Open AccessArticle
A Job of One’s Own. Does Women’s Labor Market Participation Influence the Economic Insecurity of Households?
Societies 2018, 8(1), 7; doi:10.3390/soc8010007 -
Abstract
Background: The article investigates the phenomenon of economic insecurity from a feminist perspective, assessing the role of women’s labour market participation in predicting the phenomenon. It draws on the work of Trifiletti (1999) to analyse women’s role in providing welfare for the
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Background: The article investigates the phenomenon of economic insecurity from a feminist perspective, assessing the role of women’s labour market participation in predicting the phenomenon. It draws on the work of Trifiletti (1999) to analyse women’s role in providing welfare for the entire family. Methods: Stemming from a cross-sectional analysis of European Union statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) 2013, logistic regression models (for women in a couple and for single women) are provided for six countries. Results: The descriptive analysis shows that economic insecurity affects single women more than single men, while couples fare better in all countries considered. Transversal factors that explain the phenomenon in logistic regressions are household type and wealth of the family, while the role of women’s labour market participation and economic dependency from partners or from a welfare system varies across countries. Conclusions: Empirical results show that countries only partially comply with the theoretical model proposed by Trifiletti (1999), which proceeded from the welfare regime debate. Italy and Spain show more difference than similarity. The results for Italy and the United Kingdom confirm those of previous investigations that indicate their similarity, while France and Spain are closer to the Mediterranean archetype. The results for the Czech Republic confirm its proximity to the breadwinner model, as Denmark epitomises the heuristic capacity of the Universalist model in Northern European countries. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Societies in 2017
Societies 2018, 8(1), 6; doi:10.3390/soc8010006 -
Abstract
Peer review is an essential part in the publication process, ensuring that Societies maintains high quality standards for its published papers[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Cameron, Conservatives and a Christian Britain: A Critical Exploration of Political Discourses about Religion in the Contemporary United Kingdom
Societies 2018, 8(1), 5; doi:10.3390/soc8010005 -
Abstract
In the British setting, the deployment of the phrase ‘doing god’ has become increasingly common to refer to an emerging trend whereby religion has acquired an increasingly prominent role in political spaces and discourses. This was particularly prominent while David Cameron was Prime
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In the British setting, the deployment of the phrase ‘doing god’ has become increasingly common to refer to an emerging trend whereby religion has acquired an increasingly prominent role in political spaces and discourses. This was particularly prominent while David Cameron was Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party. While historically, religion has not had a prominent place in either the former Prime Minister David Cameron. Here, the findings from critical analyzing a series of Cameron’s public pronouncements about religion—and Christianity in particular—is set out to try and better understand his own adherence to Christianity (the personal) how this intersected with his politics and role as Prime Minister (the political), and more importantly how this shaped his views about Britain being a Christian country (the national). Contextualized within the embryonic scholarly literature relating to the phenomenon of ‘doing god’ in the contemporary British setting, this article concludes by considering alternative and analogous frames through which greater elucidation of the true motivations of his pronouncements might be understood. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Learning Outcomes in an Introductory Sociology Course: The Role of Learning Approach, Socio-Demographic Characteristics, Group and Teacher Effects
Societies 2018, 8(1), 4; doi:10.3390/soc8010004 -
Abstract
The article discusses a study on learning outcomes in an introductory Sociology course in a higher education setting. A quantitative model similar to education production functions is hypothesized. Independent variables include socio-demographic and psychological ones, as well as others pertaining to the learning
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The article discusses a study on learning outcomes in an introductory Sociology course in a higher education setting. A quantitative model similar to education production functions is hypothesized. Independent variables include socio-demographic and psychological ones, as well as others pertaining to the learning environment. Learning is measured with the binary categories of “deep” and “surface” outcomes, which are qualitatively different, and are based on the comparison of mind maps drawn by students at the beginning and end of their first semester. Questionnaire data was collected from 264 first-year students of a Social Science Faculty. Significant effects on learning outcome are found for family background, major area of study, and teacher’s gender. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The (In)Significance of Socio-Demographic Factors as Possible Determinants of Vietnamese Social Scientists’ Contribution-Adjusted Productivity: Preliminary Results from 2008–2017 Scopus Data
Societies 2018, 8(1), 3; doi:10.3390/soc8010003 -
Abstract
As collaboration has become widespread in academia, and the number of authors per article has increased, the publication count is no longer an accurate indicator of scientific output in many cases. To overcome this limitation, this study defined and computed a relative count
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As collaboration has become widespread in academia, and the number of authors per article has increased, the publication count is no longer an accurate indicator of scientific output in many cases. To overcome this limitation, this study defined and computed a relative count of publications called ‘CP’ (credit-based contribution points), based on the sequence-determines-credit (SDC) method, which takes into account the level of contribution of each author. Analyses were done on a sample of 410 Vietnamese social scientists whose publications were indexed in the Scopus database during 2008–2017. The results showed that the average CP of Vietnamese researchers in the field of social sciences and humanities is very low: more than 88% of authors have a CP less than five over a span 10 years. Researchers with a higher CP were mostly 40–50 years old; however, even for this sub-group, the mean CP was only 3.07. Multiple attributes of first-authorship—including knowledge, research skills, and critical thinking—could boost the CP by a ratio of 1:1.06. There is no evidence of gender differences in productivity, however, there is a regional difference. These findings offer significant insights into the education system in regard to science and technology, namely policy implications for science funding and management strategies for research funds. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Importance of Job and Family Satisfaction for Happiness among Women and Men in Different Gender Regimes
Societies 2018, 8(1), 1; doi:10.3390/soc8010001 -
Abstract
The family and the work place are two arenas of central importance for most adult people. Consequently, one can assume that the level of satisfaction with one’s family life and job may be critical to one’s level of happiness in general. However, there
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The family and the work place are two arenas of central importance for most adult people. Consequently, one can assume that the level of satisfaction with one’s family life and job may be critical to one’s level of happiness in general. However, there are reasons to believe that there are variations according to gender and gender regime. The general aim of this study is to analyse the relative importance of job satisfaction and satisfaction with family life for happiness among women and men in different gender regimes. Analyses are based on comparative data from the International Social Survey Program 2012. Results show that the level of satisfaction with family life appears more important to the general level of happiness than the level of job satisfaction. This is true for both women and men and in different gender regimes. However, the level of satisfaction with family life appears less important to men’s level of happiness in countries representing a conservative gender regime. Another interesting related result is that the level of happiness appears generally lower among women living in a conservative gender regime. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Exploring Women’s Embodied Experiences of ‘The Gaze’ in a Mix-Gendered UK Gym
Societies 2018, 8(1), 2; doi:10.3390/soc8010002 -
Abstract
Feminist and gaze researchers have conducted ongoing discussions surrounding issues relating to the gaze and its impact on female experience. Women have the ‘to-be-looked-atness’ characteristic, with the gaze being directed at the female body, commonly by a male. To date, the focus of
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Feminist and gaze researchers have conducted ongoing discussions surrounding issues relating to the gaze and its impact on female experience. Women have the ‘to-be-looked-atness’ characteristic, with the gaze being directed at the female body, commonly by a male. To date, the focus of feminist research surrounding men looking at women and the analysis how women make sense of looks between women remains limited and scattered. Drawing upon ethnographic data obtained from a PhD research project, this paper delves into the embodied experiences of female exercisers within a UK ‘working-class’ gym. By exploring the women’s own accounts of their living, breathing and sensing bodies as they exercise, I attempt to understand how they make sense of this physical culture, their embodied selves as well as broader constructions of the gendered body. Utilising a feminist phenomenological approach, I explore the social-structural position of women in a patriarchal system of gender relations, whilst simultaneously acknowledging and analysing the structural, cultural and historical forces and location, upon individual lived body experiences and gendered embodiment. Discussion is provided on how women make sense and interpret specific ‘gazes’ encountered within the gym culture from both men and women. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Empowering Domestic Workers: A Critical Analysis of the Belgian Service Voucher System
Societies 2017, 7(4), 36; doi:10.3390/soc7040036 -
Abstract
Domestic cleaners lack bargaining power, which can prevent them from being in control of their work quality. The ‘service voucher system’ is expected to change the power position of domestics. This is expected because the system is formalized by the Belgian government and
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Domestic cleaners lack bargaining power, which can prevent them from being in control of their work quality. The ‘service voucher system’ is expected to change the power position of domestics. This is expected because the system is formalized by the Belgian government and organized through a triangular employment relationship between the domestic, the service voucher company (the employer), and the customers. This study draws on 42 interviews with immigrant and native service voucher cleaners. It probes into how the employment relationship with the company affects the domestics’ perceived power to bargain with customers about determinants of the work quality. Based on the results, policy recommendations are made to further empower domestic cleaners in the relationship with their customers and to help them safeguard their work quality. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Being a Foster Family in Portugal—Motivations and Experiences
Societies 2017, 7(4), 37; doi:10.3390/soc7040037 -
Abstract
Foster care is an almost absent component in the child care system and scientific research conducted in Portugal foster comprises 3.2%1 of out-of-home care in Portugal. This research aims to contribute to a deeper visibility of the care phenomena, giving specific attention
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Foster care is an almost absent component in the child care system and scientific research conducted in Portugal foster comprises 3.2%1 of out-of-home care in Portugal. This research aims to contribute to a deeper visibility of the care phenomena, giving specific attention to the foster families themselves. This research adopted a qualitative analytical approach, inspired by Grounded Theory. Foster families’ motivation is rooted in altruism, affection for children, and sensitivity to maltreatment. Personal and professional biography or past contact with out-of-home care can also induce predisposition to become a carer. The experience of being a carer2 is one of traversing through a life of many challenges and rewards. Considering the recognition from the stakeholders, it is a rewarding task. The quality of the service provided and the performance of the care professionals are both key elements to foster care. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
From Differentiation to Concretisation: Integrative Experiments in Sustainable Architecture
Societies 2017, 7(4), 35; doi:10.3390/soc7040035 -
Abstract
It is widely recognised that the achievement of a sustainable built environment requires holistic design practices and approaches that are capable of balancing the varied, and often conflicting, demands of environmental, social and economic concerns. However, academics and practitioners have recently highlighted, and
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It is widely recognised that the achievement of a sustainable built environment requires holistic design practices and approaches that are capable of balancing the varied, and often conflicting, demands of environmental, social and economic concerns. However, academics and practitioners have recently highlighted, and expressed concerns about the knowledge gap that currently exists within environmental policy, research and practice between understandings of the technical performance of buildings and their social meaning and relevance. This paper acknowledges these concerns and is developed from the author’s own direct experiences of practice-led research and active participation in design-build projects. It argues for a theoretically-informed and socially-engaged approach to built environment research, pedagogy and practice that seeks to encourage an integrative understanding of the design, realisation and use of sustainable architecture. The paper draws on the Philosophy of Technology and in particular the work of Andrew Feenberg to analyse the buildings and to propose an integrated and inclusive framework for understanding sustainable design that acknowledges not just what the built environment does, but also what it means. It also suggests that what a building means also informs what it can do, and for whom. Although the technical and social dimensions of design can be interpreted as distinct practices and are often institutionally separated, this paper argues that the realisation of sustainable design must seek a conscious interaction and interchange between these two differentiated dimensions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Political Consumerism as a Neoliberal Response to Youth Political Disengagement
Societies 2017, 7(4), 34; doi:10.3390/soc7040034 -
Abstract
Recent trends indicate diminishing public engagement with formal electoral politics in many advanced liberal democracies, especially among the younger generations. However, evidence also suggests that there has been a simultaneous interest by many young citizens in political consumerism. In large part, this interest
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Recent trends indicate diminishing public engagement with formal electoral politics in many advanced liberal democracies, especially among the younger generations. However, evidence also suggests that there has been a simultaneous interest by many young citizens in political consumerism. In large part, this interest is shaped as a response to the individualisation and strict ‘economism’ driven by the underlying forces of neoliberalism. Disenfranchised and disillusioned by the seeming incapacity of the purely political sphere to respond to their individualised claims, and having internalised the neoliberal critique of democracy, these young empowered citizen-consumers often search for the ‘political’ within the bounds of the marketplace and are increasingly attracted to consumerist methods of political participation, such as boycotting and buycotting. Given the susceptibility of political consumerism to a neoliberal modus operandi, the lack of available literature problematising its emergence as a response to neoliberal principles is somewhat surprising. The present article will address this gap by connecting the declining levels of electoral participation among younger generations in post-crisis Europe to the rise of political consumerism within the neoliberal ideological hegemony of the ‘marketopoly’. We distinguish between two antithetical, but complimentary effects. Firstly, the internalised neoliberal critique of democracy emphasises the ‘push’ out of the public into the commercial sphere. Secondly, the emerging individualisation of modern ‘liquid’ politics advanced by the postmaterialist sensitivities of young people’s previously affluent socialisation call attention to the existence of a parallel ‘pull’ effect into the ‘marketopoly’, as a habitus of youth political participation. In both cases, the reorganisation of political participation as consumption, and the re-styling of young citizens as ‘empowered’ consumers, delineates political consumerism as an efficacious response to their political disengagement in an increasingly marketised world. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Neoliberalism and the Unfolding Patterns of Young People’s Political Engagement and Political Participation in Contemporary Britain
Societies 2017, 7(4), 33; doi:10.3390/soc7040033 -
Abstract
Recent trends suggest that young people in Britain are increasingly rejecting electoral politics. However, evidence suggests that British youth are not apolitical, but are becoming ever more sceptical of the ability of electoral politics to make a meaningful contribution to their lives. Why
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Recent trends suggest that young people in Britain are increasingly rejecting electoral politics. However, evidence suggests that British youth are not apolitical, but are becoming ever more sceptical of the ability of electoral politics to make a meaningful contribution to their lives. Why young people are adopting new political behaviour and values, however, is still a point of contention. Some authors have suggested that neoliberalism has influenced these new patterns of political engagement. This article will advance this critique of neoliberalism, giving attention to three different facets of neoliberalism and demonstrate how they combine to reduce young people’s expectations of political participation and their perceptions of the legitimacy of political actors. We combine ideational and material critiques to demonstrate how young people’s political engagement has been restricted by neoliberalism. Neoliberalism has influenced youth political participation through its critiques of collective democracy, by the subsequent transformations in political practice that it has contributed to, and through the economic marginalisation that has resulted from its shaping of governments’ monetary policy. This approach will be conceptually predicated on a definition of neoliberalism which acknowledges both its focus on reducing interventions in the economy, and also its productive capacity to modify society to construct market relations and galvanise competition amongst agents. From this definition, we develop the argument that neoliberal critiques of democracy, the subsequent changes in political practices which respond to these criticisms and the transformation in socioeconomic conditions caused by neoliberalism have coalesced to negatively influence young people’s electoral participation. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Trump Veganism: A Political Survey of American Vegans in the Era of Identity Politics
Societies 2017, 7(4), 32; doi:10.3390/soc7040032 -
Abstract
Often stereotyped as being apathetic to the human suffering, the American vegan movement has historically failed to build alliances with other social justice movements. As intersectional feminism gains a foothold in the movement and external political crises challenge the movement’s frame of reference,
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Often stereotyped as being apathetic to the human suffering, the American vegan movement has historically failed to build alliances with other social justice movements. As intersectional feminism gains a foothold in the movement and external political crises challenge the movement’s frame of reference, the role that identity plays in movement progress has become a serious concern. Using the 2016 election as a flashpoint, this article considers if the identity backlash characterized by the Trump campaign finds parallels in the American vegan movement. A survey of 287 American vegans finds limited evidence of Trump veganism, defined here as a single-issue focus on speciesism that rejects the relevance of human-experienced systems of oppression. However, respondents do find that movement diversity efforts are insufficient, especially when controlling for race and gender. Most respondents were ethically-motivated vegans, liberal voters, and intersectionally-oriented activists who reported multiple engagements with various leftist movements. Only four percent of respondents voted Trump, while 14% agreed with or were neutral about Trump’s campaign promise to put “America first”. Those who were vegan for reasons of self-interest and had been vegan for less than a year were significantly more likely to support Trump’s conservative agenda and were slightly less likely to participate in other social movements. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Ambiguity among Managers in Small-Scale Enterprises: How to Handle Business and Workplace Health Management
Societies 2017, 7(4), 31; doi:10.3390/soc7040031 -
Abstract
Despite extensive research on health in working life, few studies focus on this issue from the perspective of managers in small-scale enterprises (SSEs). To gain deeper knowledge of managers’ perceptions and strategies for dealing with workplace health management, 13 Norwegian and Swedish SSE
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Despite extensive research on health in working life, few studies focus on this issue from the perspective of managers in small-scale enterprises (SSEs). To gain deeper knowledge of managers’ perceptions and strategies for dealing with workplace health management, 13 Norwegian and Swedish SSE managers were interviewed after participating in a workplace health development project. The methodical approach was based on Grounded Theory with a constructivist orientation. The main theme that emerged was ‘ambiguity in workplace health management and maintaining the business’, which was related to the categories ‘internal workplace settings’, ‘workplace surroundings’, and ‘leadership strategies’. The managers experienced ambiguity due to internal and external demands. These requirements were linked to the core challenges in dealing with multitasking leadership, financial decision-making, labour legislation, staff development and maintaining business. However, the managers developed new skills and competence and thereby a more reflexive approach and readiness to create a health-promoting workplace from being part of a development project. The implications are that managers in SSEs need to exchange experiences and discuss workplace health issues with other managers in networks. It is also important that occupational health services and social and welfare organizations use tailor-made models and strategies for supporting SSEs. Full article
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Open AccessEssay
Challenges in the Teaching of Sociology in Higher Education. Contributions to a Discussion
Societies 2017, 7(4), 30; doi:10.3390/soc7040030 -
Abstract
At a time when Sociology (either in its introductory or general dimension or in the form of specialised Sociologies) is acknowledged as a scientific discipline with important contributions in training at the higher education level, and not only for the future sociologist, there
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At a time when Sociology (either in its introductory or general dimension or in the form of specialised Sociologies) is acknowledged as a scientific discipline with important contributions in training at the higher education level, and not only for the future sociologist, there is a need to (re)think the problem of teaching Sociology in this context. This article seeks to contribute to this discussion on the teaching of Sociology in higher education, being a grounded reflection that is based on the authors’ teaching experience in the Portuguese context. Sociology has specificities, which we put forward through four framing principles, namely the need to permanently mobilise sociological imagination, be multi-paradigmatic, the need to be receptive to a heuristic interdisciplinarity, and, finally, foster reflexivity at several levels. These principles should, from our standpoint, shape the teaching of Sociology, both delimiting what should be taught and fostering the way to teach while abiding by these principles. As a conclusion, this problem of teaching Sociology needs an in-depth investigation, in the search for a growing pedagogical quality in a context of increasing opportunities to reform the type of teaching provided in higher education, which is a permanent challenge. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Still Troubled: Tunisia’s Youth During and Since the Revolution of 2011
Societies 2017, 7(4), 29; doi:10.3390/soc7040029 -
Abstract
This paper presents evidence from interviews in 2015–2016 with a nationally representative sample of Tunisia’s 15–29 year olds. We focus on the sample’s political participation and orientations during the revolution of 2011 and subsequently. We find that just 6.6 percent of those aged
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This paper presents evidence from interviews in 2015–2016 with a nationally representative sample of Tunisia’s 15–29 year olds. We focus on the sample’s political participation and orientations during the revolution of 2011 and subsequently. We find that just 6.6 percent of those aged 15–24 at the time played any direct part in the ‘events of 2011’. Political engagement then and subsequently is shown to have been influenced most strongly by a university education and growing up in a politically engaged family. In 2015–2016, young people were overwhelmingly pro-democracy, supported equal opportunities and status for the sexes, and endorsed values of self-expression, but attached equal importance to economic security and betterment, felt that their country’s traditions should be maintained and respected, and were personally religious, though three-quarters wanted religion to be kept out of politics and government. Although Tunisia is the sole Arab Spring country to emerge with a still functioning (in 2017) multi-party democracy, we find that in 2015–2016, the majority of young people did not trust their elected politicians. Our survey findings suggest explanations for the paradox between young Tunisians’ overwhelming support for democracy alongside intense disappointment with the outcomes. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Visions of Illness, Disease, and Sickness in Mobile Health Applications
Societies 2017, 7(4), 28; doi:10.3390/soc7040028 -
Abstract
Popular media and public health care discourses describe an increasing number of mobile health technologies. These applications tend to be presented as a means of achieving patient empowerment, patient-centered care, and cost-reduction in public health care. Few of these accounts examine the health
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Popular media and public health care discourses describe an increasing number of mobile health technologies. These applications tend to be presented as a means of achieving patient empowerment, patient-centered care, and cost-reduction in public health care. Few of these accounts examine the health perspectives informing these technologies or the practices of the users of mobile health applications and the kind of data they collect. This article proposes a critical approach to analyzing digital health technologies based on different visions of disease, namely disease, illness, and sickness. The proposed analytical classification system is applied to a set of “mobile health solutions” presented by the Norwegian Technology Council and juxtaposed with the reported use and non-use of several mobile health applications among young patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). The discussion shows how visions on health and disease can affect a patient’s embodied experiences of a physical condition, and, secondly, illustrates how the particular vision inscribed in a mobile health technology can be negotiated to include the patient’s vision. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Benefits of Taekwondo Training for Undergraduate Students: A Phenomenological Study
Societies 2017, 7(3), 27; doi:10.3390/soc7030027 -
Abstract
The purpose of this phenomenological research was to discover whether training in the Korean martial art of Taekwondo may benefit undergraduate (UG) students in handling stress. The goal of this innovative approach to learning and stress management was to allow UG students from
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The purpose of this phenomenological research was to discover whether training in the Korean martial art of Taekwondo may benefit undergraduate (UG) students in handling stress. The goal of this innovative approach to learning and stress management was to allow UG students from across disciplines at a metropolitan university achieve an increased sense of emotional balance, inner peace, and overall well-being in body, mind, and spirit. No such study has been conducted before now. This research was multidisciplinary in its inclusion of insights from the tenets of higher education, human development and psychology, nursing and sociology, as well as the art, philosophy, and sport of Taekwondo. Ten UG student participants were sought for this research study, though a total of eight students agreed to participate. The study was open to all of the UG students at this university. Phenomenology was used to identify themes that emerged regarding student participant’s experience with stress. Consequently, new ideas were established about the ways in which UG students learned to use Taekwondo training to overcome stress, thereby improving upon and maintaining health and well-being in body, mind, and spirit. Full article
Open AccessEssay
From Triple Win to Triple Sin: How a Problematic Future Discourse is Shaping the Way People Age with Technology
Societies 2017, 7(3), 26; doi:10.3390/soc7030026 -
Abstract
This essay provides a critical analysis of the ageing-and-innovation discourse. The ageing-and-innovation discourse is a key rhetorical structure that legitimizes very large investments in technologies for older people. In this discourse, ageing is positioned as an imminent crisis that will affect whole societies,
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This essay provides a critical analysis of the ageing-and-innovation discourse. The ageing-and-innovation discourse is a key rhetorical structure that legitimizes very large investments in technologies for older people. In this discourse, ageing is positioned as an imminent crisis that will affect whole societies, both socially and economically. Investing in technological solutions is, in turn, positioned as a solution that generates benefits on a societal, economical and individual level. This discourse is used to legitimize investment, rally support and reduce uncertainty. We contend that there are three problems with the ageing-and-innovation discourse. First, it legitimizes investment in every technology for older people and thus provides no means of discriminating between useful and non-useful technologies. Second, this discourse presupposes a very negative view of ageing that jars with the positive view of ageing that many older people have, which, in turn, leads to problems with acceptance of these technologies. Third, the ageing-and-innovation discourse creates a moral high ground that makes it hard for opponents to disagree with this discourse. The ageing-and-innovation discourse is a successful rhetorical device, but it ultimately hinders the development of suitable technologies that fit in with the lives of older people and thus needs to be reconsidered by scientists, policy makers and industry. Full article
Open AccessArticle
‘It Just Gives Me a Bit of Peace of Mind’: Australian Women’s Use of Digital Media for Pregnancy and Early Motherhood
Societies 2017, 7(3), 25; doi:10.3390/soc7030025 -
Abstract
A diverse range of digital devices and software are available to women to seek and share information and personal experiences about pregnancy and parenting. This article reports findings from a focus group study involving Australian women who were pregnant or had very young
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A diverse range of digital devices and software are available to women to seek and share information and personal experiences about pregnancy and parenting. This article reports findings from a focus group study involving Australian women who were pregnant or had very young children. The participants were asked to recount their experiences of using digital media for pregnancy and parenting and what media they would like to see developed that were not yet available. The findings revealed that digital media were very important to the participants. They were using mobile apps, social media, content-sharing platforms and online discussion forums to connect with each other and with family members, post images and other information about their pregnancy and children, track their pregnancy or their children’s behaviours and development, and learn about pregnancy, infants and childcare. Despite their frequent use of and reliance on digital media, few participants had begun to consider the implications of sharing personal information about themselves or their children online or by using apps to record details. The implications of these findings are discussed in relation to the complexities of the intersections between information, emotional support, intimacy, personal data generation, sharing and privacy as they are conducted and experienced on the digital media used by women during these life stages. Full article