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Vu H.S.,University of Queensland | Schuler S.,FHI360 | Hoang T.A.,Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research | Quach T.,Center for Creative Initiatives in Health and Population
Culture, Health and Sexuality | Year: 2014

This paper examines obstacles for women who face domestic violence in making decisions about divorce and in seeking and securing support for a divorce. The research was undertaken in the context of a project in one district of a coastal province in Vietnam that sought to reduce gender based-violence and mitigate its effects. Data from in-depth interviews and focus-group discussions are used to examine abused women's attitudes, strategies and behaviours and the responses of people in their communities and in the support system established by the project. The findings show that social norms supporting marriage discourage abused women from seeking divorce and, in some cases, any kind of support, and discourage community-based support networks, police and local court systems from providing effective assistance to these women. © 2014 © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

Ferreira A.,Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research | Batey P.,University of Liverpool
Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design | Year: 2011

Urban densification has been presented as a general recipe to reduce travelling. The size of settlements was not considered particularly relevant in this proposal. Two arguments are presented that challenge the notion that densification of large cities leads to less travelling. The first is related to the internal dynamics of compact areas in large cities; the second to the dynamics between central and peripheral areas. It is shown that the densification of large cities leads to either more travelling because of the wide range of available opportunities provided by agglomeration effects, or more time spent on travelling due to congestion. The conclusion is that it is counterproductive for transport planning to endorse approaches that compact the urban form of large cities. © 2011 Pion Ltd and its Licensors.

Richters A.,Leiden University | Richters A.,Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research | Rutayisire T.,Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research | Slegh H.,Institute of Higher Education in Mental Health
Culture, Health and Sexuality | Year: 2013

A distinguishing feature of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi and the preceding 1990-1994 war in Rwanda was the social intimacy of the crimes committed. The legacy of this kind of violence includes distrust in social relations within communities and families, an increase of violence in everyday social interaction, transgressive sexual engagements, and a range of psychological problems. Many people feel nostalgia for their past social life, but are unable to change their current situation. In 2005, a community-based sociotherapy programme was introduced into this context of mental and social distress. The goal was to help people regain feelings of dignity and safety and to reduce distress. This paper is based on qualitative research, in particular, case studies. It explores how sociotherapy, as a specific form of peer group counselling, may facilitate the healing of suffering related to issues of sexuality, violence within the family and the breakdown of social connections on a community level. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.

Hardon A.,Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research | Moyer E.,Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research
Anthropology and Medicine | Year: 2014

While social scientists often highlight the way medical technologies mediate biomedical hegemony, this special issue focuses on the creative and often unexpected ways in which medical technologies are appropriated by diverse actors in homes, clinics and communities. The authors highlight key insights from twelve ethnographic case studies conducted in North and South America, Western Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. The case studies focus on, among other issues, how sperm donors in Denmark, despite being subjugated to medical surveillance, experience the act of donating sperm as liberating; how sex workers in Indonesia turn to psychoactive painkillers to feel confident when approaching clients; why some anorexic patients in the United States resist prescribed antidepressant drugs; and how adolescent sex education workshops in Ecuador are appropriated by mothers to monitor their daughters and shame their lying husbands. Hardon and Moyer conclude that studies of medical technology need to be sensitive to the micro-dynamics of power, the specificities of local markets in which medical technologies generate value, the social and intergenerational relations in which they are embedded, and their intersections with class hierarchies. © 2014 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis.

Rutayisire T.,Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research | Richters A.,Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research | Richters A.,Leiden University
Social Science and Medicine | Year: 2014

Twenty years after the 1994 genocide, Rwanda shows all indications of moving quickly towards socio-economic prosperity. Rwanda's community justice system, Gacaca, was to complement this prosperity by establishing peace and stability through justice, reconciliation and healing. Evaluations of the Gacaca courts' achievements from 2002 to 2012 have had widely differing conclusions. This article adds to previous evaluations by drawing attention to specific forms of relatively neglected suffering (in literature and public space) that have emerged from the Gacaca courts or were amplified by these courts and jeopardize Gacaca's objectives. The ethnographic study that informs the article was conducted in southeastern Rwanda from September 2008-December 2012 among 19 ex-prisoners and 24 women with husbands in prison including their family members, friends and neighbors. Study findings suggest that large scale imprisonment of genocide suspects coupled with Gacaca court proceedings have tainted the suffering of ex-prisoners and women with imprisoned husbands in unique ways, which makes their plight unparalleled in other countries. We argue that the nature and scale of this suffering and the potentially detrimental impact on families and communities require humanitarian action. However, in Rwanda's post-genocide reality, the suffering of these two groups is overwhelmed by that of other vulnerable groups, such as genocide survivors and orphaned children; hence it is rarely acknowledged. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

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