Sociology

The Treatment and Perception of Mental Illness in Past and Present

Mental health problems are said to be one of the leading causes of the overall disease burden worldwide. Approximately one in every six people in the United Kingdom has experienced mental health issues in the past week. Inarguably, mental illnesses are very prevalent in our modern-day society.
But almost no other kind of illness has been met with such a high level of discrimination and stigmatization.
This article will explore the treatment and perception of mental illnesses in the past and present and how this has a significant bearing on how we interact and represent people suffering from a mental illness today.

Beauty Standards and the Concept of Beauty: Why Do We Need Them?

What defines beauty standards? This article takes a stand despite the controversial nature of the topic. I will explore the motif behind our need as a society to have beauty standards and why they represent such a problematic issue for girls and women. I will also discuss how beauty ideals influence their measure of self-appreciation and self-worth. Despite the great reaction of women against these standards through body positivity movements, there is a need for a gradual process of self-acceptance while moving away from societal standards.

Horror Fiction and Dark Fantasy for Children: is it Pedagogical or Traumatising?

Picking and choosing what a child should be allowed to read can be complicated. Should children be free to read anything they want, or should parents and educators be more selective about what books their kids can get their hands on? This issue is particularly divisive if it involves children’s horror fiction, which is populated by scary, violent, and unsettling tales. This article discusses the different sides to this argument and it will also suggest a way of approaching scary books that can be both pedagogical and enjoyable for a young audience.

Museum Artefacts? Or Loot Hidden in Plain Sight?

Mauragh Scott explores the controversial issue of museum loot. Specifically, the article critiques the British Museum, in London, for its continuation of colonial interpretations around the artefacts it has on display. Countries and representatives of cultures to whom artefacts belong argue that it is the museums’ responsibility to repatriate artefacts back to the cultures that they were stolen from and move forward together to teach a decolonised history of the past.

Is Netflix’s Bridgerton feminist?

Netflix released Bridgerton on Christmas Day and it was an instant success because of its vivacious portrayal of Regency-era England. Before its release, it was hailed as a feminist and inclusive show; however, it only takes a quick Google search to realise that not all reviewers agree. Many people praise Bridgerton for its progressive portrayal of women, while others consider the show an utter failure or, at best, a missed chance. This article will take into consideration some of the themes and power dynamics that the show portrays and whether they should be considered feminist or not.

Fear of a Fatal Fatigue

When was the last time you checked your emotional blind-spots? Probably not that often, because why would you care about not caring? Ignorance, insensitivity and indifference all create the foundations for radicalism and polarism to grow in a society and their most terrifying trait lies in their tendency to pass by us unnoticed. The importance of having our emotional compasses calibrated is obvious, but how easy is that in a media reality where we are bombarded with new controversies and tragedies every day?

The Difficulties of Translation: From Grammatical Errors to Donald Trump

The global market for languages service is booming and translation plays an important part in our daily lives. A life without translations seems impossible. In an increasingly globalised world, everyone who is confronted with translated material has to consider the work that goes into translating and how a wrong translation can have wide reaching consequences.

Escaping social media conformity: Can we still think for ourselves?

Social media often finds itself playing a role in influencing conformity, which makes us forget to think more actively for ourselves. Questioning what we think we know helps us uncover what more we ought to learn regarding ideas we didn’t before. That is why diversity of opinion is fundamental. Can we still jump out of the same bowl of opinions and take a leap in voicing something different?

Meritocracy Kills Creativity and Breeds Populism

Recent years have seen disillusioned voters move away from moderate standpoints towards populist parties on both the left and the right of the political spectrum. Populism’s rise can be linked to the mental separation of ‘established elites’ for whom the system caters to, and the ‘ordinary people’, who are left behind.

‘The Great Equalizer’: Covid-19, Celebrity Culture and Cluelessness

By Maren Mitchell. In its September 2019 issue, Vogue’s cover montaged images of fifteen inspirational women, tag-lining them as ‘forces for change’. It was a beautiful concept and the content inside the magazine detailed the vital and extensive work that made them worthy of that coveted cover slot. However, there was one limitation: Nine of … More

A Necessary But Unwelcome Situation – Why Online Education Is For Quarantine Only

By Graham Davidson. The current COVID-19 crisis has already had far reaching, and previously unimaginable consequences. In Italy and Spain, society grinds to a halt, as world-leading healthcare systems are overwhelmed by the virus. In Britain, a Conservative government announces economic measures to the left of anything any Labour government has ever dreamt of. The … More

Polish LGBT-free zones and the rhetoric of hatred

By Julia Bąk. I first saw an article about the Polish LGBT-free zones in The Guardian, of which the link was sent to me by a friend, followed by a very short and telling description – “wtf?”. What sounded like a bad anti-utopian joke turned out to be another outcome of the leading Polish right-wing … More

Quote me in

By Katharina Schmitz. In 2018, a ‘whistle-blower’ from the German Federal Foreign Ministry revealed how promotions were manipulated so that only men could climb up the career ladder. Consequently, since 1949 there were more men called Hans that became state secretaries than women (only 3%). In 2015, a study showed that there were more men … More

The Quest for Life and Choice within Death:

By Sofia Galli. Evaluating the Myth of Daedalus and Icarus through Irvin D. Yalom’s Staring at the Sun In Greek mythology, Daedalus was a dexterous artisan who embodied the concept of acumen and power. Daedalus was father to Icarus and had created the intricate Labyrinth of Knossos for King Minos, in Crete, which served to … More

Fyre Festival, Anna Delvey & Caroline Calloway: Seeing Ourselves in the Scammers.

By Maren Mitchell. We have an appetite for scammers. The events that led up to the sham Fyre Festival orchestrated by Billy McFarlane have been documented twice: in Hulu’s ‘Fyre Fraud’ and Netflix’s Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened. The fraudulent activities of fake ‘German heiress’ Anna Delvey (real name, Anna Sorokin) were revealed … More

A Permission To Hate?

By a guest writer. The rise of the populist, right wing parties and organisations is a phenomenon that has been experienced everywhere in the western world. From Donald Trump to Austria’s FPÖ, and from Finland’s very own Jussi Halla-Aho and his Finns’ Party to France’s Front National and Australia’s Pauline Hanson, the impact of these … More

Veganism on The Rise: Not a Diet, but a New Economy

By Chiara Riezzo. Only a few months into the new decade, the year 2020 has already consolidated a number of retail trends that have, over the past years, revolutionized both the global and the UK market. Amidst the Brexit uncertainty and anticipation of new global trade deals, retail in the UK keeps growing and changing … More

Social Media: Its Impact on our Mental Health and Self-esteem.

By Ema Sichmanova. What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? For many of you, I guarantee that the answer is that you check your phone. After all, looking at our social media has become an inevitable part of our daily routine. Our attachment to these devices is undeniable: … More

Nell Shipman’s environmental and feminist activism through the early silent film

By Victoria Jones. Back to God’s Country Despite many believing animal rights, environmentalism and feminism to be thoroughly modern causes, women pioneers were in fact addressing these issues through film as early as in 1919. Such is the case with Nell Shipman’s film Back to God’s Country; a masterpiece blending together femininity, female empowerment and … More

Binge Drinking & Students: A Social Problem?

By Francesca Lombardo. International students feel that their drinking has increased since coming to study in the UK. However, why is that? It is well-known that British people love drinking, but this is hardly exclusive to the UK given most countries have a drinking culture. However, due to cultural differences, its character within a given … More

The myth of German history consciousness

By Katharina Schmitz. On Yom Kippur, a right extremist terrorist shot two people when attempting to storm a synagogue. Luckily, its doors had been locked and its CCTV was recording. Such security measures illustrate the high level of anti-Semitism in Germany. Only a few weeks later, the radical right-wing party ‘AfD’ (Alternative for Germany) gained … More

What the Amazon Fires Mean

By Mauragh Scott. On the week beginning the 19th of August, international media was ignited with the news that the Amazon rainforest was on fire. Smoke from these fires caused the skies of Sao Paulo, 3000km away from the source of the fire, to darken. This story, one of the many which came out of … More

The Captivating Narrative of Populism in the Tale of the XXI Century

By Julia Bąk. The story of populism is not a new one although it has seen a surge of popularity in modern societies around the world, as figures like Donald Trump (USA), Marine LePen (France) or Jarosław Kaczyński (Poland) appear on the political scene. The term populism itself is known to be ambiguous and hard … More

Decolonising Environmentalism

By Katharina Schmitz. Current environmentalist movements aim to make people realise the local harmful effects of climate crisis, such as floods, heat waves, and the extinction of species. Naturally, it is only once one is actually affected that the climate crisis becomes personally experienced in its threatening dimensions. Also, local and regional elected stakeholders can … More

Combatting Loneliness in the Elderly: Spain & the UK

By Berit Braun. If the big challenge of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries was to prolong the life span of humans, then the one we are facing in the twenty-first is how to deal with the consequences of prolonged lives. In most developed countries, the simultaneous increase in life expectancy and decrease in fertility rate … More

The real value of diversity and integrating social class in the inclusivity discourse.

By Anastasia Roscia. “Diversity” and “inclusion” have become common terms in our collective vocabulary and sensibility. Perhaps due to millennials being vocal about issues such as gender discrimination, racism and minorities’ rights, businesses have fully embraced the promotion of diversity and inclusivity in the workplace. Even the most prestigious, typically white, male-dominated fields such as … More

The SNP & Scottish Independence:

By Graham Davidson. “Can the Dominant Force in Scottish Politics Adjust to Cultural Changes in Politics?” As an electoral force, the Scottish National Party (SNP) continues to defy both expectations and political precedent. Oftentimes, local and European elections in the UK tend to be used as a protest vote against incumbent governments. Even in its … More

Automation & The Threat to the Left

By Graham Davidson. My previous article for The International Viewpoint on the rise of populism and the decline of the centre-left suggested that the earnings gap between graduates and non-graduates needed to close. However, in as little as 20 years from now, this may come to be seen as a woefully short-sighted strategy. There may … More

Do Fathers’ Rights Movements Undermine Domestic Violence’s Victims’ Claims?

By Anastasia Roscia. Fathers’ rights movements are political and social groups of activists that declare themselves to be defenders of gender equality for men, especially in matters such as financial support and child custody after divorce and separation. They are a truly international movement and can be found under different names and associations in many … More

The US College Scandal, The UK “Class” Ceiling, & The Meritocracy Ideal

By Anastasia Roscia. Last month, the biggest US college scandal to date led the FBI to accuse famous Hollywood actresses, CEOs of law firms and prominent business leaders of paying thousands of dollars to help their children get into competitive elite universities. There were a variety of unlawful methods used, including bribing coaches working at … More

International Broadcasting: Public Diplomacy or Propaganda?

By Berit Braun. Flipping through the channels available on my hotel TV, I stumbled not only onto Portuguese soap operas and Italian talent shows but also onto a channel that left me confused: On France24, an obviously not-French presenter discussed the current situation in Libya in heavily Irish-accented English. The next channel, Deutsche Welle, left … More

We Need to Talk about Gendered Violence in Films

By a guest writer. Films have never been more accessible. Services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, and Hulu are limitless. We are no longer restricted to Blockbuster’s three movies weekend offer; instead, we have endless options. But the accessibility of films means violence becomes an everyday encounter. Yet, rarely do we connect these things … More

Social Division & The Decline of the Centre-Left: Can Populism Be Stopped?

By Graham Davidson. In his 1845 novel Sybil, future British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli described the rich and the poor as “Two nations between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy; who are as ignorant of each other’s habits, thoughts, and feelings, as if they were … inhabitants of different planets”. Fast forward to … More

Pay Gap, But Worse: Why We Should Be Talking About the Gender Pension Gap

By Berit Braun. International Women’s Day is often used to highlight the gender pay gap – one of the key metrics that prove that women and men in Europe and around the world are still far from equal. It is a persuasive argument. Statistics don’t lie, and women literally get paid less for doing the … More