Now showing items 1-20 of 1054

    • Lockdown Diaries: merging fact and fiction in auto/biographical research

      Bennett, Julia; University of Chester
      From January to March 2021 the UK experienced its third Covid lockdown. By this time, 10 months after the first UK lockdown started, the scenario of staying at home, working from home and home schooling had become familiar. Towards the end of, so far, the final full lockdown in England, and on the day of the budget announcements, people from across the UK were asked to complete one day diaries for this project. The diaries, along with media accounts and other publicly accessible data, have been used to create a series of short fictionalised narratives of one day during the pandemic. Based on the autobiographical accounts the participants produced, the stories explore how people from different backgrounds, life stages and geographical areas spent their time during lockdown, highlighting both shared and very different experiences across and between places and age groups. The stories draw attention to mundane everyday lives during this time. The relatively experimental method of creating composite characters taken from real life also provides material for exploring how the use of fiction (here biographical fiction) in research can work to help to bring social science research into the public realm.
    • Sustainable and Inclusive Growth Commission Inclusive Economy Working Group Evidence Report

      Davies, Chantal; University of Chester
      This report sets out an overview of the evidence collated by the Inclusive Economy Working Group (IEWG) in line with the timetable provided by the Sustainable and Inclusive Growth Commission (SIGC). It commences with an outline of the IEWG remit as agreed following consultation. It then explores the nature of inclusive growth (IG) and the legislative context. The report then moves onto a discussion of the data collected on inequalities at a sub-regional, local authority and national level before setting out the activities which are already being rolled out in relation to the IG agenda at a local level. Finally, the report will set out exemplar approaches towards IG beyond the sub-region before exploring how the evidence collated will inform next steps for the IEWG feeding into the SIGC timetable for action and the SIGC Report which was launched in November 2022.
    • Reviewing the literature on scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL): An academic literacies perspective: Part 2

      Healey, Mick; Healey, Ruth L.; University of Gloucestershire; University of Chester (International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 2023-01-16)
      There are few sources that critically evaluate the different ways of reviewing the literature on scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL). We use an academic literacies perspective as a lens with which to explore the different ways that literature reviews may be undertaken. While reviewing the literature is often presented as a scientific, objective process; the reality is much messier, nuanced, and iterative. It is a complex, context-dependent procedure. We provide a practical, critical guide to undertaking SoTL literature reviews. By adopting an academic literacies perspective, we argue that undertaking a synthesis of the literature is a socially constructed process. There is no one way of reviewing the SoTL literature. We distinguish between embedded reviews that present a review contextualising the research that follows, as in most SoTL research articles; and freestanding reviews that synthesize research on specific topics. We discuss the nature of embedded reviews, and evaluate systematic and narrative review approaches to undertaking freestanding reviews. We contend that some of the claims of the superiority of systematic reviews are unjustified. Though critical of systematic reviews, we recognise that for the most part narrative and systematic reviews have different purposes, and both are needed to review the SoTL literature. We suggest that narrative reviews are likely to continue to dominate the SoTL literature, especially while most SoTL studies use qualitative or mixed methods. It is important that contextually-sensitive judgements and interpretation of texts, associated with narrative reviews, are seen as central to the reviewing process, and as a strength rather than a weakness. This article complements a separate one, where we apply an academic literacies lens to reviewing the literature on searching the SoTL literature (Healey and Healey 2023). Together they present a narrative review of searching and reviewing the SoTL literature undertaken systematically. We conclude the current article by discussing the implications for the further development of an academic literacies perspective to searching and reviewing the SoTL literature. We call for studies investigating the lived experiences of SoTL scholars as they go about searching and reviewing the literature. We illustrate this argument with an auto-ethnographic account of the often-serendipitous nature of our hunt for sources in preparing this review and the way our thinking and writing evolved during the writing of the two articles.
    • Searching the literature on scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL): An academic literacies perspective: Part 1

      Healey, Mick; Healey, Ruth L.; University of Gloucestershire; University of Chester (International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 2023-01-16)
      There are few references that critically evaluate the different ways of searching the literature on scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), or how these are related to researchers’ goals. We use an academic literacies perspective as a lens with which to explore the different ways that literature searches may be undertaken. While searching the literature is often presented as a scientific objective process; the reality is much messier, nuanced, and iterative. It is a complex, context-dependent process. We provide a practical, critical guide to undertaking SoTL literature searches and argue that these need to be seen as socially constructed processes. There is no one way of searching the SoTL literature. The academic literacies perspective leads us to emphasise the variety of different purposes for carrying out a literature search. We distinguish between using comprehensive tools and selective sources. We end by arguing that there is a need for SoTL researchers to be less insular and take purposeful steps to search for, cite, and amplify diverse voices. This article complements a separate one reviewing and synthesising the SoTL literature (Healey and Healey 2023).
    • Reinvigorating the drive to improve diversity across the legal sector through improved flexibility and targeted action

      Davies, Chantal; University of Chester
      An opinion blog on the need to ensure flexibility within the workplace to improve gender representation and diversity within the legal sector supporting the research carried out by LexisNexis on the future of law.
    • Working smarter, not harder, to address the gender pay gap in the legal profession

      Davies, Chantal; University of Chester
      Blog opinion piece discussing the need to work in a more nuanced and efficient manner to address the gender pay gap within the legal sector.
    • Transformation Hidden in the Sand; a Pluralistic Theoretical Framework Using Sand-Tray with Adult Clients

      Fleet, Doreen; Reeves, Andrew; Burton, Amy; DasGupta, Mani; University of Chester; University of Chester; Staffordshire University; Staffordshire University (Taylor and Francis, 2021-06-14)
      Jungian sandplay predominates the existing literature on sand-tray therapy. Although there is a small volume of literature on alternative approaches of using sand-tray with adults, most primarily focuses on children and adolescents. The study aimed to establish a sand-tray therapy framework to be utilized by practitioners who are not Jungian trained and intend to use this intervention with adult clients. The grounded theory multiple case study involved six client-participants receiving six sand-tray therapy sessions. The pluralistic model established incorporates inter-relational and intra-psychic dimensions. Concepts include phenomenological shift and two sand-tray specific mechanisms of phenomenological anchor and phenomenological hook, aiding ‘edge of awareness’ and unconscious processing. In this study, pluralistic sand-tray therapy was deemed successful based on improved CORE-10 clinical scores and the various participant feedback collected.
    • Remaining ‘in-between’ the divides? Conceptual, methodological, and ethical political dilemmas of engaged research in Critical Military Studies

      Massey, Rachel; Tyerman, Thom; University of Chester; University of Warwick
      Critical Military Studies (CMS) has emerged as an important subdiscipline in international security studies and an interdisciplinary field in its own right. In this article, we offer a close reading of foundational CMS literature to reveal its distinct approach to the critical study of military power. We argue this foundational literature is characterised by a commitment to a series of ‘in-between’ and 'engaged' positions on conceptual binaries between civilian and military spheres, questions of methodological proximity to or distance from military actors, and ethical political support for or opposition to militarism. While CMS makes important contributions to analyses of military power and security, we argue it too often re-centres white western male military subjects and agendas while marginalising antimilitarism. In this way, we argue, it reproduces a form of epistemic and ‘methodological whiteness’ that limits its potential to offer a sustained critique of the racialised structural inequalities and violent effects of militarism in world politics.
    • Motivations: a study of why some counsellors choose to become counsellors

      Barton, Heather; orcid: 0000-0003-2644-4729 (Informa UK Limited, 2023-01-12)
    • Anti-austerity politics and social media in the UK: political participation and non-traditional political organisations

      Bendall, Mark; Harris, Phil; Robertson, Christopher (University of Chester, 2022-03)
      This thesis examines how UK anti-austerity communities on Twitter have contributed to politics. The ‘age of austerity’ has embroiled much of the UK for over 10 years with little deviation from anti-austerity policies in governments occurring. It could be questioned what is the purpose of anti-austerity communities? Political researchers (e.g., Craddock, 2017, 2019, Harrison, 2020, 2021) have questioned ‘what is the point of anti-austerity activism on-the-ground’ and others have regularly attributed digital participation to pejoratively termed ‘slacktivism’ (Christensen, 2011, 2012, Rickett, 2013, Bendell, 2021). This thesis shifts attention to how anti-austerity communities communicate online and how digital publics receive and interpret these alternative messages. By constructing an original model entitled the ‘sixth-estate’, it is argued that anti-austerity communities online are chosen to be engaged with due to their provision of (1) an alternative perspective to mainstream agendas; (2), a desirable single-issue focus on subjectively salient issues; (3), the amplification of traditionally marginalised discourses and (4), they can affect political efficacy and foster political competence. The creation of this model is substantiated by data collected from a mixed-methods online survey and social network analysis conducted utilising the software NodeXL. The survey provided in-depth qualitative understanding as to why digital publics chose to engage with and consume information from digital anti-austerity communities. This was corroborated by social network analysis, where a semi-longitudinal quantitative dataset observed anti-austerity discourses to recognise how anti-austerity conversations were brokered, led, and what their purpose was. The social network analysis also featured a qualitative component, where applied thematic content analysis, mirroring the survey, was employed to unearth meaning within anti-austerity discourses and generate noticeable themes. In the period of study, these were (1) Twitter discourses contained a specific anti-austerity focus; (2) the presence of a pro-Corbyn, anti-Starmer agenda; (3), an evident anti-Tory sentiment; (4), explicit interconnection with COVID-19. This is underpinned by the theoretical framework of counterpublics (Fraser, 1990, Asen, 2000, Loehwing and Motter, 2009, Wonneberger, Hellsten and Jacobs, 2021). This is where political communities seek to contest dominant narratives and legitimise alternative discourses. Anti-austerity communities constitute visible counterpublics. This work contributed to knowledge on this area by recognising the subjective significance of anti-austerity communities and their democratically-significant contribution to UK politics.
    • Coping with Gendered Welfare Stigma: Exploring Everyday Accounts of Stigma and Resistance Strategies among Mothers Who Claim Social Security Benefits

      Evans, Nancy; University of Liverpool; University of Chester (Cambridge University Press, 2022-04-07)
      Drawing upon findings from a qualitative project exploring welfare stigma in the lives of women in Merseyside, this article examines experiences of stigma and resistance strategies among the mothers interviewed. The article provides insights into how gendered stigma manifests in the lives of mothers reliant on social security benefits in the present era of continued welfare reform. The mothers’ experiences of stigma are argued to revolve around the devaluation of caring labour, the perception that benefits are undeserved and the notion of ‘bad motherhood’. Furthermore, the article contributes to knowledge about stigma resistance strategies, including acknowledging the value of care and rejecting blaming narratives. Nonetheless, it is argued that owing to the power and pervasiveness of structurally-imposed stigma, individualised resistance strategies are limited and mothers must also engage in everyday stigma management techniques.
    • A Practical Toolkit: Eight Steps to Identifying, Supporting and Celebrating Student-Parents

      Todd, Andrea; University of Chester
      Unlike many cohorts attending university under the Widening Participation agenda, student-parents are not considered by the Office for Students to be an underrepresented group. They are not, therefore, required to feature in institutional Access & Participation Plans, meaning that student-parents, and their needs, frequently go undetected by their institutions and departments. The eight steps in this toolkit represent a practical (yet research-informed) approach to identifying, supporting, and celebrating this committed and motivated cohort. It includes some practical tips on how institutions and/or departments can complete each of the recommended steps.
    • Does authentic self‐esteem buffer the negative effects of bullying victimization on social anxiety and classroom concentration? Evidence from a short‐term longitudinal study with early adolescents

      Boulton, Michael J.; Macaulay, Peter J. R.; University of Chester; University of Derby (2022-12-22)
      Background: Bullying victimization is a risk factor for social anxiety and disrupted classroom concentration among young people. Self‐esteem has been implicated as a protective factor, but extant literature is sparse. Aims: Aim of present study was to test if a new measure of authentic self‐esteem can buffer the negative effects of bullying victimization on social anxiety and disrupted classroom concentration concurrently and across time. Sample: A short‐term longitudinal questionnaire design was employed with 836 12‐ and 13‐year‐olds. Methods: Peer nominations of bullying victimization and self‐reports of authentic self‐esteem were collected during winter term, and self‐reports of social anxiety and disrupted classroom concentration were solicited then and also 5 months later. Results: Hierarchical multiple regression models indicated that authentic self‐esteem moderated the association between bullying victimization and (i) social anxiety both concurrently and longitudinally and (ii) disrupted classroom concentration longitudinally. The Johnson‐Neyman technique identified where on its scale authentic self‐esteem had its buffering effects, and these were found to be at relatively low or moderate levels. Conclusions: Even moderate levels of authentic self‐esteem can mitigate the association between being bullied and (i) social anxiety and (ii) disrupted classroom concentration. Efforts to monitor and where necessary enhance the authentic self‐esteem of young people are warranted.
    • The roles of personality traits, AI anxiety, and demographic factors in attitudes towards artificial intelligence

      Kaya, Feridun; Aydin, Fatih; Schepman, Astrid; Rodway, Paul; Yetişensoy, Okan; Demir Kaya, Meva; Ataturk University; Sivas Cumhuriyet University; University of Chester; Bayburt University (Taylor and Francis, 2022-12-07)
      The present study adapted the General Attitudes toward Artificial Intelligence Scale (GAAIS) to Turkish and investigated the impact of personality traits, artificial intelligence anxiety, and demographics on attitudes toward artificial intelligence. The sample consisted of 259 female (74%) and 91 male (26%) individuals aged between 18 and 51 (Mean = 24.23). Measures taken were demographics, the Ten-Item Personality Inventory, the Artificial Intelligence Anxiety Scale, and the General Attitudes toward Artificial Intelligence Scale. The Turkish GAAIS had good validity and reliability. Hierarchical Multiple Linear Regression Analyses showed that positive attitudes toward artificial intelligence were significantly predicted by the level of computer use (β = 0.139, p = 0.013), level of knowledge about artificial intelligence (β = 0.119, p = 0.029), and AI learning anxiety (β = −0.172, p = 0.004). Negative attitudes toward artificial intelligence were significantly predicted by agreeableness (β = 0.120, p = 0.019), AI configuration anxiety (β = −0.379, p < 0.001), and AI learning anxiety (β = −0.211, p < 0.001). Personality traits, AI anxiety, and demographics play important roles in attitudes toward AI. Results are discussed in light of the previous research and theoretical explanations.
    • Do Divisia monetary aggregates help forecast exchange rates in a negative interest rate environment?

      Binner, Jane M.; Tong, Meng; Molinas, Luis A.; Central Bank of Paraguay; University of Birmingham; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2022-10-12)
      This paper contributes to the literature as the first work of its kind to examine the role and importance of Divisia monetary aggregates and concomitant User Cost Price indices as superior monetary policy forecasting tools in a negative interest rate environment. We compare the performance of Divisia monetary aggregates with traditional simple-sum aggregates in several theoretical models and in a Bayesian VAR to forecast the exchange rates between the euro, the dollar and yuan at various horizons using quarterly data. We evaluate their performance against that of a random walk using two criteria: Root Mean Square Error ratios and the Clark-West statistic. We find that, under a free-floating exchange regime, superior Divisia monetary aggregates outperform their simple sum counterparts and the benchmark random walk in a negative interest rate environment, consistently.
    • Housing market spillovers through the lens of transaction volume: A new spillover index approach

      Yang, Jian; Tong, Meng; Yu, Ziliang; University of Colorado Denver; Nankai University; University College London; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2021-10-13)
      This paper examines intercity housing market spillovers (HMS) in China using a novel dataset of daily transaction prices and volume from 32 Chinese cities. Based on intercity price-price, price-volume, and volume-volume dynamics, we propose a new spillover index to summarize price and volume information comprehensively in measuring cross-market spillovers. We find that: (1) the volume-volume dynamics plays a more significant role than price-price or price-volume relationships in intercity HMS; (2) fundamentals related to population and GDPs are among significant determinants of the index. Overall, these findings provide new evidence for a significant informational role of volume beyond prices in HMS.
    • Anticipated Memories and Adaptation from Past Flood Events in Gregório Creek Basin, Brazil

      Bhattacharya-Mis, Namrata; Mendiondo, Eduardo Mario; Oliveira, Paulo Tarso Sanches de; Fialho, Hailton César Pimentel; Abreu, Fernando Girardi; Sousa, Bruno José de Oliveira; Souza, Felipe; University of São Paulo; University of Chester; Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul (MDPI, 2021-12-01)
      In this research we used walking interviews to investigate the measures used by shopkeepers as protection against floods. The concept of anticipated memory has been used to identify the relationship between their learning from previous events and the adaptive measures they have taken to reduce risk of future flooding in Gregório Creek basin. The area is affected by major flooding issues in the city of São Carlos, southeastern Brazil. Twenty-three (23) downtown merchants shared their experience of the extreme rainfall that occurred on 12 January 2020, characterized by a return period of 103 years. Comparing our findings with November 2015 and March 2018 floods (Interviews 37 and 52 respectively), we noted that due to the enhanced level of threat, people had changed their adaptation strategy by increasing the sum of floodgate height more than 4-fold (870 cm to 3830 cm) between 2015 to 2020. Our results showed that despite frequent flooding, the shopkeepers downtown were reluctant to move away from the area; rather, they preferred to improve their individual protection. The substantial increase in the height of the floodgates represents the population’s feedback in the face of a new level of threat.
    • Qualifying Work Experience in England & Wales: the opportunities and risks presented to university law clinics

      Todd, Andrea; Blackburn, Lucy; University of Chester; University of Central Lancashire (Sage Publications, 2022-11-11)
      This commentary details the sweeping changes to the route to qualification as a solicitor in England and Wales brought about in September 2021, and considers the opportunities and risks presented to university law school clinics by one aspect of this route: the new system of Qualifying Work Experience (QWE). The article reflects on the opportunities for law clinic development, innovation and recognition offered by QWE and weighs these up against the potential risks that will need to be managed carefully to avoid them becoming a threat to law clinic enhancement. The article considers the results of an early data gathering exercise to garner clinician and student volunteer perspectives on QWE within its first year of operation.
    • Feasibility of RESTORE: An online Acceptance and Commitment Therapy intervention to improve palliative care staff wellbeing

      Finucane, Anne M.; Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J.; Swash, Brooke; Spiller, Juliet A.; Lydon, Brigid; Milton, Libby; Gillanders, David; Edge Hill University; University of Chester; Marie Curie Hospice Edinburgh; University of Edinburgh (Sage Publications, 2022-12-28)
      Background: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which uses behavioural psychology, values, acceptance, and mindfulness techniques to improve mental health and wellbeing. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is efficacious in treating stress, anxiety and depression in a broad range of settings including occupational contexts where emotional labour is high. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy could help palliative care staff to manage work-related stress and promote wellbeing. Aim: To develop, and feasibility test, an online Acceptance and Commitment Therapy intervention to improve wellbeing of palliative care staff. Design: A single-arm feasibility trial of an 8-week Acceptance and Commitment Therapy -based intervention for staff consisting of three online facilitated group workshops and five online individual self-directed learning modules. Data was collected via online questionnaire at four time-points and online focus groups at follow-up. Setting/participants: Participants were recruited from Marie Curie hospice and nursing services in Scotland. Results: 25 staff commenced and 23 completed the intervention (93%). 15 participated in focus groups. Twelve (48%) completed questionnaires at follow-up. Participants found the intervention enjoyable, informative, and beneficial. There was preliminary evidence for improvements in psychological flexibility (Cohen’s d = 0.7) and mental wellbeing (Cohen’s d = 0.49) between baseline and follow-up, but minimal change in perceived stress, burnout or compassion satisfaction. Conclusion: Online Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for wellbeing is acceptable to palliative care staff and feasible to implement using Microsoft Teams in a palliative care setting. Incorporating ways to promote long-term maintenance of behaviour changes, and strategies to optimise data collection at follow-up are key considerations for future intervention refinement and evaluation.
    • Towards adoption of mobile data collection for effective adaptation and climate risk management in Africa

      Adekola, Olalekan; Lamond, Jessica; Adelekan, Ibidun; Bhattacharya-Mis, Namrata; Ekinya, Mboto Bassey Eze; Eze Ujoh, Fanan; University of West of England; York St John University; University of Ibadan; University of Chester; University of Calabar; Urban Base Consulting, Abuja (Royal Meteorological Society, 2022-05-16)
      The collection and use of data on climate change and its impacts are crucial for effective climate adaptation and climate risk management. The revolution in internet access, technology and costs has led to a shift from using traditional paper-based data collection to the use of Mobile Data Collection using Personal Digital Assistants (PDA) such as smartphones and tablets. In this paper, we report our experiences using both approaches for a household and business survey during a climate adaptation study in two Nigerian cities— Makurdi and Calabar. The focus of this paper is to evaluate and compare the effectiveness of using traditional paper- based data collection and PDAs as data collection tools for climate change study in African societies. In Calabar, data were collected using paper questionnaires, while in Makurdi the questionnaires were developed on Open Data Kit (ODK) and administered using PDAs. Results show that data collection using PDA was faster, cheaper, more accurate and resulted in fewer omissions than paper-based data collection. There was a time saving of four (4) minutes per questionnaire and a 24% cost saving when using PDA. PDA provides additional benefits where platforms can collect images, videos and coordinates. This significantly improved the credibility of the data collection process and provided further data that allowed for the mapping of environmental phenomena by linking survey research with geo-referenced data in a geographic information systems platform to provide spatial representations of social and environmental system convergence. PDA offers a tool for collecting data that will make necessary socio-environmental data available in a faster, reliable and cheaper manner; future research can build on this study by discovering other possible but less highlighted benefits of PDA. Although, with great benefits, there are lessons to be learnt and issues to consider when deploying PDA in large-scale household surveys