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Societies, Volume 14, Issue 7 (July 2024) – 22 articles

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15 pages, 276 KiB  
Article
Dual Vocational Training Students in Andalusia: Perspectives and Challenges
by Juan García-Fuentes and María Navarro-Granados
Societies 2024, 14(7), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14070117 - 9 Jul 2024
Viewed by 325
Abstract
The implementation of the dual vocational training policy establishes horizontal training between schools and the labour market, contributes to educational continuity and is an effective measure against early school leaving. In addition, it has a link with the business sector that enables labour [...] Read more.
The implementation of the dual vocational training policy establishes horizontal training between schools and the labour market, contributes to educational continuity and is an effective measure against early school leaving. In addition, it has a link with the business sector that enables labour integration and also participates in the training and qualification of students. To approach it, we start from a historical overview of education, where we analyse the different laws passed in recent decades and investigate dual vocational training as an effective policy for training for employment and training of skills, abilities and competences necessary for the acquisition of a job. To this end, we present a study in which we make visible, through interviews, the perspective of students in relation to vocational training in the autonomous community of Andalusia. The majority of those interviewed gave a positive assessment of these studies. Moreover, the interviews show how this educational policy has a positive impact on the labour market insertion of the participants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Youth Transitions: Implications, Challenges, and Opportunities)
16 pages, 453 KiB  
Article
Sociodemographic Attributes and Dropout Intentions of Working University Students: Evidence from Estonia
by Mohammad Abu Sayed Toyon
Societies 2024, 14(7), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14070116 - 8 Jul 2024
Viewed by 251
Abstract
This study examines the relationship between various demographic and situational factors and working students’ decisions to change their study programmes and abandon higher education. It utilises a sample of 1902 working students derived from the Eurostudent VII survey and employs cross-tabulation and chi-square [...] Read more.
This study examines the relationship between various demographic and situational factors and working students’ decisions to change their study programmes and abandon higher education. It utilises a sample of 1902 working students derived from the Eurostudent VII survey and employs cross-tabulation and chi-square tests. The findings reveal statistically significant associations between several factors and students’ educational decisions. Males are more likely to consider abandoning higher education than females. Younger students, particularly those up to 21 years old, are more inclined to consider changing their study programmes. Financial difficulties significantly influence students’ considerations of both changing study programmes and abandoning higher education. Students in the arts, humanities, and ICT are more likely to consider abandoning their studies. Conversely, age does not significantly affect the likelihood of abandoning higher education. Parental educational attainment does not significantly influence decisions to change or abandon study programmes, whereas living situations, such as living independently and not living with parents, significantly affect changing the study programme. Qualification level affects the likelihood of changing study programmes, with bachelor’s students more likely to consider changes than masters and long-term national degree students, but it does not significantly affect the likelihood of abandoning higher education. Education–job mismatch significantly affects both changing study programmes and abandoning higher education, while the duration of working hours only influences the decision to alter study programmes. By revealing these findings, this research extends the student retention discourse as well as highlights how cultural, economic, familial, and workplace capital influence working students’ educational decisions. Full article
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26 pages, 1331 KiB  
Systematic Review
Transitioning from Communicative Competence to Multimodal and Intercultural Competencies: A Systematic Review
by Khomeshwaree Mootoosamy and Vahid Aryadoust
Societies 2024, 14(7), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14070115 - 8 Jul 2024
Viewed by 495
Abstract
The formulation of the construct of communicative competence (CC) was the consequence of the perceived “inappropriateness” of the theory of linguistic competence and performance. To obtain a comprehensive understanding of second language (L2) CC, a systematic review of 85 studies was conducted to [...] Read more.
The formulation of the construct of communicative competence (CC) was the consequence of the perceived “inappropriateness” of the theory of linguistic competence and performance. To obtain a comprehensive understanding of second language (L2) CC, a systematic review of 85 studies was conducted to assess how empirical studies have defined and operationalized the construct in the context of L2 learning and assessment. Four main themes emerged from the papers: (1) beliefs and perceptions about CC, (2) expansion of CC, (3) mixed specifications of CC, and (4) tests and measures of CC and communicative language ability (CLA). The analysis of these themes foregrounded several significant findings. First, the construct of L2 CC was significantly more prevalent in the body of research compared to L2 CLA. Second, CC has been perceived as a multifarious construct that has been researched from varied perspectives. It was found that older studies were more consistent with traditional approaches to defining CC and CLA, while the construct shifted focus to technology and self-appraisals in more recent studies. Third, there is no consensus amongst the reviewed studies about tests and methods of operationalization of CC, suggesting that the evidence provided is sample-specific and non-replicable. Importantly, it was found that over the years, CC has undergone a gradual evolution. With the multimodal and intercultural turn, CC has branched into new concepts namely intercultural and multimodal communicative competencies. Pertaining to these concepts, new notions such as telecollaboration, digital literacies, and multiliteracies have emerged. CC has also been, for long, analogous to performance, proficiency, social rules of language use, rules of appropriateness, willingness to communicate, self-perceptions of CC, and the goal of being a native speaker, which can add to the confusion surrounding the construct. The implications of the present research synthesis are two-fold. It becomes imperative to adapt world language classrooms to the rising trend in intercultural and multimodal communicative competencies. In addition, further replicable investigations should focus on developing optimal methods of operationalization that are in line with the new contemporary theoretical frameworks of language in the age of digital technologies and artificial intelligence. Full article
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17 pages, 541 KiB  
Article
Influence of Sociodemographic and Social Variables on the Relationship between Formal Years of Education and Time Spent on the Internet
by Ângela Maria Teixeira Leite, Ângela Sá Azevedo and Anabela Rodrigues
Societies 2024, 14(7), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14070114 - 7 Jul 2024
Viewed by 389
Abstract
This study aims to validate the impact of sociodemographic factors and differentiate the influence of social variables on the correlation between the number of years of formal education an individual has and the time they allocate to internet usage. To achieve this, we [...] Read more.
This study aims to validate the impact of sociodemographic factors and differentiate the influence of social variables on the correlation between the number of years of formal education an individual has and the time they allocate to internet usage. To achieve this, we utilized a publicly available database, extracting relevant indicators for our investigation. Subsequently, we conducted analyses involving associations, regressions, and moderations among the variables under scrutiny. The results revealed statistically significant variations in daily internet usage time across different countries, residences, age groups, educational levels, and marital statuses. Factors such as living in an urban or suburban environment, being in the youth demographic, possessing a higher education, maintaining single status, having an extensive social network, holding a negative perception of health, lacking home internet access but having access at work and on the go, along with the facilitation of online communication and remote work, collectively explain the variance in daily internet usage time. The relationship between the number of years of education and the duration of internet usage is moderated by sociodemographic variables (gender, age, and marital status) as well as social variables (locations of internet usage and social contacts). These findings enable us to identify a user profile at a higher risk of developing problematic behavior in relation to internet usage, as indicated by the time invested. Full article
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20 pages, 1698 KiB  
Article
Elements of Historical Personal Identity Construction of Finnish-Speaking Students
by Tanja Taivalantti, Johanna Norppa and Jan Löfström
Societies 2024, 14(7), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14070113 - 6 Jul 2024
Viewed by 284
Abstract
In this paper, the constructions of historical personal identity of Finnish-speaking students are analysed. The students participated in a larger study of historical narratives and identities, carried out in 2020 in two schools in Finland and in one European School outside Finland. In [...] Read more.
In this paper, the constructions of historical personal identity of Finnish-speaking students are analysed. The students participated in a larger study of historical narratives and identities, carried out in 2020 in two schools in Finland and in one European School outside Finland. In the mixed-method study, sixty-one students were interviewed and given writing and drawing assignments on historical identity. In this paper, the students’ visual representations of their personal historical identity and its relationship with wider official history are analysed. The aim is to increase understanding of how 14–16-year-old students visualise and articulate their historical personal identity constructions and the historical elements they use in negotiating this identity. The findings suggest that the students integrate personal and historical social narratives in diverse ways but that the majority of them find it challenging to connect their personal family history with the wider official history. Only twelve students made the connection. In addition to presenting the results for the whole group of students, the visual representations of two selected students are discussed in more detail so as to highlight the difference in the approaches to historical personal identity construction among the students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Young People’s Constructions of Identities: Global Perspectives)
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13 pages, 1288 KiB  
Article
Despite Food Insecurity, University Students Remain Committed to Achieving Their Academic Goals: Cross-Sectional Single-Center Study in Saudi Arabia
by Rawan K. Kahtan and Mahitab A. Hanbazaza
Societies 2024, 14(7), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14070112 - 4 Jul 2024
Viewed by 301
Abstract
Food insecurity is a pressing global concern affecting individuals across all age groups. Despite its widespread impact, a notable gap remains in the literature, particularly in reference to the literature concerning university students. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of food insecurity [...] Read more.
Food insecurity is a pressing global concern affecting individuals across all age groups. Despite its widespread impact, a notable gap remains in the literature, particularly in reference to the literature concerning university students. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of food insecurity and examine its associated factors, including mental and general health and academic performance, among university students in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. A total of 421 students from King Abdulaziz University participated in this study, completing a questionnaire that measured food insecurity, academic performance, and mental and general health. About 40% of the respondents experienced some level of food insecurity, which was categorized as mild (20.4%), moderate (13.0%), or severe (5.6%). Significant associations were observed between food insecurity and monthly household income (p < 0.001) and general health (p < 0.005), respectively. However, the associations were weaker between food insecurity and perceived stress (p < 0.066) and the impact of COVID-19. Notably, no significant correlation was found between food security and socio-demographic characteristics or academic performance. This study highlights the prevalence of food insecurity among university students in Saudi Arabia and emphasizes the need for further research to gain a better understanding of its complexities. Such insights can empower universities and policymakers to implement targeted interventions, thereby enhancing the learning experience and future success of university students. Full article
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34 pages, 8752 KiB  
Systematic Review
The Role of the Quality Management Process within Society 5.0
by Biljana Maljugić, Dragan Ćoćkalo, Mihalj Bakator and Sanja Stanisavljev
Societies 2024, 14(7), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14070111 - 3 Jul 2024
Viewed by 294
Abstract
This paper conducts a comprehensive review following the PRISMA methodology to explore the evolution and necessity of quality management in the era of Society 5.0, covering publications from 2017 to 2022. Through a meticulous process involving planning, conducting and reporting the review, along [...] Read more.
This paper conducts a comprehensive review following the PRISMA methodology to explore the evolution and necessity of quality management in the era of Society 5.0, covering publications from 2017 to 2022. Through a meticulous process involving planning, conducting and reporting the review, along with a theory-driven selection and analysis of content, it aims to construct a theoretical model for quality management in Society 5.0. This model underscores the integration of quality management with Society 5.0’s principles, focusing on human-centric technological advancement and addressing social challenges to enhance life quality. The findings reveal a framework that could drive the transition to Society 5.0 by leveraging key inputs for tangible outcomes. The paper’s originality lies in its in-depth analysis and the proposed model’s potential to guide industries and governments towards sustainable development in the context of Society 5.0, marking a valuable contribution to future research in this field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Social Sciences and Intelligence Management)
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16 pages, 785 KiB  
Article
Effects of Work–Family Conflict and Facilitation Profiles on Work Engagement
by Carla Carvalho, Lisete Mónico, Ana Pinto, Soraia Oliveira and Eduardo Leite
Societies 2024, 14(7), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14070110 - 3 Jul 2024
Viewed by 387
Abstract
Achieving the balance between work and family life needs a holistic viewpoint on how these two aspects interact. It poses a significant challenge due to its impact on individuals, organizations, and society. Research suggests that employees engaged in both spheres tend to exhibit [...] Read more.
Achieving the balance between work and family life needs a holistic viewpoint on how these two aspects interact. It poses a significant challenge due to its impact on individuals, organizations, and society. Research suggests that employees engaged in both spheres tend to exhibit more favorable work attitudes, and experience improved health and wellbeing. In this study, we examined the interplay between work–family dynamics and work engagement among 654 university professors in Portugal. Using several statistical methods, including confirmatory factor analysis, correlation analysis, cluster analysis, and multivariate analysis, we identified distinct conflict and facilitation patterns within work–family relationships. Our findings revealed four clusters representing different conflict-facilitation profiles: those characterized by either work → family facilitation or conflict, and, similarly, family → work facilitation or conflict. Notably, we observed a significant association between work engagement and work–family facilitation, particularly evident in dimensions such as vigor and dedication. Absorption showed fewer significant effects than the other dimensions. We discuss these results, suggesting interventions within the university professors’ careers, as well as further research directions. Full article
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17 pages, 956 KiB  
Article
Strengthening the Attachment to Local Brands through Consumer Ethnocentrism and Impactful Entrepreneurship Education
by Herring Shava
Societies 2024, 14(7), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14070109 - 3 Jul 2024
Viewed by 311
Abstract
This study investigates whether consumer ethnocentrism, a concept that refers to the tendency of consumers to favor domestic products over foreign ones, and entrepreneurship education are variables that can be used to strengthen attachment to local brands. Brand attachment is a well-researched concept [...] Read more.
This study investigates whether consumer ethnocentrism, a concept that refers to the tendency of consumers to favor domestic products over foreign ones, and entrepreneurship education are variables that can be used to strengthen attachment to local brands. Brand attachment is a well-researched concept in marketing literature. Many variables have been found to have different impacts on brand attachment across the globe. However, studies linking consumer ethnocentrism and entrepreneurship education to brand attachment are scarce, and this study contributes in that regard. Furthermore, the study examines whether entrepreneurship education mediates the association between consumer ethnocentrism and brand attachment. The study adopted a quantitative research methodology. Primary data were gathered through a survey. Past and current entrepreneurship education candidates were targeted. Factor analysis, simple linear regression, and hierarchical regression analyses using PROCESS were performed to make sense of the data. The study’s findings reveal that consumer ethnocentrism and entrepreneurship education can be used to strengthen attachment to local brands. The study recommends that marketing practitioners, scholars, and policymakers collaborate to design an impactful entrepreneurship education curriculum with the goal of enhancing consumer ethnocentrism, leading to increased interaction between consumers and local brands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Social Sciences and Intelligence Management)
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18 pages, 314 KiB  
Article
Polish Mother and (Not) Her Children: Intersectional State-Violence against Minors in Poland
by Aleksandra Sygnowska
Societies 2024, 14(7), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14070108 - 3 Jul 2024
Viewed by 433
Abstract
This article seeks to explain the political responsibility that Polish right-wing female politicians directly associated with the 2015–2023 Polish government and the then-ruling Law and Justice Party bear in the state-sanctioned violence against minors in the context of LGBT- and immigration-related issues. Its [...] Read more.
This article seeks to explain the political responsibility that Polish right-wing female politicians directly associated with the 2015–2023 Polish government and the then-ruling Law and Justice Party bear in the state-sanctioned violence against minors in the context of LGBT- and immigration-related issues. Its main assumption is that, in times of the nationalist surge that has been sweeping Poland, women using anti-LGBT and anti-immigration discourses helped to legitimize discriminatory state practices and, consequently, made a significant contribution to the enactment of white, Christian, and heteronormative identity on Polish children. Drawing upon Critical Discourse Analysis, this work examines the anti-LGBT and anti-immigration political talk by female politicians who, in their narrative strategies, adopt the position of a “Polish mother” on a mission to save a “child in danger”. Through my analysis, I aim to demonstrate that anti-LGBT and anti-immigration discourses are equally significant areas of women’s political engagement. Despite the prevalent cultural norms of caring motherhood, women do exercise their agency in political struggles as supporters of discriminatory state policies directed against minors by re-politicizing a symbolic figure of the “Polish mother”. Full article
20 pages, 642 KiB  
Article
The Moderating Role of Perceived Social Support in the Relationship between the Impact of Events and Post-Traumatic Growth among Syrian Refugees
by Mustafa Selim Altınışık and Esat Şanlı
Societies 2024, 14(7), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14070107 - 2 Jul 2024
Viewed by 345
Abstract
The internal disturbances that have occurred in Syria since 2011 have led to the displacement of many Syrians and their exposure to stressful life events. In this context, this study aimed to examine the amplifying dimension of suffering experienced by Syrian refugees in [...] Read more.
The internal disturbances that have occurred in Syria since 2011 have led to the displacement of many Syrians and their exposure to stressful life events. In this context, this study aimed to examine the amplifying dimension of suffering experienced by Syrian refugees in terms of various variables. Within this scope, the moderating role of perceived social support on the impact of events on post-traumatic growth among Syrian refugees was investigated. This descriptive study, designed according to the relational survey model, was conducted on 448 Syrian refugees in Turkey, who were included using a random sampling method. The data collection tools in this study included the Impact of Events Scale, the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, and the Post-traumatic Growth Scale. According to the analysis of the results, it was found that in Syrian refugees, the impact of events on post-traumatic growth is significantly moderated by family support, support from friends, and support from a significant other. Additionally, it was observed that the event impact variable has a positive and significant effect on the post-traumatic growth among Syrian refugees. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue International Migration and the Adaptation Process)
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16 pages, 619 KiB  
Concept Paper
Artificial Intelligence on Food Vulnerability: Future Implications within a Framework of Opportunities and Challenges
by Diosey Ramon Lugo-Morin
Societies 2024, 14(7), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14070106 - 29 Jun 2024
Viewed by 525
Abstract
This study explores the field of artificial intelligence (AI) through the lens of Stephen Hawking, who warned of its potential dangers. It aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of AI and its implications for food security using a qualitative approach and offering a [...] Read more.
This study explores the field of artificial intelligence (AI) through the lens of Stephen Hawking, who warned of its potential dangers. It aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of AI and its implications for food security using a qualitative approach and offering a contemporary perspective on the topic. The study explores the challenges and opportunities presented by AI in various fields with an emphasis on the global food reality. It also highlights the critical importance of striking a harmonious balance between technological progress and the preservation of local wisdom, cultural diversity, and environmental sustainability. In conclusion, the analysis argues that AI is a transformative force with the potential to address global food shortages and facilitate sustainable food production. However, it is not without significant risks that require rigorous scrutiny and ethical oversight. Full article
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21 pages, 276 KiB  
Article
‘I Just Don’t Trust Them’: Reasons for Distrust and Non-Disclosure in Demographic Questionnaires for Individuals in STEM
by Maria Goldshtein, Erin K. Chiou and Rod D. Roscoe
Societies 2024, 14(7), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14070105 - 29 Jun 2024
Viewed by 344
Abstract
Demographic data pertain to people’s identities and behaviors. Analyses of demographic data are used to describe patterns and predict behaviors, to inform interface design, and even institutional decision-making processes. Demographic data thus need to be complete and correct to ensure they can be [...] Read more.
Demographic data pertain to people’s identities and behaviors. Analyses of demographic data are used to describe patterns and predict behaviors, to inform interface design, and even institutional decision-making processes. Demographic data thus need to be complete and correct to ensure they can be analyzed in ways that reflect reality. This study consists of interviews with 40 people in STEM and addresses how causes of relational (dis)trust in demographic data collection contribute to pervasive problems of missing and incorrect responses and disobliging responses (e.g., non-disclosure, false responses, attrition, and hesitancy to use services). The findings then guide a preliminary set of recommendations for cultivating trustworthiness based on recent developments in trust theory and designing for responsive and trustworthy systems. Specifically, we explore how demographic questionnaire design (e.g., item construction and instructions) can communicate necessary reassurances and transparency for users. The ongoing research provides interview-based recommendations for improving the quality and completeness of demographic data collection. This research adds to other recommendations on improving demographic questionnaires. Full article
15 pages, 1089 KiB  
Article
Comparative Analysis of Stakeholder Integration in Education Policy Making: Case Studies of Singapore and Finland
by Ghalia Al-Thani
Societies 2024, 14(7), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14070104 - 28 Jun 2024
Viewed by 407
Abstract
This paper analyzes stakeholder engagement in educational policymaking in Singapore and Finland, two countries renowned for successful education systems. While both countries achieve high academic standards, they employ distinct approaches to engage stakeholders in shaping educational policies. Singapore adopts a centralized model where [...] Read more.
This paper analyzes stakeholder engagement in educational policymaking in Singapore and Finland, two countries renowned for successful education systems. While both countries achieve high academic standards, they employ distinct approaches to engage stakeholders in shaping educational policies. Singapore adopts a centralized model where policymaking is primarily directed by the Ministry of Education (MOE), with limited participation from external stakeholders. In contrast, Finland adopts a decentralized approach, empowering local authorities and schools with significant autonomy and actively involving stakeholders in policymaking. Key stakeholders, including teachers, parents, students and the private sector, play different roles in each country’s education governance. In Singapore, stakeholders are consulted through formal channels but have limited influence on decision-making, whereas, in Finland, stakeholders actively steer fundamental policy directions through extensive participation and consensus-building. The paper highlights the strengths and weaknesses of each approach and their impacts on education outcomes. Despite differences in governance models, both countries prioritize inclusive education, social cohesion, and holistic development. The analysis underscores the importance of meaningful stakeholder engagement in crafting effective education policies that align with national values and visions. Full article
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14 pages, 987 KiB  
Article
Migration Intention of Rural Farmers to Urban Areas in Bangladesh and Its Determinants: A Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modelling Approach
by A. K. M. Kanak Pervez, Akira Ishida, Md Shahriar Kabir and Lixia Tang
Societies 2024, 14(7), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14070099 - 27 Jun 2024
Viewed by 728
Abstract
Internal rural-urban migration is becoming a priority in social research. However, no one has systematically studied the intentions of farmers to migrate internally to Bangladesh to seek permanent urban residence via paid employment yet. This paper develops a TPB (theory of planned behaviour) [...] Read more.
Internal rural-urban migration is becoming a priority in social research. However, no one has systematically studied the intentions of farmers to migrate internally to Bangladesh to seek permanent urban residence via paid employment yet. This paper develops a TPB (theory of planned behaviour) model to explain farmers’ intentions to migrate or not migrate to cities for paid employment; then, this paper tests the model against the data collected. A total 372 individuals (migrated farmers) were randomly chosen from 11,200 families who had left a rural area in Bangladesh to collect quantitative data about the issues raised in the model; the data were collected by a telephone interview. The socioeconomic profile of the respondents fits that of internal migrants identified in the literature, and the Cronbach’s alpha as well as composite reliability statistics suggest that the data are representative of the population. According to the structural equation modelling (SEM) data, attitudes towards migration (ATTs) and subjective norms (SNs) have an impact on migration intention (MI), while perceived behavioural control (PBC) show no significant effect. This study used a primary dataset from interviews with rural migrants working in different sectors in different cities in Bangladesh. This suggests that the planned behaviour model may help explain farmers’ decisions to migrate internally in Bangladesh and that policies based on the model may successfully reduce such migration. Full article
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11 pages, 726 KiB  
Article
Prevalence and Impact of Hate Speech among Politicians in Switzerland
by Joëlle Ninon Albrecht, Jérôme Endrass, Michal Sonja Dreifuss, Nina Schnyder and Astrid Rossegger
Societies 2024, 14(7), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14070098 - 27 Jun 2024
Viewed by 612
Abstract
Politicians may be particularly vulnerable to hate speech because of their public visibility and exposure to deviating opinions. They play a critical role in the functioning of a democratic system, and therefore, hate speech poses a potential threat because it can impede politicians’ [...] Read more.
Politicians may be particularly vulnerable to hate speech because of their public visibility and exposure to deviating opinions. They play a critical role in the functioning of a democratic system, and therefore, hate speech poses a potential threat because it can impede politicians’ freedom of expression or even lead politicians to resign from office. However, little is known about the prevalence and impact of hate speech targeting politicians. We therefore surveyed the politicians in the Canton of Zurich, Switzerland, 667 of whom participated (39.8% response rate). The prevalence of hate speech experiences was 29.7% in their total time as politicians and 20.6% in the past 12 months. Participants who had held a political office for longer and were affiliated with a political party on the poles of the political spectrum were more susceptible. Crucially, 29.4% of the affected politicians had contemplated resigning from politics due to hate speech. Thus, our study underlines a need for action. As the participants indicated they wanted to deal with hate speech as little as possible but still desired some form of intervention, political measures should strive for intervention options that require minimal contributions from the victims. Full article
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23 pages, 963 KiB  
Article
Hate and Perceived Threats on the Resettlement of Afghan Refugees in Portugal
by João Prata Veiga and Luciana Oliveira
Societies 2024, 14(7), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14070103 - 27 Jun 2024
Viewed by 340
Abstract
The withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan in August 2021 precipitated a humanitarian crisis, prompting the displacement of Afghan refugees seeking sanctuary, including in Portugal. This study aims to rigorously assess public perceptions of Afghan refugee resettlement in Portugal by analyzing national news [...] Read more.
The withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan in August 2021 precipitated a humanitarian crisis, prompting the displacement of Afghan refugees seeking sanctuary, including in Portugal. This study aims to rigorously assess public perceptions of Afghan refugee resettlement in Portugal by analyzing national news and subsequent Facebook reactions, seeking to discern sentiment, approval/disapproval, perceived realistic and symbolic threats, and potential hate speech toward migrant resettlement. Employing a mixed-methods approach with a qualitative emphasis, this cross-sectional study involved a volumetric analysis of 40 Facebook posts from mainstream news outlets, followed by a qualitative content analysis of 1000 comments from 10 selected posts based on popularity and controversy. Findings reveal a predominance of negative sentiments and low levels of approval for migrant resettlement. Emotional complexity suggests controversy and polarization, with negativity surpassing positivity. Concerns regarding economic impact ranked highest, followed by security, cultural, and religious considerations. Instances of hate speech, predominantly political in nature, with lesser occurrences of religious and nationality-based content, were evident. This research contributes to the scientific understanding of public perceptions concerning Afghan refugee integration in Portugal, providing valuable insights into societal attitudes towards humanitarian crises and refugee resettlement efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Society and Immigration: Reducing Inequalities)
29 pages, 1437 KiB  
Review
A Holistic and Multidimensional Methodology Proposal for a Persona with Total Visual Impairment Archetype on the Web
by Esther Marin-Alvarez, Sonia Carcelen-Garcia and María Galmes-Cerezo
Societies 2024, 14(7), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14070102 - 27 Jun 2024
Viewed by 319
Abstract
The web was conceived in 1997 with the goal of universal accessibility. However, it still presents obstacles for users with diverse abilities. Although interactions in digital environments have improved the quality of life for many people, they remain a source of limitations and [...] Read more.
The web was conceived in 1997 with the goal of universal accessibility. However, it still presents obstacles for users with diverse abilities. Although interactions in digital environments have improved the quality of life for many people, they remain a source of limitations and frustrations, up to twice as much for users with total visual impairment, which is commonly known as blindness. This article emphasizes the need to provide designers and developers with methodologies and tools that consider users with different abilities in all stages and from the beginning of the design, redesign, and development of digital products and services on the web, collecting their needs and goals and delving into their reactions and emotions. While an approach based on persona archetypes can optimally represent each group of users with disabilities throughout website design processes, serving as a communication and empathy tool for development teams and stakeholders, it is essential that this tool considers all dimensions involved in the experiences of people with disabilities. This conceptual paper develops a methodology that provides designers with a persona tool that effectively captures the goals and emotions of these users in their interaction with the web. This methodology proposal is multidimensional and holistic. It addresses conscious and subconscious dimensions, combines traditional user experience and neuroscientific techniques, focuses on total visual impairment, the most challenging in digital environments, and makes it adaptable to other disabilities. Full article
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16 pages, 845 KiB  
Article
WASTA in Arab Societies: Optimizing or Worsening Quality of Life? The Role of Religiosity
by Ibrahim A. Elsaher
Societies 2024, 14(7), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14070101 - 27 Jun 2024
Viewed by 248
Abstract
WASTA, a word widely used in Arab society, implies using people’s connections to generate mutual advantages. WASTA is rooted deeply in the culture of Arab societies and has a double effect that stimulates a continuous argument. On one hand, WASTA is considered a [...] Read more.
WASTA, a word widely used in Arab society, implies using people’s connections to generate mutual advantages. WASTA is rooted deeply in the culture of Arab societies and has a double effect that stimulates a continuous argument. On one hand, WASTA is considered a valuable social practice that optimizes social bonds and dual support to improve the overall quality of life (QoL) for all parties. In contrast, WASTA is regularly criticized for extending inequality and corruption in the community, which might worsen QoL, taking into consideration the mediating impacts of religiosity. This paper investigated the dual effects of WASTA on QoL and the mediating role of religiosity in Arab societies. Three hundred and ninety small- and medium-sized enterprises’ (SMEs’) owners in Saudi Arabia participated in a self-structured questionnaire that was analyzed using PLS-SEM. The results showed that the appearance of some dimensions of WASTA in Arab societies can optimize QoL. At the same time, other elements can worsen the QoL of the participating parties, but the adverse effect can be mitigated when religiosity is a mediator. These results suggest that WASTA can act as a positive connection method in Arab societies when accompanied by religiosity but can accelerate corruption in its absence; several practical and theoretical implications were discussed and elaborated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthy Lifestyle: The Relevance of Health Promotion for Society)
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13 pages, 266 KiB  
Concept Paper
Understanding the Emotional Toll of Racial Violence on Black Individuals’ Health
by Julien Quesne
Societies 2024, 14(7), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14070100 - 27 Jun 2024
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Abstract
This paper discusses the pivotal role emotions can play in the higher prevalence of disease and mortality in Black populations in North America. There is a large body of research on the potentially harmful effect of negative emotions upon physical well-being. However, many [...] Read more.
This paper discusses the pivotal role emotions can play in the higher prevalence of disease and mortality in Black populations in North America. There is a large body of research on the potentially harmful effect of negative emotions upon physical well-being. However, many scholars continue to interpret this link via a biological and reactive lens of emotion. By largely disentangling the embodiment of emotions from the traditional biological framework to which they are typically tied, we seek to analyze the nexus of race, emotion, and health through political, historical, and even ontological lenses. This analysis leverages Barrett’s theory of constructed emotion to elucidate the tangible impact of emotion on physical well-being and, in conjunction with Afropessimist metatheory on race, the potential contribution to understanding premature mortality among Black populations in North America. Barrett’s theory offers insight into how the persistent experience of negative emotions related to race can disrupt the delicate balance of an individual’s body-budget. The detrimental impact of White supremacy’s affective classifications and associated emotion concepts on Black populations is a stark reality, contributing significantly to daily health challenges faced by these communities in North America. Full article
12 pages, 2936 KiB  
Article
Collective Memory, Visual Communication, and Symbolic Interactions with Statues: The Case of the Charging Bull of Wall Street
by Annosha Mubasher and Tim F. Liao
Societies 2024, 14(7), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14070097 - 22 Jun 2024
Viewed by 449
Abstract
This research is concerned with individuals’ symbolic interactions with the Charging Bull statue. We chose this statue because it is an extremely popular tourist attraction and the most visited nonhuman statue in New York City. However, there is no research devoted to understanding [...] Read more.
This research is concerned with individuals’ symbolic interactions with the Charging Bull statue. We chose this statue because it is an extremely popular tourist attraction and the most visited nonhuman statue in New York City. However, there is no research devoted to understanding how visitors interact with the statue. To fill this gap in the literature, we examine people’s interactions as a unique way of communicating with the Charging Bull statue in New York City through a photo analysis approach. Using the general framework of symbolic interactionism, the paper investigates poses, gestures, and more generally interactions of individuals near or with the statue to gain insights into the impact of the Charging Bull beyond a mere visual representation. The findings reveal various forms of interaction, including souvenir photography, active participation, unexpected interactions, and public-made symbolism. This study of these interactions contributes to the literature on collective memory and the study of statues. Additionally, this research highlights the inventiveness of the dynamic relationship between individuals and statues as symbols in the urban environment. Full article
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25 pages, 7593 KiB  
Concept Paper
The Perception of Eros and the Cinema Audience Experience in Cádiz (Spain)
by Inmaculada Rodríguez-Cunill, Juan José Domínguez-López and Sonia Carlos-García
Societies 2024, 14(7), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14070096 - 21 Jun 2024
Viewed by 788
Abstract
The perception of the concept of Eros has evolved through shared cinematic experiences, to the point of shaping collective imagery in Cadiz, Spain. This city is known for its creativity and an extraordinary amount of performances during the period of carnival, and is [...] Read more.
The perception of the concept of Eros has evolved through shared cinematic experiences, to the point of shaping collective imagery in Cadiz, Spain. This city is known for its creativity and an extraordinary amount of performances during the period of carnival, and is represented annually by anonymous citizens. The research method employed consisted of an exhaustive analysis of bibliographic, press, and archival references on audience behavior from the introduction of the cinematograph to the present day. The authors have designed a table that organizes the emergence of movie theaters in the city and completed the background information, delving into the historical, geographical, and idiosyncratic factors that have contributed to collective creativity in the city. From there, we analyzed the evolution of the concept of Eros through the perspectives of Byung Chul Han and Georges Bataille. As a result, we recovered the value of projection interruptions in the analog environment as an opportunity for collective interaction, confronting them with the demands of technological perfection. We demonstrated the resilience of the analog through new experiences that show the evolution of the need for collective contact. Future studies will focus on other contexts, such as supermarkets and terraces, to contribute to a broader understanding of urban spaces, social cohesion, and perceptions of Eros. Full article
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