More Questions from Wiley’s Migration Webinar Roundtable

Demonstration against Syrian Govt - BanyasLast Friday, I was thrilled to have Dr. Serena Parekh, Dr. Immanuel Ness, and Dr. Reenee Singh join me for an hour long webinar discussion on the Syrian refugee crisis and the wider implications of global migration.

The three panelists discussed the refugee crisis in terms of children’s welfare, globalization, media coverage and bias, government aid, and the impact of these types of crises on families. Parekh, Ness, and Singh all made insightful points. Dr. Parekh discussed the relationship between concepts of statehood and boundaries, and how borders become permeable in our digital age and are a form of exclusion – harmful to human rights. Dr. Ness pointed out that government aid from neighboring countries and the countries of the UN is great, but there should also be a burden of aid on the countries that are forcing refugees to leave in the first place. And Dr. Ness shared her experiences as a family therapist in helping families address new the culture in which they are now living, and how to manage the stress of new multicultural lifestyles.

I want to thank our panelist for an impactful discussion. During the roundtable, we answered a few questions from our listeners, but we didn’t manage to answer them all. Below are two more questions from our listeners, answered by our panelists.

How are the receiving local authorities handling the pressure of such influx and are they readily equipped? -Marjory, Student, South Africa

IN:  Destination countries have a range of policies on migration, depending on labor skill, population shortage, and causes of population shifts.  In the European context today, the passage of migrants is creating political pressures on the governments in the Balkans and in Eastern and Central Europe, due to growing xenophobia against foreigners of Muslim dissent.  We are even seeing growing nationalism in Germany, with the growth of the right-wing social movement, Pergida.  In response, tensions are rising and government leaders are scrambling to arrive at coherent policies through imposing border control or persuading sending countries to create safe havens for refugees.

Can you speak to the cultural shock and differences that arise between refugees and the nationals of the hosting country? – Mary, PhD Candidate, Canada

IN: Those refugees who have traveled as far as Europe are likely to have higher levels of education and skills and often the same religious traditions.  Eastern European leaders have permitted the migration of Catholic and Eastern Right emigres from Syria but are reticent to allow Muslims to enter and settle in their countries.  However, Germany was a recipient of tens of thousands of Turks in the post-war years who filled job shortages, and many stayed permanently and have been absorbed into the national fabric of the country.   The new wave of migrants are refugees, and may also contribute to the economic expansion of Central and Eastern European economies.  However, it is also possible that they could tighten labor markets and work for lower wages, expanding unemployment and the reserve army of labor.

RS:  Refugees suffer from what Renos Papadopoulos would describe as ‘nostalgic disorientation’ which is about missing the sights, sounds and smells of home.  Everything in the host country can seem strange and confusing. Many refugees do not come from welfare states and do not know how such complex systems in the Western world work.  This is compounded with language difficulties. Sometimes, one family member (often the man) can remain loyal to their country of origin while women, especially women with children, tend to adapt more quickly to the host county.  Children will often take on the roles of translators and cultural guides for the families, creating inversions of gendered and generational roles. Further, the notions of how ‘the family’ is constructed and what constitutes mental health, problems and their treatment varies greatly from one culture to another. Refugees may experience the lack of fit between their belief systems and those of the host country.

Keep checking back on the Philosopher’s Eye next week, where we will be posting two more blogs from A.M Findlay, editor of Population, Space and Place, and Antipode.

Samantha Green, Marketing Manager, Wiley MA candidate in Children’s Literature, Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science

Beyond Reality: The Limits of Understanding

Beyond reality

From trees to houses, atoms to stars, we assume our senses and instruments reveal the truth about the world. But could our picture of reality be radically incomplete? Is this hocus pocus best reserved for fools and philosophers, or does it open a world of infinite potential? Watch the debate with the mathematical physicist Roger Penrose, the award-winning novelist Joanna Kavenna and post-modern philosopher Hilary Lawson: Beyond Reality.

Deadline Extended for Nominations to the Cunniff-Dixon Physician Award

cunniff-dixon-award-new-2014With a graciously extended deadline, there’s still time to nominate physicians to the Cunniff-Dixon awards.  Do you have a physician whose patient care is exemplary?

The aim of The Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Awards is to foster those skills and virtues by providing financial prizes to those physicians, young and old, who have shown their care of patients to be exemplary, a model of good medicine for other physicians, and a great benefit in advancing the centrality of end-of-life care as a basic part of the doctor-patient relationship.

There are five annual prizes totaling $95,000; one prize of $25,000 for a senior physician; one prize of $25,000 for a mid-career physician and three prizes of $15,000 for early-career physicians. http://physicianawards.com/

Secrets of the Mind: with Roger Penrose, Iain McGilchrist, and Nicholas Humphrey

We have no explanation of consciousness. Yet from the origins of life to the workings of the atom, science has provided answers when none were thought possible.  Might we be about to crack consciousness as well?  An impossible fantasy or an exciting adventure for mankind? Watch Secrets of the Mind.

The Panel: Joanna Kavenna asks eminent physicist Roger Penrose, Master and His Emissary author Iain McGilchrist, and evolutionary psychologist Nicholas Humphrey to explain the all-seeing ‘I’.

secrets

Dangerously Big Ideas: Do we need grand theories?

Our culture and philosophy is sceptical of grand theories and big ideas, which we think best left to Parisian taxi drivers. But aren’t grand theories unavoidable? Would it not be better to explore and embrace big ideas rather than pretend they have been banished? Or is this the route to dangerous nonsense?

In this latest video from IAI TV, Historian of ideas Hannah Dawson, philosopher and Closure theorist Hilary Dawson, and Professor of Contemporary Literature and Thought Robert Eaglestone are thinking big.

Dangerously Big Ideas: Do we need grand theories?

Big Ideas

Mind & Language symposium: Consciousness, Information and the Visual Streams

Visit the Brains blog over the next couple of weeks to take part in a symposium on Wayne Wu’s “Against Division: Consciousness, Information and the Visual Streams”. Commentaries by David Kaplan (Macquarie), Pete Mandik (William Paterson), and Thomas Schenk (Erlangen-Nuremberg).

Wu’s article has just been published in the September 2014 issue of Mind & Language and is free to access until the end of the year.

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wu[1]According to the influential dual systems model of visual processing (Milner & Goodale 1995/2006, Goodale & Milner 2004), information present in the dorsal processing stream does not contribute to the specific contents of conscious visual experience. “Visual phenomenology,” A.D. Milner and Melvyn Goodale write, “can arise only from processing in the ventral stream, processing that we have linked with recognition and perception…. Visual-processing modules in the dorsal stream, despite the complex computations demanded by their role in the control of action, are not normally available to awareness” (Milner & Goodale 1995/2006, 202). In his article, Wayne argues that certain types of information arising in the dorsal stream, contrary to Milner and Goodale, do play a role in realizing the contents of visual experience. In particular, he argues that information carried in dorsal stream areas such as VIP and LIP support awareness of visual spatial constancy across saccadic eye-movements. Wayne also adduces evidence that dorsal stream areas play a role in conscious visual motion and depth perception.

Hypatia Symposium – Interview with Petra Tschakert

Petra Tschakert, Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and The Earth and Environmental Systems Institute (EESI) at Pennsylvania State University, discusses important themes in gender and climate change for the Hypatia Special Issue on Climate change.

Browse the entire special issue of Hypatia here

Interview conducted by C. Shaheen Moosa.