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2011/12 News and Events

30th November Strike
To all students: you should assume that all classes and other business (including placement allocation) are running as normal on 30th November. Please consult your Queen's email after 12 noon on Monday 28th for updates on any cancellations.

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8th Congress of the British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect

15th-18th April 2012, Queen’s University Belfast

Further details of the programme and how to book are available at: http://www.baspcan.org.uk/congress-general-info.php



 

Queens University, Belfast

STRATEGIC PRIORITY STUDENTSHIP

2012-2013

CONFLICT, IDENTITIES & HUMAN RIGHTS PRIORITY

Queens University, Belfast has a long tradition of carrying out surveys of political attitudes relating to the Northern Ireland conflict and, through ARK (www.ark.ac.uk), providing high quality time-series data on changing attitudes  This ranges from the Moxon-Browne survey of 1978, through the Northern Ireland Social Attitudes Surveys of the 1980s and early 1990s, to the current Northern Ireland Life & Times Surveys.

The holder of the studentship will fill a crucial gap in the time series on Northern Ireland political attitudes and analyse links between: (1) the actual experience of violence and (2) political attitudes and membership in political and paramilitary organisations that will be unique and ground-breaking.  The joint supervision will bring together ARK’s and the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work’s expertise in attitudes analysis with the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy’s expertise in Northern Irish politics.

The ‘Irish Mobility Study’ was a benchmark social mobility survey funded by the British SSRC (now the ESRC) carried out in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic with fieldwork taking place during the winter of 1973/74, the period of most intense political violence in Northern Ireland.  The survey yielded achieved probability samples of 2,419 respondents in Northern Ireland and 2,352 in the Irish Republic.  The data are now held by the UK Data Archive.  As well as its core data required for social mobility analyses, the survey collected very extensive information on attitudes in relation to the Northern Ireland conflict, organisational membership and the extent to which respondents had experienced or been affected by the political violence.  These latter data have never been analysed.

The successful applicant for the studentship will analyse the political data from the Irish Mobility Study in the following areas:

Northern Ireland has excellent time-series data on changing political attitudes.  However, there is a gap between the 1968 Rose data and the 1978 Moxon-Browne data.  The studentship will fill the gap, with crucial information from 1973/74, collected at the height of the political violence;

The core social mobility data means that the attitudes responses can be closely analysed by class, religion and other variables at a greater level of rigour than usual and that Northern Ireland can be compared with the Irish Republic;

The links between political attitudes and organisational membership, as well as political party affiliation and, for some respondents, involvement in paramilitary organisations can be assessed;

The concrete and detailed information on the extent to which respondents, their families and their friends had been affected by the violence can be correlated with their political attitudes, including whether or not respondents supported violence as a means of achieving political goals.  Such data do not exist elsewhere.  This part of the studentship will be genuinely ground-breaking.

Start Date:  01 October 2012

End Date:  30 September 2015

The studentship will cover fees and a stipend for the full 3 years.

First Supervisor:  Professor Robert Miller
School of Sociology, Social Policy & Social Work
Research Cluster:  Identities, Life Style & Culture

Second Supervisor:  Dr. John Barry
School of Politics, International Studies & Philosophy
Research Cluster: Political Theory

The deadline for applications is 4.00pm on Friday 20th April 2012. Application is via Queens University’s online application system. All applications will be appraised according to the University's selection criteria for admission to postgraduate research. Selection will include an interview.



Religion, Violence and Cities
28th and 29th May 2012, Queen’s University Belfast

An international symposium entitled Religion, Violence and Cities is being organised in the School on Monday and Tuesday, 28th and 29th May 2012.  The symposium is sponsored by the ‘Conflict in Cities’ project. Booklet.

Contributors will include: Nezar Alsayyad (Berkeley), Robert Hayden (Pittsburgh), John Eade (Surrey), Ian Reader (Manchester), Colette Harris (East Anglia), Sinisa Malesevic (University College Dublin), Wendy Pullan (Cambridge), Mick Dumper (Exeter) and Liam O’Dowd and Martina McKnight (Queen’s)

For further details, please contact  Martina McKnight (Martina.McKnight@qub.ac.uk) and let her know if you would like to attend.



Age Encounters

An Interdisciplinary Forum on Ageing

Date: Wed 6th June 2012, Time: 3.30- 4.30 pm, Venue: Old Staff Common Room, QUB
The forum will be opened by our international guest speaker Briony Dow

Senior Lecurer/Lecturer vacancy (deadline 15th June)




Fourth UK-US Medical Sociology Conference
14th-16th June 2012, Queen’s University Belfast

Registration is now open for The FOURTH UK-US MEDICAL SOCIOLOGY CONFERENCE which will be held from June 14-16 at Queen’s University in Belfast.

Conference information and registration

Personal Tutors for BSW Social Work Students

Applications are sought for Personal Tutors for the BSW Degree at the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work. The main role of the personal tutor is to provide pastoral support to a group of approximately 12 students over the course of their programme at Queen’s. Tutors will play a particularly important role in supporting students in their practice learning.

A number of tutors are required to begin duties from September 2012 onwards. Appointments will be made for a 2 or 3 year period in the first instance. If there are more suitable applicants than posts available, a panel will be formed.

If you are qualified for more than two years and have an interest in working with social work students within an academic and practice environment, you are eligible to apply for these part-time positions. Further details can be found here.

Closing date: 12 noon on Wednesday 27th June 2012

Applications are via a full CV emailed to the School Manager, Patricia Reilly.

Interviews will be held on Friday 6th July at the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work.  Applicants will be contacted by email with regard to interview.

For Further information, please email Audrey Roulston.

 

Recruitment of Professional Tutors for the Bachelor of Social Work Degree



Postgraduate taught courses

Postgraduate Students Intro1

 

Part Time Tutor Register

Applications are invited from suitably qualified persons to enable the School to compile a register of Tutors.




Part Time Tutor Register

Applications are invited from suitably qualified persons to enable the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work to compile a register of Tutors.  A list of subject areas for which applications are invited is set out below.

Successful applicants will be fully responsible for the delivery of teaching and conduct of assessment to agreed standards.  They will be engaged under a contract for services and will not be employees of the University.

Subject areas:

Criminology
Social Policy
Social Work
Sociology

Payment:  This will be at the rate of £33 per hour (to include all duties specified in the further information documentation).

Application:

Interested individuals are requested to submit a full c.v by email to Patricia Reilly, School Manager, (patricia.reilly@qub.ac.uk) by 12 noon on Tuesday 3rd July 2012.

Applicants will be interviewed on Friday 6th July and will be notified of their allocated interview time on 4th July by email.

Selection Criteria:

For shortlisting purposes, it is essential that applicants have:-

  • A minimum of a 2.2 hons degree or equivalent in a discipline relevant to subject area applied for.

It is desirable that applicants have:-

  • A Masters or PhD in a relevant discipline to subject area applied for.
  • Experience of teaching or demonstrating at university/further education level in a discipline relevant to subject area applied for.
  • Relevant industrial/professional experience to subject area applied for.

It is envisaged that  successful candidates will have excellent oral and written communication skills, and presentation skills.

Training:

Training will take place on Thursday 27th September from 10am to 5pm at the School premises. Training is compulsory for all successful applicants.



ENGAGING WITH THE PUBLIC

The School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work is very committed to ensuring the use-value of our research. We actively engage with government and policy makers, NGOs and other user groups at local, national and international levels. Our significant public service roles at each of these levels mean that our research has considerable impact outside of the academy as well as within.

Our Knowledge Exchange Seminar Series with the Northern Ireland Assembly is one example of our public engagement.

Graduate BA Hons degree at Queen’s receives medal from President Mary McAleese
Graduate, Jonathan Mitchell, receives medal from President Mary McAleese
Jonathan Mitchell, recent graduate from a Joint Politics-Sociology BA Hons degree at Queen’s, recently received his medal from President Mary McAleese as winner in the Social Science category at the Undergraduate Awards ceremony in Dublin Castle. Jonathan was awarded for his essay, entitled “Race, Nation and Belonging in Ireland” , on a third year core Sociology module.
The judges commended Jonathan’s essay as “a remarkable and intelligent piece of sociological scholarship that has a significant contribution to make to our understanding of this fascinating - and live – topic”.
23 winners were selected from  almost 2,400 submissions to the 2011 Undergraduate Awards programme.  “Queen’s University Belfast had the second-highest number of winners from one institution,” said Louise Hodgson, Programme Director of the Undergraduate Awards, “but, in fact, it came out on top in terms of the proportion of winners compared to amount of total submissions from one institution.”
Minister Stephen Farry, who attended the event, commented: “The Undergraduate Awards provides an excellent opportunity to recognise and promote the high calibre of our undergraduates and our higher education sector. It provides a showcase for their skills, knowledge and attributes on a global stage.“

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Attitudes to Dementia

A new report shows that 45 per cent of adults know someone with dementia, and almost half of us believe that people with dementia are not treated like thinking human beings. 

Dementia: public knowledge and attitudes, by Maria McManus and Paula Devine, is based on data from the 2010 Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey.  This annual survey is conducted by ARK, a joint research initiative between Queen’s and the University of Ulster. The key findings include:

  • 45 per cent of respondents know someone with dementia, mostly a family member.
  • Nearly all respondents (90%) would describe someone with dementia for a long time as confused, and few would say they were happy (7%).
  • Most  respondents (83%) agreed that there comes a time when all you can do for someone with dementia is keep them clean, health and safe.
  • A similar proportion (87%) thought that people with dementia should be involved in activities in the community.
  • Nearly half of respondents agreed that once someone is diagnosed with dementia, they are not treated like a thinking human being.

There are approximately 19,000 people living with dementia in Northern Ireland.  This is estimated to grow to 60,000 by 2051, which is the fastest expected rate of increase in the UK.

Dr Paula Devine, Research Director of ARK at the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work said: “The results tell us that there is greater need for clear, accessible information that gives the public an accurate understanding about dementia and how it impacts on the person with dementia.  At the same time, the views of people with dementia are vital to understanding their needs, as well as raising expectations that a higher quality of life can be achieved by, and for, people with dementia.”Maria McManus, Director of the Northern Ireland office of the Dementia Services Development Centre said: “The views reflected by the survey confirm much of what needs to be challenged about attitudes, care and services for people with dementia and the need to address this in public policies and research, as well as in practice through the provision of services.”

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Bourdieu Study Group

Ciaran Burke along with two colleagues Dr. Nicola Ingram (a recent graduate of QUB School of Education, currently based in the University of Bristol) and Jenny Thatcher (University of East London) have successfully founded a new BSA Bourdieu Study Group.

The aims of the Bourdieu Study Group are:

  • To encourage and support the discussion and application of Bourdieuian social theory within sociological research.
  • To bring together researchers interested in a range of substantive areas to generate and consolidate theoretical knowledge.
  • To facilitate networking and discussion through organized activities.
  • To support postgraduate students who are engaging with Bourdieu.

The group has already received a great deal of interest with membership including both post-graduate and academic members both from within the U.K. and internationally.  For more information please visit the BSA study group page at http://www.britsoc.co.uk/specialisms/Bourdieu.htm

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Publications by our PhD students

Our current and former Ph.D. students have published several peer-reviewed articles, books and book chapters. We are proud of their accomplishments and wish to highlight some of them here.

Publications by our current PhD students:

Libby Ashurst has published two book chapters in Contemporary practice with young people who sexually abuse: Evidence-based developments, edited by M. Calder.  The chapters include:  “Emotional intelligence and the practitioner working with sexually harmful behaviour” and “Training in social services” (2011).

Justyna Bell has submitted an article to the journal, Studia Sociologica (“Migration as multiple pathways: Narrative interviews with Polish migrants in Belfast, Northern Ireland”). The special issue will feature articles on migration, identity and ethnicity.

Ciaran Burke has published an article in Sociological Research Online (The biographical illumination: A Bourdieusian analysis of the role of theory in educational research,” 2011).

Nathan Emmerich is the author of a book (Medical Ethics Education: Interdisciplinary and Social Theoretical Perspectives) which will be published in 2012.  He is the author of five articles that have appeared in the Journal of Medical Ethics (“Whatever happened to medical politics?” 2011), Medicine, Healthcare and Philosophy (“Anti-theory in action? Planning for pandemics, triage and ICU Or: How not to bite the bullet,” 2011), Bioethics (“Literature, history and the humanisation of bioethics,” 2011), and Research Ethics Review (“The business of medicine and society,” 2009; “On the ethics committee: The expert member, the lay member and the absentee ethicist,” 2009).

Julie Harris is the co-author of an article published in the journal, Qualitative Health Research (“Methadone as social control: Institutionalized stigma and the prospect of recovery,” 2012).

Peter Johnson published an article in Children and Society (“'You just get blocked'. Teenage drinkers: reckless rebellion or responsible reproduction?” 2011).

Romana Khaoury is the author of a book chapter (“ ‘It changed me it showed me both sides of the story': Young people's understandings and views of citizenship in Northern Ireland,” 2008).  She is the co-author of a second book chapter ("'Not a problem here?' 'Race' and Racism in Northern Ireland," 2008) and her contribution on Northern Ireland appeared in the  Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity and Society in 2007.  She is the co-author of “Racial attitudes and prejudice towards migrant workers,” published by ANIMATE in 2005.

Maurice Mahon has a co-authored article that appeared in the Irish Probation Journal (“The role of theory in promoting social work values and its potential effect on outcomes in work with domestically violent men,” 2009).

Christina O’Neill is the co-author of an article that was published in International Journal of Drug Policy (“Experiences with mephedrone pre- and post-legislative controls: Perceptions of safety and sources of supply,” 2011).

Joanne Wilson is a co-author of an article published in Health Expectations (“Translating policy into practice: A case study in the secondary prevention of coronary heart disease,” 2011), and a co-author of Teenage Drinking Cultures, published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in 2011. She has an article that appeared in The Psychologist (“Existing data – worth a second look?” 2012) and a co-authored book chapter (“Young people, sexual content and solicitation online,” 2011).  

Publications by some of our PhD students who have graduated

Theresa McShane, Ph.D.

Theresa is the author of the book, Blades, Blood and Bandages: The Experiences of People who Self-injure.  The book will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2012.

Sandrine Roginsky, Ph.D.

Sandrine is co-author of an article published in the International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy (“Civil society as a contested field of meanings,” 2009).

Jorun Rugkasa, Ph.D.

Jorun has seven co-authored journal articles that have been published in Journal of Medical Ethics (“Threats and offers in community mental health care: An ethics analysis,” 2011), Medical Law Review (“Lawfulness of a randomised trial of the new community treatment order regime for England and Wales,” 2011), The Psychiatrists (“Community treatment orders in England and Wales, clinicians’ views and use: A national survey,” 2011), Qualitative Health Research (“Practical issues in recruiting research participants from minority ethnic communities,” 2011), The Lancet (“Oxford Community Treatment Order Evaluation Trial (OCTET): A single-outcome randomised controlled trial of compulsory outpatient treatment in psychosis,” 2010), British Medical Bulletin (“Coercion and compulsion in community mental health care,” 2010, and Psychiatry (“Community treatment orders,” 2009).

Caral Stevenson, Ph.D.

Caral has an article in press in the journal, Drugs, Education, Prevention and Policy (“Cannabis use: What’s law got to do with it? Perceptions and Knowledge of Cannabis Policy from the User Perspective in Northern Ireland”).  Her chapter on cannabis users’ perceptions of drug dealers appeared in the edited book, Cannabis in Europe: Dynamics in Perception, Policy and Markets (Pabst Science Publishers).  She is a co-author of three other forthcoming articles that will appear in Critical Public Health, the International Journal of Drug Policy and Drugs, Education, Prevention and Policy.

 

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Dr John Devaney awarded a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship

John Devaney, Lecturer in Social Work, has been awarded a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship to study effective interventions with male perpetrators of domestic violence.
Domestic violence is a significant social and public health issue. In Northern Ireland the police respond to an incident of domestic violence every 23 minutes, with perpetrators of domestic violence having a high rate of recidivism. This has significant social and economic costs for adult and child victims. Research indicates that engaging perpetrators in acknowledging and addressing their behaviour can result in significant improvements.
The Fellowship is intended to help inform policy and practice in the UK and Ireland about how to intervene effectively with such men. During the Fellowship John will travel to Norway, Canada and the USA to look at innovative approaches in working with men who perpetrate domestic violence.
The Travelling Fellowship is provided by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust which awards grants to individuals to enable travel that will develop them and bring positive benefits to their community and area of interest. More information about the Trust is available at www.wcmt.org.uk including details of how to apply for next year’s Fellowships.

 

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14/02/2012: New book on Olympics


Dr. John Karamichas, Lecturer in Sociology, has co-edited (with Dr. Graeme Hayes; Aston University) the volume, Olympic Games, Mega-Events and Civil Societies, published recently by Palgrave Macmillan.

The rationale behind this publication is that sport mega-events are not simply sporting or cultural phenomena.  They are also political and economic events, characterized by the generation and projection of symbolic meanings – most obviously over the nature of statehood, of economic power, and of collective cultural identity – and by social conflict, especially over land use, and over the extent and contours of public spending commitments.  Because of their peculiar spatial and temporal organization, they raise questions about the relationships between global cultural and economic flows and particular local and national spaces.  Because of their evolutionary characteristics, they ask us to consider not simply the time of the event but also the effect of the event on the long-term direction, implementation and consequence of public policy.   

The basis of the chapters that make up the greater part of this volume were drawn from papers presented at a two-day workshop, in June 2008, at Queen Mary, University of London.  The financial sponsorship provided by the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work played a paramount role in facilitating that event.


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The representation and experience of homelessness: a grant from the Queen’s Annual Fund for enhancing learning and teaching in the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work
Queen's Annual Fund

Dr Jay Wiggan, Lecturer in Social Policy, has been awarded a grant from the Queen’s Annual Fund to enhance creativity in teaching through the promotion and development of experiential learning. The grant will support the performance and filming of the play Hostel by the award winning theatre company, Kabosh to Finding out about Social Policy students. Based on the real life experience of the writer and director, Fionnuala Kennedy, Hostel is set in Belfast and tells the story of a young lone parent, Maria, and her experience of becoming homeless and moving into sheltered accommodation provided by the Housing Executive.

Module Convenor Dr Wiggan welcomed the award as building on the School’s support for innovative, cross disciplinary teaching approaches that enhance student learning stating;

“The School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work are committed to creating and sustaining an active and engaging learning environment for students. In the context of ongoing welfare reform it is important that the views and experience of service users are aired and heard by students of social policy, sociology, criminology and social work. Hostel has been performed to, and well received by, the public and by service user, practitioners and policymaker audiences for offering insights into how housing policy affects those at risk of social exclusion and marginalisation. The support from the Queen’s Annual Fund means students in the School have the opportunity to view the play and explore a real life example of policy in practice and consider how Maria’s experience reflects public and official representations of homelessness, lone parenthood and ‘benefit dependency’”.

Dr Wiggan will attend a ceremony in the Naughton Gallery at Queen’s on March 7th to receive the award.

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Sally Shortall awarded ESRC research grant
Dr. Sally Shortall, Reader in Sociology at the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work has been awarded a research grant under the Economic and Social Research Council’s Follow-on Fund for her project Gender Mainstreaming the Rural Development Programme: Updating a case study of Northern Ireland.
 
Concern has been expressed at a regional level, and by the European Parliament and Commission, that the Rural Development Programme (RDP) is not having a sufficient impact on women.  The project will update Dr Shortall’s previous study Gender Proofing CAP Reform (2001) on how to engage women more effectively in the RDP for Northern Ireland.  While it specifically focuses on Northern Ireland, the findings will be relevant to other regions in the EU. The research process will actively engage with policy makers, civil society actors and the political sphere.  It will be designed in close consultation with the Department of Agriculture Northern Ireland (DARD), the Local Action Groups who deliver the RDP, women’s networks, and key rural development and agricultural organisations.  Project partners include DARD, the Rural Community Network and the Northern Ireland Rural Women’s Network.
 
Speaking about the award, Professor Mike Tomlinson, Head of School, said:
 
Sally Shortall is recognised for her contributions to rural sociology and this project adds to the already significant work she has done for the European Commission and Parliament, the OECD, the FAO, DEFRA and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.   Sally will be working with Roisin Kelly, who is seconded from the Northern Ireland Assembly as part of the project.  This research engages with a wide range of organisations from the agriculture and rural development sector in an innovative four way transfer of knowledge between the University, a government department, civil society groups and the Northern Ireland Assembly, and I see Roisin’s presence in the School as further evidence of the School’s commitment to knowledge exchange.

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A grant from the Queen’s Annual Fund for enhancing learning and teaching in the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work
Queen's Annual Fund
Azrini Wahidin and Joe Duffy have been awarded a small grant from the Queen’s Annual Fund to examine ‘Everyday Experiences of the Criminal Justice System’. The aim of the project is to enable students from Criminology and Social Work to work together in investigating the impact and portrayal of crime in their everyday life through using creative approaches such as photography, art, poetry and song-writing. At the end of the project , we will hold a one day conference bringing together students’ experiences of crime and criminal justice. By using different mediums to capture the everydayness of crime, we will  open up the vista of the criminological imagination.
Azrini Wahidin and Joe Duffy, will attend a ceremony in the Naughton Gallery at Queen’s on March 7th to receive the award.

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Queen’s Annual Fund to develop a resource for social work students undertaking practice learning opportunities
Audrey Roulston, Davy Hayes, and Mandi MacDonald have been awarded a grant from the Queen’s Annual Fund to develop a resource for social work students undertaking practice learning opportunities. The aims of the project are to provide easily accessible and useful information, from a student perspective about a range of practice learning opportunities, and to assist student students to prepare for working in particular settings and with a range of service user groups. The project will focus on developing a web page, which will be hosted by the School’s website. The resource will consist of 20 short video clips of students discussing their experiences of practice learning, including what they enjoyed, what they found most challenging, the range of learning experiences available to them and the types of work they undertook to meet their learning objectives. The video clips will be professionally filmed and edited by Amanda McKittrick in Queen’s Media Services. In addition, links will be provided to recommended preparatory reading in relation to work settings, service user groups and relevant theoretical frameworks for intervention. Audrey Roulston will attend a ceremony in the Naughton Gallery on the 7th March to receive the award.

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20/03/2012: UN International Social Work Week 20-26 March 2012

Social work is an international profession with shared knowledge, ethics and values. In celebrating International Social Work Week, Queen's staff and students have been involved in organising and presenting work that links the local context of Northern Ireland with the global.

This includes:

  • Celebrations by the Northern Ireland Association of Social Work , which included presentations from Professor John Pinkerton on the increasingly important role of research within the profession and PhD student Kwabena Frimpong Manso on young people leaving care in Ghana. The event also recognised the work of Ciaran Traynora Development Manager at Extern, a local NGO, and tutor at QUB. He was awarded the prestigious lifetime achievement award for his work with disadvantaged people. (see more at here). 

  • Poster presentations by social work students at Queen's sharing experiences and inspiration from other schools and contexts of social work practice that have both shaped their commitment to social work and/or informed their social work educational experience. These are available to see online and are on display at the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, QUB from 20th -26th March 2012.

  • Peer led workshop on learning from international contexts and issues of employability for social work students on 28th March 2012. 

For more on what’s happening for International social work week around the world, see:

International Federation of Social Work

Social Day at the United Nations

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Dr Janet Carter Anand, Dr Chaitali Das and Dr Gavin Davidson, Lecturers in Social Work, have recently been be awarded a grant from the Higher Education Academy
Dr Janet Carter Anand,  Dr Chaitali Das and  Dr Gavin Davidson, Lecturers in Social Work, have recently been be awarded a grant from the Higher Education Academy in partnership with UKCISA for Connections: Pilot projects supporting Internationalisation. The  successful project titled ‘Opportunities for learning and skills for employment: Evaluating outcomes of international social work educational visits’ aims to evaluate the pedagogical and employability gains for students who have engaged with social work in international contexts through exchange programs currently run through the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Queen’s University Belfast. Within the last year  fourteen social work students participated in programmes which enabled them to visit other social work schools and students in Austria, India and Germany. The project subsequently seeks to collaborate with students who participated in these visits to develop creative resources (photo series from their visits, stories, short films) and lead a workshop for their peers to discuss the opportunities for learning and development of skills for employability. Developed resources will be hosted on online on QUB website for staff and students to access.
Planned outcomes include, an opportunity for students who have visited international schools of social work to consolidate their learning, develop resources and skills to lead a workshop, workshops and discussions around the learning and employability skills international contexts for home students who have not had opportunities to travel and the development of resources for learning and teaching.

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26/03/2012: 'Crime against the Peace Process'

Speaking at an international conference on Children of Conflict in Belfast, Professor Tomlinson said that the Coalition Governement's withdrawal of £4.5 billion from the post-St Andrews Agreement investment strategy was 'the biggest crime against the peace process to date'. He was presenting a paper on the legacies of the conflict for young people with a particular focus on youth unemployment. 'Young people are gradually being pushed out of the labour market. The recession has accelerated this trend but the employment rate for 18-24 year olds has been declining steadily for more than a decade' he stated. 

He went on to discuss the international evidence on the relationship between youth unemployment and violence. Some regard unemployment as 'destabilising' but so far the evidence is that young people in Northern Ireland are not on the whole expressing their frustrations with the lack of education and employment opportunities publicly through protest or disorder. Instead there is evidence of frustrations being internalised, though contrary to popular belief young people do not have the highest rate of suicide

Professor Tomlinson's main argument was that macro-economic initiatives are required to stimulate employment growth. 'We may also need more job-sharing between the generations if young people are not to be scarred for life by early exclusion from the labour market.' He argued the Coalition's policies are reducing demand in the Northern Ireland economy by the radical reduction in capital spending promised in the wake of St Andrews, by cuts of £600 million in welfare benefits and tax credits, and by the loss of 20,000 public sector jobs. 'Instead of investing in the next generation to build the long-term peace, we are reducing living standards, and employment and education opportunities, effectively encouraging our young people to emigrate'. The conference is organised by ASITIS and runs until Wednesday 28th March. (See also David Blanchflower)

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28/03/2012: New book on Mental Health Social Work Practice

A new book by Gavin Davidson and Jim Cambell on Post-Qualifying Mental Health Social Work Practice is published this month by Sage Publications. Social workers and other professionals working in the area of mental health often face complex and difficult practice dilemmas shaped by increasingly demanding policy and legal contexts across the UK. 

Topics covered include:

  • Models of mental health and illness
  • Discrimination and social exclusion
  • Addressing service user needs
  • Career perspectives
  • Working with individuals, families and communities
The chapters are accompanied by exercises, which encourage readers to critically reflect on their own professional and personal experiences. Case studies are also included so that students can reappraise the knowledge they have learned in the text.
The book will be essential reading for social work practitioners taking postgraduate courses in mental health and for those training to become Approved Social Workers and Approved Mental Health Professionals.

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Prof. John Pinkerton and Kwabena Frimpong-Manso presented a paper at the 8th Congress of the BASPCAN
Prof. John Pinkerton and Kwabena Frimpong-Manso presented a paper today on the initial findings from latter’s PhD research on young people leaving a private children’s home in Ghana at the 8th Congress of the British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect being held at Queen’s University Belfast from 15th-18th April 2012.
 
The doctoral research was undertaken in Ghana over a period of 10 months to understand using multiple research methods (semi-structured interviews, focus groups and observation) from 28 young people, 8 carers and 4 support workers (counsellor, social worker, youth counsellors.
The research highlights majority of the care leavers at least one adult or an organisation that provided them with support. These support systems mostly provided them with practical support in accessing housing, getting information about jobs and getting financial assistance. Unreliability, inability to provide assistance when needed and lack of trust were the major barriers that prevented care leavers in utilising the possible support systems available to them. The support systems had an impact on care leavers employment, housing and health outcomes. Recommendations are made about how to create new support networks for care leavers and strength the ones that already exist.

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Mrs Mandi MacDonald presented a paper at the 8th Congress of the BASPCAN

Mrs Mandi MacDonald presented a paper today on the findings from research on adoptive parenthood and post-adoption contact at the 8th Congress of the British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect being held at Queen’s University Belfast from 15th-18th April 2012.
The paper entitled ‘The Challenges of Parenting Adopted Adolescents as they Negotiate Changing Birth Family Relationships’ reports findings from a doctoral study exploring the impact of birth family contact on adopters’ experience of parenting children adopted from care, focusing on the evolution of contact throughout adolescence.
This qualitative study was conducted with 31 adoptive parents, representing 17 families,
recruited via the longitudinal Northern Ireland Care Pathways and Outcomes Study. Data from semi-structured interviews was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.

The research showed that, for some families, new contact emerged in adolescence, initiated via informal networks or social networking internet sites. Negotiating resultant changes in birth family relationships was considered more complex than the normative challenges encountered in adolescence. Adopters worried that experience of early adversity rendered their child ill-equipped to cope with this complexity, and that birth parents’ continued difficulty with the issues that led to adoption e.g. alcohol and drug misuse, would  negatively influence their child’s lifestyle choices at this transitional stage. Adopters perceived a risk to their parental status and influence, and the investment made in their child’s well-being. However, they provided support with negotiating these relationships, motivated by a commitment to their child’s rights.

The paper helps with our understanding of what it is like to meet the complex developmental needs of adopted adolescents within the context of the growing practice of post-adoption contact. Recommendations are made about how this insight into the experience of adoptive parenthood may inform policy and practice in relation to adoption support.

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Ms Nicoli Morrison presented a paper at the 8th Congress of the BASPCAN

Nicoli Morrison today presented two interactive posters on the preliminary findings from her PhD research exploring understanding of safeguarding children by primary care health professionals. The posters were presented at the 8th Congress of the British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (BASPCAN) which is being held at Queen’s University Belfast from 15th-18th April 2012. The research which is supervised by Dr Anne Lazenbatt and Dr John Devaney from the School of Sociology, Social Policy & Social Work suggests that professionals do have different understandings of the term “safeguarding children” and that their understanding has a complex relationship with their safeguarding role.

This mixed methods study invited 213 General Practitioners (GPs) and 104 Health Visitors (HVs) working in one Health and Social Care Trust area in Northern Ireland to take part in focus groups and an anonymous survey. 17 GPs and 12 HVs took part in the focus groups. 27 GPs and 41 HVs took part in either the postal or electronic version of the survey. The presentations reported on differences within and between the professions, difficulties identifying a range of concerns in children, and also the barriers and facilitators of their safeguarding role with children. Implications of preliminary findings within a public health framework were also considered.

If you would like to find out more, you can email Nicoli at: nmorrison06@qub.ac.uk

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Dr Dominic McSherry will be presenting findings from the Northern Ireland ‘Care Pathways and Outcomes’ Study

On Tuesday 17th April 2012, Dr Dominic McSherry will be presenting findings from the Northern Ireland ‘Care Pathways and Outcomes’ Study.  Other members of the research team include: Dr Montserrat Fargas Malet; Ms Kerrylee Weatherall; Dr Greg Kelly; and Mr Clive Robinson.  This is a longitudinal prospective study that, for the last 10 years, has been tracking the placements, and examining a range of coping indicators, for a population of children (n=374) who were in care under the age of five in Northern Ireland on the 31st March 2000.  The main objective of the study is to inform policy and practice on how best to meet the long-term needs of children in care.

Interviews were conducted with a sub-sample (n=77) of the study population (aged between 9 and 14 years old), and comparative data was gathered using: The Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment (IPPA); Piers-Harris Children’s Self-Concept Scale; British Picture Vocabulary Scale (BPVA); Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ); and Parenting Stress Index (PSI).  Qualitative interviews were also conducted with the children and young people and their parents/carers.  The children and young people were in five different placement types: Adopted (n=18); long-term non-relative foster care (n=19); long-term relative foster care (n=13); on Residence Order (n=15); and return to birth parent/s (n=12).
Results indicate higher levels of emotional and behavioural difficulties and parental stress, in relation to children in non-relative foster care and living with birth parents, compared with adoption, relative foster care, and on Residence Order.  The adopted children also scored highest on the BPVA, which measures scholastic aptitude.  However, from the children’s and young people’s own perspective, on issues such as attachment and self-concept (esteem), there were no significant differences between the groups, with most children being strongly attached to their parents/carers, with relatively high levels of self-concept (esteem).  The qualitative findings are currently being analysed.

These quantitative findings highlight the importance of speaking directly to children and young people themselves, as there was a divergence between their perspectives on their own lives, and how their parents/carers felt they were coping.  They suggest that all of these care placements are familial environments which have the potential to nurture positive outcomes for children.  The findings challenge contemporary assumptions that place adoption as the ‘gold standard’ in long-term placement.  However, this is dependent on the approach taken to measuring children’s outcomes.  That is, it depends on whether we examine outcomes in either a multi-faceted or unidimensional way.

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Dr Mark McCann of the Institute of Child Care Research has had an article published in the Journal Age & Ageing

Dr Mark McCann of the Institute of Child Care Research has had an article published in the Journal Age & Ageing. The article, Gender differences in care home admission risk: Partner's age explains the higher risk for women, has attracted media interest, with Dr. McCann appearing on U105 radio and online news reports.

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Karen McElrath at Buffalo
Dr Karen McElrath visited Buffalo State College (New York) in April and presented a lecture on ‘leadership, community and political conflict’ to students enrolled in a leadership course.  She also met with criminal justice faculty to discuss drug use and drug policies in the US and N/S Ireland.  The visit was organised by Dr Timothy Ecklund, Associate Vice President for Campus Life, Buffalo State.  Dr Ecklund visited Belfast (and Queen's) in 2011, along with several students and faculty members from Buffalo State. 

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New book: The Demands of Motherhood; Agents, Roles and Recognitions by Lisa Smyth

This study returns to neglected sociological questions concerning the connections between agency and normative complexity, through the pragmatist interpretation it offers of the recognition dynamics shaping this deeply contested and emotionally fraught role.

Drawing on qualitative interviews with forty mostly middle-class mothers across the UK and US, this book offers a three-party typology of the coping strategies women adopt. The various combinations of expressivism, instrumentalism and pragmatism taken up by respondents as they go about asserting normative authority and seeking esteem for the competence and quality of their mothering, provides the focus of attention.

Contents:
Acknowledgements
Introduction
Modernity, Normativity and Recognition
Motherhood's Normativity
Authentic Motherhood: Expressive Individualism
Choosing Motherhood: Rational Planning
Balancing Acts: Maternal Pragmatism
Conclusion
Notes
Appendix 1: Participant Information
References
Index

http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?is=9780230579309

 

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'Necessities of Life' evidence presented at Stormont
Only 30% of people in Northern Ireland regard having a home computer as a basic necessity. Yet 60% believe it is essential for children to have a computer with access to the internet for doing homework. These are among the findings from an Omnibus survey presented at a Knowledge Exchange seminar at Stormont today. The survey was carried out as part of a UK-wide study of poverty and social exclusion. Seminar presenter Mike Tomlinson commented,

 

 "Our main interest was to explore whether or not there is agreement among people in Northern Ireland on the basic necessities of life. What we mean by that is the necessities that all people in our type of society should be able to afford. We tested obvious basics such as food and clothing but also less obvious items such as having your hair done regularly. We found the biggest difference in views was between older and younger people. A TV is much more important to older people and ‘clothes for job interviews’ more valued as a necessity by younger people. But when we look at different income levels, occupations, community backgrounds and gender, there is a remarkable degree of consensus between people.”

 

Defining the Breadline: Is there a Northern Ireland Consensus slides and paper tabled at the seminar are available here.  

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The Impact of Childhood Adversity

Researchers within the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work in conjunction with the NSPCC have been commissioned by the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People to undertake a study into the impact of adversity in childhood on adolescent death by suicide. School staff John Devaney, Gavin Davidson, David Hayes, Anne Lazenbatt and Trevor Spratt are working with Lisa Bunting from the NSPCC to explore how some adolescents are affected by their experiences of adversity in childhood, and for a small, but significant minority, they end up dying by suicide. The research will set out the current knowledge about the impact of adversity in childhood on later mental health and suicide, and use examples drawn from a small number of case studies to illustrate the points being made.

This research builds on the international expertise within the School relating to childhood adversity, non-accidental child deaths and the mental health of children and adults.

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New book: Asylums, Mental Health Care and the Irish, 1800-2010. By Pauline Prior
cover book picture
This book is a collection of studies on mental health services in Ireland from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the present day. In addition to an analysis of overall trends in patient numbers and an exploration of the development of mental health law on the island of Ireland (North and South), there are studies on individual hospitals. These include the famous nursing strike at Monaghan Asylum in 1919, when a red flag was raised over the building; extracts from Speedwell, a hospital newsletter, showing the social and sporting life at Holywell Hospital during the 1960s; an exploration of diseases such as beriberi and tuberculosis at Dundrum and the Richmond in the 1890s; the legal action taken by the Belfast Asylum against the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in the 1860s to avoid appointing chaplains; the problems encountered by doctors in Ballinasloe Asylum as they tried to exert their authority over the Governors; and the experiences of Irish emigrants who found themselves in asylums in Australia and New Zealand. The book also includes a discussion of mental health services in Ireland 1959- 2010, the first time such a chronology has been published.

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Health therapists from Norway and the School's CBT team share specialist knowledge and research on PTSD
Group photo of Norwegian therapist and school's CBT team

Twenty mental health therapists from Norway were guests at the School from 30 April – and 1 May. The multi-disciplinary group are based at  the Modum  Bad Centre for Anxiety Disorders and the research Institute at Oslo University and have been responding to the psychological needs of the victims of the bomb attacks in Oslo and the shootings at the summer youth camp on the island of Utoeya.

The School CBT team  had responded to a request from the group to share their specialist knowledge and research on PTSD with the Norwegian team.  Prof Mike Tomlinson welcomed the group and  in addition to the workshop provided by Dr Michael Duffy and colleagues contributions were also provided by Dr Stephen Coulter and colleagues from The Omagh Trauma Centres research group. The group also visited the Family Trauma Centre. The entire Modum Bad team were able to attend which facilitated discussion on lots of interesting research projects for potential collaboration. The Norwegian group currently have clinical trials on social phobia, OCD, and panic disorder in addition to their current proposal for a PTSD study.

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ARK held a seminar at Queen’s University to launch the findings of the 2011 Young Life and Times (YLT) survey
Today, 16th May, ARK held a seminar at Queen’s University to launch the findings of the 2011 Young Life and Times (YLT) survey. YLT is an annual survey of 16-year olds undertaken by ARK. As the seminar was held as part of Community Relations Week, ARK published a Research Update titled: ‘No more us and them for 16-year olds?’ authored by Paula Devine and Gillian  Robinson which focused on the changes in attitudes and experiences of 16-year olds with regard to community relations since 2003 when the first YLT survey was undertaken. All  2011 survey results are all available now from the YLT website alongside the Research Update, the media release and the presentation.

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Looking Back and Looking Forward in Cape Town
child inctitute group photo from south africa

Professors Geraldine Maconald and John Pinkerton took part last week in the bi-annual meeting of the International Network of Child Policy Research Centres, of which the School’s Institute for Child Care Research is a member.
The three-day gathering was hosted by the University of Cape Town’s Children’s Institute, another network member. The international seminar brought together invited researchers, policy-makers and donor representatives to focus on the role of research and analysis in shaping policy and practice for children and youth.

As the Network and the Children's Institute are both celebrating their ten-year anniversary, the event provided an opportunity to reflect on the past decade's lessons in getting research to impact on policy and practice and planning future network collaboration.
John Pinkerton presented an opening paper on ‘Rethinking society’s responsibilities for children’ and Geraldine Macdonald was the respondent to a second paper on ‘The role of research and analysis in shaping policy and practice for children and youth’.

The network members in attendance from England, India, Ireland, Israel, Northern Ireland, Norway, South Korea and America also visited selected local children and youth programmes.

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Advanced CBT Workshop Series: CBT for GAD, Generalised Anxiety Disorder
avanced CBT workshop, CBT for GAD. class photo
avanced CBT workshop, CBT for GAD. instructors group photo

On 17 May Professor Freeston from Newcastle University,Chair of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence Guideline for OCD and Body Dysmorphic Disorder provided an excellent days training in Ridell Hall on Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) as part of the  School’s CBT Advanced CBT spring workshop series.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder and excessive worry often present the clinician with a challenge as both therapist and client get caught up in a seemingly endless list of problems or a swirling circular process that can overwhelm both players.

The workshop provided insights and learning in relation to the phenomenology of worry, recognition of excessive worry, its formulation, and the implementation of successful CBT treatment strategies. A key area of Prof Freeston’ s current research relates to Intolerance of Uncertainty, an important construct in GAD and other disorders, which attempts to reconcile its status as both a disorder specific and a trans-diagnostic construct.

110 people attended the workshop and the feedback from participants about the speaker and the content was extremely positive. Participants were
very pleased by the surroundings and the facilities including the courteous staff team at Ridell Hall and how well organised the event had been – Well done Angela Anderson!

Dr Michael Duffy expressed sincere thanks to all in the CBT team - Paul Quinn, Dr. Joanne Younge, Helen Morgan, Stephen Herron and Dr Debbie Mairs Houghton (all appear in the photograph with Prof Freeston)

Next Spring workshop on OCD - Obsessional Compulsive Disorder

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The School hosts two Guest Lectures by Dr Pamela Trevithick, Visiting Professor in Social Work, Buckinghamshire New University
The School is delighted to be hosting two guest lectures by Dr Pamela Trevithick on 6th and 7th June. Pamela Trevithick is author of the best-selling text Social Work Skills + Knowledge: A Practice Handbook, 3rd edn. The two previous editions of Pamela's books have been very popular with our social work students so this will be a timely opportunity for both Practice Teachers and students to hear about her new book. The topic for Pamela's lectures will be: A knowledge framework integrating theory and practice in social work. On Wednesday pm, Pamela will give a two hour workshop to Practice Teachers and on Thursday 7 June, she will give a three hour workshop to social work students.
 
For further information, contact Joe Duffy

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Teaching Awards

Two teams of academic staff in the School are to receive Queen's University Teaching Awards at summer graduation.

Dr Nicola Carr, Dr Melissa McCullough (Centre for Medical Education), Mrs Aine Maxwell (Institute of Professional Legal Studies) and Dr Karen Winter receive the award as recognition of their development of a highly effective training initiative in court work skills in respect of child welfare and criminal justice proceedings. The team uses in-depth case material and simulated court cases to provide their students with a valuable, active and interactive learning experience.

Mr Joe Duffy, Dr Berni Kelly, Dr Chaitali Das, Dr Gavin Davidson and Dr David Hayes receive the award for their innovative approach to involving service users in teaching and assessing Social Work students. By enabling students to visit service users in role play assessments, the team provides students with realistic insights into their chosen profession and prepares them more effectively for placements. This substantial innovation is making an impact on the teaching of Social Work both nationally and internationally.

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‘Different Language; Same Language, Different Culture? A European Social Work Project
european social work students group photo
european social work students group photo

This is the second week of a EU funded social work student project on inter-cultural conflict titled ‘Different Language; Same Language, Different Culture?’ The project involves 50 students and academics from Goldsmith’s University (England), QUB (NI), Universytet Warszawski (Poland), Fachhohschule Karnten (Austria), Univeriza v Ljubljani (Slovenia), Freie Universitat Bozen, Universita di Bolzano (Italy), Fachhochschule Koln (Germany). The project is an autonomous learning initiative where students work in teams  developing reports and reflections  based on community agency visits in Northern Ireland.

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Winner of student photo competition
Winner photo of student photo competition

Augusta Cater, a 1st year student, has won the photo competition for BA sociology students in the School. Entrants were asked to submit a photograph they had taken that encapsulates some aspect of contemporary sociology. Augusta submitted a photo from her time on the Study China programme in 2012. She also wrote the caption for the photograph, which is of tourists in Zhejiang province. Congratulations to Augusta, and many thanks to all who submitted entries to the competition.

Caption:
Communist rice, capitalist cola: as they explore the preserved past of their peasant predecessors at the historic waterside town of Wuzhen in Zhejiang province, today's Chinese tourists from the country's fast growing urban middle class unite the technology of globalisation with the culture of celebrity to turn paparazzi at the sight of an exotic visitor. Credit: © Augusta Cater 2012.

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Dr Anne Kouvonen has had an article published in the American Journal of Public Health

Dr Anne Kouvonen has had an article published in the American Journal of Public Health. This study in a large cohort of smoking employees showed that certain smoking cessation support activities, particularly pharmacological treatments and financial incentives, offered by employers, may encourage smokers to quit smoking.

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ARK Young researcher, Jonny Murphy, invited to present at an international qualitative methods conference in Goethe-University, Frankfurt 4-5 May 2012

As part of ARK/Young Life and Times ‘Attitudes to Difference’ project in partnership with the National Children’s Bureau, Jonny was part of a team of 16-year old young researchers exploring attitudes towards ethnic minorities in Northern Ireland. Jonny’s experience of this lead to co-authoring a journal article with Dr Dirk Schubotz (ARK) and Claire McCartan (ICCR) and it was on the strength of this publication that he was invited to present a workshop on ‘Conducting Better Research – A Young Researcher’s Perspective on the Process of Participatory Peer Research’ at the international ‘Interpretation Claims in Qualitative Research: Positions, Strategies and Perspectives in (self) Critical Knowledge Production’ conference. Jonny, now a first year Economics student, really enjoyed the experience, “It seemed to go very well, everyone had a lot of questions about my experience etc, so the presentation appears to have been a hit!”.

The journal article McCartan, C., Schubotz, D. & Murphy, J. (2012). The self-conscious researcher – post-modern perspectives of participatory research with young people.  Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 13(1) can be accessed at http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1798

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Joe Duffy researches older people's access to legal advice in the United States

Press release

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Outlaws in Naughton Gallery

 

01/09/2011: Outlaws in Naughton Gallery

 

Outlaws, a woodcut print by Lisa Malone, is among three art works from the School now hanging in the Naughton Gallery. The exhibition celebrates ten years of the Gallery’s existence and displays 20 pictures by local and international artists. The three works from the School are:

 

1. Phut, Phit by David Mach, screenprint.

2. Stone Circle by John Keane, PVA on paper.

3. Outlaws by Lisa Malone, woodcut.

 

The exhibition is open Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 4pm from 1st September to 2nd

October.

 

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Recent graduates from the School are amongst the very best

Four recent graduates from the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work have been shortlisted in the prestigious Undergraduate Awards. Through an annual awards programme, the scheme promotes and encourages academic excellence, independent thinking, and innovation by recognising the very best work produced by undergraduate students in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and the USA in their final year of study.

The work by recent social work graduates Lindsay Kirk, Kelly Maguire and Catherine Weatherup, and sociology graduate Jonathan Mitchell is among the top 10% of the 2345 submissions received this year from every third level institution in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The graduates from the School represent four of the nine individuals shortlisted in the Social Studies category. In total 28 students from across Queen’s University have made it through to the final stages of the awards.

The overall winners will be announced in late September 2011 and will be invited to attend a gala to be held in Dublin in October 2011 where President Mary McAleese will be the guest of honour.

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Sociology student in top twenty in Ireland
Sociology student Jonathan Mitchell is among twenty winners of the prestigious 2011 Undergraduate Awards, a competition involving thousands of entries from all universities across the island of Ireland. Jonathan graduated with a first class Joint Honours degree in Sociology and Politics in June 2011. His winning work was an essay on Race, Nation and Belonging carried out for the course on Contemporary Irish Society, convened by Dr Katy Hayward. Professor Mike Tomlinson, Head of School, said: "This is an outstanding achievement by an outstanding student. Jonathan achieved the highest scoring first class degree of any student in my entire career and we are absolutely delighted that his brilliance has been recognised beyond Queen's."  The Undergraduate Awards will be presented by President Mary McAleese at Dublin Castle on 28th October 2011.

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Dr. Stephen Coulter to Study ‘Mother’s Narratives of Trauma’.

Dr Stephen Coulter has been awarded a grant from the British Academy to conduct an study to explore how mothers in families seeking professional help narrate the impact of a traumatic event that has involved a member (or members) of their family, prior to the influence of professional therapeutic intervention.

It can be argued that the experience of trauma has been over-medicalised and reduced to a relatively narrow set of ‘symptoms’ associated with diagnostic categories such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  This pathological conceptualisation strongly influences mental health professionals’ interventions with victims/survivors of trauma, which then have the potential to obscure important dimensions of the phenomenological experience of being traumatised that are significant to the victim/survivors and their families. Therefore, it is important, to listen to people’s accounts of the impact of traumatic events to achieve a baseline in order to better understand this population and thus plan appropriate professional interventions.

As a first step, this study will ask mothers about the impact of trauma on them and their families using ‘Narrative Interviewing’ methodology. The interviews will be transcribed and analysed thematically sentence by sentence, for (a) inductive themes derived from the literature including; practical reorganisation, changes in individuals thinking /behaviour (symptoms), changes in relationships, ways of coping and making sense (meaning) of the experience and (b) emerging themes and (c) co-occurrence of terms/concepts.

This study will enable the researcher to elucidate a range of practical, psychological and relational adjustment processes in families who have been traumatised, providing insight into the multifaceted impact of trauma in families seeking professional help.  It has the potential to raise multiple areas for further research, and to inform the response of social care professionals to traumatised families.

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