Creating Word-of-Mouth Support for a Political Rally: The Power of Media Photographs

This study extends on previous research where it was found that media bias could be detected when applying the elements of social proof to photographic coverage of a political rally. The purpose of this study was to understand if the selection and presentation of biased media photographs could compel individuals to act as an agent of the rally and speak positively of the movement to other people. Results showed strong statistical support that individuals were willing to speak positively of the rally to family members, people they know and strangers. Practical implications for public relations practitioners are discussed.

Walking Trails: A Sustainable Component of a Healthy Campus

Campus health has recently become a major area of interest. One of the elements which contributes to a healthy campus is the proximity of the natural environment to said campus. Many campuses incorporate a trail system to allow students to interact with nature without having to leave the area. This paper reviews some of the research relating to natural spaces and mental health. Attention Restoration Theory (ART) as developed by Kaplan (1995) is used to describe the potential benefits of an on-campus trail system. The campus trail system at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus is used as an example of how best practices may be applied to a natural setting and how a trail system can be maintained with minimum resources through an Adopt a Trail program.

What’s the Story? Exploring Online Narratives of Non-Binary Gender Identities

Currently, people with non-binary gender identities—those who identify as either both genders or neither—are gaining more social visibility, suggesting that changes in social understandings of gender are now underway. Facebook, for example, has recently introduced a range of non-binary gender options for user profile pages; indeterminate and “third gender” identities are now legally recognised in a number of countries, including Australia, Germany, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, New Zealand, and Thailand; and the term “cisgender,” which refers to those whose self-identity matches the gender and biological sex assigned to them at birth, has now entered the Oxford English Dictionary. Typical spaces where personal narratives concerning non-binary gender identities are generated and shared are Internet blogs and online discussion forums. However, as yet these narratives have not been explored and non-binary gender identities remain largely under researched within the social sciences. This paper begins to address this gap through the presentation of some initial research findings from a qualitative study of online non-binary gender identity narratives. It explores some key themes within and across the narratives of younger and older generation non-binary people produced within a sample of blogs and forums, and draws out their implications for the development of further research.

The Role of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences in Forming and Informing Responses to Contemporary Social Change

Modern, liberal societies face a number of overarching and rapid changes: demographic changes, increasing inequality, unemployment and under-employment, political instability, austerity and ecological, social and economic unsustainability are challenging established paradigms of political economy.

Current political discourse emphasises market-based and business approaches to these stressors: we contend it is rather the disciplines of the Arts and Humanities that have more to say about the resolution of these externalities. In the following we seek therefore to broaden the discourse regarding the role of the Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities in interpreting and beginning to address social challenges.
Our theoretical consideration of human values as a complement of monetary values is illustrated practically by three very different, but indicative projects conducted by Sheffield Hallam University staff. In each case we focus on the qualitative impact of these disciplines’ approaches on the participants and the environment in which they inhabit. We suggest that these activities have transformative potential by providing a platform for reflexion, collaboration and the building of communities, on the basis of which resilience, social justice, sustainability and social capacity can be founded.