The boundaries between science and politics and the implications for practices in knowledge transfer2015 December 1900 (has links)
Complex policy problems in today’s world require sound evidence for good decisions. Yet what constitutes sound evidence can often itself become a matter of political contention. Using original qualitative interview, focus group and document analysis, this thesis finds both that many Canadian organizations with a mandate for communicating scientific information (knowledge transfer) are working to bring together researchers and end-users into various forms of direct contact (known as interaction practices) and that different social groups have concerns with these interactions. Through using interaction practices to improve communication efforts by establishing end-user/researcher relationships, the socially constructed boundaries that exist between science and politics become blurred. When the science communicated has controversial political implications, this blurring becomes problematic, “polluting” the wider credibility of the science communicated. This thesis uses “boundary theory” to argue that organizations engaging in knowledge transfer must be aware of these risks, and in controversial political topics, work to span rather than blur these boundaries, in order to protect scientific credibility necessary to successfully communicate scientific information in politically controversial situations.
This thesis examines how science is constructed in relation to the UFO-movement. More specifically, it examines how the Swedish UFO organisation UFO-Sverige (UFO-Sweden) has changed when it, during the years of 1970-1996, adopted scientific ambitions. At its origin UFO-Sverige was based on values associated with the New Age movement, eventually they started to embrace more scientific methods. It is the meeting between ufology and science within UFO-Sverige that is examined in this thesis. The theoretical basis is Thomas Gieryns concept of boundary-work. The concept of boundary-work is based on the notion that science is constructed in relation to non-science. It is when science is separated from non-science that the conditions for what is considered as science are determined. The conditions of science are therefore dependant on the context of the situation in which it is separated from non-science. The change in UFO-Sverige is in the thesis examined through its organisational statutes and articles from the organisations paper. Furthermore, a debate between UFO-Sverige and the sceptical organisation Vetenskap och Folkbildning (Science and the People’s Education), VoF, is analysed. The thesis concludes that in their transition UFO-Sverige is using the notion of unbiased, the possibility to document, and critical thinking as reference for their scientific validity. They have shifted their view on what is considered as rational to base their knowledge production on, from personal experience to observable evidence. Through the study of the debate between UFO-Sverige and VoF different views on how science should relate to unexplained phenomenon has emerged. VoF consider the probability of a new discovery prior an examination of an unexplained phenomenon. UFO-Sverige instead claims that you cannot determine the credibility of relevant findings before the phenomenon in questionis examined. The thesis also concludes that because UFO-Sverige is constructed as an Other to science, to which the identity of science is dependent upon, it won’t be accepted as valid science, even if they try to adapt to scientific terms. There is almost always a way to find something unscientific in their construction, and by doing so VoF can keep UFO-Sverige as their Other.
Hendrix-Sloan, Geraldine Mary
01 January 2009
(has links) (PDF)
This study explores the boundary-work accomplished by seventeen female and male escort workers. Escort work, defined as the acceptance of money for spending time with and offering companionship to others, is not illegal; however, social scientific research indicates that escort workers often engage in paid sexual activity, thus placing their occupation within the realm of prostitution. Previous research indicates that escort workers, subsumed within the highest echelon of the prostitution hierarchy, are less likely than their street and brothel counterparts to report victimization and stigmatization, and are more likely to earn higher wages and use safe-sex practices. In light of these significant variations in work-related experiences, I use the boundaries framework and study boundary-work accomplished by the participants in an attempt to avoid perpetuating negative labels associated with escort work. I define boundary-work as the process by which individuals create symbolic distinctions between themselves and others, and the individualized process of structural boundary negotiation. Individuals play a significant role in the processes of group inclusion and exclusion through the creation of symbolic boundaries; they also must negotiate structural boundaries, such as laws and stereotypical gender roles. Thus: the study of boundary-work provides a means for social scientists to engage in intra- and inter-group comparisons among "deviant" and "non-deviant" individuals. Through in-depth interviews with nine female and eight male escort workers, I identified the symbolic boundaries they used to distinguish themselves from others. In addition to the identification of socio-economic, cultural and moral boundaries used as criteria for inclusion in and exclusion from their personal and professional lives, this study also identifies various strategies used to negotiate one structural boundary: criminal law. In addition, this study provides support for rational choice theory, as all of the participants viewed escort work as a chosen profession, and each participant believed the benefits outweighed the real costs and potential risks associated with escort work. Future research needs to (1) tease out the structural elements of boundary-work, (2) use a measure of relative saliency among symbolic boundaries, and (3) collect data regarding boundary-work accomplished by members of assumed "deviant" and "non-deviant" groups, in order to address basic assumptions of deviance.
This dissertation aims at describing the worldview and the ontological boundary work that descriptions of ”the information society” presuppose as well as understanding how these relate to technocratic descriptions of the world. The theoretical point of origin of this work is that worldviews are communicated, and that when this transpires, three worlds are related to (the objective, the social, and the subjective) which contain ideological components that make them plausible. The material that has been studied is public documents from 1994 – 2004. These materials have been analysed with the help of text analysis, where a reconstruction of the ideological components of the worldview is the objective. The results of the analysis show that these descriptions, first of all, presuppose an objective world where an ontological boundary between technology and values is drawn. Technology is driven by one form of logic and values are driven by another. Technology does not in itself contain values, but when put to use, only certain types of value can be created. The subsequent theoretical consequences are that these values (for instance effectiveness) are presented as objective, independent of value conflicts in society. Second, the analysis shows that descriptions partly presuppose a social world that is divided into a normative centre and a normative periphery, and partly a historicist description of historical development. These two ideological components provide a logical consequence, that in the social world, identifiable groups who live according to lifestyle patterns of the future can already be found today. Third, results show that descriptions presuppose a subjective world that is possible to change and direct. Man is to be made responsive to certain aspects of his existence and unresponsive toward others. This requires causing him to be responsive to change and unresponsive to that which hinders change. The logical consequences become a description of a system integrated information society where the individual is to adapt himself to changes on the system level. All in all, the three results of the study show that the world view which the descriptions presuppose have clear elements of technocracy and the art of social engineering.
17 August 2011
Spirituality is contentious in occupational therapy. Theoretically ill-defined and under-researched by the profession, spirituality is difficult for therapists to address in practice. Relatively few guidelines exist for incorporating spirituality within the enabling process. Accordingly, therapists individually determine their parameters around addressing spirituality in therapy. This has led to some concerns regarding how therapists with a firm religious orientation approach spirituality in practice. This study used in-depth interviews to explore the experiences of seven Christian occupational therapists for whom spirituality was personally important. Their beliefs provided a perspective that influenced clinical reasoning. Christian faith was a unique resource used in practice, distinguishing their work experience from that of their colleagues. To varying degrees, fear of reprimand by the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario inhibited the extent to which Christian faith was incorporated into therapy. Showing faith rather than sharing faith enabled participants to practice within regulatory guidelines.
Schwartz, David Asa
01 May 2016
Using myth, media memory, and boundary work as the theoretical underpinnings, this research aims to understand how journalists manipulated meanings assigned to a single subject over a long period of time. The research explores how journalists shaped and reshaped former Penn State University football coach Joe Paterno, and how journalists imprinted evolving cultural values on Paterno. As “what matters” within a culture shifts, the journalistic narrative of authority figures and heroes shifts along with it to reflect new or emerging cultural values. The research also examined what happens to a profession when it faces severe structural unrest. In this case, disruption to the Paterno narrative was caused by new technologies that increased access to the profession. To accomplish these research goals, the researcher employed qualitative and historical research methods, including archival research, textual analysis of newspaper, magazine, and online articles, and a critical historical analysis that allowed for input from multiple paradigms. The examination of shifting, long-term journalistic narrative matters because it helps us understand how cultures respond and adapt to gradual changes in values or sudden moments of public trauma. This research also offers journalism professionals insights into how new technologies affect industrial structures.
The work-family balance experiences of production couples operating Chinese Cut, Make and Trim factories in Newcastle, South AfricaMa, Yuh-Wen 06 March 2022 (has links)
The purpose of this study was to develop a deep understanding into the unique work family balance experiences of women in production couples in cut, make and trim factories in Newcastle, South Africa. A production couple is first and foremost a business partnership that involves joint ownership of a clothing factory, however the relationship is also a strategy the women use to satisfy their emotional needs and over time the relationship plays an important role in their return migration intention. Using a phenomenological research design, eight in depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with women in a production couple. Though the study set out to explore both the male and female partners, all the male partners eventually declined, citing Covid-19 related reasons such as having the only male in the researcher network dropping out, significantly lowering the likelihood of recruiting willing male participants. A potential reason for this is that men in Chinese culture are expected to carry the family name and with the persisting patriarchal gender roles (Sun & Chen, 2014), they are confronted with greater risk of losing face if exposed that they are in this type of relationship. Thematic analysis conducted on the data revealed three key themes: (1) Factors affecting the work-family balance of women in production couples, (2) Transnational care practices and, (3) Boundary management practices used by the women to maintain work-family balance. The findings challenged the nuclear family ideal and contributed new knowledge on how work family balance is perceived and maintained from a transnational perspective.
Mattingly, Gloria Anne
10 December 2005
The number of leisure and working RVers roaming America?s highways, now conservatively estimated at over eight million, continues to increase (Curtin 2001; Sommer 2003). In spite of their growing presence and unique lifestyle, these populations remain sociologically understudied. This exploratory case study of two distinctly different RV parks is a small but significant step toward filling that research gap. At both RV parks I found a diverse population of individualists who value self-contained travel, freedom, relaxation, and sociality. In spite of sharing a collective, subcultural lifestyle, they differed along multiple axes. Marked differences separate RVers into three broad groups (full-timers, long-termers, and vacationers) and into multiple subgroups within those categories. I analyzed triangulated data sources using a theoretical lens that combines subcultural and boundary work theories. I concluded that full-time and long-term RVers practice boundary work and form subcultural identities based, primarily, on levels of commitment and divergent RVing practices.
Skolfilmslandet Sverige : En historisk undersökning av argumentationen för skol- och bildningsfilm på 1920-taletSüdow, Emil January 2018 (has links)
The focus of this thesis is to analyze the monthly magazine Tidskrift för svensk skolfilm och bildningsfilm (magazine for Swedish Educational Movies and Learning Movies) in the startup years of the magazine from 1924-1926. I use three theoretical concepts from sociology professor Tomas Gieryn called epistemic authority, credibility contest and the larger sum of the two - boundary work - to examine how the magazine argues for educational movies. My line of questioning is firstly: How does the magazine argue for and describe educational movies, and secondly: How does the magazine argue to be a part of the advancement of society? In my historically interpretation of the source material I find six themes. The first is movies seen as the foremost form of visually pedagogy (åskådningspedagogik), which was a highly rated educational phenomenon in the early 20th century. In short, the magazine argues that no other educational material such as books or oral learning affected the students as much as movies. Therefore, the school should use educational (nonfiction) movies on a broader scale. The second theme is that movies make the school subjects more interested, and therefore the students will be more motivated to learn. The third theme of arguing I have found in the magazine is that movies can be used as a historical time capsule for later generations. These three themes are especially aiming to answer my first question in the thesis. The other three highlights my second question. As the fourth theme I see Gustaf Berg, the publisher and headman of the magazine, and the magazine itself as pioneers for the mission of greater use of educational movies. In addition, the magazine also argues that the biggest Swedish movie company Svensk Filmindustri (SF), should be seen as an ally to the cause of spreading the educational movies. The fifth theme I have found is that a group Bildningsfilmens vänner (The Friends of Educational Movies) appear frequently in the magazine. They act both as writers and audience and are described in the magazine with utmost positive metaphors. I see the group as a created and imagined society that help the cause gaining credibility. The last theme is that the magazine describes itself and its writers as international versed, which is used to further improve the image and credibility of the magazine and the boundary work it does. My conclusion is that all six themes show that the magazine use itself and its headman Berg as a rhetorical platform to argue from, to gain higher credibility for educational movies.
15 November 2016
Als Forschungsförderprogramm zur Stärkung des Wissenschaftsstandorts Deutschland hat die Exzellenzinitiative von Bund und Ländern eine hohe symbolische Tragweite. Eine durch das Ziel der Förderung von Spitzenforschung motivierte Exzellenz-Rhetorik ("Leuchttürme der Wissenschaft", "Elite-" und "Exzellenzuniversitäten") konkurriert mit den tatsächlich gemessenen Effekten dieses Forschungsförderprogramms. In dieser Dissertationsschrift wird am Beispiel der Exzellenzinitiative ein Modell entwickelt, um solche Formen symbolischer Konstruktionsarbeit zu beschreiben. Grundlage ist eine theoretische Reflektion des Sichtbarkeitsbegriffs der Exzellenzinitiative durch Bezug auf den Disziplin-Begriff Michel Foucaults, das Kapitalmodell Pierre Bourdieus, Niklas Luhmanns systemtheoretische Perspektive auf die Medien sowie Thomas Gieryns Konzept der boundary work. Diese theoretische Reflektion leitet die daran anschließende empirische Analyse an. Es kommt eine Methoden-Triangulation zum Einsatz: Ergebnisse einer quantitativen Analyse des medialen Framings der Exzellenz-Debatte (ca. 1850 Artikel; Vollerhebung der Berichterstattung zwischen dem 01.01.2004 und dem 31.07.2013 in acht relevanten Leitmedien; Entwicklung des Codebuchs auf Grundlage einer qualitativen Inhaltsanalyse) werden in Bezug gesetzt zu den Resultaten von 19 qualitativen Leitfaden-Interviews mit den berichtenden Journalisten und Mitgliedern des Bewilligungsausschusses der Exzellenzinitiative sowie der Auswertung einer Online-Befragung von Antragstellern bei der Exzellenzinitiative. Die Ergebnisse dokumentieren die stimulierende Wirkung von Symbolen im Allgemeinen sowie die Bedeutung des Entscheidungsverfahrens speziell für die Exzellenzinitiative. Daraus resultieren Handlungsempfehlungen für die "Exzellenz-Strategie", welche die Förderung von Spitzenforschung über die Förderdauer der Exzellenzinitiative hinaus fortführen wird. / The Initiative for Excellence is a joint research funding program of the German Federal State and the 16 Länder. It aims at (1) increasing the international competitiveness of German universites and (2) making peaks within the German university system more visible. These goals motivate a rhetoric of scientific excellence which is - at least partly - not in line with the measurable impacts of the Initiative for Excellence on the German university system. This thesis contains a proposal for a model to analyze such symbolic constructions. For that reason, the goal "visibility" is discussed with reference to the theories of Michel Foucault, Pierre Bourdieu, Niklas Luhmann and Thomas Gieryn. The resulting synthesis guides the empirical work: Results of a quantitative framing analysis of media reporting on the Initiative for Excellence are combined with results from a survey of applicants and 19 qualitative interviews with journalists as well as members of the Grants Committee. The results document the stimulating effects of symbols in general and the importance of the decision-making-process for the Initiative for Excellence, in particular. Finally, the results motivate recommendations for a new research funding program.
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