Useful Concept (useful + concept)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Profession: A Useful Concept for Sociological Analysis?

Il a toujours été problématique de conceptualiser les professions puisque les caractéristiques professionnelles varient beaucoup dans le temps et dans l'espace. Cet article analyse les façons selon lesquelles les professions et les occupations ont été délimitées historiquement dans la législation. Un regard sur la réglementation professionnelle de cinq provinces canadiennes antérieure à 1961 dénombre environ 36 groupes professionnels distincts. L'auteure croit qu'une meilleure compréhension s'appuyant sur la recherche empirique de ce qu'étaient les professions par le passé aidera à conceptualiser et à faire avancer la recherche actuelle sur les professions. Particulièrement importantes sont les considérations sur la qualité de même que sur la structure des relations d'emploi avec les autres groupes professionnels, le public et l'État. Conceptualizing professions has traditionally been problematic because professional characteristics vary across time and place. This paper explores the ways in which professions and occupations were historically demarcated through legislation. A look at professional regulation in five Canadian provinces before 1961 reveals approximately 36 distinct professional groups. I argue that developing a more accurate, empirically based understanding of what professions were in the past will help us conceptualize and advance research on professions in the present. Particularly salient are considerations of status, as well as the structuring of occupations' relations with other occupational groups, the public, and the state. [source]

Cultural Industries and the Creative Economy , Vague but Useful Concepts

Jeff Boggs
For those new to it, the literature on cultural industries can be confusing. While some authors refer to cultural industries, others refer to cultural-products industries or creative industries. Collectively, this heterogeneous group of industries comprises the cultural economy or the creative economy. Four typologies are presented, enabling one to more easily compare and contrast the essential features of commonly used definitions. The paper then discusses how this vague bundle of concepts is still useful as a lens on contemporary trends in industrialized economies. [source]

,Scaling-up' in Emergencies: British NGOs after Hurricane Mitch

DISASTERS, Issue 1 2001
Sarah Lister
This article examines research on NGO ,scaling-up' in a disaster context and links it to a broader discussion on whether scaling-up is a useful concept for understanding NGO processes in an emergency. Using concepts of scaling-up from development literature, research findings from a study of the responses of British NGOs to Hurricane Mitch in Central America are presented. The article assesses the extent and type of scaling-up that occurred, constraints faced by the agencies and the impact of scaling-up on support to partners. Broader issues relating to scaling-up post-Mitch are also explored. The conclusion suggests that while the concept of scaling-up is useful, the tendency for its use to refer to organisational growth has limited a wider understanding and evaluation of the role of Northern NGOs in humanitarian crises. [source]

Populism as political communication style: An empirical study of political parties' discourse in Belgium

Within the broad discussion about populism and its relationship with extreme-right, this article is confined to three topics: a conceptual, an epistemological and an empirical issue. First, taking a clear position in the ongoing definition struggle, populism is defined primarily as a specific political communication style. Populism is conceived of as a political style essentially displaying proximity of the people, while at the same time taking an anti-establishment stance and stressing the (ideal) homogeneity of the people by excluding specific population segments. Second, it is pointed out that defining populism as a style enables one to turn it into a useful concept that has too often remained vague and blurred. Third, drawing on an operational definition of populism, a comparative discourse analysis of the political party broadcasts of the Belgian parties is carried out. The quantitative analysis leads to a clear conclusion. In terms of the degree and the kinds of populism embraced by the six political parties under scrutiny, the extreme-right party Vlaams Blok behaves very differently from the other Belgian parties. Its messages are a copybook example of populism. [source]

Parental Deployment and Youth in Military Families: Exploring Uncertainty and Ambiguous Loss,

Angela J. Huebner
Abstract: Parental deployment has substantial effects on the family system, among them ambiguity and uncertainty. Youth in military families are especially affected by parental deployment because their coping repertoire is only just developing; the requirements of deployment become additive to normal adolescent developmental demands. Focus groups were used to inquire about uncertainty, loss, resilience, and adjustment among youth aged 12,18 that had a parent deployed, most often to a war zone. The nature of uncertainty and ambiguous loss was explored. Response themes included overall perceptions of uncertainty and loss, boundary ambiguity, changes in mental health, and relationship conflict. These accounts suggest that ambiguous loss is a useful concept for understanding the experiences of these youth and for structuring prevention and intervention efforts. [source]

Five backpacker tourist enclaves

Robert W. Howard
Abstract Little is known about backpacker enclaves and the concept itself needs clarification. The present study analysed the concept and surveyed the characteristics and local impacts of five varied enclaves in four nations. Most have a concentration of tourist businesses and are centrally located near transport and major tourist attractions. Tourist behaviour in the different enclaves is fairly similar. Tourists use them for convenience and inexpensive accommodation, to collect travel information and to relax and socialise. Some enclaves are nightlife centres for locals and are tourist attractions, with some foreign tourists visiting mainly to party and locals visiting to see the strange foreigners. Host-nation culture also affects some enclave characteristics and local impacts. The present analysis and data provide a sound and useful concept of a backpacker enclave and its characteristics. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Rethinking NIMBYism: The role of place attachment and place identity in explaining place-protective action

Patrick Devine-Wright
Abstract The ,NIMBY' (Not In My Back Yard) concept is commonly used to explain public opposition to new developments near homes and communities, particularly arising from energy technologies such as wind farms or electricity pylons. Despite its common use, the concept has been extensively critiqued by social scientists as a useful concept for research and practice. Given European policy goals to increase sustainable energy supply by 2020, deepening understanding of local opposition is of both conceptual and practical importance. This paper reviews NIMBY literature and proposes an alternative framework to explain local opposition, drawing upon social and environmental psychological theory on place. Local opposition is conceived as a form of place-protective action, which arises when new developments disrupt pre-existing emotional attachments and threaten place-related identity processes. Adopting a social constructivist perspective and drawing on social representation theory, a framework of place change is proposed encompassing stages of becoming aware, interpreting, evaluating, coping and acting, with each stage conceived at multiple levels of analysis, from intrapersonal to socio-cultural. Directions for future research and potential implications of the place-based approach for public engagement by energy policy-makers and practitioners are discussed. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Sociological Ambivalence and Family Ties: A Critical Perspective

Ingrid Arnet Connidis
We develop the concept of ambivalence as structurally created contradictions that are made manifest in interaction. We discuss how our reconceptualization enhances the relevance of ambivalence to sociological analyses of family ties. Ambivalence is a particularly useful concept when imbedded in a theoretical framework that views social structure as structured social relations, and individuals as actors who exercise agency as they negotiate relationships within the constraints of social structure. The strengths of conceptualizing ambivalence within this framework are illustrated with examples of caring for older family members and of balancing paid work and family responsibilities. [source]

Is PD-MCI a useful concept?

Bruno Dubois

Leaps of faith: Is forgiveness a useful concept?

Henry F. Smith
Using detailed clinical vignettes, the author argues that, despite the current idealization of the concept of forgiveness, the term has no place in psychoanalytic work, and there are some hazards to giving it one. Clinically, the concept of forgiveness is seductive, implying that there should be a common outcome to a variety of injuries, stemming from different situations and calling for different solutions. Every instance of what we call forgiveness can be seen to serve a different defensive function. While the conscious experience of what is called forgiveness is sometimes confused with the unconscious process of reparation, the two can only be described at different levels of psychic life. Despite the fact that in ,the unconscious' there is no such thing as forgiveness, the term has an adhesive quality in our thinking that also blunts the analyst''s appreciation of the aggressive components in the work. In a final vignette, the author illustrates an analytic outcome that has the appearance of forgiveness, but is best understood as the complex result of the everyday work of analysis. [source]

Community in Public Policy: Fad or Foundation?

David Adams
Both internationally and within Australia public policy is experiencing a rush back to the idea of community. After 15 years of discourse about the new public management and economic rationalism a much older discourse is slipping back into public policy. It is a normative discourse about changing relations between state democracy, market capitalism and civil society in which the idea of community is a central ,new' relation used to manage both state and market failures. Already new policy tools emerging from this discourse can be seen with innovations based on concepts such as partnerships, place management, and a raft of community consultation mechanisms. Much of the rhetoric about community as a new foundation for public policy, however, remains confused. The result is a muddle of ideas in which this potentially useful concept is in danger of becoming just another public policy reform fad. This article looks at what policy makers are saying about community, identifies problems in this current usage and offers ways of thinking about community with a view to establishing its policy utility. [source]

Does an Argument-Based Approach to Validity Make a Difference?

Carol A. Chapelle
Drawing on experience between 2000 and 2007 in developing a validity argument for the high-stakes Test of English as a Foreign LanguageÔ (TOEFL®), this paper evaluates the differences between the argument-based approach to validity as presented byKane (2006)and that described in the 1999 AERA/APA/NCME Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing. Based on an analysis of four points of comparison,framing the intended score interpretation, outlining the essential research, structuring research results into a validity argument, and challenging the validity argument,we conclude that an argument-based approach to validity introduces some new and useful concepts and practices. [source]

Plant neurobiology and green plant intelligence: science, metaphors and nonsense

Paul C Struik
Abstract This paper analyses the recent debates on the emerging science of plant neurobiology, which claims that the individual green plant should be considered as an intelligent organism. Plant neurobiology tries to use elements from animal physiology as elegant metaphors to trigger the imagination in solving complex plant physiological elements of signalling, internal and external plant communication and whole-plant organisation. Plant neurobiology proposes useful concepts that stimulate discussions on plant behaviour. To be considered a new science, its added value to existing plant biology needs to be presented and critically evaluated. A general, scientific approach is to follow the so-called ,parsimony principle', which calls for simplest ideas and the least number of assumptions for plausible explanation of scientific phenomena. The extent to which plant neurobiology agrees with or violates this general principle needs to be examined. Nevertheless, innovative ideas on the complex mechanisms of signalling, communication, patterning and organisation in higher plants are badly needed. We present current views on these mechanisms and the specific role of auxins in regulating them. Copyright © 2007 Society of Chemical Industry [source]