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Soc. Sci., Volume 2, Issue 1 (March 2013), Pages 1-39

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Cooperative Management of a Traditional Irrigation System in the Swiss Alps
Soc. Sci. 2013, 2(1), 1-19; doi:10.3390/socsci2010001
Received: 27 November 2012 / Revised: 11 January 2013 / Accepted: 18 January 2013 / Published: 23 January 2013
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Abstract
Traditional channel irrigation systems in Switzerland are managed on a community basis and have high cultural, touristic and ecological values. However, many irrigation communities disappeared in the last decades. This paper analyzes the factors contributing to the continuation of a still existent irrigation
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Traditional channel irrigation systems in Switzerland are managed on a community basis and have high cultural, touristic and ecological values. However, many irrigation communities disappeared in the last decades. This paper analyzes the factors contributing to the continuation of a still existent irrigation community. Our analysis thus provides insights into how to avoid further losses of these unique agricultural systems and to preserve the associated benefits. Based on hypotheses derived from game theoretical analysis, a survey was conducted in an irrigation community located in the canton of Valais. Our results show that the motivation of community members to remain in the traditional system is not a financial one. In contrast, factors such as long-term perspectives, system knowledge, communication and the institutional setting seem to be the basis for the continuation of the analyzed irrigation community. For policy makers, this example shows that the creation of institutions that enable self-governance, communication and knowledge transfer should be considered in this field of rural and agricultural policy making. Full article
Open AccessArticle Population, Resources and Female Labor in the Raw Silk Industry of Nagano in Meiji Japan
Soc. Sci. 2013, 2(1), 23-39; doi:10.3390/socsci2010023
Received: 3 December 2012 / Revised: 28 February 2013 / Accepted: 1 March 2013 / Published: 7 March 2013
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Abstract
Gendered realities in local regions are a prominent issue in today’s global economy. However, the process of globalization in the late-19th century already involved the local Nagano women in an indispensable role in Japan’s raw silk industry. This paper studies the interplay between
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Gendered realities in local regions are a prominent issue in today’s global economy. However, the process of globalization in the late-19th century already involved the local Nagano women in an indispensable role in Japan’s raw silk industry. This paper studies the interplay between population growth and relatively limited resources in Nagano vis-à-vis the demand for female labor during the Meiji era, when Japan became a major raw silk producer. The local/regional constraints in Nagano interacted with economic globalization and gave Nagano its position in the global market. Therefore, we cannot ignore the consequences of local/regional constraints and advantages in global processes on female workers. Population pressure and environmental squeeze are found to have been important forces that integrated the local and regional in the global process of industrialization and trade, and together, they produced social outcomes, such as gender hierarchies in globalization and glocalization processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Social Sciences)

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Open AccessNew Book Received Culture and Dignity: Dialogues Between the Middle East and the West. By Laura Nader, Wiley-Blackwell, 2012; 264 Pages. Price £55.00 / €66.00, ISBN 978-1-1183-1900-0
Soc. Sci. 2013, 2(1), 20-22; doi:10.3390/socsci2010020
Received: 21 February 2013 / Accepted: 25 February 2013 / Published: 26 February 2013
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Abstract
In Culture and Dignity: Dialogues between the Middle East and the West, renowned cultural anthropologist, Laura Nader, examines the historical and ethnographic roots of the complex relationship between the East and the West, revealing how cultural differences can lead to violence or
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In Culture and Dignity: Dialogues between the Middle East and the West, renowned cultural anthropologist, Laura Nader, examines the historical and ethnographic roots of the complex relationship between the East and the West, revealing how cultural differences can lead to violence or a more peaceful co-existence. Full article

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