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Soc. Sci., Volume 7, Issue 3 (March 2018)

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Open AccessArticle
Nonviolence and Religion: Creating a Post-Secular Narrative with Aldo Capitini
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(3), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7030050
Received: 11 February 2018 / Revised: 2 March 2018 / Accepted: 14 March 2018 / Published: 20 March 2018
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Abstract
This article argues that nonviolence is a valid framework for religions to build up a post-secular narrative. Drawing from the approach of Aldo Capitini, I claim that religions can choose nonviolence as a religious path to integrate the different narratives of secularism via [...] Read more.
This article argues that nonviolence is a valid framework for religions to build up a post-secular narrative. Drawing from the approach of Aldo Capitini, I claim that religions can choose nonviolence as a religious path to integrate the different narratives of secularism via the concepts and practices of liberation and openness. In particular, nonviolence adds self-rule to an immanent framework; it offers resilience to the society; and it adds “the heroism of peace” to the political sphere. The result is the construction via facti of an innovative post-secular narrative. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Politics of Peace and Conflict)
Open AccessArticle
The PILAR Model as a Measure of Peer Ratings of Collaboration Viability in Small Groups
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(3), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7030049
Received: 20 February 2018 / Revised: 13 March 2018 / Accepted: 13 March 2018 / Published: 20 March 2018
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Abstract
The PILAR (prospects, involved, liked, agency, respect) model provides a dynamical systems perspective on collaboration. Two studies are performed using peer assessment data, both testing empirical support for the five Pillars that constitute members’ perceptions of collaboration viability (CoVi). The first [...] Read more.
The PILAR (prospects, involved, liked, agency, respect) model provides a dynamical systems perspective on collaboration. Two studies are performed using peer assessment data, both testing empirical support for the five Pillars that constitute members’ perceptions of collaboration viability (CoVi). The first study analyses peer assessment data collected online from 458 first-year engineering students (404 males; 54 females). A nine-item instrument was inherited from past year’s usage in the course, expanded with four additional items to elaborate upon the agency and liked Pillars. Exploratory factor analysis was conducted on student responses to test whether they thematically aligned to constructs consistent with the five Pillars. As anticipated, twelve of the thirteen items grouped into five components, each aligned with a Pillar, providing empirical evidence that the five Pillars represent perceptions of collaboration. The second study replicated the first study using a retrospective analysis of 87 items included in the Comprehensive Assessment of Team Member Effectiveness (CATME) peer assessment tool. The associated factor analyses resulted in five components and conceptual alignment of these components with Pillars was evident for three of five CATME components. We recommend a peer assessment instrument based upon PILAR as potentially more parsimonious and reliable than an extensive list of behaviours, such as employed by CATME. We also recommend including items that target inter-rater bias, which is aligned with the liked Pillar, that instruments such as CATME exclude. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Sharing Lessons between Peace Processes: A Comparative Case Study on the Northern Ireland and Korean Peace Processes
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(3), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7030048
Received: 9 February 2018 / Revised: 6 March 2018 / Accepted: 16 March 2018 / Published: 20 March 2018
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Abstract
In both Northern Ireland and Korea, the euphoria following significant breakthroughs towards peace in the late 1990s and early 2000s turned into deep frustration when confronted by continuous stalemates in implementing the agreements. I explore the two peace processes by examining and comparing [...] Read more.
In both Northern Ireland and Korea, the euphoria following significant breakthroughs towards peace in the late 1990s and early 2000s turned into deep frustration when confronted by continuous stalemates in implementing the agreements. I explore the two peace processes by examining and comparing the breakthroughs and breakdowns of both, in order to identify potential lessons that can be shared for a sustainable peace process. Using a comparative case study, I demonstrate the parallels in historical analyses of why the agreements in the late 1990s and early 2000s in Northern Ireland and Korea were expected to be more durable than those of the 1970s. I also examine the differences between the two peace processes in the course of addressing major challenges for sustaining the two processes: disarmament; relationships between hard-line parties; cross-community initiatives. These parallels and differences inform which lessons can be shared between Northern Ireland and Korea to increase the durability of the peace processes. The comparative case study finds that the commitment of high-level leadership in both conflict parties to keeping negotiation channels open for dialogue and to allowing space for civic engagement is crucial in a sustainable peace process, and that sharing lessons between the two peace processes can be beneficial in finding opportunities to overcome challenges and also for each process to be reminded of lessons from its own past experience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Politics of Peace and Conflict)
Open AccessArticle
The Portrayal of Families across Generations in Disney Animated Films
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(3), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7030047
Received: 5 February 2018 / Revised: 14 March 2018 / Accepted: 14 March 2018 / Published: 18 March 2018
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Abstract
Disney animated films continue to serve as an influential form of media that shapes children’s development of beliefs about the world surrounding them, including the construct of the family. However, a census analysis as to how Disney animated films represent depictions of families [...] Read more.
Disney animated films continue to serve as an influential form of media that shapes children’s development of beliefs about the world surrounding them, including the construct of the family. However, a census analysis as to how Disney animated films represent depictions of families has yet to be conducted. To fill this gap, we assessed the qualities of family demographics, structure, and function in a census analysis of 85 Disney animated films from the years 1937–2018. Results indicated that single parent families (41.3%) was the most predominantly represented family structure, followed by nuclear (25%) and guardian (19.2%). We also observed that the first depiction of a non-Caucasian family was presented in the 1990s, with a growing number of ethnically diverse families since that time. However, minimal interactions between families of differing ethnicities are noted. Overall, over 75% of all Disney animated films depicted warm and supportive familial interactions, with 78.8% of the films illustrating a positive relationship between the protagonist and his/her family. Analysis and implications are offered for parents and educators who wish to further understand the content Disney animated films offer in depicting families. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Psychosocial Implications of Disney Movies)
Open AccessArticle
Student Mobility and Transnational Social Ties as Factors of Reflexivity
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(3), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7030046
Received: 29 October 2017 / Revised: 12 March 2018 / Accepted: 13 March 2018 / Published: 16 March 2018
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Abstract
The article seeks to develop and apply new quantitative measurement instruments capable of significantly improving understanding of the relationship between the transnational mobility and transnational social ties of students, along with their reflexive capacities. With a focus on students building their personal networks, [...] Read more.
The article seeks to develop and apply new quantitative measurement instruments capable of significantly improving understanding of the relationship between the transnational mobility and transnational social ties of students, along with their reflexive capacities. With a focus on students building their personal networks, educational and professional activities that extend beyond the nation’s borders and organising their day-to-day routines in transnational social spaces, we analyse the role of mobility in their reflexive capacities. Applying a tool that is line with Archer’s theory and indicators to measure reflexivity, and transnational social ties as proposed by Molina et al., we analyse data collected via an on-line survey questionnaire administered to Slovenian students. In addition, students from the Middle East (Lebanon) and the USA (Hawai’i) are added for comparative purposes. The results of path analysis show the Slovenian students’ mobility as such implies higher scores for meta reflexivity, combined with lower scores for communicative and fractured reflexivity. Further, social transactions reaching beyond one’s physical localities in terms of transnational social ties implies they have higher levels of reflexivity in general. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Youth Work and Serendipity: Some Anthropological Implications
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(3), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7030045
Received: 31 December 2017 / Revised: 1 March 2018 / Accepted: 9 March 2018 / Published: 16 March 2018
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Abstract
This article explores the anthropological notion and methodology of serendipity as applied to youth work and non-formal education training methods. I introduce the term and its uses by drawing connections to the concept of ethnographic fieldwork and strategy to approach anthropological contexts. I [...] Read more.
This article explores the anthropological notion and methodology of serendipity as applied to youth work and non-formal education training methods. I introduce the term and its uses by drawing connections to the concept of ethnographic fieldwork and strategy to approach anthropological contexts. I then draw a parallel between the role of the anthropologist and the youth worker. I investigate the different options when dealing with groups and facing the contradictions of conducting fieldwork or trainings. Thus, I propose a distinction between the anthropological concept of ‘serendipity’ and the youth work-related concept of ‘improvisation’. I present ambiguous cases of the serendipity process and their implications based on my own direct experience of involvement with youth work through the methodology of autoethnography. Finally, I address different perspectives of serendipity seen as a storytelling construction. Ultimately, I draw useful conclusions on the understanding of serendipity and improvisation in the two contexts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Engineering Women’s Attitudes and Goals in Choosing Disciplines with Above and Below Average Female Representation
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(3), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7030044
Received: 15 December 2017 / Revised: 3 March 2018 / Accepted: 5 March 2018 / Published: 13 March 2018
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Abstract
Women’s participation in engineering remains well below that of men at all degree levels. However, despite the low enrollment of women in engineering as a whole, some engineering disciplines report above average female enrollment. We used multiple linear regression to examine the attitudes, [...] Read more.
Women’s participation in engineering remains well below that of men at all degree levels. However, despite the low enrollment of women in engineering as a whole, some engineering disciplines report above average female enrollment. We used multiple linear regression to examine the attitudes, beliefs, career outcome expectations, and career choice of first-year female engineering students enrolled in below average, average, and above average female representation disciplines in engineering. Our work begins to understand how the socially constructed masculine cultural norms of engineering may attract women differentially into specific engineering disciplines. This study used future time perspective, psychological personality traits, grit, various measures of STEM identities, and items related to career outcome expectations as theoretical frameworks. The results of this study indicate that women who are interested in engineering disciplines with different representations of women (i.e., more or less male-dominated) have significantly different attitudes and beliefs, career goals, and career plans. This study provides information about the perceptions that women may have and attitudes that they bring with them into particular engineering pathways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Male-Dominated Domains)
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Open AccessArticle
The Weight of Categories: Geographically Inscribed Otherness in Botkyrka Municipality, Sweden
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(3), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7030043
Received: 22 January 2018 / Revised: 26 February 2018 / Accepted: 9 March 2018 / Published: 12 March 2018
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Abstract
This paper asked a paradoxical question: why have immigrants to Sweden (particularly refugees) become geographically, economically, and symbolically segregated despite the putatively generous provisions of Sweden’s welfare state? I sought to understand how people and institutions perceived and deployed categories that created geographically [...] Read more.
This paper asked a paradoxical question: why have immigrants to Sweden (particularly refugees) become geographically, economically, and symbolically segregated despite the putatively generous provisions of Sweden’s welfare state? I sought to understand how people and institutions perceived and deployed categories that created geographically inscribed “Otherness” through a year-long fieldwork in Botkyrka Municipality of the Greater Stockholm area. My analysis weaved together three models for explaining social segregation: the relational, the symbolic, and the spatial. I then augmented these models by taking into account the legal and bureaucratic frameworks that influence social exclusion, as well as historical factors of geographical exclusion. My study revealed how the Swedish government has, despite repeated attempts to integrate immigrant populations into the national identity, nonetheless continued to demarcate immigrant populations both symbolically and geographically, first through a long history of categorizing immigrants as “non-Swedes” (whether as “foreigner,” “immigrant,” or “people with a foreign background”), and through policies that have inadvertently separated the spaces in which immigrants are able to live. Finally, I concluded that the nation’s ethnocultural and Volk-centered definition of nationhood makes it almost impossible for immigrants to be integrated into the Swedish society and propose a shift of academic interests in three aspects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Politics of Race, Ethnicity and Immigration)
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Open AccessArticle
Topic Modeling The Red Pill
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(3), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7030042
Received: 10 December 2017 / Revised: 27 February 2018 / Accepted: 1 March 2018 / Published: 9 March 2018
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Abstract
The Men’s Rights Activism (MRA) movement and its sub-movement The Red Pill (TRP), has flourished online, offering support and advice to men who feel their masculinity is being challenged by societal shifts. Whilst some insightful studies have been carried out, the small samples [...] Read more.
The Men’s Rights Activism (MRA) movement and its sub-movement The Red Pill (TRP), has flourished online, offering support and advice to men who feel their masculinity is being challenged by societal shifts. Whilst some insightful studies have been carried out, the small samples analysed by researchers limits the scope of studies, which is small compared to the large amounts of data that TRP produces. By extracting a significant quantity of content from a prominent MRA website, ReturnOfKings.com (RoK), whose creator is one of the most prominent figures in the manosphere and who has been featured in multiple studies. Research already completed can be expanded upon with topic modelling and neural networked machine learning, computational analysis that is proposed to augment methodologies of open coding by automatically and unbiasedly analysing conceptual clusters. The successes and limitations of this computational methodology shed light on its further uses in sociological research and has answered the question: What can topic modeling demonstrate about the men’s rights activism movement’s prescriptive masculinity? This methodology not only proved that it could replicate the results of a previous study, but also delivered insights into an increasingly political focus within TRP, and deeper perspectives into the concepts identified within the movement. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Social Identity Theory and Public Opinion towards Immigration
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(3), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7030041
Received: 17 December 2017 / Revised: 22 February 2018 / Accepted: 5 March 2018 / Published: 8 March 2018
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Abstract
Several scholars have called upon social identity theory to investigate the relationship between an American national identity and American public opinion on immigration. Lacking a uniform measure of American identity, by and large, scholars find that a two-dimensional conception of American identity influences [...] Read more.
Several scholars have called upon social identity theory to investigate the relationship between an American national identity and American public opinion on immigration. Lacking a uniform measure of American identity, by and large, scholars find that a two-dimensional conception of American identity influences these opinions. Our review suggests that the extant measures of American identity do not fully account for the various aspects of social identity theory. We capture more fully the different components of social identity theory. By doing so, we find that American identity has five dimensions. Therefore, in this analysis, we advance a more comprehensive measure of American identity. Analyzing data from the 2004–2005 National Politics Survey, we confirm that all five dimensions of American identity lead to opposition to legal immigration and a preference for spending increases to combat illegal immigration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Politics of Race, Ethnicity and Immigration)
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Open AccessArticle
Paradigm Shift in Game Theory: Sociological Re-Conceptualization of Human Agency, Social Structure, and Agents’ Cognitive-Normative Frameworks and Action Determination Modalities
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(3), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7030040
Received: 17 December 2017 / Revised: 27 February 2018 / Accepted: 1 March 2018 / Published: 8 March 2018
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Abstract
This article aims to present some of the initial work of developing a social science grounded game theory—as a clear alternative to classical game theory. Two distinct independent initiatives in Sociology are presented: One, a systems approach, social systems game theory (SGT), and [...] Read more.
This article aims to present some of the initial work of developing a social science grounded game theory—as a clear alternative to classical game theory. Two distinct independent initiatives in Sociology are presented: One, a systems approach, social systems game theory (SGT), and the other, Erving Goffman’s interactionist approach (IGT). These approaches are presented and contrasted with classical theory. They focus on the social rules, norms, roles, role relationships, and institutional arrangements, which structure and regulate human behavior. While strategic judgment and instrumental rationality play an important part in the sociological approaches, they are not a universal or dominant modality of social action determination. Rule following is considered, generally speaking, more characteristic and more general. Sociological approaches, such as those outlined in this article provide a language and conceptual tools to more adequately and effectively than the classical theory describe, model, and analyze the diversity and complexity of human interaction conditions and processes: (1) complex cognitive rule based models of the interaction situation with which actors understand and analyze their situations; (2) value complex(es) with which actors operate, often with multiple values and norms applying in interaction situations; (3) action repertoires (rule complexes) with simple and complex action alternatives—plans, programs, established (sometimes highly elaborated) algorithms, and rituals; (4) a rule complex of action determination modalities for actors to generate and/or select actions in game situations; three action modalities are considered here; each modality consists of one or more procedures or algorithms for action determination: (I) following or implementing a rule or rule complex, norm, role, ritual, or social relation; (II) selecting or choosing among given or institutionalized alternatives according to a rule or principle; and (III) constructing or adopting one or more alternatives according to a value, guideline, or set of criteria. Such determinations are often carried out collectively. The paper identifies and illustrates in a concluding table several of the key differences between classical theory and the sociological approaches on a number of dimensions relating to human agency; social structure, norms, institutions, and cultural forms; patterns of game interaction and outcomes, the conditions of cooperation and conflict, game restructuring and transformation, and empirical relevance. Sociologically based game theory, such as the contributions outlined in this article suggest a language and conceptual tools to more adequately and effectively than the classical theory describe, model, and analyze the diversity, complexity, and dynamics of human interaction conditions and processes and, therefore, promises greater empirical relevance and scientific power. An Appendix provides an elaboration of SGT, concluding that one of SGT’s major contributions is the rule based conceptualization of games as socially embedded with agents in social roles and role relationships and subject to cognitive-normative and agential regulation. SGT rules and rule complexes are based on contemporary developments relating to granular computing and Artificial Intelligence in general. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Oil and Gas Rents and Civilian Violence in the Middle East and North Africa, 1990–2004: A Resource Curse, or Rentier Peace?
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(3), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7030039
Received: 27 December 2017 / Revised: 28 February 2018 / Accepted: 2 March 2018 / Published: 8 March 2018
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Abstract
Acts of civilian violence have long plagued parts of the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region. Extant research debates whether countries that rely on natural resource revenue for economic solvency are more or less likely to experience such violent events. This analysis takes a [...] Read more.
Acts of civilian violence have long plagued parts of the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region. Extant research debates whether countries that rely on natural resource revenue for economic solvency are more or less likely to experience such violent events. This analysis takes a novel approach to this issue, examining the unique effects of publicly and privately controlled oil and gas rents on civilian violence in the MENA region from 1990 to 2004. Data on civil violence events are drawn from the World Handbook of Political Indicators IV. Results indicate that publicly owned oil and gas rents reduce civilian violence, while privately owned oil and gas rents do not significantly affect such events. This lends support to the notion that oil and gas rents are not necessarily a curse, and can actually foster a “rentier peace.” More broadly, these results underscore the importance of delineating ownership structure when examining the relationship between natural resources and conflict. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Politics of Peace and Conflict)
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Open AccessArticle
Sex-Free and Sex-Related Components of the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ) Neuroticism Scale among Finnish and Turkish Students
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(3), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7030038
Received: 28 September 2017 / Revised: 23 February 2018 / Accepted: 26 February 2018 / Published: 4 March 2018
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Abstract
Previous studies have suggested that the Neuroticism scale (N) of the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ) reflects two different dimensions, of which the first is sex-related (N-S) and the second sex-free (N-A). The N-S component is characterized by social sensitivity and worry while N-A [...] Read more.
Previous studies have suggested that the Neuroticism scale (N) of the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ) reflects two different dimensions, of which the first is sex-related (N-S) and the second sex-free (N-A). The N-S component is characterized by social sensitivity and worry while N-A reflects moodiness, irritability and boredom. The purpose of this study was to investigate the internal structure of the N scale in samples of 320 Finnish and 230 Turkish students. The bi-dimensional structure suggested by Francis had an acceptable fit to data in the Finnish and Turkish samples. Higher N-S and N scores correlated with being a woman in the Turkish sample. Neither N nor N-S scores were related to sex in the Finnish sample. ANOVA results showed the main effect of sex on N and N-S scores and the main effect of culture (Finnish vs. Turkish) on N and N-A. Turkish women scored higher in N and N-S scales than the other groups. The possible cultural and social reasons for the sex differences on the N scale score were discussed. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Islam, Politics and Secularism in Bangladesh: Contesting the Dominant Narratives
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(3), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7030037
Received: 9 December 2017 / Revised: 12 February 2018 / Accepted: 27 February 2018 / Published: 3 March 2018
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Abstract
Since late 2000s, the political landscape in Bangladesh moved from democracy to an authoritarian kleptocracy, and experienced a new set of political and social narratives. This paper aims to contest some of these dominant/official narratives which have been discursively constructed and promoted by [...] Read more.
Since late 2000s, the political landscape in Bangladesh moved from democracy to an authoritarian kleptocracy, and experienced a new set of political and social narratives. This paper aims to contest some of these dominant/official narratives which have been discursively constructed and promoted by the secularist parties (including the ruling regime) and groups in Bangladesh over recent years. Examining the sociopolitical and historical facts and figures of the country, we have identified five major contested narratives related to (a) Bengali nationalism in East Pakistan, (b) foundational ideology of Bangladesh’s war of liberation, (c) state-sponsored Islamization in Bangladesh, (d) pro-liberation and anti-liberation dichotomy, and (e) war crimes trial. Drawing on a robust content analysis of the credible secondary sources substantiated by qualitative interviews, we have examined these dominant narratives and found that they are not supported by historical evidence and popular mandate, yet have been constructed largely to support and legitimize the current authoritarian regime. The paper offers both counter-narratives and some pragmatic policy recommendations to elude increasing polarization and sociopolitical instability and foster a peaceful democratic society in Bangladesh. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Historical Memory of American Presidents in the Mass Public
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(3), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7030036
Received: 26 December 2017 / Revised: 23 February 2018 / Accepted: 25 February 2018 / Published: 2 March 2018
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Abstract
This paper investigates public evaluations of past presidents. Since voters generally lack much historical knowledge, such evaluations are not useful indicators of the performance and effectiveness of presidents across history, unlike the greatness evaluations of experts, like historians and presidency scholars. Still, presidents [...] Read more.
This paper investigates public evaluations of past presidents. Since voters generally lack much historical knowledge, such evaluations are not useful indicators of the performance and effectiveness of presidents across history, unlike the greatness evaluations of experts, like historians and presidency scholars. Still, presidents may be concerned about how future generations of voters will think about them. These anticipations may then affect presidential behavior in office. This study uses a Rasmussen poll in 2007 that asked voters their assessment of all the past presidents, from George Washington through to George W. Bush. Results find that voters look upon past presidents more favorably as a larger number of voters have opinions about the president, presidents of the founding generation are looked upon more favorably, and the ratings of experts affect voters’ assessments of past presidents. The conclusion discusses the implications of the results and offers suggestions for future research. Full article
Open AccessArticle
An Exploratory Assessment of Community-Oriented Policing Implementation, Social Disorganization and Crime in America
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(3), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7030035
Received: 9 October 2017 / Revised: 28 January 2018 / Accepted: 20 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
Prior research has examined the impact of community-oriented policing (COP) on crime extensively. While the implementation of community policing has been considered mainly within the context of large police agencies, there is a paucity of research on how COP impacts crime reduction efforts [...] Read more.
Prior research has examined the impact of community-oriented policing (COP) on crime extensively. While the implementation of community policing has been considered mainly within the context of large police agencies, there is a paucity of research on how COP impacts crime reduction efforts in smaller locales. This study explores the effects of the degree of community policing implementation within smaller agencies and cities on crime. As part of the discussion on the impact of COP implementation, this paper also considers the impact of social disorganization on crime in the United States. The aim is to gain further insight into what variables may be influencing crime rates in contexts that garner less attention from researchers. The findings indicate that COP implementation does not significantly explain the variation of crime rates. Still, the statistically significant results on several social disorganization factors reflect the need to incorporate social disorganization theory with practice in order to maximize community-policing success. The implications of these results for police practice as well as directions for future research are discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Why People Are Not Willing to Let Their Children Ride in Driverless School Buses: A Gender and Nationality Comparison
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(3), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7030034
Received: 19 December 2017 / Revised: 25 February 2018 / Accepted: 25 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
As driverless vehicles proliferate, it is possible that this technology will be applied in mass transport vehicles. School buses may be suited for autonomous operations as they follow set routes and schedules. However, a research gap exists in whether or not parents would [...] Read more.
As driverless vehicles proliferate, it is possible that this technology will be applied in mass transport vehicles. School buses may be suited for autonomous operations as they follow set routes and schedules. However, a research gap exists in whether or not parents would be willing to have their children ride in autonomously operated school buses. The purpose of this study was to examine parents’ willingness to allow their child to ride in an autonomous school bus. Participant gender and nationality were also two independent variables, along with affect measures as a possible mediating variable. The research used a two-study approach. In study one, it was found that participants were less willing to have their child ride in a driverless school bus than a traditional human-operated vehicle. In study two, findings suggest a significant interaction between the type of driver, participant gender, and nationality. In general, American females were less willing than Indian females and overall, Americans were less willing than Indians in the driverless conditions. Affect was found to be a mediating variable, which suggests that emotions were playing a role in the responses of participants. The paper concludes with theoretical contributions, practical applications, and suggestions for future research. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Can Social Capital influence Smallholder Farmers’ Climate-Change Adaptation Decisions? Evidence from Three Semi-Arid Communities in Burkina Faso, West Africa
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(3), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7030033
Received: 5 February 2018 / Revised: 23 February 2018 / Accepted: 24 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
This study examines the influence of farmers’ social capital on their decisions to deal with climate change and climate variability in Burkina Faso. The study is based on a household survey conducted among 450 households, randomly selected from three communities in Burkina Faso. [...] Read more.
This study examines the influence of farmers’ social capital on their decisions to deal with climate change and climate variability in Burkina Faso. The study is based on a household survey conducted among 450 households, randomly selected from three communities in Burkina Faso. Two indexes were constructed to capture farmers’ structural and cognitive social capital; and using generalized Poisson regression (GPR) and a multivariate probit model, the study probes the effect of farmers’ social capital on their choice of adaptation alternatives, the number of adaptation practices used, and the extent to which adaptation measures were applied. The results indicated that the effect of social capital depends on the type of indicator used and on the type of adaptation strategies necessary. Farmers’ cognitive social capital was significantly and positively related to their choice of soil and water conservation techniques (SWCT), and techniques such as agroforestry and irrigation. Structural social capital, on the other hand, was positively associated with the adoption of new varieties and conservation tillage strategies and negatively associated with the use of a crop-diversification strategy. The results also highlighted that socio-economic, institutional and agro-ecological variables determine farmers’ decisions to adapt to climate change. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
“It’s Broader than Just My Work Here”: Gender Variations in Accounts of Success among Engineers in U.S. Academia
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(3), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7030032
Received: 10 December 2017 / Revised: 23 February 2018 / Accepted: 25 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
Among science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines, the percentage participation of women in engineering has shown significant gains over the past few decades. However, women are still largely absent (or exist in very small numbers) in tenured academic ranks in several engineering [...] Read more.
Among science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines, the percentage participation of women in engineering has shown significant gains over the past few decades. However, women are still largely absent (or exist in very small numbers) in tenured academic ranks in several engineering sub-fields. In this study we present female and male engineers’ varying understandings of ‘scientific success’ as a potential contributor to women’s retention and success in their (sub)fields. Using in-depth interviews conducted among engineering graduate students and faculty at two U.S. Northwest land-grant research universities, this study demonstrates the ‘dual’ nature in accounts of scientific success, where formal measures of success operate in tandem with informal measures. While both men and women attribute their success to formal and informal measures, gender-based variations tend to be more prevalent among informal measures. By examining these informal measures, this study highlights the context surrounding success. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Male-Dominated Domains)
Soc. Sci. EISSN 2076-0760 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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