Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 10

Search results for: reductionism

10 Constructivism and Situational Analysis as Background for Researching Complex Phenomena: Example of Inclusion

Authors: Radim Sip, Denisa Denglerova

Abstract:

It’s impossible to capture complex phenomena, such as inclusion, with reductionism. The most common form of reductionism is the objectivist approach, where processes and relationships are reduced to entities and clearly outlined phases, with a consequent search for relationships between them. Constructivism as a paradigm and situational analysis as a methodological research portfolio represent a way to avoid the dominant objectivist approach. They work with a situation, i.e. with the essential blending of actors and their environment. Primary transactions are taking place between actors and their surroundings. Researchers create constructs based on their need to solve a problem. Concepts therefore do not describe reality, but rather a complex of real needs in relation to the available options how such needs can be met. For examination of a complex problem, corresponding methodological tools and overall design of the research are necessary. Using an original research on inclusion in the Czech Republic as an example, this contribution demonstrates that inclusion is not a substance easily described, but rather a relationship field changing its forms in response to its actors’ behaviour and current circumstances. Inclusion consists of dynamic relationship between an ideal, real circumstances and ways to achieve such ideal under the given circumstances. Such achievement has many shapes and thus cannot be captured by description of objects. It can be expressed in relationships in the situation defined by time and space. Situational analysis offers tools to examine such phenomena. It understands a situation as a complex of dynamically changing aspects and prefers relationships and positions in the given situation over a clear and final definition of actors, entities, etc. Situational analysis assumes creation of constructs as a tool for solving a problem at hand. It emphasizes the meanings that arise in the process of coordinating human actions, and the discourses through which these meanings are negotiated. Finally, it offers “cartographic tools” (situational maps, socials worlds / arenas maps, positional maps) that are able to capture the complexity in other than linear-analytical ways. This approach allows for inclusion to be described as a complex of phenomena taking place with a certain historical preference, a complex that can be overlooked if analyzed with a more traditional approach.

Keywords: constructivism, situational analysis, objective realism, reductionism, inclusion

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9 Stakeholders Perceptions of the Linkage between Reproductive Rights and Environmental Sustainability: Environmental Mainstreaming, Injustice and Population Reductionism

Authors: Celine Delacroix

Abstract:

Analyses of global emission scenarios demonstrate that slowing population growth could lead to substantial emissions reductions and play an important role to avoid dangerous climate change. For this reason, the advancement of individual reproductive rights might represent a valid climate change mitigation and adaptation option. With this focus, we reflected on population ethics and the ethical dilemmas associated with environmental degradation and climate change. We conducted a mixed-methods qualitative data study consisting of an online survey followed by in-depth interviews with stakeholders of the reproductive health and rights and environmental sustainability movements to capture the ways in which the linkages between family planning, population growth, and environmental sustainability are perceived by these actors. We found that the multi-layered marginalization of this issue resulted in two processes, the polarization of opinions and its eschewal from the public fora through population reductionism. Our results indicate that stakeholders of the reproductive rights and environmental sustainability movements find that population size and family planning influence environmental sustainability and overwhelmingly find that the reproductive health and rights ideological framework should be integrated in a wider sustainability frame reflecting environmental considerations. This position, whilst majoritarily shared by all participants, was more likely to be adopted by stakeholders of the environmental sustainability sector than those from the reproductive health and rights sector. We conclude that these processes, taken in the context of a context of a climate emergency, threaten to weaken the reproductive health and rights movement.

Keywords: environmental sustainability, family planning, population growth, population ethics, reproductive rights

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8 Holistic and Naturalistic Traditions of British Hygiene and Medicine, Reflected in E. W. Lane's Hygienic Medicine, 1859

Authors: Min Bae

Abstract:

Hygiene had traditionally meant ways of healthy and right living. However, the nineteenth century was the time when a gradual shift in medical and hygienic paradigms took place from holism to reductionism. Against this medical and social background, E. W. Lane (MD, Edinburgh, 1853) formulated his own medical philosophies in his book Hydropathy: Or Hygienic Medicine (1859). Until the 1880s when he published his last book on the hygienic medicine, he consistently intended to raise the importance of hygienic holism in medicine, while adopting hydropathy as his main therapeutic measure. Lane’s case reflects the mid-nineteenth century trend in which since the 1840s, the rational and holistic facets in medicine had significantly transferred to hydropathy, which was the most naturalistic healing system in the medical market. Hygiene for Lane was no longer the ancient form of ‘six non-naturals’. He emphasised physiology as the rational grounds for his project of the medicalisation of hygiene. His medical philosophy was profoundly naturalistic and holistic against the opposite trend of the contemporary hygiene and medicine. Conflicting aspects may often be best embodied in persons who stood on the boundaries between inside and outside. Lane’s theories on hygienic medicine did not develop into a new medical system which he believed would reconciliate orthodox medicine and hydropathy of his time had also adopted increasingly reductionist approaches since 1860s. Nevertheless, the naturalistic philosophies and approaches in Lane’s hygienic medicine demonstrates a continuous effort for a theoretical reformulation of hydropathy during its stagnant and declining period to constantly fit into the holistic paradigm of medicine and hygiene. Considering the fact that the nature cure concept in hydropathy and its individualistic approach were succeeded by naturopathy at the end of the century, analysis of Lane’s medical thoughts reveals part of a ‘thin red line’ of naturalism in the battleground between reductionism and holism during the nineteenth century in the history of medicine and hygiene.

Keywords: E. W. Lane, hygienic medicine, hydropathy, naturopath

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7 Revolutionary Solutions for Modeling and Visualization of Complex Software Systems

Authors: Jay Xiong, Li Lin

Abstract:

Existing software modeling and visualization approaches using UML are outdated, which are outcomes of reductionism and the superposition principle that the whole of a system is the sum of its parts, so that with them all tasks of software modeling and visualization are performed linearly, partially, and locally. This paper introduces revolutionary solutions for modeling and visualization of complex software systems, which make complex software systems much easy to understand, test, and maintain. The solutions are based on complexity science, offering holistic, automatic, dynamic, virtual, and executable approaches about thousand times more efficient than the traditional ones.

Keywords: complex systems, software maintenance, software modeling, software visualization

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6 Implementation in Python of a Method to Transform One-Dimensional Signals in Graphs

Authors: Luis Andrey Fajardo Fajardo

Abstract:

We are immersed in complex systems. The human brain, the galaxies, the snowflakes are examples of complex systems. An area of interest in Complex systems is the chaos theory. This revolutionary field of science presents different ways of study than determinism and reductionism. Here is where in junction with the Nonlinear DSP, chaos theory offer valuable techniques that establish a link between time series and complex theory in terms of complex networks, so that, the study of signals can be explored from the graph theory. Recently, some people had purposed a method to transform time series in graphs, but no one had developed a suitable implementation in Python with signals extracted from Chaotic Systems or Complex systems. That’s why the implementation in Python of an existing method to transform one dimensional chaotic signals from time domain to graph domain and some measures that may reveal information not extracted in the time domain is proposed.

Keywords: Python, complex systems, graph theory, dynamical systems

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5 Five Pitfalls in Defining a Health System and Implications for Research and Management

Authors: Macdonald Kanyangale, Sandram Naluso

Abstract:

Globally, researchers have struggled over time to adequately define the notion of health system to inform research. This study is significant because it proposes an integrative framework for a robust definition of the health system. The objective of this article is to examine major pitfalls in definitions of health system used in prior literature and implications of these for research and management. The study used methodological steps of a scoping review proposed by Arksey and O'Malley to identify and examine 24 definitions of a health system in articles selected from six databases and web search engines. Thematic analysis was used to delineate and categorise definitional pitfalls into broader themes. There are a plethora of five major pitfalls in the extant definitions of a health system which may easily scupper any unsuspecting researcher if not avoided or addressed in research. These definitional pitfalls are reductionist assumptions which ignore dynamic and complex connections, overly wide boundary and lack of specification of levels in a health system, and limited focus on process in a health system. In addition, there is the tendency of treating different components of the health system as equal and simplifying of the ontological complexity of the health system. Future scholars are advised to avoid or address the identified five major pitfalls if they are to develop robust definitions of an HS. The use of an integrative framework for a robust definition of a health system is recommended, while implications of the pitfalls are discussed as a basis and catalyst for complexity-informed research and managing interactively.

Keywords: complexity management, health system, pitfalls, reductionism, research

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4 Not Three Gods but One: Why Reductionism Does Not Serve Our Theological Discourse

Authors: Finley Lawson

Abstract:

The triune nature of God is one of the most complex doctrines of Christianity, and its complexity is further compounded when one considers the incarnation. However, many of the difficulties and paradoxes associated with our idea of the divine arise from our adherence to reductionist ontology. In order to move our theological discourse forward, in respect to divine and human nature, a holistic interpretation of our profession of faith is necessary. The challenge of a holistic interpretation is that it questions our ability to make any statement about the genuine, ontological individuation of persons (both divine and human), and in doing so raises the issue of whether we are, ontologically, bound to descend in to a form of pan(en)theism. In order to address the ‘inevitable’ slide in to pan(en)theism. The impact of two forms of holistic interpretation, Boolean and Non-Boolean, on our concept of personhood will be examined. Whilst a Boolean interpretation allows for a greater understanding of the relational nature of the Trinity, it is the Non-Boolean interpretation which has greater ontological significance. A Non-Boolean ontology, grounded in our scientific understanding of the nature of the world, shows our quest for individuation rests not in ontological fact but in epistemic need, and that it is our limited epistemology that drives our need to divide that which is ontologically indivisible. This discussion takes place within a ‘methodological’, rather than ‘doctrinal’ approach to science and religion - examining assumptions and methods that have shaped our language and beliefs about key doctrines, rather than seeking to reconcile particular Christian doctrines with particular scientific theories. Concluding that Non-Boolean holism is the more significant for our doctrine is, in itself, not enough. A world without division appears much removed from the distinct place of man and divine as espoused in our creedal affirmation, to this end, several possible interpretations for understanding Non-Boolean human – divine relations are tentatively put forward for consideration.

Keywords: holism, individuation, ontology, Trinitarian relations

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3 A Pink Pill Daily: On the Lust Enhancing Pill for Women and the Medicalization of Sexual Desire

Authors: Maaike Maria Augustina Hommes

Abstract:

This paper reviews the emergence of the recently approved lust enhancing pill for women (sold under the brand name of Addyi) and its status as ‘medicine’ from a cultural studies perspective to understand the way in which the usage of the pill can be seen as a medicalization of sexual desire. It asks where this medicalization can be localized to understand the current placement of and notions on female sexuality. Via a close reading of a woman’s narration of her usage of the pill that appeared in Shape Magazine, this paper critically reviews the pill’s relation to the concept of ‘cure’ and assesses the way this Pink Pill functions as a cure to the DSM-IV based disorder called Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder. As such it finds that in the diagnosis with HSDD meant a huge relief. Now this woman was not just ‘bad at life and bad at marriage’ but ‘just had this health issue’. In order to get to an understanding of the different structures that conjoin in this expression of relief this paper reviews the emergence of the sexual desire disorder within psychology and the way that the loss of desire becomes localized in the brain. This localization will be related to two ways of looking at the human body; the medical gaze as described by Michel Foucault, and the neuromolecular gaze, as introduced by Nikolas Rose and Joelle M.Abi-Rached. Both these penetrating gazes bring about a certain reductionism in which the human body is either viewed as an objectified ‘sick body’ or as a set of chemical reactions. By referring to these modes of looking as reductionist one assumes that something is lost, or forgotten in the act of reducing. It is both what is gained in the formulation of the disorder, as what is lost in reduction of the disorder in medical knowledge that is at the central inquiry of this paper. As such, this paper brings forward the way in which medicine and cultural narrative are deeply intertwined. It is this way in which different forces of subject formation come together that is addressed via an interdisciplinary and object-centered focus on the pink pill.

Keywords: disorder and cure, female sexual desire, medical gaze, neuromolecular gaze

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2 Foundations for Global Interactions: The Theoretical Underpinnings of Understanding Others

Authors: Randall E. Osborne

Abstract:

In a course on International Psychology, 8 theoretical perspectives (Critical Psychology, Liberation Psychology, Post-Modernism, Social Constructivism, Social Identity Theory, Social Reduction Theory, Symbolic Interactionism, and Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory) are used as a framework for getting students to understand the concept of and need for Globalization. One of critical psychology's main criticisms of conventional psychology is that it fails to consider or deliberately ignores the way power differences between social classes and groups can impact the mental and physical well-being of individuals or groups of people. Liberation psychology, also known as liberation social psychology or psicología social de la liberación, is an approach to psychological science that aims to understand the psychology of oppressed and impoverished communities by addressing the oppressive sociopolitical structure in which they exist. Postmodernism is largely a reaction to the assumed certainty of scientific, or objective, efforts to explain reality. It stems from a recognition that reality is not simply mirrored in human understanding of it, but rather, is constructed as the mind tries to understand its own particular and personal reality. Lev Vygotsky argued that all cognitive functions originate in, and must therefore be explained as products of social interactions and that learning was not simply the assimilation and accommodation of new knowledge by learners. Social Identity Theory discusses the implications of social identity for human interactions with and assumptions about other people. Social Identification Theory suggests people: (1) categorize—people find it helpful (humans might be perceived as having a need) to place people and objects into categories, (2) identify—people align themselves with groups and gain identity and self-esteem from it, and (3) compare—people compare self to others. Social reductionism argues that all behavior and experiences can be explained simply by the affect of groups on the individual. Symbolic interaction theory focuses attention on the way that people interact through symbols: words, gestures, rules, and roles. Meaning evolves from human their interactions in their environment and with people. Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory of human learning describes learning as a social process and the origination of human intelligence in society or culture. The major theme of Vygotsky’s theoretical framework is that social interaction plays a fundamental role in the development of cognition. This presentation will discuss how these theoretical perspectives are incorporated into a course on International Psychology, a course on the Politics of Hate, and a course on the Psychology of Prejudice, Discrimination and Hate to promote student thinking in a more ‘global’ manner.

Keywords: globalization, international psychology, society and culture, teaching interculturally

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1 Disability in the Course of a Chronic Disease: the Example of People Living with Multiple Sclerosis in Poland

Authors: Milena Trojanowska

Abstract:

Disability is a phenomenon for which meanings and definitions have evolved over the decades. This became the trigger to start a project to answer the question of what disability constitutes in the course of an incurable chronic disease. The chosen research group are people living with multiple sclerosis.The contextual phase of the research was participant observation at the Polish Multiple Sclerosis Society, the largest NGO in Poland supporting people living with MS and their relatives. The research techniques used in the project are (in order of implementation): group interviews with people living with MS and their relatives, narrative interviews, asynchronous technique, participant observation during events organised for people living with MS and their relatives.The researcher is currently conducting follow-up interviews, as inaccuracies in the respondents' narratives were identified during the data analysis. Interviews and supplementary research techniques were used over the four years of the research, and the researcher also benefited from experience gained from 12 years of working with NGOs (diaries, notes). The research was carried out in Poland with the participation of people living in this country only.The research has been based on grounded theory methodology in a constructivist perspectivedeveloped by Kathy Charmaz. The goal was to follow the idea that research must be reliable, original, and useful. The aim was to construct an interpretive theory that assumes temporality and the processualityof social life. TheAtlas.ti software was used to collect research material and analyse it. It is a program from the CAQDAS(Computer-Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software) group.Several key factors influencing the construction of a disability identity by people living with multiple sclerosis was identified:-course of interaction with significant relatives,- the expectation of identification with disability (expressed by close relatives),- economic profitability (pension, allowances),- institutional advantages (e.g. parking card),- independence and autonomy (not equated with physical condition, but access to adapted infrastructure and resources to support daily functioning),- the way a person with MS construes the meaning of disability,- physical and mental state,- medical diagnosis of illness.In addition, it has been shown that making an assumption about the experience of disability in the course of MS is a form of cognitive reductionism leading to further phenomenon such as: the expectation of the person with MS to construct a social identity as a person with a disability (e.g. giving up work), the occurrence of institutional inequalities. It can also be a determinant of the choice of a life strategy that limits social and individual functioning, even if this necessity is not influenced by the person's physical or psychological condition.The results of the research are important for the development of knowledge about the phenomenon of disability. It indicates the contextuality and complexity of the disability phenomenon, which in the light of the research is a set of different phenomenon of heterogeneous nature and multifaceted causality. This knowledge can also be useful for institutions and organisations in the non-governmental sector supporting people with disabilities and people living with multiple sclerosis.

Keywords: disability, multiple sclerosis, grounded theory, poland

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