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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.

A socio-ecological approach towards understanding conflict between leopards (Panthera pardus) and humans in South Africa : implications for leopard conservation and farming livelihoods

Constant, Natasha Louise January 2014 (has links)
The thesis investigates the socio-ecological factors driving human-leopard conflict due to livestock and game depredation in the Blouberg Mountain Range, South Africa. Local people’s perceptions of conservation are shaped by historical and contemporary relationships with protected areas and particularly, by conflicts of land and natural resource use. Legacies of disempowerment, marginalisation and stigmatisation manifest through people’s conservation discourses, social conflict and resistance towards protected area establishment, a process defined as traumatic nature. Traumatic nature elevates distrust of local people towards wildlife authorities and decreases support for wildlife conservation, aggravating human-leopard conflicts. Leopard predation on livestock and game is most strongly influenced by distance to village and distance to water, respectively, in addition to seasonal grazing patterns, the calving season and poor livestock husbandry practices. Livestock depredation represents significant economic costs for subsistence communal farmers’, which is exacerbated by the erosion of traditional cattle sharing systems and a lack of alternative livelihood strategies. Livestock depredation results in the loss of functional and material benefits, social capital, a spiritual resource, diminished wellbeing and perceived cultural decay. Camera trap results showed a lower leopard density of 0.7 leopards per 100km2 on commercial farms compared to the Blouberg Nature Reserve of 5.4 leopards per 100km2. Commercial farms may function as ecological traps because they represent areas with disproportionate leopard mortality that otherwise provide a high abundance of prey species for leopards. A male-biased sex ratio and a high number of sub-adult male leopards indicate high leopard mortality rates in the population. Camera trap results show low occupancy rates on communal land that may reflect a low large prey biomass, potentially caused by overhunting and habitat conversion. Farming communities ascribe a wide range of environmental values to the leopard that provide barriers and support for leopard conservation. Environmental institutions need to improve responses to reports of human-leopard conflicts and build trust and legitimacy in the eyes of local people by developing stronger working relationships with farming communities. The decentralisation of authority to local government actors to manage human-leopard conflicts and the devolution of responsibility to farmers to improve livestock husbandry practices is necessary to reduce depredation incidents. Incentive and education schemes are important for reducing lethal control measures and to improve tolerance of depredation incidents and leopard conservation.

The secularisation of identity in a religious world : a case study of the Atayal Bienjing village

Wang, I-Chun January 2015 (has links)
This study analysed the religious transition of the Atayal people of Bienjing village in Miaoli, Taiwan, and how it influenced the Atayals’ conceptualisation of both the ethnic and cultural identities. The study focused on the Atayal people’s mass conversion to Christianity in the early 1950s, which not only changed their worldview and cultural values but also altered their sense of belonging, as well as the idea of being an Atayal person. In investigating the process and influences of this conversion, I analysed the ritual performances, cultural values and cultural memories of the Atayal people to determine their understanding of the tenets of Christianity. I also examined the power structure, education and daily practices in the village to investigate how the social reproduction of religious beliefs influenced the production of their identity. As a result, rather than looking at the religious affiliations of individuals, their engagement in religious practices or the influence of religion on public matters, I proposed a new mode of ‘secularisation’ that looks at the experience of the sacred. By comparing the experiences of the sacred before and after the conversion, I have illustrated how, instead of being a religious act, the Atayal people’s turn to Christianity was a process of secularisation that divided the Atayal world into the ‘sacred’ and the ‘secular,’ as distinct from its previous status as a whole sacred entity, thus differentiating the domains of ‘religion’ from ‘culture’. Therefore, the modern Atayal identities—individual, social and ethnical—are also being secularised and multiplied. Such a change of the mode of identity from a religious perspective, I also argue, not only deserves further exploration for future studies on aboriginal groups’ identities and religious conversions in Taiwan but also serves as another aspect in the discussion of the idea of secularisation in general.

'Putting the flesh on the bones' : evidencing and imagining genealogical connections with family historians in Northumberland, County Durham, and Tyne and Wear

Hurst, Martyn Jeffrey January 2014 (has links)
This thesis is concerned with the exploration of genealogical connections by family historians in Northumberland, County Durham, and Tyne and Wear, and what this tells us about contemporary reckonings of kinship and relatedness. After situating my research within the wider context of kinship studies in anthropology I demonstrate that the digital and genetic technologies play a pivotal role in the ways that genealogical connections are both evidenced and imagined. Ethnographic engagement with online historic census records and commercial genetic ancestry tracing products reveals the integration of hard fact on the one hand and narrative elaboration on the other as part of family history research. It is then shown that in order to facilitate and add depth to their genealogical explorations family historians rely heavily upon personal reminiscences that are entwined within folk idioms of inheritance. Key to this is the convergence of biological and social explanations of connectedness that manifest as part of the analysis of surnames and in the application and use of selected genetic kin terms. It is demonstrated that the establishment and maintenance of contemporary social interaction constitutes a key feature of genealogical research. Moreover, by focusing on the transmission of genealogical knowledge it is also shown that imaginings of the future remain significant to the thoughts and actions of the contemporary family historian. The fundamental findings of this thesis thus demonstrate that through the active evidencing and imagining of genealogical connections family historians are developing novel ways of understanding how it is that they are connected to one another, the past, and the future.

BradICS : Bradford Infant Care Study : a qualitative study of infant care practices and unexpected infant death in an urban multi-cultural UK population

Crane, Denise January 2014 (has links)
This study is conducted in collaboration with the Born in Bradford study and is a qualitative follow-up investigation to the BradICS quantitative study. The BradICS study explored the variability between white British and South Asian families (the vast majority were of Pakistani origin) in Bradford, West Yorkshire in the UK focusing on well-known Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) related infant care behaviours. Utilising an evolutionary perspective this research qualitatively explores the infant care practices in relation to SIDS between white British and Pakistani mothers in Bradford. It is considered important to recognise the social and cultural environment where infant care is performed together with people’s perceptions of motherhood and infancy to fully understand infant care practices adopted in the family micro-environment. Methods This study employed the method of focused narrative interviews with 25 white British and 21 Pakistani mothers (n=46). In addition all quantitative socio-demographic information regarding the participants was obtained direct from the mothers and from the main Born in Bradford database. Results Several differences were noted between the white British and Pakistani families regarding parental smoking, alcohol consumption and the overall family network and environment. Variations were noted between the two groups for infant night and day time sleep locations, sleep positions and the overall sleep environment as well as infant care practices of sofa sharing, bathing and pacifier use. Differences were also noted between the white British and Pakistani families for parental concerns regarding infant temperature together with the use of infant temperature monitors and baby intercom monitors. Additionally, perceptions of motherhood and infancy showed variation between the white British and Pakistani mothers which influenced certain aspects of infant care. Conclusions The social and cultural ecology together with a mother’s perceptions of motherhood and infancy influence how mothers negotiate the SIDS prevention guidelines; either adopting, dismissing or adapting the health care advice regarding infant care in relation to SIDS.

Collaborations, connections & participation : an ethnographic study of dementia research in the UK

Atkinson, Sally Ann January 2015 (has links)
This thesis examines the question: How is biomedical research in the field of dementia enacted? I address this question using ethnographic fieldwork, interviews and document analysis conducted between September 2010 and March 2014, which examine the relations involved in the emergence of a national dementia research agenda in the UK. Over the last decade in the UK ‘dementia’ has become characterised as the public health crisis of our time. The sense of crisis around the conditions covered by this umbrella term is exacerbated by a global trend toward increased longevity and acute awareness of the limitations of existing treatments. In 2011 the UK Department of Health, in collaboration with national research organisations, announced the launch of an integrated dementia research strategy. Taking a historical and emergent perspective on research into aging, neurodegenerative diseases and the concept of ‘dementia’, this examination demonstrates how the evolving research initiative marks a shift in the process of co-production which exists between science, policy and publics in the UK. Using a detailed examination of linguistic and visual material from the perspective of science policy and practice, the thesis demonstrates how shifts in biotechnology make conditions described under the umbrella of ‘dementias’ differently visible. The scientific narratives which accompany this changing visibility, present dementias as a challenging target for social and scientific intervention. In response to this complexity, the research agenda focuses on the relationships and interactions between the multiple stakeholders involved. A rhetoric-based analysis demonstrates how researchers use such collaborations to try and remake the connections between aging, dementia, science and social responsibility. I argue that this process of breaking and remaking such connections is part of persuasive attempt to embed patients, participants and publics in the conduct of clinical research. This ethnographic description demonstrates how this process of embedded engagement is not without challenge. Researchers feel increasingly exposed to public expectations and frustrations which exist beyond the control of the ‘citadel’ of science (Martin 1998). Thus through cyclical re-workings of narratives of success and failure, hope and possibility, researchers involved in the development of new interventions for dementia diagnosis and treatment attempt to balance the tension between the rhetoric of future potential products and their day-to-day experience of the scientific process. Thus the thesis demonstrates how the development of new interventions is a continual negotiation of uncertainties and anxieties for both researchers and their participants. The thesis contributes to a growing literature on the complexity of biomedical research and knowledge making.

Time, space and social change in rural Pakistan : an ethnographic study of Jhokwala Village, Lodhran District

Mughal, Muhammad Aurang Zeb January 2014 (has links)
This thesis is a study of the social organisation of time and space in a Pakistani village. The fieldwork was carried out in Jhokwala Village, Lodhran District through 2010. A rapid population growth in the second half of the last century resulted in an inadequate supply of agricultural land, leading to a gradual shift from an agricultural to the market economy. Many farmers are abandoning agriculture and entering wage labour. This combined with urbanisation, more pervasive telecommunication services, the media, and technological changes has affected shifts in the ways of perceiving and managing time and space. In this thesis, I examine generational changes in the village. There have been generational shifts in the types of calendars and the contexts for which they are used. Household organisation and composition have also undergone dramatic change as a consequence of economic transformations. Fundamental economic changes have included a number of shifts in how people engage with information technologies, the media, and urbanisation. These have resulted in a transformation of the physical layout of the village along with changes in the design and structure of places such as the mosque and the house. Such changes in the physical environment have also triggered a shift in the sociospatial relationships, which has resulted in negotiation of some social boundaries between different gender and social classes. I examine the ways in which changes in the social organisation of time and space are indicative of the pace, direction and mechanism of social change.

The social life of seeds : an ethnographic exploration of farming knowledge in Kibtya of Amhara region, Ethiopia

Yelemtu, Fassil Gebeyehu January 2014 (has links)
The intrinsic relationship and interaction between Farmers Seeds (FSs) and smallholder farmers have long been developed for many centuries so that farmers have acquired various forms of experiential knowledge about seed management and associated farming practices. FSs are often associated with their infra-specific diversity in which smallholder farmers are using them to meet their socio-cultural and economic needs in a range of agro-ecological zones. However, introduction of new seeds such as High Yielding Varieties (HYVs) increasingly threaten knowledge and practices related to the cultivation of FSs. This study investigates different local meanings, uses and understandings of seeds and the process by which these understandings are learned. Drawing on ethnographic research in Kibtya and contextualizing this in relation to wider contexts, the thesis argues that perception towards seeds and productivity is not limited to narrowly economic evaluations; rather, it is intimately intertwined within a range of socio-cultural activities and farming practices and is consequently valued in a range of different ways. A central argument of the thesis is that farming knowledge is situated in people’s day-to-day interaction with one another and with the physical environments in which they work. It is not reducible to a system in the form of books or other forms of documents. The thesis also develops insights of relevance to a range of policy and practitioner audiences. The study analyses the causes and consequences of ignorance on the socio-cultural aspects of smallholder farmers’ knowledge and the corresponding limitations of agricultural intervention programmes and associated policy approaches towards development. Thus, this thesis presents new findings which, it is hoped, will help governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to plan appropriate intervention programmes in which outside actors would be involved into an on-going socially constructed and negotiated process.

Manchester Muslims : the developing role of mosques, imams and committees with particular reference to Barelwi Sunnis and UKIM

Ahmed, Fiaz January 2014 (has links)
Using ethnographic data from the Pakistani Muslim community in Manchester, I argue that the role of mosques, Imams and mosque committees has taken place in an environment of conflict in which Pakistani Muslims have struggled to construct a Muslim identity. In part, the British Pakistani Muslim community has established and maintained a religious identity through the negotiation of faith practice in schools, halal meals and the construction of purpose built mosques. These phenomena reflect the growing confidence of a British Muslim identity which must be understood in the context of debates surrounding „multiculturalism‟, „integration‟, „exclusion‟ and „recognition‟ of identity. In addition to understanding the development of religious identity in Manchester, I also examine the radicalisation of a certain section of the Muslim youth and government responses to this perceived threat. I examine the ways in which Manchester Muslims, especially those connected to mosques engage with state political institutions and how they perceive „secularism‟. I offer a typology of the political behaviour of Muslims in relation to participation in the political process. Finally, I argue that a lack of conflict resolution training and an implicit belief in Manichean dichotomies of conflict has fragmented relationships among mosques and Imams in Manchester which has exacerbated the position of British Pakistanis in particular and British Muslims in general.

An ethnographic account of Reiki practice in Britain

Beeler, Dori Michelle January 2015 (has links)
Reiki practice is a hands-on-healing method with spiritual foundations that travelled from Japan to the West in the 1930s. Since that time it has rapidly grown in popularity and has taken root in many countries around the world. This thesis is the result of 14 months of ethnographic fieldwork intended to develop a detailed understanding of what Reiki practice means to participants in Britain. I focus on three groups: Reiki practitioners, Reiki clients and medical professionals. First, I introduce important Reiki terms and concepts. Second, after a discussion of methods, I explore a specific method for researching spirituality and the role that interiority has in this approach. A disciplinary practice grounded in spirituality, Reiki is considered as a technology of the self. I apply a triadic analysis of doing—becoming—being in order to examine the ways in which practitioners processually embody the Reiki practice in their lives. In the following chapters I delve into the meaning of Reiki practice. Central to this is the link between spirituality and well-being. This link is investigated through discussions on how subjective spirituality derives meaning through practise and an ethical imperative for care in Reiki practice. Additionally, as it pertains to the health care market, I critically discuss Reiki practice as a commodity. In maintaining a detailed, anthropological focus, the complex nature and diversity of meaning underpinning Reiki practice in Britain begins to emerge. This comprises of the diverse journeys of this study’s participants, including myself, each aiming for an embodied well-being that transcends common understandings of spirituality and health and is often characterised in terms of a peaceful and harmonious life.

Volunteering in higher education : gifts, virtues or obligations?

Puckering, Joanna Elizabeth January 2015 (has links)
There is a re-appraisal taking place in many Higher Education institutions in relation to their engagement with national and global rhetoric and policy. This Ph.D. takes a critical and ethnographic approach to elicit a deeper understanding of volunteering at one particular institution within UK Higher Education, focusing on its relationships with other communities and voluntary organisations in the region. Anthropological theories of reciprocal gift exchange are used to re-visit some of the value-laden and often dichotomous ways of understanding volunteering as either altruistic or self-interested and in so doing, explore how some of the changing uses and expectations of volunteering are related to the exercise of power and the effect of social norms or structural constraints on agency. Grounded theory, gift theory and critical discourse analysis are combined in order to gain fresh perspectives about the complex and contradictory nature of UK Higher Education volunteering in the contemporary socio-economic climate. Results suggest that at a management level, Durham University represents staff and student volunteering as the ‘natural’ thing to do, as a route to employability and personal development. It is increasingly accepted that volunteering benefits both giver and receiver, and that self-interest is not incompatible with ‘doing the right thing’. However, there are also concerns that focusing on volunteering as a vehicle for finding a job, as part of the curriculum, to meet targets, or to improve the University’s image, has a negative impact on activities and also on organisations that do not fit dominant discourses or the needs of volunteers. Whilst university volunteering is described in terms of bridge building, or addressing perceptions of elitism and exclusivity, Durham University is also described as distant, privileged and separate from the community in which many of its staff and students live and work, suggesting that university-community relationships are not necessarily those of mutual or equal partners. There is a need for further research into the socio-cultural, moral and academic influences that inform the decision whether or not to become a volunteer, since Higher Education institutions may be pursuing volunteer policies based on flawed assumptions. This is especially relevant in the context of widespread public spending cuts and international competition for both academic and volunteer funding.

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