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This article aims at contributing to the current literature on poverty data limitations and measurement by discussing the process for producing the first multidimensional poverty measure based on the consensual approach for the City of Buenos Aires. The results show a remarkable level of consensus about the necessities of life in the twenty-first century, underline the importance of generating more suitable indicators of deprivation and show that unmet basic needs-type variables are no longer adequate for measuring poverty in countries like Argentina. According to the valid and reliable poverty index, 20.3% of the city’s population live in households in multidimensionally poor households, this being the social dimension that shows the highest deprivation rate.

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We examine how children’s centres in a major city in England responded to food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic by helping to run ‘FOOD Clubs’ to support families. Drawing on data from semi-structured interviews with children’s centre staff, we analyse how clubs were organised, why people joined them, and the range of benefits parents derived from them. We extend the literature on food insecurity which focuses heavily on the rise of foodbanks. Our data also informs broader policy debates around supporting parents in poverty, effective early years provision and the challenges facing families experiencing food insecurity.

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‘Destitution’ has re-entered the lexicon of UK social policy in the 2010s, highlighted by the rapid growth of food banks and rough sleeping in a context of controversial welfare reforms and austerity policies, yet theoretical literature on this remains limited. Specialist surveys have been developed to measure and profile these phenomena, but these remain separate from the mainstream statistical approach to poverty, which relies heavily on large-scale household surveys. Evidence from recent work in this area, including qualitative evidence, is very suggestive of risk and driving factors, but it is difficult to weigh the relative importance of different factors or to predict the effects of policy measures. A composite survey approach is developed, linking a specialised survey targeting households at risk of destitution with a major national household panel dataset, to enable predictive models to be fitted to data including significant representation of hard-to-reach and non-household populations. Models predicting destitution and food bank usage are developed and compared, highlighting the roles of key factors. Vignettes are used to show how the risks vary dramatically between households in different situations. The potential role of such models in micro-simulation or prediction of impacts of different scenarios is discussed.

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The attributional process, defined as the process of inferring the causes of the events that surround individuals in their daily lives, can potentially shape the understanding of poverty and wealth. For instance, it might influence how people behave, what they expect from poor and wealthy groups in their society, and how they judge them. However, the existing measures that capture these attributional phenomena have several limitations. Some attributional factors lack empirical support, or some implemented items lack relevance in contemporary society. Therefore, the present study is aimed to deepen the understanding of the attributional process by reviewing the factor structure of the poverty () and wealth attribution scales (), as well as adapting and verifying the validity of these scales among the Mexican population. To do so, we revised the factor structure of the poverty and wealth attribution scales to create a unified scale. We back-translated the original items, conducted exploratory and confirmatory analyses, restructured the scale’s factors, and related them with other covariates. Our results indicate that these scales uniquely differentiate between internal and external attributions, demonstrating that the new factor structure is better for measuring attributional processes regarding the perceived causes of poverty and wealth than those used in previous research.

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Author: Maurice Punch

A key issue is whether certain exclusive student clubs can be reformed and be trusted to maintain that reform. The historical evidence across societies raises scepticism as the traditional ones often cannot be relied on to carry out any proposed reforms over time. This remains a grave matter related to risk that can be fatal and to gender-based violence that is serious in its consequences, and both forms can be defined as criminal. This leads to the issue of sanctioning or even abolishing such institutions that enthusiastically seek to ‘go over the edge’. There is also strong evidence of a defensive wall of denial in some self-congratulatory universities, which allowed offenders to get away with forms of abuse over long periods. Of the essence here is accountability, with universities making persistent efforts to provide a safe environment for all students but particularly for women and where such student societies are tightly regulated with sanctions including permanent banishment. For the university cannot allow serious high risk and interpersonal criminal conduct within its domain.

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Elite Student Excess and Sexual Abuse
Author: Maurice Punch

Timely and urgent, this book examines the culture and governance of colleges and universities regarding both excess in elite student societies and sexual violence, particularly against female students. Taking into account the deaths, serious injuries and grave sexual abuse taking place among student populations, the book takes a criminological and sociological perspective on the institutions, offenders and victims involved.

With high profile court cases and media responses driving demand for reform, the author considers institutional reactions and concludes with recommendations to improve crime prevention, accountability and the support for survivors.

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Author: Maurice Punch

This book examines crime, deviance, injustice, prejudice, discrimination and victimization in educational institutions but largely in colleges and universities. It details two, at times, related elements: ‘excesses’ in mostly elite male student societies; and sexual abuse particularly against female students. Importantly, the focus on ‘deviance and crime on campus’ has to be placed in the context of serious institutional failure; and that, in turn, is amplified by a wider system failure regarding policing, prosecutions and the judiciary. Indeed, underpinning that dual institutional failure are deeply rooted historical and societal assumptions leading to the tolerance of elite student excess as well as engrained societal prejudices regarding sexual violence in general but held against women in particular.

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Author: Maurice Punch

A pivotal issue is the role of the college-university in the regulation of student societies through private justice and in the manner they regulate and enforce internal rules, regulations and laws. For who is accountable? The focus in this chapter is especially on US fraternities, drawing on an insightful and disturbing article by Flanagan (2014). The US has around 2,600 accredited colleges and universities and if they receive federal aid then they have to comply with federal guidelines. But with so many institutions, public and private, and within 50 states – each having its own legislation and with varying compliance cultures – this means that compliance with federal guidelines is patchy if not resistant. Moreover, US fraternities typically have a complex institutional structure, with national organizations possessing considerable financial means, legal support and political influence. This structure, with an assertive and well-resourced Political Action Committee (PAC) at the national level, is not true in the other societies dealt with here.

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Author: Maurice Punch

In recent years there has been a shift to criminal prosecutions, with convictions as well as civil cases sometimes followed by the resignations of senior officials. Fostering this tougher stance was that sexual abuse on the American campus had become a national issue by 2016, with ‘an endless stream’ of disturbing scandals that could no longer be dismissed as incidents. Institutions had failed to investigate, had let down victims and had granted perpetrators immunity. Fostering that move was a string of abuse cases at Wesleyan indicating the unwillingness of some fraternities to change, and the one at Baylor conveying how an ostensibly grave case could nevertheless elicit weak sanctioning. And then there were deeply disturbing abuse cases related to college sports, with some leading to high public concern including the widely publicized one involving Chanel Miller at Stanford. Behind much of this were elements of cynicism, hypocrisy and cowardice.

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