• Developing a new conceptual framework of meaningful interaction for understanding social isolation and loneliness

      Wigfield, Andrea; Turner, Royce; Alden, Sarah; Green, Marcus; Karania, Vinal; University of Sheffield; University of Derby; Age UK (Cambridge Journals, 2020-11-24)
      Academic debate about social isolation and loneliness, and their adverse health and well-being implications, has resulted in many policy and programme interventions directed towards reducing both, especially among older people. However, definitions of the two concepts, their measurement, and the relationship between the two are not clearly articulated. This article redresses this and draws on theoretical constructs adapted from symbolic interactionism, together with the Good Relations Measurement Framework, developed for the Equality and Human Rights Commission in the UK, to challenge the way in which social isolation and loneliness are currently understood. It argues for a need to understand experiences of social relationships, particularly those which facilitate meaningful interaction, suggesting that opportunities and barriers to meaningful interaction are determined by wider societal issues. This is set out in a new conceptual framework which can be applied across the life course and facilitates a new discourse for understanding these challenging concepts.
    • Mr Cameron's new language initiative for Muslim women: lessons in policy implementation

      Turner, Royce; Wigfield, Andrea; University of Huddersfield (Wiley-Blackwell, 2016-05-19)
      As the government announces a programme to teach Muslim women to speak English, this article examines how such a policy can be implemented successfully, arguing that lessons can be drawn from both academic research, especially that carried out with Muslim women themselves, and previous successful policy application. It focuses on two projects carried out in the recent past for the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) and Jobcentre Plus, and outlines the key factors that led to their success. The LSC project involved one of the largest in‐depth surveys of Muslim women's attitudes towards work, and their views on life in Britain, that has ever been undertaken. The Jobcentre Plus project was a highly successful and innovative employment training initiative for ethnic minority women piloted in Sheffield, the very kind of ‘targeted’ approach that Mr Cameron has claimed his government's new language initiative will be.