Mousaion - Volume 30, Issue 1, 2012
Volumes & issues
Volume 30, Issue 1, 2012
Stress and coping mechanisms among workers of the Public Records and Archives Administration Department (PRAAD) Headquarters, in GhanaSource: Mousaion 30, pp 1 –18 (2012)More Less
Occupational stress is an ever increasing public health hazard and an occupational risk factor. There is a growing concern around the world that, people work harder and longer while injury and illness rates associated with occupational stress continue to grow. The study examined levels of stress and coping mechanisms adopted by workers of the Public Records and Archives Administration Department (PRAAD) at the headquarters in Accra. A sample of 56 out of 59 staff at the PRAAD headquarters in Accra was considered for the study. The standard questionnaire used, was adapted from the works of Barone, Caddy, Katell, Roselione and Hamilton (1988) on stress inventory as well as coping inventory from Folkman and Lazarus (1980). From the study, the older and the young, the married and unmarried and both male and female staff of PRAAD were found to experience almost the same level of stress, but females were better copers of stress than their male counterparts. The study also revealed that the highly educated records staff of PRAAD experienced lower stress levels compared to their counterparts who were not highly educated. Generally, all workers of PRAAD faced some level stress. The study recommended that institutions like PRAAD should endeavour to provide and pursue policies and programmes that eliminate work-induced stress and create conducive environment for employees whilst employees also compliments these by making effort to reduce personal stressors by adopting scientific coping strategies in order to enhance their well being and productivity in the workplace.
Dissemination of information on climate change : a case study of women mussel harvesters at KwaNgwanase in KwaZulu-NatalSource: Mousaion 30, pp 19 –38 (2012)More Less
Climate change has recently been the cause of a number of natural disasters throughout the world. Climate change and the changing conditions arising from it exacerbate the poverty of many poor rural communities in developing countries by damaging the natural resources on which they depend for survival. All sectors, including the library and information services (LIS) sector, should make an effort to understand this phenomenon, and ensure that information related to climate change is disseminated effectively and efficiently. The Millennium Development Goals, set by many countries for 2015, cannot be reached if efforts to achieve them are disrupted by drastic changes in weather conditions. Many communities situated along the coast depend on marine resources for both food and income, as is the case at KwaNgwanase, where mussels have been harvested for many years. However, climate change is affecting the mussel population, and the supply is decreasing. Focus group discussions, interviews and observations were conducted to identify the challenges of accessing and disseminating information relating to climate change faced by KwaNgwanase (KwaZulu-Natal province) women mussel harvesters. Specifically the objectives were to establish the flow and use of information on climate change to and by women mussel harvesters at KwaNgwanase, with the focus on information sources used; the role of the Departments of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife (Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife). Specific information elicited related to the dissemination of information on climate change, and in improving ways of diffusing relevant information to KwaNgwanase rural women harvesters. The findings indicate that information on climate change and its impact on marine resources was available but not adequately disseminated to the harvesters that affected their harvesting. It is recommended that various stakeholders and different methods of disseminating climate change information be used to enhance its accessibility, i.e. traditional leaders/elders such as the amakhosi; and utilising local government structures/stakeholders such as councillors to disseminate information on climate change to women harvesters. It was found that the indigenous knowledge possessed by these stakeholders is crucial and could be incorporated into climate change predictions. Information and communication technologies (ICTs), too, could be helpful in the diffusion and accessing of such information.
The accidental growth of book history : a literature review of print culture and book history studies in South AfricaAuthor Elizabeth Le RouxSource: Mousaion 30, pp 39 –64 (2012)More Less
The study of book history is in its infancy in South Africa, with a small group of scholars working in the area and little sense of a shared body of literature, which could be used as foundational texts for those wishing to conduct research in this field. This article describes an attempt to map the terrain of book and print culture studies in South Africa to date. Although it is only in recent years that writings have come to be grouped under a broader heading of book history (whether at conferences or in special issues of journals), work has been done in this field since the early twentieth century. This is similar to the situation in other countries, where the 'accidental' growth of book history has meant that a great deal of work has been done on a wide variety of relevant topics. The article describes key strands in the literature, including print history, publishing history, the overlap with literary history, and studies of readership and reception.
Source: Mousaion 30, pp 65 –86 (2012)More Less
A number of ethical issues have come under the spotlight with the proposed implementation of an Intelligent Transport System (ITS), known as the Intelligent Number Plate System (INPS), to be used in the Open Road Tolling (ORT) system designated for certain Gauteng roads in 2011. The project was first initiated in 2006, with full-scale implementation scheduled for 1 January 2008. It was, however, postponed to January 2009 and later to April 2010. When this deadline could not be met, it was postponed to October 2010 and subsequently to October 2011.This research investigated some of the ethical issues related to the surveillance that motorists will experience each time they utilise the impacted roads. This surveillance will be made possible via technologies that include closed-circuit television and radio frequency identification tags. When considering the possible vulnerability of such technologies, it is important to make motorists aware of the authorities' responsibility to protect any identifying information, as well as the potential effect these systems may have on motorists' right to privacy. These rights will be illustrated through an analysis of South African legislation and its relation to the INPS. International examples of ITSs were investigated to determine the possible benefits and challenges related to the implementation of the INPS. In order to supplement the literature research findings, a pilot study was conducted to assess the public perception of the privacy challenges associated with the INPS. The research findings indicated that there was cause for concern related to the ethical issues involved in the implementation of such a system in a South African context.
Author Jela SteinerovaSource: Mousaion 30, pp 87 –102 (2012)More Less
The purpose of this research was to review possible benefit of information ecology concepts for information usage. Ecological change in information science is explained in line with other changes (cognitive, social, and contextual). The research expands an understanding of human information behaviour in the electronic environment with knowledge of information styles, relevance judgments, and academic repositories in the information ecology perspective.
Earlier empirical data based on users' surveys, interviews with PhD students and managers are synthesised. Information styles and relevance in traditional and electronic environments are compared. Concept mapping, with the use of CMaps, is applied to structure of topics in a textbook and in final theses. Ecological information usage, ecological relevance and ecological information literacy are determined. Ecological information usage represents concepts, visual thinking and implicit meanings. Two examples of concept maps as ecological tools for learning support and information literacy are mentioned. In conclusion implications for information literacy, learning, design of digital libraries, and personal information management are outlined.
A descriptive framework of business intelligence derived from definitions by academics, practitioners and vendorsSource: Mousaion 30, pp 103 –119 (2012)More Less
Although it is widely agreed that business intelligence (BI) plays an important role to ensure that information is available consistently and disseminated to organizational decision-makers, many authors point out that there is little agreement in the literature on a common definition of BI. This is not unusual for a field that is still being established, but a shared understanding would contribute to advancing the field. For this research, definitions of Pirttimäki (2007) and Chee et al. (2009) were used to identify a priori themes that are used to qualitatively analyse a selection of 27 BI definitions by researchers from the academia and industry, in order to derive an integrated descriptive framework of BI. Consequently, the implications and limitations of the definitions and the resulting descriptive framework are discussed. It is hoped that the framework can contribute to increase the shared understanding and counter the confusion arising from multiple definitions found in the literature. The descriptive framework also provides researchers with categories and descriptors for use in future qualitative research. Through further research, the framework and descriptors can be confirmed, expanded and refined by independent confirmation of coding, comparing further definitions to the framework, and by using the Delphi method to consult a panel of experts.
Author Ruth HoskinsSource: Mousaion 30, pp 120 –141 (2012)More Less
This research was based on a master's dissertation that investigated usage of the internet by undergraduate third-year students at a South African university in 2010. The purpose of the research was to establish how often students used the internet; what they used it for; and what internet services they used most. The research population comprised 330 third-year students. The conceptual research framework was based on network literacy. The researcher collected data, using an interview schedule and self-administered questionnaire. The research findings indicated that a majority of the undergraduate third-year students used the internet on campus and experienced a number of challenges when using it.
An informetric analysis of research output in Nigeria with special reference to universities : 2000-2010Author Okon E. AniSource: Mousaion 30, pp 142 –157 (2012)More Less
The need for sustainable evaluation of the research process and performance in Nigerian universities cannot be over emphasised. This research used bibliometric analysis, with publication output as a major indicator to evaluate research performance and productivity in Nigerian universities. The research results revealed that the first generation universities owned by the federal government were the five most productive universities in Nigeria. Biotechnology and Applied Microbiology was the most productive subject field, while research in Basic Sciences (Physics, Mathematics and Chemistry) was low, since these courses were not among the top 20 subject fields in Nigeria. Research results also revealed significant growth and progress in research and publications in Nigerian universities in the late 2000s. In terms of citation count and analysis, the University of Ibadan was ranked first, with 7.5 cites per article and a 38 h-index. It is recommended that more resources should be provided for research in the Basic Sciences to enhance effective scientific/technological development in Nigeria. It is further recommended that the National Universities Commission (NUC) should generate relevant parameters/indicators for national evaluation and ranking of Nigerian universities. Developing a national database of all the researchers, together with their publications, at Nigerian universities is highly recommended.
Author Henriette LoubserSource: Mousaion 30, pp 158 –173 (2012)More Less
"Masculinity studies" is an intellectual field both in dialogue with and in alliance with feminist theory (Gardiner 2002:ix). Male theory can research ideological inscriptions and the literary result of the gender system. Hegemonic masculinity is a culturally construction of masculinity which implies authority, toughness, heterosexuality, braveness, being adventurous, assertive, strong and competitive and in possession of public knowledge. According to Deevia Bhana, hegemonic masculinity allows for the explanation of the unbalanced nature of gender power relations where men and boys remain ascendant. But, she argues further, not all boys are the same. Hegemonic masculinity is socially constructed and influenced by different social processes where people interact in their daily life. Masculinities are not ficed but inectricably linked to social context (2009:329).With this study discourse analysis was used to invest the ways in which text and image portray masculinity in three Afrikaans picture books for young children. These bookswere respectively published in 1982, 1996 and 2009. Picture books can be seen as reflecting current social values and behavior, constructing identities which are offered to children for them to aspire to (Wharton 2005:238). It was found that these three books show sensitivity towards the changing discourse on masculinity and that a new form of masculinity is offered as alternative to young readers. This alternative consists of a more complex portrayal of masculinity.
Author Ansie LessingSource: Mousaion 30, pp 174 –191 (2012)More Less
The human being is not only a physical, but also a psychological being. There are different dimensions of psycho-educational development such as the cognitive, social and emotional development which contribute to the psycho-educational needs of the child. This study reports on a literature study done to obtain information on the psychoeducational development of children with the aim to answer the research question: What is the nature of the cognitive, social and emotional development and needs of children and in what way can knowledge of these aspects be used to enhance learners interest in reading?
According to Piaget's theory a definite pattern of cognitive development exists. The cognitive characteristics of children vary at different ages and have an influence on the needs of learners. A pattern of development is also found in social development. Preprimary school children are self-centered, while children in the early and late childhood become more social and adolescents become socially mature. Emotions, as seen in adulthood, already manifest during the infant years. A pattern of development comes to the fore according to manifestation, duration and intensity of emotional behaviour.
The difference in cognitive, social and emotional development lead to variations in the psychological needs of children at different ages. Characteristics and typical manifestations of the psycho-educational aspects are valuable knowledge to apply in the selection of books to enhance learners' interest in reading.