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  • Exploring therapists’ experiences of using therapeutic interventions from Muslim perspectives for Muslim clients: Usefulness, contribution and challenges in the UK.

    Choudhry, Abida (2016-10-01)
    Modern psychological approaches currently being used with Muslim clients in therapy have consistently been criticised for being decontextualised, Eurocentric, individualistic, reductionist and for not taking Muslim clients’ cultural and religious values into account (Amri, & Bemak, 2013; Carter & Rashidi, 2004). Hence a need for making use of models, techniques and therapeutic interventions based on Muslim perspectives for Muslim clients has repeatedly been expressed (Haque, 2004a; Helms, 2015; Inayat, 2007; Keshavarzi & Haque, 2013; Utz, 2012; Weatherhead & Daiches, 2010). Despite recommendations for using therapeutic interventions from Muslim perspectives with Muslim clients in therapy (Abu Raiya & Pargament, 2010; Haque & Kamil, 2012; Qasqas & Jerry, 2014), empirical research on these interventions has lagged behind (Abu-Raiya & Pargament, 2011). The aim of the current study is to provide more insight into how interventions from Muslim perspectives can be administered by Muslim therapists with their Muslim clients in therapy in United Kingdom. This study explored the experiences of six Muslim therapists who were all using interventions from Muslim perspectives with Muslim clients in their therapeutic practice. Semi-structured interviews were conducted, transcribed, and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), and from this three main themes emerged (i) Psychotherapeutic approaches, (ii) Journey of becoming a Muslim therapist (iii) Obstacles faced by Muslim clients and therapists. The implications for further research and therapeutic practice have also been considered.
  • Identifying the Invisible Impact of Scholarly Publications: A Multi-Disciplinary Analysis Using Altmetrics

    Mohammadi, Ehsan (2018)
    The field of ‘altmetrics’ is concerned with alternative metrics for the impact of research publications using social web data. Empirical studies are needed, however, to assess the validity of altmetrics from different perspectives. This thesis partly fills this gap by exploring the suitability and reliability of two altmetrics resources: Mendeley, a social reference manager website, and Faculty of F1000 (F1000), a post- publishing peer review platform. This thesis explores the correlations between the new metrics and citations at the level of articles for several disciplines and investigates the contexts in which the new metrics can be useful for research evaluation across different fields. Low and medium correlations were found between Mendeley readership counts and citations for Social Sciences, Humanities, Medicine, Physics, Chemistry and Engineering articles from the Web of Science (WoS), suggesting that Mendeley data may reflect different aspects of research impact. A comparison between information flows based on Mendeley bookmarking data and cross-disciplinary citation analysis for social sciences and humanities disciplines revealed substantial similarities and some differences. This suggests that Mendeley readership data could be used to help identify knowledge transfer between scientific disciplines, especially for people that read but do not author articles, as well as providing evidence of impact at an earlier stage than is possible with citation counts. The majority of Mendeley readers for Clinical Medicine, Engineering and Technology, Social Science, Physics and Chemistry papers were PhD students and postdocs. The highest correlations between citations and Mendeley readership counts were for types of Mendeley users that often authored academic papers, suggesting that academics bookmark papers in Mendeley for reasons related to scientific publishing. In order to identify the extent to which Mendeley bookmarking counts reflect readership and to establish the motivations for bookmarking scientific papers in Mendeley, a large-scale survey found that 83% of Mendeley users read more than half of the papers in their personal libraries. The main reasons for bookmarking papers were citing in future publications, using in professional activities, citing in a thesis, and using in teaching and assignments. Thus, Mendeley bookmarking counts can potentially indicate the readership impact of research papers that have educational value for non-author users inside academia or the impact of research papers on practice for readers outside academia. This thesis also examines the relationship between article types (i.e., “New Finding”, “Confirmation”, “Clinical Trial”, “Technical Advance”, “Changes to Clinical Practice”, “Review”, “Refutation”, “Novel Drug Target”), citation counts and F1000 article factors (FFa). In seven out of nine cases, there were no significant differences between article types in terms of rankings based on citation counts and the F1000 Article Factor (FFa) scores. Nevertheless, citation counts and FFa scores were significantly different for articles tagged: “New finding” or “Changes to Clinical Practice”. This means that F1000 could be used in research evaluation exercises when the importance of practical findings needs to be recognised. Furthermore, since the majority of the studied articles were reviewed in their year of publication, F1000 could also be useful for quick evaluations.
  • Exploring postcolonial trauma in Nigeria as stimulus for creating new plays

    Agboaye, Isikhuemen (2018-06-01)
    This research is situated within the practice-led method, enabling me as a playwright to gain stimulus for creating trauma informed plays. The framework for creating such plays in this research is the centre-periphery concept (Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin, 2013, 43) situated with the imagined nation as backdrops for understanding postcolonial trauma. In order to gain stimulus for playwriting in this research, I explored Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and Wole Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman to understanding postcolonial trauma in my part of Africa, being Nigeria. I also explored other sources for the purpose of gaining stimulus from embedded trauma motifs, useful for writing The Longest Snake, The Endless Walk and the Alternative plays. The Alternative plays draw meanings from the initial plays and are interventive and socio-dramatic; revealing how trauma may be understood from other perspectives. The originality of this research and contribution to knowledge may be perceived in the new plays which incorporate trauma notions; the role of the ‘circle’ in conceptualisation and the use of the ‘centre-periphery’ concepts as template for playwriting and analysis. The originality may also be inferred from the interventive relevance of the created plays, touching on how postcolonial trauma may be understood from the lens of the imagined nation, and events in the centre-periphery context. It is also important to mention how the collectives are traumatically affected by the negative effects of colonisation as mirrored in the textual sources explored. Equally relevant are my personal experiences and the African folklore and folktale milieu, which are relevant for understanding postcolonial trauma through praxis; reiterating Gray and Marlins’ (2016: 2) thoughts that ‘We learn most effectively by doing – by active experience, and reflection on that experience,’ which may be seen in the context of the practice-led approach I adopted in this research.
  • Storying students’ ecologies of belonging: a narrative inquiry into the relationship between ‘first generation’ students and the University

    Richards, Lynn
    This research study explores the ways in which articulations of belonging are expressed by a small number of second year education undergraduates in a post-1992 university in the UK. Issues of student engagement and belonging in Higher Education (HE) have been the subject of research within recent years as a way to enhance rates of student retention and success, as the Widening Participation agenda has realised a changing demographic within the traditional student body. This study focuses on the First Generation Student (FGS), as reflective of the non-traditional student, who is subject to a negative framing within the educational literary discourse. The research adopts a metaphorical lens to locate the FGS as migrant within the HE landscape and to consider HE institutional efforts to foster a sense of belonging, as a strategic tool for success, as a colonising process. Working within an ecological framing of the topic, the study focuses on the differing contexts within which the research participants operate and considers the impact these have upon student engagement with the university. As a way to foreground respectful working with research participants, a person-centred approach has been employed, using a narrative inquiry methodological framework. Voices of the participants, as narrators, are privileged within this study in order to afford them the opportunity to add to the ongoing conversation on belonging. Creative strategies, based upon photo- and metaphor-elicitation, have been employed to facilitate discussion of the abstract and intangible concept of belonging and to provide a participatory nature to this research study. Findings signal a strong resolve by these narrators to overcome obstacles in their path to success within what is often an unfamiliar terrain within HE. The potentiality of the individual is privileged, showing strengths that are brought to the world of study which are often unrecognised by university practices. The affective dimension of belonging is emphasised within the research and metaphors of belonging, articulated by the narrators, offer alternative conceptual structurings which privilege aspects to do with security and adventure. Such insights afford opportunities to view belonging from differing perspectives, to re-figure ways in which students see themselves within HE processes, and to alert staff and personnel to new ways in which they might view the non-traditional student. Aspects of valuing the diversity of students and of a person-centred approach to working are viewed as key to creating the possibilities for belonging.
  • In their own performance: an ethnographic study of mothers’ accounts of interactions with professionals at a children’s centre.

    Tumelty, Bridget Patricia (2018)
    This study is concerned with how mothers, who have been referred to a children’s centre for support with parenting, interpret their interactions with professionals including midwives, health visitors, social workers and family support workers. Previous studies have concentrated on unhelpful, “them and us” othering practices, this project aimed to consider mothers’ interpretations of interactions, exploring verbal and non-verbal interactions as well as identifying what interactions with professionals that were helpful or not and why? To explore mothers’ stories, I designed an arts based performance ethnographic methodology. Through the use of theme boards and stream of consciousness writing in a drama group context, text was collected over an eighteen month period from 16 mothers. Initial review, editing and distilling of text was carried out with participants, generating 18 scenes for a play performed together in front of a live audience. Text not used in the play was further analysed using narrative analysis and produced an overarching metaphor of a ‘dance of compliance’. The dance explores images of mothers navigating steps of vulnerability, risk and compliance. Inhabiting the dance were many overlapping victimizing narratives exposing stories of parenting support presented as life enhancing in a context of scarcity. I found that the women kept dancing not because they were empowered but because the dance is obligatory, driven by the systematic production of unhelpful signs that come to constitute their reality. Theoretical perspective/s used in analysis highlight how children’s centres could become a space for symbolic exchanges of support bringing into the light steps of fortitude and humanity. Recommendations for practice centre on the need for professionals to engage in empathic interactions whist always looking for opportunities for mothers to participate in the day to day activities of parenting support.
  • Young people’s perceptions of novel psychoactive substances

    Freeman, Jodie (2018)
    Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) also known as “legal highs” replicate the effects of illegal substances such as ecstasy and cocaine. The most common NPS reported are stimulants and synthetic cannabinoids. Despite the Psychoactive Ban (2016) recent reports identified the UK as having the largest market of NPS use anywhere in Europe. These substances have a short history of consumption and consequently little is known about their effects and health implications. Despite this, the sale of NPS is easily achieved through the internet and street dealers. Increased reports of negative health consequences from NPS consumption and research findings highlighting the willingness of young people to consume drugs without knowing what they are, mean it is vital that we investigate young people’s understandings and perceptions of them. At present there are very few in-depth qualitative studies on NPS. A series of 7 focus groups with a range of young people (40=N: aged 16- 24 years) across the Merseyside area were carried out. Research sites included colleges, youth groups, supported living accommodations, and youth drug and alcohol services. Focus group interviews explored participants’ perceptions of NPS and were followed up with a few semi structured interviews with selected participants. The direction of the study focused on mainly on synthetic cannabinoids which may reflect the age of the study’s population. Using thematic analysis informed by a social constructionist perspective, three main themes were identified around stigma and identity, attractive features of NPS and risk. Findings showed that young people’s perceptions of these substances were dependent on their level of experience with illegal substances and NPS. A novel finding was that synthetic cannabinoid use is employed in the normalisation of cannabis use. Local, national and policy recommendations are made on how youth and health services in both educational and specialised services could work more closely and effectively with young people NPS. They also identify a need among young people for specific guidelines on how to use the Internet and Print media in relation to previous knowledge and experience.
  • Understanding the intersection of culture, religion and gender on diversity management: a qualitative study of Nigerian hotels

    Ukachukwu, Amarachukwu (2018-12-01)
    Recent attention has been drawn to human resource management within the Nigerian context, with increased interest in the improvement of organisational management practices to enable Nigeria to compete in an increasingly globalised economy (Fajana et al., 2011). Despite this, however, there is a distinct paucity of academic literature addressing the effects of culture and religion on gender equality in management within Nigerian organisations (Tiemo and Arubayi, 2012). Nigeria does not have an indigenous tradition of human resource management, and as a consequence, many of its management practices are imported alongside foreign investment and amalgamated with local practices (Fajana et al., 2011). Nigeria’s patriarchal culture and demographic context have significant implications on diversity management, and this reflects on the composition of the workforce (Tiemo and Arubayi, 2012). Qualitative data collected in Northern, Southern and Eastern regions of Nigeria through in-depth interviews were coded and analysed. The study found that hotels in Nigeria are still grappling with the problem of gender inequality with females’ career development suffering greatly under the burden of a patriarchal culture. Females are also made to take job responsibilities that reflect their positions in the society and households. Secondly, the intersecting factors of gender, religion and culture put severe pressures on women, which tend to have a negative impact on work-life balance. Thirdly, family responsibility and expectations deter females from seeking promotion to the higher level of hotel administration. Many females who attempt to ‘rebel’ against the standing cultural order find themselves in marriage crises. Finally, gender diversity management is not promoted in Nigerian hotels. The study makes contributions to theory and practice. It finds common ground for the application of hegemonic masculinity framework and intersectionality perspective in gender and management inquiries. The study recommends radical holistic change is required regarding policy, cultural, programmatic, attitudinal and social actions.
  • Towards sustainable architecture and urban form

    Al-Thahab, Ali Aumran Lattif (2016-06-01)
    Traditional architectural and urban artefacts are showed over the centuries as a powerful imprint of human actions and practices and are being developed on the basis of concrete socio-cultural factors and environmental rationalities. Spatial and morphological patterns of traditional environments have exceedingly evolved to fulfill and accomplish the social and cultural needs of the populace in their dialectical interplay with the surrounding environment. This relationship conceptualises the man-made environment, as the repository of meaning, in users‟ reciprocal relation with the surrounding environment. In the context of history, the human tends to dwell when experiencing the built environment as meaningful. Traditional contexts are highlighted as physical and spatial interpretations of human activities, skills, thoughts and resources creating identifiable and meaningful realms related to space/place, time and society. The study uncovers the process of the formation of the house and mahalla in order to shed light on how the built environment responds to inhabitants‟ socio-cultural determinants and everyday lives. It unfolds how changes in the nature of Iraqi society and its priorities affect the architecture of home and mahalla by reference to the impact of modernity with all its alien socio-cultural principles. This thesis focuses on the architecture of home and mahalla within the traditional core of Kadhimiya city and similar Iraqi socio-cultural contexts. At the macro analytical level, the research investigates the spatial and physical formation of the mahalla as a whole through detecting the socio-spatial aspects of its realms, and how its spontaneous form has responded to the socio-cultural aspects of the community in an integral pattern. At the micro level, the research will go deeper in the perception of the basic aspects of the individual and the family. It investigates how the traditional house reflects and satisfies the personal values of the individual, and achieves his socio-cultural beliefs and everyday life on the basis of inherent norms and conventions. In this vein, public, semi-public/private and private domains are investigated to highlight the mutual interplay between these spheres as key factors in understanding the architecture of the house and mahalla. The research discusses indigenous aspects and principles contained or embedded in the structure of the traditional environment, such as privacy, social solidarity and stability, neighbourliness and so on. It reveals insight into the male-female relationship in the social life of the traditional context, and how the position of women and their idle qualities impact the structure of the house and the hierarchical sequence and organisation of spaces. Identity, tradition, sustainability and everyday life are the main fields discussed with a specific end goal to outline and uncover the role of social factors, cultural beliefs and daily practices in the creation of this particular form. Building on these values, the research adopts an interpretive historical method in revealing the characters of the traditional environment referring to residents‟ habits, customs, rituals and traditions. Several approaches to the built and home environment are discussed for paving or detecting reliable one in the methodological inquiry within which many tools and methods have been utilised and used i.e. archival records, interviews, historical narratives, personal observation and photographic surveys. Data generated consists of photos, maps, interviewees‟ comments, analytical diagrams and historical and travellers‟ descriptions. Research findings indicate many of the inherent and underlying principles upon which the architecture of Iraqi traditional house depends. Within this context, the study has tried to unfold how the formation of the traditional house and the mahalla responded to the socio-cultural aspects of the community and the daily life of its members. Findings, concerning the design principles of the traditional mahalla, were realised as indigenous norms and standards embedded in the structure of society, which can be useful for architects, designers and planners to reconcile traditional and contemporary urban forms through the application of former rules and conventions in City‟s conservation or redevelopment plans. The study reveals that the traditional environment had less socio-cultural contradictions, active day-to-day practices and clear, identifiable and meaningful identity compared with contemporary built environments. Research findings, thus, lead to a set of relevant recommendations addressed to many of the community categories, architects, planners, stakeholders and those interested in this field. They aim to promote the impressive role of socio-cultural factors and strengthen users‟ competence in their physical and spatial settings for home. Moreover, research recommendations discuss how social factors, cultural values, beliefs, practices and rituals can be re-employed in our approach to achieving a more sustainable living environment. Recommendations relating to identity and tradition aim to draw attention and shed light on the significance of traditional built environments in the development of special identity, which played a big role in the sustainability of these contexts for centuries.
  • Developing a framework for BIM implementation in the Saudi Arabian construction industry

    Alhumayn, Saud Abdullah (2018-10-01)
    The construction industry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is faced with challenges of incessant delays, cost overruns and poor quality. The premise of the research reported here is that effective adoption and implementation of Building Information modelling (BIM) can contribute to the achievement of the necessary improvement. Against this backdrop, the aim of the research was to produce a strategic framework to underpin such adoption and implementation. It entailed investigation of the awareness of BIM, the extent of its use in KSA and the barriers to its more effective adoption and implementation. A mixed research approach was adopted, using a questionnaire survey and semi-structured interviews for collecting data. The questionnaire survey was used to obtain information on the awareness, barriers, drivers and status of BIM usage in the KSA construction industry, while the semi-structured interviews were designed to elicit the opinions of professionals and elucidate their own experiences in relation to the variables in this study. The data obtained were analysed using descriptive statistics, inferential statistics and thematic content analysis. The study found that the awareness of BIM in the Saudi construction industry is low and faced with inherent barriers that impede its successful application. These barriers were found to be a lack of knowledge of BIM, initial and running costs of implementation, a lack of training of personnel, and a fear of changing from the traditional methods of construction. The study identified strategies that could be used to address these challenges. These include enlightenment on the benefits of BIM application; creating awareness of BIM through workshops, seminars and conferences; training of workers; and the introduction of government intervention to enforce the application of BIM. In addition, this study identified the relevant factors that would enable the application of BIM in the Saudi construction industry to be meeting client's expectations and the requirement to use BIM technology, and using BIM because of the benefits it offers such as cost savings, efficiency, quality and increase in productivity. Regardless of these BIM drivers, however, the most important aim is to bring the stakeholders to commit themselves and invest in the necessary technology, tools and resources in order to improve construction processes. A strategic framework was developed to serve as a roadmap for BIM implementation. The framework also encompassed the key parties in the process and the specific roles to be played by them. The study concludes that the implementation of BIM could improve project performance in Saudi Arabia in terms of time, cost and quality.
  • Exploring the experiences of transitional care from child and adolescent mental health services to adult mental health services: the perspectives of professionals, parents and young people

    Chopra, Gurpreet Kaur (2016-01-01)
    Transitional care is an important process for professionals to consider, particularly as recent studies have shown how a mental health difficulty in adolescence will persist into adulthood. This indicates that a number of those seen in Child and Adolescent mental health services are likely to make the transition into Adult services. For professionals from both services, barriers can arise when supporting young people across service boundaries and recent studies have stated that the current practice of transitional care in mental health is deemed to be problematic. However at the time of conducting this study, there was a paucity of literature, therefore the aim of the study was to add to the existing knowledge. The study followed a Social Constructivist grounded theory (Charmaz, 2014) approach to explore the experience of stakeholders of the transition process. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with professionals, young people and parents. There were a total of eight interviews which were transcribed and analysed. The findings present the core category as Facing the transition, with three sub- categories: Changing status, Manoeuvring the boundaries and Reflections on the process. The tentative theory explains how facing the transition involves stakeholders adjusting to the changing status of the service user. This category triggers the service transition but also describes how societal perceptions about adulthood influence the expectations placed on young people. Manoeuvring the boundaries describes and explains service transition, identifying a range of barriers and strategies to overcome these. One of the most significant barriers was identified as cultural differences between the two services. The third category describes how stakeholders make sense of their experiences, and how these are managed within the therapeutic relationship.
  • Exploring Student Nurses’ and Nurse Educators’ Experiences of Simulation-Based Pedagogy Using Case-Study Research

    Humphreys, Melanie (2016-03-01)
    Nurse academics are constantly facing new challenges from governmental and professional groups calling for the preparation of students to be able to work with increasing complex patient cases at a time of reduction in clinical placements (NMC, 2010a and b). Simulation is a method that has been embraced, by some, for preparing for these challenges, with the potential to escalate student skills and knowledge in a meaningful way (Benner, 1984). The aim of this study was to explore and make explicit the characteristics that make simulation effective within nurse education. An explorative, qualitative case study was chosen to collect spoken data from twenty-four participants through focus groups. Participants included both students undertaking nurse training, and academics involved in the delivery of simulation. Content analysis facilitated exploration of each participant’s contribution resulting in the emergence and construction of three themes (Creswell, 2007; Polit and Beck, 2014). 1. The approaches that academics use to integrate simulation into the curriculum; 2. The influences and decisions academics make to deliver simulationbased education, and their impact upon the student learning experience; 3. Evidence for the transference of skills to the realities of clinical practice. A conceptual framework has been developed and presented through the data analysis process (Saldana, 2012), which has culminated in the presentation of a unique model for ‘Developing Simulation Practice in Nurse Education’ (DSPiNE). The model relates to two key processes derived both during and following simulation activities (1) the preparedness for clinical practice, described as the process whereby the student gains insight into their current practice abilities; and (2) the transference to clinical practice, described as the process whereby the student gains insight into their readiness for future practice requirements. This study concludes that purposeful positive behavioural change could be achieved with the implementation of the DSPiNE model within nurse education.
  • Identification of epigenetically dysregulated genes in tumours that metastasise to the brain

    Pangeni, Rajendra Prasad (2015)
    Tumour metastasis to the brain is a common and deadly development in certain cancers; 18-30% of breast tumours metastasise to the brain. The contribution that gene silencing through epigenetic mechanisms plays in metastasis to the brain is not well understood. To identify epigenetic drivers of brain metastasis, a combined candidate gene screen using literature review, bioinformatics analysis of 450K methylation data of primary breast tumours from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and Genome-wide methylation analysis of metastatic brain tumors that originated from primary breast tumours were carried out. A candidate gene approach identified two genes (BNC1 and CCDC8) dysregulated in breast to brain metastases (BBM) from a screen of 78 genes. Similarly, bioinformatic analyses of TCGA data identified GALNT9 and an independent comparison of genomewide methylation profiles in brain metastases identified 7 genes including non-coding RNA genes dysregulated in BBM. Taken together, these 10 genes identified are metastatic suppressor or promoter genes, which include novel regulatory elements noncoding RNA (ncRNAs) genes such as microRNAs, long intergenic non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs) or non-protein coding genes such as pseudogenes derived from their parental gene. Methylation analyses in BBM and their associated primary tumours from individual patients have revealed that identified genes are dysregulated either early or late in tumour evolution due to aberration in DNA methylation. In addition, methylation status of these genes in BBM correlates to serum DNA methylation in individual patients, which suggests that these genes could be used as a panel of prognostic markers or as therapeutic targets for BBM.
  • Assessing Sustainable Urban Forms in Erbil City of Iraq

    Ibrahim, Rebwar
    Scholars have frequently considered the analysis of sustainable design and performance of the built fabric over the past two decades with regard to diversity, density and accessibility. They fall short of developing a holistic, systematic and objective assessment system for the analysis of the sustainable urban form. Subsequently, there is still a noticeable gap regarding the relationship between these dimensions and the patterns and the layout of built environments in the Middle East in general and in Iraq in particular. Intense and rapid economic development and urbanisation in Northern Iraq has resulted in expansive urban of built environments to accommodate the ever increasing urban population and level of activity in the city of Erbil. Architectural, planning and urban design trends at the intra-urban and neighbourhood levels indicate a state of disharmony and random physical forms that lack frameworks for understanding sustainable urban form in relation to urban patterns and layout. In this context, Accessibility, Connectivity, Compatibility, Diversity, Nodality, Density, Urban Identity, and Adaptability have been considered as analysis criteria to evaluate the sustainability of spatial patterns of urban form. The thesis aims to explore and examine the relationship between urban patterns and sustainable urban form in Erbil city in the context of sustainability through developing a customised but context-based framework for sustainable urban fabric indicators. To accomplish this, five case studies of residential projects with variable states of occupancy, completion, and social profiling have been chosen to investigate the practice of the sustainable urban form indicators. The research adopted a mixed-methodological approach, which combines quantitative and qualitative surveys of users, planners, and decision makers to enhance an understanding of the local perception of urban sustainability. A random sampling process is applied for the quantitative survey when distributing the questionnaires. The successful sample size, which was analysed, was 252 respondents. Using comparative analysis of sustainable urban form indicators in the recent local residential projects, quantitative findings have noticeably indicated significant variation in the effectiveness of indicators‘ performance, and consequently support the research assumption with statistical evidence that urban patterns have a significant impact on achieving sustainable urban forms in developing countries. The study concludes that the urban pattern indicator framework offers an efficient and rigorous approach that enables a credible assessment of the design strategies and planning decision-making in residential developments to achieve sustainable urban forms. These findings have evident implications for urban planners and policy makers during the design stage. The study has proposed practical planning and design guidelines which aim to enhance the local built environment.
  • The law and Regulation of Credit Rating Agencies in the US and EU

    Hemraj, Mohammed Baker (2018-06-16)
    The need for regulation of the credit rating agencies (CRAs) arose due to their role in the subprime mortgage crisis. The CRAs awarded risky securities ‘3-A’ investment grade status and then failed to downgrade them quickly enough when circumstances changed which led to investors suffering substantial losses. The causes identified by the regulators for the gatekeeper failure were conflicts of interest (as the issuers of these securities pay for the ratings); lack of competition (as the Big Three CRAs have dominated the market share); and lack of CRA regulation. The regulators, both in the US and EU, have tried to address these problems by introducing soft law self-regulation in accordance with the International Organisation of Securities Commissions Code and hard law statutory regulation such as that found in the “Reform Act” and “Dodd-Frank Act” in the US and similar provisions in the EU. This thesis examines these provisions in detail by using a doctrinal black-letter law method to assess the success of the regulators in redressing the problems identified. It also examines the US case law regulation relating to the legal liability of CRAs. The findings are that the US First Amendment protection, exclusion clauses and case law, all lack a deterrent effect on the actions of CRAs. As CRAs have escaped substantial damages, investors are left uncompensated for their losses. The thesis concludes that the issues of conflicts of interest and an anti-competitive environment persist. This thesis recommends the introduction of liability for the CRAs based on the Australian Bathurst case and which should be put in a statutory footing, including the requirements that are needed for making exclusion clauses effective. Rotation of CRAs for every three years would minimise the conflicts of interest. Regulators should require CRAs to purchase professional indemnity insurance, if available, to compensate investors.
  • Practical Incremental Application of Process Improvement, Optimisation and Manufacturing Theories in Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs)

    Onwunaje, Donatus (2012-02)
    Due to rapidly changing and highly competitive nature of today’s market place, manufacturing companies now recognise that survival and profitability are functions of continuous improvement. High quality and reliable products must be produced and delivered at lower cost than the competition. This has led to adoption of a range of time and quality based competitive paradigm/programmes such as Zero Defects, Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma, JIT, SMED, etc. Evidence from many large Japanese companies and others large companies in the EU and USA showed that these programmes contribute substantial benefits. However, in the case of SMEs, proofs of such successes are scant. Factors such as lack of resources, knowledge and culture are some of the factors shown to be militating against SMEs. By extension, it can also be argued that such factors are the main grounds why SMEs have problems adopting and implementing improvement programmes because improvement programmes require time, money and knowledge. This research focused on how to evaluate and assist SMEs to achieve the most out of existing resources, and hence become more competitive, using a case study company as an implementation and validation platform. A framework for achieving process improvement despite limited resources and resistance to change was demonstrated utilising widely available and often inexpensive tools. The main outcomes of this study include a £4 per unit cost reduction and more than 54% increase in capacity, and actual increase in sales of those products affected by the project of £868000. Other outcomes include productivity increases and stabilisation of lead times, knowledge-capture, and development of in-house MRP spread sheet and standard times to help with accurate product costing, culture change, reduced space requirement and production process layout. Most significantly the study established a new empirical stage on which others can build upon and understand how to implement process improvement in SMEs. Specifically, sensitivity to an organisation’s environment and its politics as essential ingredients, must accompany World Class Manufacturing techniques.
  • An Exploratory, Descriptive Mixed Method Study of Active Service Users and Carers Involvement in Adult Nursing and Social Work Students’ Pre-registration Education

    Odejimi, Opeyemi (2017-06)
    There has been a surge in the involvement of service users and carers in health and social care education, research, and practice in the last three decades within the United Kingdom. However, there are few studies that have evaluated the impact of Involvement in health and social care students’ education. This study explored the impact of active involvement in Adult Nursing and Social Work pre-registration education. It provided a tripartite perspective from the perceptions of the three main stakeholders involved: students, academic staff and service users/carers in a specific Higher Education setting in the United Kingdom. A concurrent embedded mixed-methods approach was employed in this study. The study sample was drawn from the three participating stakeholder groups. A total of 38 participants took part in this study. Qualitative information was gathered using semi-structured interviews and focus groups, which explored participants’ perspectives of the impact of active involvement in Adult Nursing and Social Work pre-registration degrees. Questionnaires was the data collection tool for the quantitative information required in this study. Questionnaire was helpful in obtaining contextual information about the participants and service users and carers’ involvement at the research site. It was used to gather factual information about the participants and the current nature of the involvement in Adult Nursing and Social Work pre-registration degree as it was being practiced at the time of data collection and characteristics that may influence or affect the impact of involvement Qualitative data was analysed thematically from the semi-structured interviews and focus groups. Additionally, descriptive and cross-tab analysis of quantitative data was carried out. Then, a side-by-side comparison was used to identify aspects of the qualitative and quantitative findings that were convergent and conflicting. Findings of this study indicated that the scope and integration of service users and carers in educational activities varied greatly within and between subjects even within the same university. Social Work degree reported a wider scope and greater inclusion than the Adult nursing degree. Two main factors account for this notable differences between the two degrees. These are: the duration of involvement being a regulatory requirement by the Professional Regulatory and Statutory Bodies as well as the duration of conducting involvement. Furthermore, this study revealed that involvement influences all three main stakeholders in Higher Education. Some beneficial outcomes of involvement were similar in the academic staff and students’ participant groups. Academic staff and service users/carers raised similar concerns. Overall, the participants indicated that service users and carers’ involvement is generally positive and makes an important and unique contribution to the education of nurses and Social Workers supporting the delivery of patient/client-centred care. This study contributed to new knowledge about involvement in Adult Nursing and Social Work pre-registration degrees by generating a holistic view of its impact. This was achieved by exploring these impacts from a tripartite perspective of the three main stakeholders in Higher Education. This study also developed a modified six rung model that helps to involvement is active and meaningful. A partnership framework was proposed to inform future involvement practices and research about ways of optimising the beneficial outcomes and limiting the inhibitory factors of service users and carers’ involvement in students’ education. Overall, this study provided insights into best practices and pitfalls to avoid, which may be of value to HE providers, education commissioners as well as Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies regarding the practices of service users and carers’ involvement in Higher Education.
  • Global Extraction and Cultural Production: An Investigation of Forms of Extraction Through the Production of Artist-Video

    Brand, Carina (2018-03-01)
    This research is a practice-based, theory-led, examination of forms of extraction under capitalism. The thesis addresses the question of where and how does extraction take place, both in and outside of the wage relationship. Directly employing Marx’s concept of surplus extraction, but further extending the concept of extraction as an analytic tool, artistic method, and identifying its aesthetic form. Through the production of an original body of artistic video work, I explore three disparate sites where ‘extraction’ takes place and employ Science Fiction methods of narrative, the utopian impulse and the ‘alienation effect’ to critique global capitalism. Drawing on political economic theory, I argue that these new ‘zones’ of extraction have; forced the further ‘subjectification’ of labour; supported continued and on-going primitive accumulation – through the creation of global space/time; and promoted the intensification of both relative and absolute surplus value, through the mechanisation of reproduction and the blurring of work and life, through digital technology. The Video Trilogy sets up a dialogue between – fictionreality and space–time, and situates current readings of global extraction in a future/past space, where the inconsistencies of capital are played out. Extraction as concept is utilised to bring together, and expand on, both theoretical readings of the political economy, and to identify that extraction can be redeployed as a cultural or artistic form. I argue that extraction is mobilised through culture, but more importantly, I identify the specific cultural forms of extraction itself. By situating the research between theory and practice, I am able to represent, or interpret, the forms extraction takes – appropriating, performing and re-making them as material and subject within the videos. The research contributes to current critiques of capitalism, in critical theory, art theory, political economy and art-practice-as-research. The video submission brings together a range of aesthetic styles and techniques to construct an original alien world, which is an allegory of our own.
  • Religion and spirituality within the Sikh religion: how counselling psychologists can help

    Kaur, Mandeep (2018-11-01)
    This study investigated the spiritual and religious experience of members of the Sikh community with a focus on how such an experience affects their sense of wellbeing. Consequently, the central aim of this study is to explore how Sikhs use religion and spirituality with coping. This was examined by exploring how Sikhs deal with stressful events and how these impacted on their wellbeing. The thesis was comprised of two parts. Study one comprised of the thematic analysis of questionnaires. 56 UK based Sikh participants (23 males and 33 females; age range 17-62) took part. The findings from study one speculated that the older age group appeared more accepting of their religion and spirituality suggesting maybe they are less occupied by a quest to explore their life through religion and spirituality than the 20-30 year old age group. Consequently, study two looked more closely at participants aged between 20-30 year olds to further explore their lived experience. In line with the IPA methodology, a small well-defined opportunity sample of six people (4 males and 2 females) in the Sikh faith, who have been practicing their religion for at least 2-3 years and between the ages of 20-30 were invited to participate in the interviews. Four superordinate themes were found which represented an overall story. The themes were namely, religious and spiritual struggles; religion and spirituality assisting with the development of self and identity; spiritual striving and aids to well-being: religious/spiritual coping. It is hoped that findings from this research will help to inform our understanding of how Sikh client’s religious and spiritual beliefs influences their wellbeing as well as incorporating this knowledge into the therapy process to make good clinical judgements. This study will enhance research in counselling psychology with regards to religion and spirituality and mental health specifically with regards to young Sikh’s.
  • Representing Muslims: Islamophobic discourse and the construction of identities in Britain since 2001

    Jackson, Leonie (2018-05-01)
    Employing critical race theory as a theoretical and analytical framework, this thesis explores the nature, structure and purpose of Islamophobic discourse, and offers two central contributions to the scholarly debate on Islamophobia. First, it contributes to the literature on the nature of Islamophobia by analysing the form and structure of discourse that seeks to represent Muslims and Islam in a number of social and political sites. Second, the thesis addresses a significant gap identified in the scholarly literature, which has largely overlooked the purpose that Islamophobic discourse serves for those employing it. In order to address the nature and structure of Islamophobic discourse, the thesis analyses representations of Muslims and Islam in dominant national community cohesion and counterterrorism discourses; rearticulation of these discourses at the local level in the West Midlands town of Dudley; the use of Islamophobic discourse by the English Defence League; and the ways in which Islamophobic narratives were used to mark national boundaries in Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands and France. I explain the convergence of narratives across these levels by extending Ghassan Hage’s theoretical formulation of racism as nationalist practices to Islamophobic discourse and argue that, as a cultural racism, Islamophobia can be conceptualised as upholding a system of Eurocentric supremacy, where Western subjects receive a better social, economic and political ‘racial contract’ and seek to defend these privileges against real and imagined Muslim demands. Whether employed for local, national or civilisational purposes, Islamophobia relies on the notion that space has been culturally compromised by Muslims and must be restored to authenticity by legitimate non-Muslim cultural managers. Islamophobia operates through a three-stage ideological process, and restores fantasised power to those who perceive Muslim cultural difference to be unacceptably changing the spaces in which they reside by representing Muslims as making incongruous demands of a territory, singling out a particular timeless value that is under threat, and reifying this value to an absolute. Through this process Muslims are put back in their place, while those employing this discourse experience a restoration of their cultural power to decide the values of a space.

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