Friday, 28 September 2012

Scaring the Public

In her recent article on fear appeal arguments in public health reasoning, Louise Cummings examines how the study of threat and fear appeal arguments has given rise to a sizeable literature. Even within a public health context, much is now known about how these arguments work to gain the public’s compliance with health recommendations. Notwithstanding this level of interest in, and examination of, these arguments, there is one aspect of these arguments that still remains unexplored. That aspect concerns the heuristic function of these arguments within our thinking about public health problems. Specifically, it is argued that threat and fear appeal arguments serve as valuable shortcuts in our reasoning, particularly when that reasoning is subject to biases that are likely to diminish the effectiveness of public health messages. To this extent, they are rationally warranted argument forms rather than fallacies, as has been their dominant characterization in logic.


Cummings, L. (2012) ‘Scaring the public: Fear appeal arguments in public health reasoning’, Informal Logic, 32 (1): 25-50.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Centre Launch

We now have the plans finalized for our 'official' launch event for the Centre on Wednesday 10 October 2012.  

The launch gives us an opportunity to introduce the Centre’s aims and activities, and to introduce the ways in which the outcomes of our research have an impact on a range of policies and practices. It also showcases some of our research, featuring a range of papers from staff attached to the Centre. The Centre also provides a focal point for developing research networks and we are delighted to welcome Dr Matthew Ball from Queensland University of Technology to help us launch the event. Other speakers include Dr Simon Cross, Professor Martin O'Shaugnessy, Dr Joanne Hollows and Professor Patrick Williams.

The event includes papers on TV, change and continuity in party political appeals to women; film, debt and governance; representations of Palestinians; and heteronormativity, homonormativity and the government of intimate partner violence in LGBTQ communities.

The launch takes place on Wednesday 10 October (2.00-5.00pm) in CELS001 on the Clifton Campus of NTU. Although there are a limited number of places, if you are interested in joining us, please email Joanne Hollows if you would like to attend.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Music and Inter-generational Relationships

Matt Connell has recently published an article in Popular Music based on his work on music and inter-generational relationships. His paper explores ethnographic findings gathered during his work as a DJ and academic, particularly in relation to a community arts project called Talking About Old Records. This project brings together teenagers and older people from a range of backgrounds at collaborative workshops using DJ technology and old records. These facilitate conversations about what music means to the participants.
This paper puts the emphasis on the older people, exploring the emergence of generational
musical identities from the 1940s onwards. Relationships between the spread of personal listeningtechnologies, youth musicand the birth of the teenager in the 1950s are explored in the context of older peoples fears about a loss of musical sociality, fears which are articulated against a background of cyclical manifestations of intergenerational musical conflict and scandal.

Matt Connell ‘Talking About Old Records: generational musical identity among older people’ in Popular Music (2012) Vol. 31/2, Cambridge University Press, pp. 261-278. doi: 10.1017/S0261143012000074