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  1. A historical perspective of America's death penalty

    Whatever your opinion on the death penalty is, there is no doubt that the three mishandled executions this past year (most recently this week in Arizona) were an unpleasant reminder of the complex nature of the law itself. Legal Scholar Austin Sarat, author of Gruesome Spectacles: Botched Executions and America's Death Penalty, published by Stanford University Press, discussed the subject on NPR's Morning Edition with Steve Inskeep. Sarat provided historical context and an unbiased explanation of the current state of the death penalty in America. The author also mentioned that within the prison system, the personnel administering the lethal injections are not medically trained. According to the American Medical Association's Code of Medical Ethics, physicians are forbidden to participate actively in capital punishment where "...where the method of execution is lethal injection, the following actions by the physician would also constitute physician participation in execution: selecting injection sites; starting intravenous lines as a port for a lethal injection device; prescribing, preparing, administering, or supervising injection drugs or their doses or types; inspecting, testing, or maintaining lethal injection devices; and consulting with or supervising lethal injection personnel."The United States has always tried to make methods of the death penalty compatible with the 8th Amendment's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. Sarat traces the methods implemented throughout history and how they have changed. His book is  "...a history of botched, mismanaged, and painful executions in the U.S. from 1890–2010. Using new research, Sarat traces the evolution of methods of execution that were employed during this time, and were meant to improve on the methods that went before, from hanging or firing squad to electrocution to gas and lethal injection."

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  2. Databases of the week: Communication Studies

    The Stanford Libraries subscribes to an array of databases that are useful for Communication Studies research. Here are few selected databases for getting started: Communication and Mass Media Complete (an EBSCO database). Communication and Mass Media Complete indexes over 600 journal titles related to the discipline and includes research on media studies, linguistics, rhetoric, popular culture and discourse. This database includes access to full-text articles for a majority of the publications indexed in this database. I find this database useful for many topics related to U.S. “popular” culture. It is particularly useful for topics related to the study of the use of social media.  ComAbstractsComAbstracts is published by the non-profit, CIOS (Communication Institute for Online Scholarship) and includes directories for academic institution communication departments and faculty.  ComAbstracts indexes many of the core association press journals and books. The interface includes concept mapping and table of contents listings. In order to access full-text articles that we have access to, the interface provides links to the e-journals.  For full-text articles published by SAGE, we have access to the database of Sage Journals. This index covers Social Science & Humanities topics for SAGE Journal titles. See also Sage Research Methods to access content on social science research methods.  Here are few other databases that could be useful for searching on communication and media topics:  Ethnic newsWatch: This database provides full-text access to scholarly journals on ethnicities and ethnic studies. GenderWatch: GenderWatch covers historical perspectives on the evolution of the women's movement, men's studies, the transgender community and the changes in gender roles over the years. Project Muse: Project MUSE provides access to peer reviewed humanities and social science books, book reviews and journals from university presses and scholarly societies. Some historical digital archives that may be of interest include: Associated Press Collections Online: This is a collection of documents from the Associated Press Archives, from select AP Bureaus,  covering date ranges from 1915-2009. Meet the Press: This is an Alexander Street Press archive of the NBC Television Program entitled “Meet the Press”.

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  3. Qualitative Research Workshop with Special Guest Professor Johnny Saldaña

    Stanford Libraries is pleased to announce this qualitative data workshop taught by Johnny Saldaña. This is a featured event of the 2022 Gear Up for Social Science Data. Register in advance to recieve workshop handouts. Workshop organizer & moderator: Alesia Montgomery, Stanford Libraries. The purpose of this three-hour workshop is to survey how narrative data can be inductively analyzed through different methods from the canon of qualitative inquiry heuristics. Approaches to the analysis of social media and interview data will be demonstrated, and participants will explore each of these methods with authentic data sets. The first is coding and categorizing the story of a senior adult woman’s health conditions through dramaturgical coding. The second is thematic analysis of a high school teacher’s narrative about her relationship with students. Additional workshop topics include analytic memos, constructing diagrams and matrices, found poetry, and analytic writing.   Workshop content and participatory exercises are designed to provide participants with a sampling of analytic approaches to non-numeric data. These methods can be utilized with written and oral empirical materials for research, practice, and professional development. The workshop is targeted to graduate students and novices to qualitative research.  Selected Publications Longitudinal Qualitative Research: Analyzing Change through Time (AltaMira Press, 2003) https://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/14056090  The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers (4th ed., Sage Publishing, 2021; previous editions translated into Korean, Turkish, and Chinese-Simplified) https://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/13874055  Fundamentals of Qualitative Research (Oxford University Press, 2011) https://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/13071918 Ethnotheatre: Research from Page to Stage (Left Coast Press, 2011) https://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/13032431   Johnny Saldaña is Professor Emeritus from Arizona State University’s School of Film, Dance, and Theatre in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.  His methods titles have been cited and referenced in more than 24,000 research studies conducted in over 135 countries in disciplines such as education, medicine and health care, technology and social media, business and economics, government and social services, the fine arts, engineering, and the social sciences. Saldaña’s research has received awards from the American Alliance for Theatre & Education, the National Communication Association – Ethnography Division, the American Educational Research Association’s Qualitative Research Special Interest Group, New York University’s Program in Educational Theatre, the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America, and the ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

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