieved is through the therapeutic discourse. Suicide exploration, it is asserted, provides not only greater insight into the process of suicide for the client, but also contributes to a context where the client may be enabled to support themselves effectively at times of suicidal crisis.
  • Neuroticism and extraversion mediate the relationship between having a sibling with developmental disabilities and anxiety and depression symptoms

    Murray, Lindsay; O'Neill, Linda; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2018-09-17)
    Background Children growing up with a sibling with disabilities report higher levels of depression and anxiety symptoms as adults. Here, we examined whether personality characteristics also play a part in mediating this relationship. Method We tested for differences in personality traits between 132 individuals who have a sibling with developmental disabilities and 132 closely matched comparisons. Results Differences in Big Five factors of personality were demonstrated across the disability groups and between the disability groups and the comparisons, especially in Extraversion, Neuroticism and Openness. Individuals growing up alongside a sibling with developmental disabilities have a higher tendency to experience anxiety and depression symptoms, and this research is the first demonstration that personality traits mediate this relationship. Specifically, Neuroticism is a strong mediator of anxiety while both Neuroticism and Extraversion contribute mediating effects toward the development of depression. Limitations Our study made use of self-report methodology which, although having recognized limitations, is more reliable than parental reports. Given the cross-sectional nature of our design, we were not able to examine pre-existing developmental factors that may have influenced the participant’s propensity to particular personality traits and affective disorders. However, we obtained a large sample and closely matched participants to examine differences between those with a sibling with disabilities and those without. Conclusions As such, differences in personality traits have important implications for the understanding and treatment of siblings presenting with anxiety and depression symptoms. We recommend that intervention should target those high in Neuroticism among individuals who have a sibling with disabilities, and that more social support is put in place for siblings to mitigate their tendency towards introversion and buffer them against psychological maladjustment.
  • Social Policy and Narrative: The Global and State Contradictions of Care

    Powell, Jason; University of Chester (Sryahwa, 2018-10-01)
    This article provides a critical assessment of the assumptions and narratives underpinning the development of social policy initiatives targeting caring relationships based upon family ties. At the time of writing in late 2018, the impact of globalization has had a profound impact but we cannot underemphasise state power in examining care policy, theory and practice. Hence, deploying a narrative approach attention is drawn to the ways in which family identities are open to a far greater range of negotiation than is assumed by policy. Drawing on the United Kingdom as a case example, questions are posed about intergenerational relations and the nature of late life citizenship. The comparatively recent invention of narratives supporting ‘informal care’ and the link with neo-liberal and ‘third way’ notions of active citizenship are explored. As is the failure of policy developments to take into account the diversity of care giving styles and the complexity of caring relationships. It is argued that the uneven and locally specific ways in which policy develops enables the co-existence of a complex range of narratives about family, caring and ageing which address diverse aspects of the family life of older people in often contradictory ways.
  • Investigating the celebrity effect: the influence of well-liked celebrities on adults' implicit and explicit responses to brands

    Rowley, Martin; Gilman, Hayley; Sherman, Susan Mary; Keele University (American Psychological Association, 2018-08-20)
    Celebrities are used within advertisements in an attempt to impact positively on consumers’ attitudes toward brands, purchase intentions, and ad believability. However, the findings from previous research on the effects of celebrity liking on brand evaluations have been mixed. In the study presented here, explicit and implicit responses to brands were more positive after pairing with well-liked celebrities (p < .01) and more positive than for brands paired with noncelebrities (p < .001). Participants also demonstrated a preference for celebrity-paired brands in their brand choices (p < .001). Participants’ general accuracy-based advertising skepticism was negatively correlated with explicit celebrity brand preferences (p < .05), whereas affect-based skepticism was negatively correlated with implicit (p < .05) preferences. These results are discussed in relation to the contextual and attitudinal factors that might trigger resistance to the effects of celebrity endorsement as well as the underlying psychological processes involved in responding to ads.
  • From a utilitarian universal health coverage to an inclusive health coverage

    Fernandez, Rosa; University of Chester (Springer, 2019)
    Healthcare systems vary across countries but the access to health is considered fundamental both individually and collectively. Individually, good health is one of the main contributors to well-being, and collectively it has an important effect on countries’ productivity. From a utilitarian perspective, governmental intervention in health coverage has the purpose to maximise the total ‘utility’, in this case the total welfare, of all the members of society. Health services must therefore be produced and allocated efficiently, and distributed in accordance to equity. This approach gave origin to the so-called ‘universal’ healthcare systems, in trying to provide healthcare for as many members of a community as possible. Such systems can be considered inclusive insofar to try not to leave anyone out of coverage, but their implementation is not free of criticism. One of the limitations is that they tend to provide the same level of coverage for everyone, regardless of their differing characteristics, circumstances, and needs. This also means that some health issues will not be covered by the public health system, and if patients need specialised attention they will need to use private health provision, with the subsequent exclusion of those without enough resources. It is for this reason that healthcare systems are evolving to become ‘inclusive’ in a different manner, away from the ‘one size fits all’ approach covering only basic minimum health services, and aiming to provide different services to people with different needs, including giving access to health to the poorest of society.
  • SDG3 Good Health and Well-Being: Integration and connection with other SDGs

    Fernandez, Rosa; University of Chester (Springer, 2019)
    Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG3) pledges to ‘Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages’ (UN, 2015a). Health is affected by multitude of factors, inherent to each individual but also dependent on environmental and economic circumstances. This piece of work will look at the connection between SDG3 and other SDGs without being exhaustive, but trying to focus on those more directly related. As such, special attention will be given to SDG2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture, also connected to SDG12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns; SDG4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all; SDG5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls; SDG6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all; and finally, SDG10: Reduce inequality within and among countries.
  • Ageing, veterans and offending: New challenges for critical social work

    Taylor, Paul; Powell, Jason; University of Chester (Routledge, 2019-01-30)
    The relationship between ageing and the study of veterans of military service who have offended is uncharted territory. What is available to us are accounts operating in disparate areas of ageing and offending and veterans and offending. This has rich implications for ‘critical social work’ to add weight of research and theory to the significance of ageing identities of veterans for professional social work. This has challenges for the knowledge base for a critical social work given the significance of veterans’ identities and experiences.
  • Working with Risk of Suicide

    Reeves, Andrew; University of Chester (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, 2018-11)
    This article considers the challenges faced by counsellors and psychotherapists in their daily work with suicidal clients. Specifically, it considers a number of key practice areas, including: policies and procedures; personal perspectives; managing confidentiality; positive risk-taking; supervision and self-care; and responding to suicidal potential. A number of practice guidelines are suggested.
  • An exploration of how working in the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme, might affect the personal and professional development of counsellors: an analytical autoenthnographic study

    Mason, Richard; Reeves, Andrew; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2018-08-29)
    Since implementing the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme in 2008, provision of counselling and other idiographic approaches to psychological therapy in the English National Health Service (NHS) has been reduced to several manualised therapies supported by NICE guidelines for depression and anxiety. Many counsellors who previously provided psychological therapies in the NHS subsequently left or retrained in IAPT compliant models of treatment. This study explores the effect that working in IAPT services over an eight-year period had on the professional and personal development of the primary author, resulting in a strong exhortation for counsellors to take advantage of, and influence the professional development opportunities it presents. This study takes an analytical autoenthnographic approach, undertaking the thematic analysis of naturally occurring data, taken from previously published opinion columns in a professional journal, and an unpublished doctoral assignment to illuminate previously unrecognised narrative. Themes of ideological resistance, and being out-group resulting in a sense of professional loss, uncertainty and cessation of professional development preceded acceptance of the IAPT nomothetic ideology. After which, a sense of being in-group facilitated a sense of gain, certainty, and the reimplementation of professional growth. Counsellors in IAPT may be prejudiced by their idiographic ideology. Professional uncertainty and a sense of loss could inhibit professional development. Development of a pluralistic ideological stance, and integrative approach to treatment is encouraged. Counsellors who accept a Cinderella like status in IAPT, are exhorted to adapt, influence from within, and thrive in IAPT.
  • Trust, Risk, Health and Aging in Asia: A New Philosophy

    Powell, Jason; University of Chester (Lupine Publishers, 2018-09-10)
    This paper reviews the important of trust and risk in relation to healthcare in Asia.
  • China, Aging and Health

    Powell, Jason; University of Chester (Lupine Publishers, 2018-09-11)
    Academics from across the world are increasingly concerned about the rising numbers of older people in their society. There are worries about the inadequacy of pension funds, of growing pressures on health systems, and on the inability of shrinking numbers of younger people to carry the burden of their elders. This article focuses on such health issues in China, where the older people have become a rapidly expanding proportion of the population. While resources do need to be targeted on the vulnerable older people, the presumption that older people as a whole are an economic and health burden must be questioned. This is an agist view that needs to be combated by locating how bio-medical views on aging seep into health policy spaces in China that position negative perceptions of aging as both individual and populational problems. The article then moves to observe the implications of bio-medicine for older people in China in terms of "vulnerable" aging but deconstruct such "fixed" explanations by juxtaposing active aging as key narrative that epitomizes "declining to decline" as espoused by health sciences.
  • Unconventional relationships, positive marginalities and citizenship

    Pratesi, Alessandro; University of Chester (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, 2018-07)
    Long distance relationships and caring at a distance may be connected with emotional and psychological exhaustion but also gratification, reward and empowerment; above all, they possess important implications in terms of social justice, equality and citizenship. The expression ‘world families’ (Beck and Beck-Gernsheim, 2014) includes a heterogeneous and tension-filled set of social actors who have in common the potential to bridge traditional distinctions between public and private, centre and periphery, national and international, able-bodied and physically/cognitively impaired, heterosexual and homosexual, bypassing dichotomous ideas of inclusion/exclusion which typically characterise the concept of citizenship. These families represent a group of very different social actors, including couples of mixed cultures and ethnicities, low-paid migrant workers, skilled migrant workers, asylum seekers, refugees, distant families, etc. who challenge our culturally homogenous understanding of family and society and are defined therefore as ‘pioneers of cosmopolitanism’ and cultural diversity. Drawing on recent work on families, relationships, intimacies and caring for distant others and contextualising it within the specific and still unexplored context of Living Apart Together (LAT) same-sex couples, this article examines the moral, sociological and institutional geographies of these less visible chains of care and affection and their unequally entitled rights and visibility. The literature review is combined with auto-ethnographic work analysing and discussing the case of a married, same-sex, transnational, Living Apart Together (LAT) couple. This article suggests that by looking at what happens at the level of emotion-based, micro-situated interactions we can get some crucial insights into the changing nature of families, intimacies and relationships and their multiple implications in terms of social inclusion, entitlement to rights/citizenship and social change. It is a form of relational, emotion-based and micro-situated social inclusion and entitlement to rights/citizenship which is occurring, on a daily basis, in the interstices of people’s interactions even when such change still meets several obstacles at the structural, political and institutional level.
  • Health and Trust Relations

    Powell, Jason; University of Chester (Sryahwa, 2018-09-13)
    The paper is a critical review of the problems and implications of trust and in managing health in the British health system. It is a system in need of strong management in the light of the global downturn in recently. Despite of policies on leadership in health in the UK, the macro issues for why the needs of diverse groups are not met are difficult to understand at particular levels of analysis. The central problem has been lack of ‘trust’ relations. The paper detangles the implications of different forms of trust in order to understand health relations in health contexts which has implications for practitioner, policy makers and medical personnel.
  • Aging, Healthy Families and Narrative Approaches

    Powell, Jason; University of Chester (Lupine Publishers, 2018-09-21)
    Due to the mounting importance of recent research in the areas of healthy families and aging, the paper assesses the particular relationship between old age, health and family life by means of studying the role of grand-parenting and the way it is perceived by older people, the family, and the society at large. The study applies a narrative approach; hence, telling the meaning of the family and grand parenting through personal stories and public discourse, based on the theory of Michel Foucault. The findings put forth suggest that identities of health and family and grand-parenting are built on multiple grounds, and that therefore theory should be sensitized accordingly, as identities are managed at different levels, for different audiences and at different levels of awareness.
  • Anticipatory versus Reactive Spatial Attentional Bias to Threat

    Gladwin, Thomas; Möbius, Martin; McLoughlin, Shane; Tyndall, Ian; University of Chichester; Radboud University; University of Chester (Wiley, 2018-05-11)
    Dot-probe or visual probe tasks (VPTs) are used extensively to measure attentional biases. A novel variant termed the cued VPT (cVPT) was developed to focus on the anticipatory component of attentional bias. This study aimed to establish an anticipatory attentional bias to threat using the cVPT and compare its split-half reliability with a typical dot-probe task. A total of 120 students performed the cVPT task and dot-probe tasks. Essentially, the cVPT uses cues that predict the location of pictorial threatening stimuli, but on trials on which probe stimuli are presented the pictures do not appear. Hence, actual presentation of emotional stimuli did not affect responses. The reliability of the cVPT was higher at most cue–stimulus intervals and was .56 overall. A clear anticipatory attentional bias was found. In conclusion, the cVPT may be of methodological and theoretical interest. Using visually neutral predictive cues may remove sources of noise that negatively impact reliability. Predictive cues are able to bias response selection, suggesting a role of predicted outcomes in automatic processes.
  • Piloting a brief relational operant training program: Analyses of response latencies and intelligence

    McLoughlin, Shane; Tyndall, Ian; Pereira, Antonina; University of Chester; University of Chichester (Taylor & Francis, 2018-08-06)
    Previous research suggests that training relational operant responding using the SMART (Strengthening Mental Abilities with Relational Training) program over several months can result in improved performance on cognitive intelligence tests. This study aimed to investigate whether engaging in a 3-week relational training program would improve (i) scores and (ii) reaction times on a standardised intelligence test, and (iii) to pilot a new multiple exemplar training procedure targeting complex analogical operant responding (SMARTA; SMART for Analogy). We administered the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (KBIT-2) to eight adults across four time points. Control: Time 1–4: No intervention. Experimental: Time 1–2: No intervention. Time 2–3: SMART relational operant training. Time 3–4: SMARTA analogical relational operant training. Experimental participants demonstrated greater improvements in terms of both (i) response latencies and (ii) response fluencies on the Verbal Knowledge subscale of the KBIT-2.
  • A critical exploration of why some individuals with similar backgrounds do or do not become involved in deviant street groups and the potential implications for their future life choices.

    Corteen, Karen M.; Morley, Sharon; Boran, Anne; Garratt, Dean; Hesketh, Robert F. (University of Chester, 2018-08-30)
    This thesis will primarily address the issue of street gang involvement and non-involvement in gang prevalent areas of Merseyside. Specifically, it will address why some individuals with similar backgrounds do or do not become involved in deviant street groups and the potential implications for their future life choices. Reporting for the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) Cordis Bright Consulting (2015) have observed that when assessing young people bout whom there is concern because of violence and street gang involvement, practitioners should consider both risk and protective factors in five key domains: individual, peers, community, school and family. In determining the vulnerability and resilience of young people to gang membership on Merseyside, the study attempted to identify prominent variables within each of these domains and the research was undertaken with participants from a variety of marginalised locations of Merseyside. The study applied a hybrid approach consisting of Biographical Narrative Interpretive Method (BNIM, Wengraf, 2001) as the means of data collection with Grounded Theory (GT) as the form of analysis (Strauss and Corbin, 1990). Two samples of participants were drawn from marginalised areas of Merseyside consisting of a total of 44 males age range 18-25 (one consisting of 26 gang involved participants (termed Deviant Street Group Members (DSGs)), and the second containing 11 non-gang participants (termed ‘Non-group Participants’ (NGPs) and 7 individuals identified as ex-gang participants (termed ‘ExDeviant Street Group participants’ (EDSGMs)). The findings draw attention to the considerable amount of social commentary and government policy that has intensified, pathologised and problemised the issue of gangs, gang membership and gang non-membership in the United Kingdom (UK). Moreover, they identify the effects of marginalisation and limited opportunity as the over-riding protagonists and highlight how young disenfranchised people, some more resilient than others cope with growing up in marginalised areas of Merseyside. In particular, contrary to the EIF’s observations that “family and peer group risk factors are not found to be strongly associated with gang membership as individual risk factors” (2015, p. 7), the study finds evidence that quality of parenting by fathers/father figures (family domain) and friendship networks (peer domain) together with the development of social capital can be key variables in the decision to become involved in or abstain from gang membership on Merseyside. Other factors identified, include the application of demonising government policies, the existence of edgework risk taking including criminal eroticism (individual domain) in young men and the impact of social migration (neighbourhood domain) on the decision to become involved, disengage or completely abstain from gangs was also noted to be significant.

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