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Soc. Sci., Volume 11, Issue 8 (August 2022) – 59 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Academia is often said to be a challenging environment for women. Studies point out still-existing gender gaps in academia and leadership positions. We look at decision-making positions in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in academic research. We seek to understand if research roles are distributed equally gender-wise among cohorts in research units, as well as if deans’ genders are a factor of influence in such role attributions. Using univariate and bivariate tests, our research assesses gender distribution in research roles fostered by HEIs in public and private institutions. We take the specific case of Portugal; therefore, we cannot extrapolate the results to other countries. Our results highlight resisting differences in fields of research and coordination and role distribution among R&D units, as well as in relations between power positions in academia and research. View this paper
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Article
Volunteer Working during COVID-19 in Jordanian Community: Advantages and Challenges
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 377; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080377 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 465
Abstract
This study deals with the crisis volunteering during the lockdown period of the COVID-19 pandemic in Jordan. This study aims to identify the skills that volunteers acquire during voluntary work. Moreover, it aims to identify whether there are significant differences for volunteer difficulties [...] Read more.
This study deals with the crisis volunteering during the lockdown period of the COVID-19 pandemic in Jordan. This study aims to identify the skills that volunteers acquire during voluntary work. Moreover, it aims to identify whether there are significant differences for volunteer difficulties and advantages regarding gender, age, and education level. Researchers employed a quantitative method, using a questionnaire to achieve the goals of this study. The sample was 121 voluntary people (females and males) during the pandemic in a Jordanian community. The results of this study have shown that volunteering during the COVID-19 pandemic has had a positive impact on volunteers during this period in terms of acquiring a variety of skills. Furthermore, there were numerous difficulties faced by volunteers, and there were no statistically significant differences in the level of skills acquired by volunteers as a result of their participation in volunteering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Stratification and Inequality)
Article
Correlates of Acquiring a Traumatic Brain Injury before Experiencing Homelessness: An Exploratory Study
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 376; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080376 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 499
Abstract
The rates of traumatic brain injury (TBI) are significantly higher among individuals experiencing homelessness compared to the general population. The relationship between TBI and homelessness is likely bi-directional as factors associated with homelessness may increase the risk of acquiring a TBI, and factors [...] Read more.
The rates of traumatic brain injury (TBI) are significantly higher among individuals experiencing homelessness compared to the general population. The relationship between TBI and homelessness is likely bi-directional as factors associated with homelessness may increase the risk of acquiring a TBI, and factors associated with TBI could lead to homelessness. This study builds upon previous research by investigating the following research questions: (1) What are the rates of TBI among a sample of individuals experiencing homelessness? (2) Does a TBI experience precede or follow an initial period of homelessness? And, (3) What are the correlates of TBI prior to homelessness including self-reported mental health variables? A cross-sectional study design and purposive sampling were utilized to interview 115 English-speaking adults (ages 18–73) in two Colorado cities. Results show, 71% of total participants reported a significant history of TBI, and of those, 74% reported a TBI prior to experiencing homelessness. Our logistic regression models reveal a significant relationship between mental health and acquiring a TBI prior to experiencing homelessness. Implications include prioritizing permanent supportive housing followed by other supportive services. Full article
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Article
Reported User-Generated Online Hate Speech: The ‘Ecosystem’, Frames, and Ideologies
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 375; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080375 - 19 Aug 2022
Viewed by 430
Abstract
The spread of hate speech challenges the health of democracy and media systems in contemporary societies. This study aims to contribute to a better understanding of user-generated online hate speech reported by Internet users to national monitoring organizations, in particular its ‘ecosystem‘, discursive [...] Read more.
The spread of hate speech challenges the health of democracy and media systems in contemporary societies. This study aims to contribute to a better understanding of user-generated online hate speech reported by Internet users to national monitoring organizations, in particular its ‘ecosystem‘, discursive elements, and links to political discourses. First, we analyzed the main characteristics of the reported statements (source, removal rate, and targets) to reveal the media and political context of reported user-generated online hate speech. Next, we focused on hate speech statements against migrants and analyzed their discursive elements with the method of critical frame analysis (frames, actors, metaphors, and references) to understand the corresponding discourse. The main discursive feature of these statements is the prognosis, which calls for death and violence, so we could label this communication as ‘executive speech.’ Other key features are references to weapons and Nazi crimes from WWII, indicating the authors’ extreme-right ideological convictions, and the metaphors, employed to provoke disgust from migrants, present them as culturally inferior and raise fears about their supposed violent behavior. The corresponding diagnoses frame migrants as a threat in a similar way to populist political discourses of othering and complement these in providing ‘final’ solutions in prognoses. Full article
Article
The Political Significance of Overeducation: Status Inconsistency, Attitudes towards the Political System and Political Participation in a High-Overeducation Context
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 374; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080374 - 19 Aug 2022
Viewed by 362
Abstract
This article examines the impact of overeducation on attitudes towards the political system and political participation. Using survey data from Spain, diagonal reference models were estimated to contrast hypotheses based on the theory of status inconsistency. The evidence links overeducation to political attitudes [...] Read more.
This article examines the impact of overeducation on attitudes towards the political system and political participation. Using survey data from Spain, diagonal reference models were estimated to contrast hypotheses based on the theory of status inconsistency. The evidence links overeducation to political attitudes (lower satisfaction with the functioning of democracy, lower external political efficacy) and political participation (greater participation in protests, higher membership in associations). Most of these effects are modest and some of them are moderated by age. Overall, the findings indicate that overeducation has relevant political consequences, mainly among young, university-educated workers doing jobs with low educational requirements. However, overeducation does not pose a major threat to political stability. Full article
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Article
Researching Students’ Experiences of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and Harassment: Reflections and Recommendations from Surveys of Three UK HEIs
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 373; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080373 - 18 Aug 2022
Viewed by 582
Abstract
In the US, ‘campus climate surveys’ are an established measure of the prevalence of, and students’ awareness of and attitudes to sexual and gender-based violence and harassment (SGBVH). They are regularly carried out by universities to assist SGBVH prevention and responses. Such surveys [...] Read more.
In the US, ‘campus climate surveys’ are an established measure of the prevalence of, and students’ awareness of and attitudes to sexual and gender-based violence and harassment (SGBVH). They are regularly carried out by universities to assist SGBVH prevention and responses. Such surveys have only recently started to be carried out within UK higher education institutions (HEIs) and the three authors of this article all independently undertook such surveys in different HEIs. Comparing our experiences of undertaking these surveys across three HEIs allows us to explore similarities and differences in our experiences of this type of research, in particular the challenges which arose in carrying out such research in three very different types of HEI. This article presents reflections on the methodological and political challenges of such work. We discuss our rationales for initiating these projects, the methodological approaches we employed, the governance structures navigated in pursuing the research and the difficulties that arose in conducting and reporting on the research. This article will be of interest to academics, activists, and policy-makers—domestically and internationally—who wish to carry out such research. By comparing approaches, we draw attention to issues and potential impediments of relevance to others wanting to embark on similar work within their own HEI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender-Related Violence: Social Sciences’ Research & Methods)
Article
Examining the Role of Source Evaluation in Athlete Advocacy: How Can Advocate Athletes Inspire Public Involvement in Racial Issues?
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 372; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080372 - 18 Aug 2022
Viewed by 373
Abstract
Athlete advocacy is recognized as an important method of persuading the public on social issues, and it demonstrates the role of athletes in achieving racial justice. However, how athlete advocacy can gain the persuasiveness to encourage public involvement remains unclear. This study investigates [...] Read more.
Athlete advocacy is recognized as an important method of persuading the public on social issues, and it demonstrates the role of athletes in achieving racial justice. However, how athlete advocacy can gain the persuasiveness to encourage public involvement remains unclear. This study investigates how the evaluation of an advocate athlete functions to encourage public issue involvement, focusing on Naomi Osaka’s racial advocacy. In particular, driven by balance theory and attribution theory, this study examines the effects of five sociopsychological factors on public involvement in racial issues: perceived credibility, hypocrisy, cause fit, effort expended, and role model status of advocate athletes. Data were collected from a cross-sectional online survey of 855 Japanese adults who were aware of Osaka’s advocacy. The findings highlight that public involvement in racial issues is significantly associated with the evaluations of the athlete’s credibility and hypocrisy. These evaluations are further influenced by perceptions of the athlete’s cause fit and role model status. This study enriches the literature on the management of sports for social change by demonstrating the importance of source evaluation in athlete advocacy in achieving advocacy outcomes. Our evidence implies that athletes looking to promote racial justice issues should effectively be seen as credible, knowledgeable, and non-hypocritical in their issue advocacy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rethinking Sport and Social Issues)
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Article
Emerging Themes on Factors Influencing Career and Employment Decisions: Voices of Individuals with Disabilities from Four Gulf Countries
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 371; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080371 - 18 Aug 2022
Viewed by 352
Abstract
Understanding the range of factors influencing career and employment decisions of individuals with disabilities is crucial for policy makers, businesses, and other stakeholders to support and integrate individuals with disabilities in the economic and social capital of the Arab-Gulf. The purpose of this [...] Read more.
Understanding the range of factors influencing career and employment decisions of individuals with disabilities is crucial for policy makers, businesses, and other stakeholders to support and integrate individuals with disabilities in the economic and social capital of the Arab-Gulf. The purpose of this sttudy was to investigate the factors that influence individuals with disabilities in making decisions about their career and employment. We explore how Arab adults with disabilities explain their career and employment decisions experiences, challenges, and barriers. We interviewed 15 adults with disabilities from four Arab-Gulf countries: Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. Our findings reveal eight factors that influence individuals with disabilities in their decision-making process about work and their future goals. Two distinct emerging themes were identified as influencing career and employment decisions for individuals with disabilities: individual attributes and environmental factors. Self-determination theory guided our analysis for this research study. The study provided in-depth understanding of the factors that impact employment persistence and individuals with disabilities in the Gulf region. The findings from this base-line study has implications for transition and self-determination. Thus, the study discusses ways to improve the quality of services and supports for individuals with disabilities in the Arab-Gulf and their families. Full article
Article
Social Media and Cross-Border Political Participation: A Case Study of Kyrgyz Migrants’ Online Activism
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 370; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080370 - 18 Aug 2022
Viewed by 406
Abstract
In an attempt to address the debate among social science scholars regarding whether or not online political engagement is a legitimate form of political participation, this study investigates the conditions under which migrants engage politically with virtual communities, and when and how online [...] Read more.
In an attempt to address the debate among social science scholars regarding whether or not online political engagement is a legitimate form of political participation, this study investigates the conditions under which migrants engage politically with virtual communities, and when and how online participation spills over to real-world social mobilization. The case study of Kyrgyz migrants’ online activism in virtual social media groups and pages on Facebook and its Russian equivalents VKontakte and Odnoklassniki demonstrates that, although migrants are not likely to routinely participate in, initiate, or continuously engage with political conversations on these platforms, crisis conditions, such as the October revolution in 2020, the first COVID wave the summer of that same year, and the Kyrgyz–Tajik border conflict in April–May 2021, trigger bursts of political activism on social media which carry over to the real-world in the form of fundraising and protest mobilization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section International Migration)
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Article
Exploring the Dynamic Shock of Unconventional Monetary Policy Channels on Income Inequality: A Panel VAR Approach
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 369; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080369 - 18 Aug 2022
Viewed by 401
Abstract
In response to the “Great Recession and Global Financial Crisis”, central banks had to deploy unconventional monetary policies (UMP) in order to fight the severe impact of the crisis. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine the dynamic shock of unconventional [...] Read more.
In response to the “Great Recession and Global Financial Crisis”, central banks had to deploy unconventional monetary policies (UMP) in order to fight the severe impact of the crisis. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine the dynamic shock of unconventional monetary policies through earning heterogeneity, income composition, and portfolio channels on income inequality in emerging economies covering the period 2000–2019, using the panel vector autoregressive (PVAR) model. A PVAR model was designed for this study because of its ability to address the dynamics of numerous entities considered in parallel. The findings suggest that the UMPs used by these countries’ central banks may have increased income inequality through all of the channels investigated in this study, as a shock to unconventional monetary policy results in a positive response in income inequality. Even when pre-tax income, held by the top 10%, is adopted to measure income inequality, the study yields similar results. It is evident that a central bank’s objective is and should be to fulfil its mandate of achieving maximum employment and price stability, thus bringing wide economic benefits. Thus, some forms of policies are more appropriate for addressing concerns about inequality (income policy or fiscal policy) than others. However, the current study alerts the central bank to the fact that monetary policies may have a wounding impact on income inequality. Therefore, the central banks should consider the cost of monetary policies on income inequality when drafting or implementing these kinds of policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Stratification and Inequality)
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Article
Post-Intervention Reconstruction and the Responsibility to Rebuild
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 368; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080368 - 17 Aug 2022
Viewed by 326
Abstract
This article examines the relationship between the responsibility to rebuild and post-intervention reconstruction. It aims to determine whether the current interpretation of the responsibility to rebuild is the appropriate framework for attaining the goals of post-intervention reconstruction. The article argues that, despite the [...] Read more.
This article examines the relationship between the responsibility to rebuild and post-intervention reconstruction. It aims to determine whether the current interpretation of the responsibility to rebuild is the appropriate framework for attaining the goals of post-intervention reconstruction. The article argues that, despite the urgent need for a post-intervention strategy in the aftermath of humanitarian interventions, the responsibility to rebuild, as it is currently being framed, can end up undermining the goals of post-conflict reconstruction by dissuading states from participating in atrocity prevention, inadvertently increasing atrocity crimes and delegitimizing military humanitarian interventions. The analysis identifies the need for the responsibility to rebuild to incorporate an increased respect for post bellum proportionality and self-determination. Full article
Article
How Has the Gender Earnings Gap in Ireland Changed in Thirty Years?
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 367; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080367 - 17 Aug 2022
Viewed by 412
Abstract
Since 1987, the wages of women in Ireland have been growing faster than those of men. This, coupled with a decrease in the average hours worked by men, has resulted in a reduction in the gender earnings gap in Ireland, most notably at [...] Read more.
Since 1987, the wages of women in Ireland have been growing faster than those of men. This, coupled with a decrease in the average hours worked by men, has resulted in a reduction in the gender earnings gap in Ireland, most notably at the bottom of the earnings distribution. This paper provides a descriptive analysis of the growth of male and female wages, weekly earnings, and differences in working patterns across the wage and earnings distribution in Ireland over the last three decades, using detailed microdata covering the period 1987–2019. Using a Oaxaca–Blinder decomposition approach, based on unconditional quantile regressions for each time period, we also show how the explained and unexplained components of the gender wage gap have changed across the wage distribution. We find that the mean and median gender gap in earnings fell by one-sixth and one-quarter, respectively, between 1987 and 2019. This change is attributable to the faster growth of women’s wages compared to men’s and some convergence in the average hours worked by men and women. However, there has been relatively stable structural inequality at the top of the wage and earnings distribution over the past three decades, which points towards a persistent glass ceiling in Ireland. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dynamics of Gender Income Inequality)
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Article
“We Knew No One Else Had Our Back except Us”: Recommendations for Creating an Accountability Care Framework with Sex Workers in Eastern Canada
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 366; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080366 - 17 Aug 2022
Viewed by 329
Abstract
The authors report findings from a 15-month project that focused on the experiences of sex workers who live and work in an Eastern Canadian province. As part of a larger multi-phased study, 15 adults who identified as women, transgender, or non-binary, and received [...] Read more.
The authors report findings from a 15-month project that focused on the experiences of sex workers who live and work in an Eastern Canadian province. As part of a larger multi-phased study, 15 adults who identified as women, transgender, or non-binary, and received money or goods for sexual services, participated in photo-elicitation interviews. Drawing on a critical framing analysis, findings indicated supports—as identified and experienced by sex workers—encompassed three categories of care: self, community, and collective. These categories are described, with a particular focus on the latter two. Continuing with the care-based framework, recommendations to structure interventions draw on the role of accountability care in identifying how best to operationalize policies that promote health, well-being, and dignity of Canadian sex workers. The paper begins with a brief overview of the Canadian context and the role of supports. It follows with a discussion on the materials and methods and the results. It concludes with recommendations, limitations, and future considerations. Full article
Article
The Uses of Coffee in Highly Demanding Work Contexts: Managing Rhythms, Sleep, and Performance
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 365; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080365 - 17 Aug 2022
Viewed by 505
Abstract
This paper presents a sociological approach to coffee consumption as a performance management strategy in work contexts, particularly in professions with intense work rhythms and highly responsive demands. Focusing on the daily work of three professional groups (nurses, police officers, and journalists), we [...] Read more.
This paper presents a sociological approach to coffee consumption as a performance management strategy in work contexts, particularly in professions with intense work rhythms and highly responsive demands. Focusing on the daily work of three professional groups (nurses, police officers, and journalists), we analyze the social expression of coffee and how it is mobilized to deal with sleep problems, fatigue, concentration, or stress. For this purpose, three intertwined dimensions are explored: (1) the nature of these professionals’ work and the pressures for certain forms and levels of performance; (2) sleep problems as both a result of those work characteristics and a constraint on performance; and (3) the role of coffee in managing professional imperatives. The use of coffee appears as a legitimate practice in everyday working routines, due to its socializing markers, whereas additional benefits are attributed to the pharmacological properties of caffeine, given the perceived improvement in performance. The empirical data derive from a study carried out in Portugal on the use of medicines and food supplements for performance management, following a mixed methods approach. In particular, data from a questionnaire survey in a sample of 539 workers and information collected through seven focus groups with a total of 33 participants were used. Full article
Article
Possibilities of Strengthening the Independence of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Slovak Republic: A System of Appointment of the Prosecutor General to the Office as a Key Element?
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 364; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080364 - 14 Aug 2022
Viewed by 427
Abstract
This paper deals with the issue of the independence of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Slovak Republic as an attribute that allows the Prosecutor’s Office to actually carry out its mission, regardless of the individual interests of the parties concerned and regardless of [...] Read more.
This paper deals with the issue of the independence of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Slovak Republic as an attribute that allows the Prosecutor’s Office to actually carry out its mission, regardless of the individual interests of the parties concerned and regardless of the government’s political goals and basic beliefs. In the first chapter, the paper deals with the current constitutional regulation of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Slovak Republic in the context of the legal regulation of its independence. The author points out the problems that arise from the absence of granting the attribute of independence to the Slovak Prosecutor’s Office and emphasizes the need for its legislative anchoring. Subsequently, the paper deals with the issue of external independence, which allows the public prosecution office to carry out its tasks without being influenced by various entities from the external (political) environment. In the last chapter, the paper presents the possibilities for strengthening the current degree of external independence of the Slovak Prosecutor’s Office. The author considers it crucial to reconsider and redefine the current system of appointing the Prosecutor General and to remove political ties in the creation of this function. The author of the paper considers two variants of the system of selecting a suitable candidate for the Prosecutor General. First, it is possible to strengthen the existing system of self-government of prosecutors and to increase the scope of the powers of authorities of prosecutorial self-government, the current task of which is to ensure the protection of the rights and legitimate interests of prosecutors. The second possibility for strengthening the external independence of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Slovak Republic could be the creation of another type of Council of Prosecutors, the composition of which would be balanced and would not represent a closed system accessible only to prosecutors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Contemporary Politics and Society)
Article
Perceived Organizational Culture and Turnover Intentions: The Serial Mediating Effect of Perceived Organizational Support and Job Insecurity
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 363; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080363 - 12 Aug 2022
Viewed by 580
Abstract
This study aims to analyze the relationship between perceived organizational culture (POC) and turnover intentions (TI) and if this relationship is mediated by perceived organizational support (POS) and job insecurity (JI). For this purpose, the following hypotheses were formulated: (1) POC (support, goals, [...] Read more.
This study aims to analyze the relationship between perceived organizational culture (POC) and turnover intentions (TI) and if this relationship is mediated by perceived organizational support (POS) and job insecurity (JI). For this purpose, the following hypotheses were formulated: (1) POC (support, goals, innovation, and rules) has a negative and significant relationship with TI; (2) POC (support, goals, innovation, and rules) has a positive and significant relationship with POS (affective and cognitive); (3) POS (affective and cognitive) has a negative and significant relationship with TI; (4) POS (affective and cognitive) has a negative and significant relationship with JI; (5) JI has a positive and significant relationship with TI; and (6) POS (affective and cognitive) and JI both represent a serial indirect effect in the relationship between POC (support, goals, innovation and rules) and the TI. This study’s sample includes 661 participants working in organizations based in Portugal. The results indicate that only the perception of supportive and goal culture has a negative and significant association with TI; POC has a positive and significant association with POS; POS has a negative and significant association with JI and TI; JI has a positive and significant association with TI; affective POS and JI have a serial mediation effect in the relationship between supportive and goal POC and TI; cognitive POS and JI have a serial mediation effect in the relationship between goal POC and TI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Work, Employment and the Labor Market)
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Protocol
Rapid Evidence Assessment Protocol for the Meta-Analysis of Initiatives, Interventions and Programmes That Target Rural NEETs
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 362; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080362 - 12 Aug 2022
Viewed by 450
Abstract
The acronym NEET refers to youths aged between 15 and 34 years old who are excluded from employment, education or training. However, historically, the NEET demographic has been depicted as a largely homogenous group. Against this backdrop and given the dependency of rural [...] Read more.
The acronym NEET refers to youths aged between 15 and 34 years old who are excluded from employment, education or training. However, historically, the NEET demographic has been depicted as a largely homogenous group. Against this backdrop and given the dependency of rural economies on agricultural practices for survival, such practices have been in decline for a number of years, seriously threatening rural communities’ sustainability. While these rural NEETs can present as registered unemployed and also within the reporting statistics of various different state-funded initiatives, interventions and programmes, in the case of Rural NEETs, there is a dearth of reporting categories that highlight the specificity of this group resulting in their presence being largely overlooked within official dissemination. In order to advance this emergent field of research, presented here is a Rapid Evidence Assessment protocol that will aid future work of the authors and for others to adapt and/or adopt. Full article
Article
Clientelism, Turnout and Incumbents’ Performance in Chilean Local Government Elections
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 361; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080361 - 11 Aug 2022
Viewed by 594
Abstract
Parties and their leaders are linked programmatically and non-programmatically with citizens, incentivising the latter to vote in elections and seeking to influence their choices. In this paper, we analyse the effects of politician–voter linkages on the electoral performance of incumbent mayors in Chile [...] Read more.
Parties and their leaders are linked programmatically and non-programmatically with citizens, incentivising the latter to vote in elections and seeking to influence their choices. In this paper, we analyse the effects of politician–voter linkages on the electoral performance of incumbent mayors in Chile and on electoral turnout in their municipalities. To measure the linkages, we use personal meetings that mayors hold with citizens. While some mayors use this mechanism to solve problems of general interest (programmatic meetings), others do so to provide bureaucratic advantages or benefits for their constituents (non-programmatic meetings). We use a database of 44,162 personal meetings aggregated from Chile’s 345 municipalities. We argue that increases in the number of meetings positively impact electoral turnout and increase the chances of success for incumbent mayors when they compete for re-election. This effect is particularly significant in the case of electoral performance and the re-election of mayors in municipalities with high levels of rurality. Finally, we report that the meetings not only help mayors to link with their constituents but also help them to publicise their political work. Full article
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Article
Importance of Skills Development for Ensuring Graduates Employability: The Case of Bangladesh
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 360; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080360 - 11 Aug 2022
Viewed by 835
Abstract
Graduate employability is a multifaceted concept considering the Sustainable Development Goals. Graduate employability and skills development are also significant determinants for future career success. Graduate employability has seen more sweeping emphasis and concerns in national and global job markets, due to the ever-rising [...] Read more.
Graduate employability is a multifaceted concept considering the Sustainable Development Goals. Graduate employability and skills development are also significant determinants for future career success. Graduate employability has seen more sweeping emphasis and concerns in national and global job markets, due to the ever-rising number of unemployed people, which has increased even more due to COVID-19. Due to its importance, this study investigates the current state of skill development initiatives in Bangladesh and the perceptions of university graduates regarding skill development for their future employability. This study uses mixed-method research. Data was collected through surveys and in-depth interviews; various probabilistic and non-probabilistic sample selection methods were used. A total of 437 participants responded to this study. After analysis, the data was shown descriptively. The empirical findings of this study demonstrated that university graduates are well-aware of the skill development requirements for their future employability. However, university graduates face many obstacles in acquiring these necessary skill development opportunities. Therefore, the government and relevant stakeholders must work together to alleviate the obstacles. Furthermore, this study includes recommendations that can assist in developing a model for skill development programs and initiatives in the country for university graduates to ensure their future employability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Work, Employment and the Labor Market)
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Article
Perceptions of Trust in the Context of Social Cohesion in Selected Rural Communities of South Africa
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 359; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080359 - 11 Aug 2022
Viewed by 394
Abstract
Although nuances around the definitions and contextualization of social cohesion subsist, this paper views social cohesion through the lens of social cooperation and togetherness within a collective in geopolitical terms, expressed in the attitudes and behaviours of its members. In many countries, including [...] Read more.
Although nuances around the definitions and contextualization of social cohesion subsist, this paper views social cohesion through the lens of social cooperation and togetherness within a collective in geopolitical terms, expressed in the attitudes and behaviours of its members. In many countries, including South Africa, social cohesion remains an ideal to strive for and achieve. Extant studies suggest that trust is one of the key factors in building social cohesion. As such, this paper aims to explore trust in the context of social cohesion. This study attempts to address the knowledge gaps regarding the views, feelings, and experiences around trust and also make a contribution to the qualitative inquiry of trust in the context of social cohesion in rural communities of South Africa. Accordingly, the perceptions and experiences of people in two rural communities (Lambert’s Bay and Philippolis) regarding trust in the context of social cohesion were explored. A qualitative methodology was employed in order to gain a deeper understanding of the perceptions of trust. A total of 19 participants were interviewed, comprising of community stakeholders and parents. A semi-structured interview schedule was used to collect data in face-to-face interviews with participants. Data collected were analysed using Braun and Clark’s thematic analysis. The study found that trust among community members in both Lambert’s Bay and Philippolis was limited. In instances where there was trust, it was mainly amongst participants who know each other compared to individuals who do not know each other. Thus, in both communities, generalised trust continues to be a challenge. Full article
Article
Narrating Resistant Citizenships through Two Pandemics
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 358; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080358 - 10 Aug 2022
Viewed by 440
Abstract
Covid has intensified inequalities in the UK, particularly for those already living with structural disadvantage, and despite community and popular resistance to those losses. Covid has also disproportionately affected people with HIV, especially those already living with multi-dimensional inequalities. However, many people with [...] Read more.
Covid has intensified inequalities in the UK, particularly for those already living with structural disadvantage, and despite community and popular resistance to those losses. Covid has also disproportionately affected people with HIV, especially those already living with multi-dimensional inequalities. However, many people with HIV have, as they have done before, made strong and often successful efforts to resist and to restore or reconstruct their citizenships, in opposition to dominant, dispossessing discourses during Covid times. A narrative approach offers a means of mapping these citizenly technologies. This article draws on a 2020 study conducted with 16 people living with HIV in the UK. The study explored, through telephone semi-structured interviews, the health, economic, and psychosocial resources with which these participants lived with HIV and how Covid has impacted those resources. Narrative analysis showed losses of HIV and other health resources, constituting reductions in health citizenship, resisted largely by reconstitutions of alternatives within the HIV sector; losses of economic citizenship, despite oppositional, anti-political attempts to retain it, and of psychosocial citizenship, in spite of family and friendship networks; resistant, ‘alter’ development of renewed HIV citizenships; and across fields, resistance by complaint. This study indicates that ‘de-citizening’ citizenship losses are likely to also affect other groups with long-term conditions, illnesses, and disabilities. Resistant ‘re-citizening’ technologies, while important, had limited effects. The study suggests potential future resistant effects of repeated ‘complaint’ about Covid-era citizenship losses, and the more general significance of histories of dissent for future effective resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Narratives of Resistance in Everyday Lives and the Covid Crisis)
Article
Sovereign Surfing in the Society of Control: The Parkour Chase in Casino Royale as a Staging of Social Change
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 357; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080357 - 10 Aug 2022
Viewed by 588
Abstract
In “Postscript on Societies of Control”, French philosopher Gilles Deleuze proclaimed that “Everywhere surfing has replaced the older sports”. By this, he alluded to Foucault’s thoughts on older societal regimes and power diagrams of sovereignty and discipline, and that now such models have [...] Read more.
In “Postscript on Societies of Control”, French philosopher Gilles Deleuze proclaimed that “Everywhere surfing has replaced the older sports”. By this, he alluded to Foucault’s thoughts on older societal regimes and power diagrams of sovereignty and discipline, and that now such models have been supplemented with governance through control and allegations of increased freedom. This article has as its point of departure the potential of sports to reflect social change. Contemporaneously to the coining of Deleuze’s surfing sentence, a new sport emerges: parkour, in which practitioners “surf” the urban realm. This practice gained attention globally when it was featured in the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale. The analysis in this article revolves around the different ways of moving in and through the environment in the renowned parkour chase in the beginning of the movie. How do different kinds of displacement in the parkour chase of Casino Royale relate to the transition between the societies described by Deleuze, and what new adaptations emerge and what old logics and models return? It is concluded that the older forms of power prevail and that the ideal of the society of control cannot be realised. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rethinking Sport and Social Issues)
Review
A Literature Review on the Usage of Agent-Based Modelling to Study Policies for Managing International Migration
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 356; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080356 - 09 Aug 2022
Viewed by 590
Abstract
This literature review is dedicated to the subject of agent-based modelling for the system of international migration, and of the modelling of policies that are known to aid in its management. The reason for the selection of agent-based modelling as a framework for [...] Read more.
This literature review is dedicated to the subject of agent-based modelling for the system of international migration, and of the modelling of policies that are known to aid in its management. The reason for the selection of agent-based modelling as a framework for studying international migration is that the system of international migration presents the characteristics of a complex system: notably, its property of emergence, which therefore imposes the usage of a methodology for its modelling that is capable of reflecting its emergent traits. The policies that we study are those that intervene in the country of origin of emigrants and that are aimed at decreasing the aggregate volume of emigrants from that country. The reason for this choice is that policies in the countries of origin have become particularly attractive today, especially in European countries, under the assumption that it should be possible to prevent the migrants from reaching the point of destination of their journey if some kind of action is undertaken before the migrants arrive. We start by discussing the theoretical constraints that suggest how this approach may only partially be valid. Then, to assist the development of future agent-based models that study migration, we identify via topic mining the ten topics that are most commonly discussed in the literature on the application to the international migration of agent-based models; this lets us highlight the characteristics of an agent-based model that should be included when the research task relates to the usage of ABM to study international migration and its associated policies. Finally, we indicate why the existing literature on the modelling of international migration is missing a key aspect that is required to correctly model policies: the integration between agent-based approaches and systems dynamics. Full article
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Editorial
Foreword: Narrative Convictions in “Revolting” Times
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 355; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080355 - 09 Aug 2022
Viewed by 406
Abstract
Convictions: (1)strongly held beliefs, firmly felt and enacted(2)consequence of being criminalized [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Narratives of Resistance in Everyday Lives and the Covid Crisis)
Article
A Web Model of Domestic Violence and Abuse in Muslim Communities—A Multi Perspective IPA Approach
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 354; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080354 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 669
Abstract
This paper brings together two qualitative studies exploring how domestic violence and abuse (DVA) manifests within UK Muslim communities. Study one was conducted with UK-based Muslim female survivors of DVA (n = 10). Study two was conducted with UK professionals working in [...] Read more.
This paper brings together two qualitative studies exploring how domestic violence and abuse (DVA) manifests within UK Muslim communities. Study one was conducted with UK-based Muslim female survivors of DVA (n = 10). Study two was conducted with UK professionals working in a supportive capacity with both DVA victims/survivors and those perpetrating abuse within Muslim communities (n = 9). Through a multi-perspective interpretative phenomenological lens, the two data sets were analysed for overarching themes. These themes were subsequently used to develop a graphical representation of the findings. The resulting outcome was the web model of DVA. The model identifies the trajectories and interactions at four levels in relation to DVA in Muslim communities. It is argued that this model has increased capacity for understanding the extended nature of how DVA manifests for UK Muslim communities, with a particular emphasis on the active role of faith and additional nuances often missed by singular methodological approaches. The model is recommended for use by services as a means toward individually tailored client care. Recommendations are made in relation to inclusive and decolonial approaches within gender-related violence research relating to minority communities in the UK. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender-Related Violence: Social Sciences’ Research & Methods)
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Article
Parental Partnership, Advocacy and Engagement: The Way Forward
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 353; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080353 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 864
Abstract
This article, written with parents as co-authors, has two aims: (1) to provide a critical view of the English child protection system based on parents’ views and to locate these views within contemporary child protection studies and (2) to present the transformative value [...] Read more.
This article, written with parents as co-authors, has two aims: (1) to provide a critical view of the English child protection system based on parents’ views and to locate these views within contemporary child protection studies and (2) to present the transformative value of co-production in the context of child protection studies both as a form of critical scholarship and as a means to influence policy and practice. The current children’s social work system in England does not achieve good outcomes for families, and many children and parents frequently experience it as stigmatizing, inhumane, and harmful. The article presents the experience and recommendations for change produced by parents with a broad range of experience with child protection services in England. The Parents, Families and Allies Network worked with five allied organizations in which parents identified the extensive range of problems that the current system presents and ways forward to achieve more supportive, humane, and inclusive practice with families. Seven main themes emerged: a better definition of need and response to need; partnership, participation, and humane practice; improving legal representation and support in legal proceedings; better support in care proceedings; permanence that maintains links; a better response to domestic violence; and the lack of support for disabled children. The article discusses five features of the project that supported meaningful co-production: taking a political stance, choosing clear and feasible aims, incorporating a range of knowledge, the participation of parents with lived experience throughout all phases of the project, and not settling with just knowledge production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Critical Child Protection Studies)
Article
Ontological Securitization of Health in Africa: The HIV/AIDS, Ebola and COVID-19 Pandemics and the Foreign Virus
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 352; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080352 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 576
Abstract
Africa’s security issues have suffered serious attention deficits. This article analyses why a globally accepted health security norm, such as fighting a communicable disease during a pandemic such as the COVID-19 pandemic, was, in Africa, perceived as a security threat emanating from external—foreign—actors [...] Read more.
Africa’s security issues have suffered serious attention deficits. This article analyses why a globally accepted health security norm, such as fighting a communicable disease during a pandemic such as the COVID-19 pandemic, was, in Africa, perceived as a security threat emanating from external—foreign—actors importing a ‘foreign virus’ into Africa. This fear-based perception can be explained by West Africa’s ontological security fears, ultimately based on its colonial past and a relationship of exploitation by the West. While this article analyses the case of COVID-19, it also explains the same process with previous epidemics, such as HIV/AIDS and EDV/Ebola. Full article
Article
Recognition of Digital Content Needs for Inbound Marketing Solutions
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 351; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080351 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 454
Abstract
The paper aims to investigate users’ behavior regarding inbound marketing while consuming content, in particular, to reveal the source of the reasons and triggers affecting content need in the case of long-consumption products. In the theoretical part of the article, the literature analysis [...] Read more.
The paper aims to investigate users’ behavior regarding inbound marketing while consuming content, in particular, to reveal the source of the reasons and triggers affecting content need in the case of long-consumption products. In the theoretical part of the article, the literature analysis is conducted in order to build a theoretical background. The variety of theories of content values as well as users’ decision-making processes are analyzed, and a conceptual view of the origins of content need is formed, which states that the need for a specific type of content emerges under the conditions of the consumer’s experienced gap of information or knowledge when in the stages of the buying model. In order to test this hypothesis, empirical research—the survey—was conducted. The main conclusion is that the decision-to-buy model makes a significant impact on the gap experienced by the consumer of the content and has the potential to be used to reveal the need for different content types in terms of its purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Education and Digital Societies for a Sustainable World)
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Article
Safeguarding and Agency: Methodological Tensions in Conducting Research with Survivors of Sexual Violence in Universities
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 350; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080350 - 07 Aug 2022
Viewed by 430
Abstract
This paper examines the tension between safeguarding measures and participant agency in conducting feminist interviews with survivors of sexual violence in universities. There is a core contradiction inherent in feminist research of gender-related violence, including sexual violence, because participants have been traumatized: Research [...] Read more.
This paper examines the tension between safeguarding measures and participant agency in conducting feminist interviews with survivors of sexual violence in universities. There is a core contradiction inherent in feminist research of gender-related violence, including sexual violence, because participants have been traumatized: Research with survivors of violence must enact appropriate safeguarding measures to ensure their emotional wellbeing, yet in designing these safeguarding measures, researchers must also ensure that survivor participants can exert agency within the research process. These phenomena are often at odds as safeguarding—the work of protecting participants through limiting their exposure to upsetting stimuli—appears to circumscribe participant agency, or a participant’s ability to make informed choices for themselves that respond to and change the structures in which they are situated. Using part of my doctoral thesis research’s methodology, I detail the safeguarding measures I implemented for participants as well as highlight how and where I attempted to build in agential engagement for survivor participants, and whether, or how often, survivors took up these options. The article concludes by suggesting ways gender-related violence research more broadly can reflect on and continue to interrogate how researchers balance safeguarding requirements while enabling survivors to assert their agency in the research process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender-Related Violence: Social Sciences’ Research & Methods)
Article
Teacher Training, Research and Professional Development in a Neoliberal School: A Transformative Experience in Social Sciences
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 349; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080349 - 07 Aug 2022
Viewed by 435
Abstract
In recent decades, discourse on quality, school effectiveness, autonomy, and accountability, among other topics, has been used to try to transform schools. This paper explores this situation from the teaching perspective of one of its authors. Using autoethnography as a research and formative [...] Read more.
In recent decades, discourse on quality, school effectiveness, autonomy, and accountability, among other topics, has been used to try to transform schools. This paper explores this situation from the teaching perspective of one of its authors. Using autoethnography as a research and formative strategy, a mixed category system is constructed by combining a central category (“Neoliberal school”) theoretically and deductively with three other subcategories of an emergent and inductive nature according to the parameters of grounded theory. The results reflect different perceptions of neoliberal educational discourse that depend on the discursive field in question (policy framework, school, department, or classroom). The conclusions underline the potential of autoethnography for understanding the current school reality and teacher professional development. Full article
Article
Transgressive Behavior in Dutch Youth Sport
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 348; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080348 - 07 Aug 2022
Viewed by 525
Abstract
The current article reports on the second large-scale prevalence study on transgressive behavior in sport in the Netherlands, and is a follow up of an earlier, comparable prevalence study in 2015. Using a dedicated and customized online questionnaire, approximately 4000 adults who met [...] Read more.
The current article reports on the second large-scale prevalence study on transgressive behavior in sport in the Netherlands, and is a follow up of an earlier, comparable prevalence study in 2015. Using a dedicated and customized online questionnaire, approximately 4000 adults who met the inclusion criteria (18 to 50 years old and have played sports in an organized context during childhood in the Netherlands) were surveyed with respect to their experiences of childhood psychological, physical, and sexual transgressive behavior while playing sports. The survey showed that 71.7% experienced some form of transgressive behavior as a child, in which 48.6% of these events also made an impact (in other words, was significant at the time it took place). The degree of impact the event made is also related to the severity of the event. Severe emotional transgression events occurred in 22% of the youth athletes, severe physical assault events in 12.7%, and severe sexual assault events occurred in 6.9% of the youth athletes. Disabled athletes, and those competing at national and international levels, report more experiences of transgressive behavior in sport. The results are consistent with former research and indicate the need for structural attention to create a safe sports climate. Full article
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