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  • About
  • The Global ETD Search service is a free service for researchers to find electronic theses and dissertations. This service is provided by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations.
    Our metadata is collected from universities around the world. If you manage a university/consortium/country archive and want to be added, details can be found on the NDLTD website.

The Rugby Players Association's Benevolent Fund : a sociological study of the development of a social integration discourse in rugby football

Gaston, Lindsey Eugene January 2014 (has links)
This thesis examines how player welfare and post-athletic retirement preparation is discussed by both professional rugby union athletes who play in the English Premiership and the Board of Trustees of the Rugby Players’ Association’s (RPA) Benevolent Fund, the non-profit division of the trade union which represents the employment and welfare interests of professional rugby union players in England. A career in professional sports is one that is uncertain and unpredictable (Roderick 2006a; McGillivray et al. 2005). A consequence of rugby union transitioning into a professional format on 26 August 1995 was that rugby union became a stand-alone career. Along with the transition in employment structure, the athlete became bigger, faster and stronger (Olds 2001; Norton and Olds 2000). This resulted in an increase of injury severity (Kaplan et al. 2008; Brooks and Kemp 2008; Bathgate et al. 2002; Garraway et al. 2000). In an effort to address the growing concern of injury severity and injury induced retirement, the RPA created the Benevolent Fund in 2001. The Foundation was given the remit to provide assistance to professional rugby union players during times of injury or illness, which included programmes that assisted with medical treatment, rehabilitation, counselling and direct financial assistance. To specifically address the growing numbers of players being forced to retire due to injury, the RPA commenced its ‘Life After Rugby’ programme, which provides educational opportunities that helps athletes to acquire alternative careers. The data gathered in this research shows, with the assistance of Levitas’s discourse models (2005, 2004, 1996a, 1996b, 1989), that there is a mixed level of involvement amongst rugby players in retirement preparation. It also underscores that players’ understanding of their risk of becoming ‘socially excluded’ – a prevailing concern of the RPA’s Benevolent Fund – is varied. The data shows that players who have spent more time as professional athletes are more likely to mirror the language used by the RPA to describe their policy objectives than those who have just recently started their professional sporting career. Early career rugby players are aware of the risk of injury, but they tend to ignore the possibility that it could happen to them personally. This research highlights the RPA’s successes with senior players but identifies the need for the RPA to modify their approach so as to encourage earlier adoption of the ‘Life After Rugby’ scheme by players just starting their career in professional sport.

Children's social care services' response to children who display sexually harmful behaviour

Deacon, Lesley Ann January 2015 (has links)
Responding to referrals regarding children who display sexually harmful behaviour (SHB) is a complex area of practice for qualified social work practitioners working in generic social work intervention, for example in Local Authority safeguarding teams. The government guideline Working Together to Safeguard Children (2006) was the first document to officially recognise this particular group of children in policy and suggest guidelines for intervention. It confirmed that children who display SHB were classified, and so should be responded to, as children in need and therefore required at least a Section 17 Child in Need Assessment (Children Act, 1989). This thesis examines the extent to which these guidelines were followed within a Local Authority by accessing 30 cases from their Integrated Children’s System (ICS) – examining the recordings made by the social workers to explain their decision making and action taken. Taking a critical realist grounded theory approach for social work research as recommended by Oliver (2012), ethnographic content analysis was used to analyse qualitative data from these recordings. Following this, semi-structured narrative interviews were used to explore the experiences of generic social work practitioners in this area of practice (children who display SHB), as well as the experiences of parents and other carers. These are presented in the form of thick description (Geertz 1973) in order to interpret the meaning of the actions and behaviour of the participants (Ponterotto 2006). This was completed from the perspective of a social work practitioner-researcher embedded in social work practice during the research process. There is value in practitioner participation in research as this, in effect, values the opinions and theories of social workers and ensures that the research conducted in local and specific (Oliver 2012). These two areas of research reveal the individual journeys of children displaying SHB showing how they can be invisible to CSCS concluding that, initially, this was because when they were referred to CSCS they did not receive a consistent response, and it was difficult to find information regarding these children within ICS. The thesis went on to conclude that specifics about the children’s behaviour were not recorded accurately, e.g. ‘inappropriate sexualised behaviour’ was a common term used. Finally, in relation to intervention, there was evidence of delays, and referrals to specialist services not being followed up – because sexually harmful behaviour was not always identified as such, opportunities for early intervention were missed. Following these findings are recommended guidelines for how CSCS can work with children who display sexually harmful behaviour to ensure they become more visible and go on to receive the appropriate intervention. Generative mechanisms (i.e. the what) were identified for further research, in order to develop a theory using grounded theory. These include: societal norms; gender; age; class; professional judgement; focus of child protection; and bureaucracy.

Even if it is legally defensible, does that make it morally right? : children explore the use of physical restraint in custody

Shenton, Felicity Anne January 2015 (has links)
Custody for children is inherently unsafe, with evidence of harmful and unsafe care. Thirty three children have died in custody in England and Wales in the past decade. This study argues that the way children are treated once incarcerated reflects the way that children, childhood and child offenders are conceptualised, perceived and controlled. The routine use of physical restraint as a response to challenging behaviour has been called into question. It has been declared at the very least controversial, unsafe and in some cases unlawful. Taking a children’s human rights approach this piece of participatory research, explores the use of physical restraint across the secure estate in England, from the perspective of children themselves. Over one hundred children (11-18ys) took part, some as researchers themselves and others as participants. Spaces were created which encouraged the authentic and distinctive voice of children, which lies at the heart of the study. Their contemporaneous experience makes this research unique. Evidence is provided which demonstrates that, although distressing and often painful, in most cases children consider its use to be inevitable and justifiable. These daily acts of violence inflicted on children were not considered unusual given children’s experiences of everyday violence within their families, communities and other institutions. Children are unaware of their right not to be subjected to inhumane and degrading treatment. The research suggests that the existence of a rights framework within the secure estate is negligible.

Towards reflexive, dynamic and accountable community development practice

Robson, Susan January 2015 (has links)
This thesis explores the limits and possibilities for community development practice to maintain dynamism and integrity in a professional context. There is a particular emphasis upon reflexivity and its relevance in processes of accountability towards both communities and state policy. The study was born out of dissonance surrounding the researcher’s community development practice mid-way through New Labour’s 1997 to 2010 administration. It argues that New Labour’s social functionalist approach proved to be problematic for the maintenance the reflexive and personal commitment necessary to the central dynamic of community development work. Although not specifically designed to consider feminist community development approaches, the questions emerged from the researcher’s feminist analysis of contemporary practice and the research itself was designed from this perspective. The design of the methods applied to the empirical research for this study are based upon those used in reflexive and transformative community development practice. The empirical work involves a case study surrounding the conditions for community development professional practice in North East England in 2007, ten years into New Labour’s last administration. This consisted of semi-structured interviews with a sample of twenty-four self-defined community development practitioners. Focus groups were conducted in 2009 to share the findings and to assist the researcher to take the analysis further. Aiming to generalize from a particular historical moment when the Government seemed to be supportive of community development work, during New Labour’s 1997 to 2010 administration, the thesis highlights some inherent tensions within the relationship between the state and the dynamism of community development and illustrates lessons that are widely applicable to its everyday practice. In conclusion this thesis argues that for community development practice to maintain dynamism and integrity in a state policy context it is vital that its personal dynamic is integral to forming future conceptions of professionalism. Moreover that supporting the personal and relational elements of community development practice requires the creation of liminal spaces where self-determination and the agency can be exercised. For, it is only under these practice conditions that the intersubjective relationships necessary for bilateral and horizontal professional accountability can be nurtured and developed.

Negotiated dynamics : exploring the role of parental educational expectations as a mechanism for encouraging children's social mobility

Cui, Ke January 2014 (has links)
In this study, I investigated the role of parental educational expectations in promoting children’s social mobility. I paid attention to Chinese socio-economic developments, the changing social structure and dynamics of social stratification as well as the development of education from the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Thus, I examined and analysed the changing patterns of parental expectations for their children’s education, factors shaping their construction in this regard and effects of parental educational expectations on their children’s educational attainments along with the aforementioned changes in social contexts. In view of the explorative nature of my study, a reflexive qualitative approach was adopted in the research design. The data were collected through semi-structured life history interviews. Research participants were selected from my home city, Hebi, located in the north of Henan province, China. Participants in my study were classified into three Generations, which represent parents who bore their first child in 1960-1979, 1980-1989, and 1990-2000 respectively and their children. Thematic coding was adopted for data analysis. The findings revealed that, first of all, as it had been generally presumed Chinese parents attached great importance to their children’s education and held high educational expectations. Secondly, besides the influence of Confucian philosophy, Chinese parents predominately grounded their educational expectations in their social contexts and family backgrounds. Thirdly, parents’ educational expectations impacted on children’s educational outcomes mainly through parents’ involvement in their children’s education to make their educational expectations come true. Moreover, I emphasized that children’s educational achievements were determined by an interaction between parental expectations and children’s aspirations regarding education. Thus, I suggest that children’s social mobility is an outcome of the negotiated interaction between parents’ agency, children’s agency, and social, economic and political factors and contexts determining the positioning of people in society. Nevertheless, I maintain that it is beyond the scope of the current thesis to comment upon the relevance of these research findings beyond the small sample studied. It could serve as the basis for a large-scale study that attempts to examine the situation in China more generally. Finally, I conclude with some policy and practice recommendations regarding the narrowing achievement gap and lessening social fluidity occurring in contemporary China.

The pinboard in practice : a study of method through the case of US telemedicine, 1945-1980

Craige, William Arthur January 2015 (has links)
In view of calls for sociology to engage more thoroughly with method and methodological innovation (Law, 2004; Savage and Burrows, 2007) this thesis presents an exploration of John Law’s (2002) ‘pinboard’ method. Grounded in the ontological and epistemological premises of post-Actor-Network Theory (post-ANT), the pinboard is an analytical method which attempts to engage with the ‘messiness’ of reality by articulating its complexity, diversity and non-coherence which are all typically erased in traditional narrative accounts. Law’s explication of the pinboard is imprecise, however, and even within the context of post-ANT literature it is a method which has seen very little use. Hence, in taking up the pinboard method this thesis works, firstly, to illustrate what the pinboard method might mean in practice and, secondly, to offer of it a critical discussion and evaluation. In doing this, the thesis works through a series of empirical case studies related to the early practice of ‘telemedicine’ in the US between roughly 1950 and 1980. Based upon both contemporary and recent documentary resources as well as a small number of interviews with early telemedicine researchers, these pinboards are contrasted with existing histories of early US telemedicine to produce a comparative illustration and discussion. On the basis of these case studies, it is argued that the pinboard can be successfully used to produce decentred, ‘messy’ accounts of ontologically complex realities as is argued by Law. As a result of both practical and conceptual issues, however, the pinboard nevertheless performs reductions and erasures of its own thereby rendering it complementary to narrative accounts rather than antithetical.

Performing off the pitch : an investigation of identity management strategies of professional footballers as part of their career transition from the Premier League

Hickey, Colm Patrick January 2015 (has links)
With an ever-increasing proportion of the global labour force having to change careers following a forced or unplanned end to their previous means of employment, the manner in which we view the idea of a career has dramatically changed in the last ten years. However, career change has always been present in the world of English professional football. Both press and academic enquiry regularly address the different aspects of retirement for those players who have been fortunate enough to enjoy relatively long sporting careers. In contrast, little is offered regarding the majority of professional players who get released from former clubs and experience an unplanned and early career transition away from their footballing profession. This study is an investigation of the identity management strategies of professional footballers as part of their early career transition away from the English Premier League. Ten participants each took part in three individual vignette interviews (30 interviews). All participants had recently experienced their career transitions from their respective Premier League clubs. Additionally, single interviews were carried out with three Premier League Education and Welfare Officers. This study demonstrates how identity management and construction strategies can be understood through the working theoretical partnership of Goffman’s (1959) Dramaturgy and Marcus and Nurius’s Possible Selves (1986). This thesis illustrates the existence of multiple identities belonging to footballers, directly challenging the thematic positioning of past research that lays emphasis on the conception of an exclusive athletic identity. Players offer performances portraying these multiple identities: performances that are influenced by the presence of differing social audiences and a desire to attain positive future possible selves and equally avoid negative possible selves. The career transitions of study participants proved to be smoother when audiences legitimised these performances. Difficulty arises when performances portrayed by participants are not dramatically realised by their audiences or are not supported by the context of their cultural environment. The data within this study underscore the idea that there is more to footballers than their ability to kick a ball, and that when such a fact is both understood and recognised their journey though their career transition can be a positive one.

Participant or protagonist? : the impact of the personal on the development of children and young people’s participation

Jupp-Kina, Victoria Karen January 2010 (has links)
This research aimed to respond to the recent shifts in thinking around children and young people’s participation by exploring participatory practice in three community-based NGOs in São Paulo, Brazil. There is profound confusion within children and young people’s participation both in theory and in practice. A credible and coherent body of theory to inform practice is lacking and consequently wide variations in the quality of practice have been identified. Current theoretical frameworks for children and young people’s participation within Northern literature rely upon sequential and hierarchical models of participation and largely fail to incorporate the fluidity of participatory practice. This has led to calls to shift attention towards the relational dimension of participation resulting in the re-emergence of the role of the adult in the participatory process. However, as yet theoretical frameworks for children and young people’s participation have failed to incorporate this perspective. By working in three small community-based NGOs in São Paulo, Brazil, I set out to respond to these shifts. Adopting a participatory action research approach, I worked alongside staff members to develop, plan, facilitate and reflect upon a range of participatory methods to unravel current attitudes to and understandings of children and young people’s participation amongst adults involved in the participatory process. The findings of the research are founded on two key points. First, that participation should be viewed as a process rather than an event. Second, that participation should be viewed as a relational process between all involved. I propose a new framework for participatory practice that recognises the fluidity of the participatory process and the continual learning of all involved through conceptualising participation as a scale that is directly related to the notion of ‘consciousness’. I explore ‘consciousness’, focusing on the role of the adult, and argue that increasing of levels of ‘consciousness’ is based upon increasing coherence between emotional and intellectual levels of understanding; that the ‘adult’ needs to move beyond the intellectual decision to ‘do’ participation and actively include themselves in the process of transforming subjectivities. I then explore the role that participatory methods can play in the process of increasing ‘consciousness’ and propose that whilst participatory methods can facilitate the dialogical relationships between the emotional and the intellectual, there needs to be a more realistic vision of their potential.

Boys will be boys, or will they? : a study of youth offending team practitioners' constructions of masculinity of the young men with whom they work

Baumgartner, Eric Christian Gunter January 2014 (has links)
This doctoral thesis explores the relevance of concepts of masculinity in youth justice practice, the assessment of and the intervention work with young men who have been identified as having offended. It explores the ways in which practitioners at a Youth Offending Team in England construct the masculinity of the men with whom they work, the role criminal behaviour plays in those constructions, and what relevance practitioners in this setting attribute to ideas around masculinity in the work with young men in the Youth Justice System. Using a qualitative multi-method approach, the thesis employs documentary analysis of a total of 278 Assets and 3528 case diary entries, 12 interviews with Senior Practitioners, Case Workers, Intervention Supervision and Surveillance staff, and a focus group with members of staff who provide sessional support. The analysis of the data is informed by key sociological theorists such as Goffman and Bourdieu, engages with Butler’s notion of performativity, and uses Connell’s framework of hegemonic masculinity to explore YOT practitioners’ constructions of masculinity. This thesis highlights how practitioners’ explanations of offending behaviour in young men are deeply embedded in the ways they construct the young men’s masculinity as homogeneous gender identity with discrete behavioural characteristics, understood as learned from families and performed with and policed by peers. A disjuncture is identified between underlying assumptions of offending behaviour, the masculinisation of risk in youth justice, and the central position ideas of masculinity play in how YOT practitioners explain offending behaviour, yet the complete lack of explicit gender-targeted assessment and intervention. Recommendations and implications for practice are debated.

Children's rights in residential care homes in Taiwan

Chiu, Wan-Yu January 2014 (has links)
There are approximately 2000 children living in residential care homes in Taiwan, the result of child abuse, neglect and youth offending. Available literature on residential care in Taiwan focuses on the role of professional workers, and little is known about the experiences of Taiwanese children in residential care. Despite falling outside the family of the United Nations, the notion of children’s rights is articulated in Taiwanese legislation and public policy on child welfare. This offers a strong rationale to explore experiences of children’s rights in Taiwanese children’s homes. An ethnographic approach involving i) participant observation, ii) participatory group activities and iii) semi structured interviews with 50 children was adopted in one public and one private children’s home. Drawing on theoretical and conceptual frameworks of children’s rights, happiness and resilience, the use of mixed methods facilitated a rich understanding of children’s experiences of life in residential care and their understandings and experiences of children’s rights. The findings reveal that while children’s basic survival rights are met, a reality of strict routine and punitive discipline led the children to express their need for supportive companionship (expressed by some children as ‘love’), privacy and freedom to pursue individual interests. The tension between children’s expressed needs and the institutional regimes within which they experienced daily life reflected the cultural values of Confucian familism with expectations of unquestioning obedience to adults. The research also revealed that the children were not only capable of, but also showed enthusiasm for articulating their understanding and experiences of children’s rights and in doing so demonstrated their potential to contribute to the development of social policy and social work practice in Taiwan. This research contributes to the field of social work relating to the nature and development of resilience in children living in residential care homes, and to ongoing debates on the value and reality of children’s rights to be heard and participate in all matters that affect their lives.

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