Today is black Friday (27 November 2020) and in the current retail landscape, shoppers are presented with a multitude of promotions to encourage spending, but how significant are seasonal events and factors such as the weather?

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Image by igorovsyannykov on pixababy.com under Creative Commons.

Low prices and innovative items may not just be sufficient for retailers’ survival in today’s retail environment. Retailers should develop strategies that integrate a variety of factors including assortment, store atmosphere, price, and service interface in order to create a desirable shopping experience that may lead to increase in sales (Grewal et al., 2009). Furthermore, retailers are expected to profit from various events and use it as an opportunity to boost sales. Today’s retail landscape is filled with multitude events such as Mother’s Day, Easter, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, sporting events such as Football World Cup, as well as major weather events, all affecting the ways consumers shop. …


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Image by 18371568 on pixabay.com under Creative Commons.

This time last year, The World Health Organisation was making plans to raise the profile of nursing across the world, in order to celebrate Florence Nightingales 200th anniversary and to increase the global workforce. However, in December 2019, Coronavirus made an appearance initially in Wuhan, then worldwide, demanding attention from the public, health staff and governments across the world.

In the UK, the NHS responded by realigning to meet the anticipated large numbers of acutely ill patients, with nurses rapidly trained and/or redeployed to meet the demand of COVID-19 cases. Third year student nurses were asked to volunteer to help with extended practice hours; while a further 10,000 ex-nurses returned to the profession to support the pandemic effort (Ford, 2020)[i]. The health and social care sector, and NHS received positive public attention, as never seen before. …


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Image by August de Richelieu on pexels.com under Creative Commons.

This year has seen the world change in ways we never could have imagined: socially distancing from friends and loved ones, remote working implemented across the UK, washing and sanitising our hands for more than 20 seconds, and now wearing face coverings in supermarkets and shops.

One of the most powerful tools in communication is the face. People can easily make a number of inferences from facial expressions about physical health, emotional state, personality traits, pleasure or pain. …


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Image by 42 North on pexels.com under Creative Commons BY-NC 4.0 license.

We have experienced rapid social progress in terms of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/trans and queer (LGBTQ) people including, for example, marriage equality in the United Kingdom (UK) and in many other Western countries. It would therefore be logical to assume that life has got considerably better for all LGBTQ individuals. Especially when considering that this social progress has been underscored by legislative changes, which means that sexual orientation and gender reassignment are protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2010.

This means that it is unlawful to discriminate against a person because of their sexuality, whether they are lesbian, gay, bisexual (or heterosexual) and a person cannot be discriminated against because they are transgender. But despite this social progress, LGBTQ youth often still experience distressing bullying and victimization. …


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Copyright: Image by cylonphoto

In 2018 The Chain Reports found that 15% of newly sentenced people in prison had reported being homeless before entering custody. They also found that a third people sleeping on the streets in London in 2018 had served some time in prison. Further, in 2018 of the 7,745 women sent to prison in England and Wales, 3,262 were recorded as ‘being of no fixed abode’ when arriving in custody, which is approximately 42% of the prison intake for women prisoners in that year.

It has long been documented that people living on the streets are largely without work, privacy, decent food, or shelter and are often without good health. For many homeless people, life in prison is likely to exacerbates already existing personal troubles and health problems and does very little to address the existential crises generated by being without a home in wider society. …


Harriet Tubman was one of the great heroines of the struggle against slavery in nineteenth-century America. Born a slave herself, she was famous for escaping from her “owners”, and then returning several times in secret to liberate many of her fellow slaves.

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Harriet Tubman, photographed in 1895. Copyright free: Public domain / The New England Magazine, 1895 via Wikicommons

The black freedom fighter John Brown reckoned her to be “one of the bravest persons on this continent”. Her life still inspires people, and she is one of a select group of historical figures who holds a fascination for both public and scholars alike. …


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Three African American women in Harlem during the Harlem Renaissance, ca. 1925

This New York City neighbourhood — part of Manhattan borough — has long been home for its large proportion of African-American residents and businesses. After being associated for much of the twentieth century with crime and poverty, it is now experiencing social and economic gentrification.

As a settlement, it traces its routes back to the early Dutch pioneers — it’s named for a Dutch city — and became part of the city of New York in 1873, after its value as an independent agricultural centre had declined.

The arrival of the elevated railroad seven years later brought a new rush of fortune to the area. A period of rapid property development followed, but an oversupply of new buildings and delays in the extension of the New York subway network sent prices into a downward spiral. …


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The following animation introduces how race, gender, age and class may impact on the way people are perceived and treated, and how they influence the ways in which career pathways may develop.

Transcript

While the animation, of course, oversimplifies the rather complex processes leading to categorisation and discrimination based on socio-cultural factors, it has hopefully illustrated some of the prejudice and discrimination that are linked to the way socio-cultural factors are perceived in our society today, and in the mental health and criminal justice system.

The animation highlights the decisive turns and twists at the different junctions and crossroads in the life of Emma and Steve (the two characters in the animation) with statements based on research evidence…


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Michelle Obama, pictured by Gage Skidmore under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license.

Michelle Obama used her last official speech as first lady to talk about education, one of her signature issues — but laden as it was with the subtext of the end of an era, it may in itself be one of her greatest legacies. Gracious, understated, articulate, and intelligent, Obama spoke from the heart to an assembled audience of school guidance counsellors. Her message was a simple one, but the speech had an uncommon depth too.

Becoming visibly emotional as she finished her remarks, the outgoing first lady spoke of hope for the future. Allied to this, she invoked the importance of hard work and the need to fight for freedom, not take it for granted. When she later spoke of her father’s influence, she touched a nerve not just of the American spirit, but something universal. …


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Image by mamasuco on Flickr under Creative Commons.

After a long day at work, 42-year-old black seamstress Rosa Parks boarded a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. She went to the back and took a seat in the section designated for black (‘coloured’) people. Rosa’s subsequent refusal to give up her seat to a white passenger, as demanded by the white bus driver, resulted in her being arrested, tried and convicted for civil disobedience.

That was 1955, and 1 December marks the anniversary of that small yet monumental act by Rosa. …

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