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Soc. Sci., Volume 7, Issue 4 (April 2018)

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Open AccessArticle A Corpus-Based Study on Cross-Cultural Divergence in the Use of Hedges in Academic Research Articles Written by Vietnamese and Native English-Speaking Authors
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(4), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7040070
Received: 11 February 2018 / Revised: 28 March 2018 / Accepted: 12 April 2018 / Published: 21 April 2018
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Abstract
As an interpersonal meta-discourse device, hedges have a significant role in academic writing, especially in research articles (RAs) of various fields. The use of hedges in academic writing helps writers represent their ideology, opinion, and evaluation of issues, as well as to persuade
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As an interpersonal meta-discourse device, hedges have a significant role in academic writing, especially in research articles (RAs) of various fields. The use of hedges in academic writing helps writers represent their ideology, opinion, and evaluation of issues, as well as to persuade readers to accept their claims. This study examined the cultural divergence in the use of hedges in the results and discussion sections of RAs written by Vietnamese and native English-speaking authors, analyzing the variation in the frequency and types of hedges within the rhetorical structure of RAs. The study was based on the data of two corpora, which were collected from 100 RAs that were judged by the authors’ names and affiliations in the field of applied linguistics, consisting of 50 RAs that were written by Vietnamese writers (VNRAs) and published in Vietnamese national journals, and 50 RAs that were written by native English-speaking authors (NESRAs) and published in international journals. Contrastive analysis of the frequency and types of hedges used in RAs written by Vietnamese and native English-speaking authors revealed that there were variations and similarities in the way they utilized hedges as interpersonal meta-discourse devices to guide, negotiate, and persuade readers to accept their assertions and viewpoint, and in the way the negative politeness strategy was used to respect the readership and give more room for the readers’ alternative interpretations. The difference between the VNRA and NESRA corpora was in the frequency of the occurrence of hedges, which was relatively lower in the RAs written by Vietnamese authors. The reason for this divergence could be due to the culturally diverse backgrounds, the intended readers, and the conventional rules of two discourse communities. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Politics of Social Structures in the Palestinian Case: From National Resistance to Depoliticization and Liberalization
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(4), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7040069
Received: 14 February 2018 / Revised: 2 April 2018 / Accepted: 16 April 2018 / Published: 20 April 2018
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Abstract
This article examines the role of Palestinian civil society organizations in resistance struggles against Israeli military occupation in the 1970s and 1980s. The research focuses on the civil society transformation and shift from national resistance in the politically motivated framework of Israeli–Palestinian conflict
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This article examines the role of Palestinian civil society organizations in resistance struggles against Israeli military occupation in the 1970s and 1980s. The research focuses on the civil society transformation and shift from national resistance in the politically motivated framework of Israeli–Palestinian conflict of the 1970s and 1980s to internal and depoliticized processes in the 1990s. The overall purpose of this study is to provide knowledge about the role of civil society organizations in Gaza and the West Bank in the Palestinian national struggle and promote a deeper understanding of the changing role of Palestinian civil society following the Oslo peace process in the 1990s. The research methods are based on a supportive and integrated combination of theory and field research including interviews with civil society and academic representatives. The main findings and conclusions suggest that the transformation of Palestinian nationalist and secular grassroots organizations and the shift towards depoliticization and liberalization in the 1990s is the result of the Oslo peace process and the subsequent creation of a Palestinian “liberal civil society” in response to the requirements of international donors and their liberalization agenda. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Politics of Peace and Conflict)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Leadership Styles and War and Peace Policies in the Spanish–Basque Conflict: A Discourse Analysis of José María Aznar and José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(4), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7040068
Received: 5 March 2018 / Revised: 3 April 2018 / Accepted: 13 April 2018 / Published: 17 April 2018
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Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to establish possible links between leadership styles and war and peace policies in the Spanish–Basque conflict. To this end, an analysis was performed of the styles of two Spanish premiers, José María Aznar (1996–2004) and José Luis
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The purpose of this paper is to establish possible links between leadership styles and war and peace policies in the Spanish–Basque conflict. To this end, an analysis was performed of the styles of two Spanish premiers, José María Aznar (1996–2004) and José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero (2004–2011), both of whom were involved in the same conflict with similar peace policies. The structure of the paper is as follows: an overview of the literature on leadership styles in armed conflict situations and the construction of a theoretical framework; a review of the historical and biographical context; a description of the interview content analysis methodology for measuring leadership styles; a classification of Aznar and Zapatero on the basis of their leadership styles and a comparative analysis of their policies and those enforced by other leaders in a context of internal armed conflict; and the conclusions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Politics of Peace and Conflict)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Sergei and the “Divinely Appointed” Stalin: Theology and Ecclesiology in Church-State Relations in the Soviet Union in the Lead-up to the Cold War
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(4), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7040067
Received: 2 March 2018 / Revised: 8 April 2018 / Accepted: 12 April 2018 / Published: 16 April 2018
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Abstract
In contrast to the tendency to focus on political and social reasons for the rapprochement between the Soviet government and the Russian Orthodox Church, between Stalin and the later patriarch Sergei, this article deals with theological and ecclesiological sensibilities. One would expect such
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In contrast to the tendency to focus on political and social reasons for the rapprochement between the Soviet government and the Russian Orthodox Church, between Stalin and the later patriarch Sergei, this article deals with theological and ecclesiological sensibilities. One would expect such reasons from the side of the church but I also argue that they were important for Stalin’s considerations and acts. His deep awareness and intimate knowledge of the church, and active involvement and concrete proposals in the long interaction between church and state, were as important as those of Sergei. The article begins with a reconsideration of Stalin’s period of theological study, which influenced him deeply and provided with him unique insights into the nature of the church. After this period, an intriguing path unfolds, through key categories of Stalin’s thought thought and his effort—which was strongly opposed – to include the article on religious freedom in the 1936 constitution, let alone the definition of socialism (in contrast to communism) in terms of two biblical verses in the very same constitution. At the same time, the statements and actions of Sergei, already from 1927, were also part of the narrative, so the analysis moves between church and state until the meeting in 1943. All of this is crucial material for understanding developments in the period officially known as the Cold War. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Christians and the Cold War)
Open AccessArticle Using Date Specific Searches on Google Books to Disconfirm Prior Origination Knowledge Claims for Particular Terms, Words, and Names
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(4), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7040066
Received: 2 March 2018 / Revised: 10 April 2018 / Accepted: 12 April 2018 / Published: 16 April 2018
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Abstract
Back in 2004, Google Inc. (Menlo Park, CA, USA) began digitizing full texts of magazines, journals, and books dating back centuries. At present, over 25 million books have been scanned and anyone can use the service (currently called Google Books) to search
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Back in 2004, Google Inc. (Menlo Park, CA, USA) began digitizing full texts of magazines, journals, and books dating back centuries. At present, over 25 million books have been scanned and anyone can use the service (currently called Google Books) to search for materials free of charge (including academics of any discipline). All the books have been scanned, converted to text using optical character recognition and stored in its digital database. The present paper describes a very precise six-stage Boolean date-specific research method on Google, referred to as Internet Date Detection (IDD) for short. IDD can be used to examine countless alleged facts and myths in a systematic and verifiable way. Six examples of the IDD method in action are provided (the terms, words, and names ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’, ‘Humpty Dumpty’, ‘living fossil’, ‘moral panic’, ‘boredom’, and ‘selfish gene’) and each of these examples is shown to disconfirm widely accepted expert knowledge belief claims about their history of coinage, conception, and published origin. The paper also notes that Google’s autonomous deep learning AI program RankBrain has possibly caused the IDD method to no longer work so well, addresses how it might be recovered, and how such problems might be avoided in the future. Full article
Open AccessArticle Big Data, Algorithmic Regulation, and the History of the Cybersyn Project in Chile, 1971–1973
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(4), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7040065
Received: 21 December 2017 / Revised: 10 April 2018 / Accepted: 11 April 2018 / Published: 13 April 2018
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Abstract
We are living in a data-driven society. Big Data and the Internet of Things are popular terms. Governments, universities and the private sector make great investments in collecting and storing data and also extracting new knowledge from these data banks. Technological enthusiasm runs
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We are living in a data-driven society. Big Data and the Internet of Things are popular terms. Governments, universities and the private sector make great investments in collecting and storing data and also extracting new knowledge from these data banks. Technological enthusiasm runs throughout political discourses. “Algorithmic regulation” is defined as a form of data-driven governance. Big Data shall offer brand new opportunities in scientific research. At the same time, political criticism of data storage grows because of a lack of privacy protection and the centralization of data in the hands of governments and corporations. Calls for data-driven dynamic regulation have existed in the past. In Chile, cybernetic development led to the creation of Cybersyn, a computer system that was created to manage the socialist economy under the Allende government 1971–1973. My contribution will present this Cybersyn project created by Stafford Beer. Beer proposed the creation of a “liberty machine” in which expert knowledge would be grounded in data-guided policy. The paper will focus on the human–technological complex in society. The first section of the paper will discuss whether the political and social environment can completely change the attempts of algorithmic regulation. I will deal specifically with the development of technological knowledge in Chile, a postcolonial state, and the relationship between citizens and data storage in a socialist state. In a second section, I will examine the question of which measures can lessen the danger of data storage regarding privacy in a democratic society. Lastly, I will discuss how much data-driven governance is required for democracy and political participation. I will present a second case study: digital participatory budgeting (DPB) in Brazil. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Big Data and the Human and Social Sciences)
Open AccessArticle Identifying Relevant Anti-Science Perceptions to Improve Science-Based Communication: The Negative Perceptions of Science Scale
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(4), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7040064
Received: 14 March 2018 / Revised: 6 April 2018 / Accepted: 10 April 2018 / Published: 13 April 2018
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Abstract
Science communicators and scholars have struggled to understand what appears to be increasingly frequent endorsement of a wide range of anti-science beliefs and a corresponding reduction of trust in science. A common explanation for this issue is a lack of science literacy/knowledge among
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Science communicators and scholars have struggled to understand what appears to be increasingly frequent endorsement of a wide range of anti-science beliefs and a corresponding reduction of trust in science. A common explanation for this issue is a lack of science literacy/knowledge among the general public (Funk et al. 2015). However, other possible explanations have been advanced, including conflict with alternative belief systems and other contextual factors, and even cultural factors (Gauchat 2008; Kahan 2015) that are not necessarily due to knowledge deficits. One of the challenges is that there are limited tools available to measure a range of possible underlying negative perceptions of science that could provide a more nuanced framework within which to improve communication around important scientific topics. This project describes two studies detailing the development and validation of the Negative Perceptions of Science Scale (NPSS), a multi-dimensional instrument that taps into several distinct sets of negative science perceptions: Science as Corrupt, Science as Complex, Science as Heretical, and Science as Limited. Evidence for the reliability and validity of the NPSS is described. The sub-dimensions of the NPSS are associated with a range of specific anti-science beliefs across a broad set of topic areas above and beyond that explained by demographics (including education, sex, age, and income), political, and religious ideology. Implications for these findings for improving science communication and science-related message tailoring are discussed. Full article
Open AccessArticle Social Exclusion of Multicultural Families in Korea
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(4), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7040063
Received: 19 March 2018 / Revised: 6 April 2018 / Accepted: 9 April 2018 / Published: 13 April 2018
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Abstract
In recent years, Korea has experienced an increase in the number of international marriages and multicultural families, and the treatment of these families has become an important social policy issue for the Korean government. Adopting a social exclusion perspective and employing comprehensive micro-level
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In recent years, Korea has experienced an increase in the number of international marriages and multicultural families, and the treatment of these families has become an important social policy issue for the Korean government. Adopting a social exclusion perspective and employing comprehensive micro-level datasets, this study examined the exclusion of multicultural families in Korea and compared them with ethnic Korean families. Largely based on indicators developed in the EU, this paper examined the extent of social exclusion across six dimensions: income, employment, housing, education, health and social networks. Comparison of social exclusion showed that multicultural families tend to experience a higher level of social exclusion in general than Korean families do. A multivariate analysis using a zero-inflated Poisson regression model revealed that females, elderly marriage migrants and those with lower social status were exposed to particularly higher risks of exclusion, whereas those who spoke fluent Korean or possessed fertile social networks were less likely to face social exclusion. This paper’s findings underscore the need to provide a wider and more demand-oriented social policy to support immigrants and also emphasises the role of Korean language proficiency and social networks in integrating multicultural families. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Gender Disparities in Faculty Rank: Factors that Affect Advancement of Women Scientists at Academic Medical Centers
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(4), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7040062
Received: 15 December 2017 / Revised: 28 March 2018 / Accepted: 29 March 2018 / Published: 12 April 2018
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Abstract
While a significant portion of women within academic science are employed within medical schools, women faculty in these academic medical centers are disproportionately represented in lower faculty ranks. The medical school setting is a critical case for both understanding and advancing women in
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While a significant portion of women within academic science are employed within medical schools, women faculty in these academic medical centers are disproportionately represented in lower faculty ranks. The medical school setting is a critical case for both understanding and advancing women in basic sciences. This study highlights the findings from focus groups conducted with women faculty across Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor ranks (n = 35) in which they discussed barriers and facilitators for advancement of women basic scientists at an academic medical center. Qualitative analysis demonstrated several emergent themes that affect women’s advancement, including gendered expectation norms (e.g., good citizenship, volunteerism), work-life balance, mentorship/sponsorship, adoption of a team science approach, tenure process milestones, soft money research infrastructure, institution specific policies (or lack thereof), and operating within an MD-biased culture. These findings are compared with the extant literature of women scientists in STEM institutions. Factors that emerged from these focus groups highlight the need for evidence-based interventions in the often overlooked STEM arena of academic medical centers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Male-Dominated Domains)
Open AccessArticle Suspect Outsiders or Prospective Citizens? Constructing the Immigrant/German Boundary in Germany’s Integration Courses
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(4), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7040061
Received: 16 March 2018 / Revised: 9 April 2018 / Accepted: 9 April 2018 / Published: 11 April 2018
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Abstract
Most scholarship on integration and assimilation in Europe has examined laws, policies and quantitative data to understand the integration of immigrants. Fewer studies have looked at the meaning of integration for immigrants and host societies. This article helps to fill this gap in
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Most scholarship on integration and assimilation in Europe has examined laws, policies and quantitative data to understand the integration of immigrants. Fewer studies have looked at the meaning of integration for immigrants and host societies. This article helps to fill this gap in scholarship by examining the construction of immigrants and Germany in mandatory integration courses in contemporary Germany. Using ethnographic observations of integration courses and discourse analysis of curricular materials, I analyze these constructions using a boundary-construction approach, where both the content of what separates immigrants from host society members, and the brightness of the boundary are used as a basis for viewing immigrants as outsiders versus citizens. I use the terms suspect outsiders and prospective citizens to describe the nature of the immigrant/German boundary based on these constructions. The findings show that three themes—gender and family norms, democracy and rights, and religious freedom—form the content of the immigrant/German boundary. Within these themes, Germany’s civic integration courses generally construct immigrants as prospective citizens by blurring the immigrant/German boundary. The nature of the immigrant/German boundary is crucial for both the integration of immigrants and for Germany. A bright boundary that invokes the notion of immigrants as fundamentally different places the burden of integration on them to change, while a blurred boundary potentially redefines what it means to be German. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Politics of Race, Ethnicity and Immigration)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The English Catholic New Left: Battling the Religious Establishment and the Politics of the Cold War
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(4), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7040060
Received: 5 March 2018 / Revised: 30 March 2018 / Accepted: 30 March 2018 / Published: 8 April 2018
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Abstract
In the 1960s there appeared in England a group of young university educated Catholics who sought to merge radical Catholic social teachings with the ideas of Karl Marx and the latest insights of European and American sociologists and literary theorists. They were known
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In the 1960s there appeared in England a group of young university educated Catholics who sought to merge radical Catholic social teachings with the ideas of Karl Marx and the latest insights of European and American sociologists and literary theorists. They were known as the English Catholic New Left (ECNL). Under the inspiration of their Dominican mentors, they launched a magazine called Slant that served as the vehicle for publishing their ideas about how Catholic theology along with the Social Gospels fused with neo-Marxism could bring a humanistic socialist revolution to Britain. The Catholic Leftists worked in alliance with the activists of the secular New Left Review to achieve this objective. A major influence on the ECNL was the Marxist Dominican friar Laurence Bright and Herbert McCabe, O. P. Slant took off with great success when Sheed and Ward agreed to publish the journal. Slant featured perceptive, indeed at times brilliant, cutting-edge articles by the Catholic Left’s young Turks, including Terry Eagleton, Martin Redfern, Bernard Sharratt, and Angela and Adrian Cunningham, among others. A major target of the Slant project was the Western Alliance’s Cold War strategy of nuclear deterrence, which they saw to be contrary to Christian just war theory and ultimately destructive of humankind. Another matter of concern for the Slant group was capitalist imperialism that ravaged the underdeveloped world and was a major destabilizing factor for achieving world peace and social equality. Despite their failure to achieve a social revolution “baptized by Christianity,” the English Catholic New Left broke new ground in terms of showing how a traditional religion with a highly conservative and sometimes reactionary history had the capacity to offer new paths forward and remain an inspiration to progressive thinking Christians trying to navigate the shoals of a post-modern world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Christians and the Cold War)
Open AccessArticle Big Data in Ottoman Urban Studies: A Relational Approach to the Archival Data and to Socio-Spatial Analyses of an Early Modern Ottoman City
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(4), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7040059
Received: 1 January 2018 / Revised: 24 March 2018 / Accepted: 5 April 2018 / Published: 8 April 2018
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Abstract
This paper focuses on two basic archival sources of Ottoman urban history: avârız tax surveys and surety surveys of Edirne in the second half of the seventeenth century. These tax and surety surveys, which are abundant in the Ottoman archives, contain rich information
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This paper focuses on two basic archival sources of Ottoman urban history: avârız tax surveys and surety surveys of Edirne in the second half of the seventeenth century. These tax and surety surveys, which are abundant in the Ottoman archives, contain rich information on the residents of Ottoman cities, including names, titles, occupation, gender, religion, property status and numbers of tax units (avârızhane). All this information is given on the basis of the mahalle (neighborhood), which provides a practical point of departure for “reading” the Ottoman city. Each register contains approximately 10,000 household heads, with about 10 different attributes listed for each of them. In addition, the data contain some numerical information (e.g., numbers of tax units), although a majority of it is nominal. While some types of nominal data, like religion and gender, comprise only a few possible variants and can thus be analyzed without further classification, others, such as occupation data, contain hundreds, and thus cannot be analyzed without clustering them. In analyzing the data, the distribution of each attribute in the city and its density in an urban space (scaling) can be presented in the form of ratios. One may perform these analyses in the first stage with conventional statistical methods. However, this study attempts for the first time to achieve two further goals: connecting the data types to each other; and highlighting the distinguishing differences among the mahalles using the methods of hierarchical clustering, correspondence analysis, and creating maps by geographic information systems (GIS) applications—none of which is possible with conventional methods. Such an exploration suits both the relational approach I am trying to advocate here—namely, that all elements in the city must be understood in relation to one another—and my effort to lay out the general features of the Ottoman city. This approach will allow us to see how these attributes are spatially distributed based solely on the guidance provided by the big data available in the sources. In this context, I explore the topographical similarities of the mahalles on the one hand, and the socio-economic features and structures of attribute profiles via the scale of their “corresponding distances” on the other. These topographical vicinities and socio-spatial neighbors resemble and do not resemble each other in the city. This paper discusses the processes, challenges and possible contributions of the application of big data to urban historical studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Big Data and the Human and Social Sciences)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Evaluating the Impact of an Active Labour Market Policy on Employment: Short- and Long-Term Perspectives
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(4), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7040058
Received: 8 March 2018 / Revised: 23 March 2018 / Accepted: 27 March 2018 / Published: 5 April 2018
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Abstract
The Labour Market Insertion Contract was an Active Labour Market Policy introduced in Spain. It was aimed at individuals who had difficulties entering the labour market, and it was introduced with the purpose of reducing the rate of unemployment. This article provides an
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The Labour Market Insertion Contract was an Active Labour Market Policy introduced in Spain. It was aimed at individuals who had difficulties entering the labour market, and it was introduced with the purpose of reducing the rate of unemployment. This article provides an estimation of the average impact that this contract had on the employability of individuals in the short and long term. A microeconomic analysis was carried out based on causal statistical inference by using propensity score matching and kernel and radial estimators. Data was taken from the most comprehensive database available, which is the Continuous Sample of Work Histories. Results are consistent with literature reports and show that the employability of participants was inferior to that of individuals with similar, temporary-type contracts. This research contributes to the literature by evaluating whether there was empirical evidence to support the political decision to revoke or replace this kind of direct employment programme. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The European Natural Gas Market Reforms Revisited: Differentiating between Regulatory Output and Outcome
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(4), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7040057
Received: 1 March 2018 / Revised: 26 March 2018 / Accepted: 2 April 2018 / Published: 4 April 2018
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Abstract
The article addresses the question of how successful the European natural gas reforms of 1998, 2003, and 2009 have been in terms of increasing competition in the sector. We argue that regulatory provisions are policy output variables, which as such do not affect
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The article addresses the question of how successful the European natural gas reforms of 1998, 2003, and 2009 have been in terms of increasing competition in the sector. We argue that regulatory provisions are policy output variables, which as such do not affect competition directly. However, successful reforms can have an impact on the market structure, which might lead to increased competition and price reductions. Thus, it is pivotal to differentiate between policy output and outcome variables. Therefore, we first conduct a cross-sectional analysis of the regulatory impact on the market structure. Second, we apply error-correction models to test whether changes in the market structure affected the price development. Our findings suggest that the market reforms were successful in terms of liberalizing the sector, whereas the market structure did not affect the natural gas prices. Thus, we see a “successful failure” of the European natural gas market reforms. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Roots of the Religious Cold War: Pre-Cold War Factors
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(4), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7040056
Received: 9 March 2018 / Revised: 28 March 2018 / Accepted: 30 March 2018 / Published: 3 April 2018
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Abstract
The article is an examination of the roots of the amalgam of complex forces that informed the ‘religious cold war’. It looks at the near and the more distant past. Naturally this includes consideration of the interwar years and those of the Second
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The article is an examination of the roots of the amalgam of complex forces that informed the ‘religious cold war’. It looks at the near and the more distant past. Naturally this includes consideration of the interwar years and those of the Second World War. It also means addressing divisions in Christianity that can be traced back to the end of the third century, to the official split of 1054 between Catholic and Orthodox, the impact of the Crusades and the entrenched hostility that followed the fifty-seven years imposition on Constantinople of a Latin Patriarch. It surveys the rise of significant forces that were to contribute to, as well as consolidate and strengthen, the religious cold war: civil religion, Christian fundamentalism and the Religious Right. The article examines both western and eastern mobilization of national religious resources for political purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Christians and the Cold War)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Vietnam War, the Church, the Christian Democratic Party and the Italian Left Catholics
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(4), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7040055
Received: 6 March 2018 / Revised: 22 March 2018 / Accepted: 28 March 2018 / Published: 3 April 2018
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Abstract
Over the years of the Cold War, the conflict in Vietnam assumed the significance of a clash between two civilizations, the West and communism. Italian Catholics thus found themselves not only invoking the end of the conflict, but also expressing their evaluations on
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Over the years of the Cold War, the conflict in Vietnam assumed the significance of a clash between two civilizations, the West and communism. Italian Catholics thus found themselves not only invoking the end of the conflict, but also expressing their evaluations on the choices made in international politics by the two superpowers. The positions assumed by the ecclesiastic Institution, the Christian Democrats and the Catholic world in Italy towards the war in Indochina were not identical: in fact, if—with a few exceptions—the ecclesiastic hierarchy was distinguished by its extreme caution, in the Catholic party different positions became manifest. It was mainly in Catholic associations, and in general amongst believers closer to the experience of the Vatican Council, that a radical sense of aversion to U.S. foreign policy developed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Christians and the Cold War)
Open AccessArticle Effect of Economic Vulnerability on Competitive Advantages, Enterprise Performance and Sustainability
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(4), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7040054
Received: 6 March 2018 / Revised: 27 March 2018 / Accepted: 31 March 2018 / Published: 3 April 2018
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Abstract
This study investigated the effect of economic vulnerability upon competitive advantages, performance, and sustainability of micro-enterprises owned and managed by micro-entrepreneurs who participate in varied development initiatives in Peninsular Malaysia. Upon adopting the cross-sectional design, data were randomly collected from selected 300 micro-entrepreneurs
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This study investigated the effect of economic vulnerability upon competitive advantages, performance, and sustainability of micro-enterprises owned and managed by micro-entrepreneurs who participate in varied development initiatives in Peninsular Malaysia. Upon adopting the cross-sectional design, data were randomly collected from selected 300 micro-entrepreneurs from the eKasih program (national poverty data bank) located in four states of Peninsular Malaysia. The quantitative data were collected by conducting structured interview sessions with the respondents held from September until November 2017. The findings revealed that the state of economic vulnerability among the respondents had a significantly negative effect on the aspects of competitive advantages, performance, and sustainability among micro-enterprises in Peninsular Malaysia. Despite of the widely acknowledged and empirically examined effects of socioeconomic antecedents upon micro-enterprise performance, the focus on the effect of a more comprehensive measure of socioeconomic condition, that is, economic vulnerability, among low-income households appears to be scant. Hence, the outcomes of this study are able to provide critical insights for development organizations pertaining to development programs and their effectiveness on economically vulnerable, particularly among low-income households in Peninsular Malaysia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inequality and Poverty)
Open AccessArticle Significant Indicators and Determinants of Happiness: Evidence from a UK Survey and Revealed by a Data-Driven Systems Modelling Approach
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(4), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7040053
Received: 1 March 2018 / Revised: 24 March 2018 / Accepted: 27 March 2018 / Published: 29 March 2018
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Abstract
This study aims to establish a quantitative relationship between lifestyle and happiness in the UK based on over 10,000 surveyed samples with 63 lifestyle variables from the UK Understanding Society Data. Transparent parametric models are built and a number of significant explanatory variables
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This study aims to establish a quantitative relationship between lifestyle and happiness in the UK based on over 10,000 surveyed samples with 63 lifestyle variables from the UK Understanding Society Data. Transparent parametric models are built and a number of significant explanatory variables (lifestyle indicators) have been identified using a systems engineering modelling approach. Specifically; based on the traditional orthogonal forward regression (OFR) algorithm; the study introduces a new metrics; with which the impacts of lifestyle variables (and/or their interactions) can be quantitatively measured and identified one by one. These identified significant indicators provide a meaningful parsimonious representation of the relationship between happiness and lifestyle; revealing how happiness quantitatively depends on lifestyle; and how the lifestyle variables interactively affect happiness. For example; the quantitative results of a linear model indicate that lifestyle variables such as ‘health’; ‘income’; and ‘retirement’; impacts happiness significantly. Furthermore; the results of a bilinear model show that some interaction variables such as ‘retired’ together with ‘elder’; ‘fair health’ together with ‘low-income’ and so on; are significantly related to happiness. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Secret of Self-Made: The Potential of Different Types of Consumer Participation for Product Attachment and Commercial Value
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(4), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7040052
Received: 29 December 2017 / Revised: 5 March 2018 / Accepted: 25 March 2018 / Published: 28 March 2018
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Abstract
Consumer participation in the product production process offers chances for consumers and marketers alike, promising a better fit to consumer needs, a more fulfilling product relationship, and a higher willingness to pay (WTP). To exploit this potential, a key question is as to
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Consumer participation in the product production process offers chances for consumers and marketers alike, promising a better fit to consumer needs, a more fulfilling product relationship, and a higher willingness to pay (WTP). To exploit this potential, a key question is as to what type of participation evokes the most positive effects with respect to product attachment and commercial value. Two experimental studies in different product domains (cloth bag design and smartphone customization) explore the specific effects of self-creation versus self-design (study 1, N = 106) and functional versus cosmetic customization (study 2, N = 272). Study 1 highlighted the role of product attachment as a mediator of WTP and the role of experienced effort related to consumer participation as one chance to create such attachment. The specific type of consumer participation appeared to be less decisive, i.e., self-design and self-creation appeared to be equally successful for creating product attachment. Study 2 revealed cosmetic customization to be more related to product attachment, functional customization to be more related to WTP, and both in combination as most effective. In addition to a number of theoretical and practical contributions to the psychological understanding and successful design of consumer participation, the present study highlights several aspects for future exploration such as potential backfire effects of customization. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Being Different with Dignity: Buddhist Inclusiveness of Homosexuality
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(4), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7040051
Received: 22 January 2018 / Revised: 22 February 2018 / Accepted: 8 March 2018 / Published: 21 March 2018
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Abstract
Stigmatising homosexual individuals damages their emotional health and quality of life. In particular, those with religious beliefs may additionally suffer from religious discordance due to their sexual preferences. This exploratory research investigates how Buddhists perceive homosexuality and how Buddhist lesbians, gays and bisexuals
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Stigmatising homosexual individuals damages their emotional health and quality of life. In particular, those with religious beliefs may additionally suffer from religious discordance due to their sexual preferences. This exploratory research investigates how Buddhists perceive homosexuality and how Buddhist lesbians, gays and bisexuals (LGBs) accept their sexual orientation. It adopts semi-structured Internet-based text and voice interviews with 11 participants, including homosexual Buddhists, Buddhist masters, and heterosexual Buddhists. The findings are analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis, with the aid of a computerised qualitative data-analysis package. Results reveal a compassionate culture towards this marginalised group, for which Buddhist LGBs cultivate self-acceptance through Buddhist teachings, such as the clarification of nature and manifestation, Buddhist equality, and proper interpretation of precepts. These teachings also encourage inclusiveness. Full article
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