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Antarctica’s Pole of Inaccessibility (Southern Pole of Inaccessibility (SPI)) is the point on the Antarctic continent farthest from its edge. Existing literature exhibits disagreement over its location. Using two revisions of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research’s Antarctic Digital Database, we calculate modern-day positions for the SPI around 10 years apart, based on the position of the “outer” Antarctic coastline, i.e. its boundary with the ocean. These show that the position of the SPI in the year 2010 was around 83° 54’ S, 64° 53’ E, shifting on the order of 1 km per year as a result of changes of a similar magnitude in the Amery, Ronne-Filchner and Ross Ice Shelves. Excepting a position of the SPI calculated by British Antarctic Survey in 2005, to which it is very close, our newly calculated position differs by 150–900 km from others reported in the literature. We also consider the “inner” SPI, defined by the coastline with floating ice removed. The position of this SPI in 2010 is estimated as 83°37’ S, 53° 43’ E, differing significantly from other reported positions. Earlier cartographic data are probably not sufficiently accurate to allow its rate of change to be calculated meaningfully.
Certain geological features have been interpreted as evidence of channelized magma flow in the mantle, which is a compacting porous medium. Aharonov et al. (J. Geophys. Res., vol. 100 (B10), 1995, pp. 20433–20450) developed a simple model of reactive porous flow and numerically analysed its instability to channels. The instability relies on magma advection against a chemical solubility gradient and the porosity-dependent permeability of the porous host rock. We extend the previous analysis by systematically mapping out the parameter space. Crucially, we augment numerical solutions with asymptotic analysis to better understand the physical controls on the instability. We derive scalings for the critical conditions of the instability and analyse the associated bifurcation structure. We also determine scalings for the wavelengths and growth rates of the channel structures that emerge. We obtain quantitative theories for and a physical understanding of, first, how advection or diffusion over the reactive time scale sets the horizontal length scale of channels and, second, the role of viscous compaction of the host rock, which also affects the vertical extent of channelized flow. These scalings allow us to derive estimates of the dimensions of emergent channels that are consistent with the geologic record.
Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA) is a neurologic event with symptom resolution within 24 hours. Early specialist assessment of TIA reduces risk of stroke and death. National United Kingdom (UK) guidelines recommend patients with TIA are seen in specialist clinics within 24 hours (high risk) or seven days (low risk).
We aimed to develop a complex intervention for patients with low risk TIA presenting to the emergency ambulance service. The intervention is being tested in the TIER feasibility trial, in line with Medical Research Council (MRC) guidance on staged development and evaluation of complex interventions.
We conducted three interrelated activities to produce the TIER intervention:
• Survey of UK Ambulance Services (n = 13) to gather information about TIA pathways already in use
• Scoping review of literature describing prehospital care of patients with TIA
• Synthesis of data and definition of intervention by specialist panel of: paramedics; Emergency Department (ED) and stroke consultants; service users; ambulance service managers.
The panel used results to define the TIER intervention, to include:
1. Protocol for paramedics to assess patients presenting with TIA and identify and refer low risk patients for prompt (< 7day) specialist review at TIA clinic
2. Patient Group Directive and information pack to allow paramedic administration of aspirin to patients left at home with referral to TIA clinic
3. Referral process via ambulance control room
4. Training package for paramedics
5. Agreement with TIA clinic service provider including rapid review of referred patients
We followed MRC guidance to develop a clinical intervention for assessment and referral of low risk TIA patients attended by emergency ambulance paramedic. We are testing feasibility of implementing and evaluating this intervention in the TIER feasibility trial which may lead to fully powered multicentre randomized controlled trial (RCT) if predefined progression criteria are met.
A number of copy number variants (CNVs) have been suggested as
susceptibility factors for schizophrenia. For some of these the data
remain equivocal, and the frequency in individuals with schizophrenia is
To determine the contribution of CNVs at 15 schizophrenia-associated loci
(a) using a large new data-set of patients with schizophrenia
(n = 6882) and controls (n = 6316),
and (b) combining our results with those from previous studies.
We used Illumina microarrays to analyse our data. Analyses were
restricted to 520 766 probes common to all arrays used in the different
We found higher rates in participants with schizophrenia than in controls
for 13 of the 15 previously implicated CNVs. Six were nominally
significantly associated (P<0.05) in this new
data-set: deletions at 1q21.1, NRXN1, 15q11.2 and
22q11.2 and duplications at 16p11.2 and the Angelman/Prader–Willi
Syndrome (AS/PWS) region. All eight AS/PWS duplications in patients were
of maternal origin. When combined with published data, 11 of the 15 loci
showed highly significant evidence for association with schizophrenia
We strengthen the support for the majority of the previously implicated
CNVs in schizophrenia. About 2.5% of patients with schizophrenia and 0.9%
of controls carry a large, detectable CNV at one of these loci. Routine
CNV screening may be clinically appropriate given the high rate of known
deleterious mutations in the disorder and the comorbidity associated with
these heritable mutations.
The present study explored parents’ requirements for healthy eating support prior to the development of a tailored intervention.
A cross-sectional study of parents attending children's centres.
Children's centres in Cornwall (rural south-west England) and Islington (urban London borough).
A total of 261 parents (94·2 % female) of pre-school children (aged 2–5 years) completed a questionnaire on factors influencing food choice, and preferences for and views on healthy eating support.
Parents reported that health, taste, freshness and quality were the most important factors influencing their food choices for their pre-school children. The importance of individual factors varied according to level of educational attainment. Over a third (38 %) of parents said they wanted more advice on healthy eating for children. Less educated parents showed the greatest interest in learning more about several aspects: what a ‘healthy diet’ means, how to prepare and cook healthy food, how to understand food labels, budgeting for food, examples of healthy food and snacks for children, appropriate portion sizes for children and ways to encourage children to eat well.
There was demand for healthy eating support among parents of pre-school children, especially those who are less educated, in one rural and one urban area of England.
Despite its inclusion as a basic component of the cognitive-behavioural treatment for panic disorder, the effects of the provision of information about panic anxiety have not been separately assessed. This study compared information-giving with self-monitoring of panic alone, on panic-related variables and negative affect for 40 people with panic disorder. In comparison to self-monitoring alone, information-giving together with self-monitoring was associated with reductions in anticipatory fear of panic and negative affect, but not panic frequency. These results suggest that provision of information about panic anxiety is an important component of the cognitive-behavioural approach to panic disorder in reducing anxious and depressive affect. The other cognitive-behavioural components of this intervention are required to impact upon specific panic parameters.
As we have seen in Chapters One and Two, the closing decades of the 20th century saw significant social changes in the nature of later life, some of which reflect the emergence of ‘consumer societies’ in the UK and elsewhere. The uneven nature of retirement, as well as the relative affluence of many retired people and the poverty of others, influence the experience and patterns of consumption in later life. Several key writers have pointed out how social identities are increasingly formed around processes of consumption rather than those of production and reproduction (Beck, 1991; Bauman, 1998; Zukin and Maguire, 2004). While research on the link between consumption and identity has been carried out on young or working-age groups (Hebdidge, 1979; Nixon, 1996), gerontological researchers have often presumed that older people are outside the cultural dynamics of consumption or implicitly assumed that such dynamics play little part in the day-to-day lives of older people (Gilleard, 1996; Gilleard and Higgs, 2000). However, as several commentators are aware (Dychtwald, 1999; Freedman, 1999; Metz and Underwood, 2005), the cohorts of people retiring today are those who pioneered the creation of the post-war consumer culture. The decades of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s saw the emergence of new, youth-orientated consumer markets directed at cohort located sub-cultures. While the absolute numbers of people making up the ‘baby-boomer’ or ‘baby-bulge’ cohorts was certainly important, this was not the main reason for their significance. Young people during this period had money and they also had an increasing range of non-essential items to spend it on (Bocock, 1993). These new consumer opportunities went further than just providing outlets for fashion and conspicuous expenditure; they provided the basis for generational identities that continue to be played out decades later. The post-war cohorts both lived through the emergence of the ‘affluent society’ and participated in creating contemporary consumer society. The emphasis on choice in what they wore, as well as in the entertainment they consumed, and the goods they owned, provided the stimulus for a mass consumer culture that was different from what had gone before (Kammen, 1999).
In Chapter One we noted that the UK experienced considerable income growth from the 1960s onwards despite prolonged periods of economic crisis and high unemployment (Atkinson, 2000). Many older people benefited from these increases in income so that the economic position of older people has improved markedly over the past few decades in Britain as it has in most of the advanced industrialised world (Disney and Whitehouse, 2001; Casey and Yamada, 2002). This improvement creates winners and losers, with retirement age couples doing considerably better than single pensioners and women, particularly women who become widows, benefiting less (DWP, 2007). The overall rise in living standards was accompanied by growing inequalities in income from the 1960s onwards, particularly during the period between 1979 and 1997. The growth in income inequality among the working age population in Britain during the 1980s was exceptionally high (Atkinson, 1999) and rising income inequality continued through to the end of the century, but changes since 2000 are less clear (Dorling et al, 2007). Income mobility among the retired population increased with marked reductions in poverty rates, and the overall variability in pensioner incomes increased rather less than within the working age population during these last two decades (Forster, 2000; Brown and Prus, 2006). Zaidi and colleagues (2005) account for the decline in the incidence of poverty among the elderly by referring to the fact that later (younger) cohorts were more likely to have had occupational pensions. Furthermore, their findings show that ‘as measured by the Gini coefficient, income inequality has increased amongst older people in Great Britain’ (Zaidi et al, 2005, p 551). Thus, while there has been a marked growth in real net pensioner income since the early 1980s and a fall in the number of pensioners below the poverty line (Hills and Stewart 2005), there remain substantial inequalities among the retirement age population (Hills, 2004; ONS/DWP, 2005). To quote Hills:
… an important change of the last twenty years has been the emergence of a group of relatively high-income pensioners with significant incomes from occupational pensions. This has led to a pattern of income polarization within the pensioner population. (Hills, 2004, p 89, emphasis in original)
In this book we have traced a growing engagement with consumer society among the older age groups over the last 40 years of the 20th century. While this engagement has been both varied and uneven, the overall trend has been one of increasing ownership of and expenditure on key consumer goods during this period (from a low baseline). These changes in the consumption patterns of the older population reflect other deep and lasting transformations in British society that have left their mark on the landscape of British social, economic and political life. These include the long-term decline of mass employment in manufacturing industries, changes in educational achievement and occupational mobility patterns, changes in gender relations and a freeing up of the public and private spheres. We have suggested that it is in the context of a shift towards late modernity that we are best able to understand the implications of these transformations for later life. The trends of increasing heterogeneity within the older population and the latter's increasing similarity with the general population have profound consequences for the experience of ageing in late modern society. In particular, the conditions of late modernity have given rise to increasing individualisation and a late modern sensibility based around the construction of individual identities through the pursuit and maintenance of lifestyles. These lifestyles are themselves increasingly commodified and framed by a consumer culture. In terms of levels of income and expenditure, therefore, it would appear that older people in Britain are not dissimilar in their profiles and habits to the rest of the population. Hence, these trends have a wider resonance within the study of ageing and later life. In this concluding chapter, we focus on the connections between lifestyles and consumption in later life in three important respects: first, a third age based on generational habitus; second, the contradictions of later life in consumer capitalism; and third, worlds of welfare and the ‘consumer citizen’.
The third age and generational habitus
In the opening chapters of the book, we chartered the social and economic changes that occurred in the latter decades of the 20th century. In so doing, we highlighted the importance of period, cohort and generation for understanding later life. Previous work on generations has been hampered by confusion surrounding the term.
The findings presented in this book are based on a cross-sectional historical comparison of people at different ages, household types and income levels through a secondary analysis of Family Expenditure Survey of Great Britain (FES) data. (The Office for National Statistics (ONS) conducts the Northern Ireland Family Expenditure Survey, which is very similar to the FES. However, we did not include these data in our analyses). The data were taken from eight years of the FES at five-year intervals over the period 1968-2001. These data were accessed through the Economic and Social Data Service. The FES is a voluntary survey of a random sample of private households in the United Kingdom carried out by the ONS. The FES is primarily a survey of household expenditure on goods and services, as well as household income. The original purpose of the survey was to provide information on spending patterns for the purpose of calculating the Retail Price Index. The survey has been conducted annually since 1957, although since 1994, the survey reference period has changed from the calendar year to the financial year. Data collection is carried out throughout the year to avoid potential bias arising from seasonal variations in expenditures. Respondents maintain a detailed expenditure diary over 14 days to give indicators of their consumption patterns. In addition to expenditure and income data, the FES includes information on a range of socio-economic characteristics of the households (for example, composition, size, social class, occupation and age of the head of household).
The basic unit of the survey is the household, although data are collected at both household and individual level. The FES sample for Great Britain is drawn from the Small Users File of the Postcode Address File. From this, 672 postal sectors in Great Britain are randomly selected during the year after being arranged in strata defined by government office regions (sub-divided into metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas) and two 1991 Census variables – socio-economic group and ownership of cars. The sample size and response rates for each of the years included in these analyses are presented in Table A.1. On average, about 7,000 households are surveyed each year, representing an average response rate of 60%, although this has declined over the period covered in this book.
The horizontal divisions within society, such as cohort, age group and generation, have had considerably less attention paid to them than the vertical divisions of class, gender and ethnicity. This may reflect the starker social polarisation that emerged during the course of industrialisation, a polarisation that preoccupied the founders of the emergent social sciences. Horizontal divisions within society may have been recognised but they were not seen as so significant, or as key sites of social conflict. While there is still continued debate regarding the nature and significance of many of the vertical divisions in society, the importance of horizontal divisions has become more prominent. Indeed, some writers now argue that in contemporary society, generation is replacing class as the key site of contemporary social conflict (Turner, 1989; Becker, 1991). All of this makes it important to clarify the different but related horizontal divisions reflected in terms such as ‘age group’, ‘stage of life’, ‘cohort’, ‘period’ and ‘generation’.
Erdman Palmore (1978) pointed out that in most social science research, the need to separate age effects from period and cohort effects is inescapable. Not only are there ageing processes and issues of human development to deal with, but differences between generations and trends over time potentially confound any interpretation based on chronological age. While Palmore argued that it is always important to measure all three types of difference, doing so has always been a problem. Chronological age at least has the virtue of being an ordinal value, even though what a particular age may mean is historically contingent. Period, as has been seen in Chapter Two, is more contentious, as is the idea of generation, since both rely on interpretation. Even the idea of cohort, which seems straightforward, depends for much of its meaning on its conflation with generational effects.
These issues are highlighted in any consideration of the use of the term ‘generation’. Two approaches dominate the conceptualisation of this problem. The first is associated with the demographer Norman Ryder, who argued that ‘cohort’ was a more ‘neutral’ concept for understanding the interplay between history and biography than terms such as generation. He defined cohort as ‘that aggregate of individuals who experienced the same event within the same time interval … [where typically] the defining event has been birth’ (Ryder, 1997, p 68).