Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Libraries, donations and freedom of expression: The case of Scientology

an article by Paul Sturges (Loughborough University, UK) and Almuth Gastinger (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway) published in Journal of Librarianship and Information Science Volume 46 Number 1 (March 2014)


Whilst until the late 19th century most libraries were dependent on donations for their stock, since then donations have been insignificant for the majority of libraries in comparison with purchased acquisitions. There are organisations, however, which have considerable donations programmes and the Church of Scientology is a prominent example.

Scientologists suggest that their donations of sets of the works of L Ron Hubbard are frequently ignored and discarded without due consideration. They adduce information regarding the response to donations made to libraries in Germany and France to support this suggestion. Furthermore, they cite the principle of freedom of expression as a rationale for the inclusion of Scientology material in library stock.

The relevance of freedom of expression in the matter of donations is assessed in relation to established library principles relating to balanced and representative collections. The importance of clear policies on collection development, derived from a respect for freedom of expression, is stressed as a basis for reasoned explanations to donors of why their donations might be accepted or rejected.

Hazel’s comment:
Relevant to careers information?
I believe that the answer is “yes”.
Careers libraries still rely to a large extent on free information, from training organisations, colleges, industry representative bodies, trades unions and major companies.
Making that conglomeration comprehensive whilst at the same time covering all the angles and removing any actual or potential bias is a difficult task.

Career Decision-Making Intervention With Unemployed Adults: When Good Intentions Are Not Effective

an article by Emily Bullock-Yowell, Kari A. Leavell, Amy E. McConnell, Amanda D. Rushing, Lindsay M. Andrews, Michael Campbell and Lauren K. Osborne (Department of Psychology, University of Southern Mississippi) published in Journal of Employment Counseling Volume 51 Issue 1 (March 2014)


This study adapted existing empirically supported interventions to explore options for serving large numbers of unemployed adults.

Participants included 150 unemployed adults (72 experimental group, 78 control group) seeking employment office services to maintain U.S. federal unemployment compensation. A 1-hour workshop was offered to the 72 experimental group participants. The same career development variables were assessed during data collection for both groups.

Results revealed the workshop had no impact on negative career thinking and potentially increased career decision-making difficulties in the experimental group. Intervention effectiveness issues, implications for future research, and intervention options with unemployed adults are discussed.

Full text available

Monday, 20 October 2014

Gender, space and identity: Male cabin crew and service work

an article by Ruth Simpson (Brunel University, UK) published in Gender in Management: An International Journal Volume 29 Issue 5 (2014)


The purpose of this paper is to explore the intersection of gender, sexuality and occupation and to analyse how male cabin crew utilise space in managing gender identity.

The paper draws on a project where interviews were conducted with 17 male cabin crew, all aged < 35 years, from 5 different airlines in airports in the South East of England. The crew worked in a mixture of short-haul, low-cost and long-haul global carriers.

The paper shows how men in a feminised service role negotiate masculine subjectivities within and through space and how gendered meanings attached to space can impress on and both challenge and be challenged by the performances and subjectivities of individuals within them.

Research limitations/implications
The findings on which the paper is based surface the diverse challenges facing men in non-traditional roles – an area that would profit from further research in different contexts. Further, the findings have implications for work-based practices and employee relations within a paraprofessional service role.

The paper adds to the understanding of how gender and identity intersect as well as to how space, seen as both gendered and gendering, is implicated in the processes involved.

The Closeness of Fit: Towards an ecomap for the inclusion of pupils with ASD in mainstream schools

an article by Mahmoud Mohamed Emam (College of Education, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman) published in International Education Studies Volume 7 Number 3 (2014)


The number of pupils with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who join mainstream schools in the UK has been increasing over the last decade. Given the difficulties in social and emotional understanding which these children have, their inclusion in schools is likely to be challenging. Their ASD-related manifestations, moreover, tend to allow for tensions to arise between them and the different systems of the school ecology.

We examine the inclusion of these pupils from a developmental-systems perspective as articulated by the bio-ecological and the transactional models. Using data from a qualitative research project which explored the effect of autism-related difficulties in social and emotional understanding on the inclusion of 17 pupils with ASD the study describes the working dynamic of the arising tensions at the micro-system level.

The study outlines an ecopmap of the nested structures at the micro-, meso-, exo-, macro- and chrono-systems which may facilitate or impede the children’s inclusion.

Full text (PDF)

Being occupied: An embodied re-reading of organizational ‘wellness’

an article by Karen Dale (Lancaster University, UK) and Gibson Burrell (University of Leicester, UK) published in Organization Volume 21 Number 2 (March 2014)


‘Organisational wellness’ has become a high profile issue for businesses. We argue that a ‘wellness movement’ has sprung up around a particular coalescence of economic, ideological and organisational interests.

In this article we re-read the discourse of this ‘movement’ through the lens of ‘organised embodiment’. We argue that organisational wellness operates as a rhetorical device which masks contradictory power relations. It serves to hide differential occupational effects and opportunities for workers, and obscures the relationship between wellness and its necessary Other, unwellness.

The article suggests that employee unwellness is often produced — and required — by the different forms of organised embodiment that arise directly from occupations and employment. It analyses this corporeal ‘occupation’ in terms of the extortion, exchange and embrace of our bodies to the coercive, calculative and normative power of the organisation. Thus, our organisational experiences produce an embodied individual who is ‘fit’ for purpose in a rather more circumscribed fashion than prevailing discourses of wellness might suggest.

The Role of Search Result Position and Source Trustworthiness in the Selection of Web Search Results When Using a List or a Grid Interface

an article by Yvonne Kammerer and Peter Gerjets (Knowledge Media Research Center, Tuebingen, Germany) published in International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction Volume 30 Issue 3 (March 2014)


Previous research indicates that web users rely to a great extent on the ranking provided by the search engine and predominantly access the first few web pages presented. In case that the information sources presented in the top of the search engine results page (SERP) are of rather low trustworthiness, this might lead to a biased or incomplete view of the topic – especially when dealing with controversial issues.

Study 1, thus, systematically investigated whether participants who were asked to search for an unfamiliar and controversial medical issue accessed fewer trustworthy information sources and consequently included less information from trustworthy pages in their argumentation when the search results were ranked from least to most trustworthy on a Google-like SERP than when they were ranked from most to least trustworthy. Results from Study 1 confirmed these assumptions.

Furthermore, Study 2 showed that when the same materials were presented in a grid interface, the impact of the position of the search results on their selection was substantially reduced. Irrespective of whether the most trustworthy search results were presented in the top or the bottom row of the grid interface, users predominantly selected the most trustworthy search results from the SERP and included the same amount of information from trustworthy pages in their argumentation.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

‘Them that runs the country don't know what they're doing’: political dissatisfaction amongst members of the white working class

an article by Mary Holmes (Flinders University) and Nathan Manning (University of Bradford) published in The Sociological Review Volume 61 Issue 3 (August 2013)


There are signs that a significant number of British people do not feel that their concerns are being addressed by the mainstream parties or the political system. This paper attends to the quality of that political dissatisfaction amongst members of ‘the white working classes’.

There is a need to extend typical concerns about youth disengagement to adults and to consider the role that class plays. Lower participation in formal democratic processes may not mean disengagement from all forms of politics, but could have considerable consequences for who gains power and for the tone and focus of political debates and policies.

Our project contributes to exploring political dissatisfaction by engaging with low wage workers in Yorkshire and the North West, where high support for the far-right BNP and low voter turnout are signs that mainstream politics and politicians are failing to impress.

We asked people about their feelings in relation to mainstream politics and their concerns. These participants feel distanced from governing elites, formal political processes and old ideologies. They are searching for ways to make sense of their struggles to live a decent life, and in doing so must contend with the dominance of racist discourses.

Hazel’s comment:
Yes, it’s really old and yes, the BNP is no longer the force it was because of UKIP but the message of this article is still, I believe, valid.