Open AccessArticle
A Qualitative Study Exploring the Psychosocial Needs of Male Undocumented Afghan Migrants in Istanbul, Turkey
Societies 2018, 8(2), 22; doi:10.3390/soc8020022 -
Abstract
(1) Background: Refugees and asylum-seekers from Afghanistan have been shown to be highly distressed as a result of pre- and post-resettlement traumas. However, little is known about the challenges that Afghan migrants endure while residing in Turkey, a population that has grown at
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(1) Background: Refugees and asylum-seekers from Afghanistan have been shown to be highly distressed as a result of pre- and post-resettlement traumas. However, little is known about the challenges that Afghan migrants endure while residing in Turkey, a population that has grown at unprecedented rates in recent years, and largely deemed illegal by Turkish asylum and settlement laws; (2) Methods: We conducted interviews with 15 Afghan males residing in Istanbul, Turkey in late 2015. A qualitative content analysis technique informed by Qualitative Description was used to analyze the data; (3) Results: Narratives revealed that motives for migrating to Turkey are driven by both a humanitarian need for protection against persecution and economic deprivation. While they are in transit, we observed that Afghan migrants are victimized, exposed to multiple traumas; and, in Turkey experience poverty, unemployment, and exploitation while living in poor conditions and receive no social assistance. Lastly, interviews revealed that their hopes reflect their motives for migrating, that is, to have a stable life and to support their families back home where ever they end up resettling; and (4) Conclusions: Our qualitative interviews clarified the harrowing and demoralizing transit experiences and the depth of exploitation and precarious living conditions that Afghans currently face. Findings have implications for asylum policies, and for delivering culturally-competent interventions that promote the overall well-being of Afghans in Turkey. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Transitions to Adulthood and Generational Change in Portugal
Societies 2018, 8(2), 21; doi:10.3390/soc8020021 -
Abstract
Much of the research on contemporary youth in Western societies has shown that transitions to adulthood are being postponed, protracted, and becoming more complex (i.e., less likely to follow a predictable and “orderly” sequence as in earlier generations). Extended schooling periods, changes in
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Much of the research on contemporary youth in Western societies has shown that transitions to adulthood are being postponed, protracted, and becoming more complex (i.e., less likely to follow a predictable and “orderly” sequence as in earlier generations). Extended schooling periods, changes in the labor market and challenges to obtaining autonomous housing are some of the top drivers for such change. Demographers interpret such developments as a sign of a second demographic transition, whereas sociologists stress that they are a consequence of the broader process of social individualization, by which individuals are assuming an increasingly central role in the organization of their lives. While in younger cohorts the evidence base is strong concerning transitions to adulthood, in some national contexts comparisons with the past rely on impressionistic accounts or to easily assume that some social, economic, and cultural factors were present. Drawing on data from the “Family Trajectories and Social Networks: The life course in an intergenerational perspective” research project, this paper re-examines the transitions to adulthood of three Portuguese cohorts (born in 1935–1940, 1950–1955 and 1970–1975), namely in what concerns their timing, duration, and sequence. This is achieved by looking at their life-calendars across different domains (namely family and intimate relations, school, and work). Analysis of the results allows us to discuss critically to what extent current transitions to adulthood are different and to assess cohort heterogeneity according to class and gender. Additionally, it enables us to frame discussions on generational and structural change more adequately in Portugal. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Human Development and Social Support for State Authority in Brazil
Societies 2018, 8(2), 20; doi:10.3390/soc8020020 -
Abstract
Several studies have observed a syndrome of shifting values within different cultures over the past five decades. This work investigates whether these cultural changes have been followed by changes in individual attitudes regarding state authority in Brazil. Using data from the World Values
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Several studies have observed a syndrome of shifting values within different cultures over the past five decades. This work investigates whether these cultural changes have been followed by changes in individual attitudes regarding state authority in Brazil. Using data from the World Values Survey, we tested the hypotheses proposed by Ronald Inglehart that the increasing prevalence of self-expression and secular-rational values has been followed by an increasing societal emphasis on civic autonomy over state authority. The results do not provide evidence to support this hypothesis for Brazil. Instead, the study shows a stable pattern of support for state authority in the past three decades despite the increasing level of self-expression values. The study suggests that these attitudes are related to long-lasting characteristics of the political culture and public expectations regarding the role of the state in reducing social inequality in Brazil. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Exploring Clothing as a Barrier to Workplace Participation Faced by People Living with Disabilities
Societies 2018, 8(1), 19; doi:10.3390/soc8010019 -
Abstract
In response to research which argues that people living with a disability (PLWD) face societal barriers including workplace participation, this study explored how the barriers to social participation, specifically workplace participation, faced by PLWD are exacerbated by the lack of appropriate clothing and
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In response to research which argues that people living with a disability (PLWD) face societal barriers including workplace participation, this study explored how the barriers to social participation, specifically workplace participation, faced by PLWD are exacerbated by the lack of appropriate clothing and the role that stigma, self-efficacy, and clothing have in workplace participation. Finding appropriate clothing is a significant barrier to social participation for many PLWD. The social model of disability used in this study supports this by suggesting that it is society which places barriers to PLWD rather than their disability. A qualitative inquiry of semi-structured, in-depth interviews was used, and the results showcase six sub-themes of barriers: work defines me, disability as the barrier to workplace participation, work allows extra societal opportunities, stigma questions my self-efficacy, workplace accommodations diminish my stigma, and clothing builds my self-efficacy. The study found that, for PLWD, workplace participation is hindered because of occupational typecasting and lack of appropriate clothing, which increases their stigma and decreases their self-efficacy. The contributions of this study include theory support, policy, community, and educational enhancement. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Development and Validation of the Psychological Well-Being Scale for Children (PWB-c)
Societies 2018, 8(1), 18; doi:10.3390/soc8010018 -
Abstract
Research into children’s psychological well-being is scarce and fragmented. To be able to study the predictors of children’s psychological well-being and advance the field, a reliable and valid measure is needed. In studies among adults, psychological well-being (PWB) is commonly measured along six
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Research into children’s psychological well-being is scarce and fragmented. To be able to study the predictors of children’s psychological well-being and advance the field, a reliable and valid measure is needed. In studies among adults, psychological well-being (PWB) is commonly measured along six dimensions (environmental mastery, personal growth, purpose in life, self-acceptance, autonomy, and positive relations with others) using Ryff’s PWB scale. Because the original scale was too abstract for use among children, we adapted its items to make them suitable for 8- to 12-year-olds. After a successful pretest, we conducted a pilot study (N = 157) and main study (N = 1877) to test the statistical properties of our Psychological Well-Being scale for children (PWB-c). Based on confirmatory factor analysis three versions were developed with, respectively, 24, 12, and 6 items. All versions were tested for internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and construct validity. We recommend using the 24- or 12-item versions of the scale, because they score high on all three criteria. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Towards a Conceptualization of Young People’s Political Engagement: A Qualitative Focus Group Study
Societies 2018, 8(1), 17; doi:10.3390/soc8010017 -
Abstract
Disenchantment with politics and low electoral turnout does not mean young people are not engaged with politics. However, our understanding of what being ‘politically engaged’ entails is somewhat challenged by the lack of consensus concerning the definition of this particular concept. Furthermore, existing
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Disenchantment with politics and low electoral turnout does not mean young people are not engaged with politics. However, our understanding of what being ‘politically engaged’ entails is somewhat challenged by the lack of consensus concerning the definition of this particular concept. Furthermore, existing conceptualizations of political engagement and participation (offline and online) often center on a limited set of political action items, failing to realize that a person can be politically engaged but not participate in political actions. Despite attempts to understand how young people themselves define politics, there are insufficient youth specific explanations of what being politically engaged means. In the present study, focus groups including young people (18–24 years) were conducted to examine understandings of political engagement. Participants were also asked to group a set of items they considered most accurately assessed this construct. Using the results, a conceptualization is proposed taking into account young people’s definitions of political engagement; this suggests that young people consider political engagement to have emotional and cognitive dimensions but also to be conceptually distinct from political participation. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Homelessness Pathways for Australian Single Mothers and Their Children: An Exploratory Study
Societies 2018, 8(1), 16; doi:10.3390/soc8010016 -
Abstract
There is increasing concern about family homelessness. Homeless mothers and their children are one of society’s most disadvantaged and at-risk populations. However, very little Australian research exploring mothers’ views on their homelessness experiences exists. Using semi-structured interviews with 14 mothers and four agency
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There is increasing concern about family homelessness. Homeless mothers and their children are one of society’s most disadvantaged and at-risk populations. However, very little Australian research exploring mothers’ views on their homelessness experiences exists. Using semi-structured interviews with 14 mothers and four agency staff, this study explored homeless Australian mothers’ pathways into and out of homelessness, their specific needs and the services and supports that were (or would have been) most helpful. In this sample of single mothers and their children, early experiences of homelessness and domestic violence contributed most commonly to homelessness episodes. Almost immediate engagement with welfare agencies seemed to be protective against re-experiencing homelessness, however Australian restrictions on length of program involvement and limited housing options for mothers exiting homelessness programs, may place such mothers and their children at high risk of re-entering homelessness. Younger mothers had greater needs and benefited most from personalised one-on-one support that addressed key parenting and life skills. The implications of these findings are considered in relation to service delivery to this vulnerable group and avenues for future research are noted. Full article
Open AccessArticle
How Are University Gyms Used by Staff and Students? A Mixed-Method Study Exploring Gym Use, Motivation, and Communication in Three UK Gyms
Societies 2018, 8(1), 15; doi:10.3390/soc8010015 -
Abstract
This study examined university gym use by staff and students using mixed methods: participant observation and an e-survey. Research in three UK universities entailed 16 observation sessions and an e-survey that reached 3396 students and staff. The research focused on gym use, the
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This study examined university gym use by staff and students using mixed methods: participant observation and an e-survey. Research in three UK universities entailed 16 observation sessions and an e-survey that reached 3396 students and staff. The research focused on gym use, the gym environment, the presentation of the self, and social interaction within gym spaces. The gyms were found to have a difficult role to play in providing functionality for some, while helping others to be active and minimize feelings of isolation and lack of control. This led to these gyms developing spaces of exercise rather than therapeutic spaces, and divisions in use of space, with some areas rarely used and often highly gendered, resulting in contested meanings produced within Healthy University discourses and physical activities. Full article
Open AccessArticle
A Global Generation? Youth Studies in a Postcolonial World
Societies 2018, 8(1), 14; doi:10.3390/soc8010014 -
Abstract
Today’s young people navigate a world that becomes simultaneously more interconnected and less capable of silencing long-standing inequities. What analytical perspectives does a sociology of youth and generations require in such a context? This paper makes two suggestions: to conceptualize generations as global
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Today’s young people navigate a world that becomes simultaneously more interconnected and less capable of silencing long-standing inequities. What analytical perspectives does a sociology of youth and generations require in such a context? This paper makes two suggestions: to conceptualize generations as global rather than regionally bound (cf. Mannheim 1928) and to transgress the colonial bifurcation of academia between sociology for the so-called ‘modern’ world and area studies and anthropology for the so-called ‘developing’ world. Drawing from a large body of literature on African youth that has hitherto remained unheeded in youth studies, as well as from postcolonial theory and ethnographic fieldwork in Guinea and Uganda, I argue that academic representations of African youth constitute a particularly insightful repertoire for investigating the methodological challenges and potentials of a global sociological perspective on youth. Full article
Open AccessArticle
A Psychometric Evaluation of a Swedish Version of the Positive–Negative Sex-Role Inventory (PN-SRI)
Societies 2018, 8(1), 13; doi:10.3390/soc8010013 -
Abstract
The Positive–Negative Sex-Role Inventory (PN-SRI) assesses gender identity. The aim of this study was to evaluate the validity and reliability of a Swedish version of the PN-SRI in a population of 70-year-olds within the Gothenburg H70-study in Sweden. The overarching objective of testing
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The Positive–Negative Sex-Role Inventory (PN-SRI) assesses gender identity. The aim of this study was to evaluate the validity and reliability of a Swedish version of the PN-SRI in a population of 70-year-olds within the Gothenburg H70-study in Sweden. The overarching objective of testing the PN-SRI within the H70-study was to evaluate its usability to further study gender identity in large population-based samples of older adults. A total of 1124 individuals participated in the psychometric testing. A sub-sample of these (n = 406) provided a comprehensive survey regarding societal norms on femininity and masculinity. Reliability and validity tests were performed using Cronbach’s Alpha and factor analyses. The Cronbach’s α coefficients (0.734–0.787) indicated a satisfactory level of internal consistency, and the four-factor model (Model 2) fitted the data at an acceptable level (root-mean-square error of approximation, RMSEA = 0.068, standardized root-mean-square residual, SRMR = 0.07). This cross-cultural adaptation of the PN-SRI indicates that it may be applicable in a Swedish research setting comprising older adults. Future research is needed to further test the psychometric properties of this scale. Adding the PN-SRI to population-based studies will contribute to providing a nuanced way of analyzing differences and similarities among men and women. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Disablement Score: An Intersubjective Severity Scale of the Social Exclusion of Disabled People
Societies 2018, 8(1), 12; doi:10.3390/soc8010012 -
Abstract
If a disability is understood as a type of social exclusion, its severity can be gauged from the social aspect. Such measurement is necessary to explore the intersubjective structure of social exclusion associated with bodily functions and structures. This paper presents a sociological
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If a disability is understood as a type of social exclusion, its severity can be gauged from the social aspect. Such measurement is necessary to explore the intersubjective structure of social exclusion associated with bodily functions and structures. This paper presents a sociological and statistical method to rate the severity of a disability as social exclusion. The method is modeled on the rating procedure of occupational prestige. According to this technique, people subjectively rate severity by answering a questionnaire. The ratings are converted into a score (the “disablement score”). The method is applied in a preliminary web survey. The reliability of the scale is examined. People evaluate various conditions very differently, with physical conditions with functional limitations rated as severe and disfigurements as mild. Although the result does not necessarily agree with the objective circumstances, it is meaningful in that it reflects people’s reactions and attitudes toward disabilities. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Age, Period, and Cohort Differences in Work Centrality and Work Values
Societies 2018, 8(1), 11; doi:10.3390/soc8010011 -
Abstract
In this paper, we analyze whether work values differ between three dimensions of time (age, birth cohort, period). Using data of five waves of the World Values Survey and the European Values Study from more than forty countries and hierarchical age-period-cohort regression models,
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In this paper, we analyze whether work values differ between three dimensions of time (age, birth cohort, period). Using data of five waves of the World Values Survey and the European Values Study from more than forty countries and hierarchical age-period-cohort regression models, we did not find relevant gaps between birth cohorts with respect to the relative importance of work or with respect to work values. Thus, we claim that, in European and Euro-Atlantic countries, birth cohorts, on average, do not differ significantly with regard to their work values. Our results suggest, however, that the relative importance of work is significantly higher in the middle-age groups than among the younger or older groups. Regarding work values, we found that the importance of having an interesting job, good pay, and good hours decreases with age, and that job security is equally important at every age, whereas the importance of having a useful job increases with age. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Faith Resilience: Everyday Experiences
Societies 2018, 8(1), 10; doi:10.3390/soc8010010 -
Abstract
The concept of resilience continues to be popular within various discourses and disciplines across the social and natural sciences, and has also been adopted politically and in policy. The concept’s extended and widening usage in ever-increasing contexts creates further complexities and contestation on
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The concept of resilience continues to be popular within various discourses and disciplines across the social and natural sciences, and has also been adopted politically and in policy. The concept’s extended and widening usage in ever-increasing contexts creates further complexities and contestation on what construes resilience. Generally, in these conceptualisations, resilience is a positive outcome following significant crisis and disaster at an extreme scale. However, such definitions and constructs ignore that resilience manifests itself in subtler and more mundane ways in people’s daily life and daily activities. This article explores how resilience is built into everyday life and how faith is used as a tool of resilience by individuals from diverse communities in their daily experiences in the city of Birmingham. This article contributes to the resilience literature by exposing examples of resilience as narrated during our in-depth interviews with participants (comprised of members from various new and established migrant ethnic communities), with particular attention given to faith as a form of resilience. This article argues that resilience manifests itself in the day-to-day experiences and practices of individuals and that faith can play an important role in individuals’ lives in overcoming and coping with the challenges of their daily stressors. Full article
Open AccessReview
First Nations People: Addressing the Relationships between Under-Enrollment in Medical Education, STEM Education, and Health in the United States
Societies 2018, 8(1), 9; doi:10.3390/soc8010009 -
Abstract
In the United States of America, an analysis of enrollment statistics to institutions of higher education, those pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields, as well as those pursuing medical education show a paralleled ethnic stratification. Based upon such stratification, Native Americans
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In the United States of America, an analysis of enrollment statistics to institutions of higher education, those pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields, as well as those pursuing medical education show a paralleled ethnic stratification. Based upon such stratification, Native Americans consistently rank amongst the lowest demographic groups to enroll in and pursue higher education, STEM or medical education. A perturbed history of the First Nations people in the establishment of the United States of America laid the foundation for a multitude of factors contributing to current trends in health, living, and academic pursuits amongst First Nation’s people. This paper aims to explore the factors underlying the lack of Native American enrollment in higher education, careers in STEM and medicine. An investigation was conducted following a broad literature review relevant to the topic, and articles were critically appraised using the Search, Appraisal, Synthesis of Analysis (SALSA) framework as well as the Standards for Reporting Qualitative Research (SRQR). Findings from such studies indicate that the Native American communities face a unique set of social circumstances rooted in a historical context, with several unmet basic needs of living required for integration, access, and pursuit of higher education. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Young People Engaging in Volunteering: Questioning a Generational Trend in an Individualized Society
Societies 2018, 8(1), 8; doi:10.3390/soc8010008 -
Abstract
Today young people experience a world that is being significantly changed by large-scale transformations in education and labour markets. Youth, as a generation, is most affected by those changes, since they are more likely to reshape their ways of living in response to
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Today young people experience a world that is being significantly changed by large-scale transformations in education and labour markets. Youth, as a generation, is most affected by those changes, since they are more likely to reshape their ways of living in response to the conditions they face, which inevitably produce inequalities in their lives. Volunteering is one of their responses. This paper aims to discuss the generational motivations and attitudes of a group of 11 European young people to participate in a European Voluntary Service project during a period of one year. The data was collected through an ethnographic methodological approach conducted between 2013 and 2014 in a Youth Centre in northern Portugal. Results clearly indicate that young people have an instrumental relationship with volunteering, which is mainly focused on the individual benefits that they believe they will acquire in their personal and professional life. Volunteering emerges as an opportunity to escape and to overcome the persisting challenges and constraints posed by our society; namely unemployment and precariousness, both of which are on the rise amongst young generations around the world. Full article
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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