My name is Hannah Burton and I’m currently studying for a
PhD in theology and music. As an undergraduate I studied Music at the
University of Liverpool, and then moved back to Manchester where I completed a
Masters in Religions and Theology. I enjoy the diversity of this subject –
especially in a city such as Manchester where a people from a wide variety of
religious backgrounds live, work, and have an impact upon the city’s culture.
I’m particularly interested in the ways in which people feel they experience
religion, or God, in their lives, and my research tries to understand how music
can enable this experience for individuals.
Music plays a prominent and important role in many religions
as part of prayer and worship, and so it seems reasonable to explore how it
might create an experience of and a direct connection with something
transcendent, or God. To do this, it is useful to have a case study of
attitudes toward both religion and music, and examine the similarities and
differences therein. Therefore, my research analyses the writings of several
early nineteenth-century scholars from the fields of theology, philosophy, and
music criticism. Most prominent are FDE Schleiermacher and ETA Hoffmann.
Schleiermacher was a theologian writing at the turn of the
nineteenth century. His ideas about religion were radically new at that time –
he encouraged his readers to concentrate less on religion’s rituals and
doctrine (the in-depth beliefs and ‘rules’ of religion) and to focus instead on
having a religious intuition and feeling. He rejected the idea that having a
great knowledge of religion was key, and argued, on the other hand, that the
essence of religion is being able to perceive, recognise, and feel and presence
of the transcendent (or God) in the world around us. However, because the
transcendent is not of our world, we can never fully reach or understand it.
Nevertheless, Schleiermacher maintains that we must continue to strive to
intuit and feel transcendence by engaging closely with everyday objects and
experience in our lives.
ETA Hoffmann was a theatre director, composer, and music
critic writing at around the same time as Schleiermacher. Some of his
best-known writing about music includes interesting ideas about how music
reveals an ‘unknown realm’ of ‘spirits’ that is outside of our world. Though
music creates a glimpse of this realm, Hoffmann claims that it does not reveal
it completely, and so music’s listeners often feel a sense of ‘yearning’ for
what Hoffmann notably calls ‘transcendence.’
So there are certainly parallels between these two theories
of religion and music! I hope to be able to show, through my research and by
looking at some musical examples, that there are particular features in music
that enable us to experience, intuit, feel, and yearn from, transcendence. I
also hope that this case study might shed some light on how music might
continue to evoke an experience of God and transcendence today, particularly
across different genres and contexts.
Some faith communities and organisations blog about their
perspective on the place of music within religion and theology, such as these
To find out more about how music affects us, have a look at
this blog post written by a neuroscientist: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-graziano/why-is-mozart-a-religious_b_875352.html
If you want to know more about studying Religions and
Theology at the University of Manchester, have a look at our department’s
My name is Em Webster and I'm graduating this year from
the University of Manchester with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and
1st Class Honours! I was born and raised in Singapore where I completed all of
my education at an International School. In sixth form, I did the International
Baccalaureate (IB) where I studied Psychology, Economics and English as my 3
Higher Level Subjects. Coming from a humanities background, when I first
started my BSc in Manchester I didn't really know what I had myself in for! Now
that I've come to the end of my degree, I can say that Psychology has been a
challenging but extremely rewarding course, particularly in this last year. My
Final Year Project enabled me to focus on my personal interests - our
motivations for engaging with social media and the social connectedness that we
perceive as a result. My research also inspired me to pursue my love for
writing and enter the School's Science Writing Competition, specifically
focusing on how the social phenomenon, the "Fear of Missing Out"
(FoMO), influences our online behaviours. I hope you enjoy reading it!
It’s the digital equivalent to the Swiss Army Knife –
a personal computer, telephone, camera, GPS, music player, alarm clock, TV,
newspaper. It has revolutionized your social life and keeps you in touch with
everyone you know. Your Smartphone.
No other device gives you a connection as easy, as
powerful or as real-time. A connection that’s mobile and offers you unlimited
social opportunities on the go. Facebook tells you everything that your friends
are doing. Instagram shows you the world through pictures. Snapchat records
events as and when they are happening. Push notifications constantly invite you
back to your phone to check what others are doing.
According to Needs Psychology,you and I have six fundamental needs that we seek to satisfy. Our
Smartphones help us to do so – they give us a sense of certainty and variety,
they make us feel significant, they
facilitate our growth and our contribution. But above all, they help
us to experience love and connection.
Our Smartphones have become our companions – they live in our pockets and they
help us meet our social needs wherever we are.
Unsurprisingly, Psychologists are becoming
increasingly interested in our online behaviours. Back in 2009, a team of
researchers at Georgetown University found that students use Facebook to
strengthen pre-existing relationships. They suggest social media helps users
create an online identity that feeds their self-esteem. Another study in the Computers of Human Behaviour Journal associates
social connectedness with positive psychological outcomes including greater life
satisfaction and happiness.
But it’s not all good – Smartphones and mobile social
networks mean we often struggle to escape from the constant presence of social
information. In fact, knowing what everyone is doing all of the time leads to
the pervasive apprehension that others are doing more exciting things than we
are. Sound familiar? Jenna Wortham first wrote about the phenomenon known as
“FoMO – the Fear of Missing Out” in a New
York Times Article. Her quiet evening spent in quickly turned into a night
riddled with anxiety, irritation and even jealousy that her friends were out at
gigs or at fancy cocktail bars instead.
We are social creatures, we like to feel included by
others and we feel anxious when we are not – so FoMO is nothing new. But as Ann
Mack discussed at the 2012 SXSW Conference, our Smartphones are amplifying our
fears of missing out and have brought the phenomenon to light. Though previous
empirical research suggests high social media engagement is associated with
positive well being, the first study to add FoMO into the mix revealed
Andy Przybylski and colleagues developed a scale for FoMO
in 2013 (ratemyfomo.com) and used it to determine whether Uni students fear missing out on what their friends
are doing. Their pilot research revealed a number of things – firstly that the
people experiencing the highest levels of FoMO were also the ones engaging most
frequently with social media. Secondly and perhaps more alarmingly, these
people were more likely to text whilst driving and to be distracted during
lectures. Turning their attention to the wider impact of FoMO on people’s lives,
they found that the desire to stay continually connected was linked with lower
One explanation for low satisfaction falls in line with
Festinger’s Social Comparison Theory.
As Ann Mack suggests, we compare ourselves to others in similar situations
doing seemingly enviable activities. Although an edge of competitiveness is a
good thing, it becomes a problem when we start to feel bad about our own lives
simply because our Smartphones are a window into everyone else’s.
Sherry Turkle, professor at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology touches on something important – our relationship with
technology is still relatively immature. We are still adjusting to the constant
presence of social media in our lives and still learning how to limit its
influence. As Dr. Przybylski looks at it – social media is a double-edge sword.
In order to reap the benefits and forget FoMO, we need
to learn how to manage our use of social media. So how can you turn your FoMO
Remember that social media
shows all the good stuff. Life isn’t always full of amazing adventures, relationships
and job offers – so don’t be fooled by people leaving the boring or
embarrassing things out.
Enjoy being out of the
media is a circus of sorts and you’ll probably find that even a day spent away
from it makes you happier in what you’re doing.
Go on adventures. Stop wishing you were
doing what everyone else is doing and go and do it.
You might not experience FoMO often or you might be too
reluctant to admit that you experience it at all – but I can almost guarantee
that at some point you have had pangs of it. So when it happens again, remember
how it all works and turn it upside down!
Grieve, R., Indian, M., Witteveen, K., Tolan,
G. A., & Marrington, J. (2013). Face-to-Face Or Facebook: Can Social
Connectedness Be Derived Online? Computers in Human Behavior, 29(3),
A. (2012). FOMO: How Can Brands Tap Into Fears Of Missing Out. Retrieved April
14, 2016 from http://schedule.sxsw.com/2012/events/event_IAP10651
Pempek, T. A., Yermolayeva, Y. A., &
Calvert, S. L. (2009). College Students' Social Networking Experiences On
Facebook. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 30(3),
Przybylski, A. K., Murayama, K., DeHaan, C. R.,
& Gladwell, V. (2013). Motivational, Emotional, and Behavioral Correlates
of Fear of Missing Out. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(4),
Turkle, S. (2012). The Flight From
Conversation, The New York Times. Retrieved
April 14, 2016 from
J. (2011). Feel like a wallflower? Maybe it’s your facebook wall. The New York Times. Retrieved Online April 14, 2016
My name is Ning Kang and I am
currently a first year PhD student in Development Policy and Management with the
Global Development Institute (GDI), which was officially launched not long ago.
But actually, this institute is not new. It united the strengths of the
Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM) and the Brooks World
Poverty Institute (BWPI). I was originally from IDPM, where I finished my
master degree in 2013-2014.
It was actually quite interesting
that I almost slipped with Manchester three years ago when I firstly got the
offer for my Masters degree. I applied for the Human Resource Management
programme without realising there were two similar programmes, one was with MBS
(Manchester Business School), and the other was with IDPM. So when I realised
that my offer was with IDPM instead of MBS, I actually thought about giving up
the offer as I wanted to go to MBS. But fortunately, I didn’t refuse the offer
and still came eventually. And the moment I started my study, I fell in love
with my school. The lecturers have various backgrounds in terms of nationalities
and research interests, which make the whole study environment diverse and
interesting. They are also caring, encouraging and inspiring, which became part
of the reasons for me coming back for my PhD. Now, I am enjoying my PhD life
with colleagues coming from more than 12 different countries!
I did have a chance to choose another
university or even another country to do a PhD, but I chose to stay with IDPM
(which is GDI now) as I found organizations in developing countries are worth studying;
their HRM is also a fascinating topic owing to its immaturity. Being a Chinese,
I have witnessed the changes happening every day. It is not only about the changes
of the whole environment, but also about people. As people are considered as
the ultimate assets, how to manage them properly has becoming challenging,
hereby HRM has become more and more significant.
When HRM was first introduced in the
20th century, it was considered as a comprehensive and coherent approach for
better management and development of people in the workplace. Early in the
development of HR field the emphasis was often focused on ensuring that
employees had the ability and motivation to accomplish certain work allocated
by the organization. However, to meet challenges, researchers and practitioners
alike have begun to explore the linkages between HRM and strategic management,
hereby strategic human resource management (SHRM) is labelled. With the
introduction of SHRM, the focus of HR has shifted from simply managing people
and allocating jobs towards exploring how human resource can contribute to
organization’s goals by utilising their strategic capabilities.
In recognition of its significance,
innovation with regard to HRM is currently happening in many places and more
recently in China. The open-up policy in China allows knowledge emanating from
outside the country to be embraced, which allows innovation and implementation
of SHRM gradually taking place within the country. Also, having increasing involvement with
international business since the entrance of the World Trade Organization
(WTO), the past few decades have not only seen Chinese attracting foreign
direct investment into the country, but also have witnessed Chinese multi-national
enterprises (MNEs) expansion to overseas owing to the “going out” (Zouchuqu)
policy. My study aims at exploring the opportunities and challenges generated
by Chinese policy and culture to Chinese MNEs. The examination will be
conducted both in the head office in China and the subsidiaries abroad.
Hopefully through this study, there can be a better understanding for Chinese
MNEs regarding HRM when they expanding to other countries. Meanwhile, it may
also be interesting and helpful for other organizations which share
similarities with Chinese MNEs.
My name is Alice Stefanelli and I am a third-year PhD
student in Social Anthropology. I received my Bachelor degree in
Ethno-Anthropological Sciences from the University of Bologna, Italy, which is
my country of origin. In my third year I came to Britain as an exchange student
and I studied for a year at Brunel University, in West London. I loved the
experience and I highly recommend it! Spending a term or a full year abroad is
a very valuable and enriching experience that you will not regret. Later I was
accepted into Goldmiths College, University of London, to do a Master in Social
Anthropology, which I did part-time while I worked in a bookshop. Three years
ago, I joined the University of Manchester to research the connections between
civil society and pro-public space campaigning in Beirut, Lebanon. What I ask
myself is: what kind of change do people in Beirut seek? How are they trying to
In my thesis I try to explore social change in Beirut. I
have chosen to look at a group of civil society organisations that campaign
against the privatisation of public parks and beaches in the city. These are
associations of citizens who do not want their few green public spaces to be
sold to real estate developers and turned into expensive resorts that the
majority of the population will never be able to afford.
As all anthropologists do, I spent a year in Beirut
conducting fieldwork and collecting first-hand data. This meant that I spent
time with campaigners: I went to their meetings, I joined them at the protests
and other events that they organised, trying to help them out but also
listening carefully to what they had to say and trying to understand what kind
of social change they desired. In anthropology, this is called “participant
observation”. I also conducted a number of interviews with them in order to ask
them direct questions about their work and clarify some of my doubts.
To complement my thesis, I am collecting material such as
newspaper articles from the local press that discusses these campaigns as well
as the history of civil society campaigning in Lebanon, so that I can have a
better idea of how things have changed in time.
My thesis is that citizens in Beirut disagree with the local
authorities over what the future of the city and its population should be. The
local council, backed by the government, seems to give priority to the private
interests of big businesses and real estate companies. Campaigners seem to
rather think that the interest of the majority of the citizenry of Beirut
should be rather privileged. For this reason, they are fighting against the
closure of public beaches and parks.
You can watch this great video made by some campaigners on
how the Beirut seafront has changed over the decades: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iwu49DxVsZk
For a general introduction to anthropology, visit the
Anthropology Day’s website: https://londonanthropologyday.co.uk/
And as for Social Anthropology in Manchester: http://www.socialsciences.manchester.ac.uk/subjects/social-anthropology/
my name is Max and I am a PhD student at the University of Manchester School of
Law. I have been a university student for the past 6 years now and I have
really enjoyed my experience. University provides you with the opportunity of
learning new things, meeting new people, experiencing a new environment, and
finding what it is you want to do in life. For me, particularly the last
question has always been difficult: it took me a long time to realise what I
wanted to do in life, but pursuing a masters degree after my undergraduate
degree gave me an idea. I decided to do research in financial services
regulation. I will give you an idea of what this entails. It’s all about money.
services significantly affect all members of society. You all use money to pay
for different things, such as clothes, shoes, sweets, books etc. If it wasn’t
for the financial services industry, money wouldn’t be readily available in the
form that we use it today. Let me give you an example:
imagine that some of you have bank accounts in which you can place your money.
You can save money in your bank account and later withdraw it if you decide to
spend it. This is referred to as a ‘deposit’, as you deposit your money in your
bank account. Your bank can then use this money to create loans to give out to
different people. A loan is simply an agreement between a bank and an
individual or a company. The bank gives the individual a sum of money and the
individual agrees to pay the money back over a certain period of time. For the
bank to benefit from this transaction, the individual is required to pay an
additional sum of money over the time period. It is up to the individual to
decide what to do with the money they receive. They can spend it on clothes,
shoes, sweets, books, or something substantially bigger like a car or a house.
This bank, therefore, made money readily available to the individual. The money
that you deposited is also still available to you. You can withdraw it at any
time. All banks put together make up the financial services industry. They are
an important part of the money available to us. They significantly influence
how money is readily available to all members of society.
seems like a good thing doesn’t it? Sadly, however, this system comes with its
problems. Consider this: what if the individual is unable to repay their loan
within the time period agreed upon? What if the bank gives out so many loans
that there is no money left for you to withdraw when you want to? How does the
bank decide who is suitable to receive a loan? Does the bank use any other
means to finance its loans? All of these questions are addressed in financial
services regulation. Research in this area essentially tries to make the financial
services industry reliable and stable so that money is as readily available as
described above. Many of the issues get very complex. It can be very difficult
for researchers to keep up with everything that happens in the financial
services industry. This is precisely why I believe this to be an interesting
research area. New developments arise constantly that require addressing.
Different researchers come up with different ways of addressing these issues. I
have found myself able to add my own thoughts to this interesting area. It is a
very rewarding experience.
Here is a YouTube link to an interesting explanation of
banking – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqD3hnjZBTM