• 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.
    • Designing a safe dendronised polymeric nanocarrier for hydrophobic drugs or gene delivery in cancer therapy

      Tang, James; Wali, Aisha Roshan Mohamed (University of Wolverhampton, 2018-11)
      The hardship of cancer is continuously increasing and is rapidly spreading globally. At present, almost one-third of newly discovered potential therapeutics have poor pharmacokinetics and biopharmaceutical properties. Chemotherapeutic agents known to be the most effective treatment, lack tumour specificity and suffers from poor solubility. The lack of specificity results in severe side effects in off-target tissues, whereas poor soluble drugs exhibit short half-life in the bloodstream and high overall clearance rate. Amphiphilic block copolymers based on hydrophobic dendrons have shown to be a promising strategy to enhance the solubility of hydrophobic drugs, prolong circulation time, minimise non-specific uptake, and allow for specific tumour-targeting through the EPR effect. Herein, we have proposed the development of a new safe and more specific non-viral vector system based on peptide dendronised polymeric micelles to enhance the delivery of hydrophobic drugs into liver cancer cells. G3(PLLA and OGPLLL) arginine dendron of third generation bearing eight peripheral hydrophobic or cationic groups (PBF and BOC or guanidine groups) were synthesised in high yield, identified and tested for purity using NMR, MS and TLC. A series of three amphiphilic system characterised by different hydrophilic pullulan derivatives segments were then synthesised using Huisgen azide-alkyne 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition between pullulan (P), lactosylated pullulan (P(Lac)) and pullulan bearing disulphide linkage (PSS) with the G3 dendron to lead amphiphilic block copolymers P-PLLA, P(Lac)-PLLA and PSS-PLLA, respectively. Hydrophilic pullulan and lactobionic acid were selected for amphiphilic modification, aiming at specific asialoglycoprotein receptors recognition onto hepatocytes cells in the liver. Macromolecular structures of amphiphilic P-PLLA, P(Lac)-PLLA and PSS-PLLA were able to self-assemble spontaneously into spherical nanoarchitectures of sizes less than 90nm with low polydispersity in the aqueous media, which was confirmed by CAC, DLS and TEM. Furthermore, the polyaromatic anticancer drug Doxorubicin (Dox) was selectively encapsulated in the hydrophobic core through multiple interactions with the dendron, including π-π interactions, hydrogen bonding and hydrophobic interactions. Such multiple interactions had the merits of enhanced drug loading capacity (>16%), excellent stability against dilution, and excellent sustained release property. Results showed that a high number of hydrophobic segments within a micellar core enhance higher loading efficiency of hydrophobic drugs, whereas, an increase of surface hydrophilicity or an increase in the length of the hydrophobic segment, both have an effect in reducing the micellar size and CAC value. The disulfide-containing PSS-PLLA micelles were able to co-encapsulate both hydrophobic drugs Dox and Curcumin (Cur) which could simultaneously be co-released in high rate from the carrier (>80wt% in 60hours) in response to the high redox potential environment. Most importantly, the release of Dox from the carrier at pH 5 enhanced the release of curcumin, whereas curcumin, in turn, would improve the efficiency of Dox anticancer activity by overcoming Dox MDR. Such a delivery system provides a promising approach for combination therapy in cancer. The cell viability assay presented that the blank micelles had excellent biocompatibility both in the normal and tumour cells. Moreover, loaded drugs nanoparticles could be effectively internalised into the hepatoma carcinoma cells, and Dox-Cur-PSS-PLLA dramatically inhibited cell proliferation. Also, cationic dendron conjugated pullulan (P-OGPLLL) could efficiently condense DNA with excellent hemocompatibility and high gene transfection in Hela and Hek293T cells. Thus, this work offers an effective strategy of designing a non-viral system and the P-PLLA, P(Lac)-PLLA, PSS-PLLA and P-OGPLLL nanocarriers serve as a reliable drug/gene delivery nanoplatform to enable the improvement of the bioavailability, targetability, efficacy and overcome MDR of therapeutic agents.
    • 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.
    • Fulfilling roles: Midland women, developing roles and identities C.1760-1860

      Ponsonby, Margaret; Gildart, Keith; Maitland-Brown, Katrina (2018-09-15)
      This thesis examines the lives of a group of Midland women in the period c. 1760-1860. They were the wives, sisters, daughters and mothers of the middle-class entrepreneurial and professional men of the region. During this period the Midlands produced individuals who expanded production and commerce, often with little technical innovation, but with a shrewd sense of what was marketable. Men such as the Wedgwoods, Boultons and Kenricks built businesses, sponsored canals and highways, and invented, produced and sold an ever-expanding supply of goods world-wide. Yet while the lives of such men have been celebrated, the women of these families have often been overlooked. They are the focus of this thesis, which will address this gap in the history of the entrepreneurial and professional families of the Midlands. Examining the identities of these women through a range of archival and printed sources, both as individuals and as members of families, communities, networks and organisations, particular attention is paid to changing social and cultural attitudes. The thesis will investigate whether and how their experiences contributed to the wider debates on women’s roles in this period, examining the role of networks in assisting women to operate in a variety of spaces, broadening their political consciousness, and questioning what, if any, generational changes are visible. The thesis will argue that in this period, middle-class women negotiated social and cultural conventions of class and gender through a variety of roles which empowered them to shape their own identities. A microhistory study such as this highlights the more subtle and complex efforts made by women in search of autonomy, filling in gaps created in broader studies. In revealing contradictions of the norm, a more nuanced view of women’s experiences can also emerge. The thesis aims to extend existing knowledge in the field of social and cultural history by researching the experiences of these middle-class women of the Midlands who, for the most part, notwithstanding their achievements as businesswomen, religious figures and contributors to science and literature, have escaped the notice of scholars of women’s history. Yet knowledge of women’s activities beyond feminist campaigns can broaden our understanding of what may have been important to their social group. They all had something to say, even the quieter ones. In examining their activities this thesis restores their social and cultural histories and, by highlighting their concerns and interests, allows a more inclusive picture of British middle-class women’s experiences in the period 1760 to 1860 to emerge, with some surprising results.
    • Queering the Black Country: a critical and creative response

      McDonald, Paul; Colbert, Ben; Francis, Robert Mark (2018-09-01)
      This project explores the following research questions: How might Black Country fiction illuminate the possible connections – in theory and practice – between the post-industrial liminality of the region and queer identity or experience; and, in what ways might a close analysis of contemporary Black Country fiction function as an enabling or energising factor in the production of a new creative work about the region? Using Environmental Psychology and Psychogeography, I critically examine the ways the literature of the region depict its geography and the impact this has on the identity of its characters. Freudian and post-Freudian psychoanalysis is utilised to discuss ideas of liminal states of being - focusing on the uncanny, the abject and Lacan’s Lamella. These ideas are set within the framework of Queer Theory, connecting place and identity with non-normative sexualities. Psychogeography and environmental psychology illustrate how one’s culture, heritage and environment help form communal identity and sense of place. I examine sense of place in the region’s literature and investigate the liminal aspects of its geography and socio-politics, exposing how liminal place affects the inhabiting cultures and communities, and how liminal place forges liminal experience and identity. I investigate identity by looking at literary depictions of abjection and the uncanny; using Freud, Lacan and Kristeva, this project looks at notions of coming into being, and the anxieties formed from the return of the repressed. Queer Theory focuses on non-normative desire and sexuality. I discuss how queer experience and identity can be read as liminal, uncanny and abject. These theories are set against the landscape of the Black Country, examining how the region can be used as a fruitful backdrop for dealing with identity politics and how the Black Country, in its borderlessness, plays a significant role in specifically local types of queerness. An important thematic thread of contemporary Black Country literature deals with notions of identity in a post-industrial landscape. The region can be identified as post-industrial in several ways. I examine how Black Country writers deal with it as a borderless place – a place difficult to map, a place where new meets old, where rural life sits next to heavy industry, a place geographically and socio-politically liminal. This thesis is a piece of literary criticism of existing Black Country Literature, an original piece of creative writing and a reflective commentary on my creative practices. Queering the Black Country investigates the research questions through three different methodologies, resulting in an overall conclusion that draws on three distinct academic / creative practices. The critical output sets out how Black Country writing can be read as examples of liminal, post-industrial and queer literature. This also develops the theoretical framework the creative element uses. The creative output develops and adds to the existing dialogue of these ideas of liminality and queer experience, offering an original creative perspective on the traditions of this region’s literature. My reflective commentary explores how creative writing practices and processes, in terms of narrative devices, add to the ways one produces liminal and queer literature. This part critical - part creative project investigates slippery notions of liminality through criticism of existing Black Country literature and through production of an original piece of creative fiction.
    • Hospital nurses' attitudes to work: a case study of a Chinese hospital

      Feng, Feifei (2018-07-30)
      The aim of this study is to explore what the relevant factors of nurses' attitudes to and at work are. These include the separate but related hypotheses – the nature of the profession and changes in terms of management and training; the nature of the work situation including contracts and pay determination; and the nature of work relations as they impinge on nurse status including relations with co-workers and patients. All of which can be understood and compared with other workers in terms of both labour process and industrial relations as Goldthorpe (1968) did in the study of car workers. In the context of the contemporary Chinese social and political economy, the research also evaluates the roles of the government and how it affects nurses’ attitudes to the profession. It is grounded in a case study of 330 nurses in a Chinese public sector hospital, using questionnaires, interviews, and documentary evidence on government policies and hospital practices. The findings suggest that nurses at the case study hospital are frequently put under pressure due to the high number of patients they are expected to care for. This was caused by insufficient government funding for public sector hospitals, and the pressure to improve overall efficiency within the health service. The use of different types of employment contracts for nurses has caused strong resentment among nurses because it fails to award ‘equal pay for equal work’. In addition, the current system used in many Chinese hospitals for nurse education, recruitment, training and development, and pay have not helped establish realistic expectations of nursing or rewarded nurses for the work they do effectively.
    • An investigative study on the relationship between organizational factors and knowledge management effectiveness in UAE public organizations: the case study of Abu Dhabi

      Alkatheeri, Ayman (2018-07-01)
      This study examines the relationship between organizational factors (Culture, Structure, Strategy and Technology) and Knowledge Management Effectiveness (KME) in Abu Dhabi public organizations. The literature indicates that these factors are widely used to explore KME in construction organizations, but little analysis has been undertaken for UAE public construction companies. The government of Abu Dhabi regulates eight different construction organizations. This study obtained 414 samples from the considered organizations. An empirical research with quantitative methods was undertaken. First, a comprehensive literature reviewed enabled the derivation of three hypotheses, which were then verified through a quantitative survey of the eight organizations. A questionnaire was administered to 414 active department managers, supervisors and employees of Abu Dhabi public organizations whose job description indicated responsibility for KME implementation. Descriptive statistical analysis was used to evaluate the organizational factors and KME of the considered organizations. Ordered logistic regression was used to assess the influence of the organizational factors on KME, and factor analysis was used for the extraction of the significant dimensions of these factors. Ordered logistic regression was used to explore the relationships between the significant dimensions found in these factors and KME. It was discovered that there is significant relationship between organizational factors and KME, but only a few dimensions have significant impacts. Therefore, a model was subsequently developed for the improvement of KME in Abu Dhabi public organizations consisting of significant areas and dimensions of factors impacting on KME, which was developed in a group discussion conducted with senior and middle management leaders from the considered organizations, who were responsible for implementing knowledge management. This model was then validated in Abu Dhabi public organizations and the results indicate the areas and factors of Abu Dhabi public organizations’ knowledge management leaders that need to be strengthened to improve KME performance.
    • Automatic identification and translation of multiword expressions

      Taslimipoor, Shiva (2018-06-30)
      Multiword Expressions (MWEs) belong to a class of phraseological phenomena that is ubiquitous in the study of language. They are heterogeneous lexical items consisting of more than one word and feature lexical, syntactic, semantic and pragmatic idiosyncrasies. Scholarly research on MWEs benefits both natural language processing (NLP) applications and end users. This thesis involves designing new methodologies to identify and translate MWEs. In order to deal with MWE identification, we first develop datasets of annotated verb-noun MWEs in context. We then propose a method which employs word embeddings to disambiguate between literal and idiomatic usages of the verb-noun expressions. Existence of expression types with various idiomatic and literal distributions leads us to re-examine their modelling and evaluation. We propose a type-aware train and test splitting approach to prevent models from overfitting and avoid misleading evaluation results. Identification of MWEs in context can be modelled with sequence tagging methodologies. To this end, we devise a new neural network architecture, which is a combination of convolutional neural networks and long-short term memories with an optional conditional random field layer on top. We conduct extensive evaluations on several languages demonstrating a better performance compared to the state-of-the-art systems. Experiments show that the generalisation power of the model in predicting unseen MWEs is significantly better than previous systems. In order to find translations for verb-noun MWEs, we propose a bilingual distributional similarity approach derived from a word embedding model that supports arbitrary contexts. The technique is devised to extract translation equivalents from comparable corpora which are an alternative resource to costly parallel corpora. We finally conduct a series of experiments to investigate the effects of size and quality of comparable corpora on automatic extraction of translation equivalents.
    • 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.
    • The development of 5D BIM framework to facilitate costing in contractor-led projects

      Tochukwu, Moses Gift (2018-06-15)
      Building Information Modelling (BIM) as an ambitious Government Construction Strategy (GCS) on all publicly procured sector projects, is leading to a significant shift and changing the dynamics of cost professional functions. This therefore requires the current fragmented construction industry to urgently review approaches to existing cost estimating and cost planning processes leading to a reliable project budget. This drive, along with 2025 construction strategy is key to achieving the requirement of GCS for 25 percent cost reduction. To successfully implement Level 2 BIM, relevant costing framework, enabling 5D BIM cost protocol or standard significant to changing dynamics of cost functions within BIM environment is required to be embedded within design development stages. Using phenomenological qualitative research method and thematic data analytical process, interviews involving 21 participants from seven construction organisations with design, construction and cost management practices were conducted. Scope was intentionally provided for extensive discussion to identify issues beyond the literature findings. Findings suggest strong commitment and leadership from organisational management will facilitate cost savings, generate accurate cost information in a Level 2 BIM project. A considerable cultural shift towards automating and digitising cost functions virtually; stronger collaborative working relationship relative to costing in design development, construction practice, maintenance and operation is required across the built environment. The 5D BIM Costing Framework (5B-CF) which informed the creation of 5D BIM Cost Protocol (5B-CP) as developed would allow contractors fully utilise BIM facilitating more effective 5D costing in a contractor-led project.
    • Subclinical delusional ideation and reasoning

      Jones, Claire (2018-06-15)
      Delusions are fixed beliefs that are not amenable to change in light of conflicting evidence (APA, 2013) and are a symptom most often associated with schizophrenia. Evidence suggests that psychotic symptoms, such as delusions, exist on a continuum from the healthy population to clinical disorder (van Os, Linscott, Myin-Germeys, Delespaul & Krabbendam, 2009; van Os & Reininghaus, 2016). Research demonstrating that biases in reasoning contribute to the formation of such delusional beliefs has gathered momentum and has been shown in both clinical and healthy, non-clinical populations (e.g. Warman, Lysaker, Martin, Davis, & Haudenschield, 2007). Liberal acceptance has only been demonstrated previously in patients with schizophrenia therefore the current thesis aimed to examine whether a liberal acceptance reasoning style would be evident in a subclinical sample consistent with a continuum model and to examine factors that may underpin this acceptance. In Chapters 3-5 and Chapter 8, it was found that there was a tendency for those high in delusional ideation to rate stimuli with both delusional and neutral content as more likely to be true compared to those low in delusional ideation indicating a lowered threshold for plausibility, consistent with a liberal reasoning style. It was a fairly consistent finding that stimuli with delusional themes were rated as more exciting than stimuli with neutral themes by participants high in delusional ideation, highlighting a potential mechanism for why narratives with delusional and neutral content are more likely to be accepted (Chapter 2, 5 & 8). Sensation seeking however did not provide an explanation for finding excitement in delusional stimuli and creativity was only implicated when this was in regards to emotional creativity in Chapter 3. Furthermore, perceptual and non-perceptual apophenia (the tendency to see patterns where none exist or make causal connections between random events) appears to play a central role in why participants high in delusional ideation liberally accept. Embedded objects were reported in visual ‘noise’ where no object had been embedded by participants high in delusional ideation in Chapter 4. Consistent with this, participants high in delusional ideation also tended to report experiencing more coincidences than those low in delusional ideation in Chapters 5 and 8. This is important for the liberal acceptance account since the ability to see patterns where none exist and make causal connections between random events may be a factor in why delusion-prone individuals see plausibility where others do not. Liberal acceptance was also investigated in light of findings from studies with clinical patients in Chapters 6 and 7. In Chapter 6, participants assigned plausibility ratings to interpretations of ambiguous pictures to see if those high in delusional ideation see plausibility in interpretations that others would reject or rate lowly. Similar trends were found in a subclinical sample, to that found in Moritz and Woodward’s (2004) original study and participants high in delusional ideation rated more of the interpretations as possible, good or excellent compared to participants low in delusional ideation, who rated more of the interpretations as poor; these effects however did not achieve significance. When probability estimates and decision and rejection thresholds were examined using the ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire?’ paradigm (see Moritz, Woodward & Hausmann, 2006), differences between participants high and low in delusional ideation did not emerge in Chapter 7. The series of experiments reported in this thesis have been successful in highlighting under what conditions participants high in delusional ideation liberally accept and in identifying potential factors that underpin this acceptance. Limitations of this research, theoretical implications and directions for future research are considered in the General Discussion in Chapter 8.
    • An investigation of building information modelling implementation in KSA

      Naim, Abdullah Abdulrahman Abdullah Al (2018-06-01)
      Building Information Modelling (BIM) has been well recognised all around the world as a technology driven approach that can bring radical improvements in construction productivity. There is considerable demand for using BIM in the KSA due to the large scale of its construction industry that needs to improve its productivity to overcome the persistent problems, such as project delays, planning inefficiencies, and waste of resources. The aim of this study is to investigate how the KSA construction organisations are implementing BIM for competitive advantage. Qualitative research approach was adopted to collect and analyse data from 46 BIM professionals. As part of the analysis of the interviews, content analysis was employed. The unit of analysis adopted for this study is the ‘construction industry’ and the embedded unit is ‘individual employee’. The KSA construction industry is heading in the right direction for implementing BIM, however it is lacking BIM knowledge and does not understand BIM as a set of requirements. Therefore, an industry wide awareness-raising programme on the concept of BIM needs to be developed and deployed. The existing education and training programmes need some reorientation. Furthermore, the KSA construction organisations would not survive if they choose not to use BIM. BIM is widely used during planning and design stage. The four most important drivers for BIM implementation are: client pressure, competitive pressure, to improve collaboration, and government pressure. Eleven challenges were also revealed in this study of which organisational culture for change is the key challenge for adoption of BIM in the KSA construction organisations. Leaders of a change process need to realise that most changes within an organisation will usually cause and expect some change in its existing culture and sub-cultures. Therefore, having a better understanding of the effects change has on the sub-cultures of an organisation, group or team, will in turn help leaders of a change process better understand the resistance towards the change itself, and provide a more realistic approach on how to manage it. A BIM implementation framework is developed for the benefit of KSA construction organisations. It is recommended that KSA construction stakeholders including the government and professional regulatory bodies should work together in ensuring that the enablers of BIM adoption such as the provision of regulations and industry standards guiding the implementation are provided and strengthened to make the industry ready enough for BIM adoption.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Storying students’ ecologies of belonging: a narrative inquiry into the relationship between ‘first generation’ students and the University

      Richards, Lynn Maureen (2018-04-16)
      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.
    • An interpretative phenomenological analysis investigation into the subjective experience of being diagnosed with dyslexia in adulthood

      Njoku, Chinenye (2018-04-01)
      A large number of adults remain unaware that the difficulties they encounter may be related to dyslexia. Diagnosing dyslexia in adulthood may provide the means to reasonable accommodation to help in areas of difficulties but may also impact on the individual’s sense of self. To date, little research attention has been paid to idiographic experiences of adulthood diagnosis of dyslexia and subsequent adjustment issues related to the diagnosis. The aim of this study is to develop indepth understandings on subjective conceptualisations, meaning making and adjustments issues to the experience of adulthood diagnosis of dyslexia. Semistructured interviews were conducted with seven individuals diagnosed with dyslexia in adulthood to explore this experience. Interviews were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) from which five superordinate themes emerged: ‘De-constructing the past to make sense of the present’, ‘Roller coaster of emotions to dyslexia and diagnosis’, ‘Stigma, stereotypes and stereotypical attitudes towards dyslexics’, ‘The Paradox of self-disclosure’ and ‘Support following dyslexia diagnosis’. These superordinate themes, with their associated subordinate themes, are expanded into a narrative account of adults’ experiences. The findings revealed that adulthood diagnosis of dyslexia entailed a range of experiential processes that culminated to ‘identity transformation’. These findings can help in deepening understandings of the effect of adult dyslexia diagnosis on identity; contribute to existing practices in counselling psychology, educational institutions and employment agencies providing supportive services for individuals with dyslexia. Keywords: Dyslexia, dyslexia diagnosis, adulthood, adult dyslexia, dyslexic experience, diagnosing dyslexia in adults, dyslexia disclosure, dyslexia and impact and dyslexia support.
    • 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.
    • An investigation into the impact of the marketization of further education on individual teacher identities using visual images, metaphors and narrative to analyse and evaluate the key themes and discourses

      Davies, Christopher Dominic Stephen (2018-01-15)
      Teacher identity (Ti) is an important concept in helping to understand the variety of inter-connected influences that impact on the professional lives of teachers in further education (FE). Ti is under researched within the FE sector and is used in this study to analyse the impact of the marketization of FE (post-incorporation) on the roles of individual teachers and teacher managers. The study takes an interpretive stance using visual metaphors and the narratives of participant teachers, linked to their roles, and teaching journeys, to analyse and evaluate changes to professionalism and individual agency in response to the marketization of the sector. Key literature on Ti in FE, professionalism and teacher agency were used to develop an understanding of the effects of marketization in relation to the main question and market theory provided a lens through which to consider marketization in context. The findings identified the individualised nature of the effects of marketization on the identities of teachers and how they interpreted their roles. These were seen through different levels of teacher agency and changes to professionalism in response to managerialism and the altered culture of the colleges in the study. A summative conceptualisation of Ti in an FE context was developed, which provided an insight into the potential strategies adopted by staff in relation to marketization and the main question set for this study.
    • Development of a framework for sustainable construction waste management. A case study of three major Libyan cities

      Ali, Ashraf (2018-01-01)
      Construction and Demolition (C&D) waste is one of the most voluminous and harmful categories of solid waste worldwide, comprising 40% of the total volume of global waste. Waste minimisation is essential for sustainable waste management for environmental, social and economic benefits. Libya has particularly egregious C&D waste due to prolific and unregulated construction activities and conflict, and defective C&D waste management. This study presents a framework for sustainable construction and demolition waste management (SC&DWM) in the Libyan context. A critical analysis of different barriers affecting SC&DWM and strategies to overcome them are presented based on a combination of literature review and mixed methods research. During the first phase, questionnaires were distributed face-to-face to four different groups: the general public, two groups of experts and policy maker. The second phase involved a focus group discussion (FGD) to produce additional beneficial supporting data, particularly from experts, in order to strengthen the outcomes of the study. Data analysis revealed that the main barrier to SC&DWM in Libya is the lack of C&D waste management facilities, while the least important barrier was producing unrecyclable materials from construction activities. The key strategy for SC&DWM is increasing awareness of negative impacts of C&D waste and the positive influence of sustainable practices for organizational and national economics. The developed framework presents a coherent and systematic approach and identified strategies that could be used to address these barriers and lead to SC&DWM, including options available for SC&DWM, capacity building, implementation and enforcement and evaluation and reviewing. The practical implication of the findings is that Libyan central government, municipalities and organizations need clear vision, approaches and practices to achieve SC&DWM. To validate this research findings, internal and external sources were adopted. In addition, respondent validation technique was used to evaluate the framework. Respondents believed that this framework tailored to the Libyan circumstances and the framework is appropriate enough to obtain SC&DWM practices in the case study. The study also provides a range of targeted recommendations for SC&DWM in Libya to improve efficiency. Further work is necessary to implement construction waste management and waste management at the industrial level, as well as identifying the actual quantity C&D waste so far, and its composition and distribution in Libya.
    • 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.