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Societies, Volume 9, Issue 3 (September 2019)

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Open AccessArticle
A Turning Point as an Opportunity to (Re)Think and Give a Voice to One’s Own Body
Societies 2019, 9(3), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc9030060
Received: 26 July 2019 / Revised: 12 August 2019 / Accepted: 13 August 2019 / Published: 17 August 2019
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Abstract
This article explores the intersectionalities of masculinity, fatherhood, and physical activity in relation to a Physical Education teacher who has been diagnosed with an illness. In so doing, we draw on autobiographical narratives to delve into how embodied subjectivities are constructed to advance [...] Read more.
This article explores the intersectionalities of masculinity, fatherhood, and physical activity in relation to a Physical Education teacher who has been diagnosed with an illness. In so doing, we draw on autobiographical narratives to delve into how embodied subjectivities are constructed to advance knowledge on a new embodied way of being a man and a PE teacher that can be accepted and embraced. The results are organised into three main themes: (1) narratives of continuation: the “before” of chronic illness; (2) narratives of disruption: back pain and temporary physical disability; and (3) restitution narratives: damn it, now that I am a father. The results suggest that narratives such as those presented in this article contribute to the continuously changing process of life projects and that illness can assist in redefining and reconstituting the persona of a PE teacher. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Socio-cultural and Critical Approaches to Health and the Body)
Open AccessConcept Paper
In Biomedicine, Thin Is Still In: Obesity Surveillance among Racialized, (Im)migrant, and Female Bodies
Societies 2019, 9(3), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc9030059
Received: 3 July 2019 / Revised: 6 August 2019 / Accepted: 11 August 2019 / Published: 15 August 2019
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Abstract
Currently there is a plethora of research literature which constructs obesity as an alarming new global pandemic associated with a multitude of acute and chronic diseases rooted in lifestyle factors. Although most of these claims related to obesity are well accepted in the [...] Read more.
Currently there is a plethora of research literature which constructs obesity as an alarming new global pandemic associated with a multitude of acute and chronic diseases rooted in lifestyle factors. Although most of these claims related to obesity are well accepted in the research community, some challenges remain. For instance, lifestyle factors only partially explain the risks of developing obesity. In this paper, I have advocated for greater caution in interpreting some of the medical claims of obesity due to the epistemological and methodological assumptions that inform certain groups of obesity researchers. While most of the literature has reported lifestyle factors and behavior modification as the major mechanisms to achieving health and wellbeing, a few scholars have raised issues about structural factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Inequality and Human Rights in a Digital World)
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Open AccessArticle
Between Pleasure and Resistance: The Role of Substance Consumption in an Italian Working-Class Subculture
Societies 2019, 9(3), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc9030058
Received: 8 June 2019 / Revised: 7 August 2019 / Accepted: 12 August 2019 / Published: 14 August 2019
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Abstract
In this article I discuss how illegal substance consumption can act as a tool of resistance and as an identity signifier for young people through a covert ethnographic case study of a working-class subculture in Genoa, North-Western Italy. I develop my argument through [...] Read more.
In this article I discuss how illegal substance consumption can act as a tool of resistance and as an identity signifier for young people through a covert ethnographic case study of a working-class subculture in Genoa, North-Western Italy. I develop my argument through a coupled reading of the work of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS) and more recent post-structural developments in the fields of youth studies and cultural critical criminology. I discuss how these apparently contrasting lines of inquiry, when jointly used, shed light on different aspects of the cultural practices of specific subcultures contributing to reflect on the study of youth cultures and subcultures in today’s society and overcoming some of the ‘dead ends’ of the opposition between the scholarly categories of subculture and post-subculture. In fact, through an analysis of the sites, socialization processes, and hedonistic ethos of the subculture, I show how within a single subculture there could be a coexistence of: resistance practices and subversive styles of expression as the CCCS research program posits; and signs of fragmentary and partial aesthetic engagements devoid of political contents and instead primarily oriented towards the affirmation of the individual, as argued by the adherents of the post-subcultural position. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Youth Cultures and Subcultures)
Open AccessOpinion
Interviewing and Hiring Practices in Brazilian Academia: Proposals Towards Improvement
Societies 2019, 9(3), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc9030057
Received: 29 May 2019 / Revised: 22 July 2019 / Accepted: 9 August 2019 / Published: 14 August 2019
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Abstract
Though Brazilian academia claims equality, the sector has largely been referred to as non-meritocratic, and academic hiring is still inward-oriented. The Lattes platform, a public curricular information system, reflects elements of this protectionism. This article assesses two ‘obsessions’ in Brazilian academia: the ‘mandatory’ [...] Read more.
Though Brazilian academia claims equality, the sector has largely been referred to as non-meritocratic, and academic hiring is still inward-oriented. The Lattes platform, a public curricular information system, reflects elements of this protectionism. This article assesses two ‘obsessions’ in Brazilian academia: the ‘mandatory’ Lattes CV, and the assessment criteria and procedures in public tenders for faculty positions. The current situation is introduced to the reader, and the shortcomings of these methods and their effect on academia in Brazil are analyzed. The following improvements are proposed: (1) evaluations in public tenders based on a candidate’s CV, interview, and a sample lecture, (2) removing the Lattes CV as a mandatory format, and (3) using platforms such as Microsoft Academic, Google Scholar, ORCID or ResearcherID for curricular information. With these recommendations, Brazil can move towards a more open and international-oriented academic hiring system. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Changing Nature of Death Penalty in Vietnam: A Historical and Legal Inquiry
Societies 2019, 9(3), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc9030056
Received: 9 April 2019 / Revised: 28 July 2019 / Accepted: 7 August 2019 / Published: 12 August 2019
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Abstract
This research centers on the change in the nature of the death penalty as expressed in law and practice throughout Vietnam’s history with a focus on modern time. Using a set of typical legal research methods, in particular, legal history, doctrinal research, philosophy [...] Read more.
This research centers on the change in the nature of the death penalty as expressed in law and practice throughout Vietnam’s history with a focus on modern time. Using a set of typical legal research methods, in particular, legal history, doctrinal research, philosophy of law and, sociology of law, the article analyzes the change and reform of capital offences in Vietnamese laws. It is revealed through our research that the nature of the death penalty has been fundamentally changed from an instrument of power and coercion during much of the history of the country to a manifestation of justice based on the ideas of rule of law and human rights that started to emerge in the early twentieth century, especially from 1986 onwards. As a result, the number of capital offences has been gradually reduced in three modern Criminal Codes. However, it is also noted that the number of capital sentences and executions appears to remain unchanged, even slightly increased. This creates a paradox that opens and invites a future, interdisciplinary research to thoroughly investigate the problem in the country. The article also argues that as the death penalty finds its moral and legal justifications along with the rise of the number of death sentences given to many serious criminal cases, the death penalty appears to find support among the public. In addition, the political sensitivity of the issue, as expressed through the prohibition on the disclosure of the death penalty data, will inhibit discourse on the problem. Together, they will maintain the existence and application of the death penalty in Vietnam in the time to come. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Elephant in the Room: Youth, Cognition, and Student Groups in Mass Social Movements
Societies 2019, 9(3), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc9030055
Received: 15 May 2019 / Revised: 27 July 2019 / Accepted: 6 August 2019 / Published: 9 August 2019
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Abstract
Student and youth groups are often vanguard actors in turbulent times. This article proposes that when they are part of broader social movements, they can introduce strong age-cohort influences in a movement’s development. These influences derive from the balance between youths and adults [...] Read more.
Student and youth groups are often vanguard actors in turbulent times. This article proposes that when they are part of broader social movements, they can introduce strong age-cohort influences in a movement’s development. These influences derive from the balance between youths and adults in a movement and their interrelationships, especially over the long term when demands remain unanswered by the state. Other influences include resource availability, which tends to cluster with older generations, tactical specialization according to age cohorts, and the tendency of groups with younger members to be willing to take greater risks, be more passionate in their demands, and more militant in their tactics. In this report, we identified several empirically recognized cognitive dimensions relevant to youthful participation: (1) identity search, (2) risk taking, (3) emotionality, and (4) cognitive triggering. These cognitive factors of late adolescence and early adulthood can energize a movement when young cohorts participate but also run the risk of alienating older members and public opinion. We discussed how mass movements for political and/or cultural change are frequently intergenerational and how intergenerational relations can mitigate the inward-turning and militant tendencies of young adults. In broad movements for social change, these relations can create a division of labor in which students are the vanguard actors and the older members mobilize the social and material resources available to them. Under other conditions, youth and student groups wield a two-edged sword with the capability of energizing a movement or alienating older cohorts of militants and public opinion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Youth Cultures and Subcultures)
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Open AccessConcept Paper
Upstream Social Marketing for Implementing Mobile Government
Societies 2019, 9(3), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc9030054
Received: 10 July 2019 / Revised: 22 July 2019 / Accepted: 23 July 2019 / Published: 29 July 2019
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Abstract
This article analyses the main aspects of upstream social marketing for the implementation of mobile government (MGov). The methodology of current research is based on the systematic literature review in the fields of MGov and social marketing. According to our findings, most researchers [...] Read more.
This article analyses the main aspects of upstream social marketing for the implementation of mobile government (MGov). The methodology of current research is based on the systematic literature review in the fields of MGov and social marketing. According to our findings, most researchers investigated MGov from the side of citizens (consumers) and emphasised the benefits to them while changing their attitudes and behaviours in employing mobile applications. However, as there is a lack of research from the side of governmental bodies, in this paper we were looking for new meanings, attitudes and values from their perspective. Limitations of employment of MGov occur due knowledge gap among decision makers and public policy formers (upstream audience). Therefore, we argue that upstream social marketing for the upstream audience would bring success in faster MGov implementation. Specific social marketing would be mostly valuable on the municipal level that is the closest substance to the society. Thus, in our paper, we emphasise the benefit of the MGov for the local upstream audience and propose possible external marketers as well as the motivating theses based on the 7P of marketing mix (consisting of seven P elements: Product, Price, Place or physical evidence, Promotion, Participants or people, Processes, Political power) for the successful MGov on municipal level. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Researching Transgression: Ana as a Youth Subculture in the Age of Digital Ethnography
Societies 2019, 9(3), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc9030053
Received: 1 May 2019 / Revised: 14 June 2019 / Accepted: 25 June 2019 / Published: 8 July 2019
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Abstract
In this paper, we explore the contribution of material and digital ethnography to providing a deeper understanding of youth subcultures. We provide the context by reviewing some of the research carried out by the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS) to provide a [...] Read more.
In this paper, we explore the contribution of material and digital ethnography to providing a deeper understanding of youth subcultures. We provide the context by reviewing some of the research carried out by the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS) to provide a historical overview of cultural studies and critically appraise how they have drawn on ethnography as a way of deepening our understanding of young people’s subculture. We then draw on digital ethnographic data to explore the lived experiences of Ana girls, that is, young women who advocate anorexic and bulimic behaviours as legitimate lifestyle choices, as they explore and negotiate their identity through online social media platforms with like-minded people. The aim is to demonstrate the potential of longitudinal digital ethnography to provide insights into these girls’ transgressive voices played out through online spaces. In narrating the Ana girls through digital storytelling, we argue that digital ethnography is the only way to access and understand their experiences and as such, has a unique role to play in advancing sociological understanding of their complex lived experiences. Thus, we suggest that digital ethnography provides a unique way of capturing longitudinal data and that this knowledge is important to bring about greater understanding of the challenges facing these girls as they grapple with complex problems. This greater understanding could inform changes to practice needed to better support Ana girls in online spaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Youth Cultures and Subcultures)
Open AccessEditorial
Special Issue: Supporting Health and Psychosocial Well-Being for Refugees and Asylum Seekers
Societies 2019, 9(3), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc9030052
Received: 2 July 2019 / Accepted: 2 July 2019 / Published: 6 July 2019
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Abstract
With nearly 69 million people forcibly displaced from their homes, the global refugee situation has reached crisis proportions [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Stakeholders’ Views on Responsible Assessments of Assistive Technologies through an Ethical HTA Matrix
Societies 2019, 9(3), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc9030051
Received: 4 April 2019 / Revised: 14 June 2019 / Accepted: 20 June 2019 / Published: 28 June 2019
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Abstract
Assessments of novel assistive technologies for use in home-based services has been documented to be performed in a variety of ways and often with a rather narrow focus on safety and effect or effectiveness. In order better to understand the place for wider [...] Read more.
Assessments of novel assistive technologies for use in home-based services has been documented to be performed in a variety of ways and often with a rather narrow focus on safety and effect or effectiveness. In order better to understand the place for wider forms of assessments of assistive technologies, the current study presents a combination of the Ethical Matrix and the Socratic approach for assessment of health technologies—the Ethical HTA Matrix. This matrix was filled with content based on a case of a GPS localization system, which was validated by stakeholders. In a next step, central decision-makers in assistive technologies and stakeholders were interviewed concerning their views on this methodology. Mainly, the matrix was seen as very comprehensive, but too detailed with an abundance of information. Nevertheless, some informants suggested concrete uses of the matrix in their organizations. Some understood the matrix more as an epistemic tool aiming at providing an overview of the state of knowledge, while others identified a normative potential in the matrix that could be implemented in health innovation processes for the home-based services, in particular when discussing novel solutions and working methods with health professionals and care workers. Full article
Open AccessEditorial
Attitudes toward Redistributive Policy: An Introduction
Societies 2019, 9(3), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc9030050
Received: 10 June 2019 / Revised: 19 June 2019 / Accepted: 21 June 2019 / Published: 28 June 2019
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Abstract
We provide an overview of the field of preferences for redistribution research, including divergent terminological and theoretical approaches. We review the different uses of public attitudes, policy preferences and public opinion. We outline the theoretical roles of material interests, values and opinion-policy endogeneity. [...] Read more.
We provide an overview of the field of preferences for redistribution research, including divergent terminological and theoretical approaches. We review the different uses of public attitudes, policy preferences and public opinion. We outline the theoretical roles of material interests, values and opinion-policy endogeneity. We also introduce and summarize the original research presented in this Special Issue. Among the key contributions of the Special Issue to the subfield are novel explorations of how socialization affects preferences for redistribution; an examination of how perceptions about inequality translate into policy preferences; a call for more research into the links between taxation and social policy preferences; explanations for the paradox of low levels of support for redistribution in the famously-generous Nordic countries; and new insights into class-specific policy preferences as well as the roles of immigration and diversity in determining such preferences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Attitudes about Inequalities)
Open AccessArticle
Challenges and Obstacles for Syrian Refugee Women in the Turkish Labor Market
Societies 2019, 9(3), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc9030049
Received: 5 March 2019 / Revised: 19 June 2019 / Accepted: 19 June 2019 / Published: 26 June 2019
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Abstract
The civil war in Syria resulted in the displacement of 5.7 million civilians between 2011 and 2018. Approximately four million of these civilians started to live in Turkey as refugees trying to integrate themselves into the labor market. The present research is a [...] Read more.
The civil war in Syria resulted in the displacement of 5.7 million civilians between 2011 and 2018. Approximately four million of these civilians started to live in Turkey as refugees trying to integrate themselves into the labor market. The present research is a case study regarding the obstacles faced by Syrian refugee women’s access to the labor market in Şanlıurfa, Turkey. To this end, a survey was carried out on a population of 341 migrants under a temporary protection regime comprising 207 women. The results obtained indicate numerous problems and show the needs of Syrian women. For example, Turkish language fluency and low education and skill levels are among the largest barriers for employment. Moreover, the opacity of bureaucratic procedures and non-computerized work permit applications are shown to be another slowing factor in this process. Compared with their home countries, Syrian women are more active in Turkey. However, a majority is involved in precarious and seasonal jobs. The problems of childcare and the feudal (male-dominated) nature of many homes deter Syrian women from contributing economically, and despite being a generally young population, most hold seasonal jobs, which leave little opportunity for career development. It is recommended that, to overcome structural barriers in accessing the labor market, Syrian refugee women need long-term training rather than restrictive policies. Full article
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