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Societies, Volume 6, Issue 3 (September 2016) – 10 articles

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Article
“Activated, but Stuck”: Applying a Critical Occupational Lens to Examine the Negotiation of Long-Term Unemployment in Contemporary Socio-Political Contexts
Societies 2016, 6(3), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc6030028 - 08 Sep 2016
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2803
Abstract
Background: Solutions for the problem of long-term unemployment are increasingly shaped by neoliberally-informed logics of activation and austerity. Because the implications of these governing frameworks for everyday life are not well understood, this pilot study applied a critical occupational science perspective to understand [...] Read more.
Background: Solutions for the problem of long-term unemployment are increasingly shaped by neoliberally-informed logics of activation and austerity. Because the implications of these governing frameworks for everyday life are not well understood, this pilot study applied a critical occupational science perspective to understand how long-term unemployment is negotiated within contemporary North American socio-political contexts. This perspective highlights the implications of policy and employment service re-configurations for the range of activities that constitute everyday life. Methods: Using a collaborative ethnographic community-engaged research approach, we recruited eight people in Canada and the United States who self-identified as experiencing long-term unemployment. We analyzed interviews and observation notes concerning four participants in each context using open coding, critical discourse analysis, and situational analysis. Results: This pilot study revealed a key contradiction in participants’ lives: being “activated, but stuck”. This contradiction resulted from the tension between individualizing, homogenizing frames of unemployment and complex, socio-politically shaped lived experiences. Analysis of this tension revealed how participants saw themselves “doing all the right things” to become re-employed, yet still remained stuck across occupational arenas. Conclusion: This pilot study illustrates the importance of understanding how socio-political solutions to long-term unemployment impact daily life and occupational engagement beyond the realm of job seeking and job acquisition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring Human Doing through an Occupational Lens)
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Article
Exploring the Daily Lives of People on Methadone Maintenance Treatment: An Occupational Perspective
Societies 2016, 6(3), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc6030027 - 02 Sep 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2782
Abstract
A qualitative study was undertaken with five people on methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) to better understand their experiences and daily routines. Through an in-depth exploration of their everyday occupations, we sought to reveal the ongoing challenges and barriers they face to accessing treatment. [...] Read more.
A qualitative study was undertaken with five people on methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) to better understand their experiences and daily routines. Through an in-depth exploration of their everyday occupations, we sought to reveal the ongoing challenges and barriers they face to accessing treatment. The concept of occupation refers to ‘all that people need, want and are required to do’ but also extends further to encompass ‘how doing contributes to processes of being, becoming and belonging’ (Huot and Laliberte Rudman, 2015). This research employed a qualitative intrinsic case study methodology (Stake, 2005). Using an occupational perspective informed by a framework for occupational justice (Stadnyk et al., 2005), the participants’ narratives are presented according to four themes highlighting key aspects of their experiences: (a) descent into chaos; (b) MMT as a bridge to recovery from addiction; (c) a new normal daily life; and (d) hopes for moving forward. The findings illustrate how structural factors and contextual factors interact to create occupational injustices. Thus, MMT practices and policies should consider the occupational implications described in this article to enhance patients’ experiences and further support their recovery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring Human Doing through an Occupational Lens)
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Article
Rural Villagers’ Quality of Life Improvement by Economic Self-Reliance Practices and Trust in the Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy
Societies 2016, 6(3), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc6030026 - 23 Aug 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2891
Abstract
The concept of economic self-reliance, widely known by Thai people as the philosophy of sufficiency economy, has been widely promoted in rural Thai societies. By practicing this philosophy, it is expected that the citizens’ quality of life and local environments could be sustainably [...] Read more.
The concept of economic self-reliance, widely known by Thai people as the philosophy of sufficiency economy, has been widely promoted in rural Thai societies. By practicing this philosophy, it is expected that the citizens’ quality of life and local environments could be sustainably improved. This study aims to explore the contribution of the community practices of the sufficiency economy philosophy to rural villagers’ quality of life improvement, and to investigate potential factors that determine the trust of villagers in the philosophy. With the purpose to propose strategies which could enhance trust and promote villagers’ practices of the philosophy, the study investigated influences of three relevant factors on trust towards the philosophy. Those factors included factors related to cognitive-based trust, factors related to emotional-based trust, and factors related to demographic characteristics. Questionnaire surveys and in-depth interviews with community leaders and local villagers were conducted in the Ban Jamrung community, in Thailand’s Rayong Province. The results of the statistical analysis revealed that the residents who applied the sufficiency economy philosophy in their daily lives experienced a relatively better quality of life. Additionally, it was found that trust in the philosophy could be predicted more by rational factors than by emotional factors. These findings could be utilized to develop strategies to maintain and enhance the trust of the people in the philosophy of sufficiency economy. Full article
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Article
Latinos Need to Stay in Their Place: Differential Segregation in a Multi-Ethnic Suburb
Societies 2016, 6(3), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc6030025 - 15 Aug 2016
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 5615
Abstract
While Latinos face high levels of segregation, there is scant research specifically addressing whites’ attitudes towards Latinos regarding their preferences. This study draws from 40 in-depth interviews with whites in Orange County California, an area with a large Latino and Asian population. I [...] Read more.
While Latinos face high levels of segregation, there is scant research specifically addressing whites’ attitudes towards Latinos regarding their preferences. This study draws from 40 in-depth interviews with whites in Orange County California, an area with a large Latino and Asian population. I demonstrate that white respondents choose to segregate themselves from Latinos. Most studies have used Blumer’s group position theory to explain white attitudes and neighborhood preference towards Blacks. My findings supports Blumer’s group position theory by revealing why white respondents feel threatened by an increase in the Latino population. Yet, the Asian population has also grown, but white respondents convey positive sentiments towards Asians, and express they feel comfortable living and interacting with them. I argue that white respondents’ preferences with regards to integration are not solely based on the size of a group, but rather whether they characterize the group as inferior. Integration has been touted as an American principle. Yet, as the country becomes more diverse, this case study illustrates that white respondents prefer to share space with those they feel similar to, and consequently contribute to Latino segregation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cross-racial and Cross-ethnic Personal and Group Relationships)
Article
The Influence of Context on Occupational Selection in Sport-for-Development
Societies 2016, 6(3), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc6030024 - 10 Aug 2016
Viewed by 2487
Abstract
Sport-for-development (SFD) is a growing phenomenon involving engagement in sport activities to achieve international development goals. Kicking AIDS Out is one sport for development initiative that raises HIV/AIDS awareness through sport. Despite sport-for-development’s global prevalence, there is a paucity of literature exploring how [...] Read more.
Sport-for-development (SFD) is a growing phenomenon involving engagement in sport activities to achieve international development goals. Kicking AIDS Out is one sport for development initiative that raises HIV/AIDS awareness through sport. Despite sport-for-development’s global prevalence, there is a paucity of literature exploring how activities are selected for use in differing contexts. An occupational perspective can illuminate the selection of activities, sport or otherwise, in sport-for-development programming and the context in which they are implemented. The purpose of the study was to understand how context influences the selection of sport activities in Kicking AIDS Out programs. Thematic analysis was used to guide the secondary analysis of qualitative data gathered with Kicking AIDS Out leaders in Lusaka, Zambia and Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. Findings include that leaders strive to balance their activity preferences with those activities seen as feasible and preferential within their physical, socio-historical, and cultural contexts, and that leader’s differing understandings of sport as a development tool influences their selection of activities. To enable a better fit of activities chosen for the particular context and accomplishment of international development goals, sport-for-development programmes might consider how leaders are trained to select such activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring Human Doing through an Occupational Lens)
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Article
Robots Working with Humans or Humans Working with Robots? Searching for Social Dimensions in New Human-Robot Interaction in Industry
Societies 2016, 6(3), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc6030023 - 02 Aug 2016
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 6490
Abstract
The focus of the following article is on the use of new robotic systems in the manufacturing industry with respect to the social dimension. Since “intuitive” human–machine interaction (HMI) in robotic systems becomes a significant objective of technical progress, new models of work [...] Read more.
The focus of the following article is on the use of new robotic systems in the manufacturing industry with respect to the social dimension. Since “intuitive” human–machine interaction (HMI) in robotic systems becomes a significant objective of technical progress, new models of work organization are needed. This hypothesis will be investigated through the following two aims: The first aim is to identify relevant research questions related to the potential use of robotic systems in different systems of work organization at the manufacturing shop-floor level. The second aim is to discuss the conceptualization of (old) organizational problems of human–robot interaction (HRI). In this context, the article reflects on the limits of cognitive and perceptual workload for robot operators in complex working systems. This will be particularly relevant whenever more robots with different “roles” are to be increasingly used in the manufacturing industry. The integration of such complex socio-technical systems needs further empirical and conceptual research with regard to “social” aspects of the technical dimension. Future research should, therefore, also integrate economic and societal issues to understand the full dimensions of new human–robot interaction in industry today. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Robots and the Work Environment)
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Review
The Use of Networking in Nursing Practice —An Integrative Review
Societies 2016, 6(3), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc6030022 - 29 Jul 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 5858
Abstract
Networking provides access to countless opportunities for nurses and patients and allows them to communicate, interact and collaborate with each other in order to enhance nursing care practice and improve health. The ubiquity of information and communication technologies have the potential to improve [...] Read more.
Networking provides access to countless opportunities for nurses and patients and allows them to communicate, interact and collaborate with each other in order to enhance nursing care practice and improve health. The ubiquity of information and communication technologies have the potential to improve access to both health information and services in health care. The authors aim for this study is to investigate the role of networking tools in shaping and improving nursing care practices. An integrative review was conducted and electronic databases of PubMed, Cochrane, Science Direct and ACM Digital Library were searched for studies published between 1985 and 2015. Sixteen articles, based on the use of networking tools in nursing care practice, were included in the review. Data synthesis consists of writing descriptive summaries and thematic analysis of the key findings in the included articles. Different networking tools are currently used by nursing professionals for patient’s safety and well-being. These include information technology, telehealth nursing, IT and networking applications, social media networks, miscellaneous interaction networks, internet as a source of information and communication networks. Networking assist healthcare professionals with completing their daily tasks such as teaching patients, monitoring their health, tracking their blood pressure and much more. A variety of networking tools are available for managing chronic disease, diet, and lifestyle choices of patients. However, privacy, security and reliability of exchanged information is extremely important in improving the quality of patient care. Full article
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Article
Teenage Pregnancy and Mental Health
Societies 2016, 6(3), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc6030021 - 27 Jul 2016
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 13685
Abstract
This article reviews the intersection between adolescent pregnancy and mental health. The research involving mental health risks for adolescent pregnancy and for parents who are teenagers are discussed. Depression and conduct disorder have emerged with the most attention. Research-based treatment of these disorders [...] Read more.
This article reviews the intersection between adolescent pregnancy and mental health. The research involving mental health risks for adolescent pregnancy and for parents who are teenagers are discussed. Depression and conduct disorder have emerged with the most attention. Research-based treatment of these disorders in adolescents is presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adolescent Pregnancy: Past, Present and Future Trends and Issues)
Article
First Application of Robot Teaching in an Existing Industry 4.0 Environment: Does It Really Work?
Societies 2016, 6(3), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc6030020 - 20 Jul 2016
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 4341
Abstract
This article reports three case studies on the usability and acceptance of an industrial robotic prototype in the context of human-robot cooperation. The three case studies were conducted in the framework of a two-year project named AssistMe, which aims at developing different means [...] Read more.
This article reports three case studies on the usability and acceptance of an industrial robotic prototype in the context of human-robot cooperation. The three case studies were conducted in the framework of a two-year project named AssistMe, which aims at developing different means of interaction for programming and using collaborative robots in a user-centered manner. Together with two industrial partners and a technological partner, two different application scenarios were implemented and studied with an off-the-shelf robotic system. The operators worked with the robotic prototype in laboratory conditions (two days), in a factory context (one day) and in an automotive assembly line (three weeks). In the article, the project and procedures are described in detail, including the quantitative and qualitative methodology. Our results show that close human-robot cooperation in the industrial context needs adaptive pacing mechanisms in order to avoid a change of working routines for the operators and that an off-the-shelf robotic system is still limited in terms of usability and acceptance. The touch panel, which is needed for controlling the robot, had a negative impact on the overall user experience. It creates a further intermediate layer between the user, the robot and the work piece and potentially leads to a decrease in productivity. Finally, the fear of the worker of being replaced by an improved robotic system was regularly expressed and adds an additional anthropocentric dimension to the discussion of human-robot cooperation, smart factories and the upcoming Industry 4.0. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Robots and the Work Environment)
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Article
Special Education Teacher Leadership in Jordan: Current State and Constraints
Societies 2016, 6(3), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc6030019 - 29 Jun 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2009
Abstract
Distributed leadership can enhance the professional learning communities of schools. The present study explored the leadership experience of Jordanian special education teachers, and their perceptions of common constraints to leadership. A mixed method design was used, including a survey (n = 136) [...] Read more.
Distributed leadership can enhance the professional learning communities of schools. The present study explored the leadership experience of Jordanian special education teachers, and their perceptions of common constraints to leadership. A mixed method design was used, including a survey (n = 136) and an interview (n = 23). Results indicated that special education teachers had little experience of leadership roles. They regarded the provision of cognitive and emotional support to colleagues as their most important leadership role, and participating in interview committees and selecting new teachers as the least important. There were no significant mean differences between male and female special education teachers in their level of enacted leadership. Level of education and years of experience were found to have a significant effect on the level of teachers’ leadership. Full article
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