Soc. Sci.2016, 5(3), 27; doi:10.3390/socsci5030027 (registering DOI) - published 24 June 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: As suggested by previous results, whether, when designing robots, we should make use of social stereotypes and thus perpetuate them is question of present concern. The aim of this study was the identification of the specific conditions under which people’s judgments of robots were no longer guided by stereotypes. The study participants were 121 individuals between 18 and 69 years of age. We used an experimental design and manipulated the gender and strength of robots, and we measured the perception of how a robot could be used in automotive mechanics for light and heavy tasks. Results show that the technical characteristics of robots helped to anchor people’s judgments on robots’ intrinsic characteristics rather than on stereotypical indicators. Thus, stereotype perpetuation does not seem to be the sole option when designing robots.
Abstract: As in the case of many contemporary movements, Iranian women’s activism is connected into local, international and transnational politics. However, Iranian women’s views of transnational solidarity and perceptions of foreign support for women’s rights in Iran are complicated by the experience of Western foreign policy of the last three decades. This is perceived to have claimed to support women’s rights and liberalism against what is often described as a “conservative theocratic state” but has, in some ways, made it more difficult for women to organise “on the ground” and strengthened the hand of conservative forces both materially and ideologically. Two facets of Western foreign policy towards Iran will be discussed and analysed in relation to their impact on women; firstly, this article will investigate the impact of sanctions and the international isolation of the country since 1979 on women’s organisations. Secondly, it will analyse neo-liberalism and the changing nature of the Iranian state, as well as political elites. Utilising interviews with Iranian women activists conducted in 2009, in addition to April 2015, the article will discuss views of transnational solidarity and the diverse political strategies utilised by women activists and organisations in Iran today.
Abstract: The Problem Solving Inventory (PSI) is designed to measure adults’ perceptions of problem-solving ability. The presented study aimed to translate it and assess its reliability and validity in a nationwide sample of 3668 Greek educators. In order to evaluate internal consistency reliability, Cronbach’s alpha coefficient was used. The scale’s construct validity was examined by a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and by investigating its correlation with the Internality, Powerful others and Chance Multidimensional Locus of Control Scale (IPC LOC Scale), the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES) and demographic information. Internal consistency reliability was satisfactory with Cronbach’s alphas ranging from 0.79 to 0.91 for all PSI scales. CFA confirmed that the bi-level model fitted the data well. The root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA), the comparative fit index (CFI) and the goodness of fit index (GFI) values were 0.030, 0.97 and 0.96, respectively, further confirming the bi-level model and the three-factors construct of the PSI. Intercorrelations and correlation coefficients between the PSI, the IPC LOC Scale and the RSES were significant. Age, sex, and working experience differences were found. In conclusion, the Greek version of the PSI was found to have satisfactory psychometric properties and therefore, it can be used to evaluate Greek teachers’ perceptions of their problem-solving skills.
Abstract: This article adds to recent literature in the study of religion and marriage by examining older couples’ use of religion as a cultural repertoire in enduring marriages. The study includes qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews with 43 married, Christian couples. Couples reported four predominant social contexts that gave sacred meanings to their marriage: prayer, worship services and sermons, first-rite rituals and communion. These social contexts magnify sacred meanings within religious cultural repertoires by enhancing older couples’ perceptions of their marriages as sacred through formal and public recognition of their marriage longevity, lauding their marriage longevity as a blessing from God to be emulated, promoting religious meanings of familism and giving positive marriage outcomes sacred meanings. Negative effects of religion on marriage outcomes occurred among older couples when lived experiences of religion conflicted with their cultural expectations for enduring marriages.
Abstract: The Great Recession weakened U.S. families’ abilities to make charitable gifts. Although African Americans are generally especially hard hit by these types of economic crises, they have a long and distinctive history of volunteerism and mutual assistance. Consequently, the purpose of this study is to examine African American volunteering in nonprofit organizations in the aftermath of the 2008–2009 recession. Specifically, we examined race as well as other factors with the potential to influence volunteering in four categories of organizations: poverty organizations, senior service agencies, social action groups, and religious affiliated organizations. Using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) data, this secondary analysis produced significant findings regarding volunteerism among African Americans in these community-based organizations.
Abstract: This study examines how first-generation ethnic minorities respond to different types of recycling promotion and education campaigns (P&E) used by municipalities in Ontario, Canada. A total of eight focus group sessions were conducted over an eight-week period to gauge participant attitudes and responses towards print (newspaper and signs) and electronic (websites) P&E messaging. Participants were asked to comment on message “recognition”, “clarity”, “the ability to increase recycling awareness” and “the ability to affect changes in recycling behavior”. Results from the focus group sessions suggest that none of the P&E mediums tested were able to increase recycling awareness or change recycling behavior in any meaningful way. First-generation ethnic minorities struggle with recognizing the central theme and purpose of P&E advertisements. Respondents also found existing campaigns excessively complex and confusing, and were not familiar with many of the terms and symbols used in existing P&E messaging. Other findings suggest that ethnic minorities are skeptical and distrustful of the municipalities’ intentions with respect to what they do with the waste after it is collected. The findings from this study lead to the recommendation that municipalities rethink and redesign recycling promotion and education initiatives to better engage minority communities.