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Soc. Sci., Volume 10, Issue 10 (October 2021) – 54 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): At the core of the populist challenge in relation to the political establishment is the confrontation between the virtuous ‘people’ and the unresponsive elites. Yet, who the ‘people’ are and whom populist actors claim to represent is shifting in meaning and is often driven by strategic considerations. The article investigates how populism conceptualizes and politically mobilizes the notion of the ‘people’. Empirically, it focuses on the Italian League and its political campaigns over the past 30 years. The discourse analysis shows how this political actor has transformed from a regionalist party in the North to one taking up the role of a populist nationalist party at the national level. The article argues that the political narrative, based on which populist actors invoke the notion of the ‘people’ and its ‘enemies’ open and restrict opportunities for political mobilization. View this paper.
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Article
What Works in School-Based Programs for Child Abuse Prevention? The Perspectives of Young Child Abuse Survivors
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(10), 404; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10100404 - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1561
Abstract
Previous research has shown that youth consider school-based child abuse prevention programs as one of the most important strategies for preventing child abuse and neglect. This study asked young child abuse survivors how school-based child abuse prevention programs should be shaped and what [...] Read more.
Previous research has shown that youth consider school-based child abuse prevention programs as one of the most important strategies for preventing child abuse and neglect. This study asked young child abuse survivors how school-based child abuse prevention programs should be shaped and what program components they perceive as essential. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13 Dutch young adults that were a victim of child abuse or neglect. A literature review that resulted in 12 potential program components was used to guide the interviews. All young adults agreed that school-based child abuse prevention programs are important and have positive effects on children’s awareness of child abuse. Teaching children that they are never to blame for child abuse occurrences was considered one of the most important components of school-based programs, next to teaching children how to escape from threatening situations and to find help, increasing children’s social–emotional skills, promoting child abuse related knowledge, recognizing risky situations, and increasing children’s self-esteem. Further, the participants found it important to provide children with aftercare when a school program has ended. Overall, young child abuse survivors have a strong view on what should be addressed in school-based child abuse prevention programs to effectively prevent child abuse. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Children and Youth Studies)
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Article
Gender Equality and E-Scooters: Mind the Gap! A Statistical Analysis of the Sicily Region, Italy
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(10), 403; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10100403 - 19 Oct 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1591
Abstract
Mobility since 2000 has undergone enormous changes due to new modes of transport and related technologies as well as catastrophic and pandemic events. Several strategies have been implemented by European states to mitigate impacts and assess possible risks in a preventive way. Today, [...] Read more.
Mobility since 2000 has undergone enormous changes due to new modes of transport and related technologies as well as catastrophic and pandemic events. Several strategies have been implemented by European states to mitigate impacts and assess possible risks in a preventive way. Today, mobility pursues the objectives of sustainability and resilience through a series of short-, medium- and long-term strategies that encourage the collaboration of the population to the choices of urban planning and design. Among the different modes of transport that have had a rise in recent years are scooters. Such modes are well suited to connecting spaces within the first and last mile. Similar to other modes of transportation, scooters are also characterized to date by reduced gender equity. The present work investigates through the administration of an online survey the participants’ perceptions concerning the factors that most affect this gender balance considering the metropolitan areas of Catania and Palermo in Sicily. The development of an ordinal regression model revealed the most influential factors of the gender equality variable. Specifically, age, job occupation and perceived safety level of micromobility modes play the most important role. The present findings can be effectively utilized in the planning stage of e-scooter services towards the bridging of the gender gap. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Promotion, Public Health, and Built Environment)
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Article
Toward an Integrated, Systemic, and Sustainable Model of Transformational Family Engagement: The Case of the Kentucky Statewide Family Engagement Center
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(10), 402; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10100402 - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1187
Abstract
Transformational family engagement fundamentally changes relationships between families and schools and interrupts deeply held beliefs about low-income, Black, Latinx, Indigenous, or immigrant families, each of which are rooted in systems of racism, classism, sexism, xenophobia, and their intersections. In this paper, we use [...] Read more.
Transformational family engagement fundamentally changes relationships between families and schools and interrupts deeply held beliefs about low-income, Black, Latinx, Indigenous, or immigrant families, each of which are rooted in systems of racism, classism, sexism, xenophobia, and their intersections. In this paper, we use a community-based collective impact theoretical framework to better understand how the KY Collaborative is aligned with transformational family engagement strategies and promotes and implements systemic, statewide evidenced-based family engagement policies and practices. We present data from interviews with KY Collaborative partners, observations of KY Collaborative events and activities, and survey data. Key findings suggest the KY Collaborative leverages each regional partner’s strengths to break through historical barriers that fail to acknowledge the critical role families play both within and outside of schools. Their collective programs and services demonstrate a commitment to strengthening families, building capacity amongst schools and educators, and supporting communities to achieve educational equity. Our findings present implications for other statewide family engagement centers and community-based collaborations for transformational family engagement by highlighting the ways in which the KY Collaborative develops bottom-up leadership, builds dual capacity, shifts power, attends to policy change, and diffuses shared messages, visions, and practices statewide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue School Approaches to Creating Equitable Family Engagement)
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Article
Diversity Barometer 2020: Attitudes towards Immigration and Ethnic Diversity in Sweden
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(10), 401; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10100401 - 19 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1382
Abstract
Migration is topical in many counties, and attitudes towards immigration and ethnic diversity are volatile. In our longitudinal “Diversity Barometer”, we have studied changes in Swedes’ attitudes towards immigration and ethnic diversity in Sweden since 2005, using a postal questionnaire sent to a [...] Read more.
Migration is topical in many counties, and attitudes towards immigration and ethnic diversity are volatile. In our longitudinal “Diversity Barometer”, we have studied changes in Swedes’ attitudes towards immigration and ethnic diversity in Sweden since 2005, using a postal questionnaire sent to a random sample of the Swedish population aged 18–75. In this article, we analyzed data from 2020 (n = 1035) in comparison with previous Diversity Barometer surveys from 2005 to 2018. The findings showed that Swedes had increased contact with immigrants from the Middle East, Asia and Africa. The majority had good experiences of studying or working with people with foreign background, although those with bad experiences had also increased. Attitudes towards immigration and ethnic diversity were more positive in 2020, thereby stopping a negative trend that started with the refugee influx in 2015. Positive attitudes were more established among women, younger people, those with higher education, people living in larger cities and those with more contact with people with foreign background. Sympathizers of political parties closer to the left wing were more positive towards immigration and ethnic diversity. We used political correctness, contact theory, strain theory and theory about group conflict/threats to provide hypothetical explanations for the observed changes in attitudes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section International Migration)
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Editorial
The Impossibility of Home: Displacement and Border Practices in Times of Crisis
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(10), 400; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10100400 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1106
Abstract
We launched the call for papers for this issue in March 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic was spreading rapidly around the globe, disrupting lives and stalling movement as country after country went into lockdown, and death tolls starkly revealed racial and economic inequalities [...] Read more.
We launched the call for papers for this issue in March 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic was spreading rapidly around the globe, disrupting lives and stalling movement as country after country went into lockdown, and death tolls starkly revealed racial and economic inequalities within and between nations [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Rights and Displaced People in Exceptional Times)
Article
How Does Voluntary Contact with the Police Produce Distrust? Evidence from the French Case
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(10), 399; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10100399 - 16 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1445
Abstract
Drawing on quantitative and qualitative data, this article points out the effects that instances of contact with the police can produce on the relationship with this public institution. The quantitative analysis highlights that trust in the police depends on social variables, such as [...] Read more.
Drawing on quantitative and qualitative data, this article points out the effects that instances of contact with the police can produce on the relationship with this public institution. The quantitative analysis highlights that trust in the police depends on social variables, such as political orientation, level of resources, age, and religion, but also on the frequency of direct contact with this institution. Being summoned to a police station is significantly associated with distrust in the police, and self-initiated contacts also promote distrust toward the police. Our qualitative data, collected through participant observation and interviews, provide a further insight into these results. The interaction between the police and governed people has two dimensions that may explain the production of distrust. On the one hand, the interaction involves a relationship of domination by the police, which is manifested by a demand on the part of the police for docility from the complainants. On the other hand, it involves a relationship of service, which gives rise to an expectation of recognition on the part of governed people, an expectation that is rarely satisfied. These everyday interactions do not necessarily translate into judgments about the fairness of police officers. Such feelings of frustration and dispossession should be taken into consideration in understanding how trust is affected by these voluntary contacts. Full article
Article
Adaptation of an Evidence-Based Online Depression Prevention Intervention for College Students: Intervention Development and Pilot Study Results
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(10), 398; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10100398 - 16 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1344
Abstract
College and university students across the United States are experiencing increases in depressive symptoms and risk for clinical depression. As college counseling centers strive to address the problem through wellness outreach and psychoeducation, limited resources make it difficult to reach students who would [...] Read more.
College and university students across the United States are experiencing increases in depressive symptoms and risk for clinical depression. As college counseling centers strive to address the problem through wellness outreach and psychoeducation, limited resources make it difficult to reach students who would most benefit. Technology-based prevention programs have the potential to increase reach and address barriers to access encountered by students in need of mental health support. Part 1 of this manuscript describes the development of the Willow intervention, an adaptation of the technology-based CATCH-IT depression prevention intervention using a community participatory approach, for use by students at a women’s liberal arts college. Part 2 presents data from a pilot study of Willow with N = 34 (mean age = 19.82, SD = 1.19) students. Twenty-nine participants (85%) logged onto Willow at least once, and eight (24%) completed the full intervention. Participants positively rated the acceptability, appropriateness, and feasibility of Willow. After eight weeks of use, results suggested decreases in depressive symptoms (95% CI (0.46–3.59)), anxiety symptoms (95% CI (0.41–3.04)), and rumination (95% CI (0.45–8.18)). This internet-based prevention intervention was found to be acceptable, feasible to implement, and may be associated with decreased internalizing symptoms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technological Approaches for the Treatment of Mental Health in Youth)
Brief Report
Adolescent Perspectives on How an Adjunctive Mobile App for Social Anxiety Treatment Impacts Treatment Engagement in Telehealth Group Therapy
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(10), 397; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10100397 - 16 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1544
Abstract
Adjunctive mobile mental health apps to supplement mental health treatment have been growing in recent years given their ability to address treatment engagement barriers. However, few studies have explicitly examined how these mobile apps impact treatment engagement, and even fewer have investigated this [...] Read more.
Adjunctive mobile mental health apps to supplement mental health treatment have been growing in recent years given their ability to address treatment engagement barriers. However, few studies have explicitly examined how these mobile apps impact treatment engagement, and even fewer have investigated this topic through adolescents’ perspectives. To this end, we conducted semi-structured interviews with five adolescents who used an adjunctive mobile mental health app in combination with telehealth cognitive behavioral group therapy for social anxiety. Using a multidimensional framework of treatment engagement, we elicited their perspectives on how the app impacted their engagement in telehealth group therapy and gathered their suggestions for improving the app. Using a consensual qualitative research approach, we learned that adolescents felt the app increased their comfort with others in therapy and their expectations about the effectiveness of mental health apps. They also indicated that the app prepared them for in-session participation and facilitated out-of-session skills practice. Adolescents had valuable suggestions such as adding app features to facilitate social connectedness between group members and adding appointment reminders in the app. This preliminary study highlights implications for future adjunctive mobile mental health app developers and researchers to increase adolescents’ treatment engagement in mental health services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technological Approaches for the Treatment of Mental Health in Youth)
Article
Is There a Real Need for the Preparatory Years in Higher Education? An Educational Data Analysis for College and Future Career Readiness
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(10), 396; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10100396 - 16 Oct 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1129
Abstract
Universities seek to qualify students for their academic and career futures and meet labor market requirements. Hence, a preparatory year is provided to bridge the gap between high school outcomes and the needs of university study plans. The preparatory year is the first [...] Read more.
Universities seek to qualify students for their academic and career futures and meet labor market requirements. Hence, a preparatory year is provided to bridge the gap between high school outcomes and the needs of university study plans. The preparatory year is the first year of support in the life of university students, and for decades, it has been recognized as important. It is considered the most crucial stage in the life of university students, where they build and refine their skills and choose their academic major, in which they complete their academic and career life. Due to the importance of this year, which requires the full attention and care of the higher authorities in terms of preparation, development, and renewal, this research outlines the importance of the preparatory year at a local level and in international institutions. Moreover, it sheds light on the details of King Abdulaziz University (KAU) students as a case study. It measures the relationship between the admission weighted ratio (AWR), the college enrollment allocation weighted ratio (CEAWR), and the performance of three batches of male and female students (three consecutive years), with details of students’ college allocation after the end of the preparatory year. More importantly, it aims to realize students’ progress through their weighted averages during their preparatory year, and the extent to which the goals of the preparatory year are achieved. After an analytic survey of the reality of the preparatory year, based on the statistical tests conducted, this study found that it is not possible to be satisfied with the weighted ratio for colleges’ direct allocation of high school students. The tests showed a difference between the AWR and that of the CEAWR, which indicates a change in the level of students’ performance from high school to university, due to the positive impact of the preparatory year. More precisely, it was noted that there is a possibility of studying the sufficiency of the weighted ratio for the direct allocation of some colleges in future research. Full article
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Article
Trends in Educational and Skill Mismatch in the United States
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(10), 395; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10100395 - 15 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1130
Abstract
We examined trends in the incidence and correlates of educational and skill mismatch in the United States. We focused on trends over time in the associations between various types of mismatch and a range of factors including contextual conditions. We explored whether contextual [...] Read more.
We examined trends in the incidence and correlates of educational and skill mismatch in the United States. We focused on trends over time in the associations between various types of mismatch and a range of factors including contextual conditions. We explored whether contextual conditions at the transitional period from school to jobs increase or decrease the probability of mismatch and whether such relationships persist throughout the working career. Our central questions were how the incidence of and relationship between educational and skill mismatch in the U.S. changed between 1994, 2003, and 2012 and how this differed by age, gender, immigration status, educational attainment, and occupation. We used three cross-sectional surveys that had not previously been implemented for such an effort. These were the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) in 1994, the Adult Literacy and Life-skills (ALL) survey in 2003, and the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) in 2012. Repeated cross-sectional data provided us with substantial analytic leverage. Our findings point toward the key role of occupational or positional factors rather than individual worker characteristics as being most implicated in trends in mismatch. We describe the importance of our results for labor market theories. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Economic Implications of Skill and Educational Mismatch)
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Editorial
Measuring and Evaluating the Effectiveness of Active Citizenship Education Programmes to Support Disadvantaged Youth
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(10), 394; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10100394 - 15 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1114
Abstract
The current Special Issue has been inspired by the Seventh Annual Conference on Citizenship Education that was held in Roehampton University London, on 26–27 September 2019 [...] Full article
Article
Modelling of Social Policy and Initiatives under COVID-19: Rural NEET Youth Case Study
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(10), 393; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10100393 - 15 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1396
Abstract
NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) youth rates in Europe are generally higher in rural regions than in urban areas and the share in rural regions is constantly increasing. During the COVID-19 pandemic, young people became even more vulnerable as they experienced [...] Read more.
NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) youth rates in Europe are generally higher in rural regions than in urban areas and the share in rural regions is constantly increasing. During the COVID-19 pandemic, young people became even more vulnerable as they experienced social exclusion and mental health problems. The objective of this paper is to analyse NEET youth-related statistics in Europe and distinguish positive initiatives for young people in rural areas of the Baltic countries to encourage positive emotions and willingness to learn. Statistical analysis and case study methods were employed. Data on youth unemployment, NEET youth by age and gender, and poverty and social exclusion of young people, is analysed. Social policy initiatives in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, mainly from rural municipalities, are presented and discussed. This research determines the key issues related to NEET youth and proposes initiatives to overcome existing problems among young people. Such social initiatives aim to promote positive social emotions of youth, promote their inclusion in society, and foster regional sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Policy and Welfare)
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Article
Cheating under the Circumstances in Marital Relationships: The Development and Examination of the Propensity towards Infidelity Scale
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(10), 392; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10100392 - 15 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1776
Abstract
Most of the previously developed scales addressing infidelity were developed on young samples in dating relationships and with limited couple experience. The present study proposes an instrument to measure the proneness for infidelity among married people with substantial experience as a couple. Specific [...] Read more.
Most of the previously developed scales addressing infidelity were developed on young samples in dating relationships and with limited couple experience. The present study proposes an instrument to measure the proneness for infidelity among married people with substantial experience as a couple. Specific contexts described by the items, in which unfaithful behavior might occur, were selected from those revealed by previous research on people’s motives of past infidelity. Across two studies (N = 618) we examined the factorial structure and the psychometric characteristics of the Propensity towards Infidelity Scale (PTIS). Results revealed a one-dimensional structure of the PTIS and supported its reliability, its construct, criterion and incremental validity. PTIS emerged as negatively associated with two measures of adherence to moral standards, and positively related to past unfaithful behavior. Furthermore, the new instrument was found to bring a significant contribution in explaining these behaviors beyond two other scales of infidelity intentions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Family Studies)
Article
Out with “Fine Time,” in with Financial Waivers: Recent Developments in Massachusetts Probation Fines and Fees Policies
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(10), 391; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10100391 - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1341
Abstract
The criminal justice system routinely imposes financial sanctions on probation clients. These fines, fees, and restitution debts often amount to more than what many clients can reasonably afford to pay. Until recently, Massachusetts courts have incarcerated clients solely for their inability to pay [...] Read more.
The criminal justice system routinely imposes financial sanctions on probation clients. These fines, fees, and restitution debts often amount to more than what many clients can reasonably afford to pay. Until recently, Massachusetts courts have incarcerated clients solely for their inability to pay these debts in a practice known as “fine time”. In 2018, the state passed a landmark criminal justice reform bill that restricted the types of cases in which fine time can be ordered. Clients that can establish that payment would lead to financial hardship can now petition the court for a financial waiver accompanied by community service. The current study seeks to explore the implications of the recent reform efforts on probation services by analyzing surveys gathered from a sample of 121 Massachusetts probation officers in 2020. Descriptive findings of officers’ attitudes toward fines and fees, responses to nonpayment by clients, and the use of financial waivers are presented. Officers’ perceptions and practices align with the recent reform efforts, suggesting support among probation personnel for policies that limit punitive responses to nonpayment of legal debts by their supervisees. Possible directions for future research and policy development are discussed. Full article
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Article
Sharing Research Data: An Analysis of the Interest of Social Scientists in the Context of a Mexican University
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(10), 390; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10100390 - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1236
Abstract
Open Science and open research data have the potential to speed up the processes of science and to generate benefits to society. However, the openness of research data and science cannot be taken for granted since there is a trend toward the capitalization [...] Read more.
Open Science and open research data have the potential to speed up the processes of science and to generate benefits to society. However, the openness of research data and science cannot be taken for granted since there is a trend toward the capitalization of knowledge. In addition, each area of knowledge differs in terms of the data used and the rules that govern each scientific community. The aim of this article is to analyze social researchers’ interest in sharing research data within the context of a Mexican university. Based on the constructivist grounded theory approach, 12 interviews were conducted with social scientists from a higher education institution in Mexico. From the analysis, four categories associated with the researchers’ attitudes of sharing their data emerged. The findings exhibit that researchers’ interest in sharing their scientific data is prone to (1) selectively sharing, (2) perpetuating the system, (3) protecting privacy and (4) considering resources. These results show that the scientists interviewed show an opposite inclination to Open Science, since they are not willing to share their data openly, including the fact that within the Mexican context, the practice of sharing data openly is not encouraged. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Community and Urban Sociology)
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Article
Mismatched, but Not Aware of It? How Subjective and Objective Skill Mismatch Affects Employee Job Satisfaction
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(10), 389; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10100389 - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1309
Abstract
Several studies suggest that skill mismatch reduces job satisfaction. To date, research has primarily investigated the impact of subjective skill mismatch; the impact of objective skill mismatch has less commonly been analysed and has generally only focused on mismatches in single skills. The [...] Read more.
Several studies suggest that skill mismatch reduces job satisfaction. To date, research has primarily investigated the impact of subjective skill mismatch; the impact of objective skill mismatch has less commonly been analysed and has generally only focused on mismatches in single skills. The present study addresses the question of whether both subjective and objective skill mismatch reduces employee job satisfaction. This article contributes to previous research by disentangling the effects of objective and subjective skill mismatch on job satisfaction based on a multidimensional measure of objective skill mismatch among employees in Germany. Based on the 2018 wave of the German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) Adult Cohort, multiple linear regression models are herein estimated in order to investigate how subjective and objective skill mismatches affect people’s job satisfaction. The findings indicate that subjectively skill mismatched employees are less satisfied with their job than matched employees to a statistically significant degree, even when controlling for the objective mismatch. However, objectively skill mismatched employees do not show statistically significant lower job satisfaction compared to matched employees. Although there is considerable dissonance between objective mismatches and the subjective perception of being mismatched, the findings suggest that skill mismatch only reduces job satisfaction when employees perceive themselves to be mismatched. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Economic Implications of Skill and Educational Mismatch)
Article
A Manifest against the Homogenisation of Childbirth Experiences: Preserving Subjectiveness in a Large Dataset of the «Babies Born Better» Survey
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(10), 388; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10100388 - 13 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1633
Abstract
The Babies Born Better international project aimed at surveying women’s experience in childbirth, privileging the qualitative description of this experience. It was translated into several languages and, in each country, there were different strategies for data analysis. However, analysing a qualitative dataset of [...] Read more.
The Babies Born Better international project aimed at surveying women’s experience in childbirth, privileging the qualitative description of this experience. It was translated into several languages and, in each country, there were different strategies for data analysis. However, analysing a qualitative dataset of this dimension, without completely transforming qualitative into quantitative data, poses practical challenges to researchers. Thus, in this article, we aim to explore the potential of using a qualitative data analysis software to avoid homogenising women’s experiences and preserve the subjectivity of responses in the analysis of open-ended questions of the B3 survey. We focused on the Portuguese version of the survey, reporting a thematic, computer assisted qualitative data analysis of 1348 responses. The software acted as a mediator of the researchers’ analysis and interpretation, beyond classical content analysis, without converting qualitative into quantitative data through plain word count. Exploring new possibilities of interpreting not only the meaning, but the relations between categories, may expand the scope of qualitative data analysis. However, we argue that the use of a software should not be overvalued, as such strategy should always remain as subsidiary to the researcher’s subjective interpretation of data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Justice in Sexual and Reproductive Health: An Intersectional Approach)
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Article
Mitigating COVID: Impact of COVID-19 Lockdown and School Closure on Children’s Well-Being
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(10), 387; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10100387 - 13 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1877
Abstract
As governments around the globe rushed to contain the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, the imposed lockdowns led to the closure of several sectors of economy and educational institutions including schools. People were advised to stay at home and maintain social and [...] Read more.
As governments around the globe rushed to contain the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, the imposed lockdowns led to the closure of several sectors of economy and educational institutions including schools. People were advised to stay at home and maintain social and physical distancing. The destructive socio-economic effects of the pandemic were felt worldwide. Amid these traumatic times, several studies explored the impacts of lockdown on the well-being of the general population. However, very few investigated the devastating effect of COVID lockdown on children, and even fewer talked about the lived experiences of this vulnerable group of our society. This study reports on what the children went through during lockdown by focusing on the research and data available about the impact of COVID-19 lockdown on children. The study analyses children’s experiences of this lockdown in light of the United Nations Convention on the rights of the child. The findings reveal that as a result of the mitigating measures implemented to control the spread of COVID-19, many children’s rights are being neglected. The lockdowns and school closures have disproportionately affected children’s well-being and have heightened huge disparities that exist between the advantaged and the disadvantaged. There is a need to understand how children are being impacted by the ongoing restrictions and to safeguard rights of all children. The study’s findings are to be considered while devising policy around children who are unable to make their voices heard by those whose decisions impact their well-being. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Children and Youth Studies)
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Article
Does She Deserve It? The Influence of Gender and Meritocracy in Reactions to Affirmative Action Legislation
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(10), 386; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10100386 - 13 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1291
Abstract
Gender equality is a matter for debate worldwide. In 2018, Portugal enacted legislation (Decree Law no. 62/2017) to balance gender representation on the executive boards of listed and public sector organizations with measures similar to those causing controversies in other countries. Thus, in [...] Read more.
Gender equality is a matter for debate worldwide. In 2018, Portugal enacted legislation (Decree Law no. 62/2017) to balance gender representation on the executive boards of listed and public sector organizations with measures similar to those causing controversies in other countries. Thus, in accordance with previous research, a study took place to examine the attitudes towards the justice of this legislation and the role of merit in these attitudes. This study (n = 129 women and 94 men) deployed an experimentally manipulative type of affirmative action program to consider the role of individual perceptions of the justice of the legislation coupled with the influence of beliefs in meritocracy and participant gender. The results identify how the type of affirmative action impacted on the perceived justice, also influenced by merit, which seems normative and fundamental to evaluating the justice of such legally stipulated provisions. Nonetheless, objectively evaluating candidate merits revealed difficulties in disentangling this process from personality traits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Gender Studies)
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Article
Randomized Clinical Trial of Primary Care Based Online Depression Prevention Intervention: Impact on Adolescent Modifiable Factors and Behaviors
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(10), 385; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10100385 - 13 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1206
Abstract
The developmental period of adolescence can pose a risk for the onset of depressive disorders, but is also a time when potentially modifiable factors and behaviors related to depressive episode onset can develop. An online health intervention can provide an opportunity to reach [...] Read more.
The developmental period of adolescence can pose a risk for the onset of depressive disorders, but is also a time when potentially modifiable factors and behaviors related to depressive episode onset can develop. An online health intervention can provide an opportunity to reach at-risk adolescents in between primary care visits and could impact these modifiable factors and behaviors to support healthy development. We explore the Competent Adulthood Transition with Cognitive-Behavioral, Humanistic, and Interpersonal Therapy (CATCH-IT), a self-directed online cognitive behavioral therapy prevention intervention, and its impact on modifiable factors and behaviors related to: (1) program completion, (2) normative adolescent development, (3) coping, (4) family relations, (5) general health behaviors, and (6) externalizing behaviors, in a primary care sample of adolescents at intermediate to high risk of developing depression. Adolescents were enrolled into either CATCH-IT or Health Education (HE) control group and followed for 24 months. CATCH-IT improved some factors related to program completion (e.g., motivation, recommendation to peers for depression prevention, and physician positive relationship), coping (e.g., perceived behavior change), and family relations (e.g., parental psychological control, sibling relative status) as compared to HE. HE improved normative adolescent development (e.g., health and loss life events) as compared to CATCH-IT. CATCH-IT utilized in primary care may benefit some at-risk adolescents in selective factors and behaviors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technological Approaches for the Treatment of Mental Health in Youth)
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Article
Understanding Equity of Access in Engineering Education Making Spaces
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(10), 384; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10100384 - 13 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1169
Abstract
The goal of our exploratory study was to examine how management and staff in engineering education making spaces are enacting equitable access amongst their users (e.g., students). We examined six different making space types categorized by Wilczynsky’s and Hoover’s classification of academic makerspaces, [...] Read more.
The goal of our exploratory study was to examine how management and staff in engineering education making spaces are enacting equitable access amongst their users (e.g., students). We examined six different making space types categorized by Wilczynsky’s and Hoover’s classification of academic makerspaces, which considered scope, accessibility, users, footprint (size), and management and staffing. We reviewed research memos and transcripts of interviews of university makerspace staff, student staff, and leaders/administrators during two separate visits to these places that took place between 2017 and 2019. We inductively and deductively coded the data, and the findings suggested that equity of access was situational and contextual. From the results, we identified four additional considerations needed to ensure equitable access for engineering education making spaces: (a) spaces designed and operated for multiple points of student entry; (b) spaces operated to facilitate effective student making processes and pathways; (c) threats to expanded access: burdens and consequences; and (d) elevating student membership and equity through a culture of belonging. Together, the findings point toward a need for developing a more nuanced understanding of the concept of access that far supersedes a flattened definition of access to just space, equipment, and cost. Full article
Article
“Why Can’t We?” Disinformation and Right to Self-Determination. The Catalan Conflict on Twitter
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(10), 383; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10100383 - 13 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1318
Abstract
Disinformation does not always take the form of a fake news item, it also appears in much less evident formats which are subtly filtered into public opinion, thus making its detection more difficult. A method is proposed in this paper to address the [...] Read more.
Disinformation does not always take the form of a fake news item, it also appears in much less evident formats which are subtly filtered into public opinion, thus making its detection more difficult. A method is proposed in this paper to address the study of “widespread” disinformation by combining social science methods with artificial intelligence and text mining. The case study chosen was the expression “right of self-determination” as a generator of disinformation within the context of the Catalan independence process. The main work hypothesis was that the (intentional or unintentional) confusion around the meaning and scope of this right has become widely extended within the population, generating negative emotions which favour social polarisation. The method utilised had three stages: (1) Description of the disinformation elements surrounding the term with the help of experts; (2) Detection of these elements within a corpus of tweets; (3) Identification of the emotions expressed in the corpus. The results show that the disinformation described by experts clearly dominates the conversation about “self-determination” on Twitter and is associated with a highly negative emotional load in which contempt, hatred, and frustration prevail. Full article
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Article
Mother-Child and Father-Child Relationships in Emerging Adults from Divorced and Non-Divorced Families
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(10), 382; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10100382 - 13 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1478
Abstract
The main aim of this study was to analyze the associations between parental divorce and interparental conflict with the quality of parent-child relationships. Specifically, we analyzed trust, communication and alienation in both father-child and mother-child relationships in a sample of 1078 Spanish emerging [...] Read more.
The main aim of this study was to analyze the associations between parental divorce and interparental conflict with the quality of parent-child relationships. Specifically, we analyzed trust, communication and alienation in both father-child and mother-child relationships in a sample of 1078 Spanish emerging adults from divorced and non-divorced families. The interaction between parental divorce and conflict was also analyzed. In support of our expectations, parental divorce was associated with lower trust and communication, along with higher alienation in father-child and mother-child relationships. When interparental conflict was included, parental conflict was more strongly associated with lower trust and communication in mother-child relationships, and higher alienation in both mother-child and father-child relationships. However, parental divorce was still associated with low trust and communication with fathers, when interparental conflict and the interaction between parental divorce and conflict were added. In summation, our results suggest that both parental divorce and conflict should be taken into account in the study of the consequences of family-related stress variables on adult children’s wellbeing. These findings add to the current literature and contribute to better comprehend the effects of parental divorce and conflict on both mother-child and father-child affective relationships in an understudied cultural context. The implications, limitations and future research recommendations are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Divorce and Life Course)
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Article
The Politics of the COVID-19 Pandemic in India
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(10), 381; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10100381 - 12 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1405
Abstract
India responded to the COVID-19 measures abruptly and in a tough manner during the early stages of the pandemic. Its response did not take into consideration the socio-economic life of the majority of people in India who work in the informal sector and [...] Read more.
India responded to the COVID-19 measures abruptly and in a tough manner during the early stages of the pandemic. Its response did not take into consideration the socio-economic life of the majority of people in India who work in the informal sector and the sheer diversity of the country. The imposition of a nationwide lockdown using the Disaster Management Act 2005 enabled the Union Government to impose its will on the whole country. India has a federal system, and health is a state subject. Such an overbearing role on the part of the Central Government did not, however, lead to coordinated action. Some states expressed their differences, but eventually all complied with the central guidelines. The COVID-19 pandemic struck at a time when an agitation was going on in the country, especially in New Delhi, against the Citizen Amendment Act. The lockdown was imposed all of a sudden and was extended until 31 May. This led to a humanitarian crisis involving a large number of domestic migrant workers, who were left stranded with no income for survival and no means of transport to go home. Indians abroad who were intending to return also found themselves trapped. Dissenting voices were silenced through arrests and detentions during this period, and the victims included rights activists, students, lawyers, and even some academics. Power tussles and elections continued as usual and the social distancing norms were often compromised. Since COVID-19 containment measures were carried out primarily at the state level, this paper will also selectively draw on their experiences. India also used the opportunity to burnish its credentials as the ‘pharmacy of the world’ by sending medical supplies to over a hundred countries. In the second wave, there were many deaths, but the government was accused of undercounting them and of not doing enough to deliver vaccines to Indians. This paper will deal with the conflicts, contestations and the foreign policy fallout following the onset of the pandemic and the measures adopted by the union government to cope with them, with less focus on the economic and epidemiological aspects of pandemic management. This paper looks at previous studies, press reports, and press releases by government agencies to collect the needed data. A descriptive and analytical approach is followed in the paper. Full article
Article
Self-Compassion and Empathy as Predictors of Happiness among Late Adolescents
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(10), 380; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10100380 - 12 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1579
Abstract
Happiness is a fundamental characteristic of life, helping individuals to become healthy and productive members of society. Pakistan has been ranked as the 67th happiest country out of 156 countries in the world. Self-compassion (SC) and empathy are considered some of the finest [...] Read more.
Happiness is a fundamental characteristic of life, helping individuals to become healthy and productive members of society. Pakistan has been ranked as the 67th happiest country out of 156 countries in the world. Self-compassion (SC) and empathy are considered some of the finest emotions and moral values of human beings leading to a happier life. This is the first study in South Asia that examined self-compassion as a moderator between empathy and happiness. Furthermore, we also determined self-compassion and empathy as predictors of happiness among late adolescents. Data collected from 566 students, selected randomly from different educational institutions in Lahore, suggested that self-compassion (r = 0.273) and empathy (r = 0.131) had a significant positive relationship with happiness. Self-compassion and empathy both significantly predicted happiness. Male adolescents had slightly higher self-compassion and mindfulness than females. Self-compassion (F (3, 562) = 29.74, p = 0.000) was found to significantly moderate the relationship between empathy and happiness. Self-compassion can be highly beneficial to relate to oneself, specifically for adolescents who are involved in developing their identities and self-worth, and it makes their transition from adolescence to adulthood easy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Family Well-Being)
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Article
Governing Migration through COVID-19? Dutch Political and Media Discourse in Times of a Pandemic
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(10), 379; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10100379 - 11 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1246
Abstract
This article explores the political and media discourse in The Netherlands around COVID-19 and migration. In so doing, it asks to what extent the dynamics of ‘governing COVID-19 through migration’ are visible in this discourse. By asking this question, the article builds upon [...] Read more.
This article explores the political and media discourse in The Netherlands around COVID-19 and migration. In so doing, it asks to what extent the dynamics of ‘governing COVID-19 through migration’ are visible in this discourse. By asking this question, the article builds upon the theoretical frameworks of ‘governing through crime’ and ‘governing through migration control’. Both theoretical frameworks place a strong emphasis on the role of discourse in framing certain social phenomena as a threat, concern or risk. By carrying out a discourse analysis on Dutch political and media debates around COVID-19 and migration in the period 1 January 2020–1 November 2021, the article illustrates that despite the linking of migration and crime not only being very visible but also seemingly normalized in this discourse, the links made between COVID-19 and migration were much more nuanced. Furthermore, although COVID-19 and migration were discussed together, the discourse does not show any evidence of governing COVID-19 through migration by using the pandemic to push for very restrictive migration laws targeting only ‘vagabonds’ while still allowing the mobility of ‘tourists’). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crimmigration in the Age of COVID-19)
Article
Using the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) to Study Animal Cruelty: Preliminary Results (2016–2019)
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(10), 378; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10100378 - 11 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1676
Abstract
On 1 January 2016, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began collecting data on crimes involving animal cruelty from law enforcement agencies that participate in the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) in the United States (U.S.). Prior to 2016, such crimes either went [...] Read more.
On 1 January 2016, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began collecting data on crimes involving animal cruelty from law enforcement agencies that participate in the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) in the United States (U.S.). Prior to 2016, such crimes either went unreported or were lumped into an “all other offenses” category, making it difficult to understand who was committing these crimes and whether there were any connections between crimes perpetrated against animals and crimes in which there was a human victim. Animal cruelty has cruelty has been linked to certain types of human violence and, therefore, it is important for authorities to know more about the people committing these crimes. Preliminary results from an analysis of the first four years (2016–2019) of data are presented. The age and gender of animal cruelty offenders, the time of day when most crimes occur, and the most common locations where offenses take place are presented. The type of animal cruelty involved and details of the other crimes that co-occur with animal cruelty are discussed. The limitations of the data are shared and recommendations are made about other types of data that could be collected in the future to add value to the data. Full article
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Article
Understanding and Supporting the Confucian Heritage Culture International Students in Victorian Independent Schools: A Perspective of School Leaders
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(10), 377; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10100377 - 11 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1150
Abstract
Greater demand for quality post-secondary education has been seen in Asia, particularly in China. Many Western countries have seen a rise in international education. Increasingly, schools in Australia are embracing internationalisation policies, leading to an increase in international student enrolment before the COVID-19 [...] Read more.
Greater demand for quality post-secondary education has been seen in Asia, particularly in China. Many Western countries have seen a rise in international education. Increasingly, schools in Australia are embracing internationalisation policies, leading to an increase in international student enrolment before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. International students in school education are something of a little-understood issue for educational scholars, policy makers and the general public. Leadership is seen as pivotal in the success of schools’ internationalisation program. By applying a mixed-method approach to collect data from an online Qualtrics survey and semi-structured interviews with independent school leaders in Australia, this paper reports how school leaders understand Confucian Heritage Culture (CHC) international students’ linguistic, cultural and educational contributions to schools, and their experience in supporting the international students to adapt into the new educational environments through various programs and strategies. This article also advocates that it is vital to respect the international students’ educational subjectivities generated in their “home” countries when providing support programs to help them engage with new educational contexts in “host” nations. Full article
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Article
Humane Education’s Effect on Middle School Student Motivation and Standards-Based Reading Assessment
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(10), 376; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10100376 - 08 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1277
Abstract
Students educated in the juvenile justice system face acute challenges such as lack of motivation and negative attitudes toward school. Schools in the system are expected to provide rigorous, Common Core-standards-aligned instruction. Humane education—lessons that nurture kindness and empathy towards humans, animals, and [...] Read more.
Students educated in the juvenile justice system face acute challenges such as lack of motivation and negative attitudes toward school. Schools in the system are expected to provide rigorous, Common Core-standards-aligned instruction. Humane education—lessons that nurture kindness and empathy towards humans, animals, and the environment—has been shown to motivate students and encourage their pro-social sentiments. This randomized control trial (with constraints) study of 192 12- and 13-year-old students from New Jersey asked students to complete five standards-aligned reading passages with text-based questions. The experimental-group assessments contained humane education themes and the control-group assessments had non-animal related high interest topics. The passages were equated in reading level, word count, etc. Analyses of the results showed that not only did students who received humane education passages do better overall, but also did much better on questions addressing specific Common Core Reading for Information standards. This study can be a starting point for applying and researching the effectiveness of humane education on the juvenile justice population, specifically, because they are expected to learn standards-aligned curricula and are in particular need of academic motivation and pro-social encouragement. Full article
Article
Fragmentation and Grievances as Fuel for Violent Extremism: The Case of Abu Musa’ab Al-Zarqawi
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(10), 375; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10100375 - 07 Oct 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1283
Abstract
Violent extremism naturally benefits from any state of fragmentation. This article focuses on Iraq in a period of a staggering rise in terrorist attacks that started with “operation Iraqi Freedom.” The rhetoric of Abu Musa’ab Al-Zarqawi is used as a case study. Analyzing [...] Read more.
Violent extremism naturally benefits from any state of fragmentation. This article focuses on Iraq in a period of a staggering rise in terrorist attacks that started with “operation Iraqi Freedom.” The rhetoric of Abu Musa’ab Al-Zarqawi is used as a case study. Analyzing his statements between 2003 and 2006 shows his weaponization of the concepts of out-groups and threat; it is shown to have a temporaneous association between the escalating violence and successful mobilization. This highlights the saliency of these concepts, the crucial role of Iraq’s Sunni Arabs’ grievances, and the resulting societal fragmentations, which all play in Zarqawi’s efforts to mobilize his in-group. The use of Social Identity Theory and Integrated Threat Theory outlines Zarqawi’s rhetorical strategies in portraying his enemies, and therefore, exposes the rhetorical justifications behind his violent extremism. Results show, temporally, prominent implementation of out-group/threat in the rhetoric, the different out-groups in question, and the types of threats portrayed. In addition, this article concretely shows the effect of the allied forces/Iraqi government’s policies in fortifying Zarqawi’s rhetoric by way of adopting hostile and discriminatory measures against Sunni Arabs. This article also shows an undeniable dialectical relationship between societal fragmentation/grievances and violent-extremist rhetoric and returns the question to policy makers. Full article
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