• Tackling the barriers to achieving Information Assurance

      Simmons, Andrea C. (2017)
      This original, reflective practitioner study researched whether professionalising IA could be successfully achieved, in line with the UK Cyber Security Strategy expectations. The context was an observed changing dominant narrative from IA to cybersecurity. The research provides a dialectical relationship with the past to improve IA understanding. The Academic contribution: Using archival and survey data, the research traced the origins of the term IA and its practitioner usage, in the context of the increasing use of the neologism of cybersecurity, contributing to knowledge through historical research. Discourse analysis of predominantly UK government reports, policy direction, legislative and regulatory changes, reviewing texts to explore the functions served by specific constructions, mainly Information Security (Infosec) vs IA. The Researcher studied how accounts were linguistically constructed in terms of the descriptive, referential and rhetorical language used, and the function that serves. The results were captured in a chronological review of IA ontology. The Practitioner contribution: Through an initial Participatory Action Research (PAR) public sector case study, the researcher sought to make sense of how the IA profession operates and how it was maturing. Data collection from self-professed IA practitioners provided empirical evidence. The researcher undertook evolutionary work analysing survey responses and developed theories from the analysis to answer the research questions. The researcher observed a need to implement a unified approach to Information Governance (IG) on a large organisation-wide scale. Using a constructivist grounded theory the researcher developed a new theoretical framework - i3GRC™ (Integrated and Informed Information Governance, Risk, and Compliance) - based on what people actually say and do within the IA profession. i3GRC™ supports the required Information Protection (IP) through maturation from IA to holistic IG. Again, using PAR, the theoretical framework was tested through a private sector case study, the resultant experience strengthening the bridge between academia and practitioners.
    • Teacher perceptions of and reactions to the introduction of performance appraisal: a case study of three comprehensive schools

      Bartlett, Stephen (University of Wolverhampton, 1997)
      Staff appraisal of teachers may be described as a vehicle for professional development resulting in greater levels of reflective practice. Conversely it can be seen as a form of monitoring by appraisers of subordinate appraisees as part of a process of increasing control over the work of teachers. This study examines the history of the appraisal process which has been part of the changing nature of teaching during the past two decades. Using a combination of observation, interviews and institutional documents, the introduction of appraisal into th .ee comprehensive schools is explored. The research shows that the three schools have fared very differently in the increasingly competitive market place. The variations in the introduction and implementation of appraisal reflect these differences. Appraisal is viewed in differing ways by teachers depending upon their personal history and experiences. Perceptions revealed within the research include a view of appraisal as professional development and of appraisal as a control mechanism. Resistance to the controlling element of the process was also detected. Appraisal appears to restate the hierarchical nature of the staffing structures of the schools studied. An examination of the appraisal process from the standpoints of the different groups involved, the senior management, the appraisers and the appraisees, highlights the micropolitical nature of schools as organisations. It is suggested that in applying this analytical framework to any appraisal system the nature of power relationships will be exposed. It would appear that, generally, appraisal has been of little use to the teachers and managers in these schools. This was perhaps the result of a process being set up to achieve a number of aims, some of which conflicted. It is proposed that the original purposes of appraisal should be separated and individually considered. In this way achievable methods of fulfilling them could be designed.
    • Teaching itself: a mythology of learning in theory and practice

      Jopling, Michael; Bennett, Pete (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-05)
      What I attempt in this dissertation is to make coherent sense of a body of work produced with others over a period of ten years. This was a decade in which the progressive principles that inform my work were being progressively pushed back by an increasingly nihilistic neoliberalism across the Western world and a peculiarly retrogressive manifestation (The Govist turn) in the UK. In the most extreme case a book that was conceived as creatively and playfully reimaging Media Studies ‘after the subject’ turned out almost to be the subject’s epitaph as its survival at A level turned out to be a close run thing. I hope in passing to consider the impact of this context but also to argue that the context of writing this commentary, at the time of a global pandemic, has probably added more significantly to its value, which I measure only pragmatically, of ideas being produced in a way that is useful to other people. As the pandemic has exposed our flawed models of education far more powerfully than I could myself, indeed have myself, so it has also provided an imperative for affirmative critical action. I hope this work can make a small contribution to that process in suggesting ways in which we might fundamentally perform the educational ‘act’ differently. For that reason there is a more heavily weighted focus on the ways in which my more recent publications constitute a hardly intended deconstruction of the dominant educational paradigm and tentative presentation of an alternative in four steps. As this has been an interpretation of the work inspired by this process alone, I have tried also to make the creation of the commentary an active element of the final version. In this I am partly acknowledging the influence of Barthes’ famous book lengthy critical study of his own work, ‘RB by RB’. I would like to think that the structures, fluidity and playfulness of the commentary also convey something of the whole project.
    • Technology Supported Learning within Art and Design: The acquisition of practical skills, with specific reference to undergraduate introductory sound recording and interview techniques

      Amiri, F.; Cummings, Keith; Jones, P.S.; Davis, James A. (University of WolverhamptonSchool of Art and Design, University of Wolverhampton, 2008)
      While many Higher Education subject areas have embraced technology-supportedlearning (TSL), its uptake has been noticeably slower in the practicum of the art and design subject area. As such our understanding of the use of TSL in this practicum is under-developed. This multi- and inter-disciplinary practice-based research project is a case study, within this under-developed area, based around the question: “Can TSL aid the acquisition and development of practical skills associated with sound recording a location-based interview, introduced (as part of studio-based practice) during a three-hour class to level 1 undergraduate art and design students?” In addressing this research question I argue that the design and evaluation of TSL requires a holistic approach, grounded in an understanding of the audience, subject matter and learning context / environment, requiring a comprehensive consideration of user experience design (UXD), where theory informs rather than leads pedagogy/practice. Taking a grounded approach, an analysis of existing needs was first undertaken within the learning environment; practitioners, and other UK providers of SRIT skills were consulted; a number of pre-existing technology-based practical skillsfocused artefacts were reviewed and theories, models and principles were drawn upon across a number of associated cognate fields. Adopting a post-theoretical perspective and action research principles, an artefact called “RecordingCoach” was designed, realised, utilised and evaluated. RecordingCoach enables its users to observe sound recording equipment being setup; set up a virtual sound kit themselves as well as undertake both assisted and independent interviews with two virtual interviewees. RecordingCoach records the independent virtual interviews in real time and saves them to the host computer hard drive, capturing microphone handling, responses to situational/ environmental sound and verbal audio exchanges. The evaluation of RecordingCoach took place over a one-year period with the participation of 108 students. Attitudes towards the artefact, patterns of learning activity, behaviour and assignment performance were scrutinised and nonassessed performance indicators were referred to. The resulting findings are very positive suggesting that TSL can be effective within the practicum of the art and design subject area.
    • Temporal Processing of News: Annotation of Temporal Expressions, Verbal Events and Temporal Relations

      Mitkov, Ruslan; Marsic, Georgiana (University of WolverhamptonRIILP, 2011)
      The ability to capture the temporal dimension of a natural language text is essential to many natural language processing applications, such as Question Answering, Automatic Summarisation, and Information Retrieval. Temporal processing is a ¯eld of Computational Linguistics which aims to access this dimension and derive a precise temporal representation of a natural language text by extracting time expressions, events and temporal relations, and then representing them according to a chosen knowledge framework. This thesis focuses on the investigation and understanding of the di®erent ways time is expressed in natural language, on the implementation of a temporal processing system in accordance with the results of this investigation, on the evaluation of the system, and on the extensive analysis of the errors and challenges that appear during system development. The ultimate goal of this research is to develop the ability to automatically annotate temporal expressions, verbal events and temporal relations in a natural language text. Temporal expression annotation involves two stages: temporal expression identi¯cation concerned with determining the textual extent of a temporal expression, and temporal expression normalisation which ¯nds the value that the temporal expression designates and represents it using an annotation standard. The research presented in this thesis approaches these tasks with a knowledge-based methodology that tackles temporal expressions according to their semantic classi¯cation. Several knowledge sources and normalisation models are experimented with to allow an analysis of their impact on system performance. The annotation of events expressed using either ¯nite or non-¯nite verbs is addressed with a method that overcomes the drawback of existing methods v which associate an event with the class that is most frequently assigned to it in a corpus and are limited in coverage by the small number of events present in the corpus. This limitation is overcome in this research by annotating each WordNet verb with an event class that best characterises that verb. This thesis also describes an original methodology for the identi¯cation of temporal relations that hold among events and temporal expressions. The method relies on sentence-level syntactic trees and a propagation of temporal relations between syntactic constituents, by analysing syntactic and lexical properties of the constituents and of the relations between them. The detailed evaluation and error analysis of the methods proposed for solving di®erent temporal processing tasks form an important part of this research. Various corpora widely used by researchers studying di®erent temporal phenomena are employed in the evaluation, thus enabling comparison with state of the art in the ¯eld. The detailed error analysis targeting each temporal processing task helps identify not only problems of the implemented methods, but also reliability problems of the annotated resources, and encourages potential reexaminations of some temporal processing tasks.
    • Temporality, authorial intentions, and truth in video game fiction

      Roberts, John; Dhanda, Meena; Ricksand, Martin (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-01)
      This thesis examines the claim that video games differ fundamentally from other media in terms of fictional truth. Fictional truth has been treated extensively in the field of philosophy of fiction, primarily in relation to literature and, to a certain extent, film, but video games have been far too neglected. Truth in game fiction has been discussed by game scholars, and one prevalent view is that fictional truth in games can be altered through the interaction of the player. Scholars support this claim with reference to the purportedly unique nature of games as a medium in terms of temporality and authorial intentions, asserting that these two factors determine truth differently in game fiction. Game scholars often argue that video game stories have other temporal properties than novels and films, that game stories take place in the present and that this makes it possible for players to alter the truth-value of fictional propositions. They also argue that games have an interactive fictional truth, and that the player is some kind of author. However, by applying theories from philosophy of fiction, and with a methodology based in analytic philosophy, the thesis refutes these claims. I show that there are fundamental issues with their conception of time in fiction and that they fail to show why the arguments used to defend this conception are applicable exclusively to games. I also show that they fail to connect their claims regarding authorship to corresponding discussions in philosophy of fiction, where there have been extensive debates surrounding the importance of authorial intentions and to what extent these can determine the fictional truth of a given work; the same issues making it problematic to ascribe too much authority to the creator of a fictional work are retained and/or exacerbated when players are seen as authors. The thesis thus refutes common claims in game studies and expands the scope of philosophy of fiction.
    • Testing the strength model of self-control: Does willpower resemble a muscle?

      Fullerton, Christopher (2016-11)
      The strength model of self-control predicts that when people exert self-control, they should show performance decrements on subsequent self-control tasks. However, it is possible that this pattern of behaviour is confined to specific experimental procedures, which amplifies the effect. The aims of this thesis are to; 1) test the strength model predictions in sport; and 2) examine emotion as a mediator of self-control performance effects. Study 1 consisted of two experiments. Experiment 1 set out to demonstrate a pattern of resource depletion. Forty-three sport and exercise students performed either an incongruent (self-control depletion) or congruent (control) Stroop task before and after performing a virtual reality cycling task on an indoor cycling ergometer. Findings showed the depletion group performed worse on the second Stroop task than on their first task or than the control group. Experiment 2 sought to address some of the methodological concerns in Experiment 1, and examine emotion as a factor explaining performance. Forty-eight physically active participants followed the same experimental protocol, but with an additional iteration of both tasks. Results demonstrated that both cycling and Stroop task performance improved across time. In addition, participants reported feeling happier and more motivated during the second cycling task. Study 2 provided a conceptual replication of Study 1, using different tests of self-control. Twenty-six university-level male soccer players either performed the Loughborough Soccer Passing Test (LSPT) with (self-control depletion) or without (control) an audio file simulating crowd noise, and then performed the wall squat muscle endurance test. The self-control depletion group reported feeling more anxious during the LSPT and performed worse than the controls on the wall squat. III Next, in Study 3, nineteen well-trained competitive endurance runners performed a self-paced 1600 m running trial and then ran a second trial either self-paced or with a pacemaker. The pacemaker had no significant effect on actual performance time but participants reported feeling more anxious beforehand and adopted a fast start strategy, whereas the self-paced group had a conservative pacing pattern. Study 4 showed that, for females, consuming a sports drink—as opposed to plain water—associated with better physical (high-intensity track running) and cognitive self-control (Stroop) performance. In addition, they appeared to be happier drinking water, and more anxious drinking the sports drink—an effect that diverged over the six weeks. Study 5 examined the effects of three strategies—designed to increase or decrease the intensity of emotions—on emotion, pacing strategy and 1600 m performance. Results showed the intervention designed to decrease unpleasant emotions was associated with lower anxiety, higher calmness, a slower first 400 m, and more overall consistent pacing strategy. Study 6 examined the effects of imagery training on swimming tumble-turn performance. Findings showed no significant intervention effect, a result that goes against the proposed benefits of psychological skills training and runs counter to the predictions of the strength model. Collectively, the evidence in the thesis provides limited support for the strength model. It is concluded that self-control performance does not inevitably deteriorate across self-control tasks where the individual is well-versed with the task demands, or where tasks are not physically strenuous enough to tax mental resources. In contrast, the explanation for performance deterioration across a series of novel tasks is likely to extend beyond that of a self-control resources perspective. Future research might profitably test this proposal.
    • TEXT COMPLEXITY AND TEXT SIMPLIFICATION

      Temnikova, Irina (University of Wolverhampton, 2012-04)
      Due to the fact that emergency situations can lead to substantial losses, both financial and in terms of human lives, it is essential that texts used in a crisis situation be clearly understandable. This thesis is concerned with the study of the complexity of the crisis management sub-language and with methods to produce new, clear texts and to rewrite pre-existing crisis management documents which are too complex to be understood. By doing this, this interdisciplinary study makes several contributions to the crisis management field. First, it contributes to the knowledge of the complexity of the texts used in the domain, by analysing the presence of a set of written language complexity issues derived from the psycholinguistic literature in a novel corpus of crisis management documents. Second, since the text complexity analysis shows that crisis management documents indeed exhibit high numbers of text complexity issues, the thesis adapts to the English language controlled language writing guidelines which, when applied to the crisis management language, reduce its complexity and ambiguity, leading to clear text documents. Third, since low quality of communication can have fatal consequences in emergency situations, the proposed controlled language guidelines and a set of texts which were re-written according to them are evaluated from multiple points of view. In order to achieve that, the thesis both applies existing evaluation approaches and develops new methods which are more appropriate for the task. These are used in two evaluation experiments – evaluation on extrinsic tasks and evaluation of users’ acceptability. The evaluations on extrinsic tasks (evaluating the impact of the controlled language on text complexity, reading comprehension under stress, manual translation, and machine translation tasks) Text Complexity and Text Simplification in the Crisis Management domain 4 show a positive impact of the controlled language on simplified documents and thus ensure the quality of the resource. The evaluation of users’ acceptability contributes additional findings about manual simplification and helps to determine directions for future implementation. The thesis also gives insight into reading comprehension, machine translation, and cross-language adaptability, and provides original contributions to machine translation, controlled languages, and natural language generation evaluation techniques, which make it valuable for several scientific fields, including Linguistics, Psycholinguistics, and a number of different sub-fields of NLP.
    • The effect of the Performance Related Pay system on the performance of the employees in Saudi national firms: Three case studies.

      Aljumah, Abdulsalam (2015-11)
      Performance related pay (PRP) has been widely adopted across public and private organisations. However, the evidence for its impact on performance and other possible objectives remains contested, and further questions are raised where the concept is imported to contexts which are culturally different to those in which PRP was originally developed. The aim of this research was to investigate and analyse the impact of performance related pay schemes in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on performance in Saudi national firms, through a case study of three indigenous Saudi organisations, namely: The Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF; The Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) and; the Saudi Telecoms Company (STC). This was based upon an extensive review of the related literature, exploring the theories which underpin PRP such as agency theory and expectancy theory, and studies in various contexts worldwide. The study was mixed methods and cross-sectional, and used survey questionnaire with employees and face to face interviews with managers. The findings reveal widespread dissatisfaction with the PRP schemes in place in two of the companies, and concerns among some management that the assessment processes and allocation of bonuses do not allow genuine assessment and reward for the best performing employees. There are also concerns about the underlying wisdom of differentiating between workers and providing different pay, in that it may go against the norms of working culture in Saudi Arabia. There was also evidence of moves to adapt what was being implemented in line with these norms. Further, in two of the case study organisations, it was felt that the proportion of pay related to performance assessment was insufficient to motivate, raising issues regarding how best to implement PRP. At the same time, there are also voices in support of the schemes at each company, and in SEC, overall satisfaction was expressed.
    • The adoption of laser melting technology for the manufacture of functionally graded cobalt chrome alloy femoral stems

      Stanford, Mark; Hazlehurst, Kevin Brian (University of Wolverhampton, 2014-07)
      Total Hip Arthroplasty (THA) is an orthopaedic procedure that is performed to reduce pain and restore the functionality of hip joints that are affected by degenerative diseases. The outcomes of THA are generally good. However, the stress shielding of the periprosthetic femur is a factor that can contribute towards the premature loosening of the femoral stem. In order to improve the stress shielding characteristics of metallic femoral stems, stiffness configurations that offer more flexibility should be considered. This research has investigated the potential of more flexible and lightweight cobalt chromium molybdenum (CoCrMo) femoral stems that can be manufactured using Selective Laser Melting (SLM). Square pore cellular structures with compressive properties that are similar to human bone have been presented and incorporated into femoral stems by utilising fully porous and functionally graded designs. A three dimensional finite element model has been developed to investigate and compare the load transfer to the periprosthetic femur when implanted with femoral stems offering different stiffness configurations. It was shown that the load transfer was improved when the properties of the square pore cellular structures were incorporated into the femoral stem designs. Factors affecting the manufacturability and production of laser melted femoral stems have been investigated. A femoral stem design has been proposed for cemented or cementless fixation. Physical testing has shown that a functionally graded stem can be repeatedly manufactured using SLM, which was 48% lighter and 60% more flexible than a traditional CoCrMo prosthesis. The research presented in this thesis has provided an early indication of utilising SLM to manufacture lightweight CoCrMo femoral stems with levels of flexibility that have the potential to reduce stress shielding in the periprosthetic femur.
    • THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR AND THE BRITISH IMPERIAL DILEMMA

      Cox, Trevor (2015-01)
      The following study argues that existing historical interpretations of how and why the unification of British North America came about in 1867are flawed. It contends that rather than a movement propelled mainly by colonial politicians in response to domestic pressures - as generally portrayed in Canadian-centric histories of Confederation - the imperial government in Britain actually played a more active and dynamic role due to the strategic and political pressures arising from the American Civil War. Rather than this being a basic ‘withdrawal’, or ‘abandonment’ in the face of US power as is argued on the rare occasions diplomatic or strategic studies touch upon the British North American Act: this thesis argues that the imperial motivations were more far-reaching and complex. The British policy on union was bound up with the wish to make the provinces more responsible for defence, a need greatly intensified by the Civil War; however this imperative was meant to help preserve the North American colonies in the empire and even more vitally outside of the orbit of the United States. From the metropolitan government’s point of view Confederation had its genesis in the antebellum period and was a long-term aim - not only to secure the British North America - but even fact to counter United States hegemony in on the continent. Therefore rather than being conceived as a ‘retreat’, it was an overarching plan to challenge Federal preponderance in North America. Due to the security dilemmas arising from the Civil War the long-term nature of this scheme became unworkable and was therefore accelerated to become a short-term response to a strategic dilemma.
    • The anti-colonial politics and policies of the Communist Party of Great Britain: 1920-51

      Jones, Jean Elizabeth (University of Wolverhampton, 1997)
      This thesis is concerned with the anti-imperialist politics of the CPGB in the period 1920-1951. It looks at the policies and practical measures taken by the CPGB to promote colonial liberation both within the British Empire and (as a cause) at home in Britain. In particular, it examines the Party's activities in India and on behalf of the Indian nationalist, socialist, and trade union movements. It also considers the very different case of British colonies in sub-Saharan Africa, where nationalist movements were only in their infancy in the period under consideration. Thus the forms of political activity considered in this work range from the purely agitational and propagandistic to the directly interventionary. The work also considers the theoretic context of Communist activity in regard to the colonies. But since this is well-trodden ground the thesis is more concerned to establish what the CPGB attempted to achieve and how it set about achieving it. In trying to establish the scope and nature of the CPGB's anti-colonial activities, the thesis is necessarily concerned, to some extent, with the sympathetic periphery of individuals and organisations the came into the Party's orbit. This research is the first to make extensive use of the archive of the CPGB (much of which has only recently become available) in relation to this important, but largely neglected, arena of Communist politics in the twentieth century.
    • THE APPLICABILITY OF RECYCLED WASTE PAPER AS LIGHTWEIGHT BUILDING MATERIALS.

      Okeyinka, Oriyomi M. (2016)
      In this era of increasing standard of living and rapid growth of civil engineering construction, environmental issues pertaining to natural resources depletion, global warming, energy crisis, waste pollution and greenhouse gas emission have been major issues of concern throughout the world and most especially in the construction industry. This research was conducted to investigate the applicability of recycled wastepaper as lightweight building materials with focus on contributing to sustainability in the creation of the built environment. The major aim was to develop an eco-friendly lightweight non-loadbearing block from recycled wastepaper without the use of cement as binder. This study specifically addressed the drawback of low strength development that usually occur with increasing wastepaper content in the existing cement-based-wastepaper blocks. It also indirectly addresses; the environmental impacts associated with the construction industry (including; high consumption of natural resources, greenhouse gas emission, high energy consumption and so on), the environmental pollution resulting from unsustainable waste generation, and the generic drawback of high water absorption that plagues wastepaper-based blocks. To achieve this, research methods including; laboratory experimentation and simulation modelling were employed. The research outcome is an eco-friendly block unit designated as Cement-less Wastepaper-based Lightweight Block (CWLB) which contains 75% waste content and exhibiting properties that satisfy the requirements for application as non-loadbearing lightweight blocks in building construction. CWLB displayed compressive strength that far outweighs those recorded for the existing cement-based wastepaper blocks available in the literature. The properties recorded for the optimal CWLB includes; 2.71 MPa average compressive strength, 901.5 kg/m3 average density, 0.19 W/m.k thermal conductivity, 989.9 m/s ultrasonic pulse velocity, 0.0026 g/m2.S0.5 average coefficient of capillary water absorption and 883.38 MPa estimated elastic modulus. The approximate compressive strength of 2.38 MPa and 1.58 MPa were respectively predicted and recorded for the solid and hollow finite element model samples of CWLB. The impressive satisfactory properties of CWLB for the intended application and its eco-friendliness in terms of natural resources conservation and improved compressive strength suggests that CWLB shall indeed serve as a more sustainable alternative to the reigning/existing cement-based-wastepaper blocks and to the conventional masonry blocks of the same category. Amongst other things, future work will address the validation of the approximate compressive strength predicted for the solid and hollow CWLB insitu samples in order to take further the subject matter.
    • The application of social semiotic theory to visual elements within corporate positioning material with a view to the development of methodologies for commercial use

      Watts, Reginald (University of Wolverhampton, 2002)
      This worl< employs a variety of social semiotic and critical discourse techniques to develop methodologies that will assess the extent to which external positioning requirements of commercial organisations are expressed accurately in the visual imagery of their corporate artefacts. The automotive manufacturer The Rover Group was chosen to test the assessment through visual analysis of three brochures published by the company during the period 1995-97. The meanings expressed visually in the brochures were compared with the communications requirements of the Board of Directors of the Group. For the enquiry a series of templates were developed which were informed, inter alia, by concepts expressed by Kress and van Leeuwen in their work Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design (1996). My analysis suggests significant discrepancies occur between the positioning messages intended by the board of directors for projection externally and their expression in visual terms within the company's corporate literature. The thesis identifies where these disjunctures occur and suggests methodological templates for use by communications practitioners not trained in semiotic theory or critical discourse analysis to reduce the level of subjectivity in their analysis. The Rover Group was chosen for testing the templates because changes in ownership and structure of the company enabled me to use what would have been commercially sensitive material if the company had remained unchanged.
    • The British Union of Fascists in the Midlands, 1932 – 1940

      Cunningham, Mike; Durham, Martin; Morgan, Craig (University of Wolverhampton, 2008)
      This thesis provides an examination of the emergence and development of Sir Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists in the Midlands between 1932 and 1940. It charts the fascist presence in four major cities: Birmingham, Stoke-on-Trent, Coventry and Leicester. The BUF is the largest and most important fascist movement to have ever existed in Britain. Mosleyite fascism in the Midlands as a region has never before been investigated and represents a significant gap in the historiography of British fascist studies. Alongside affording valuable insight into Mosleyite fascism at the regional level, the study will illuminate further understanding of the BUF nationally. The fascist experience in the Midlands is used to test and contribute to arguments about the national movement in the secondary literature relating to three themes: (a) the social class composition of BUF membership; (b) the strength of BUF membership; and (c) the focus of BUF propaganda. Finally, four main areas generally recognised as the reasons for national failure are discussed to explain the long-term marginalisation of the BUF in the Midlands.
    • The Chemical Forms and Plant Availability of Copper in Composting Organic Wastes

      Talbot, Victoria (University of Wolverhampton, 2007)
      A seven-step sequential extraction scheme was used to track changes in operationally defined copper speciation during the composting of a mixture of grass clippings and sawdust originating from tanalised timber. Starting materials were either unamended or treated with differing amounts of soluble copper, using a copper acetate solution, and then composted in the laboratory. Results showed that at the start of the experiment over 80% of the copper present in the unamended materials occurred in forms not immediately available for plant uptake. However, composting processes enabled the release of this copper which then, over time, became more bioavailable. Large amounts of copper in the copper amended materials were initially detectable in all fractions except the residual one, but over time it was seen to move from all fractions to the EDTA extractable fraction, thought to determine organically complexed / chelatable metals (Amir, 2005). This continued until an equilibrium was reached and then the water and calcium nitrate extractable forms appeared to hold the excess. Copper as determined by these extracts would be available for plant uptake. In the second experiment, three different organic wastes (grass/sawdust, pig slurry/sawdust and sewage sludge cake/sawdust) to which copper had been added as copper acetate, sulphate or EDTA, were composted in the laboratory. Samples were taken at 0, 105 and 318 days and subjected to a range of analyses: copper by sequential extraction using two different extraction schemes, a chelating resin membrane (CRM) procedure and by XRF spectrometry; FTIR analysis for functional groups; total carbon, nitrogen and sulphur; pH, EC, NH4+ and NO3- nitrogen, COD, germination indices and optical properties of water extracts. Sequential extractions demonstrated clear changes in copper distribution amongst various fractions within the materials, with copper originally present in the materials being transferred from the oxidisable fractions to easily extractable (and hence potentially phytoavailable) fractions. Transfer of copper from available to less available fractions in copper amended materials was also seen with movement of copper within copper EDTA treated materials being the slowest of all. Initial amounts of copper in fraction 1 extracted from all samples determined the rate at which copper was transformed. CRM determined copper correlated strongly with copper from fraction 1 of the Tessier scheme, although changes over time did not correspond well. Other parameters measured indicated that that the material was maturing (decreases in C/N and polysaccharide functional groups). However, other results demonstrated that the composts were still immature and unstable. Such slow decomposition was attributed to the high lignin content of the materials. Nevertheless, immobilisation of potentially phytotoxic level of copper was still demonstrated. The usefulness of chelating resin membrane as a predictor of phytoavailable copper is also discussed.
    • The chronic and acute effects of whole body vibration training

      Ross Cloak (2016-02)
      Whole body vibration training (WBVT) has gained a lot of interest for its proposed benefits across a range of populations both active and injured. The purpose of the present thesis was to test the efficacy of WBVT in terms of injury rehabilitation and performance enhancement amongst professional and amateur athletes. The five papers submitted for the degree of PhD by publication are grouped into two key themes relevant to the development of knowledge and evidence to advance a better understanding of the chronic and acute effects of WBVT. The themes encompass the efficacy of WBVT (Chronic) as a rehabilitation tool and as an addition to a warm-up routine (acute). The explanatory narrative provides a brief background to WBVT, a summary of each paper and what the paper has contributed to the field both in terms of knowledge and methodological development. The papers presented provide evidence that chronic WBVT is an effective method of improving balance and stability in athletes suffering functional ankle instability (FAI) (Paper 1). Even when compared to traditional methods of rehabilitation for FAI, the addition of WBVT enhances the benefits of traditional rehabilitation protocols (Paper 2). The use of acute WBVT enhances reactive strength, again showing a significant benefit as an addition to a more traditional warm-up (FIFA 11+) amongst amateur soccer players (Paper 3). When training status was considered (amateur vs. professional), high frequency acute WBVT stimulus significantly improved landing stability (DPSI) amongst professional players only (Paper 4). These differences between groups were also identified when examining knee extensor potentiation and force output with significant improvements amongst professional but not amateur soccer players. Professional players also reported significantly greater beliefs in the effectiveness of WBVT (Paper 5). In conclusion the body of work presented discusses the practical and methodological implications of the new knowledge presented and identifies a series of future lines of research.
    • The communication and influence of confidence and uncertainty

      Wesson, Caroline J. (University of Wolverhampton, 2005-11)
      This thesis reports a series of nine inter-linked experiments examining the influence of different levels of verbal confidence on choice and interpersonal perceptions. Chapter 1 identifies the levels of confidence associated with some everyday expressions of confidence, expressions that are used as ‘confidence cues’ in subsequent experimental chapters. Chapter 2 examines the influence of confidence cues with different types of task, and Chapter 3 relates these influences to individual differences. Chapter 4 considers our perceptions of speakers who express different levels of confidence, then Chapters 5 and 6 examine whether these perceptions, and the subsequent use of their information, change when performance feedback is made available. Chapter 7 examines whether our own confidence level affects the extent to which a speaker’s confidence influences us then Chapter 8 determines if a speaker’s confidence exerts a positive or negative influence, while Chapter 9 investigates how the influence of confidence is influenced by the timing of the advice. The results indicate that confidence is an effective form of influence, providing evidence that a confidence heuristic is used, whereby a speaker’s confidence is taken as a cue to their accuracy, knowledge, and competency. The extent to which the confidence heuristic is used when making choices strongly depends on one’s own level of confidence, whether this was due to the type of task being tackled, the difficulty of the task, or the timing of the advice, with people relying more on the confidence heuristic as their own confidence decreased, although there were some individual differences mediating the extent of this. Increasing levels of speaker confidence lead to speakers being perceived more positively in terms of competency, but too much confidence was found to be detrimental in terms of how much a speaker was liked. Issues raised by this thesis, and directions for further research are considered in the Discussion.
    • The consumption of tattoos and tattooing : the body as permanent text

      Goulding, Christina; Follett, John Alan (University of Wolverhampton, 2009)
      In this thesis, I investigate permanence through exploring tattoo consumption in terms of the social-historical context of being tattooed. The analysis is based on four years of data collection adopting a grounded theory approach. I present an analysis of how permanence occurs in terms of tattoo consumption, with particular interest in the physical permanence in relation to identity creation. This is set within the framework of Consumer Culture Theory (CCT). The reason for this is twofold, firstly to illustrate the ability of using tattooing as an instrument to investigate permanence within CCT. Secondly, to show the lack of use of the socio-historical perspective within such an investigation, and to show that the use of such data is a valid strategy and which adds depth and context to such an investigation. Furthermore, I suggest that tattoo consumption has become a site of embodied expression that is bounded by physicality, and permanence. I present a typology of tattooed consumers based on levels of commitment and explore in depth two main categories, physicality, and, permanence. I find that the physical permanence is shown through the commitment to tattoo usage. Its permanent nature determines the tattoo as an act of consumption that is dualistic in nature; both accepted, and yet equally rejected, which is seen within the consumers‘ negotiation of its use, in terms of mimicry and placement. Being tattooed represents a form of consumption that contravenes certain rules and norms of society, and yet at the same time is the basis for community membership and adherence to a set of sub-cultural norms and values.