Social and Behavioural

Explore Social and Behavioural

Professor Zhuoyi Wang | What Can the Compromised Progress of the Mulan Remake Tell Us About Cross-cultural Filmmaking?

Professor Zhuoyi Wang | What Can the Compromised Progress of the Mulan Remake Tell Us About Cross-cultural Filmmaking?

In 1998, Disney released Mulan, an animated take on a Chinese legend. The film tells the story of Mulan, a girl who impersonates a man to join the army. She shows bravery as she fights to save her kingdom. At the time, this was a breakthrough for Disney due to its positive portrayal of Chinese characters and strong women. Nevertheless, the film included many gender stereotypes and instances of cultural appropriation. In 2020, a live action remake of Mulan was released. Directed by feminist filmmaker Niki Caro, it aimed to be gender progressive and culturally appropriate. However, critics argued that it misrepresented Chinese culture, and perpetuated ethnic stereotypes. Given that the film tried to avoid these pitfalls, how did this happen?

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Dr Victor Serebruany | Investigating Misreporting in a Clinical Trial

Dr Victor Serebruany | Investigating Misreporting in a Clinical Trial

Clinical trials are the main way for scientists and doctors to test whether new treatments, such as drugs or devices, are safe and effective. Because of their pivotal importance in influencing treatment options and patient care, clinical trials must be conducted to the highest standards. For drugs, this means they are required to be proven safe and effective before they can gain government approval.

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Professor Roger Jensen | Assessing Workplace Hazards Using Risk Matrices

Professor Roger Jensen | Assessing Workplace Hazards Using Risk Matrices

Occupational safety & health is a field that assesses hazards in workplace settings. It involves anticipating hazardous events that could harm workers, estimating the likelihood that an event will occur, and devising measures to prevent or mitigate harm. In this way, safety & health professionals help to greatly reduce the risk of injuries, illnesses and deaths.

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Professor Simon Roberts | Why African Countries Experience High Food Prices and What We Can Do About It

Professor Simon Roberts | Why African Countries Experience High Food Prices and What We Can Do About It

African countries are facing huge challenges around the availability, cost, and quality of food. These countries are import-dependent and disproportionately affected by global price hikes, while many are also undergoing rapid urbanisation which increases demand. These problems need an effective response to ensure the provision of affordable, healthy food. Professor Simon Roberts and his colleagues at the University of Johannesburg recently explored why high food prices are found in African countries, and suggest urgent solutions for addressing food scarcity, instability, and unaffordability.

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Professor William Richardson | What Mice in Mazes Can Teach Us About Working Memory

Professor William Richardson | What Mice in Mazes Can Teach Us About Working Memory

Our working memory can be described as a mental sticky note, where we hold bits of information for short periods of time. Working memory is an important function for everyday life, used for many tasks including following directions, holding conversations and solving problems of all kinds. Often, working memory – and problem-solving – can be improved by training.

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Austina Lee | Gareth Dylan Smith – The Role of Love and Community in American Schools

Austina Lee | Gareth Dylan Smith – The Role of Love and Community in American Schools

Capitalism and neoliberalism influence how children are schooled in the USA. American schools have standardised performance measures that teachers and students are expected to meet, which tend to prioritise: conformity, good grades and workforce readiness. They do not support students to develop identities, form good relationships, collaborate, or innovate. The result is an education system that undervalues care and community, which is at odds with the vision of raising compassionate young people. In a recent paper, teachers Austina Lee and Gareth Dylan Smith explore how this can be challenged through ‘punk’ pedagogy. They use the case study of a high-school choir to demonstrate how their ideas can be put into practice.

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Professor Nicholas Washmuth | Professor Richard Stephens – The Power of Words: Could Swearing Be a Useful Therapeutic Tool for Physiotherapists?

Professor Nicholas Washmuth | Professor Richard Stephens – The Power of Words: Could Swearing Be a Useful Therapeutic Tool for Physiotherapists?

Words change how people think, feel, and behave. As such, the words that medical professionals use have the potential to improve or worsen how patients feel. In physiotherapy, language may be just as important as physical interventions for achieving positive outcomes. So, what about swear words? While most of us swear sometimes and taboo words have been around since language emerged, their potential benefits are often ignored due to controversy and negative associations. Professors Nicholas Washmuth and Richard Stephens argue we should change this. In the right circumstances, they believe that swearing can significantly improve patient outcomes.

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Professor Alberto Posso | Exploring the Neglected Psychological Consequences of Child Labour

Professor Alberto Posso | Exploring the Neglected Psychological Consequences of Child Labour

Child labour is a major social problem, particularly in developing countries. Recent reports estimate that globally, there are 160 million children engaged in child labour – representing an increase of 8.4 million in the last four years. Child labour is likely both a symptom and a cause of poverty. Not only do working children achieve lower levels of education, but their physical health can also be jeopardised. However, less is known about the psychological and mental health impacts.

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Professor Kevin Lewis | Exploring the Differences between Digital and Face-to-Face Social Networks

Professor Kevin Lewis | Exploring the Differences between Digital and Face-to-Face Social Networks

Digital communication technologies, such as email, social media and messaging apps, radically changed how humans interact with each other. However, most research on how digital networks emerge and evolve is based on the flawed assumption that online and offline social networks operate very similarly. Professor Kevin Lewis at the University of California, San Diego, recently published a paper that challenges this assumption, by exploring the differences in how online and offline social networks are established and develop over time.

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Exploring How Focused Support Groups Can Help Patients with Oncogene-Driven Lung Cancer

Exploring How Focused Support Groups Can Help Patients with Oncogene-Driven Lung Cancer

Non-small cell lung cancer, or NSCLC, accounts for approximately 85% of lung cancer cases worldwide. Although NSCLC typically progresses at a slower rate than other types of lung cancer, by the time it is diagnosed it has often spread beyond the lungs, making it harder to treat. About a quarter of NSCLC cases are driven by so-called ‘oncogenes’. Such oncogene-driven cancers develop due to the extreme and uncontrolled expression of a gene that transforms normal cells into tumour cells.

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Debra Klages | Post-traumatic Growth in Health Professionals Who are Mothers of Adult Children with Schizophrenia

Debra Klages | Post-traumatic Growth in Health Professionals Who are Mothers of Adult Children with Schizophrenia

For young people with schizophrenia, their first experience of psychosis is often highly traumatic. Because of the close, nurturing relationships mothers typically have with their children, they too can experience trauma while witnessing their children’s disturbing psychotic episodes. As a result, mothers of adult children with schizophrenia often experience negative impacts on their physical and psychological health. Debra Klages takes a unique perspective by shedding light on how the traumatic experiences of health professionals with dual roles as mothers can lead to personal and professional growth and resilience.

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Professor Zygmunt Pizlo | How Fundamentals in Physics Can Explain Perception and Cognition

Professor Zygmunt Pizlo | How Fundamentals in Physics Can Explain Perception and Cognition

Psychophysics is the formal study of perception – our sensory experience of the world. Professor Zygmunt Pizlo at the University of California-Irvine explains that while symmetry is fundamental in both physics and mathematics, it is also fundamental to our understanding of vision. He believes there is much to gain in expanding the existing boundaries of psychology, cognitive science and neuroscience by embracing established fundamentals in physics.

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