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Research we’re reading – June 2018

Research we’re reading is a regular series written by members of the Taylor & Francis team, taking a look at recent research that has caught our attention and got us thinking.

research we're reading: Amy QuonAmy Quon, Managing Editor

Personal traits, opportunities, and constraints: female cadres and rural politics in China’s modernization by Jing Song

Published in Asian Anthropology

“There’s a recent article gaining traction in Chinese media, which hits upon the global issue of under-representation of women in politics. Yet, this one takes the conversation a bit further by examining unique qualities affecting female representation in the Chinese context.

In short, there’s a history of government measures that look to ensure women hold government office in China. Meanwhile, urban expansion, development, and family planning policies have facilitated this in practice.

Different generations of female government officials were interviewed and represented in the article, which provides a lens for understanding different experiences, and ways in which personal traits, social expectations, and policy have affected varied choices made by female officials, but also contextual factors that have constrained their upward mobility. It’s worth a read for those interested in history, politics, equity, or China broadly.”

research we're reading: Hennie ThomsonHennie Thomson, Editorial Assistant

Sensory enrichment for people living with dementia: increasing the benefits of multisensory environments in dementia care through design by Anke Jacob & Lesley Collier

Published in Design for Health

“Over the past few years I have heard of various activities that have been found to help people living with dementia, from robotic toy animals that can provide comfort in place of a pet, to singing classes focusing on creativity, memory and physical movement.

This study looks at a range of care homes to discuss how effectively designing the living spaces can drastically improve quality of life, and even slow down the deterioration of motor skills and memory.

Perhaps unsurprisingly the results showed a gap between the academic knowledge and implementation at present, but it also provides a practical guide for healthcare professionals looking after people with this debilitating condition.

As someone with a strong belief in ‘arts for art’s sake’ and the importance of the arts for well-being, this research demonstrates how design needs to be a priority to improve healthcare today.”

research we're reading: Louise MacleodLouise Macleod, Multimedia Manager

Picture Perfect: The Direct Effect of Manipulated Instagram Photos on Body Image in Adolescent Girls by Serena Daalmans, Mariska Kleemans, Ilana Carbaat & Doeschka Anschütz

Published in Media Psychology

“As a professional multimedia editor, I’m aware the work I produce can affect a person’s mood, ideas, and self-image. Previously, someone would need advanced editing skills to airbrush a photo, or design footage with flattering light, or use CGI to change appearance. Thanks to advances in presets, filters, and easy-to-use apps, you no longer need such expertise.

You can be prettier, more handsome, thinner, more muscular, be a zombie or a secret agent – all at click of a button. With today’s technology, I can bring a dead celebrity back to life, or I can put words in a politician’s mouth. And you won’t be able to tell if it’s real or faked.

I wonder where this will take us? How do we police it? And how can we know what’s real? This article looks at how young girls manipulate images for Instagram and how, in particular, this impacts self-image. ”

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Read the previous Research we’re reading post.