Institute for Social Sciences Research (ISSR) newsletter - October 16 2020

Published on 16 October 2020

Our ISSR newsletter from October 16 2020, including items on ISSR engagement, research, impact, and our Graduate community

On this page
Portrait photos of Dumiso Moyo and Vincent Onyango

Black History Month continues with events taking place to reflect on experiences from staff and student from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds. Find out more about the programme online and book your free tickets.

Lived experiences of the African black academic in Higher Education -Thursday 29 October

Dr Dumiso Moyo and Dr Vincent Onyango, from the School of Social Sciences, will share their personal experiences as African black academics in higher education and reflect on their careers from postgraduate student to lecturer.

ISSR Seminar | David Poeppel

We welcome David Poeppel, Professor of Psychology and Neural Science, New York University and Director of the Max-Planck-Institute, Frankfurt. He will present a talk that aims to describe some intuitively simple and fun but surprising results that illuminate the temporal structure of perceptual experience. From recognizing speech and melodies to building abstract mental structures, how the brain constructs and represents time reveals unexpected puzzles.

This aligns with our Innovation in Methods and Data Analytics and Health and Wellbeing themes. The seminar is chaired by Dr Anne Keitel, Psychology in the School of Social Sciences.

ISSR Seminar | Morris Altman

We welcome Morris Altman, Morris Altman, Professor, Chair of Behavioural & Institutional Economics, & Co-operatives and Dean, Dundee Business School. He will present a talk on his book 'Why Ethical Behaviour is Good for the Economy: Towards Growth, Wellbeing and Freedom, Edward Elgar Publishers, 2020.

The importance of ethics to economics and the economy has been a long-standing concern and debate amongst scholars and public policy pundits. A key contribution of this book is to model ethical behaviour, demonstrating why ethical behaviour can have serious positive economic and wellbeing outcomes and be consistent with competitive market economies. Contrary to conventional economic theory, which has a profound effect on policy, being ethical can be an engine of economic growth and development.

This aligns with our Innovation in Methods and Data Analytics and Health and Wellbeing themes. The seminar is chaired by ISSR Co-Director and seminar lead Professor Judith Sixsmith.

Research and Impact

ISSR Staff Lightning Talks Forum

We would like to remind you to attend our ISSR Staff Lightning Talks Forum event on Wednesday 21 October at 2pm.

We are delighted to say there are around 13 new members of staff from Business, Social Sciences, Health Sciences and Education and Social Work presenting. This will showcase our talented researchers across member schools.

Below is a snippet of some of our speakers. You can view the full list in the ISSR channel on teams ahead of talks on Wednesday.

Shocking, offensive and controversial advertising in public and non-profit sectors: A multi-stakeholder, regulatory and rhetorical perspective

Kristina Auxtova, Dundee Business School

This talk is based on an ongoing larger project which explores how shocking, offensive and controversial advertising in the non-profit and public sectors is understood, regulated, and contested by various stakeholder groups. Thus far in this project, I explored how such advertising is conceptualised and researched in the academic world, I examined what is actually found offensive and harmful in non-profit advertising and how such advertising is understood by different stakeholders (complainants, advertisers, regulators).

I also explored the regulatory processes of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) UK and the power structures between these stakeholder groups and found a certain power imbalance that aids the normalisation of the practice of offensive advertising. The current element of the project explores the persuasive powers of advertising that has been formally complained about for being offensive and/or harmful and proposes a novel methodology for rhetorical analysis rooted in the classical Aristotelian notion of rhetorical appeals. The overarching project seeks to help advertising creatives and regulators better understand such advertising in order to engage in more ethical practices.

Changing Legal Protections for Children in Care - Issues and Challenges

Robin Sen, Education and Social Work

This talk is based on a planned small-scale research project which recently received funding via a BA/Leverhulme Small Grants Award. It developed from a concern to explore the perspectives of frontline practitioners and care experienced people regarding secondary legislative changes in England reducing procedural safeguards for children in care, which were suddenly introduced, without Parliamentary oversight, during the Covid pandemic.

The changes themselves are due to end in late September but have wider ramifications speaking to issues of de-regulation, system change and the appropriate safeguards for children in care moving forward. The introduction of these changes also shines a spotlight on the lack of involvement of frontline practitioners and care experienced people in policy changes which concern them. More broadly, the way in which these legislative changes were introduced speaks to issues of democratic deficit, and a lack of transparency within current policy making practices in the UK governance. This talk will give a brief overview of the proposed research, seeking feedback on aspects of its conduct, while also seeking to gain the audience's views of the relevance of these issues to the Scottish context: are these England only problems?

Drink-driving: an inconsiderate act?

Andrea Mohan, Health Sciences

Drink-driving remains a problem in the UK and the rest of the world. Drink-drivers are often profiled as careless, selfish lawbreakers, who often do not consider the harm to others. Many people who have been convicted of drink-driving often engage in the behaviour repeatedly before their conviction. It is thought that many repeat drink-drivers consume alcohol on a regular basis, but little research has focused on this specific group of drink-drivers. This talk describes findings from a qualitative study about the perceptions and experiences of repeat drink-drivers in the UK, and provides some interesting insights in relation to alcohol consumption behaviour, mental health and drink-driving.

Constitutionalism: Conceptualisation, Evaluation, and Protection

Tarik Olcay, Social Sciences

Centred on the theme of constitutional change, my research looks at mainly three issues from doctrinal, theoretical, and comparative perspectives. First, it looks at how limitations on the democratic power to amend constitutions can be justified. It hypothesises that unless there are explicit limitations on constitutional change in a constitutional text, such limitations can only be imposed in exceptional circumstances and on natural law grounds.

Secondly, my research looks at the problems posed by peace-making that challenge constitutional form. It seeks to put forward a theory of constitutional flexibility and a conceptualisation of peace as a constitutional principle.

Thirdly, my research looks at how mechanisms of constitutional change are abused to dismantle judicial independence and what tools judges as human-rights-bearers and judiciaries as institutions have to protect themselves against such attacks. The overarching project is the identification of the minimum core of constitutionalism and the exploration of good mechanisms to protect it.

Publishing News

Do elevators compete with lifts?: Selecting dialect alternatives

Dr Alissa Melinger, Head of Psychology discipline in the School of Social Sciences has a new paper published.

Recently, Melinger (2018) demonstrated that translation equivalent dialectal words compete for selection in a way that translation equivalent words from a non-target language do not. She argued that dialectal words are stored as within-language representations. However, Dylman and Barry (2018) showed that within-language synonyms behave like between-language translation equivalents, calling Melinger's interpretation into question. The aim of the present study is to compare dialectal and non-dialectal synonyms distractor effects with the same experimental design to elaborate our understanding of how dialectal lexical items are stored and retrieved during production. In two experiments, American translation equivalents slowed British picture naming times, replicating the findings from Melinger (2018). In a third experiment, synonymous distractor words did not slow picture naming times, replicating the findings from Dylman and Barry (2018). A proposal couched within the Swinging Lexical Network approach is proposed to explain the discrepant findings.

The Violence of Technicism: Ableism as Humiliation & Degrading Treatment

Professor Fiona Kumari Campbell in the School of Education and Social Work has recently published a chapter in the book Ableism in Academia, UCL Press and is available for free download.

Special Issue on 'The Philosophies of Comparative Law'

Dr Luca Siliquini-Cinelli, Law in the School of Social Sciences will be guest editor alongside Jaakko Husa from University of Helsinki for the Journal of Critical Analysis of Law.

This special issue features specifically commissioned, much-needed essays written by leading scholars as well as emerging researchers from renowned institutions which make a significant contribution to the academic debate on the current status and future directions of comparative legal analysis and methodologies of research.

Turning home boredom during the outbreak of COVID-19 into thriving at home and career self-management: the role of online leisure crafting

Dr I-Shuo Chen from Dundee Business School has recently published a paper in the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management.

This paper studied whether boredom at home due to social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic may motivate individuals to engage in online leisure crafting, thereby contributing to their thriving at home and career self-management. This paper aims to examine whether individuals’ growth need strength influences the impact of home boredom on online leisure crafting.

Graduate community

PhD Lightning Talks Forum - Call for Speakers

A reminder that we are looking for speakers for the PhD Lightning Talks Forum taking place on 18 November. It is hoped that we can fill a few more slots so if you have joined the PhD programme between July 2019 and July 2020, we invite you to participate.

If you would like to talk briefly about your research, please contact Donna.

When you are a confirmed speaker I will compile a list and write out to you again soon with information on the running order. The lightning talks are a steady run of presenters each talking for 5 mins on MS Teams. If you opt to use slides too then a maximum of 3 slides for your five min talk and you can upload and share these yourself on teams. All the tech stuff can be arranged nearer the time.

To support and encourage your colleagues please register to attend.

ISSR engagement

Get involved

If you would to be featured in the ISSR newsletter please send any items to me. This could be any staff/RPG articles of funding successes with a social science interest, COVID-19 research, awards & recognition, progress on existing work. All news welcome!

(100-250 words will be fine – excluding links, one line intro about yourself, title and image by no later than 11am Friday).

*Do not include hyperlinks. Heading/text in full and separate full link in your content please.

Access support and facilitation from ISSR.

I am available on Teams on Tuesday afternoons from 2-4pm so please get in touch if you have an idea or project that you would like support in promoting and/or help to facilitate with.

Don't forget to join the ISSR community through Teams to access updates on research-related activities. Simply click on 'create or join team' and enter the code e2wv1jf. I can help support, facilitate and arrange online events. Please contact Donna on Teams for a chat and find out how ISSR can support you.

If you know anyone who would like to receive information please ask them to contact ISSR to be added to the distribution list.


Donna Hendry

Research and Knowledge Exchange Officer

+44 (0)1382 388173
Story category Public interest