Open AccessEssay
Frozen in Time: How Disney Gender-Stereotypes Its Most Powerful Princess
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(2), 38; doi:10.3390/socsci6020038 -
Abstract
Disney’s animated feature Frozen (2013) received acclaim for presenting a powerful heroine, Elsa, who is independent of men. Elsa’s avoidance of male suitors, however, could be a result of her protective father’s admonition not to “let them in” in order for her to
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Disney’s animated feature Frozen (2013) received acclaim for presenting a powerful heroine, Elsa, who is independent of men. Elsa’s avoidance of male suitors, however, could be a result of her protective father’s admonition not to “let them in” in order for her to be a “good girl.” In addition, Elsa’s power threatens emasculation of any potential suitor suggesting that power and romance are mutually exclusive. While some might consider a princess’s focus on power to be refreshing, it is significant that the audience does not see a woman attaining a balance between exercising authority and a relationship. Instead, power is a substitute for romance. Furthermore, despite Elsa’s seemingly triumphant liberation celebrated in Let It Go, selfless love rather than independence is the key to others’ approval of her as queen. Regardless of the need for novel female characters, Elsa is just a variation on the archetypal power-hungry female villain whose lust for power replaces lust for any person, and who threatens the patriarchal status quo. The only twist is that she finds redemption through gender-stereotypical compassion. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Reimagining the Hajj
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(2), 36; doi:10.3390/socsci6020036 -
Abstract
Throughout the Middle East and the Islamic world, political and religious leaders are being pulled into sharpening debates over rival approaches to reforming the Hajj. For at least two decades, Hajj controversies have deepened with rising death tolls among the pilgrims and with
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Throughout the Middle East and the Islamic world, political and religious leaders are being pulled into sharpening debates over rival approaches to reforming the Hajj. For at least two decades, Hajj controversies have deepened with rising death tolls among the pilgrims and with soaring complaints about corruption and incompetence against pilgrimage managers in Saudi Arabia and dozens of other countries. Demands for Hajj reform are reaching new peaks after Saudi officials recently revealed stunning details of the scope and magnitude of pilgrim fatalities during the last 14 years. The Saudi data leave little doubt that the quality of care for Hajjis varies enormously depending on several key factors which policy makers and religious leaders must address with greater honesty and determination. Year in and year out, the most vulnerable pilgrim populations are poor people, women, and children from across Africa and Asia as well as foreign workers, refugees, and illegal migrants living in Saudi Arabia. Most of the current proposals for Hajj reform ignore these high-risk groups. Saudi planners focus on promoting year-round pilgrimage to boost tourism revenues and high-end infrastructure. In most other countries, government-run Hajj agencies are busy cutting market-sharing deals with private business cartels and their political patrons. The combined effect of these policies is to weaken what remains of already inadequate regulations that are vital to the protection of all Hajjis. Meanwhile, support is also growing for more sweeping proposals to reimagine and reinvent the Hajj instead of fine-tuning the status quo. Some of these reforms are particularly likely to test the ingenuity and influence of leaders from all backgrounds because they challenge longstanding custom. A few of the most unconventional suggestions include lengthening the Hajj season to several months as well as linking the Hajj to pilgrimages and festivals of other world religions throughout the year. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Enhancing Intersectional Analyses with Polyvocality: Making and Illustrating the Model
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(2), 37; doi:10.3390/socsci6020037 -
Abstract
Since the inception of the intersectionality framework by feminists over three decades ago, scholars have advanced the analysis and subsequent understanding of peoples’ social locations, identity constructions, and systems of oppression involving gender, ethnicity, religion, class, and caste, to name a few. Considering
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Since the inception of the intersectionality framework by feminists over three decades ago, scholars have advanced the analysis and subsequent understanding of peoples’ social locations, identity constructions, and systems of oppression involving gender, ethnicity, religion, class, and caste, to name a few. Considering these axes of differentiation as mutually constitutive rather than only as individual factors has been the single most important innovation. However, intersectionality has yet to reach its potential theoretically, methodologically, and practically. For instance, the framework is rarely applied to social phenomena that extend beyond the confines of a given nation-state. In previous publications, we have addressed this shortcoming by arguing for applying intersectionality across multiple social scales (intimate, regional, national, and transnational). We have shown how any given person’s intersectionality can and often does shift according to the scale of analysis. In this article, we address another important way to strengthen intersectionality—bringing in polyvocality. That is, and drawing upon arguments originally made in postmodern critiques of “writing culture”, publications tend to reflect partial and/or limited perspectives, typically those reflecting researchers’ privileged, authoritative accounts. In this article, in contrast, we include different insider (ego) and outsider (ego’s relatives’ and the researchers’) perspectives. The article includes the theoretical and methodological argument for adding polyvocality to intersectionality and then applies the proposed model to an ethnographic case. We illustrate how intersectional constellations shift from voiced interpretation to voiced interpretation and, in so doing, deepen, expand, and problematize these same analyses. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Forests and Food Security: What’s Gender Got to Do with It?
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 34; doi:10.3390/socsci6010034 -
Abstract
Hunger remains a key development problem in the 21st century. Within this context, there is renewed attention to the importance of forests and their role in supplementing the food and nutrition needs of rural populations. With a concurrent uptake of “gender mainstreaming” for
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Hunger remains a key development problem in the 21st century. Within this context, there is renewed attention to the importance of forests and their role in supplementing the food and nutrition needs of rural populations. With a concurrent uptake of “gender mainstreaming” for sustainable development, there is also a call for understanding the gendered dynamics of forest governance and food security. In this paper, we reviewed emerging research (2009–2014) on forests and food security and on the ways gender is said to matter. As with previous work on gender and natural resource management, we found that gender is an important variable; but how, to what degree and why are different in every context. That is, despite the suggestion of clear linkages, the relationships between gender, forests and food security are not generalizable across contexts. Understanding the relationship between forest resources and food security requires attention to gender disparities at the local level, but also to the broader political and economic context in which those disparities are reinforced. We flag the need to guard against ahistorical and technical approaches to gender and suggest some example research questions that use a more relational view of gender—one that examines how political economy and social power structure access to resources at multiple scales. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Land Access, Agricultural Land Use Changes and Narratives about Land Degradation in the Savannahs of Northeast Ghana during the Pre-Colonial and Colonial Periods
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 35; doi:10.3390/socsci6010035 -
Abstract
This paper discusses the evolution of socio-cultural and political relations that defined access to, use, and management of land resources in northeast Ghana during the pre-colonial and colonial periods. The aim is to historicise current meta-narratives about degradation of the natural landscape in
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This paper discusses the evolution of socio-cultural and political relations that defined access to, use, and management of land resources in northeast Ghana during the pre-colonial and colonial periods. The aim is to historicise current meta-narratives about degradation of the natural landscape in the rural savannahs of northeast Ghana. Many of those degradation narratives take their root in the past during the colonial era, but the conceptual underpinnings of those narratives have remained essentially a-historical, a-political, and a-cultural. This paper shows that the organisation of space and land uses in pre-colonial communities in northeast Ghana was governed by certain traditional knowledge systems which were ignored by the colonial authorities. While narratives about landscape degradation by natives were propagated by the colonial government to justify a need to preserve the environment, their attempts to control land management matters were essentially for political and economic reasons. The study concludes that current policy frameworks on desertification and land management need to move beyond inherent historical biases. Rather, attention ought to be given to critical historical reflections on the dynamic processes by which variations in socio-economic relations of resource access/use, farming practices, land tenure arrangements, and political agendas interact with changes in the biophysical environment to produce different land cover trajectories over time. Full article
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Open AccessEssay
Policy Discourses and Marginal Places: Histories of Environmental Democracy in India and Sweden
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 33; doi:10.3390/socsci6010033 -
Abstract
Past decades have been marked with grassroots struggles around the use and access to natural resources such as forests, both in the global South and in the global North. On the one hand, we have politicians, bureaucrats and others needing to deal with
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Past decades have been marked with grassroots struggles around the use and access to natural resources such as forests, both in the global South and in the global North. On the one hand, we have politicians, bureaucrats and others needing to deal with these issues at the national and global level. On the other, we have the material practices and struggles at the local level as well as a parallel discourse on decentralization to local areas from the past few decades. By tracing the historical changes in policies that touch on forests-peoples relationships in India and Sweden, I contextualize these trends by placing them in a historical context and examine the questions that are central to a critical examination for environmental governance today. I analyze how environmental policy-making shaped forest politics in the two places and what spaces it provided for environmental democracy—especially in relation to possibilities for people’s participation and for gender equality. I bring attention to the imperative to take account of questions of increasing expert dominance in environmental governance and local struggles, the space for local people’s participation in forest and rural politics, the gendering of these spaces and relationships and how that affects environmental politics. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Left Numb and Unengaged. (Re)Conceptualising Risk: What (Seems to) Work for at-Risk Students
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 32; doi:10.3390/socsci6010032 -
Abstract
This review of current research into ‘at-risk’ programs serves to categorise and characterise existing programs and to evaluate the contribution of these programs to assisting students ‘at-risk’ from marginalised backgrounds. This characterisation questions the (sometimes) implicit assumptions and the consequences of those assumptions
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This review of current research into ‘at-risk’ programs serves to categorise and characterise existing programs and to evaluate the contribution of these programs to assisting students ‘at-risk’ from marginalised backgrounds. This characterisation questions the (sometimes) implicit assumptions and the consequences of those assumptions inherent in and behind these various accounts. Using as a lens the (various and varied) understandings of social justice and the goals of education, three sometimes overlapping and sometimes contesting standpoints are identified in relation to ‘at-risk’ students; they are characterised as instrumentalist or rational technical, social constructivist or individualist, and critical transformative or empowering. I argue that a critical transformative understanding of ‘at-risk’ may deliver improved outcomes for young people by challenging ‘the school context in which the young people are located’. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
At the Interface of National and Transnational: The Development of Finnish Policies against Domestic Violence in Terms of Gender Equality
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 31; doi:10.3390/socsci6010031 -
Abstract
Although gender inequalities are the main social mechanisms behind the (re)production of domestic violence, policy responses to domestic violence as a gender-related problem vary at both the national and transnational levels. This article examines the interaction between national and transnational policies against domestic
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Although gender inequalities are the main social mechanisms behind the (re)production of domestic violence, policy responses to domestic violence as a gender-related problem vary at both the national and transnational levels. This article examines the interaction between national and transnational policies against domestic violence, focusing on how domestic violence is constructed as a gender-related problem in Finland, a Nordic welfare state that is often cited as a role model in gender equality. Using the conception of policies as historically changing and culturally specific discourses, this article offers an overview of the ways in which the perspective on domestic violence of the transnational feminist movement has been engaged and transformed in the Finnish context over the five last decades. It is shown that transnational pressure has played a critical role in pushing Finland towards a stronger recognition of domestic violence as a gender issue. However, this transformation has taken place rather within the framework of more neutral “women-friendly” welfare policies than within a feminist framework. The article concludes that the Finnish way of translating transnational norms to the national level is characterized by a tendency to modify the transformative meanings underpinning the transnational feminist discourses to a more gender-neutral form. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Smallholder Farmers’ Perceptions on Climate Change and the Use of Sustainable Agricultural Practices in the Chinyanja Triangle, Southern Africa
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 30; doi:10.3390/socsci6010030 -
Abstract
In developing regions with high levels of poverty and a dependence on climate sensitive agriculture, studies focusing on climate change adaptation, planning, and policy processes, have gained relative importance over the years. This study assesses the impact of farmer perceptions regarding climate change
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In developing regions with high levels of poverty and a dependence on climate sensitive agriculture, studies focusing on climate change adaptation, planning, and policy processes, have gained relative importance over the years. This study assesses the impact of farmer perceptions regarding climate change on the use of sustainable agricultural practices as an adaptation strategy in the Chinyanja Triangle, Southern Africa. In this empirical approach, we adopt methods that account for the plausibility that unmeasured characteristics exist, which are correlated with perceptions and the adoption of Sustainable Agricultural Practices. We use a unique and representative dataset collected in December 2012 and June 2013, from smallholder farmers in the Chinyanja Triangle. The results indicate that farmer’s perceptions significantly influence the use of sustainable agricultural practices. Specifically, we established that farmer perceptions considerably impact the use of grain legume rotations, inorganic fertilizers, compost, and farmyard manure. Our results highlight the need for a serious and perhaps equal consideration of farmer perceptions regarding climate change, as important inputs to climate change adaptation policies targeted at enhancing climatic resilience in smallholder farming communities. This is plausible as the adaptation and pliability of farmers to the effects of climate change should be a social process involving the collective efforts from various stakeholders. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Gender in Engineering Departments: Are There Gender Differences in Interruptions of Academic Job Talks?
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 29; doi:10.3390/socsci6010029 -
Abstract
We use a case study of job talks in five engineering departments to analyze the under-studied area of gendered barriers to finalists for faculty positions. We focus on one segment of the interview day of short-listed candidates invited to campus: the “job talk”,
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We use a case study of job talks in five engineering departments to analyze the under-studied area of gendered barriers to finalists for faculty positions. We focus on one segment of the interview day of short-listed candidates invited to campus: the “job talk”, when candidates present their original research to the academic department. We analyze video recordings of 119 job talks across five engineering departments at two Research 1 universities. Specifically, we analyze whether there are differences by gender or by years of post-Ph.D. experience in the number of interruptions, follow-up questions, and total questions that job candidates receive. We find that, compared to men, women receive more follow-up questions and more total questions. Moreover, a higher proportion of women’s talk time is taken up by the audience asking questions. Further, the number of questions is correlated with the job candidate’s statements and actions that reveal he or she is rushing to present their slides and complete the talk. We argue that women candidates face more interruptions and often have less time to bring their talk to a compelling conclusion, which is connected to the phenomenon of “stricter standards” of competence demanded by evaluators of short-listed women applying for a masculine-typed job. We conclude with policy recommendations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Active Listening Attitude Scale (ALAS): Reliability and Validity in a Nationwide Sample of Greek Educators
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 28; doi:10.3390/socsci6010028 -
Abstract
The present study examined the Active Listening Attitude Scale (ALAS) validity and reliability in a sample of 3955 Greek educators. The sample was randomly split and an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was conducted in the even subsample to evaluate the scale’s construct validity.
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The present study examined the Active Listening Attitude Scale (ALAS) validity and reliability in a sample of 3955 Greek educators. The sample was randomly split and an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was conducted in the even subsample to evaluate the scale’s construct validity. A confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was performed in the odd subsample to confirm the three-factor model identified by the EFA. The chi square test (χ2) of the model was significant (p < 0.05), due to the large sample size. The root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA), the comparative fit index (CFI) and the goodness of fit index (GFI) values were 0.079, 0.969 and 0.960, respectively, further supporting the fit of the three-factor model. Cronbach’s alpha coefficient was used to test internal consistency reliability and was satisfactory exceeding 0.72 for ALAS subscales. The intercorrelations of the three subscales were all positive and significant (p < 0.001), ranging from 0.20 to 0.42. Student’s t-tests and the computation of effect sizes revealed that women scored higher on Listening Skill and Conversation Opportunity, while principals and participants trained on mental health promotion scored higher on all three subscales. The analyses confirmed the three-factor model of ALAS and demonstrated its validity and reliability in measuring Greek teachers’ active listening attitudes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Dinner and a Conversation: Transgender Integration at West Point and Beyond
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 27; doi:10.3390/socsci6010027 -
Abstract
In 2016, the United States military lifted the ban on transgender members serving and are expected to begin accessions of transgender service members in 2017. A paucity of research exists on transgender matters in the military, especially on attitudes towards cisgender service members.
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In 2016, the United States military lifted the ban on transgender members serving and are expected to begin accessions of transgender service members in 2017. A paucity of research exists on transgender matters in the military, especially on attitudes towards cisgender service members. This study deploys a qualitative methodology, comprised of 21 focus groups of undergraduate cadets and advanced schooled Army officers (N = 110), at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, using a semi-structured interview protocol. Overall, a diversity of experiences and familiarity with transgender people surfaced among cadets and officers. We distinguish between experiences and familiarity on a spectrum by introducing notions of transgender tourism and cosmopolitanism. Major concerns associated with (un)comfortableness emerged from the focus groups including privacy, physical standards, well-being, and costs. Interventions are offered by the participants based on their major concerns. We recommend education, increased cosmopolitism, privacy considerations, narrowing the civil-military propinquity gap, and more studies of diversity and inclusion issues in the military. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Black Twitter: A Response to Bias in Mainstream Media
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 26; doi:10.3390/socsci6010026 -
Abstract
This paper seeks to shed light on the ways people of color, in the United States, are using social media to challenge racial bias. As part of this investigation, this paper draws on Critical Race Theory, Feminist Theory, and Digital New Media studies
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This paper seeks to shed light on the ways people of color, in the United States, are using social media to challenge racial bias. As part of this investigation, this paper draws on Critical Race Theory, Feminist Theory, and Digital New Media studies to examine the extent to which social media, while seen as a place for ‘play’ can also operate as a digital homespace, a space used as a tool for black women and men to (re)construct their bodies and identities, challenging the “controlling images” widespread in mainstream media and society at large. This paper employs the methods of content analysis and participant observation and find that these social media forums are not transformative by themselves but instead have little moments that make for resistance and a digital homespace. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Collaboration and Gender Equity among Academic Scientists
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 25; doi:10.3390/socsci6010025 -
Abstract
Universities were established as hierarchical bureaucracies that reward individual attainment in evaluating success. Yet collaboration is crucial both to 21st century science and, we argue, to advancing equity for women academic scientists. We draw from research on gender equity and on collaboration in
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Universities were established as hierarchical bureaucracies that reward individual attainment in evaluating success. Yet collaboration is crucial both to 21st century science and, we argue, to advancing equity for women academic scientists. We draw from research on gender equity and on collaboration in higher education, and report on data collected on one campus. Sixteen focus group meetings were held with 85 faculty members from STEM departments, separated by faculty rank and gender (i.e., assistant professor men, full professor women). Participants were asked structured questions about the role of collaboration in research, career development, and departmental decision-making. Inductive analyses of focus group data led to the development of a theoretical model in which resources, recognition, and relationships create conditions under which collaboration is likely to produce more gender equitable outcomes for STEM faculty. Ensuring women faculty have equal access to resources is central to safeguarding their success; relationships, including mutual mentoring, inclusion and collegiality, facilitate women’s careers in academia; and recognition of collaborative work bolsters women’s professional advancement. We further propose that gender equity will be stronger in STEM where resources, relationships, and recognition intersect—having multiplicative rather than additive effects. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Gender Differences in the Early Employment Outcomes of STEM Doctorates
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 24; doi:10.3390/socsci6010024 -
Abstract
The representation of women among STEM doctorates has grown over the past decades but the underrepresentation of women in the STEM labor force persists. This paper examines the immediate post-degree employment outcomes of nine cohorts of STEM doctorates who attained their degrees between
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The representation of women among STEM doctorates has grown over the past decades but the underrepresentation of women in the STEM labor force persists. This paper examines the immediate post-degree employment outcomes of nine cohorts of STEM doctorates who attained their degrees between 1995 and 2013. The results reveal both progress toward gender equity and persistent inequities. Contrary to historical gender disparities, a small female advantage has emerged in the attainment of tenure-track faculty positions, women are increasingly less likely than men to enter postdoctoral positions, and the flow of STEM doctorates into business and industry, which was once male dominated, is now gender neutral. Among the doctorates who do not follow the doctorate-to-faculty career path, women are as likely as men to “stay in STEM,” but less likely to attain research-oriented jobs. Gender segregation in occupational attainment and significant gender gaps in earnings, however, continue to be defining characteristics of the STEM labor force. The results show that the labor market disparities vary across STEM fields but are largely not attributable to the gendered impact of parenthood and dual-career marriage. Full article
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Open AccessErratum
Erratum: Kudo, S.; et al. Population Aging: An Emerging Research Agenda for Sustainable Development. Soc. Sci. 2015, 4, 940–966
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 23; doi:10.3390/socsci6010023 -
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Open AccessArticle
Structural Disadvantage: Evidence of Gender Disparities in the Norwegian Pension System
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 22; doi:10.3390/socsci6010022 -
Abstract
Norway is a world leader in gender equality according to sustainable development performance indicators. This study goes beyond these indicators to investigate systemic economic disadvantages for women, focusing specifically on the Norwegian pension system. System dynamics modeling is used to understand how gender
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Norway is a world leader in gender equality according to sustainable development performance indicators. This study goes beyond these indicators to investigate systemic economic disadvantages for women, focusing specifically on the Norwegian pension system. System dynamics modeling is used to understand how gender disparity is built into social systems. A significant contributor to the gender inequality in pensions is the difference in lifetime working hours due to childbearing/rearing. There are childcare policies in place to equalize lifetime working hours between the genders; however, these policies require women to conform to the pension system structure and outsource their childcare. The system dynamics modeling illustrates how social investment strategy requires women to conform to a masculine pension system if they want equivalent financial security when they reach retirement. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Democratic Institutions, Natural Resource Governance, and Ghana’s Oil Wealth
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 21; doi:10.3390/socsci6010021 -
Abstract
The literature on natural resources is endowed with works on countries that have experienced slow economic performance despite their abundant natural resources (resource curse), with the exception of Norway and other few countries. Strong institutions and good governance practices have been underscored as
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The literature on natural resources is endowed with works on countries that have experienced slow economic performance despite their abundant natural resources (resource curse), with the exception of Norway and other few countries. Strong institutions and good governance practices have been underscored as some of the explanatory factors to the high performance of the outlier countries. Ghana’s oil discovery in the era of its advancing democratic practices has led some to argue that the country might escape the resource curse phenomenon. While recognizing the importance of this argument, this article, however, argues that Ghana’s likelihood of escaping the resource curse could be problematic due to its exclusive emphasis on democratic governance without greater focus on oil sector governance. Drawing on the theory of agenda setting and the existing literature, the article makes the case for agenda shift in the debate on Ghana’s oil wealth and development. It stresses the need for a dualistic governance (the democratic and the oil sector) approach in the broader discourse on how Ghana can escape the resource curse. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Perceptions of the Social Relevance of Science: Exploring the Implications for Gendered Patterns in Expectations of Majoring in STEM Fields
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 19; doi:10.3390/socsci6010019 -
Abstract
Despite efforts to increase participation in science, technology, engineering and math fields (STEM), the role of students’ perceptions of the social relevance of science in guiding their expectations to major in STEM remains largely unexplored. Though science education scholars predict that perceptions of
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Despite efforts to increase participation in science, technology, engineering and math fields (STEM), the role of students’ perceptions of the social relevance of science in guiding their expectations to major in STEM remains largely unexplored. Though science education scholars predict that perceptions of social relevance likely matter equally for boys and girls, gender scholars suggest that these perceptions should matter more for girls than boys. Using longitudinal data from a large, urban, low-income, and predominantly minority-serving district, this study examines the potentially gendered role of perceptions of social relevance in ninth graders’ expectations to major in STEM. Further, it examines these dynamics with respect to expectations to major in any STEM field as well as expectations to major in specific STEM fields. Findings largely support the perspective of gender scholars; perceptions of the social relevance of science positively and significantly predict female, but not male, students’ intentions to major in STEM (vs. non-STEM fields). Subsequent analyses that look at intentions to major in specific STEM fields reveal a similar pattern, such that perceptions of relevance positively predict female students’ intentions to major in the biological sciences, the physical sciences, and engineering, while male students’ intentions are not similarly impacted. By contrast, positive perceptions of the relevance of science predict a modest increase in interest in computer science for both boys and girls. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Beyond Depression and Suicide: The Mental Health of Transgender College Students
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 20; doi:10.3390/socsci6010020 -
Abstract
Research studies examining the mental health of transgender individuals often focus on depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation through the use of clinic samples. However, little is known about the emerging adult (18–26 years old) transgender population and their mental health. The current study
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Research studies examining the mental health of transgender individuals often focus on depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation through the use of clinic samples. However, little is known about the emerging adult (18–26 years old) transgender population and their mental health. The current study seeks to fill that gap by using a national dataset of college students (N = 547,727) to examine how transgender college students (n = 1143) differ from their cisgender peers regarding 12 different mental health conditions. Chi-square and regression analyses were conducted. Results demonstrate that transgender students have approximately twice the risk for most mental health conditions compared to cisgender female students. A notable exception is schizophrenia, in which transgender individuals have about seven times the risk compared to cisgender females. While these were significant findings, regression analyses indicate that being non-heterosexual is a greater predictor for mental health concerns. Implications for mental health practitioners at colleges and universities are discussed. Full article