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Blue Solidarity: Police Unions, Race and Authoritarian Populism in North America

January 23, 2020

With a focus on police unions in the United States and Canada, this article argues that the construction of 'blue solidarity', including through recent Blue Lives Matter campaigns, serves to repress racial justice movements that challenge police authority, acts as a counter to broader working class resistance to austerity and contributes to rising right-wing populism. Specifically, the article develops a case study analysis of Blue Lives Matter campaigns in North America to argue that police unions construct forms of 'blue solidarity' that produce divisions with other labour and social movements and contribute to a privileged status of their own members vis-a-vis the working class more generally. As part of this process, police unions support tactics that reproduce racialised 'othering' and that stigmatise and discriminate against racialised workers and communities. The article concludes by arguing that organised labour should maintain a critical distance from police unions

Closing the Loop or Squaring the Circle? Locating Generative Spaces for the Circular Economy

January 1, 2016

Heightened concerns about long-term sustainability have of late enlivened debates around the circular economy (CE). Defined as a series of restorative and regenerative industrial systems, parallel socio-cultural transformations have arguably received less consideration to date. In response, this paper examines the contributions human geographical scholarship can make to CE debates, focusing on 'generative spaces' of diverse CE practices. Concepts infrequently discussed within human geography such as product service systems and 'prosumption' are explored, to argue that productive potential exists in bringing these ideas into conversation with ongoing human geographical research into practices, materialities, emergent political spaces and 'everyday activism'.

Online Self-expression and Experimentation as 'reflectivism': Using Text Analytics to Examine the Participatory Forum Hello Sunday Morning

July 27, 2015

Hello Sunday Morning is an online health promotion organisation that began in 2009. Hello Sunday Morning asks participants to stop consuming alcohol for a period of time, set a goal and document their progress on a personal blog. Hello Sunday Morning is a unique health intervention for three interrelated reasons: (1) it was generated outside a clinical setting, (2) it uses new media technologies to create structured forms of participation in an iterative and open-ended way and (3) participants generate a written record of their progress along with demographic, behavioural and engagement data. This article presents a text analysis of the blog posts of Hello Sunday Morning participants using the software program Leximancer. Analysis of blogs illustrates how participants' expressions change over time. In the first month, participants tended to set goals, describe their current drinking practices in individual and cultural terms, express hopes and anxieties and report on early efforts to change. After month 1, participants continued to report on efforts to change and associated challenges and reflect on their place as individuals in a drinking culture. In addition to this, participants evaluated their efforts to change and presented their 'findings' and 'theorised' them to provide advice for others. We contextualise this text analysis with respect to Hello Sunday Morning's development of more structured forms of online participation. We offer a critical appraisal of the value of text analytics in the development of online health interventions.