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Soc. Sci., Volume 5, Issue 2 (June 2016)

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Open AccessArticle
Validity and Reliability of the Problem Solving Inventory (PSI) in a Nationwide Sample of Greek Educators
Soc. Sci. 2016, 5(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci5020025
Received: 27 December 2015 / Revised: 12 May 2016 / Accepted: 10 June 2016 / Published: 15 June 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1843 | PDF Full-text (535 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Problem Solving Inventory (PSI) is designed to measure adults’ perceptions of problem-solving ability. The presented study aimed to translate it and assess its reliability and validity in a nationwide sample of 3668 Greek educators. In order to evaluate internal consistency reliability, Cronbach’s [...] Read more.
The Problem Solving Inventory (PSI) is designed to measure adults’ perceptions of problem-solving ability. The presented study aimed to translate it and assess its reliability and validity in a nationwide sample of 3668 Greek educators. In order to evaluate internal consistency reliability, Cronbach’s alpha coefficient was used. The scale’s construct validity was examined by a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and by investigating its correlation with the Internality, Powerful others and Chance Multidimensional Locus of Control Scale (IPC LOC Scale), the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES) and demographic information. Internal consistency reliability was satisfactory with Cronbach’s alphas ranging from 0.79 to 0.91 for all PSI scales. CFA confirmed that the bi-level model fitted the data well. The root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA), the comparative fit index (CFI) and the goodness of fit index (GFI) values were 0.030, 0.97 and 0.96, respectively, further confirming the bi-level model and the three-factors construct of the PSI. Intercorrelations and correlation coefficients between the PSI, the IPC LOC Scale and the RSES were significant. Age, sex, and working experience differences were found. In conclusion, the Greek version of the PSI was found to have satisfactory psychometric properties and therefore, it can be used to evaluate Greek teachers’ perceptions of their problem-solving skills. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Religion on Enduring Marriages
Soc. Sci. 2016, 5(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci5020024
Received: 26 April 2016 / Revised: 10 May 2016 / Accepted: 18 May 2016 / Published: 21 May 2016
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Abstract
This article adds to recent literature in the study of religion and marriage by examining older couples’ use of religion as a cultural repertoire in enduring marriages. The study includes qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews with 43 married, Christian couples. Couples reported four [...] Read more.
This article adds to recent literature in the study of religion and marriage by examining older couples’ use of religion as a cultural repertoire in enduring marriages. The study includes qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews with 43 married, Christian couples. Couples reported four predominant social contexts that gave sacred meanings to their marriage: prayer, worship services and sermons, first-rite rituals and communion. These social contexts magnify sacred meanings within religious cultural repertoires by enhancing older couples’ perceptions of their marriages as sacred through formal and public recognition of their marriage longevity, lauding their marriage longevity as a blessing from God to be emulated, promoting religious meanings of familism and giving positive marriage outcomes sacred meanings. Negative effects of religion on marriage outcomes occurred among older couples when lived experiences of religion conflicted with their cultural expectations for enduring marriages. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Effectiveness of Recycling Promotion and Education Initiatives among First-Generation Ethnic Minorities in Ontario, Canada
Soc. Sci. 2016, 5(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci5020023
Received: 27 December 2015 / Revised: 16 April 2016 / Accepted: 16 May 2016 / Published: 20 May 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1926 | PDF Full-text (9172 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study examines how first-generation ethnic minorities respond to different types of recycling promotion and education campaigns (P&E) used by municipalities in Ontario, Canada. A total of eight focus group sessions were conducted over an eight-week period to gauge participant attitudes and responses [...] Read more.
This study examines how first-generation ethnic minorities respond to different types of recycling promotion and education campaigns (P&E) used by municipalities in Ontario, Canada. A total of eight focus group sessions were conducted over an eight-week period to gauge participant attitudes and responses towards print (newspaper and signs) and electronic (websites) P&E messaging. Participants were asked to comment on message “recognition”, “clarity”, “the ability to increase recycling awareness” and “the ability to affect changes in recycling behavior”. Results from the focus group sessions suggest that none of the P&E mediums tested were able to increase recycling awareness or change recycling behavior in any meaningful way. First-generation ethnic minorities struggle with recognizing the central theme and purpose of P&E advertisements. Respondents also found existing campaigns excessively complex and confusing, and were not familiar with many of the terms and symbols used in existing P&E messaging. Other findings suggest that ethnic minorities are skeptical and distrustful of the municipalities’ intentions with respect to what they do with the waste after it is collected. The findings from this study lead to the recommendation that municipalities rethink and redesign recycling promotion and education initiatives to better engage minority communities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
U.S. Volunteering in the Aftermath of the Great Recession: Were African Americans a Significant Factor?
Soc. Sci. 2016, 5(2), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci5020022
Received: 4 January 2016 / Revised: 25 April 2016 / Accepted: 9 May 2016 / Published: 20 May 2016
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Abstract
The Great Recession weakened U.S. families’ abilities to make charitable gifts. Although African Americans are generally especially hard hit by these types of economic crises, they have a long and distinctive history of volunteerism and mutual assistance. Consequently, the purpose of this study [...] Read more.
The Great Recession weakened U.S. families’ abilities to make charitable gifts. Although African Americans are generally especially hard hit by these types of economic crises, they have a long and distinctive history of volunteerism and mutual assistance. Consequently, the purpose of this study is to examine African American volunteering in nonprofit organizations in the aftermath of the 2008–2009 recession. Specifically, we examined race as well as other factors with the potential to influence volunteering in four categories of organizations: poverty organizations, senior service agencies, social action groups, and religious affiliated organizations. Using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) data, this secondary analysis produced significant findings regarding volunteerism among African Americans in these community-based organizations. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Veiled Politics: Muslim Women’s Visibility and Their Use in European Countries’ Political Life
Soc. Sci. 2016, 5(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci5020021
Received: 11 January 2016 / Revised: 18 April 2016 / Accepted: 11 May 2016 / Published: 18 May 2016
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Abstract
One of the many disastrous consequences of the tragic events of 9/11 is the war waged by the neocolonialists in order to “liberate” Muslim women. This gender-based war stands on a series of pillars, such as the presumption that Western civilization offers women [...] Read more.
One of the many disastrous consequences of the tragic events of 9/11 is the war waged by the neocolonialists in order to “liberate” Muslim women. This gender-based war stands on a series of pillars, such as the presumption that Western civilization offers women a great deal of privileges, while Muslim culture gives none. Therefore, it would be logical to suppose that, because of the many opportunities the West grants to Muslim women who reside there, the latter may have an active role in the local political process. However, Muslim women have scarce visibility in European political life, and their presence is sometimes merely instrumental to some party: in most cases, women are coopted because they are a good sample of “secular Muslims” (i.e., they do not wear the hijab, i.e., the veil and a modest attire); in others, they are appointed because they are veiled and can therefore become a good vehicle in order to win the support both of the Muslim community and of its sympathizers. In this paper, I will analyze some crucial aspects of Muslim women’s formal political participation in some European countries; in addition, I will focus on the Italian case with the help of a series of interviews with Muslim women who play an active role in local political councils. The study shows how in European politics, Muslim women can become a commodity even when they stand out as rising political individuals; but also how they fight to gain visibility and public recognition, in spite of the tense situation and of the rampant Islamophobia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women, Gender and Politics: An International Overview)
Open AccessArticle
Oil in Syria between Terrorism and Dictatorship
Soc. Sci. 2016, 5(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci5020020
Received: 14 January 2016 / Revised: 25 April 2016 / Accepted: 9 May 2016 / Published: 17 May 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3036 | PDF Full-text (4896 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The sale of oil and gas is one of the most important components of the Syrian economy. Unfortunately, since the discovery of these resources, the Syrian people have not benefited from the revenues earned. This study deals with the development of oil and [...] Read more.
The sale of oil and gas is one of the most important components of the Syrian economy. Unfortunately, since the discovery of these resources, the Syrian people have not benefited from the revenues earned. This study deals with the development of oil and gas production and the geographical distribution of fields, as well as production control, deterioration of production, refining and selling mechanisms, and the resulting health and environmental impacts following Islamic State’s (IS) control of the majority of oilfields in Syria. Since summer 2015, IS controls 80% of the fields with a production of 65,000 barrels per day (b/d); the Assad regime controls 8% of fields with 10,000 b/d; and Kurdish forces dominate the remaining 12% with 25,000 b/d. IS depends on oil as a major source of financing for its military and civilian activities, and has also managed to set up an extensive network of middlemen in neighbouring territories and countries, with the aim of trading crude oil for cash and other resources. IS produces and exports within its areas of control and sells part of the oil to the Assad regime, and another portion to the liberated areas, as well as to Iraq and Turkey. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Making Communication Strategy Choices in a Fast Evolving Crisis Situation—Results from a Table-Top Discussion on an Anthrax Scenario
Soc. Sci. 2016, 5(2), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci5020019
Received: 30 December 2015 / Revised: 3 May 2016 / Accepted: 6 May 2016 / Published: 13 May 2016
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Abstract
This paper aims at clarifying a timely topic of how communication strategy choices are made in evolving, complex crises, such as those caused by terrorism involving chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) agents. This is done by examining data gathered from a table-top [...] Read more.
This paper aims at clarifying a timely topic of how communication strategy choices are made in evolving, complex crises, such as those caused by terrorism involving chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) agents. This is done by examining data gathered from a table-top discussion among crisis communication experts, focusing on a scenario of an anthrax attack and analysed qualitatively. The communication experts followed the evolving crisis situation by gathering inputs from various actors in the crisis management network, thereby creating situational understanding, and interpreted these inputs for decision-making on communication strategies. The underlying process of coping with complexity in evolving CBRN terrorism crises can be described as a continuous, dynamic process that can best be explained with a combination of traditional and more modern crisis communication approaches. Strategy-making in crisis situations by communication experts is still largely a black box. In this study, a novel approach of decomposing strategy-making by observing a table-top discussion is chosen to clarify the process. By identifying the core elements involved, a more detailed picture of communication strategy-making is created, thus promoting preparedness and professional resilience in the field. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Masculinities in Cyberspace: An Analysis of Portrayals of Manhood in Men’s Rights Activist Websites
Soc. Sci. 2016, 5(2), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci5020018
Received: 12 April 2016 / Revised: 4 May 2016 / Accepted: 6 May 2016 / Published: 12 May 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3163 | PDF Full-text (228 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A growth in cultural ideologies concerned with men and masculinities in contemporary American society has recently emerged. Men’s rights activist (MRA) groups embody a movement emphasizing the crisis of masculinity. Despite men’s privileged societal status, MRAs seek to establish resources for men to [...] Read more.
A growth in cultural ideologies concerned with men and masculinities in contemporary American society has recently emerged. Men’s rights activist (MRA) groups embody a movement emphasizing the crisis of masculinity. Despite men’s privileged societal status, MRAs seek to establish resources for men to utilize in elevating their perceived subordinated position in society in relation to women and social minorities. Little research has systematically investigated MRAs on the Internet, which is rapidly becoming a primary source of information and social connectedness for people. Through a content analysis of the 12 most prominent MRA websites, we explore the various strategies used by contemporary men’s groups designed to provide support for men in their pursuit of social legitimacy and power. Two primary categories of MRAs with distinctive ideological strategies emerged from this analysis: Cyber Lads in Search of Masculinity and Virtual Victims in Search of Equality. Though both groups promoted men’s entitlement to social power, Cyber Lads utilized themes of explicit aggression towards and devaluation of women, while Virtual Victims adopted political and social movement rhetoric to address men’s issues. The implications of these websites are discussed in terms of gender equality and their potential effects on individual men and women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Backlash: Contemporary Obstructions to Social Justice)
Open AccessArticle
The Fragility of Gender Equality Policies in Spain
Soc. Sci. 2016, 5(2), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci5020017
Received: 15 December 2015 / Revised: 15 March 2016 / Accepted: 20 April 2016 / Published: 26 April 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1991 | PDF Full-text (222 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Within the last decade, Spain has become a model in legislative policies for gender equality at the international level. However, the economic crisis has led to a growth in inequality, which has revealed the weaknesses of the adopted instruments. Despite the large amount [...] Read more.
Within the last decade, Spain has become a model in legislative policies for gender equality at the international level. However, the economic crisis has led to a growth in inequality, which has revealed the weaknesses of the adopted instruments. Despite the large amount of legislation in this area, the social reality has not changed at all, even experiencing a setback over the past few years. This situation was exposed in our country by a report issued in 2015 by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). This report showed the negative effects of the economic crisis and austerity policies on women, even in a context necessitating increased efforts towards women’s rights. Therefore, it is imperative that the concept of gender mainstreaming and the adoption of instruments of “hard law” be revisited. The goal should be to achieve gender justice based on three elements—distribution, identity, and representation—and a real parity democracy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women, Gender and Politics: An International Overview)
Open AccessArticle
Political Experience and the Success of Female Gubernatorial Candidates
Soc. Sci. 2016, 5(2), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci5020016
Received: 10 January 2016 / Revised: 8 April 2016 / Accepted: 20 April 2016 / Published: 25 April 2016
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Abstract
This research examines the effect that political experience has on the success of female gubernatorial candidates by analyzing the female vs. male gubernatorial elections from 1976–2014. The study questions whether prior statewide political office experience is advantageous for female candidates and is this [...] Read more.
This research examines the effect that political experience has on the success of female gubernatorial candidates by analyzing the female vs. male gubernatorial elections from 1976–2014. The study questions whether prior statewide political office experience is advantageous for female candidates and is this consistent across party lines. This research builds on the political pipeline theory, which suggests that the shortage of women holding higher level political office, such as governor, is due to the lack of qualified and motivated women running for political office. We argue that women who hold lower level statewide office develop the necessary experience and name recognition that provides them with the qualifications and motivation, both within themselves and from other sources such as political parties, to run for and win the office of governor. Our findings suggest that statewide office experience is important for the success of Democratic women gubernatorial candidates but not for Republican women gubernatorial candidates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women, Gender and Politics: An International Overview)
Open AccessArticle
Integrated Social Housing and Health Care for Homeless and Marginally-Housed Individuals: A Study of the Housing and Homelessness Steering Committee in Ontario, Canada
Soc. Sci. 2016, 5(2), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci5020015
Received: 24 November 2015 / Revised: 7 March 2016 / Accepted: 24 March 2016 / Published: 30 March 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1972 | PDF Full-text (576 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Homelessness is a complex social issue that requires a coordinated systems approach. In recent years, Canada has seen an emergence of integrated care, the joining of health care and social care, to address the needs of homeless persons. This article documents the findings [...] Read more.
Homelessness is a complex social issue that requires a coordinated systems approach. In recent years, Canada has seen an emergence of integrated care, the joining of health care and social care, to address the needs of homeless persons. This article documents the findings of open-ended interviews with eleven members of the central east Ontario Housing and Homelessness Framework Steering Committee, comprised of service managers and the Local Health Integration Network. As the system planners for social housing and health care, respectively, members of the group work together to align system approaches for homeless persons. Research by this group identified three challenges of collaborating—their different histories and legislation, varied accountability structures, and differing roles and responsibilities within the central east region of Ontario. The study findings indicate that developing a joint document to guide the work was a process through which members began to work through these differences. Full article
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