Category / Women’s Academic Network

International Women’s Day Celebration Event held by WAN

Bournemouth University’s Women’s Academic Network (WAN) met at the Executive Business Centre to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) on 6 March 2015.  It provided space for reflection on WAN’s next steps at BU and recognition about women’s progress since the early 20th century. Indeed, the first official day to recognise women’s contribution to society was held in 1910 in Copenhagen, and this was a precursor to gradual policy change across Europe to support women’s suffrage and the right to work.  International Women’s Day, as we know it now, is a more recent development launched by the United Nations in 1975.

Our guest speaker for International Women’s Day was Siobhan Benita, Chief Policy and Strategy Officer, at Warwick University’s Department of Economics, and co-director of the Warwick Policy Lab.  Prior to joining Warwick, Siobhan achieved significant results as a senior civil servant who also led gender balance and diversity policies across Whitehall.

A quick Google of images when typing in the search terms ‘vice chancellor’, ‘FTSE chief executive’, ‘permanent secretary’, ‘MP’, or indeed, any major influential role in British society and the pictures that emerge are still overwhelmingly of middle-aged men clad in the classic grey business suit.

Siobhan recollected that when she joined Civil Service Fast Stream 15 years ago, one of her team found an old letters file from the HR archive. It was from women begging to be reinstated to their Civil Service jobs after their fiancés had jilted them before their wedding day. The file was from 1973; at the time Home Civil Service rules stipulated that women resign from their posts if they intended to get married.

Thirty years later, Siobhan has overseen changes that would have been unthinkable a decade earlier. Achieving greater diversity at all levels in the Civil Service has also ensured that policy design works better, because it reflects the fabric of the UK’s communities better.

What made the difference was that Siobhan was given active support from the Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service, Sir Gus O’ Donnell, who also wanted to make equality and diversity a visible and measurable outcome in how the Civil Service operated. The class system was a particular challenge to overcome.  Sir Gus made it a performance requirement for all Permanent Secretaries (CEO’s of government departments) to demonstrate that they had promoted suitably qualified and talented women and people from diverse backgrounds to senior roles. 

This also meant that every government department had to provide annual diversity league tables and facilitate women’s networks in the Civil Service.  Fantastic women, who later were recognised for their excellent work, were promoted including the World Bank economist Nemat ‘Minouche’ Shafik, who became Permanent Secretary, DFID.  It is one of the most demanding posts in government with its 24/7 response to global crises, yet Minouche negotiated a workday that allowed her to also manage her family responsibilities. By 2011, as a result of this culture change, gender balance was achieved in almost 50% of senior civil service posting, including some of the more traditionally challenging areas such as the Home Office, MOD and Health.

One of the philosophies behind the policy was that any targets set, needed to work at all levels of the organisation, not just the top.

After stepping down from the Civil Service in 2012, Siobhan took a leap of faith and stood as an independent candidate during the Mayor for London elections opposite Boris Johnson. Her manifesto represented communities and young people. She received no funding and had no party machine behind her, yet still managed to achieve 250,000 votes, coming fifth, behind the Liberal Democrat candidate, Brian Paddick. 

This was quite an achievement, as at the time, it was almost impossible for an independent Mayoral candidate to achieve airtime at the BBC. Siobhan campaigned with the BBC Trust to incorporate the Electoral Society rules in their decision-making on representation, as their campaign reports focused almost entirely on the Johnson/Livingstone/Paddick offer. As a result of Siobhan’s personal intervention, the rules have been changed to include independents. 

It didn’t also help that the press coverage for Siobhan’s campaign, even with solid briefings on policy, budget and planning were left out, while Siobhan’s role as a mother, her clothes, hairdo made up 90% of any feature. This made it very difficult for her to explain how her policies differed from the other candidates..

Siobhan culminated her presentation with her contention that BU’s WAN network should ensure that its objectives were visible and continually at the forefront of university decision-making.  She praised WAN’s work at BU and urged everyone – men and women across the university, to keep plugging away to achieve change.

Athena Swan Bronze Update

Professor Tiantian Zhang, Head of the Graduate School at Bournemouth University, gave WAN members the latest update on BU’s Athena Swan submission to achieve equality in both science and academic research.  Significant effort had gone into building evidence to support BU’s application and WAN’s contribution and objectives had made a significant difference to its Athena Swan application this time around; keeping up WAN’s visibility and impact would be important in the future.

This led to facilitated table discussions from WAN members about its future goals and meetings.  One of the suggestions to support BU achieving the Bronze Athena SWAN award was a campus to campus procession of BU academics in October, as it was a visible statement of progress. 

Several ideas for events were suggested, including joint meetings with WAN groups from other universities to share knowledge and best practice and taking forward the Action Learning Sets.  A presentation to the BU Executive and academics from Sir Gus O’ Donnell might also be helpful in achieving a framework that could lead to some useful outcomes.

Report from Natasha Tobin

Athena SWAN: A Dean’s perspective

Speaker: Professor Andrew W. Lloyd

Date and time: 3 Feburary 2015, 15:00-17:00

Location: K101, Kimmeridge House, Talbot Campus, Bournemouth University

Event Description: This presentation will outline the challenges and opportunities of developing both the Institutional Athena Swan Bronze Application and the subsequent development of the individual School Applications within the University of Brighton. It will discuss both the methods used to obtain and analyse the various datasets and the approaches adopted in terms of developing an action plan which would build on our existing practices to improve gender equality and develop a more inclusive and progressive culture within the university.

After the presentation there will be the opportunity for individuals to find out more about the Athena SWAN work at BU and take part in a focus group. 

Biography

Professor Andrew W. Lloyd MA (Cantab.) PhD CSci CChem FRSC FBSE FIMMM FHEA
Dean of the College of Life, Health & Physical Sciences, Professor of Biomedical Materials

Andrew Lloyd graduated from Robinson College, University of Cambridge in 1986 with a degree in Natural Sciences, specialising in bioorganic chemistry, biochemistry and pharmacology. He completed his PhD in biopharmaceutics and was appointed to the academic staff in the Department of Pharmacy, University of Brighton as a Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 1989, and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1993. He was made Reader in Biopharmaceutical Sciences and elected to Fellowship of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 1998 and awarded the chair in Biomedical Materials in 2000.  He was appointed as Joint Head of Research with responsibility for strategic planning in the School of Pharmacy & Biomolecular Sciences in 2000, Dean of the Faculty of Science & Engineering in 2003 and to his present post as Dean of the College of Life, Health & Physical Sciences in 2014.

Professor Lloyd led the Institution’s Athena Swan Self-Assessment Steering Group which secured the University Bronze Award in 2012 and chairs both the University Athena Swan Steering Group, which presently oversees the development of the School-based Award Applications, and the University Research Concordat Implementation Steering Group.

Event Schedule

15:00 Welcome  from Professor Tiantian Zhang, Head of Graduate School and Chair of BU Athena SWAN institutional self-assessment team

15:05  Talk from Professor Andrew W. Lloyd

16:00 Overview of the BU Athena SWAN submission, Professor  Tiantian Zhang/James Palfreman-Kay

16:10 Group discussions to consider what more should we do:

•         in addressing gender balance at BU?

•         in supporting and advancing women’s careers?

•         in organisation and culture change to enhance gender equality?

•         in supporting flexible working and managing career breaks?

16:55 Closing comments, Professor Tiantian Zhang

17:00 Event closes

BU academics appointed as dual editors-in-chief

Dr Sara Ashencaen Crabtree and Professor Jonathan Parker of the Centre for Social Work, Sociology & Social Policy have been appointed as joint editors-in-chief for a journal published by UK publishing house Whiting & Birch and the Tbilisi SState University in Georgia: Social Policy & Social Work in Transition.

The journal stemmed from an earlier EU-funded Tempus project between Sheffield Hallam University and post-Soviet Eastern European states, including Georgia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia and has recently negotiated a bipartite arrangement with Whiting & Birch to ensure its sustainability.

The journal aims to provide a platform for developing insight and research into transitions in social policy and social work predominantly in Eastern European countries, and this remains its primary focus. However, the new editors-in-chief will also expand the journal’s reach into Asia, the Asia Pacific region, Africa and the Americas especially in countries moving through complex socio-political, economic, historical and post-colonial transitions.

This important position was confirmed on the basis of the new editors’ international research links and reputations and adds to the strengths of the Centre for Social Work, Sociology and Social Policy at BU. Dr Ashencaen Crabtree and Professor Parker will lead a multinational editorial board assisted by continuing editors Professor Iago Kachkachishvili of Tbilisi State University, Georgia and Dr Tetyana Semigina of National University ‘Kyiv-Mohyla Academy’, Ukraine (current Secretary of the International Association of Schools of Social Work). Outgoing editor, Professor Emeritus Mark Doel, Sheffield Hallam University, will also remain on the board.

The position offers a springboard to further collaborative social science research in Eastern European and Balkan states, something which the journal is committed to developing.

Prof Jonathan Parker & Dr Sara Ashencaen Crabtree

Shaping European Social Work: BU Hosts Erasmus SOCNET 98

Sara Ashencaen Crabtree & Jill Davey

 

For the first time in April 2013 BU hosted the SOCNET International University Week (IUW). This is a high profile international event held rotationally at host European universities drawn from across the 19 Higher Education Institution (HEI) members of the SOCNET community. This important annual event brings together a wide range of European academics and students with an interest in social work and social welfare.

It also provides an opportunity for HSC Social Work and Sociology & Social Policy students to interact with international academics and accompanying European students with educational, cultural and social aims in mind. During the IUW a busy series of workshops and lectures are offered based on a particular chosen theme, to which both academics and students contribute as pedagogic peers. Learning through active scholarly participation is the pedagogic approach that has proved very popular and successful over the years.

The theme of each IUW, alongside other organisational business vital to the continuation and the expansion of Erasmus SOCNET initiative, is managed at each host university in the month of October.  Consequently, the Centre of Social Work, Sociology & Social Policy was proud to host this year’s organisational event, represented by HSC Erasmus Coordinator, Jill Davey, and Sara Ashencaen Crabtree, Deputy Director of the Centre.

Attendees included academic representatives from across the SocNet-work at St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences, Austria; School of Social Work, Leuven, Belgium; University College Lillebaelt, Denmark; Hochschule Bremen – University of Applied Sciences, School of Social Work, Germany; Ernst-Abbe Fachhochschule University of Applied Sciences Jena, Germany; Department of Social Science and Care Social Work and Nursing Management, University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic; Faculty of Social and Health Studies, Telemark, Denmark;  University College, Department of Social Studies, Faculty of Health and Social Studies, Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen, Netherlands; Humak University of applied sciences, Finland; University of Malaga, and finally, Bournemouth University.

A highly productive and sociable set of meetings took place over the course of several days, where, alongside discussing the European Masters in Social Work (where a UK partner is currently being identified for collaboration), the issues of venue and theme for this year’s International University Week were discussed. Since then invitations from the following four universities have been issued to academics and their students across the SOCNET community to attend the IUW (April 20th – 24th 2015) hosted by four international HEIs:

  • University College Lillebaelt – Department of Social Work. Theme: Trends in social work in the year 2015.
  • Ernst-Abbe Hochschule, University of Applied Sciences Jena. Theme:  Diversity and Innovation in European Social Work and Welfare States.
  • Telemark University College – Department of Social Studies. Theme: Diversity in Social Work.
  • Hochschule Bremen. Theme: Methods and Methodologies of Social Work – Reflecting Professional Interventions.

While the IUW clearly emphasises teaching and learning initiatives, together with internationalisation, the research element has been less publicly evident; although scholarship has always fed into the programme through the synergies between education and research.

However, over the past few years BU has altered the SOCNET landscape and is influencing the development of future trends here; where BU academics advocated for the need for high quality publications to be developed from the important lectures and workshops being annually produced in the IUW events.

Accordingly BU input has been instrumental towards developing robust academic output, which also serves to meet the BU Fusion agenda and KPIs. Thus, from the 2012 IUW at the University of Malaga, which carried the theme of ‘Active Ageing’, Professor Maria Luisa Gómez Jiménez and Professor Jonathan Parker developed the first edited SOCNET publication under London publishers, Whiting & Birch’s innovative social science monograph series, ‘Critical Studies in Socio-cultural Diversity’.

Following fast on the heels of this success, in 2013 Dr Sara Ashencaen Crabtree, proposed and developed the second edited volume from the BU event.  Moreover, in Volume II, and in keeping with the sprit of SOCNET, strong chapter contributions have featured from students from Bremen and BU (Samineh Richardson neé Hall, BA Sociology & Social Policy and PhD candidate, David Galley).

The next SOCNET publication will be forthcoming from the IUW held at Hochschule Bremen under our esteemed colleague, Professor Christian Spatscheck and colleagues. This will continue an exciting precedence, first initiated and supported to-date by BU under the Centre for Social Work, Sociology & Social Policy; a fact that we are quietly very proud of.

Reflections on an Oasis

Our final blog concerning our Fusion Investment Funded study leave, ENABLE: Establishing Sustainable Research Networks and Building Learning Environments, is written with very mixed feelings in mind.

For seven months we have worked across Southeast Asia to develop and establish links and research collaborations, teaching and education partnerships and to rediscover our passion for social action as ‘professional practice’ associated with our disciplines. The work has been intense, tiring, sometimes frustrating, but always illuminating and productive. It was a wrench to leave.

The return journey began with raised anxieties, heightened a couple of weeks earlier by the awful shooting down of a Malaysia Airlines aeroplane following the same route (although by then re-routed), and exacerbated when we were separated into two distinct travelling units, Jonathan with one child and Sara with the other, because the previous university travel firm booked tickets as two separate families! To make matters worse only Jonathan and Isabel’s tickets showed up and we had to wait to secure the other tickets. We were then given seats at opposite ends of the aeroplane and had to wait again for re-seating. The flight began well enough and was fairly smooth, only briefly punctuated by a somewhat antisocial ‘ramming’ of chair in front into one of our legs with particular force by someone who thought ‘turn off your electronics’ meant send texts to your friends!

However, we landed in one piece and breathed a sigh of relief, or possibly resignation, until, as in our usual practice of each taking one of the children through immigration the UKBA officer asked Jonathan rather sternly ‘where is the child’s mother?’ and when indicating where Sara was the officer proceeded to say that children have to be seen with their mother because mother’s are in general the carers of children and if present they have to be with the child. ‘Red rags and bulls’ often appear to Jonathan in unjust situations and he, as usual, took issue with this, but whilst we all got through immigration clearance more quickly, the officer insisted that his rather warped and myopic view of British law and custom was now right. Oh dear! We wondered what had happened in the seven months we had been away and whether we were entering Gormenghast!

But, back to the project itself! Our four key objectives have been met throughout the project, with varying degrees of success and changing morphologies:

1. Establish a sustainable research network promoting social sciences and interdisciplinary research at BU:

We have made contacts with individual academics, departments and universities across Southeast Asia, notably Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), Universiti Utara Malaysia, alongside contacts with Massey University in New Zealand,  Hong Kong University, The Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Myanmar Institute of Theology.

We have given names and contacts to people abroad and within BU to follow up. Research projects are being developed, publications are in train or planned for the future.

2. Develop research streams of locally specific or cross-cultural relevance:

Our research, completed with the Orang Asli as part of the Tasik Chini Research Centre, has culminated in numerous publications being submitted, developed and developing, wide dissemination across many fora, and establishing on-going research links.

3. Engage and promote educational initiatives via guest lectures/research seminars, developing joint postgraduate research supervision and educational initiatives promoting student mobility:

We have presented lectures and seminars, provided postgraduate supervision and contributed to curriculum planning and development discussions, as well as negotiated an important credit transfer scheme (although uptake has been delayed until we can find students both able and willing to go on this exciting opportunity!). Professional papers have been written and submitted.

4. Engage in discipline-specific activities in relation to social work:

a number of discipline specific activities concerning social action and development have been undertaken, including curriculum planning, assisting in education developments in Myanmar and in Malaysia in reference to the new (to be implemented) standardised Malaysian Diploma Social Work, alongside contributing to NGO development work.

Overall, during the study leave period, there has been 57 outputs, also including on-going work and connections to be completed over time. The 57 outputs included:

  • 6 books (3 published)
  • 14 book chapters (11 published or in press)
  • 12 peer reviewed papers (9 published or in press)
  • 3 professional papers
  • 1 book review
  • 16 conference presentations/open lectures etc.
  • 10 blogs
  • 6 media presentations

During our time away we have worked across five countries: Malaysia, Hong Kong SAR, Australia, Myanmar and Cambodia in order to carry out our research or present it, along with capacity-building missions for professional, social work training. We have undertaken respectively between 24 to 28 flights (trying, when one of us dislikes flying) and stayed in some extraordinarily interesting as well as very grim places during our fieldwork, resulting in abuse from miscellaneous assortments of blood-sucking insects (outsized mosquitoes, the usual bed bugs and fever-inducing leeches) bedding down with us or boisterously noisy lizards, both small and decidedly large, showering us with ordure from above.

One of us was joyfully returning ‘home’ to pioneering fieldwork in Southeast Asia and the other was equally rapturous to be introduced to it. We have developed a new appreciation of the diversity of international driving styles when finding it not unusual to be driven by taxi in the wrong direction through chaotic Yangon in the middle of two long lines of equally erratic cars heading in the right direction – towards us. Above all, we remember the various wonderfully funny, kind, clever, intriguing and endlessly good-natured people we me: all our participants, our various helpers, interpreters, drivers, guides and advisors, the academic staff and students who welcomed us so warmly, the inspiring NGO workers and service users; not forgetting the local café owner in Penang, who wept when we left before running to get her camera for group photos to remember us by.

Also, we will always remember just how much our children, Isabel and Milly grew and developed in stature (in all ways possible): learning the research process, engaging with children amongst the village communities, and themselves collecting valuable data and compiling magnificent school projects on their adventures and experiences. The children put up with a good deal with great fortitude, willingness and humour (or when the going got tough – heavy irony), easily comprehending the importance of the work undertaken; albeit, as 10 year-old Milly gravely commented in her write-up later, ‘fieldwork has its dark side’! Indeed, so impressed were we with them that they will be contributing their experiences and acting as co-authors to the forthcoming book on the Tasik Chini area.

Alongside the outputs, the work is now to capitalise on the study leave by the development and submission of funded research projects. Currently, these include gendered rituals in professional working, problematizing research ethics and learning disabilities, understanding religion as resistance, and gender in higher education.

The study leave represented a life-giving oasis, somewhere to wash and attend to our own sacred cattle as in the photo from Cambodia, and we gratefully acknowledge the help and supported afforded us by Bournemouth University and our two main host universities in Malaysia (UKM and USM). We would encourage other academic staff to apply for study leave and we think that the productivity of our period of study leave indicates how important this can be to both individual academics but also to the greater good of Bournemouth University.

Jonathan Parker & Sara Ashencaen Crabtree

BU presenters at Joint World Conference on Social Work, Education and Social Development, Melbourne, Australia

Dr Sara Ashencaen Crabtree and Professor Jonathan Parker presented their research at the Joint World Conference on Social Work, Education and Social Development, in Melbourne, Australia, 9th-12th July 2014.

In a well-received paper concerning the importance of student social workers learning about the causes, impacts and ways of working with the consequences of terrorism, and the problems of rigidity in the current English curriculum, conference delegates were introduced to a two-year study which revealed that student participants felt that a more extensive and sensitive range of intervention tools needed to be taught and deployed via a coherent and nuanced understanding of the geo-political dimensions surrounding the construction of ‘global terrorism’, together with its potential impact on local populations and vulnerable communities. Research findings highlighted the importance of earlier generic community-based and therapeutic approaches, which were favoured above contemporary neoliberal emphases in English social work education concerning assessment, safeguarding and social policing.  Addressing these findings would demand a much needed rebalancing of the curriculum to reinstate essential practitioner skills transferrable to a range of situations and crises – skills that have long been viewed as integral to the social work role by the international community. This research was published earlier in 2014 in the journal Social Policy & Social Work in Transition, DOI: 10.1921/4704030201, http://essential.metapress.com/content/26170w57262444gp/ and was reported in the Guardian on 25th June 2014 http://www.theguardian.com/social-care-network/2014/jun/24/how-can-social-work-education-address-terrorism?CMP=new_1194.

The second presentation reported aspects of the highly successful UK-Malaysian study of reactions to and cross-cultural learning from international placements, research that has challenged preconceived notions of anti-oppressive practices and demonstrates the need to move beyond post-colonial analyses of Western social work towards a post-post-colonial dialectic of shared and cultural appropriate practices. This research, funded by a British Council PMI2 grant, took place over three-years, with three separate cohorts of students supported by two Malaysian universities, Universiti Sains Malaysia on the peninsular and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak in Borneo. The success of this study which combined research rigour focusing on  pedagogy with student mobility opportunities has been affirmed by the British Council as one of their most successful funded projects. This study has to-date produced a raft of publications: 2 book chapters, 5 peer-reviewed papers and 5 international conference presentations, including one keynote lecture. The latest research paper has just been published in the prestigious European Jounral of Social Work, Jonathan Parker, Sara Ashencaen Crabtree, Azlinda Azman, Dolly Paul Carlo & Clare Cutler (2014): Problematising international placements as a site of intercultural learning, European Journal of Social Work, DOI: 10.1080/13691457.2014.925849.

Jonathan Parker and Sara Ashencaen Crabtree

Stripping Back the Layers: Women’s spiritual quest for religious authenticity

Having failed to get it externally funded, I decided to hell with it! I would do the project anyway. It was too important a topic to abort on such flimsy grounds; and anyway in the social sciences funding has never been a precursor to undertaking excellent and original scholarship, and this promised to be that.

 

I have long been fascinated by religion and spirituality as integral to cultural diversity, and this interest has underpinned much of my scholarship in both social work and sociology. Gender studies are equally a passion and so it seemed natural to form a happy union of the two.

 

For the past eighteen months, and thanks to recent Fusion Funding for part of the project, I have been undertaking a cross-cultural study of women’s experiences of religious commitment across several faith groups in the UK and Malaysia. Both countries share a common historical heritage through the ties of colonialism, where additionally wide-scale migration has forged multicultural and therefore multifaith societies. Each modern nation also struggles to resolve the contradictions and paradoxes created through multiculturalism and claims to a specific national religion.

 

The aim of the study is to examine the constructions and meanings that women bring to religious beliefs and daily practices, which may be distinctive to those of men, particularly given the extremely powerful influences of patriarchy in organised religion. Thus, the working assumption behind this study is that women will bring their own gendered priorities and understandings as women (and variously as wives/partners, mothers, daughters and sisters) to their individual religious and spiritual beliefs.

 

For an in-depth ethnographic study the participant sample is extensive, and where by the end of this year, 48-50 individual narratives will complete the data gathering stage. The level of complexity is high for not only does this study cover two contemporary societies, but it also seeks to cover representatives from several different faith groups. Thus, in Southwest England I am seeking to capture the voices of Buddhist, Jewish, Christian and Muslim women, as well as hoping to access female followers of one of the ‘New Religions’.

 

Across Malaysia, I have covered the same groups but substituted Jewish participants for Hindus.  I also hope to access indigeneous Animists to compare with the revival in pre-Christian ‘nature religions’ that may be found in the evocatively pagan, Dorset/Somerset/Wiltshire landscapes.

 

Such a large and highly diverse sample group represents a major study of contemporary, gendered faith practices in modern, multicultural societies; and where despite woman-centric theological re-interpretations, such as, for example, Christian feminists theologies or Malaysia’s ‘Sisters in Islam’, the insights from this study are already proving to be original and profound. My initial hypothesis has been both affirmed and challenged by participants struggling to engage with the politics of ethnicity, culture, gender constructions and gender oppression; together with the business of daily negotiating the politics of church/temple/mosque/synagogue – not forgetting, of course, the politics of the home and family.

 

Participant accounts have been deeply moving at times; and where to my surprise, I have been frequently thanked for giving participants the opportunity to be able to express that which is so important to their individual integrity and sense of purpose in life – and yet which remains a submerged discourse. There are many reasons, political, social and personal for religious expression among women to be largely unheard (and sometimes even a forbidden) discourse in both countries. These too are critical issues of context that are analysed alongside the narratives.

 

With REF2020 beginning to appear over the horizon, I will seek to do justice to these remarkable narratives in my analysis and the research monograph and peer-reviewed papers being planned. However, what is strikingly apparent is the intense interest participants hold towards their own spiritual journey, where they are also eager to read the finished publications in order to find further insights and connections with other women: impact in itself.

 

What this reveals to me is that not only is the area of inquiry extremely rich in theme, nuance and contemporary relevance, but that in respect of social impact (however one defines that term) much more is needed of me. Accordingly I am pondering deeply on how I may return and somehow multiply the fruits of this research to the global community of women for whom it carries such intense meaning and many shared commonalities in an otherwise divided world.

 

Volunteering to be a participant

If this Blog has resonated with you as a woman embracing a religious faith, or as someone who may know of such, I would be extremely grateful if you would contact me directly on scrabtree@bournemouth.ac.uk. Muslim, Jewish and ‘New Religion’ women’s voices in England are still under-represented in the study but all participants from other faith groups are equally welcome.

WAN Mentoring Event – July 10th

Facilitated by: Dr Colleen Harding, Head of Organisational and Staff Development, Tamsyn Dent, Post-Graduate Researcher, Media School

This session is aimed at:  all staff, male and female, and will be of particular interest to those who are interested in academic mentoring for women, and who are willing to be a mentor; would like to work with a mentor; or who support staff who would like to engage in mentoring.  

When: July 10th 13:00 – 16:30

Where: The Octagon

The purpose of the event is to provide an opportunity for the Women’s Academic Network to:

  • Discuss the benefits of engaging in mentoring
  • Find out more about how mentoring currently works at BU
  • Consider some of the options available to set up an academic mentoring network that specifically supports the needs of female academics at BU
  • To identify the steps that we need to take in order to set up an effective mentoring network.

 By the end of the event participants will have:

  • Discussed some models of coaching and mentoring, including the findings from a doctoral study on the transitional space provided by coaching and mentoring for emerging academics
  • Discussed some of the research studies on mentoring relevant to women in academia
  • Identified the critical steps necessary to set up a mentoring network that specifically supports the needs of female academics at BU

 Register through staff development  

Global Demand for English Higher Education: An Analysis of International Student

Next in the series of Women’s Academic Network events, Dr Ilieva will elaborate on her recent report of Global Demand for English Higher Education: An Analysis of International Students, which has been widely cited in the media including BBC, Times Higher Education and the Guardian.

This report examines shifts in enrolments of international students in higher education in England, and explores what might have caused them. It focuses on the entrant student population, which indicates the latest developments in student enrolments. It is one of a series of analyses by HEFCE of current data and future trends in higher education.

This talk will take place on Monday 9 June, 10am – noon on Lansdowne Campus. To book your place or for more information please visit the Staff Development & Engagement Staff Intranet Pages.

Gender and Sovereignty

Title: Gender, Sovereignty and the Rights of the Sexual Security Regime in International Law and Postcolonial India

Friday 9th May 2014, 12:30-15:00, Lansdowne Campus
Professor Ratna Kapur (Jindal Global Law School, India)

In this talk, Ratna will use the recent ‘Delhi rape’ case that received global attention in 2012 to trace how an appalling episode of violence against a woman is articulated within stable categories of gender and invites state intervention in the form of criminal justice, stringent sentencing and a strengthened sexual security regime. She argues that the stability of gender and gender categories based on the binary of male and female has been an integral feature of international law and has been maintained partly through an overwhelming focus on sexual violence against women by states as well as non-state actors. This focus relies on a statist approach to sovereignty, where advocacy is directed at the state for redress and protection, primarily in the form of carceral measures, which in turn translate into a tightening of the sexual security regime.

This session will start at 12:30 with Lunch being provided.

To ensure a space at this talk please visit the Staff Development and Engagement Pages on the Staff Intranet.

ENABLE: Reflections on a Fieldtrip

A room with a view

We arrived fairly late in the evening. The roads were dark and seemed more windy and enclosed than during the daytime, and yet the bus driver, somewhat perversely, insisted on overtaking at speed on occluded bends whenever he possibly could!

The barrier to the ‘resort’ was shut when we arrived but our interpreter told the guard that we were indeed going to the Tasik Chini Resort – the only place one can go after passing through the gate. After deliberation, he let us proceed.

The receptionist indicated that tonight we had two rooms rather than the one room we had booked, having asked for two extra beds in the room for the children. One room had a twin bed and a mattress, and the other a single bed, but she said she would sort it all tomorrow. We paid in full after debating three or four times what the actual price was for the stay; a kind of mental gymnastics that pulls the mathematical body into contorted shapes only vaguely resembling the original anatomy from whence it came.

The rooms: interesting that the room with the twin beds and a ‘mattress’ was exactly that; no sheets or blankets just the mattress. The other room, however, looked more promising at first sight. There were in fact two beds there not one. OK, so the toilet ballcock was gone and water was constantly overflowing from the cistern onto the bathroom floor, but TWO beds!

So, we divided the children, given they didn’t want to sleep without an adult, sprayed the rooms with insecticide and prepared for the night. It was then that I (Jonathan) looked at the two beds and saw that whilst one was fine, the second was covered by dead, dying and some struggling ants and assorted insects; and the toilet was still dripping, resonant off the hollow dampness of Derbyshire’s Blue John mines! That bed couldn’t be slept in as I then preceded to spray it.

So, back to plan A with me (Sara) and one of the girls in the bed and one on the mattress. But, just a minute, there’s a mattress but no covers or pillow. No that’s not going to work so three in a bed it is, with some topping and tailing, and me back to the bed in the other room keeping the insects at bay and drowning the noise of the leaking cistern by air conditioning that’s making everything too cold and dry.

Fieldwork is, of course, meant to be a little uncomfortable and sometimes evocative of van Gennep’s ‘rite of passage’, a gaining of one’s socio-anthropological spurs! However, we are staying at what purports to be the premier resort for Tasik Chini. This is important because, until 2004 – (and here I (Jonathan) had to stop writing for a while to scratch that itch that turned out to be a troop of ants seeking solace in my bed) – in 2004 eco- and ethno-tourism (although somewhat contested) was seen as an important means of securing the economy of the area. It seems now, a decade on, that this resort finds anyone staying a rather irritating yet bizarre intrusion into a life that happily runs purposelessly for itself, except for weekend weddings, or as a place for the army cadets to stay and practice manoeuvres through the night. (Manoeuvres punctuated by eerie whistles, commands and shouts!) And, rather perversely, it seems that staff cannot get a single order right, no matter how small or precisely articulated it is: kopi ice O kosong (black iced coffee, without sugar) usually has milk and sugar in it; roti bakar (toast), if it comes at all, takes longer (much longer) than nasi goreng (fried rice)!

It also seems to evoke, more seriously, something that mimics the tragedy happening to the lake in bio-environmental terms and, from a human perspective, to the Orang Asli people living around the lake. It is an intrusion into the ill-thought plans of others or an encumbrance to manage that imposes rather than seeks dialogue!

And still the dripping cistern spits! (Should have consulted ‘Tripadvisor’ first http://www.tripadvisor.com.my/Hotel_Review-g298291-d2213723-Reviews-Lake_Chini_Resort-Pahang.html!)

Jonathan Parker & Sara Ashencaen Crabtree

Forthcoming Seminars Organised by Women’s Academic Network

I’d like to invite you to the forthcoming  seminars  organised by the Women’s Academic Network.

 

Dr Cynthia Carter

Venue: K101

Date and time: Friday, 28 Feb, 14:00-16:00

 

Biography (http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/jomec/contactsandpeople/profiles/carter-cynthia.html):

Dr Cynthia Carter is a Senior Lecturer in the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Cardiff University.

Her books include Current Perspectives in Feminist Media Studies (Routledge, 2013); Critical Readings: Violence and the Media (Open University Press, 2006); Critical Readings: Media and Gender (Open University Press, 2004), Violence and the Media (Open University Press, 2003), Environmental Risks and the Media Routledge, 2000) and News, Gender and Power (Routledge, 1998). She is currently co-editing a companion on media and gender.

She is Founding Co-Editor of the journal Feminist Media Studies (Routledge) and is editorial board member of Communication, Culture & Critique (Wiley-Blackwell), Communication Review (Taylor & Francis), Communication Theory (Wiley-Blackwell), Critical Studies in Media Communication (Taylor & Francis), Fifth Estate (online), Journal of Children and Media (Routledge), Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Sociology Compass (Blackwell), and Studies on Women and Gender Abstracts (Routledge).

Cindy will discuss her work with the Global Media Monitoring Project (http://www.whomakesthenews.org), the largest longitudinal study on gender in the world’s media. She has been involved in the study since 2000.

 

Professor Catherine Cassell

Title of presentation: The state of qualitative management research and future challenges for qualitative researchers

Venue: EB206

Date and time: Thursday, 03 April, 2014, 14:00-16:00

 

Biography:

Catherine Cassell is Professor of Organisational Psychology. Previously she was Head of the School’s People, Management and Organisations Division and head of Postgraduate Research programmes. Before joining MBS she held appointments in the Management School at the University of Sheffield and at Sheffield Business School. She was the founding chair of British Academy of Management’s Special Interest group in Research Methodology – a group she is still heavily involved with – and is currently a member of the Association of Business School’s Research Policy Committee. Professor Cassell is an Associate Editor of the ‘British Journal of Management’, inaugural co-Editor of ‘Qualitative Research in Organisations and Management: an international journal’, and on the Editorial Advisory Boards of five other journals. She is a Fellow of the British Academy of Management and an Academic Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Catherine’s research interests are in the area of organisational change and learning; and diversity and dignity in the workplace. She has a specific interest in the use of qualitative research techniques in both management and organisational research. Together with Gillian Symon from Birkbeck she has published a number of books and articles in this area, plus chaired and convened symposia at international conferences. She has also jointly edited special issues of a number of different journals all focused on the use of qualitative methods and alternative epistemological approaches in management and organizational research. Furthermore she has completed a two year ESRC funded project entitled ‘Benchmarking good practice in qualitative management research’ (with G. Symon and P. Johnson) where the team developed training materials aimed at enhancing good practice in the field. She has also received research grants from a number of organisations including ESRC, EPSRC, British Academy, ERDF and the EU and has supervised 15 doctoral students to completion.

For catering purpose, please book your place with Staff Development staffdevelopment@bournemouth.ac.uk

 

Christine Bosse

Venue: EB306

Date and time: Friday, 11 April, 2014, 15:00-17:00

 

She is widely known in the public for her direct and no-nonsense communication and is enthusiastically engaged in the societal debate for a better and safer world. She is a role model for many aspiring young people as the highest ranking female CEO in Denmark and was appointed the 22nd most influential business woman in the world in 2009 and 2010 by the Financial Times.

Stine Bosse serves as chairman of Flügger Denmark, The Royal Danish Theater, CONCITO, Børnefonden, and Copenhagen Art Festival. She serves as vice chairman of ChildFund Alliance and sits on the board of among others TDC, Allianz and Aker ASA. Additionally, Stine Bosse is the former chairman of the supervisory board of the Danish Insurance Association (Forsikring & Pension), and former board member of Grundfos, Nordea Bank A/S and Amlin plc. In the Spring 2010, Stine Bosse was appointed Advocate for the Millenium Development Goals by the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, to fight world hunger and poverty. Stine is also the founder of Women in Europe Network.