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This chapter examines what people buy and eat, and how that is governed by the availability, affordability and acceptability of foodstuffs. It describes how tastes cluster, and how clustering varies with income, education, age and gender. Thus different sections of the population have greater or lesser access to diverse and nutritious foods. Attention is paid to food poverty and the spread of food banks. It charts the availability of different foodstuffs arising from global trade which has introduced new ingredients to fuel greater diversity. The range of products in circulation came to be determined primarily by a small number of supermarket chains in the later 20th century, at the expense of specialist outlets. The chapter ends with an extended critical appraisal (practical and theoretical) of the effects of the commodification of food supply. It discusses alternative modes of supply beyond retail markets, including institutional catering, domestic hospitality and freeganism.

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This chapter explores the unpaid digital labour of moderators and how moderation style encourages or discourages a reader’s visible participation. This chapter examines three specific case studies – affinity groups (online communities where members share in a common goal), health communities, and neighbourhood groups – and introduces sensemaking to the discussion of lurker literacies. The chapter also offers critical content analysis of the evolution of Facebook group features and the corporation’s community management training programme to offer insights into the challenges of active Facebook moderation.

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This chapter assesses the contribution of eating to the delivery of pleasure and the arousal of anxiety. It is argued that on aggregate the British population experiences both greater pleasure and greater anxiety than before. Evidence shows that dining out, especially at the homes of other people, is reliably very enjoyable. Eating at home is also for the most part both pleasurable and satisfying. More popular and scientific attention is devoted to anxiety and its causes, the forms of which have evolved from absolute and relative shortages of food, through nutritional quality and the prevention of illness, to ethical concern about production and consumption. Typical ways of dealing with anxiety are discussed, including recourse to habit and the adoption of formal dietary regimes. Other contemporary concerns about obesity, meat eating and environmental sustainability are addressed.

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This chapter considers the connection between “arbitrariness” and harm, positing that the “arbitrariness” of arbitrary detention results in harms that can, in certain circumstances, amount to torture or other prohibited ill-treatment. To arrive at this conclusion, the chapter reviews the findings of scientific studies of harms experienced by current and former detainees in arbitrary situations of detention undertaken by psychologists and others. By attaching arbitrary detention to the torture taboo, the chapter undermines the argument that the industrial-scale arbitrary detentions that have become commonplace in the name of controlling borders and strengthening national security are somehow justifiable, because some of these detentions may constitute torture, and torture is never justifiable.

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The Great Decline is an ambitious work offering a wholly fresh take on the multiple crises we face, both individually and collectively, in the 21st century. The central argument is that, after a period of qualified social progress in the mid-20th century, recent decades have resurrected social and economic arrangements that are toxic in terms of our fundamental needs, undermining the social and political stability of our societies as well as our individual mental and physical health in ways that have been poorly understood and which have now reached a crisis point. Across numerous established democracies, including the UK and the US, the neoliberal consensus principally advanced in the 1980s continues to tear apart the social fabric and destroy countless individual lives amid a growing climate of fear, anger and uncertainty. Amongst a range of consequences, we have witnessed the rise of populist politicians exploiting and further sowing social distress and division, while the ensuing polarization and undermining of established democracies has left us ill-equipped to deal with the huge challenges being presented by climate breakdown and rapid advances in digital technologies. While addressing these troubles of the present, this is also approached from a broad historical and to an extent evolutionary context advancing an original biosocial perspective, the social map, drawing on social science, political economy, neuroscience and epigenetics to present a radical reframing of where we are, how we understand our relationship to the social, economic and political environment, and how we relate to each other.

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This chapter considers the nature, origins and consequences of Britain’s early ‘nutrition transition’ and the emergence of its urban-industrial diet. It notes the importance of industrialisation, imperialism and war in the shaping of the 20th-century diet. It reviews class differences in everyday eating from the late 19th to mid-20th centuries. Post-war reconstruction after 1945 reduced class inequalities and the British population shared a relatively homogeneous diet for a couple of decades. Everyday eating underwent modification from the 1960s with the introduction of foreign food items, in shops and especially through commercial catering. Controversies over the nature and degrees of continuity and change are discussed, both substantively and methodologically. The various elements of the practice of eating are outlined, distinguishing arrangements for meals, acquisition of foodstuffs, cooking and taste. The chapter concludes with a consideration of social trends, cultural processes and institutional development.

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This chapter focuses on the interviews with relationship professionals working with or for separated parents and their children outside of the mediation context, outlining whether, in principle, they believed that young people ought to be given a voice in the decision-making when parents separate and the psychological, wellbeing and agency benefits (and risks) of doing so. It also explores their views on child-inclusive mediation’s role in giving young people a voice. Its analysis compares these views with those of young people in focus groups on these questions.

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The Right to Be Heard
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ePDF and ePUB available Open Access under CC-BY-NC-ND licence.

Recent legislative changes in England and Wales have eroded children’s ability to exercise their article 12 UNCRC rights to information, consultation and representation when parents separate. However, children’s voices may be heard through child-inclusive mediation (CIM).

Considered from a children’s rights perspective, this book provides a critical socio-legal account of CIM practice. It draws on in-depth interviews with relationship professionals, mediators, parents and children, to consider the experiences, risks and benefits of CIM. It investigates obstacles to greater uptake of CIM and its role in improving children’s wellbeing and agency.

Exploring the culture and practice changes necessary for a more routine application of CIM, the book demonstrates how reconceptualising CIM through a children’s rights framework could help to address barriers and improve outcomes for children.

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This chapter considers the potential impact of climate change and environmental degradation on the economy and society, as well as how this is perceived by the public. A key argument here rests on the perceived incompatibility between the current global neoliberal economic growth model and environmental sustainability. Of particular interest is the growing gulf between those preoccupied by and active on environmental issues, and the large constituencies who appear to either deny that there is an issue or that it is particularly relevant to their everyday lives. Questions on the influence of the fossil fuel industry, neoliberal politicians, and the wide range of commercial and financial interests that have employed a range of strategies to forestall climate action, putting profit before people and the planet, are addressed. This includes a discussion of the way in which the neoliberal right has established climate concerns as a wedge issue in the so-called ‘culture wars’. Finally, there is a focus on the broader question as to how we might respond to substantial shifts in climatic conditions over the longer term, including potential echoes of pre-Holocene patterns of forced migration in a world where rising nationalism and anti-immigration sentiment is a growing phenomenon.

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Power, Punishment and Control
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Available Open Access digitally under CC-BY-NC-ND licence

This book examines what happens when states and other authorities use detention to abuse their power, deter dissent and maintain social hierarchies.

Written by an author with decades of practical experience in the human rights field, the book examines a variety of scenarios where individuals are unlawfully detained in violation of their most basic rights to personal liberty and exposes the many fallacies associated with arbitrary detention.

Proposing solutions for future policy to scrutinise processes, this is a call for greater respect for the rule of law and human rights.

Open access