OpenUCT is the open access institutional repository of the University of Cape Town (UCT). It preserves and makes UCT scholarly outputs digitally and freely available, including theses and dissertations, journal articles, book chapters, technical and research reports, as well as open educational resources.

 

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Open Access
The clinic as a gendered space: an exploratory study examining men's access to and uptake of voluntary counselling and testing services (VCT) in the context of a male-friendly health facility
(2008) Faull, Maria; Colvin, Christopher
[pg 78 missing] Men in South Africa test for HIV at lower rates than do women. Investigating ways to increase men's uptake of Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) services is therefore of critical importance to public health. The Site C Men's Clinic in Khayelitsha, where this study took place, is an attempt at increasing men's use of VCT. Men's views about a male-friendly space and its influence on VCT uptake had not yet been investigated in South Africa. The Men's Clinic in Khayelitsha allowed me the opportunity to interview men attending the clinic to explore their perceptions and experiences of VCT within this environment. The central aim was to explore whether men perceive the facility to be enabling in their decision to use VCT now or in the future. Furthermore, the intention of this study was to explore whether male clients perceive male health workers any differently to women staff with specific attention to confidentiality. This is closely linked to the uptake of VCT, as trust in health-workers is central to the process. The study also sought to evaluate how this male-friendly environment may contribute to normalising testing in men, which is another encouraging factor In VCT uptake. Finally, although this is a critical issue for men's health, the study aimed to investigate whether VCT services targeted at men, may benefit women's health too. The interviews were qualitative, semi-structured interviews. Being an exploratory study dealing with men's perceptions of the clinic and its services, the qualitative approach was valid. This interview approach allowed for variety in answers, but also revealed commonality, as themes emerged in response to questions. The project involved 33 qualitative interviews with men attending the clinic In Khayelitsha (including 15 men who tested at the clinic and 18 non-testers). The client interviews took place between 5 - 27th October 2007. Getting men to test for HIV is an urgent task for public health in South Africa. This study explored whether men experienced the clinic to be male-friendly and whether this influenced their attitude to testing. Most men expressed an increase in comfort and personal safety at the facility, which are valued attributes of a VCT facility. Many clients expressed greater trust in male staff, and surprisingly, trust in male patients, which contributed to their comfort at the facility. There was evidence in the interview data to suggest that male clients would contribute to normalising VCT through talking to peers about the clinic and its services. This is also likely to contribute to the greater VCT uptake in men. Testing clients seemed open to talking to their partners, having tested at the clinic. Some clients wanted to return to the facility with their partner to test. This indicates a potentially positive influence on the health of the couple. Although the clinic quantitative data indicates a slow and disappointing start for the clinic, based on the perceptions expressed by these clients, the facility is filling an important health service for men. It is likely to encourage more men to access VCT, because men feel confident in the service and staff. This is arguably in the interests of men and women's health.
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Open Access
Textual and social aspects of accessing high school economics and management sciences (EMS) : a case study of literacy, learning and identity in a social semiotic domain
(2008) Kalil, Claudia; Prinsloo, Mastin
The focus in this study is on literacy and learning in Economics and Management Sciences (EMS). EMS comprises integrations of language, mathematics, social elements and practical actions. The research identified ways of constructing knowledge in the EMS genre and evaluated application of principles of effective literacy learning in learners' practices. The research asked therefore: what are the semiotic practices, communication exchanges, and accompanying learning activities in the EMS classroom studied, and how do these constitute a productive domain of learning for students? The research site was a girls-only High School located in a middle-class suburb. An ethnographic-style case study method was used. To gain access to the variability of social life in the site and discern layers of meaning there, relatively long periods were spent recording classroom interaction. The analysis was concerned with the building of textual and social meanings related to which semiotic systems were made relevant and how. Key theoretical resources used included the situated practice approach of the New Literacy Studies (NLS), sociocultural models of cognition, and Gee's (2003) classification of learning principles in a social semiotic domains framework. It was found that various modalities were used in the classes and the teacher's conscious attention to making links between the different modes of communication, the written numbers and the visual, modelled talking about, responding to and interpreting information from visual texts. Learning was co-operative and distributed across people and the technologies of language, writing and numbers. The learning environment was set up so that learners could in dialogue with the teacher discover elements of the domain in an active way. Literacy practices enacted in a framework of everyday activity made learning events embodied and hence apprenticeship-like. A weakly framed simulation assignment meant that control over learning was largely vested in the learners themselves. Students came to appreciate interrelations across multiple sign systems as a complex system; they learnt that learning involves critical thinking about the relationship between semiotic domains at a meta-level. A typical teaching strategy was to scaffold learning to help learners take on knowledge in degrees and build up a complex understanding of the EMS domain. At times the teacher assumed knowledge on the part of learners and this acted as an obstacle to learners accessing the EMS genre. In the course of learning specific elements of EMS literacy, learners became exposed to social events and individuals from outside of the classroom and school. The way learners reacted to and interacted with these discourses resulted in the creating of positionalities for themselves at that time, as South Africans, as rational 'scientists' or academics, and in relation to one another. Teacher feedback on recognition from authority figures of learners' specialist EMS knowledge facilitated learners seeing themselves as insiders who have a recognizable level of achievement in the EMS domain, and helped them to bridge from their earlier (less experienced) identities to new ones as 'experts' in the domain. Through the stockbroker simulation assignment learners could develop identities through feeling the emotions, values and beliefs and experiencing the actions of a real-world broker. They thus had a scaffold to support later literacy learning and experience. The study showed that students were actively and critically learning the semiotic systems of EMS, developing an identity as part of the social group attached to the EMS domain, and being prepared for learning in the domain and future learning. These facts mean that it is possible to evaluate the classes researched as being a productive domain for learning.
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Open Access
Development of the analyser module for the MIDAS Data Acquisition System operating on the K600 magnetic spectrometer at iThemba LABS, Cape Town
(2008) Jones, Stephen David; Fearick, Roger
The focal-plane detector package at iThemba LABS, Cape Town, is reviewed and a new analyser module is developed. The mathematical methods employed by the analyser are also reviewed and the final system is calibrated and tested against experimental data taken at iThemba LABS, Cape Town.
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Open Access
Social Comic Commentary - an exploration of contemporary identity constructions
(2008) Hirsch, Anne
The focus of this research is the exploration of what I perceive as an emerging new culture, evolving, developing and shaping with a seemingly unstoppable force. For the purposes of my research I will refer to this collection of social and cultural practices and the participants that adhere to its rituals as the Nano-Culture; Nano referring to nanosecond, which is extremely quick. Nano-Culture is born out of a consumer culture, the age of technology and an all pervasive media. Furthermore I suggest that participants of this culture manage identity as brands, in order to present identity as desirable for consumption. Finally I propose a comedy that draws on the culture, assists in managing the culture and its constructed identities and ultimately critiques the culture. The following written submission is divided into two parts.
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Open Access
Stochastic modelling of financial markets with differential information
(2008) Damiani, F V; Ouwehand, Peter
Many of the fundamental results in mathematical finance are based on the assumption that all traders have access to exactly the same information, usually assumed to be the filtration generated by the history of stock prices or the history of the underlying Brownian motion. In the last fifteen years or so, many articles in the financial mathematics literature have been concerned with using techniques of stochastic calculus to model financial markets in which different traders have access to different levels of information. This thesis aims to provide a coherent account of the various approaches that have been used to model financial markets with heterogeneously informed agents. Part I of the thesis presents a description of the two branches of stochastic analysis that are required to understand the financial models: namely, Malliavin's calculus and enlargements of filtrations. Part II applies the mathematical results of Part I to provide a comprehensive presentation of the various financial models that have been introduced in the literature.