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This paper proposes that narrative inquiry adopt the concept of the “involute” – a passage stored in memory from reading that is later enlisted as a problem-solving device…
This paper proposes that narrative inquiry adopt the concept of the “involute” – a passage stored in memory from reading that is later enlisted as a problem-solving device – to further the goal of understanding the identity work performed through reading and writing. Three related examples are given – one from Thomas De Quincey, the nineteenth-century essayist who coined the term and used an involute in fashioning himself as a scholar; one from Jane Addams, who used an involute from De Quincey to separate the role of the social worker from that of the literary critic; and one from the contemporary New Historicist Stephen Greenblatt, who used an involute to create a socially engaged identity for literary researchers. Considering these examples, I argue that involutes offer insights into the connections between selves and others, words and acts, past and present that should advance interdisciplinary study and advocacy of morally responsible discourse.
This essay is an exercise in imaginative historiography. Its purpose is to modify the boundaries between sociology, social work, and literature that have become…
This essay is an exercise in imaginative historiography. Its purpose is to modify the boundaries between sociology, social work, and literature that have become impediments to the pursuit of socially responsible scholarship; its goal is to create an analogue in the past for a field that many revisionists wish to create in the present – a field of cultural inquiry in which knowledge is considered both cognitive and emotional, methods are imaginative, and results are meant to improve human relations. In the past I posit as a “working hypothesis” (in Mead’s sense of the term) for this field, I bring together figures, specifically Jane Addams and the nineteenth-century playwright Joanna Baillie, whose contributions to sociology and literature are being separately but not jointly recovered. I examine three key similarities that make Addams and Baillie kindred spirits: they cultivated sympathy as a way of knowing and acting, and made it the basis for social change; they preferred situational problem-solving to theory-building; they used drama for value inquiry and morality construction. Throughout, I also allude to affinities with the thought of Mead, affinities that are important for avoiding gender essentialism in this argument. I illustrate the combined use of problem-solving, sympathy and drama by linking Baillie’s plays on criminality with Addams’s and Mead’s efforts at criminal justice reform and with present-day efforts to move from an ethics of justice to an ethics of care. By bringing Baillie to Hull-House and considering how she might have contributed to the work of Addams, Mead, and their associates, I construct a precedent for transdisciplinary cultural inquiry.
The purpose of the paper is to explore the insights of experienced nurses regarding initiatives they believe would effectively retain nurses like themselves in the nursing…
The purpose of the paper is to explore the insights of experienced nurses regarding initiatives they believe would effectively retain nurses like themselves in the nursing profession.
As part of a qualitative investigation into the perceptions of nurses regarding issues affecting their profession, experienced nurses were asked to describe what retention strategies they would recommend to policy‐makers. A total of 16 semi‐structured interviews were conducted with long‐term nurses in a health region in western Canada.
The paper found that seven retention strategies were commonly mentioned by the participants. The qualitative mode of inquiry allowed the nurses to convey the context, attitudes and feelings behind their recommendations.
The work environments and accompanying retention policies experienced by nurses vary widely according to the specific employment context. As is typical with qualitative research, the findings of this study cannot be considered as generalizable to all nurses in all health care settings.
The results of this paper provide a deeper understanding of the attitudes, emotions and contextual issues behind the nurse retention strategies seen as most appropriate by the target audience of long‐term nurses.
While there is much literature advocating the implementation of nurse retention strategies, very little evidence has been presented from a qualitative lens. It is necessary to directly listen to the voices of those impacted by policies in order to better appreciate how such policies are perceived from a bottom‐up perspective.
The purpose of this paper is to describe the development of electric lamp renewal systems, an early, successful program to encourage the adoption of new technology…
The purpose of this paper is to describe the development of electric lamp renewal systems, an early, successful program to encourage the adoption of new technology, electric lighting.
Much material for the research comes from a variety of archival sources and publications of the early part of the twentieth century.
The free lamp renewal system was brilliant and effective: its high level of customer service and human contact dispelled fear raised by the new energy source, increasing the acceptance and use of electric lighting and thereby electricity. Lighting, in the absence of electrical appliances, was one of the few users of electricity. Thus, the electric companies created a marketing strategy that encouraged adoption of the new technology.
We examined the electric lighting industry at the turn of the twentieth century. Other examples of technology adoption could generalize our findings.
Our research suggests that supportive programs, which are high in customer contact and customized service, can aid in the adoption of new technology and unfamiliar products. By encouraging the use of such free or cheap products, customers are induced to higher usage of related products that increase the revenue stream to the provider.
The lamp renewal system is forgotten today, yet was a crucial factor in winning consumer acceptance of electric lighting and an early example of how companies can encourage adoption of new technology. Although the concept of uniformed men in trucks coming to customer homes once a month to clean and replace light bulbs is quaint – it worked!