Cover February 2019


JOURNAL INFORMATION


Seychelles Research Journal is published twice a year, in February and August. The aim of this online, open access journal is to demonstrate the vibrancy of research in and about Seychelles. Boundaries are drawn loosely to include comparable issues elsewhere in the western Indian Ocean and in small island states further afield.

Information on how to submit proposed articles and on the refereeing process is explained elsewhere in the website. New proposals are always encouraged.

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Editor:                                                                     Emeritus Professor Dennis Hardy

Deputy Editor/Web Design:                               Jane Woolfenden

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Marketing Consultant:                                        Guy Morel

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International Advisers:

  • Dr Ashton Berry, Bird International, UK
  • Dr Pascal Nadal, Diocesan Service of Catholic Education, Mauritius
  • Dr Jivanta Schöttli, Institute of South Asian Studies, Singapore
  • Dr Erika Techera, University of Western Australia
  • Dr Kris Valaydon, Founding Editor, Island Studies

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Sponsors:

Publication would not be  possible without  the generous support of our sponsors.

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This is a publication of the University of Seychelles http://www.unisey.ac.sc

The views and opinions represented in this publication are not necessarily those of the institutions to which the authors are affiliated and, additionally, should not be attributed to the publisher.

©2019 – Seychelles Research Journal, The University of Seychelles

Cover photograph © Jane Woolfenden

ISSN 1659-7435


CONTENTS


EDITORIAL

Read the editorial here: Editorial


AN INTERVIEW WITH . . .

In the first of a series of interviews with leading researchers in and about Seychelles, the Editor, Dennis Hardy meets the international expert on health and community, Dr Conrad Shamlaye .

Read the interview here: Interview with Dr Shamlaye


ARTICLES

Universalism and Creolization in Seychellois Proverbs

Penda Choppy

The proverb is one of the most enduring and popular forms of orature in Seychellois Creole. As in other Creole societies, this genre has shown a tendency to survive the general upheaval of slavery, colonialism and even the drive towards Westernization. Since language is the medium of expression for all types of discourse, it is normal to expect that the proverb genre in Creole societies originates from all the languages and cultures that contributed to a specific Creole. Raphaël Confiant makes the point that because the proverb form is an incipient part of daily speech, it will naturally reflect the daily experience of  proverb users, and the daily experience of Creole societies in their formative years for more than three centuries was that of slavery. He thus sees the proverb form in the Creole world as being divided into two main groupings: those that have been transmitted directly from an African or European language, which can more or less be categorized as universal wisdoms, and those that portray a world characterized by slavery, which Confiant says is the larger corpus (Confiant, 2004). In this paper, I intend to discuss universalisms in Seychellois proverbs that occur both as direct inheritances from the original languages of the early inhabitants and as local compositions firmly rooted in the Creole environment and culture, thus revealing the creolization process in action.

Read the full article here: Universalism and Creolization in Seychellois Proverbs – Penda Choppy

Author Bio: Penda Choppy

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A Survey on Seychelles English

MA Min

There are many English varieties in the world. English is one of the three official languages in Seychelles which is an island nation located in the Indian Ocean. The English spoken in Seychelles is one of the regional varieties of the language. Language contact will lead to language change; and the English spoken in Seychelles is not an exception. The change to the English spoken in Seychelles is mainly caused by Seychellois Creole which is the first national language and one of the official languages. Secondly, it naturally conforms to the principle of simplicity of language change. To understand the characteristics of the English spoken in Seychelles will surely benefit the cultural change and economic cooperation between the two countries.

Read the full article here: A Survey on Seychellois English – MA Min

Author Bio: MA Min

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Men, Violence and Parenting: The need for rehabilitation programmes in Seychelles as a child protection strategy

 Susan Alderson

As men’s intersecting identities as fathers and as perpetrators of domestic violence is increasingly acknowledged in research and practice in the UK and US, the issue of safe parenting has gained heightened attention on the social work agenda. In recent years there has been an increased recognition that working with male perpetrators can result in positive outcomes for both women and children where such work is included as part of a holistic, coordinated response to domestic violence (HM Government, 2009). In England and Wales, this work is provided through two routes: criminal justice based programmes in probation-led community settings; or community based programmes that take self-referrals, partner-mandated referrals, or statutory referrals such as children’s services. In the Seychelles context however, whilst significant strides have been made in recognising the problem of domestic violence, there is a need for more interventions to address violence in the home and its impact on children. To date there are no community based rehabilitation programmes running in the country as a reponse to domestic violence.  This paper will examine the challenges for social workers in Seychelles, regarding the paucity of interventions available, to successfully engage with domestically violent fathers in order to address violence against women and its impact on their children; and the feasibility of introducing such programmes in Seychelles. The paper will also incorporate findings from my doctoral study which investigated the extent that children themselves benefit from their fathers’ participation on a rehabilitation programme, thus providing a unique perspective regarding the nature, scope, and adequacy of this intervention and the outcomes for children. It should be noted that whilst I am not disputing the fact that women are also capable of using violence against men, a recent systematic review of the literature found that many men may be over-reporting instances of being victims of domestic violence, while simultaneously perpetrating domestic violence themselves (Hester, 2013). For the purpose of this paper therefore, my focus will be domestically violent men rather than women. The term ‘fathers’ in this paper refers to men who are father figures, stepfathers, or other men who are significant in a child’s life.

Read the full article here: Men, Violence and Parenting – Susan Alderson

Author Bio: Susan Alderson

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Targeted and Group-Specific Social Work Interventions in the Area of Tension Between the Reproduction of Hierarchical Structures and the Sensitivity Towards Differences

Susanne Nef

The design of services offered by social work and social services represents challenges in the 21st century. Societies and lifestyles are increasingly individualised and heterogeneous. In addition to this development, processing and addressing social problems is becoming increasingly complex. Moreover, altered social structures impede the inclusion of affected persons and groups. Social work has responded in both practice and research to this change in framework conditions by differentiating the services on offer, for example by differentiating interventions in terms of various target groups. To ensure the inclusion of heterogeneous members of society, social work offers differentiated and target-group-specific interventions. A distinct emphasis centres around prevention work with young adults, which increasingly includes peer-education approaches with the aim of including and directly addressing young adults as a specific target group. The following article uses the example of peer-education projects to explore the challenges of social work services, in which tension exists between the reproduction of hierarchical structures and the sensibility of differentiation. This topic is of high relevance for the field of practice of education and social work for the further development of the professions as well as the development of new concepts and interventions. Specifically for countries with a heterogeneous population structure (e.g. high ethnic and cultural diversity level), it is relevant to reflect on the normative framework of social work interventions and educational services. Furthermore, for preventive and psychosocial support as well as health promotion, peer education and its further development might be an interesting concept for grassroots interventions to empower children and youth in developing knowledge, attitudes, and skills. Therefore, it requires proper preparation. This article is intended to give the reader an insight into the relevance of reflection of such targeted and group-specific social work interventions in the area of tension between the reproduction of hierarchical structures and the sensitivity towards differences.

Read the full article here: Targeted and Group-specific Social Work Interventions – Susanne Nef

Author Bio: Susanne Nef

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Gender identity in Social Work: Male Social Workers’ Experience in Seychelles

 Georges Nicette

In terms of its activity, social work is gendered, both in regards to its workforce and its client group. It is well documented that more women than men enter this area of work (Parker & Crabtree, 2012). Social work is identified as a caring profession and has been described as a non-traditional occupation for men. This article draws on the findings from a qualitative study, carried out in Seychelles in 2014. It explores the experiences of men working in social work, which is commonly considered a feminine profession and which is also female dominated. Focusing primarily on gender identities, this article discuss how gender issues at work are complex and have problematized understandings of both gender equality and social work practices. It challenges one assumption found in the literature that ‘men in social work are potential threats to the profession’. This article argues that for social work to evolve, it is helpful to deconstruct the socially constructed gender discourses in the profession and their impact on social service delivery, as well as appreciate men for the positive qualities they bring and can bring to social work, which could lead to a more positive image of the profession.

Read the full article here: Gender Identity in Social Work – Georges Nicette

Author Bio:  Georges Nicette

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The Semiotics of Food and Intentional Exercise in Performing Masculinity: Diabesity in Seychelles

Raini Nailer

Obesity and diabetes are two of the greatest health difficulties the global community is facing; and interventions, which largely focus on aligning individual behaviour to recommended public health standards have shown marginal success. Medicalizing obesity, food and health generally ignores culturally specific and individual ways of being in the world.  This project explores the semiotic meanings of the desired behaviour changes for obesity and diabetes prevention in Seychelles. As women are highly focused on health, body image and food research, this inquiry aims to locate men within the landscape of semiotic food and physical activity, in relation to obesity and diabetes. This investigation, aspires to find how food and intentional exercise construct social capital and masculine identity among Seychellois men, and the importance these symbols hold within their communities.  At the conclusion of this research project, these findings will be contrasted to behaviour changes promoted by public health organizations as well as current public health messaging in Seychelles. This project aims to find the difference in social value between these two ways of being, which may help to explain choice and non-compliance to medicalization of lifestyle. 

Read the full article here: The Semiotics of Food and Intentional Exercise in Performing Masculinity – Raini Nailer

Author Bio: Raini Nailer

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Detection of Weather Anomalies and Events of Interest Using Complex Event Processing

A. Gayanthika Udeshani and H.M.N. Dilum Bandara

While developed countries use sophisticated and proprietary weather-monitoring and warning systems, other countries primarily rely on manual practices. With the advancement of open source, distributed processing solutions, it is now possible to build weather-monitoring systems by integrating relevant off-the-shelf components at a fraction of the cost. We demonstrate a Complex Event Processing (CEP) based system to detect weather anomalies and events of interest to enrich a weather/climate observatory system with real-time monitoring and detection capabilities. The proposed solution focuses on four use cases, namely: (i) detection of impeding weather events that exceed a given threshold; (ii) identification of weather stations with defects; (iii) finding anomalies in the sensed data; (iv) identifying weather situations around a given location. These use cases provide the basic capabilities of a typical weather monitoring center. The performance evaluation shows that the proposed solution performs well in the specified use cases even with high input rates and a large number of meteorological variables. We further identify enhancements that are needed in CEP engines to better support spatial and temporal weather data.

Read the full article here: Detection of Weather Anomalies and Events of Interest Using Complex Event processing – Udeshani and Bandara

Author Bio: Gayanthika Udeshani

Author Bio: Dilum Bandara

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Big Data-Enabled Supply Chain Management: A systematic review

Roy Meriton and Gary Graham

The buzz about big data and business intelligence (BI) as drivers of business information data collection and analysis continues to build steam. However, it seems not everyone is taking notice. Whilst scholars are, in the main, excited about the ‘fields of possibilities’ big data and related analytics offer, in terms of optimising firm capabilities, supply chain scholars have been surprisingly quiet. In this work we hope to break this silence and we achieve this through a comprehensive survey of the literature with the aim of exposing the dynamics of big data analytics in the supply chain context. With state of the art data analytics and visualisations, our findings suggest that the benefits of a big data driven supply chain are many on the proviso that organisations can overcome their own myopic understanding of this socio-technical phenomenon. On the issue of diffusion, our findings show a dearth of studies from scholars on the African continent. Further studies would significantly add to the emerging body of knowledge by considering the pros and cons of adopting big data strategies for supply chains in the context of small island developing states, such as Seychelles.

Read the full article here: Big Data-Enabled Supply Chain Management – Roy Meriton and Gary Graham

Author Bio: Roy Meriton

Author Bio: Gary Graham

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Paradise Lost? Searching for the Perfect Place

 Dennis Hardy

In an edition on the theme of interdisciplinary research, the idea of paradise fits well. Moreover, for a publication based in Seychelles, where paradise is promoted as part of a powerful brand to lure tourists, an exploration of the idea becomes hard to resist. Yet, as this article reveals, paradise is a remarkably complex concept, where it is by no means easy to find agreement on what it actually is. Is it solely a figment of the imagination or does it have an historical basis? Is it for the living or only for life hereafter? And, amidst all the conjecture, why do islands so often provide the setting for ideas of paradise?

As well as reviewing some of the ways in which the term is used, this paper looks at some practical experiments to create paradise on earth. The track record of these colourful experiments is not good, but fresh generations are not deterred from trying themselves to reach the golden land. In spite of its elusiveness, paradise remains an alluring concept, seemingly within reach but never quite so.

Read the full article here: Paradise Lost – Seaching for the perfect place – Dennis Hardy

Author Bio:  Dennis Hardy


CONFERENCE REPORTS

16th International Creole Studies Colloquium

Seychelles, 28 October – 2 November 2018

Read the conference report here: 16th International Creole Studies Colloquium, Mahe, 28th October – 2nd November 2018

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6th World Ocean Council Sustainable Development Summit

Hong Kong, 14 – 16 November 2018

Read the conference report here: 6th World Ocean Council Sustainable Development Summit, Hong Kong, 14-16 November 2018

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2nd  Africa Summit

Cape Town, 21 – 24 November 2018

Read the conference report here: Second Africa Summit, Cape Town, 21-24 November 2018

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1st Sustainable Blue Economy Conference

Nairobi, Kenya, 24 – 29 November 2018

Read the conference report here: 1st Sustainable Blue Economy Conference, Nairobi, Kenya, 24-29 November 2018


PUBLIC LECTURE

Each year, the University of Seychelles organises a public lecture by a well-known local individual. In September 2018. Dr Conrad Shamlaye spoke on the subject of his long-term study of child development. Although the full text of his lecture is not available, the importance of the research is such that we are including a copy of his presentation slides. 2018 Unisey Anniversary Lecture – Dr C Shamlaye