Research

 

You will find a complete range of our monographs, muti-authored and edited works including peer-reviewed, original scholarly research across the social sciences and aligned disciplines. We publish long and short form research and you can browse the complete Bristol University Press and Policy Press archive of over 1,500 titles.

Policy Press also publishes policy reviews and polemic work which aim to challenge policy and practice in certain fields. These books have a practitioner in mind and are practical, accessible in style, as well as being academically sound and referenced.
 

Books: Research

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The final chapter shows that, since its creation, Twin Oaks, like most other intentional communities, has sometimes had to cope with high turnover rates. While this is not necessarily a sign of dysfunction, it does raise questions about the long-term dynamics of the collective in general and individual destinies in particular. The chapter thus highlights the existence of a wide range of trajectories within communities, from very long-term residency (until death in the community) to much more temporary stays. It also provides data on the fortunes of communards who chose to return to the outside world, identifies the motivations that led them to make this choice, and concludes that the community experience was not, in the vast majority of cases, a mere frivolous interlude in the course of an individual’s life.

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This chapter contextualizes the community revival that began in the US in the late 1960s, focusing on the diversity of intentional communities that emerged. It proposes to reduce the complexity of the community landscape by distinguishing three elementary ideal types of community: societal, anarchist and identity-based. Finally, it studies the case of a community (The Farm) initially characterized by a form of charismatic domination, but which, over time, evolved towards a societal model.

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The conclusion briefly summarizes the overall argument of the book.

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This final chapter revisits the ‘big takeaway messages’ for health, community and social care practitioners that are woven across the book and identifies future directions in research for supporting trans people in later life and developing trans-inclusive research and practice. In relation to improving care experiences across health and social care systems, a resounding message is the importance of developing and delivering a person-centred, person-led approach to care that is collaborative and centred on the wishes and preferences of older trans people as the experts on their lives. The chapter concludes by setting out key dimensions for enabling trans-inclusive and affirming practice and services.

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The conclusion begins by describing the transformation of the social space of intentional communities since the 1970s (evolution in the number of communities, invention of new forms such as ecovillages…). It mentions the increasingly important role of the Foundation for Intentional Community. Finally, it suggests distinguishing four mechanisms of social change that intentional communities can spearhead (bubble, contamination, alliance, multiplication).

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Living and Working in Concrete Utopian Communities

Since the late 1960s, individuals rebelling against societal norms have embraced intentional communities as a means to challenge capitalism and manifest their ideals. Combining archival work with an ethnographic approach, this book examines how these communities have implemented the utopias they claim to have in their daily lives.

Focusing primarily on intentional communities in the United States who have adopted egalitarian principles of life and work, notably Twin Oaks in Virginia, the author examines the lives and actions of members to further understand these concrete utopias. In doing so, the book demonstrates that intentional communities aren't relics of a bygone era but rather catalysts capable of shaping our future.

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This chapter highlights nuanced considerations facing older trans people at the end of life to inform current thinking and promote further research. Research evidence suggests that trans people often face additional barriers and vulnerabilities at the end of life, including the handling of memorialisation. Trans people also report anxieties related to past experiences of exclusion and discrimination, around points of disclosure and over becoming dependent on others to meet their care needs. LGBT end-of-life care research has grown significantly in recent years. However, this has involved few trans participants and even fewer non-binary people. This lacuna in research evidence also means we have scant knowledge about positive end-of-life care experiences of this population. More research is needed to enhance inclusion of trans and non-binary participants and explore intersectionality to expand our understandings in this area. In turn, this will help to inform evidence-based practice to ensure services are accessible and safe for this population.

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This chapter is about the perceptions and attitudes of health and social care professionals towards older trans people in the United Kingdom. Findings from the Trans Ageing and Care study highlighted the obstacles and discrimination trans people in mid to later life encounter when seeking to access medical transition services (Willis et al, 2020, 2021). We present descriptive survey findings from the same study. A total of 165 health and social care professionals across Wales completed an online questionnaire that assessed their knowledge about trans’ legal and medical issues in later life, and familiarity with trans individuals, among other knowledge domains. Findings indicate respondents are familiar with trans issues – with the media being the most popular source – and are generally supportive of trans civil rights. However, we also identified gaps. We conclude by outlining core components essential to developing a trans-inclusive training curriculum for health and social care professionals.

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This chapter looks at the flip sides of community work. It illustrates, on the advantages side, the intrinsic rewards of community work and the possibilities for freedom in effectuating it are not always enough to mobilize the required labour. Extrinsic non-monetary rewards – the positive flip side of work – complete the range of expected benefits. But there is also a dark side of productive activities, which are not always as pleasant as utopian rhetoric might suggest. On this constraint side, peer pressure and threats are effective ways of limiting insufficient commitment to work, even when the job is not to a person’s liking. At Twin Oaks, communards who fail to meet their quotas fall into the ‘labour hole’.

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This chapter traces a genealogical thread. The proposed path begins with the emblematic figure of Henry David Thoreau and his seminal book, Walden. The following stage is charted by the work of psychologist and utopian B.F. Skinner, the author of Walden Two, which sheds light on the conditions that led to the birth of Twin Oaks in 1967. Twin Oaks, the community primarily studied in this book, began as an attempt to apply Skinner’s plan to a ‘natural’ space of the kind Thoreau loved.

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