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Gossip is part of everyday life and can play an important role in society. It has been part of human communication since we started to talk and is common to communities…
Gossip is part of everyday life and can play an important role in society. It has been part of human communication since we started to talk and is common to communities around the world. Evidence of gossip adorned the walls of ancient tombs in Egypt, and advice against gossiping can be found in the words of King Solomon in the Old Testament, in the theses of Greek philosophers, and in proverbs from all cultures. Yet gossip continues to be all around us, and most of our conversation time involves some form of it. Despite this, those who initiate gossip are often derided for being gossip mongers, and not without good reason. At its worst, gossip can destroy reputations and businesses, be used as a form of bullying, and cause a great deal of distress. In this chapter, however, I focus on why and how gossip is used and the purpose it serves in village life. Ambridge resident Susan Carter is a renowned gossip with high, unsubtle output compared to other villagers. I look at Susan's gossiping at both a psychosocial level and in terms of benefits she may gain. I also discuss gossip at the village level from two perspectives. I explore the importance of gossip to village life based upon peer reviewed literature, and relate these findings to the comings and goings of the residents of Ambridge. I then also look at how gossip is needed to relay storylines to the listeners. Finally, social media has helped to bring together Archers fans who like nothing more than to spend hours gossiping about their favourite villagers and berating Susan for her tittle-tattle. Yet The Archers wouldn't exist without gossip, so maybe we should be grateful to Susan and carry on gossiping.
Families conduct their affairs through processes that are built upon those of previous generations and also social capacities such as culture, class, oppression and…
Families conduct their affairs through processes that are built upon those of previous generations and also social capacities such as culture, class, oppression and poverty. The media has played a part in stereotyping the lower classes through their portrayal on the television programmes such as Benefits Street and Jeremy Kyle and tabloid newspaper stories. This chapter is a case study of two families who are at the opposing ends of the social scale, the Horrobin/Carter and Aldridge families. The two families were chosen due to them being linked by marriage in the younger generation. Through the use of genograms, we explore how the families differ in their attitudes towards relationships within their individual families, and also how they relate to each other as separate family groups. Despite the many differences, there are also a number of key similarities, particularly regarding the key females in the families, in terms of family background and snobbery. We also show that there is little family loyalty in the more privileged family and a power differential between the two families (oppressors vs. oppressed) in terms of the crimes committed.
Interest in car-sharing initiatives, as a tool for improving transport network efficiency in urban areas and on interurban links, has grown in recent years. They have…
Interest in car-sharing initiatives, as a tool for improving transport network efficiency in urban areas and on interurban links, has grown in recent years. They have often been proposed as a more cost effective alternative to other modal shift and congestion relief initiatives, such as public transport or highway improvement schemes; however, with little implementation in practice, practitioners have only limited evidence for assessing their likely impacts.
This study reports the findings of a Stated Preference (SP) study aimed at understanding the value that car drivers put on car sharing as opposed to single occupancy trips. Following an initial pilot period, 673 responses were received from a web-based survey conducted in June 2008 amongst a representative sample of car driving commuters in Scotland.
An important methodological aspect of this study was the need to account for differences in behaviour to identify those market segments with the greatest propensity to car share. To this end, we estimated a range of choice model forms and compared the ability of each to consistently identify individual behaviours. More specifically, this included a comparison of:
Standard market segmentation approaches based on multinomial logit with attribute coefficients estimated by reported characteristics (e.g. age, income, etc.);
A two-stage mixed logit approach involving the estimation of random parameters logit models followed by an examination of individual respondent's choices to arrive at estimates of their parameters, conditional on know distributions across the population (following Revelt & Train, 1999); and
A latent-class model involving the specification of C classes of respondent, each with their own coefficients, and assigning each individual a probability that they belongs to a given class based upon their observed choices, socioeconomic characteristics and their reported attitudes.
As hypothesised, there are significant variations in tastes and preferences across market segments, particularly for household car ownership, gender, age group, interest in car pooling, current journey time and sharing with a stranger (as opposed to family member/friend). Comparing the sensitivity of demand to a change from a single occupancy to a car-sharing trip, it can be seen that the latter imposes a ‘penalty’ equivalent to 29.85 IVT minutes using the mixed logit structure and 26.68 IVT minutes for the multinomial specification. Segmenting this latter value according to the number of cars owner per household results in ‘penalties’ equivalent to 46.51 and 26.42 IVT minutes for one and two plus car owning households respectively.
The introduction of female writers to The Archers in 1975 brought a new perspective to the programme, revitalising its profile and cementing its place in the British…
The introduction of female writers to The Archers in 1975 brought a new perspective to the programme, revitalising its profile and cementing its place in the British psyche. This ‘feminisation’ of the programme was an important turning point for the women of Ambridge with increasing focus on issues important to them. This chapter argues that until this time storylines had tended to position women in the background of farming life, their identities shaped solely in terms of their relationships with the men of the village, as homemakers, carers and love-interests. The new band of female writers meant that the women of Ambridge were able to emerge as fully-rounded characters in their own right, as professionals, farmers, business women and matriarchs, at the forefront of village life. It goes on to discuss the character and function of Susan Carter, from the writer's perspective of both a research psychologist and the actor who plays Susan. It is argued that Susan utilises gossip not only as a tool with which to create interpersonal alliances and cement friendships but also to enhance her damaged self-worth and increase her status and power as a fount of all Ambridge knowledge.
This paper charts the technological developments that have taken place within primary health care during the last 20 years, drawing upon previous research and presenting…
This paper charts the technological developments that have taken place within primary health care during the last 20 years, drawing upon previous research and presenting new survey findings on the current state of computerisation. The survey reveals that 96 per cent of UK practices use a clinical computer system, with repeat and acute prescribing, the collation of annual data and audits/searches being the most well used applications. The move towards the so‐called “paperless” practice is strongly related to GPs’ computing expertise, with larger practices more likely to have gone in this direction. Over half of GP practices now have access to the Internet. Improvement of computing skills appears a major determinant of successful integration of technology within a practice. There is a need to develop a social architecture and learning environment that allows GPs to provide good quality health care with clinical computer systems at its heart.