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N95 respirator masks are recommended for protection against respiratory viruses. Despite passing fit-testing 10% of N95 respirator users encountered breakthroughs with exposure to influenza virus compared to full protection provided by a powered air purifying respirator. The current recommendation of N95 respirators should be evaluated for endemic and emerging scenarios.
Which of the new political parties that emerged in advanced democracies faded away and which ones managed to survive and why? Considering a party as dead once it ceases to nominate candidates in any elections, we develop two sets of hypotheses to account for party death derived from two conceptions of political parties. One conceptualizes parties as vehicles formed by career-oriented politicians eager to maximize individual rewards. Failure to deliver seats or government access is therefore expected to predict an earlier death. The other conceptualizes parties as societal organizations that serve representational functions valued in themselves by elites and members alike. This conception stresses the importance of roots in society or ideological novelty. Using survival analysis, we test our hypotheses in 17 advanced democracies based on a new data set covering 144 new parties from birth until their (potential) death. Arguments derived from both conceptions have significant support stressing the complexity of the drivers underpinning parties’ very existence.
Evidence suggests that both high and low birth weight children have increased the risk for obesity and the metabolic syndrome in adulthood. Previously we have found altered feeding behaviour and food preferences in pre-school children and adults born with low birth weight. In this study, we investigated if birth weight was associated with different intake of fat, carbohydrate and/or protein at 6–12 years of age. This is a cross-sectional study where 255 guardians answered online and telephone questions including anthropometrics and demographic data, parental family food rules (food control, encouragement and restriction) and a complete web-based FFQ for their children (130 boys and 125 girls). Baseline demographic and parental food rules characteristics did not differ accordingly to sex. Linear regression models were conducted separately for each sex, adjusted for income, age and maternal age. There were no differences in total energy intake, but energy density (ED, energy content/g) was negatively associated with birth weight in boys. Macronutrient analysis showed that ED intake was from a greater intake of fat. Birth weight was not a significant predictor of protein and carbohydrate intake in boys. In girls, we saw a positive correlation between fat intake and cholesterol intake v. birth weight, but no association with ED intake (results did not remain after adjustment). The study shows that low birth weight is associated with altered fat intake in childhood in a sex-specific manner. It is likely that biological factors such as fetal programming of homoeostatic and/or hedonic pathways influencing food preferences are involved in this process.
Members of Cosatu unions in our survey earned an average monthly income of R12 361.26, ranging from an individual who earned R45 000 a month to one who earned just R1 086. Of the entire sample, 25 per cent earned less than R6 800 per month and half earned less than R11 000 per month. There were also differences between Cosatu members who were members of public sector unions (average monthly income R14 108.58) and private sector unions (average monthly income R10 760.92). The households of more than 80 per cent of these union members were entirely dependent on wages for household incomes, with only 4.4 per cent reporting receiving child-care grants and fewer than 1 per cent receiving either old-age or disability grants. These wages supported on average 4.26 other household members, including children, as dependents (members of private sector unions supported more household members, an average of 4.39 dependents, whereas members of public sector unions supported an average of 4.05 dependents).
These figures illustrate the income diversity among members of trade unions historically affiliated to Cosatu. In an opinion piece in the Mail & Guardian, Loane Sharp (2014), an economist associated with the Free Market Foundation, argued that a ‘class war’ was behind the divisions in Cosatu that led to the expulsion of Numsa:
The middle class has fundamentally different values to the working class, including upward job mobility (as opposed to the working-class value of job security); home ownership; saving for retirement; independence from government financial assistance; and high-quality government services in policing, schooling and healthcare. The Numsa-Cosatu split, then, is much more complex than it at first appears. It is a battle for the heart of the ANC. It involves the long wave of South Africa's economic history. It sets the working class against the middle class in an epic battle of interests.
In this reading of the situation, Numsa members have a more radical working-class approach, whereas Cosatu, dominated by public sector unions, would have more conservative – or possibly liberal – values based on their interests rooted in the experience of class mobility.
There are clearly a number of limitations to this analysis which relates a complex set of issues to a distinction between a working class and a middle class. First, the alignment of the trade unions in the conflict contradicts the argument.
Public sector unions have grown in size, power and significance in Cosatu over the past twenty-four years and have instigated two of the largest strike actions, in 2007 and 2010, ever witnessed in South Africa. Cosatu's public sector unions have increased their membership from a mere 7 per cent of total union membership in 1991 to 39 per cent in 2012 (Cosatu 2012: 7). This constitutes a tenfold increase in membership, from 85 000 in 1991 to 854 000 in 2012. According to Cosatu (2015: 4), ‘… union density in the private sector was constant from 1995 to 2005 at 32.4 per cent whilst in the public sector, it increased from 50 per cent to 68.4 per cent.’ In 2013 the contribution of public sector unions to Cosatu's income was 38 per cent. According to Cosatu's financial statements, this proportion rose to 60 per cent in 2014 (Marrian 2015). This is in part due to the expulsion of Numsa from Cosatu and the decline of the NUM as members defected to Amcu, but also to an increase in the membership of public sector unions affiliated to Cosatu.
The perceived dominance of public sector unions in Cosatu has already led to anxieties and tensions, illustrated by the response by Nehawu to the ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe's statements made at the national congress of the NUM in June 2015. Mantashe had reportedly said that ‘the federation's dominance by public sector unions would turn Cosatu into a yellow federation’ and, quoted directly, that ‘[o]nce you have a federation that is dominated by the public sector, then you are in trouble’ (Nehawu 2015). (The term ‘yellow union’ typically refers to unions set up by authoritarian states to do their bidding and to pre-empt real independent unions from emerging. The term was specifically used during the Cold War, when many such unions were funded by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the US government, often in anti-communist East Asian countries.) Gwede Mantashe urged Cosatu ‘to focus on recruiting more industrial workers’. Nehawu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla, who later became Cosatu's spokesperson, wrote in a press release: ‘The problem with this statement is that it reduces public sector unions to unreliable and ahistorical organisations and sets the workers against each other … In fact, it's the role of Cosatu to dominate all sectors of the economy including the public sector.
Labour Beyond Cosatu is the fourth volume in the series Taking Democracy Seriously – a ground-breaking, textured and nuanced study on workers and democracy – which was established in the 1990s. The series looks at members of trade unions affiliated to the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and provides a rich database of trade union members and research conducted over the past twenty years. It is one of the very few such resources available to researchers anywhere in the world. Labour Beyond Cosatu paints a complex picture. The 12 chapters of the volume explore various rebellions and conflicts in the trade union sector, starting with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and rivalries between Cosatu affiliates. Unpacking the conflicts between state-sector and private-sector workers, contributors look at the impact of generational and educational shifts, seen by some commentators as proof that Cosatu is now ‘middle class’. The book also raises the issue of gender in the unions by usefully locating the controversy around charges levelled at Zwelinzima Vavi in 2013 in the larger context of serious problems in the gender politics within parts of Cosatu.Refuting the image of a union federation solidly committed to the ANC, Labour Beyond Cosatu presents evidence of a sharp decline in support for the ANC within Cosatu, and growing scepticism towards the Alliance. It shows that attempts to understand the labour movement in South Africa in the future will need to include research of smaller, independent unions and social movements. The volume’s contributors make a major contribution to key debates on labour and democracy, providing new material that can potentially shift the discussion in important ways. This book will be of great value to students and researchers in Industrial Sociology, Political Studies, Industrial Psychology and Economics and Management.
WORKERS, HOUSEHOLDS AND SOUTH AFRICA'S SOCIO-ECONOMIC ORDER
This chapter attempts to examine critically the view of Cosatu workers as a labour aristocracy or a ‘self-interested’ elite. It does so by examining wage data gathered from members of Cosatu affiliates in the fifth of a series of surveys of Cosatu membership which have been conducted since 1994, and it looks at the wage data through a number of other variables derived from questions in the 2014 survey of membership.
The notion of Cosatu members as a labour aristocracy can be related to the growing divisions in the labour market between permanent and temporary workers and high-income and low-income earners (see Forslund and Reddy 2015: 84–88). Our data suggests that Cosatu does not organise many temporary workers but it does organise workers who earn low wages. Importantly, those who support the labour aristocracy thesis often use labour market data as applied to individuals. In this chapter we take seriously the point that trade union members support dependents on their wages. Pnina Werbner's (2010) use of the notion of a ‘marginal labour elite’ provides a far more useful way of understanding Cosatu's membership. Werbner's ‘marginal labour elite’ locates trade union members outside of the workplace and in relation to their social reality by focusing specifically on their role in the household as a wage earner.
Twenty years into democracy, South African society is still marked by immense socio-economic problems such as chronic levels of unemployment and incessant levels of poverty and inequality. The number and intensity of strikes have increased in private and public sector workplaces. Globally, in the phase of informationtechnology- led capitalism, the number of workers employed as permanent workers is decreasing as the number employed as temporary, casual or part-time workers is increasing.
This trend is explained by Jan Theron's (2010) description of the interrelated processes of ‘informalisation from above’ and ‘informalisation from below’. Whereas ‘informalisation from below’ refers to those who engage in survivalist activities or self-employment, ‘informalisation from above’ is a response to employers’ efforts to restructure workplaces by externalising labour. This process fragments and differentiates the workforce by creating a layer of workers who, despite being located in the formal workplace, find themselves on the outside of labour legislation and collective bargaining because their employer, the service provider, determines their working conditions and is not legally bound to an employment relationship with the core business.
The experiential traces account claims that language comprehension in one's first language (L1) is based on the reactivation of experiential traces that stem from experiencing the corresponding objects, states, or events. However, it remains unclear to what extent this is transferable to second language (L2) comprehension. In the present study, we compared German L1 speakers with German L2 speakers whose L1 uses similar or different spatial terms as German. In an adaptation of the Stroop paradigm, participants were instructed to respond to the font color of German spatial prepositions (e.g., auf “on,” über “above,” and unter “under/below”) by either an upward or a downward hand movement, resulting in compatible or incompatible responses. We found significant compatibility effects for all speakers, but also clear differences between speakers of different L1s. The results thereby support the assumption that experiential traces built during L1 usage play an important role in L2 processing.
The neural mechanisms of anorexia nervosa (AN), a severe and chronic psychiatric illness, are still poorly understood. Altered body state processing, or interoception, has been documented in AN, and disturbances in aversive interoception may contribute to distorted body perception, extreme dietary restriction, and anxiety. As prior data implicate a potential mismatch between interoceptive expectation and experience in AN, we examined whether AN is associated with altered brain activation before, during, and after an unpleasant interoceptive state change.
Adult women remitted from AN (RAN; n = 17) and healthy control women (CW; n = 25) underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging during an inspiratory breathing load paradigm.
During stimulus anticipation, the RAN group, relative to CW, showed reduced activation in right mid-insula. In contrast, during the aversive breathing load, the RAN group showed increased activation compared with CW in striatum and cingulate and prefrontal cortices (PFC). The RAN group also showed increased activation in PFC, bilateral insula, striatum, and amygdala after stimulus offset. Time course analyses indicated that RAN responses in interoceptive processing regions during breathing load increased more steeply than those of CW. Exploratory analyses revealed that hyperactivation after breathing load was associated with markers of past AN severity.
Anticipatory deactivation with a subsequent exaggerated brain response during and after an aversive body state may contribute to difficulty predicting and adapting to internal state fluctuation. Because eating changes our interoceptive state, restriction may be one method of avoiding aversive, unpredictable internal change in AN.