• School governors from business and industry: an analysis of their purposes and functions in the governance and management of schools

      Punter, Anne Lucy (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2000-03)
      The theme of this thesis is the involvement of employees from business/industry in the governance of state schools in England and Wales. Following a conceptual analysis and the identification of imprecision in the relevant legislation, the research was designed in two phases. The Phase 1 survey examined the extent of that involvement in 1994 and built up a profile of employee-governors, including their personal and company characteristics. A questionnaire was used to gather descriptive and enumerative data from the school governors employed by twelve national companies, with further qualitative data amassed through some open questions on the questionnaire a,!d from semi-structured interviews of company managers. From 1995 to 1997, Phase 2 assessed the purposes, functions and skills of governors from this sector, through a quasi-experimental design which gathered pre-test and post-test data from thirty-five co-opted business/industrial governors, their headteachers and their chairs of governors. A Likert-type scaling instrument and focus group discussions were used. The main findings from the 1994 survey were that there were few governors from business and industry and even fewer were in governance to represent that sector of the community; most were parent governors. These governors and their company managers felt, however, that there were appreciable benefits to be gained from company employees being school governors. Phase 2 showed that the sample of specifically co-opted business/industrial governors adopted the distinctive purposes of objectivity and non-executive judgement, and brought generic management skills to governance through their company experience at a strategic level. These skills were especially appreciated in inner city schools. The research was the first study of governors from across business and industry and advanced the first model of practice related to purpose for governors from this sector of the community. Aspects of this model have been used to inform the Labour Government's policy for recruiting business/industrial governors for inner city schools.
    • Scribing the writer: implications of the social construction of writer identity for pedagogy and paradigms of written composition

      Gardner, Paul (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2014-05)
      A reflexive analysis of five peer reviewed published papers reveals how socio-cultural and political discourses and individual agency compete to shape the identity of the learner-writer. It is posited that although hegemonic political discourses construct ‘schooling literacy’ (Meek 1988 ) which frame the socio-cultural contexts in which texts, authors, teachers and leaners develop; the socio-cultural standpoint of the individual makes possible conscious construction of counter discourses. Writer identity is integral to the compositional process. However, writer identity is mediated by, on the one hand, dominant discourses of literacy that inform current pedagogies of writing (Paper One) and on the other by socio-cultural narratives that shape identity (Paper Three). A synthesis of Gramsci’s notion of cultural hegemony and Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory is used to explain the constraining function of dominant discourses in literacy education. These works largely fall within a qualitative paradigm, although a mixed-method approach was adopted for the data collection of Papers Four and Five. The methods these papers had in common were the use of survey and documentary analysis of reflective journals. A semi-structured interview with a focus group was the third method used to collect data for Paper Five. Individual semi-structured interviews were used to collect partial life-histories for Paper Two and textual analysis of pupils’ narrative writing was the main method used for Paper One. Paper Three involved a rhizotextual auto-ethnographic analysis of original poetry. Findings suggest pedagogies which minimise or negate the identity of the writer are counter-productive in facilitating writer efficacy. It is suggested, the teaching of writing should be premised on approaches that encourage the writer to draw upon personal, inherited and secondary narratives. In this conceptualisation of writing, the writer is simultaneously composing and exploring aspects of self. However, the self is not a fixed entity and writing is viewed as a process by which identity emerges through reflexive engagement with the compositional process. The corollary is that pedagogy of writing needs to embrace the identity of the writer, whilst also allowing space for the writer’s ‘becoming’.
    • Secure MAC protocols for cognitive radio networks

      Alhakami, Wajdi (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2016-01)
      With the rapid increase in wireless devices, an effective improvement in the demand of efficient spectrum utilisation for gaining better connectivity is needed. Cognitive Radio (CR) is an emerging technology that exploits the inefficient utilisation of the unused spectrum dynamically. Since spectrum sharing is responsible for coordinating channels’ access for Cognitive Users (CUs), the Common Control Channel (CCC) is one of the existing methods used to exchange the control information between CUs. However, the unique characteristics and parameters of Cognitive Radio Networks (CRNs) present several possible threats targeting spectrum sensing, spectrum management, spectrum sharing, and spectrum mobility leading to the deterioration of the network performance. Thus, protection and detection security mechanisms are essential to maintaining the CRNs. This thesis presents a novel decentralised CR MAC protocol that successfully utilises the unused portion of the licensed band. The protocol achieves improved performance; communication time and throughput when compared to two benchmark protocols. Less communication time and higher throughput are accomplished by the protocol due to performing fast switching to the selected available data channel for initiating data transmission. The proposed protocol is then extended to two different versions based on two authentication approaches applied to it; one using Digital Signature and another is based on Shared-Key. The two proposed secure protocols address the security requirements in CRNs leading to subsequent secure communication among CUs. The protocols function effectively in providing defence against several attacks related to the MAC layer such as; Spectrum Sensing Data Manipulation/Falsification, Data Tempering and Modification, Jamming attacks, Eavesdropping, Forgery and Fake control information attacks, MAC address spoofing, and unauthorised access attacks. The associated security algorithms ensure the successful secure communication between CUs in a cooperative approach. Moreover, the security protocols are investigated and analysed in terms of security flows by launching unauthorised access and modification attacks on the transmitted information. The testing results demonstrated that two protocols perform successful detection of threats and ensure secure communication in CRNs.
    • Security and usability in click-based authentication systems

      al-Khateeb, Haider (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2011-04)
      Web applications widely use text passwords to confirm people‟s identity. However, investigations reveal text passwords have many problems and that there is a need for alternative solutions. For instance, users often forget their passwords, choose passwords which are easy-to-guess or vulnerable to cracking tools. Further, people write passwords down and/or share them with others. In addition, phishing attacks (using fraudulent websites to steal users‟ credentials) continue to cost millions of dollars every year. During the second half of 2009, the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) reported 126,697 unique phishing attacks worldwide. As such, one of this research‟s objectives is to investigate public awareness of, and attitude towards, text password security and usability supported by surveying both up-to-date literature and users. The aim of this research is to develop an alternative solution using visual passwords (VPs) to authenticate users on web applications and investigate its security and usability. A VP can be many things: a set of images used as a login portfolio, click-points inside images or a doodle (signature) drawn by a user. Since text passwords are favoured for their usability over tokens and biometrics, the research scope has been set to investigate alternative ideas which do not require resources additional to standard computer devices used to sustain human-computer interactions, such as mouse and keyboard. VPs have the potential to develop an alternative solution within this scope. A comprehensive survey of the VP schemes found in the literature is conducted followed by a security and usability evaluation in which click-based systems are selected as the most suitable approach to achieve the aims and objectives of this research. Click- iii based systems are VP authentication schemes in which the VP is a sequence of click-points performed on one or more images. Further, user perceptions were investigated to study their acceptance of various authentication mechanisms and techniques. A novel click-based scheme is presented and developed throughout the research to introduce and investigate novel ideas to maintain security and usability simultaneously. It can resist multiple phishing and shoulder-surfing attacks without revealing the full user credentials. Further, the layout is designed to prevent MiTM attacks, also known as the second generation of phishing attacks. The VP is hashed to resist database attacks and the password space is extremely large compared to text passwords to resist brute force attacks. It has dual cues to maintain memorability and password recall is easy even when it is system-generated. Usability is considered through observation and laboratory studies to meet the requirements of HCI-Sec (Secure Human-Computer Interactions) aiming to present a secure scheme people can actually use.
    • Seeking constructive alignment of assessment in teacher education: locating the reflection in reflective writing

      Croft, Julia (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2015-04)
      The aim of this thesis is to promote a dialogue about constructive alignment (Biggs, 1996) with a particular focus on the use of reflective writing as an assessed task in courses of teacher education and the influence it has, or does not have, on teacher reflection and/or in improving practice. The work is set against a national context in which time to reflect is being written out of teacher education as a consequence of policy which locates ‘training’ to teach increasingly within the busy-ness of school life. Persuaded by principles of constructive alignment and, therefore, troubled by student teachers’ perceptions of complex assignments which appear to have little relevance to their practice as teachers, I have undertaken an action research study (McAteer, 2013; Norton, 2009; and Wells, 2001), beginning with a conviction that it is possible to design assessment tasks which truly integrate professional and academic requirements and influence the learning activity of student teachers in ways which are meaningful for their development as teachers. Using an adaptation of the Ward and McCotter (2004) ‘Reflection Rubric’ to locate characteristics of reflection within the reflective writing submitted for assessment, the study evaluated the relationship between written reflection and academic and professional attainment and found little evidence that engagement in the reflective writing assignment had contributed to the participants’ development as teachers. I conclude that the assessment strategies of students and of the course had been either not aligned or destructively aligned. The thesis narrates my journey to the adoption of a socio-constructivist perspective, leading to greater insight into the relationship between established assessment practice and the learning activity of student teachers, and a questioning of my practice. Crucially, the notion of a ‘framework for assessment’ is broadened to encompass all assignment-related activity, the people involved and the timeframe, in addition to the task and criteria. I conclude by identifying a desire to know more about the national view of assessment in teacher education, seeking a network of colleagues in order to explore ways in which counterparts in other institutions are supporting student teachers to develop reflective practice and assess reflective writing.
    • The self-management of chronic conditions and the experience of cyber-victimisation in the United Kingdom

      Alhaboby, Zhraa Azhr (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2018-02)
      Background The victimisation of people with chronic conditions and disabilities has physical, mental and psychosocial consequences. Although this victimisation is documented, victims usually struggle to get the proper support. Research focusing on cyber-victimisation of people with long-term conditions is limited and lacks qualitative elements. Aims This study aimed to understand the impact of cyber-victimisation among individuals living with chronic conditions in the UK. Methods A mixed-method design was adopted using a mixed-method online survey, followed by in-depth interviews with victims. The participants were encouraged to share their voices as experts in their own experiences. This was supported by short interviews with general practitioners (GPs) as the gatekeepers to the health system and one of the supportive channels available to victims. A systematic review was completed and published, which helped to identify gaps in the literature. Primary data was collected from 55 victim support groups, patient-support groups, and via social media. The challenges in recruiting victims for this sensitive topic were identified and published to guide future research. The theoretical framework underpinning the study incorporated the Biographical Disruption model, Self-Management and Social Support. Results Quantitative data from 152 participants showed that almost one in every two people with chronic conditions was cyber-victimised (45.39%). In total, 76.81% of victims had a self-reported disability, and the relationship between cyber-victimisation and disability was statistically significant. Furthermore, 61.11% of victims reported that experiencing cyber-victimisation had affected their self-management plan. The highest impact was on lifestyle changes such as exercise, diet, avoiding triggers, and avoiding excessive smoking or alcohol drinking. This was followed by changes to medications and follow up with healthcare professionals. Indeed, 69% of victims perceived a worsened self-efficacy scale for health condition self-management following cyber-victimisation. In general, formal support was rated poor, with only 24.53% of victims having spoken to their GPs with variable responses. Six themes emerged from the qualitative data: Biomedical Events (overall health - physical complaints), Impact on Mental Health (psychological and psychiatric effects - helplessness), Multi-level Impact (existing vulnerability - disruption and reprioritisation), The Impact of Complexity (complex situation - struggle for support), Social Network Involvement (social isolation and victim blaming - controversial social support - misrepresentation of self), and Disability Discrimination (inclusion, culture and hate – tax and disability benefits). The participating GPs thought that cyber-victimisation had both mental and physical impact on people with chronic conditions, with concerns over online health forums use. GPs’ responses were influenced by individual variations. Conclusion Cyber-victimisation against people with chronic conditions is prevalent. It is a traumatic event that was introduced after the biographical disruption and working to cope with long-term conditions. It triggered significant fear, had a devastating impact and depleted victims of social support. The impact was multifaceted, and the results from the survey and interviews were convergent. They were also confirmed by the GPs’ input. The outcomes provided an in-depth understanding of the impact of cyber-victimisation on such marginalised groups. To initiate change, the results were summarised in a health promotion design that was informed by the participants and gatekeepers, and improved for dissemination. Further context-specific, condition-specific, participatory, and multidisciplinary work are indicated.
    • Self-stigma, loneliness and culture among older adults with mental illness residing in nursing homes

      Tzouvara, Vasiliki (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2015-08)
      This study aimed to investigate the inter-relationships between self-stigma, loneliness, and culture among older adults with mental illness residing in nursing homes. This study also explored how this population experiences self-stigma and loneliness within the context of their cultural backgrounds. A mixed-methods approach was utilised. The first phase involved a quantitative face-to-face questionnaire survey (n=16). More than half of the study participants reported low levels of self-stigma (56.3%), yet a substantial number of them scored high on the self-stigma scale (43.8%). The analysis identified a statistical relationship between stereotype endorsement and marital status (sig. =.010). No relationship was identified between Internalised Stigma of Mental illness constructs (ISMI) and age, gender, religiousness, and educational level. Loneliness was identified to be prevalent among more than half of the sample (68.8%). There was also a positive correlation between loneliness, age (sig.=.062) and religiosity (sig.=.044). The second phase involved a qualitative hermeneutic phenomenological approach involving one-to-one semi-structured interviews (n=10). Seven themes emerged: ‘social loneliness’, ‘emotional loneliness’, ‘emotional reactions’, ‘coping mechanisms’, ‘insight into illness’, ‘understanding and view towards mental illness’, and ‘behavioural reactions’. Overall, the qualitative findings supported the quantitative results but also revealed additional theoretical and conceptual insight. Most participants were collectivistic-oriented, and most experienced both social and emotional loneliness. The degree of insight into mental illness played a key role in how self-stigma was experienced, while gender and culture were found to influence how loneliness was experienced. Based on the results of both phases, a new theoretical framework is posited that explains the relationships between the concepts of loneliness and self-stigma among this population. The study also evidences and discusses a wide range of methodological issues associated with the successful recruitment of nursing homes in older adult research.
    • Semi-strong form efficiency of lowly capitalized firms : the case of the alternative investment market, (aim) UK : an investigation of event study based abnormal returns using the single index market model

      Sangray, Sudesh Ram (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2004-10)
      This thesis examines the impact of company announcements on the daily stock returns of lowly capitalised companies. A total of 105 companies comprise the sample and 1464 events are examined over the period 21110/97 to 03/0412000. The methodology employed is primarily, empirical in nature. Event studies are conducted to gauge the impact of company announcements on stock returns using the single index market model (SIMM) as the chosen equilibrium market model for modelling abnormal returns. The study professes three mam contributions to knowledge. The empirical evidence suggests that financial announcement have a more timely impact on stock returns than non-financial announcements. Secondly, there appears to be significant over-reaction and mean-reversion exhibited by lowly capitalised firms. Thirdly, the speed of adjustment of stock prices to new information is increased in cases where shareholder concentration is high while over-reactions appear inversely proportionate to shareholder concentration. This may be a consequence of smaller firms experiencing leakage of boardroom level information prior to public announcement days.
    • The significance of ethnic identity upon tourism participation within the Pakistani community

      Ali, Nazia (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2008-03)
      This research study examines the role and significance of ethnic identity upon tourism participation within the Pakistani community. The aim of the research is to analyse the inter-relationship between a Pakistani ethnic identity and participation in tourism of a Pakistani diaspora (Luton, United Kingdom). The research concentrates upon the importance of the return visit to the ancestral homeland of Pakistan and the impact of this visit upon the formation of identity. This thesis argues that a Pakistani ethnic identity is a significant force in shaping the tourism mobilities, behaviours and experiences of first and second-generation Pakistanis. The research enquiry uses a qualitative methodological approach to investigate the tourism journeys of the Pakistani community. Interpretive ethnography is chosen to interpret the understandings and meanings of tourism to the Pakistani diaspora researched in this study. Researcher reflexivity is also included to examine the impact of the research process on the personal and professional identity of a Pakistani fieldworker investigating a community she considers as her 'own'. The interpretive ethnographic findings illustrate a close association exists between tourism and ethnic identity amongst the Pakistani diaspora. The research findings show understandings of tourism in the Pakistani community are predominately based upon journeys to the ancestral homeland. The three main motivations for retuming to Pakistan are for purposes of reunification, diasporic networking and preservation of a Pakistani ethnic identity. Migration is a key factor influencing post-migration tourism mobilities of the Pakistani diaspora to Pakistan. The tourism journey to Pakistan is held as being fundamental for the confirmation of a Pakistani ethnic identity and establishing a collective sense of 'Pakistaniness' with the local and global Pakistani diaspora. The research findings indicate several barriers to travel exist in the Pakistani community, which restrict the tourism mobilities of the Pakistanis to tourism places other than the ancestral homeland. The research study concludes that across all generations the meanings of tourism, motivations to travel, the importance of the history of migration and the impact of the return visit bring to the forefront matters of identity and belonging. These issues give rise to evolving questions of identity in terms of what it is to be a Pakistani and a British Pakistani in Pakistan and Britain, which subsequently affect attitudes to travel, tourism experiences and patterns of behaviour. The research contributes to furthering the understanding of the role of tourism in diasporic and ethnic communities, theoretically comprehending the role of tourism as an actor in identity formation and developing methodological practice for analysing the relationship between tourism and identity. Suggestions for future research are proposed to investigate the tourism mobilities of the Pakistani diaspora in Britain and in other global diasporic communities.
    • The significance of inter racial conflict in the identity formation of BME young people

      Bailey, Joan (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2013-09)
      Amidst growing concerns due to a rise in incidents of inter racial conflict between African Caribbean and South Asian young men; this thesis draws on the concept of identity formation as an instigating factor in terms of why young people may get embroiled in conflict with other cultural groups. Drawing on semi structured questionnaires with professionals and community workers, an ethnographic study with young people involved in or party to the incidents and a few in depth focus groups it explores the historical issues associated with the conflict, the development of identity and how and why this may be different for those from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) groups and how it can then materialise into conflict when threatened. It aims to contribute to practice, knowledge and understanding of inter racial conflict and how the creation of positive identities can reduce these incidents. It also seeks to identify approaches and interventions most likely to be effective in addressing this which include working with parents, carers and the wider community who may carry some of the historical issues that allow the conflict to exist. Findings point to identity formation being complex and multifaceted, which can be affected through personal and social experiences: many of these being different for young people from BME communities. Identity is fragile and can be shaped and changed through these experiences which can be compounded by interrelated needs and anxious backgrounds which can then manifest into behaviour that targets those that they may feel threatened by. This study cites the importance of cultural specific responses and interventions which are holistic, informal and flexible to meet the distinct needs of not only young people but those that are influential in their lives. In addition it highlights the importance of work associated with identity formation and the creation of positive identities as a precursor to reducing conflict situations.
    • A smart home anomaly detection framework

      Oriwoh, Edewede (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2015-03-01)
      Smart Homes (SHs), as subsets of the Internet of Things (IoT), make use of Machine Learning and Arti cial Intelligence tools to provide technology-enabled solutions which assist their occupants and users with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). Some SH provide always-present, health management support and care services. Having these services provided at home enables SH occupants such as the elderly and disabled to continue to live in their own homes and localities thus aiding Ageing In Place goals and eliminating the need for them to be relocated in order to be able to continue receiving the same support and services. Introducing and interconnecting smart, autonomous systems in homes to enable these service provisions and Assistance Technologies (AT) requires that certain interfaces in, and connections to, SH are exposed to the Internet, among other public-facing networks. This introduces the potential for cyber-physical attacks to be perpetrated through, from and against SH. Apart from the actual threats posed by these attacks to SH occupants and their homes, the potential that these attacks might occur can adversely a ect the adoption or uptake of SH solutions.This thesis identi es key attributes of the di erent elements (things or nodes and rooms or zones) in SHs and the relationships that exist between these elements. These relationships can be used to build SH security baselines for SHs such that any deviations from this baseline is described as anomalous. The thesis demonstrates the application of these relationships to Anomaly Detection (AD) through the analysis of several hypothetical scenarios and the decisions reached about whether they are normal or anomalous. This thesis also proposes an Internet of Things Digital Forensics Framework (IDFF), a Forensics Edge Management System (FEMS), a FEMS Decision-Making Algorithm (FDMA) and an IoT Incident Response plan. These tools can be combined to provide proactive (autonomous and human-led) Digital Forensics services within cyber-physical environments like the Smart Home.
    • SME decision making in using bank loans: applying an adapted model with attitudinal variables of the theory of planned behaviour in Nigeria

      Clement, Seyefar (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019)
      The financial constraints that exist for SME has received increased attention in recent years. Intervention programmes by governments to improve access to finance for businesses has mainly focused on supply side measures, through seeking to stimulate supply, by creating new financing channels and easing regulatory barriers in the supply of finance. This is based on general assumption that the issue of access to finance is as a result of insufficient supply of external finance for businesses; however, there is increasing recognition that demand side issues also hinder access to finance, and these demand side deficiencies impede the effectiveness of supply side interventions. This study focuses on the demand side perspective, it builds on the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) and proposes and validates an adapted model that examines the relationship between attitudinal factors and the intention of SMEs to use bank loans in Nigeria. The adapted TPB model used attitudinal variables (perceived trust, attitude, perceived social norm, and perceived behavioural control) to understand SME financial decision (intention use bank loans), and captures various antecedent variables that influence these attitudinal factors. The cross-sectional survey study was conducted in Nigeria. The study used Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) to analyse the data. PLS SEM was used to test the hypothesized relationships between the antecedents, attitudinal factors, and intention to use bank loans. The findings indicate that attitudinal factors which consist of attitude, perceived behavioural control, perceived social norm, and perceived trust predicts SME intention to use bank loans in Nigeria. The result also showed that key antecedent factors such as financial literacy, perceived risk, normative beliefs, self-efficacy, perceived quality of loan information are antecedents to these attitudinal factors. The study successfully implemented a psychology-based theory in SME financing decision context. It highlights the importance of incorporating psychology theories to gain further understanding on noneconomic factors that impact decision making of SMEs. Traditionally, capital structure research adopts capital structure theories to understand and explain the determinant of SME financial decision making. However, this study argues that psychology based theories provide a more robust understanding of the judgement and behaviours of these actors (SMEs) especially in developing countries, because these theories examine causal influences and explain relationships. The study also makes empirical contribution by providing empirical evidence on the noneconomic determinant to SME financial decision making, demand side perspective, and emerging country context. The implication of the result for practise and policy is that local and international intervention agencies tasked with the responsibility of easing access to finance for small businesses in Nigeria can use these findings to develop more robust and effective intervention programs. In addition, the findings can inform policy direction at government level, government policies can benefit from this study by incorporating the results to inform long term policies that can address the institutional and structural factors that creates barriers SMEs financing in Nigeria. The study can also be used to formulate policies that can assist in modifying the behaviour of discouraged finance seekers and stimulate demand for external finance with the aim of reducing the financing gap and enhancing growth of small businesses in particular and economic growth in general in Nigeria.
    • The social and political construction of care: community care policy and the 'private' carer

      Thompson, Diane (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2000-09)
      This thesis presents a retrospective critique of the social and political construction of 'informal care' within community care policy from the period of the late 1970s to the mid 1990s. The thesis considers the question of the degree of 'choice' available to informal carers to say 'no' to caring, or aspects of caring, within the reforms' positioning of informal care as the first line of support for adult dependants. The critique focuses on subjectivity, difference, agency and choice. A theoretical and methodological synthesis is developed between feminist post-structuralism, feminist critiques of mainstream social policy, and feminist theory and research, within which a qualitative in-depth interview study with informal carers is situated. The critique is then expanded through the development of a 'Q' Methodology study with a larger cohort of informal carers. The research identified gendered generational differences between the carers, and a 'burden' of care imposed as an outcome of consecutive governments' attempts to residualise welfare. The older carers' levels of agency and choice were severely curtailed. However, the younger female carers were more able to resist the drive of the community care reforms, their counter discourses being based on a new emergent notion of 'rights'. The direction of community care policy was found to be out of step with how the carers within this study perceived their responsibilities and 'obligations'. The thesis argues that whilst post-modernism may have constrained the capacity of governments and reconstituted our understanding of 'care', it has not done so to the extent that we are no longer prepared to make demands for 'care' from and by the state.
    • Social anxiety and quality of life in adolescents: cognitive aspect, social interaction and cultural tendency

      Alkhathami, Saleh (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2014-07)
      Aim: In recent years, research has concluded that social anxiety plays a key role in quality of life. The overall aim of this research was to evaluate social anxiety in adolescents with respect to determining how social anxiety affects quality of life. Method: This study was a cross-sectional study. A pilot study was conducted to cross-culturally adapt all scales by the recommended translated and back-translated method. The correlations of socio-demographic parameters with the SAS-A scores were examined. Data from a sample of 564 students (273 boys 48.4%, 291 girls 51.6%) were analysed. Adolescents from Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom were screened and compared. Confirmatory factor analysis was utilised to build the proposed model based on prior research and theoretical findings. Finding: No significant sex difference in the SAS-A total score, fear of negative evaluation and social avoidance were found. Comparing the boys and girls on SPIN scores, Fear, Avoidance and Authority Problems, the results showed that boys reported higher in SPIN total, fear and avoidance (except authority problem subscale score) than did girls. SAS-A scores were higher in those with a low socio-economic level. Moreover, social anxiety symptoms among Saudi adolescents were more severe in boys. Results showed that adolescents without social anxiety scored higher on quality of life and its subscales than adolescents with social anxiety as measured by ASA-A. No significant difference was found in psychical health. Adolescents without social anxiety scored higher on quality of life and its subscales than adolescents with social anxiety as measured by SIAS. Adolescents without social anxiety scored on Positive Individualism more than adolescents with social anxiety. No significant difference was found in Positive Relatedness. In the cross-cultural study, the results showed no significant difference on SIAS scores for Saudi adolescents and British adolescents. However, a marginally significant differences was found on BAI scores, where Saudi adolescents reported higher level of anxiety than British adolescents. The British sample reported higher on the fear of negative evaluation than the Saudi sample. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was utilised to test hypotheses on the links between scores on the study scales. The findings indicate that the overall fit of the SAS-A model was acceptable. Direct effects between the study variables and significant positive correlation between cognitive factors and social anxiety were found. Mediation effects of SAS-A and SPIN were investigated by reporting direct effects, indirect effects and total effects. Results indicte that social anxiety significantly mediated the relationships between subjective anxiety, positive individualism, and cognitive and environmental health. Conclusion: It is therefore imperative that socially anxious students be provided with appropriate consultations and treatment so that they can improve their quality of life through integrating better with social institutions. If untreated, the impairment caused by social phobia could lead to poor academic and professional outcomes, as well as poor psychosocial outcomes.
    • The social construction of pedagogic discourse in policy for physical education and school sport

      Jung, Hyunwoo (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2014-05)
      Over the past decade in the UK, the rise in salience to government of physical education and school sport-related policy interventions has been remarkable for the wide-ranging array of objectives that these interventions have been expected to realise. This thesis analyses and evaluates government's sports policy for PESS centred on the Physical Education, School Sport and Club Links (PESSCL) strategy and Physical Education and Sport Strategy for Young People (PESSYP). These strategies together arguably represent the most significant initiatives relating to physical education and school sport (PESS), shaping the possible forms of PESS could take in the 2000s. Drawing on Basil Bernstein's (1990, 1996) theory of the social production of pedagogic discourse as the main framework used to investigate the policy for PESS, this thesis discusses the complexities and inequalities of policy-making in terms of examining dominant physical cultural discourses embedded within PESSCL and PESSYP, and the main agents/agencies contributing to the policy for PESS and evaluation processes. In addition, this thesis adopted a grounded theory approach to look at patterns of evidence in a range of resources from policy documents, newspapers, official evaluation studies and interviews, analyses that were underpinned by the research aims and theoretical framework of the study. This thesis identifies a number of physical cultural discourses constructing and constituting policies and strategies for PESS, including discourses of sport, health, citizenship, lifelong participation, and Olympic/Paralympic legacy. Moreover, this thesis presents evidence, consistent with Goodson‟s (1990) thesis about the social construction of school subjects, of struggles and contestation among vying groups, in this case between the Youth Sport Trust and Sport England (i.e. within the Official Recontextualising Field) as well as between the Youth Sport Trust and Association for Physical Education (i.e. between agencies within the Official Recontextualising Field and Pedagogic Recontextualising Field respectively). Furthermore, the powerful recontextualising agents/agencies including the media contribute to the recontextualisation of the discourse in which PESS policies are embedded. Finally, this thesis questions whether the main official evaluation studies undertake "evidence-based‟ policy making and practice because the evaluation studies not only provide implausible evidence but they are also focused solely on "numbers‟, whilst pragmatic and critical voices are excluded from the process of evaluation. Building on these key findings, this thesis concludes with a discussion of the implications for PESS. In particular, I discuss the possibilities for PESS to realise authentic forms of physical culture in schools in the context of a dominant sport discourse and an ongoing reduction in the autonomy of the Pedagogic Recontextualising Field. Finally, this thesis suggests that there is an urgent need for promoting communication between policy makers from within the Official Recontextualising Field and researchers and educators from within the Pedagogic Recontextualising Field and practitioners in the Secondary Field in order to achieve sustainable policy development school physical education and youth sport that benefits all young people in the future.
    • The social construction of physical education and school sport: transmission, transformation and realization

      Ives, Helen Maria (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2014-04)
      The development of physical education and school sport (PESS), a once ‘marginalised’ subject within the school curriculum, over the period 2003-2010 has often been referred to as the ‘quiet revolution’. An increased political interest in PESS and the idea that sport could be used to address wider social issues resulted in two major strategies, Physical Education, School Sport and Club Links (PESSCL 2003-2008) and Physical Education and Sport Strategy for Young People (PESSYP 2008-2013) and £2.4billion of funding. Drawing on Bernstein’s concept of the pedagogical device, this thesis seeks to understand how these two strategies were transmitted, transformed and realized in the secondary field and examines the extent to which they impacted on the pedagogic practice of PESS. This research study, conducted from within a School Sport Partnership, draws on a range of ethnographic methods including in-depth interviews with Partnership Development Managers, School Sport Coordinators, Primary Link Teachers and physical education teachers across a sub-regional area of London. This data was supplemented with extensive field diaries, partnership documentation and emails. Analysis of the data was conducted using grounded theory in NVivo9. The research findings are presented in three data chapters. The first examines the positioning of the PDM in the space at the interface between the recontextualising and secondary fields. The second results chapter investigates the realization of the PESS strategies and specifically examines the process of transmission and transformation of discourse as it passes through the complex infrastructure of School Sport Partnerships. The final data chapter discusses the impact of the PESS strategies on the pedagogic practices of teachers, and focuses extensively on the target driven culture which dominated practice within the secondary field. The lack of impact on pedagogic practice, particularly within secondary physical education, emerges as a key issue. The dominance of policy targets as the core evaluative rules of the PESS strategies emerged as a limiting factor in the realization of change. The thesis concludes with a discussion of the key findings and the implications for agents and/or agencies tasked with implementing and enacting change in the school setting. In applying the pedagogic device, we are able to analyse the role that the evaluative rules have in prioritising aspects of policy implementation and investigate the challenge of innovation and change. However I argue that Bernstein’s theory is not sufficiently sensitive to a number of the complexities of the contemporary educational landscape and needs further development and adaptation if we are to continue to use the pedagogic device to examine the process of recontextualisation and realization of policy in PESS.
    • Social media use, online political discussion and UK political events 2013-2018: a phenomenographic study

      Bailey, Elizabeth Anne (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2018)
      Social media has had observably significant effects on the way many ordinary people participate in politics and appears both symptomatic and causal of a changing landscape. Research, often data-led, has shown marked trends in online behaviour, such as political polarisation, the tendency to form echo chambers and other distinct patterns in the way people debate, share opinions, express their self-identities, consume media and think critically, or otherwise, about political issues. A review of the literature shows that current research in this area across disciplines explores an increasingly wide range of potential influencing factors behind these phenomena, from the social to the psychological to the physiological. However, there have been – far - fewer phenomenological or phenomenographical studies into people’s lived experience of being part of this cultural shift, how their own inclinations, practices and behaviour might be helping to shape the bigger picture, and to what extent they understand this. Starting from an interdisciplinary theoretical framework, and based on in-depth conversations with 84 mostly UK-based adults spoken to one-to-one or in focus groups and webinars over an 18-month period, this study asked people’s about their own perceptions and understanding of their online engagement, focusing on recent major UK political events between 2013 and 2018, (including the Scottish Independence Referendum, The EU Referendum and the Labour Party leadership contests) and considers some of the inferences that might be drawn from people’s own insights. It shows:  People’s experiences are varied, influenced by a range of factors but there is a focus on personal needs and concerns as much as wider political ones  Participants often struggle with behavioural self-awareness and understanding of the motives and actions of others  They can have profound emotional responses owing to the difficulties of using social media but still value it as a medium for political learning and self-expression  A lot of activity takes places in covert, limited or private spaces  Social media itself is an unprecedented learning environment where people begin to understand their own behaviour better and adapt
    • Social media: a new virtual civil society in Egypt?

      Sharbatly, Abdulaziz (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2014-11)
      This project seeks to trace the power of social media in serving as a virtual civil society in the Arab world, focusing on Egypt as a case study. This study aims to explore the role of social media in mobilising Egyptian activists across generations, and particularly in reaching out to people under the age of 35 who constitute around 50 per cent of the population. Studies preceding the 2011 uprising reported that young Egyptians were politically apathetic and were perceived as incapable of bringing about genuine political changes. Drawing on a range of methods and data collected from focus groups of young people under the age of 35, interviews with activists (across generations and gender), and via a descriptive web feature analysis, it is argued that online action has not been translated into offline activism. The role of trust in forming online networks is demonstrated, and how strong ties can play a pivotal role in spreading messages via social media sites. Activists relied on social media as a medium of visibility; for those who were not active in the political sphere, social media have been instrumental in raising their awareness about diverse political movements and educating them about the political process, after decades of political apathy under Mubarak’s regime. The most important benefit of using social media is the increased political knowledge and information available regarding the political situation in Egypt, despite many young people still confining their political activities to passive acts of ‘share’, ‘like’ or ‘post’ on social media. Activists have used social media to ensure visibility of their actions, not only nationally, but also regionally and internationally. There remains a strong need for offline organization and activism by using social media as a communication avenue, not necessarily as a catalyst for changing the political process. A number of problems associated with the use of such media in political deliberations concerning Egypt are highlighted, notwithstanding the positive effects of social media on the political socialisation of young Egyptians. One such problem is the lack of sustainability in online campaigns which should ideally convert into offline collective action. It can be argued that a sustainable civil society and a truly diverse public sphere rests on more sustainable, offline action, which can indeed bring about significant changes in the Egyptian political sphere.
    • Social policy and public health measures in Bedfordshire, within the national context, 1904-1938

      Currie, Margaret Rosetta (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 1998-09-30)
      This thesis examines some social policies and public health measures in the small county of Bedford, within the national context, 1904-38. No other such study exists which covers these aspects; it will, therefore, fill a gap in the body of knowledge. At this time, national and imperial needs for a healthy British race were paramount in the minds of politicians and social reformers, particularly in the face of competition for industrial and military supremacy from other powers, including Germany and the United States of America. Certain key themes permeated this era: the changing functions of local and central government, the role of the state and voluntary sectors, and a medical profession divided between those employed in preventive medicine, and those in private practice. However, war, the preparation for war and its after effects have been found to be the most significant factors. George Newman (1870-1948), figures large, because he played a major part in public health initiatives, firstly, as part-time County Medical Officer of Health to Bedfordshire County Council (1900-07), and then at central government level, as Chief Medical Officer of the Board of Education (1907-35), and of the Ministry of Health (1919-35). Two methodological tools were used in this thesis. Historical research was carried out using, mainly, primary source material, and an empirical study was undertaken using a descriptive case study approach. These methods enabled the collection of quantitative and qualitative data and helped to determine both the final content, and the form in which the research was presented. Chapter 1, the Introduction, provides a background to the key figures and themes discussed and describes the intra-county differences in Bedfordshire. Chapter 2 concerns infant mortality, as it is an indicator of the health ofthe whole community. Chapter 3 describes the health of school children, because the Government was particularly anxious about their condition, as they would be needed for industrial and imperial expansion, and in the event of war. Chapter 4 concerns the welfare of children. It provides examples of how the state and voluntary sectors strove to preserve child life, despite problems such as orphanhood and cruelty, and yet still attempted to meet the needs of the British Empire for labour. Chapter 5 discusses women's health, as it was relatively neglected by central government in this period. It takes the form of a case study and makes use of oral testimony from a cohort of 84 women who lived in Bedfordshire in the inter-war years. Chapter 6, the conclusion, examines the effect of war, the role played by the voluntary and state sectors, and the divided medical profession. It also considers the extent to which Bedfordshire led, or lagged behind national social policies and public health measures, and the progress made towards a healthier nation until 1938, the last full year of peace in Europe before the outbreak of World War II.
    • Social privacy: perceptions of veillance, relationships, and space with online social networking services

      Dumbleton, Steven Philip Holt (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2016-01)
      This research seeks to examine the experience of social privacy around online social networking services. In particular, it examines how individuals experience social privacy through the perception of veillance, relationships and space. It highlights that individuals need varying types of veillance and relationships in order to experience the social privacy they desire. It also highlights that individuals used the perception of space to indicate acceptable convention within that space; seeking spaces, both real and metaphorical, that they perceived to afford them the experience of social privacy. Through the application of phenomenological methods drawn from ethnography this study explores how the experience of social privacy is perceived. It does this through examining the perception of veillance, relationships and space in separation, though notes that the individual perceives all three simultaneously. It argues that the varying conditions of these perceptions afford the individuals the experience of social privacy. Social privacy is, therefore, perceived as a socially afforded emotional experience.