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Navigating safety and sexual harms in the context of dating and hookup platform use among adult Australians(2022) Cama, ElenaThesisDating and hookup platforms have become a popular tool for seeking romantic and sexual relationships. While there are numerous benefits to making connections online, popular media and academic literature have begun to document how these platforms are implicated in the perpetration of sexual harms. Drawing on feminist and queer understandings of sexual violence and technology, this thesis provides a mixed-methods examination of sexual harms experienced in the context of online dating. Data collection included an online survey (N=527) and in-depth interviews (N=25) with adult Australians who use dating and hookup platforms. Findings indicate that experiences of safety and sexual harms and their impacts in the context of dating and hookup platforms can be complex and varied, with many experiences diverging from legal and normative understandings of sexual violence. Participants documented a range of harms, including unwanted requests for sex, unsolicited sexual images, harassment based on gender, sexuality, and race, and unwanted sexual experiences, among others. These harms were gendered and intersectional, with women and sexuality diverse participants disproportionately affected. Minimisation and normalisation of sexual harms appeared to be common, due to the sexualised nature of these platforms and largely unquestioned acceptance of a ‘hookup’ culture in online dating. Cisnormative and heteronormative discourses of gender, sexuality, sexual behaviours, and sexual violence were both (re)produced and resisted by participants, illustrating how socio-cultural and sexual norms may become inscribed within digital platforms, and alternatively how these platforms may be co-opted to resist or reject these norms. Existing reporting and response options from platforms to these harms were viewed as inadequate, with participants calling for greater transparency and accountability in reporting processes and tangible consequences for perpetrators of harmful behaviours. This thesis concludes with recommendations as to how platforms, law enforcement, and communities could better prevent and respond to these harms.
(2022) Overton, KristenThesisAddressing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) as a purely medical problem fails to recognise the sociological factors that drive the misuse of antimicrobials. Antimicrobial use is shaped by the local social, cultural, political and economic context. There is now widespread recognition that addressing AMR requires an understanding of the social factors that underpin our use and prescription of antimicrobials. Sociological and anthropological explorations of the global antimicrobial crisis have thus far disproportionately focused on economically wealthier nations. This is despite the recognition of economically poorer nations as sites of considerable, escalating, and often unregulated, antimicrobial use. This thesis examines the social dynamics of antimicrobial use in the Indian context through ethnographic observations and 100 qualitative interviews with doctors, community health practitioners, pharmacists, pharmacy employees and community members in Hyderabad, India. Using a constructivist grounded theory approach to data collection and analysis, the focus is on gaining an understanding of how enduring and emerging inequalities, infective risk and uncertainty, labour risks and precarious work, improvisation and self-medication, and informal and formal pharmaceutical economies shape antimicrobial use in India. Using a critical sociological lens, I explore: the dynamics of biopolitics and risk; the pharmaceuticalisation of everyday life and the vested interests therein; the economies of healthcare and antimicrobial use, including commodification and privatisation; and the vulnerability and structural violence associated with the use of antimicrobials. Knowledge of the social dynamics driving antimicrobial use can then in the future be used to inform policies and programs aimed at optimising antimicrobial use in India, appropriately tailoring them to context, rather than continuing with pan-national approaches that do little to accommodate considerations of the Global South.
More than a virus: A study of hepatitis B related stigma and trust in healthcare providers among Chinese immigrants living in Australia(2022) Jin, DefengThesisChina is described as having an intermediate prevalence of chronic hepatitis B. Chinese immigrants bear a disproportionate burden of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in Australia but have poor healthcare access. Laws were enacted which discriminated against people living with HBV (PLHBV) in mainland China from the 1990s. Although these were repealed in 2005, the experience of PLHBV from mainland China has been shaped by this institutional discrimination. Despite the increased attention to the barriers to healthcare for PLHBV, particularly among Chinese immigrants in Western countries, little is known about barriers to HBV healthcare in the Australian context. This study, conducted in Sydney and Melbourne, uses both qualitative and quantitative approaches and is positioned in social constructivism theory. It aims to examine the Chinese community’s knowledge and perceptions about HBV, their attitudes towards PLHBV, the lived experience of PLHBV, and their experiences of HBV-related stigma in the community and healthcare encounters. A total of 396 participants from the Chinese community completed either a paper or online survey, and 16 Chinese immigrants living with HBV participated in semi-structured in-depth interviews either by phone or face-to-face. Quantitative data analysis included analysis of variance (ANOVA) and multiple linear regression models. Qualitative data analysis was guided by reflexive thematic analysis, using the Health Stigma and Discrimination Framework and the concept of trust in healthcare. Survey findings indicate that participants’ knowledge about HBV prevention, transmission and treatment was in the low-to-middle range, and there was a moderate level of HBV-related stigma among participants. Participant accounts in the interviews show that HBV-related stigma was mostly driven by a lack of HBV knowledge and fear of infection. Stigmas related to sociocultural factors interacted with HBV-related stigma. This study highlights the significance of trust in healthcare encounters, suggesting that trust in medical professionals affects a host of health-related behaviours and health outcomes among patients. Based on these findings, a comprehensive approach to address barriers to HBV healthcare is proposed that highlights a need for a culturally sensitive response and a joint effort between HBV education, medical professionals, and health policy makers.