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Soc. Sci., Volume 13, Issue 2 (February 2024) – 52 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Over the last few decades, the political agendas for ECEC in the Nordic as well as other OECD countries have increasingly focused on learning goals and standardized professional procedures at the expense of a more situated and flexible pedagogy following children’s own engagements. This tendency intensifies when concerns about children arise, as these are often based on assessments of children’s individual (dis-)abilities, rather than on investigations of children’s own engagements and reasons for actions. From a theoretical standpoint in critical psychology and social practice theory, we suggest an alternative focus on situated pedagogy and politics of everyday life in order to highlight the democratic potentials of flexible and collaborative processes among children and professionals as part of the pedagogical approach. View this paper
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20 pages, 312 KiB  
Article
The Gendered Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Employment in Argentina: The Mediating Role of the Public vs. Private Sectors
by Yasmin A. Mertehikian and Emilio A. Parrado
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(2), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13020123 - 19 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 972
Abstract
This study examines the COVID-19 pandemic’s immediate and long-term impact on Argentina’s labor market with a focus on gender disparities and the mediating role of the public vs. private sectors. Using household survey data, we assess men and women’s employment trends before, during, [...] Read more.
This study examines the COVID-19 pandemic’s immediate and long-term impact on Argentina’s labor market with a focus on gender disparities and the mediating role of the public vs. private sectors. Using household survey data, we assess men and women’s employment trends before, during, and after the pandemic. Our findings reveal gender-specific recovery patterns that interact with the employment sector. The most prominent short-term effect of the pandemic was a dramatic increase in inactivity for both men and women. However, men recovered their level of labor force participation sooner than women, and one of the mechanisms behind this disparity was sector employment. While men predominantly benefitted from quicker reintegration in both the formal and informal private sectors, women leaned toward the public sector for stability during and after the pandemic. The heightened feminization of public sector employment is a further indication that the sector is critical for sustaining women’s employment and promoting gender equity in the labor market. Full article
18 pages, 1587 KiB  
Article
The Mediating Effect of Psychological Resilience between Individual Social Capital and Mental Health in the Post-Pandemic Era: A Cross-Sectional Survey over 300 Family Caregivers of Kindergarten Children in Mainland China
by Juxiong Feng, Pengpeng Cai, Xin Guan, Xuhong Li, Langjie He, Kwok-kin Fung and Zheyuan Mai
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(2), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13020122 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1203
Abstract
In the context of the impact of the post-COVID-19 pandemic on families, this study explores the impact of individual social capital and psychological resilience on the mental health of family caregivers of kindergarten children in mainland China. This study included a sample of [...] Read more.
In the context of the impact of the post-COVID-19 pandemic on families, this study explores the impact of individual social capital and psychological resilience on the mental health of family caregivers of kindergarten children in mainland China. This study included a sample of 331 family caregivers from Zhaoqing City, Guangdong Province, and the researchers applied the Personal Social Capital Scale (PSCS-16), Connor–Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC-10), and Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS) to assess social capital, psychological resilience, and mental health. Findings indicate a positive relationship between bridging social capital and mental health, while psychological resilience is negatively associated with depression, anxiety, and stress. Psychological resilience is identified as a mediator between social capital and mental health outcomes in this study. These insights highlight the importance of enhancing social capital and psychological resilience to improve family caregivers’ mental health and the need for targeted interventions. Full article
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19 pages, 339 KiB  
Article
Learning in Transit: Crossing Borders, Waiting, and Waiting to Cross
by Michelle J. Bellino and Maxie Gluckman
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(2), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13020121 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1028
Abstract
Recent U.S. policy changes have contributed to longer waiting periods for migrant families in Mexican border cities. This study centers on four Honduran families enrolled in the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) policy, also referred to as ‘Remain in Mexico,’ while undergoing prolonged waiting [...] Read more.
Recent U.S. policy changes have contributed to longer waiting periods for migrant families in Mexican border cities. This study centers on four Honduran families enrolled in the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) policy, also referred to as ‘Remain in Mexico,’ while undergoing prolonged waiting periods in the Mexican border town of Monterrey, Nuevo Léon. Centering on young people’s voices, we ask what they learn during this prolonged period of transit. Through ethnographic and digital participatory storytelling interviews, we illustrate how children learned about the politics of border crossing through fraught interactions with im/migration officials, prolonged periods of immobility, and evolving understandings of legality. Building on theories of ‘border thinking’ and ‘politicized funds of knowledge,’ we highlight ways that young people employed their evolving understandings of national borders and the legal contours of their transborder asylum process, while protecting themselves and their families from danger and discrimination. We argue that transit is not simply time that young people are forced to endure; rather, the experience of forced transit is constitutive of young people’s learning about state power and their evolving understanding of borders, rights, and belonging. Full article
13 pages, 307 KiB  
Article
Physical Exercise and Older People: Always a Happy Relationship? Four Qualitative Reflections to Deepen Understanding
by Alexis Sossa Rojas
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(2), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13020120 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1067
Abstract
In this paper, I recall reflections from and discussions with both older people who exercise actively and with personal trainers who specialise in working with older people to address two essential elements that should be clarified: First, what are we talking about when [...] Read more.
In this paper, I recall reflections from and discussions with both older people who exercise actively and with personal trainers who specialise in working with older people to address two essential elements that should be clarified: First, what are we talking about when we discuss sport, physical exercise and physical activity, especially when we relate them to older people? Second, the benefits of exercise are known, but what are the margins and precautions that this group of people should consider, and even the damage that physical exercise can cause to them? Based on qualitative data that are taken from different ethnographic works, four areas are considered: What does it mean to train as a senior?; are injuries inevitable?; the dangers of having an athlete’s identity; and the hazards of body-image ideals. This work gives voice to older athletes and their coaches, and contributes to studies on physical activity, older people and wellbeing. Full article
15 pages, 3439 KiB  
Article
Hot Spots of Gun Violence in the Era of Focused Deterrence: A Space-Time Analysis of Shootings in South Philadelphia
by Jamie Anne Boschan and Caterina G. Roman
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(2), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13020119 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 966
Abstract
Gun and street group violence remains a serious problem in cities across the United States and the focused deterrence strategy has been a widely applied law enforcement intervention to reduce it. Although two meta-analytical studies concluded that the intervention had a significant effect [...] Read more.
Gun and street group violence remains a serious problem in cities across the United States and the focused deterrence strategy has been a widely applied law enforcement intervention to reduce it. Although two meta-analytical studies concluded that the intervention had a significant effect on violence, questions remain about how violence changes across space and time during and after the intervention. This study applies novel geospatial analyses to assess spatiotemporal changes in gun violence before, during, and after the implementation of Philadelphia Focused Deterrence. Emerging hot spot analysis employing Space-Time cubes of ten annual time bins (2009–2018) at the Thiessen polygon level was used to detect and categorize patterns. The analyses revealed a non-significant decreasing trend across the ten-year period. Furthermore, there were ninety-three statistically significant hot spots categorized into four hot spot patterns: fourteen new hot spots; twenty-three consecutive; one persistent; and fifty-three sporadic. There was no evidence showing statistically significant hot spots for the “diminishing” pattern. Knowledge of these patterns that emerge across micro-locations can be used by law enforcement practitioners to complement data-driven problem solving and fine tune these strategies and other place-based programming. Policymakers can use findings to prioritize resources when developing complementary prevention and intervention efforts by tailoring those efforts to the different emergent patterns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Community and Urban Sociology)
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14 pages, 271 KiB  
Article
Situated Pedagogy in Danish Daycare—The Politics of Everyday Life
by Maja Røn-Larsen and Anja Hvidtfeldt Stanek
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(2), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13020118 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 968
Abstract
This article analyzes the possibilities and obstacles in pedagogical practices in ECEC (Early Childhood Education and Care) in relation to developing relevant opportunities for participation for all children, by supporting their own engagements in order to expand their action possibilities. Over the last [...] Read more.
This article analyzes the possibilities and obstacles in pedagogical practices in ECEC (Early Childhood Education and Care) in relation to developing relevant opportunities for participation for all children, by supporting their own engagements in order to expand their action possibilities. Over the last decades, the political agendas in the Nordic as well as other OECD countries have been led by an increasing focus on learning goals and standardized professional procedures, at the expense of a more situated and flexible pedagogy following children’s own engagements. When concerns arise about children’s well-being, development, and/or learning, this tendency seems to intensify, as descriptions of concerns are often based on assessments of children’s individual (dis-)abilities, while investigations of children’s own engagements and reasons for actions are seldom conducted. From a theoretical standpoint in critical psychology and social practice theory, we discuss collaborative processes among children and adults in relation to institutional conditions as inherently political, in the sense that the distribution of different access to social resources and opportunities for participation for different children is negotiated through such daily exchanges and therefore also involves questions about democracy. We explore the everyday life practices of children and professionals, analyzing how, through everyday practice, they constantly work on maintaining, reproducing, and transgressing the standardized demands. To understand such processes, we suggest a conceptual focus on the politics of everyday life and situated pedagogy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children’s Wellbeing and Children’s RightsA Nordic Perspective)
19 pages, 358 KiB  
Article
“Not Everyone Can Become a Rocket Scientist”: Decolonising Children’s Rights in Ethnic Minority Childhoods in Norway
by Marit Ursin and Ida Marie Lyså
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(2), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13020117 - 14 Feb 2024
Viewed by 985
Abstract
This paper uses a case study to critically reflect on contemporary discourses in Norway connected to ethnic minority childhoods and children’s rights to education and work. Based on a narrative interview with an ethnic minority girl, Sadja (aged 16), who is in state [...] Read more.
This paper uses a case study to critically reflect on contemporary discourses in Norway connected to ethnic minority childhoods and children’s rights to education and work. Based on a narrative interview with an ethnic minority girl, Sadja (aged 16), who is in state custody and lives with a foster family, we use a decolonial lens to explore the tensions in expectations and rights in her life and education. The tensions encountered are situated along three axes. The first axis illustrates tensions related to education, work, and responsibilities, as Sadja’s family responsibilities are perceived by teachers and child welfare workers as preventing her from having “a proper childhood”. The second axis explores tensions connected to independence, educational choice, and “belonging to the state”, where Sadja experiences that being in state custody results in being unable to “follow her dream”. The third axis reflects the tensions between parental expectations of “dreaming big” versus her surrounding environment’s anticipation of her simply getting a job. In sum, Sadja’s experiences suggest that contemporary Western discourses—such as individualism, self-autonomy, and children as human capital—paradoxically curtail the educational rights and trajectories of ethnic minority children in foster care in Norway in unforeseen and unfortunate ways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children’s Wellbeing and Children’s RightsA Nordic Perspective)
13 pages, 265 KiB  
Essay
Disability Theatre as Critical Participatory Action Research: Lessons for Inclusive Research
by Rachelle D. Hole and Leyton Schnellert
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(2), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13020116 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 908
Abstract
Informed by critical disability studies and disability justice, this article describes the reflections of two university researchers co-researching with self-advocates (individuals with intellectual disability), theatre artists, researchers, and a community living society to create social justice disability theatre as critical participatory research (CPAR), [...] Read more.
Informed by critical disability studies and disability justice, this article describes the reflections of two university researchers co-researching with self-advocates (individuals with intellectual disability), theatre artists, researchers, and a community living society to create social justice disability theatre as critical participatory research (CPAR), demonstrating how disability theatre can contribute to and advance inclusive research practice. Disability justice-informed theatre as CPAR has direct relevance to people with intellectual disabilities; offers a platform where self-advocates’ diverse ways to communicate and be in the world are honoured and taken up as resources to the research and community; and can generate mentorship opportunities for self-advocates to learn, practice, and develop research skills. Significances include showing how the theatre creation process (devising, developing, and refining scenes) is research in itself and how tensions are recognized as sites of possibility. Future research should explore how increasing pathways to communication, co-creation of KT strategies, and protocols for power sharing and problem solving within disability theatre as CPAR impact the roles, outcomes, and experiences of disabled and non-disabled researchers and audience members. Full article
19 pages, 287 KiB  
Article
The Violent Aspect of Widowhood Rites in the South African Context
by Ratidzai Shoko and Sizakele Danke
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(2), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13020115 - 12 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1168
Abstract
In African culture, widowhood is frequently accompanied by rites that must be carried out by the widow. Widows are compelled to carry out these rites and may not feel comfortable executing them since they involve violence. The minority who dares to refuse to [...] Read more.
In African culture, widowhood is frequently accompanied by rites that must be carried out by the widow. Widows are compelled to carry out these rites and may not feel comfortable executing them since they involve violence. The minority who dares to refuse to participate can face serious consequences because they are persecuted by their families and society. Research shows that widows suffer from fear and coercion, stigmatisation, dehumanising experiences, movement and social restrictions, and exposure to harmful traditional practices. This article examines violent aspects of widowhood rites within the South African context. A qualitative study that examined oppressive structures and how they impacted social injustice and the marginalisation of widows was employed. The data were collected from a purposeful sample of widows in Gauteng province, South Africa. Semi-structured interviews were used to gather data from 28 widows, which were then subjected to thematic analysis. Our findings showed that widows were subjected to painful widowhood rites, which were frequently performed against their preferences. The rites affected them both physically and emotionally. The article recommends that policies be put in place to safeguard the rights of widows and protect them from exploitative cultural beliefs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Family Studies)
22 pages, 3961 KiB  
Review
Research Trends in the Study of Acceptability of Digital Mental Health-Related Interventions: A Bibliometric and Network Visualisation Analysis
by Maria Armaou
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(2), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13020114 - 12 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1312
Abstract
The acceptability of digital health interventions is a multifaceted concept that is central to user engagement. It is influenced by cultural and social norms and it is, also, a key consideration for intervention development and evaluation. For this reason, it is important to [...] Read more.
The acceptability of digital health interventions is a multifaceted concept that is central to user engagement. It is influenced by cultural and social norms and it is, also, a key consideration for intervention development and evaluation. For this reason, it is important to have a clear overview of how research in digital interventions’ acceptability has evolved, what type of measures or assessments have been most frequently utilised, and what may be the implications for the knowledge area and future research directions. The purpose of this bibliometric and network visualization analysis was to explore the main research patterns in the study of the acceptability of digital mental health interventions and highlight the key characteristics of knowledge production on this topic. The Web of Science was searched for relevant primary studies, with 990 documents selected for inclusion in this bibliometric analysis. Publications’ metrics, text and author keyword analysis, and bibliographical coupling of the documents provided insights into how technological developments, specific research interests, research priorities, and contexts have shaped research in the field. The main differentiation in acceptability approaches emanated from the studies’ research designs, the stage of intervention development and evaluation, and the extent to which there was a focus on user attitudes, experience, and engagement. These differentiations further indicate the importance of having clarity as to what concepts or elements of acceptability a study addresses as well as approaches that have the potential to address the complexities of acceptability. Full article
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17 pages, 1627 KiB  
Article
Digital Access to Judicial Services in the Brazilian Amazon: Barriers and Potential
by Beatriz Fruet de Moraes, Fabrício Castagna Lunardi and Pedro Miguel Alves Ribeiro Correia
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(2), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13020113 - 10 Feb 2024
Viewed by 2411
Abstract
This study investigates the influence of geographical barriers and the challenges and advantages presented by information and communication technologies on digital governance within the judicial branch in the Brazilian Amazon region. The primary objective is to provide diagnoses and recommendations that can inform [...] Read more.
This study investigates the influence of geographical barriers and the challenges and advantages presented by information and communication technologies on digital governance within the judicial branch in the Brazilian Amazon region. The primary objective is to provide diagnoses and recommendations that can inform the construction of research for the development of policies aimed at enhancing access to judicial services by riverside populations. The methodology initially employed was a comprehensive literature review on digital governance within the judiciary and access to justice for vulnerable groups in a geographical context. Subsequently, a qualitative study was conducted, employing participant observation in the riverside communities of Itapéua and Boca do Una, situated along the Jaurucu River within the Porto de Moz District in the state of Pará. The insights garnered from respondent perceptions and participant observations were synthesized to formulate five key dimensions for digital governance and access to justice within Amazonian communities: (1) one’s experience with justice, (2) access to information, (3) geographical barriers, (4) user-friendliness of technology, and (5) resources and infrastructure supporting technology use. The study concludes that there are compelling indications that tailored digital governance and technology utilization by the judiciary, adapted to regional nuances, can significantly contribute to streamlining access to judicial services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Local Governance, Wellbeing and Sustainability)
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22 pages, 1376 KiB  
Article
Paramilitary Conflict in Colombia: A Case Study of Economic Causes of Conflict Recidivism
by William Orlando Prieto Bustos and Johanna Manrique-Hernandez
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(2), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13020112 - 09 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1149
Abstract
Following the peace accord on 26 September 2016 between the Colombian government and the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC), significant structural issues persisted in Colombia, such as state fragility, land distribution challenges, and rural impoverishment, all of which jeopardized sustainable peace. Previous disarmament [...] Read more.
Following the peace accord on 26 September 2016 between the Colombian government and the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC), significant structural issues persisted in Colombia, such as state fragility, land distribution challenges, and rural impoverishment, all of which jeopardized sustainable peace. Previous disarmament events indicated potential shifts in violence and recidivism rates among ex-combatants. This paper aims to determine the likelihood that, in the post-conflict era with FARC, these ex-combatants would rearm themselves into new criminal factions. Employing a methodology by Paul Collier, the study utilized logit, probit, and panel data models with both fixed and random effects to evaluate the recidivism risk at the municipal level. A 1% increase in per capita municipal income decreased conflict probability due to the increased opportunity cost of disrupting economic endeavors. Conversely, 1% increases in potential conflict benefits from tax revenue and natural resource proceeds raised the probability of conflict by 40% and 17%, respectively. Key results indicate that economic advancement, as measured by per capita income, reduced the duration of paramilitary presence, whereas revenue from taxes and natural resources extended it at the municipal level in Colombia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Violence, Victimization and Prevention)
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16 pages, 1349 KiB  
Article
Teachers’ Perception of Some Effects of the COVID-19 Lockdown: The Case Study of Ludovika University of Public Service
by Gábor László, Nikolett Deutsch and László Berényi
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(2), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13020111 - 09 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1000
Abstract
The COVID-19 lockdown has had serious consequences, including rethinking higher education. The study aims to enhance the knowledge base of online education and academic integrity through a case study of the Ludovika University of Public Service (LUPS), Budapest, Hungary. The research aimed to [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 lockdown has had serious consequences, including rethinking higher education. The study aims to enhance the knowledge base of online education and academic integrity through a case study of the Ludovika University of Public Service (LUPS), Budapest, Hungary. The research aimed to assess the teachers’ experience with distance learning and examinations, including the change in workload, digital competencies, Moodle, Turnitin, and other software used during and after the lockdown. This paper summarizes the university-level policy changes induced during the lockdown, covering the introduction of emergency distance teaching and online examinations in academic integrity at the university. Two years after the first lockdown, the researchers made a survey (n = 145) about the continuation of the introduced solutions. The results show that a remarkable reordering started while the technical and technological backgrounds were available for the changes. The teachers could feel a significant increase in workload with distance education and have low trust in maintaining the standards of academic integrity. However, the research shows moderate and low levels of digital competencies in the majority of teachers, which clearly defines the most crucial task leading to success. Maintaining the monitoring system with objective indicators of the development and the opinions of the interested parties is essential for successful strategies in the field. Full article
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13 pages, 249 KiB  
Article
Examining People’s Experiences of Working in Collaborative Relationships While Conducting Inclusive Research Involving Persons with Intellectual Disabilities
by Kim van den Bogaard, Noud Frielink, Alice Schippers and Petri Embregts
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(2), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13020110 - 09 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1045
Abstract
This study examined the experiences of working in collaborative relationships while conducting inclusive research involving persons with intellectual disabilities. More specifically, the study explored work relationships, social relationships, and factors that influence collaboration within inclusive research teams. Interviews were conducted with nine researchers [...] Read more.
This study examined the experiences of working in collaborative relationships while conducting inclusive research involving persons with intellectual disabilities. More specifically, the study explored work relationships, social relationships, and factors that influence collaboration within inclusive research teams. Interviews were conducted with nine researchers with intellectual disabilities, eight academic researchers, and nine principal investigators who were all involved in six inclusive research projects together. The analysis of the interviews produced four themes: (1) the diverse nature of the involvement of researchers with intellectual disabilities; (2) the significance of involving researchers with intellectual disabilities within academic research; (3) shaping equity in research projects; and (4) stereotyping hindering collaborations with researchers with intellectual disabilities. These findings have implications for research and practice, both in terms of promoting inclusive research and facilitating the meaningful participation of persons with intellectual disabilities within various aspects of society, including education, employment, healthcare, and social activities. Full article
11 pages, 223 KiB  
Article
New Developments in Geopolitics: A Reassessment of Theories after 2023
by Georgios Tr Topalidis, Nick N. Kartalis, John R. Velentzas and Charalampia Gr Sidiropoulou
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(2), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13020109 - 09 Feb 2024
Viewed by 2340
Abstract
The scope of this article is to make a synthesis of the theory of geopolitics with new trends and characteristics of the new global environment. Traditional geopolitical theories are established on the basis of sovereign states. The starting point of many theories is [...] Read more.
The scope of this article is to make a synthesis of the theory of geopolitics with new trends and characteristics of the new global environment. Traditional geopolitical theories are established on the basis of sovereign states. The starting point of many theories is for sovereign states to compete for world hegemony, or to gain an advantage in competition with their opponents. Geopolitical research also mostly starts from the interests of the country. However, as global environmental changes, transnational crimes, terrorism, information security, and other non-traditional security threats have become common threats to human society, their impact also crosses borders and has global characteristics, which also means solving geopolitical issues. Thinking needs to change from a national perspective to a global perspective. On the other hand, as the international community pays more and more attention to human rights, the challenge of human rights to sovereignty has become an unavoidable reality in current international politics. With the progress of the times, the protection and respect of civil rights has become the basic consensus of the international community. Nowadays, the issue of virtual rights such as carbon emission rights have also been included in the geopolitics theory, creating a strong shift of paradigm towards a renewed theory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Contemporary Politics and Society)
19 pages, 11371 KiB  
Article
Territorial Cooperation and Cross-Border Development: The Portuguese Dynamics
by Pedro Chamusca
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(2), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13020108 - 08 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1065
Abstract
This paper explores the effectiveness of cross-border cooperation programmes between Spain and Portugal, focusing on their impact and outcomes in Portuguese regions. Drawing on a comprehensive analysis of the programmes, the study examines the socio-economic dynamics in border regions, including job creation, population [...] Read more.
This paper explores the effectiveness of cross-border cooperation programmes between Spain and Portugal, focusing on their impact and outcomes in Portuguese regions. Drawing on a comprehensive analysis of the programmes, the study examines the socio-economic dynamics in border regions, including job creation, population trends, and investment patterns. The research employs a mixed-methods approach, combining qualitative and quantitative data analysis. We argue that the cross-border territorial cooperation between Spain and Portugal has played a significant role in fostering regional development and addressing common challenges. While the concerted efforts have shown positive results in terms of economic growth and employment, they have not been sufficient to reverse the regressive demographic trends. Thus, it is essential to strengthen cooperation mechanisms, invest in human capital, and foster innovation so that the two countries can work together to create sustainable and inclusive development across their shared border regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Contemporary Politics and Society)
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17 pages, 1457 KiB  
Perspective
Life Story Research with People Aging with Intellectual Disabilities: An Adaptation of the Lifeline Interview Method
by Lieke van Heumen and Tamar Heller
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(2), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13020107 - 08 Feb 2024
Viewed by 929
Abstract
A key feature of inclusive research is the accessibility of research procedures to meaningfully engage people with intellectual disabilities in research processes. Creating accessible research procedures requires innovations in methods traditionally used in research. This paper describes how the Lifeline Interview Method by [...] Read more.
A key feature of inclusive research is the accessibility of research procedures to meaningfully engage people with intellectual disabilities in research processes. Creating accessible research procedures requires innovations in methods traditionally used in research. This paper describes how the Lifeline Interview Method by Assink and Schroots was adapted and implemented in a study using life story research to better understand the experiences of older adults with intellectual disabilities. Twelve adults with intellectual disabilities over the age of 50 participated between two and seven times in interviews about their life histories. The interviewer assisted in the construction of timelines of key events in the participants’ individual life stories, and the participants decorated their lifelines throughout the course of the interviews. The lifeline process was an effective tool to engage the participants in the research process, support participation, and provide access for people with intellectual disabilities to retrieve their life experiences. Challenges in the lifeline process included barriers to gathering sufficient information to construct timelines and gatekeepers withholding access to information. Full article
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11 pages, 575 KiB  
Article
Life Satisfaction, Courage, and Career Adaptability in a Group of Italian Workers
by Sara Santilli, Isabella Valbusa, Barbara Rinaldi and Maria Cristina Ginevra
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(2), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13020106 - 08 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1063
Abstract
Today’s work market is both unsteady and unpredictable, and this requires taking urgent and practical actions aiming at creating work opportunities and “better” jobs, promoting a social and solidarity economy, and encouraging the development of moral strength in the workplace. From the Life [...] Read more.
Today’s work market is both unsteady and unpredictable, and this requires taking urgent and practical actions aiming at creating work opportunities and “better” jobs, promoting a social and solidarity economy, and encouraging the development of moral strength in the workplace. From the Life Design approach perspective, our study examines two variables necessary to cope with the current labor market, courage, and career adaptability, and their role in life satisfaction. Through courage, a full mediational model between life satisfaction and career adaptability was tested in the 525 (291 men and 234 women) employees involved in the present study. Results support the mediational model. Mainly, life satisfaction was predicted indirectly by career adaptability through courage. Such outcome has important implications for practice and highlights the need to support workers in planning their life design by developing career adaptability and workers’ voluntary feeling to act, according to different levels of fear, when facing a threat to the achievement of a significant result or objective, which in turn will positively influence their feelings of life satisfaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Work, Employment and the Labor Market)
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14 pages, 774 KiB  
Article
Use of Social Media, Satisfaction with Body Image, and the Risk of Manifesting Eating Disorders
by Ángeles Arjona, Montserrat Monserrat and Juan Carlos Checa
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(2), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13020105 - 08 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1965
Abstract
Eating disorders in adolescents are an increasingly important issue nowadays. Although they have been shown to be a pathology with multifactorial causes, the objective of our study is to determine the degree of influence that body dissatisfaction and the use of social media [...] Read more.
Eating disorders in adolescents are an increasingly important issue nowadays. Although they have been shown to be a pathology with multifactorial causes, the objective of our study is to determine the degree of influence that body dissatisfaction and the use of social media (time and type) might have on the risk of manifesting eating disorders. To perform this, the Sick Control One Fat Food scale was used as part of a randomized survey carried out among 12 schools in Almería (Spain). The sample consisted of 605 students in Compulsory Secondary Education between the ages of 12 and 17 years (M = 14.27; SD = 1.44), 48.42% female and 51.52% male. Cross-tabulation tables were constructed to observe the relationship of sex and age with the risk of manifesting EDs, and, subsequently, a two-factor ANOVA was performed using the risk of suffering from an eating disorder as a dependent variable. The results show that 29.3% of the respondents express an elevated risk of suffering from an eating disorder. There are no significant differences regarding sex, but there are differences regarding age. It was also observed that dissatisfaction with body image is a significant risk factor, but not the time that young people spend on social media. Furthermore, the type of content displayed on social media has a significant influence, both independently and together with body dissatisfaction. The main conclusion highlighted in this study relates to the importance of self-perceived body image (satisfaction and dissatisfaction) and its relationship with the type of content seen on social media. For this reason, it is essential to work on self-esteem at an early age as well as learn to value others and oneself beyond just the physical. Full article
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17 pages, 335 KiB  
Article
Post-Traumatic Growth, Resilience and Social-Ecological Synergies: Some Reflections from a Study on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence
by Janine Natalya Clark
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(2), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13020104 - 08 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1040
Abstract
The concept of post-traumatic growth (PTG) continues to generate significant interest, as reflected in the increasing number of studies. This article makes two novel contributions to existing scholarship on PTG. First, it seeks to demonstrate that the common framing of PTG as positive [...] Read more.
The concept of post-traumatic growth (PTG) continues to generate significant interest, as reflected in the increasing number of studies. This article makes two novel contributions to existing scholarship on PTG. First, it seeks to demonstrate that the common framing of PTG as positive psychological change is too narrow. To do so, it looks to research on resilience and highlights the shift from person-centred understandings of resilience to more relational approaches that situate the concept in the interactions and dynamics between individuals and their social ecologies (environments). The article’s core argument is that there are social-ecological synergies between resilience and PTG, which, in turn, are highly relevant to how we think about and study growth. Second, the article empirically develops this argument by drawing on a larger study involving victims-/survivors of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Colombia and Uganda. It is important to note in this regard that there are no major studies of PTG focused on CRSV, just as scholarship on CRSV has given little attention to PTG (or indeed resilience). Full article
15 pages, 257 KiB  
Article
Transformational Leadership Qualities of Effective Grassroots Refugee-Led Organizations
by Eugene Judson, Meseret F. Hailu and Nalini Chhetri
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(2), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13020103 - 08 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1099
Abstract
This qualitative study investigates the behaviors and strategies of effective leadership teams within ethnic community-based organizations (ECBOs) operating in the United States that consist of leaders who are themselves former refugees. Through analysis of four focus group interviews, each with three to five [...] Read more.
This qualitative study investigates the behaviors and strategies of effective leadership teams within ethnic community-based organizations (ECBOs) operating in the United States that consist of leaders who are themselves former refugees. Through analysis of four focus group interviews, each with three to five leaders from local Bhutanese, Burundian, Congolese, and Syrian communities, we identified ways in which these leaders exhibit transformational leadership behaviors proposed by established frameworks. Results reveal that effective ECBO leaders exhibit strong transformational leadership qualities, such as empowering community members, modeling behavior, and projecting a community vision. The study emphasizes the unique context of ECBOs and their leaders, showcasing their thoughtfulness, competency, and profound awareness of community members’ backgrounds. The implications include recognizing and valuing the skills of ECBO leaders and considering formal support mechanisms. This study contributes insights into the leadership exhibited within local community organizations serving refugee populations—enhancing our understanding of quality leadership among grassroots refugee organizations. Full article
3 pages, 182 KiB  
Editorial
Editorial Introduction to Challenges of Teaching in Today’s Society: Factors Involved in Educational Quality
by Roberto Sánchez-Cabrero and Lidia Mañoso-Pacheco
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(2), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13020102 - 07 Feb 2024
Viewed by 895
Abstract
Contemporary Western societies coexist with diverse factors that continually redefine and transform them in response to the myriad social demands they face [...] Full article
12 pages, 259 KiB  
Review
From the Initial Celebration to the Current Disappointment, the Evolution of the Internet beyond Determinisms
by Ezequiel Ramon-Pinat and Ludovico Longhi
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(2), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13020099 - 06 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1021
Abstract
In the first phase, the eruption of the Internet was embraced by academics who saw it as a way of involving young people in politics who had suffered from disaffection and rejection. They emphasized its emancipatory, horizontal, and participatory qualities. Decades later, a [...] Read more.
In the first phase, the eruption of the Internet was embraced by academics who saw it as a way of involving young people in politics who had suffered from disaffection and rejection. They emphasized its emancipatory, horizontal, and participatory qualities. Decades later, a wave of disenchantment, apathy, and rejection of platforms has swept through the academy. The previous generation of technological determinists, who welcomed it with open arms, left the arena to their counterparts: the ones that claimed that we had no chance of participation and perpetuated industrial age exploitation. In this article, we will present the two opposite visions, but first, we will briefly review the Internet’s beginnings, its motivations, and its technical characteristics in order to better understand the two antagonistic positions. Full article
11 pages, 258 KiB  
Article
Digital Death and Spectacular Death
by Johanna Sumiala and Michael Hviid Jacobsen
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(2), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13020101 - 06 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1164
Abstract
Throughout human history, individuals, communities and societies have always had to confront and tackle the problem of death. Consequently, death remains a topic of social scientific relevance, highlighting the need for its study and for theorising around it. This article analyses the development [...] Read more.
Throughout human history, individuals, communities and societies have always had to confront and tackle the problem of death. Consequently, death remains a topic of social scientific relevance, highlighting the need for its study and for theorising around it. This article analyses the development of the social scientific study of death and dying, taking inspiration from Philippe Ariès’s historical stages to discuss the recent developments in the field, namely the study of digital death. The article begins with a discussion of the visibility of death in modern society in the context of spectacular death. The analysis emphasises its four dimensions: mediatisation, commercialisation, re-ritualisation and the revolution in end-of-life care. The article moves on to discuss the emergence of digital death as the current stage and reflects on its similarities to spectacular death and its transformation of public imaginaries around death in contemporary society. The article concludes with a reflection on future developments in the field, specifically the emergence and study of artificial intelligence (AI) in digitalised death culture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DIDE–Digital Death: Transforming History, Rituals and Afterlife)
13 pages, 1434 KiB  
Review
Love and Basketball: The Wives and Partners within Athletic Family Systems
by Ashley J. Blount, Kara Schneider, Abby L. Bjornsen Ramig and Daniel B. Kissinger
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(2), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13020100 - 06 Feb 2024
Viewed by 911
Abstract
This article offers an examination of the lives of wives and partners of collegiate basketball coaches, employing the Bronfenbrenner Ecological model as a framework for analysis. While the world of sports coaching is routinely celebrated and scrutinized, the experiences and challenges faced by [...] Read more.
This article offers an examination of the lives of wives and partners of collegiate basketball coaches, employing the Bronfenbrenner Ecological model as a framework for analysis. While the world of sports coaching is routinely celebrated and scrutinized, the experiences and challenges faced by the wives and/or partners of these coaches remain relatively unexplored. This paper reviews the diverse systems influencing the lives of coaches’ partners and the need for holistic support mechanisms. By employing the Coaches’ Wives and Partners Adapted Bronfenbrenner Model as a conceptual framework, researchers, counselors and other helpers, and support networks can gain a deeper understanding of the complex dynamics at play and can offer more effective assistance to coaches’ partners as they navigate the unique challenges and opportunities associated with their role in the basketball world. Implications for the NCAA, universities/athletic departments, coaches, and coaches’ wives and partners are addressed. Full article
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11 pages, 247 KiB  
Article
Beyond the Shadow of Adults—Youth, Adultism, and Human Rights in the Contemporary Faroe Islands
by Firouz Gaini
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(2), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13020098 - 05 Feb 2024
Viewed by 924
Abstract
This article discusses young people’s human rights situation in the Faroe Islands today by addressing youth participation issues from a cultural adultism perspective. It argues that the local cultural values and intergenerational relations in the family influence the multilayered and shifting nature of [...] Read more.
This article discusses young people’s human rights situation in the Faroe Islands today by addressing youth participation issues from a cultural adultism perspective. It argues that the local cultural values and intergenerational relations in the family influence the multilayered and shifting nature of ‘Faroese adultism’. My purpose is to explore the ways through which young people are challenging adultism in their everyday life practices: what do they intend to change and what do they wish to sustain in their cultural struggle? This article is mainly based on empirical data from focus group discussions with young participants. The findings reveal that young people from the Faroe Islands—located in the Nordic Atlantic—do not consider adultism to have a negative impact on their wellbeing. This article, relying on theoretical scholarship and ideas from youth studies and island studies, contributes to a more nuanced understanding of human rights in the context of a small (family-oriented) island community in cultural and social transformation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children’s Wellbeing and Children’s RightsA Nordic Perspective)
16 pages, 292 KiB  
Article
Communication about Purchase Desires between Children and Their Parents in Croatia
by Vanesa Varga, Mateja Plenković and Marina Merkaš
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(2), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13020097 - 02 Feb 2024
Viewed by 967
Abstract
The main aim of this study is to describe the communication between children and parents about children’s desired purchases of items in Croatia. Online focus groups were conducted with children ages 11 to 15, and their parents, using a pre-prepared list of questions. [...] Read more.
The main aim of this study is to describe the communication between children and parents about children’s desired purchases of items in Croatia. Online focus groups were conducted with children ages 11 to 15, and their parents, using a pre-prepared list of questions. The constant comparative method was applied, and the data were coded thematically, meaning data were organized into groups or codes on the basis of repeating keywords in the transcripts. The analysis shows children mostly ask their parents for clothing items and food. The findings indicate children and parents resolve the purchase decisions based on a few communication themes. Children employ persuasion, bargaining, and negotiation communication to acquire their desired items. As a response, parents employ bargaining and negotiation communication, budgeting and financial communication, usefulness and need communication, and postponed purchase communication. This research contributes to a better understanding of child and parent communication related to child purchase wishes and parent–child communication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Family Studies)
16 pages, 886 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Gender-Related Digital Violence Training in Catalonia
by Catalina Guerrero-Sanchez, Jordi Bonet-Marti and Barbara Biglia
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(2), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13020096 - 02 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1066
Abstract
This study examines the results of evaluating a Catalan training program for practitioners working with survivors of gender-related violence. Considering the lack of scientific evidence previously shown by studies on this topic, this article aimed to triangulate the participants’ self-perception with their assessment [...] Read more.
This study examines the results of evaluating a Catalan training program for practitioners working with survivors of gender-related violence. Considering the lack of scientific evidence previously shown by studies on this topic, this article aimed to triangulate the participants’ self-perception with their assessment of knowledge and competencies in tackling digital gender-related violence before and after the training. To do so, a pre-test and post-test case-based design was employed to identify and measure the participants’ improvement in self-perceived knowledge and their effective gain in knowledge and skills to address this kind of violence. Considering the contributions of a feminist evaluation approach, we also included in our evaluation the analysis of classroom interactions and the participants’ responses. The results overall demonstrate that the incorporation of assessment criteria from the feminist evaluation methodology increased the reliability of evaluation criteria. In addition, it also enabled us to identify the need to continue developing training programs that empower participants and prevent women and LGBTQI+ people from disengaging from digital spaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender-Related Violence: Social Sciences’ Research & Methods)
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16 pages, 301 KiB  
Review
“Will I Be Celebrated at the End of This Training?” Inclusive Research in Kenya
by Rachael W. Wanjagua, Lieke van Heumen and Sarah Parker Harris
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(2), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13020095 - 02 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1034
Abstract
The development and practice of inclusive research with people with intellectual disabilities is complex, revealing challenges and lessons that inform innovative and novel methodological approaches. In Africa, inclusive research still lags for various reasons. First, due to societal misconceptions that portray people with [...] Read more.
The development and practice of inclusive research with people with intellectual disabilities is complex, revealing challenges and lessons that inform innovative and novel methodological approaches. In Africa, inclusive research still lags for various reasons. First, due to societal misconceptions that portray people with intellectual disabilities as unable to self-advocate or as lacking agency and self-determination; second, due to a lack of trained researchers and ethics committees on inclusive research practices. This paper critically reflects on and discusses the strategies and methods used to conduct an inclusive research study in Kenya. The focus was on the methodological approach of including people with intellectual disabilities as researchers in Kenya. Two people with intellectual disabilities were trained as research assistants. This paper describes the experiences with Institutional Review Boards, the processes and experiences while training this research assistants using a UK-developed curriculum, and fieldwork experiences while piloting interview guides, conducting interviews, and conducting focus groups with this research assistants. This study findings indicate the need to culturally adapt co-researcher training, the importance of working with support personnel who empower researchers with intellectual disabilities, and the need for greater advocacy to change negative attitudes towards people with intellectual disabilities that hinder their participation in research. Full article
21 pages, 2378 KiB  
Article
Semantic Networks of Election Fraud: Comparing the Twitter Discourses of the U.S. and Korean Presidential Elections
by Jongmyung Lee, Chung Joo Chung and Daesik Kim
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(2), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13020094 - 01 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1069
Abstract
Traditional news outlets, such as newspapers and television, are no longer major sources of news. These media channels have been replaced by social platforms, which have increased in value as information distributors. This change in communication is an underlying reason for the election [...] Read more.
Traditional news outlets, such as newspapers and television, are no longer major sources of news. These media channels have been replaced by social platforms, which have increased in value as information distributors. This change in communication is an underlying reason for the election fraud controversies that occurred in the United States and South Korea, which hold high standards of democracy, during similar periods. This study investigates a model for sharing political disputes over social networks, especially Twitter, and illustrates the influence of political polarization. This study examines Twitter content around the presidential elections in the United States and South Korea in 2020 and 2022, respectively. It applies semantic network analysis and structural topic modeling to describe and compare the dynamics of online discourse on the issue of election fraud. The results show that online spaces such as Twitter serve as public spheres for discussion among active political participants. Social networks are key settings for forming and spreading election fraud controversies in the United States and South Korea, with differences in content. In addition, the study applies large-volume text data and new analytical methods such as the structural topic model to examine the in-depth relationships among political issues in cyberspace. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Political Communication and Emotions)
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