Recent Submissions

  • Gender differences in theory of mind, empathic understanding, and moral reasoning in an offending and a matched non-offending population

    Spenser, Karin; Bull, Ray; Betts, Lucy; Winder, Belinda; University of Derby; Nottingham Trent University (Sage, 2021-04-15)
    Previous research suggests that a lack of pro-social skills is characteristic of an offending personality. Two hundred male and female offenders and matched controls completed measures to assess: Theory of Mind, empathic understanding, and moral reasoning. Significant differences between the offenders and the control group, as well as between the male and female participants, were detected in theory of mind, empathic understanding and moral reasoning with offenders scoring lower than the control group, and with males scoring lower than females on most tests. The ability to assess Theory of Mind, empathic understanding, and moral reasoning, and subsequently to identify reduced ability, is not only useful for researchers but will also allow practitioners to tailor existing (or develop new) interventions specific to the needs of individuals. This could be particularly useful in terms of recidivism when applied to those involved in anti-social or offending behaviour.
  • WAF0042 - Inquiry: Women in the Armed Forces: From Recruitment to Civilian Life

    Spenser, Karin; Childs, Carrie; Adhikari, Joanna; University of Derby (UK Parliament, 2021-03-03)
    It is acknowledged that once military service is complete, personnel embark on a long metaphorical journey back to civilian life. Women military service leavers (WMSLs) are the fastest growing segment of the armed forces, and for them this transition can be even more traumatic than for their male counterparts. Whilst, it is recognised that to make this change seamless, they must have timely access to high quality women-centric services, it is suggested that such support is both limited and male-focused. Interviews and focus groups were conducted with eight WMSLs to gain a better understanding of the transition from military to civilian life. Thematic analysis was adopted to identify themes and subthemes. Two main themes were identified from the narratives – an environment of stress and long-term impact of service. Both themes are composed of several subthemes, which capture aspects of each main theme. Findings suggest the being in the military is stressful for all, but there is a perceived lack of support for WMSLs as they move into to civilian life. Their struggle with issues such as housing, employment and mental health was noted. Therefore, this research concludes that women need specific support during and after their military career.
  • Worrying Times: The fear of crime and nostalgia

    Farrall, Stephen; University of Derby (Taylor and Francis, 2021-02-24)
    As well as finding empirical relationships between victimisation, key socio-demographic variables, and various psychological and environmental processes, criminologists have long suspected that the feelings now identified, corralled together and labelled as ‘the fear of crime’ have roots in the wider shifts in the social, economic bases of society. In this paper, and using survey data from a nationally-representative sample of Britons aged over 16 (n = 5781), we explore the relationships between feelings of political and social nostalgia and the fear of crime. We find that nostalgia is indeed strongly related to crime fears, and, indeed, stronger even than variables such as victimisation, gender, and age (three of the frequently cited associates of fear). We go on to explore these relationships further in terms of different socio-economic classes, and relate feelings of nostalgia and fear to their recent (i.e. post-1945) historical trajectories.
  • Coal today, gone tomorrow: How jobs were replaced with prison places

    Jones, Phil Mike; Gray, Emily; Farrall, Stephen; University of Derby (Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, 2021-01-29)
  • Desistance: A utopian perspective

    Patton, David; Farrall, Stephen; University of Derby (Wiley, 2021-02-22)
    The written diaries of forty-three adult male respondents from a prison sample that had participated in a restorative justice intervention reveal a nuanced and dynamic process of desistance via their hopes and pains of anticipated desistance at the micro, meso and macro level. A utopian reading of the respondents’ hopes and pains of desistance is developed which reveal that their diaries express a utopian vision that is not just personal, but also inherently political, radical, collective and transformative. Their pains of desistance on the other hand, reveal a critique and condemnation of the current societal and structural apparatus. The necessity for radical and collective change is clear, if desisters and society are to reach their full potential.
  • Losing the discursive battle but winning the ideological war: who holds Thatcherite values now?

    Farrall, Stephen; Gray, Emily; Jones, Philip Mike; Hay, Colin; University of Derby; Sciences Po, Center for European Studies and Comparative Politics, Paris, France (Sage, 2021-02-02)
    In what ways, if at all, do past ideologies shape the values of subsequent generations of citizens? Are public attitudes in one period shaped by the discourses and constructions of an earlier generation of political leaders? Using Thatcherism – one variant of the political New Right of the 1980s – as the object of our enquiries, this paper explores the extent to which an attitudinal legacy is detectable amongst the citizens of the UK some 40 years after Margaret Thatcher first became Prime Minister. Our paper, drawing on survey data collected in early 2019 (n = 5,781), finds that younger generations express and seemingly embrace key tenets of her and her governments’ philosophies. Yet at the same time, they are keen to describe her government’s policies as having ‘gone too far’. Our contribution throws further light on the complex and often covert character of attitudinal legacies. One reading of the data suggests that younger generations do not attribute the broadly Thatcherite values that they hold to Thatcher or Thatcherism since they were socialised politically after such values had become normalised.
  • Gender and recovery pathways in the UK

    Andersson, Catrin; Wincup, Emma; Best, David; Irving, Jamie; Sheffield Hallam University; Joseph Rowntree Foundation, York; University of Derby (Taylor and Francis, 2020-12-16)
    Recovery is now the defining feature of UK drug and alcohol policy. Despite this policy emphasis, little attention has been paid to the lived experience of those in recovery. Instead, research has typically concentrated on treatment populations, which are predominantly male. Consequently, we have little insight into recovery experiences in general, and specifically how they might differ for females and males. This article makes an important contribution through offering a unique insight into the addiction/recovery pathways of 342 female and 410 male participants using data gathered via the UK Life in Recovery survey. Participants were recruited via social media and recovery groups. Bivariate analyses were used to explore gender differences in relation to personal characteristics, addiction and recovery (self-defined), well-being, and family life. These data suggest that a greater proportion of females in recovery report having specific needs in relation to mental health and relationships with children or partners whilst a greater proportion of males disclosed having specific needs in relation to physical health. Whilst the findings reflect the importance of ongoing support for everyone in recovery, they also suggest the need to provide gender-responsive recovery support.
  • Changing socio-religious realities: Practical negotiation of transitions in the governance of religion or belief, state and society

    Weller, Paul; University of Derby (Peeters, 2020-12)
    This article argues for the importance of developing forms of governance with regard to the relationship between religion or belief, state and society in Europe so as to better reflect and “reality-match” the contemporary socio-religious realities characteristic of a continuing Christian inheritance along with an increasing secularity and growth in religious plurality, than do current patterns that usually embody privilege for a particular Christian Church or Churches largely derived from Christendom models. Having noted that recognising a need for change, deciding on a direction for change, and actually implementing change are three different things, the article draws on a social contextualist approach to the application of negotiation theory in relation to organizational change as developed by Charles Samuelson and David Messick (1995) in order to illuminate factors that can either hinder and / or facilitate such developments.
  • Work-family policy expansion and the idea of social investment: the cases of Germany, England, South Korea and Japan

    Lee, Sung-Hee; Mohun Himmelweit, Samuel; University of Derby; London School of Economics (Policy Press, 2021-02-26)
  • Sport, politics and the struggle over ‘normalization’ in post-Oslo Israel and Palestine

    Belcastro, Francesco; University of Derby (Taylor and Francis (Informa UK Limited), 2020-11-22)
    This article uses sport as a theoretical tool to analyse Palestinian–Israeli relations in the post-Oslo era. It does so by looking at two major sport events, the start of the Giro d’Italia cycling race and the Israel–Argentina football match. These two events were scheduled to take place in Israel and the Occupied Territories within a month of each other, in May and June of 2018, respectively. Despite frequent claims of its ‘neutral’ and ‘apolitical’ nature, sport is closely intertwined with issues of identity, representation, community and nation. This is particularly true in contexts characterized by conflict and divisions. Sport and major sport events are particularly relevant considering post-Oslo developments in Israel and the Occupied territories. With any hope of a solution within the Oslo framework now seemingly faded, and the situation on the ground clearly favouring Israel and its allies, the actors are now vying over what this article defines as ‘normalization of the status quo’. This study will show of sport events analysed are central to the strategies carried out by the main actors in the conflict, and therefore how sport can provide a unique tool to analyse recent developments in Israel and the Occupied Territories.
  • Are members of mutual aid groups better equipped for addiction recovery? European cross-sectional study into recovery capital, social networks, and commitment to sobriety

    Martinelli, Thomas F.; van de Mheen, Dike; Best, David; Vanderplasschen, Wouter; Nagelhout, Gera E.; University of Derby (Informa UK Limited, 2020-11-09)
    An increasing body of evidence shows that informal mutual aid groups benefit those in addiction recovery. However, attention for mutual aid groups in practice and policy varies internationally and is only recently emerging in continental Europe. Existing evidence is mostly limited to studies of Alcoholics Anonymous groups in the United States. The aim of this cross-sectional study is to examine the relationship between membership of a variety of mutual aid groups and recovery capital, participation in social networks, and commitment to sobriety for individuals in drug addiction recovery (N ¼ 367), living in the UK, the Netherlands, and Belgium. A convenience sample of participants completed an extensive assessment about their recovery experiences. Sixty-nine percent of participants reported lifetime (ever) membership of different mutual aid groups. Analyses reveal that membership of mutual aid groups is strongly associated with more participation and (self-reported) changes in social networks, greater levels of recovery capital, and a stronger commitment to sobriety. The findings suggest that participation in mutual aid groups may support addiction recovery through multiple mechanisms of change in favor of recovery. These findings highlight how mutual aid support may complement formal addiction treatment.
  • Nations as zones of conflict, nations as zones of selection: A Darwinian social evolutionary engagement with John Hutchinson's ‘Culture Wars’

    Kerr, William; University of Edinburgh (Wiley, 2019-09-12)
    This paper explores the use of Darwinian social evolutionary theory towards understanding the formation of nations through a specific engagement with John Hutchinson's Nations as Zones of Conflict, particularly the idea of ‘culture wars’. After outlining Hutchinson's framework and the principles of Darwinian social evolutionary theory – namely, the key concepts of inheritance, variation, and selection within an environmental context – I make a case for Darwinian concepts being able to support and expand on Hutchinson's ethno‐symbolic approach. I argue that Darwinian social evolutionary theory offers a powerful explanation for why particular myths, symbols, traditions, and memories endure and are revived and revitalized in nationalist contexts. The development of nationalism in Meiji Japan is used as an example to explore these ideas.
  • The descent of nations: social evolutionary theory, modernism and ethno‐symbolism

    Kerr, William; University of Edinburgh (Wiley, 2019-01-30)
    This article explores the use of a revised conception of social evolutionary theory towards an understanding of nationalism. First, I review the debate between ethno‐symbolism and modernism, through the lens of the Warwick Debate between Gellner and Smith, arguing that both are partly right. Secondly, I outline what the revised conception of social evolution is looking first at its traditional conception before outlining a Darwinian view of social evolutionary theory. Finally, I examine how Darwinian social evolutionary theory can help fruitfully bring the ethno‐symbolic and modernist perspectives together. This is done by a sustained engagement primarily with the theories of Anthony Smith and Ernest Gellner pointing to how Darwinian social evolutionary theory can provide a link between the two theories that makes them mutually supportive rather than opposed.
  • Resistance and reproduction: An arts-based investigation into young people’s emotional responses to crime

    Gray, Emily; Dodsley, Thomas; University of Derby (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2020-10-21)
    This paper reports on a qualitative study of young people’s emotional responses to crime, underpinned by cultural criminology and interpretive phenomenology. It uses alternative approaches to explore young people’s ‘fears’ of crime via the use of arts-based methods, specifically performative drama and focus groups. The rationale is rooted in young people’s voices being largely absent from fear of crime research and the increased movement towards a more creative and less prescriptive criminology. The findings point towards the value of such approaches and argue that young people’s emotions about crime become highly gendered and age-relevant in youth and have multiple, overlapping spheres that are culturally constructed, resisted and reproduced.
  • The effects of local socio-political events on group cohesion in online far-right communities

    Bliuc, Ana-Maria; Betts, John M.; Faulkner, Nicholas; Vergani, Matteo; Chow, Rui Jie; Iqbal, Muhammad; Best, David; University of Dundee; Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; Deakin University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; et al. (Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2020-03-30)
    In recent years, the reach and influence of far-right ideologies have been extended through online communities with devastating effects in the real world. In this research, we examine how far-right online communities can be empowered by socio-political events that are significant to them. Using over 14 years of data extracted from an Australian national sub-forum of a global online white supremacist community, we investigate whether the group cohesion of the community is affected by local race riots. Our analysis shows that the online community, not only became more cohesive after the riots, but was also reinvigorated by highly active new members who joined during the week of the riots or soon after. These changes were maintained over the longer-term, highlighting pervasive ramifications of the local socio-political context for this white supremacist community. Pre-registered analyses of data extracted from other white supremacist online communities (in South Africa and the United Kingdom) show similar effects on some of the indicators of group cohesion, but of reduced magnitude, and not as enduring as the effects found in the context of the Australian far-right online community.
  • Pathways to Recovery and Desistance: The Role of the Social Contagion of Hope

    Best, David; Sheffield Hallam University (Policy Press, 2019-09-04)
    Using case studies and a strengths-based approach Best puts forward a new recovery and reintegration model for substance users and offenders leaving prison which emphasizes the importance of long-term recovery and the role that communities and peers play in the process.
  • Mapping social identity change in online networks of addiction recovery

    Best, David; Bliuc, Ana-Maria; Iqbal, Muhammad; Upton, Katie; Hodgkins, Steve; Sheffield Hallam University; Western Sydney University; Monash University; Job, Friends and Houses, UK; Blackpool Division, Lancashire Police (Informa UK Limited, 2017-07-27)
    ustainable addiction recovery is determined in part by how social and community resources can be mobilised to support long-term identity change. Given the current growth in technology, we ask what the role of online social interactions is in supporting long-term identity change for people in recovery. The paper also explores the relationship between the evolution of online social networks and key events that members experience in the outside world, based on a project examining changes in online participation over eight months among members of a UK addiction recovery community built around a social enterprise for employment and housing. The social enterprise had an open Facebook page that was used by staff, clients and by a diverse range of individuals not directly involved in the organisation. Based on an analysis of naturally occurring online data on the Facebook page, social network analysis (SNA) and computerised linguistic analysis that quantified emotion and belonging language in posts and subsequent ‘likes’, we found that variations in the structure of the online social network and the content of communication are consistent with ‘core’ members’ experience of those events. Our findings indicate that strong recovery networks supported by positive social interactions can contribute to achieving long-term identity change that supports sustaining engagement in recovery communities.
  • Substance use outcomes following treatment: Findings from the Australian Patient Pathways Study

    Manning, Victoria; Garfield, Joshua BB; Best, David; Berends, Lynda; Room, Robin; Mugavin, Janette; Larner, Andrew; Lam, Tina; Buykx, Penny; Allsop, Steve; et al. (SAGE Publications, 2016-01-14)
    Our understanding of patient pathways through specialist Alcohol and Other Drug treatment and broader health/welfare systems in Australia remains limited. This study examines how treatment outcomes are influenced by continuity in specialist Alcohol and Other Drug treatment, engagement with community services and mutual aid, and explores differences between clients who present with a primary alcohol problem relative to those presenting with a primary drug issue. In a prospective, multi-site treatment outcome study, 796 clients from 21 Alcohol and Other Drug services in Victoria and Western Australia completed a baseline interview between January 2012 and January 2013. A total of 555 (70%) completed a follow-up assessment of subsequent service use and Alcohol and Other Drug use outcomes 12-months later. Just over half of the participants (52.0%) showed reliable reductions in use of, or abstinence from, their primary drug of concern. This was highest among clients with meth/amphetamine (66%) as their primary drug of concern and lowest among clients with alcohol as their primary drug of concern (47%), with 31% achieving abstinence from all drugs of concern. Continuity of specialist Alcohol and Other Drug care was associated with higher rates of abstinence than fragmented Alcohol and Other Drug care. Different predictors of treatment success emerged for clients with a primary drug problem as compared to those with a primary alcohol problem; mutual aid attendance (odds ratio = 2.5) and community service engagement (odds ratio = 2.0) for clients with alcohol as the primary drug of concern, and completion of the index treatment (odds ratio = 2.8) and continuity in Alcohol and Other Drug care (odds ratio = 1.8) when drugs were the primary drugs of concern. This is the first multi-site Australian study to include treatment outcomes for alcohol and cannabis users, who represent 70% of treatment seekers in Alcohol and Other Drug services. Results suggest a substantial proportion of clients respond positively to treatment, but that clients with alcohol as their primary drug problem may require different treatment pathways, compared to those with illicit drug issues, to maximise outcomes.
  • Comparing three stages of addiction recovery: long-term recovery and its relation to housing problems, crime, occupation situation, and substance use

    Martinelli, Thomas F.; Nagelhout, Gera E.; Bellaert, Lore; Best, David; Vanderplasschen, Wouter; van de Mheen, Dike; University of Derby (Informa UK Limited, 2020-06-24)
    Many studies on addiction recovery focus on recovery initiation and short-term outcomes for alcohol addictions. In this study, we examine associations between three recovery stages and recovery markers for persons in drug addiction recovery. Data were collected for a multi-country study (REC-PATH) among 722 individuals living in the UK, the Netherlands, and Belgium, who consider themselves in addiction recovery for a period of three months or more. We focus on typical life domains that characterize recovery: housing, crime, work or education, and substance use. The relation with time in recovery was examined for three recovery stages: early (<1 year), sustained (1–5 years), and stable (>5 years). Using the Life in Recovery survey, cross-sectional analyses reveal that participants in later recovery stages have lower odds of having housing problems, being involved in crime, and using illicit hard drugs and higher odds of having work or education, when compared to participants in the early recovery stage. This study provides further empirical support for defining drug addiction recovery as a gradual, long-term process that is associated with various life domains beyond abstinence. The findings suggest that drug policy, treatment and research need to be oriented towards long-term objectives and recovery goals that cover multiple life domains in order to support stable recovery.

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