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Soc. Sci., Volume 7, Issue 5 (May 2018) – 11 articles

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Article
Driving Change on Twitter: A Corpus-Assisted Discourse Analysis of the Twitter Debates on the Saudi Ban on Women Driving
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(5), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7050081 - 21 May 2018
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3777
Abstract
This paper explores how Twitter has been used in the debate on women’s right to drive in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The overarching aim of this investigation is to explain how gender roles and the relationship between the genders are navigated [...] Read more.
This paper explores how Twitter has been used in the debate on women’s right to drive in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The overarching aim of this investigation is to explain how gender roles and the relationship between the genders are navigated in these debates. For Saudi Arabian women, social media platforms such as Twitter provide a unique space to express opinions and highlight areas of concern in a way that they are unable to in any other public sphere. The exploration of the debate on women’s right to drive in the KSA was achieved by collecting a body of tweets in Arabic addressing this topic from the last three months of 2015. Following a corpus-assisted discourse studies approach, this paper analyzes arguments by Twitter users discussing the KSA’s ban on women drivers, which may have contributed to women being granted the right to drive and also raised awareness of the restrictions imposed on women. Full article
Article
Masculinity, Organizational Culture, Media Framing and Sexual Violence in the Military
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(5), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7050080 - 15 May 2018
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2733
Abstract
Sexual violence in the military is woven into history, with stories and myths that date back to the times of ancient Rome. For example, military conquests thousands of years ago involved looting, pillaging, and raping—the “spoils of war” for the winning side. Over [...] Read more.
Sexual violence in the military is woven into history, with stories and myths that date back to the times of ancient Rome. For example, military conquests thousands of years ago involved looting, pillaging, and raping—the “spoils of war” for the winning side. Over time, women, seen as sexual outlets, continued to be used to boost soldier morale in combat. Today, instances such as the Marine sexual misconduct scandal are still associated with notions of male empowerment through victimization of enlisted and civilian women, despite female officers making up 14% of service members across all military branches. To determine if the optics of violent and predatory behavior within the military has changed from the “spoils of war”, the current study utilized qualitative content analysis to analyze the media frames of military sexual assault and sexual harassment over the past 20 years. Through holistic reflection, the inquiry explores military framing by the media during high-profile incidents of misconduct from 1996 to 2013. The Aberdeen Proving Ground, Lackland Airforce Base, and Airforce Academy sexual assault cases demonstrate that responsibility and human-interest frames are the most prominent optics used by the media to describe these events. Further, since the first case in 1996, media coverage of sexual harassment and assault within the military has declined significantly. This suggest that, while media framing may accurately reflect these offenses, these offenses are considered less and less news worthy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding Gender, Crime, and Criminal Justice)
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Article
The Misunderstanding of Social Insurance: The Inadequacy of the Basic Pension Insurance for Urban Employees (BPIUE) for the Aging Population of China
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(5), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7050079 - 13 May 2018
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1580
Abstract
The Chinese public has shown increasing concern about the “inadequacy” of the funds available for the Basic Pension Insurance for Urban Employees (BPIUE). The government has managed the issue by balancing the program’s revenue and expenditures each year and by increasing subsidies for [...] Read more.
The Chinese public has shown increasing concern about the “inadequacy” of the funds available for the Basic Pension Insurance for Urban Employees (BPIUE). The government has managed the issue by balancing the program’s revenue and expenditures each year and by increasing subsidies for it from all levels. These actions have raised a number of questions, such as why the program still needs financial subsidies as the fund’s balance continues to increase. The BPIUE was initiated in 1991, and the combination model of “social pooling” and “individual accounts of employees” was established in 1995 and formally launched in 1998. Also, in 1998, reforms including the downsizing of state-owned enterprises were implemented, and tens of millions of employees of state-owned enterprises entered early retirement. Local governments used funds from the individual accounts to pay pensions to employees based on length of service, and as a result, the individual accounts have remained empty ever since. Based on the definition of social insurance and an empirical analysis of the BPIUE fund, this paper conducts a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the plan from two perspectives, striving to provide an objective explanation and assessment of the pension fund’s inadequacy. On this basis, the paper analyzes the impact of the aging population of China on the existing and future BPIUE fund gap. Full article
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Article
Dynamics of Volunteering and Life Satisfaction in Midlife and Old Age: Findings from 12 European Countries
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(5), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7050078 - 04 May 2018
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 4250
Abstract
A growing literature shows that doing voluntary work not only helps the wider community but can also improve one’s own well-being. To date, however, few studies have examined the relationship between volunteering and well-being in non-US and especially in comparative data. We study [...] Read more.
A growing literature shows that doing voluntary work not only helps the wider community but can also improve one’s own well-being. To date, however, few studies have examined the relationship between volunteering and well-being in non-US and especially in comparative data. We study this relationship using two waves of data of 18,559 individuals aged 50 and above from 12 European countries. We analyze life satisfaction impacts of change and stability in volunteering status and in the intensity (frequency) of volunteering, and explore whether these impacts differ according to life stage (age, employment status) and across countries with different norms and supports for voluntarism. Findings show that net life satisfaction is higher among longer-term, recent, and former volunteers than among stable (long-term) non-volunteers. There are no significant life satisfaction differences between the three groups with volunteer experience. Equally, similar levels of life satisfaction are observed among people who have increased and decreased their frequency of volunteering. It thus seems to be the experience and not the dynamics (i.e., change or persistence) of volunteering that is associated with well-being. Findings further suggest life course variation in the association between volunteering and well-being, as the relationship is stronger for older and long-term non-employed (mostly retired) individuals than for their middle-aged and working counterparts. The relationship is also stronger in countries where volunteering is less common and less institutionally supported. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Active Aging and Wellbeing: Advancement of Interdisciplinary Research)
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Article
Dynamics in the Field of Museums: Contemporary Challenges for Polish Museologists
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(5), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7050077 - 04 May 2018
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1304
Abstract
The aim of this text is to present and analyze the attitudes of Polish museologists towards the changes currently taking place in the field of museums. More specifically, it will focus on their opinions regarding the evolution of museums—from the traditional model, based [...] Read more.
The aim of this text is to present and analyze the attitudes of Polish museologists towards the changes currently taking place in the field of museums. More specifically, it will focus on their opinions regarding the evolution of museums—from the traditional model, based on symbolic violence, to the contemporary model, which accents the subjectivity of the audience. Its conclusions, based on analyses of 26 qualitative interviews with employees of Polish museums, are as follows: the organizational changes taking place in Polish museums do not relieve museologists from bureaucratic work; the collections in museums distinguish them from other institutions of culture; there is a struggle for symbolic advantage among actors in the field of museology; museologists do not know their audience well. The interviews also revealed that the assumptions of the New Museology have less impact on practice than is suggested in literature, and that everyday museology combines elements of the ‘old’ and ‘new’ philosophies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Contemporary Politics and Society)
Review
Settlement and Integration Needs of Skilled Immigrants in Canada
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(5), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7050076 - 03 May 2018
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 6537
Abstract
It is often believed that the settlement and integration of skilled immigrants is moderately easy in Canada, and that skilled immigrants do well in Canada after a brief adjustment period. However, numerous barriers prevent the effective integration of skilled immigrants in the mainstream [...] Read more.
It is often believed that the settlement and integration of skilled immigrants is moderately easy in Canada, and that skilled immigrants do well in Canada after a brief adjustment period. However, numerous barriers prevent the effective integration of skilled immigrants in the mainstream society. Despite being famous for its Federal Skilled Worker Program, which includes the immigration of skilled workers through Express Entry, Canada shows disappointing results in the economic and social outcomes of the integration of skilled immigrants. This has socioeconomic implications for the immigrants and affects their health and wellbeing. Therefore, there is a need for all those who are involved with immigrant integration to explore and be conversant about the contexts and issues faced by skilled newcomers in Canada. In reviewing the academic and grey literature on the settlement and integration of skilled immigrants in Canada, this paper highlights the challenges faced by skilled immigrants in Canada and the needs experienced by them in facing these challenges. It provides an overview of the experiences and expectations of skilled immigrants related to their settlement and integration in Canada. This paper indicates a need to evaluate the availability of immigrant services focused on skilled immigrants and the effectiveness of the existing support offered to them by various government and non-government agencies. Full article
Article
Running in Someone Else’s Shoes: The Electoral Consequences of Running as an Appointed Senator
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(5), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7050075 - 03 May 2018
Viewed by 1181
Abstract
Over the past century, nearly two hundred times a governor has appointed an individual to fill a vacant Senate seat. This research seeks to understand the electoral fates of these appointed senators. First, I address the question of when and under what conditions [...] Read more.
Over the past century, nearly two hundred times a governor has appointed an individual to fill a vacant Senate seat. This research seeks to understand the electoral fates of these appointed senators. First, I address the question of when and under what conditions an appointed senator will choose to run for reelection to the seat. Then, should they choose to run for that office in the next election, they are in the rare position of being an incumbent who has not previously won an election to that particular office. Although these appointed senators are not on equal footing as other first-term senators, they still provide a unique circumstance worthy of further examination. I find that those appointed senators who had previously held an elected office were more likely to run to maintain the Senate seat. I also find that appointed senators fare slightly worse than other first-term senators did when campaigning for reelection. Full article
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Article
Diminished Economic Return of Socioeconomic Status for Black Families
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(5), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7050074 - 02 May 2018
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 3656
Abstract
Background: According to the Minorities’ Diminished Return theory, socioeconomic status (SES) systemically generates larger gains for Whites compared to Blacks. It is, however, unknown whether the effects of baseline SES on future family income also varies between Blacks and Whites. Aims: Using a [...] Read more.
Background: According to the Minorities’ Diminished Return theory, socioeconomic status (SES) systemically generates larger gains for Whites compared to Blacks. It is, however, unknown whether the effects of baseline SES on future family income also varies between Blacks and Whites. Aims: Using a national sample, this study investigated racial variation in the effects of family SES (i.e., family structure, maternal education, and income) at birth on subsequent household income at age 15. Methods: This 15-year longitudinal study used data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCWS), which followed 1471 non-Hispanic Black or White families from the time of birth of their child for 15 years. Two family SES indicators (maternal education and income) at birth were the independent variables. Family income 15 years later was the outcome. Maternal age, child gender, and family structure at baseline were covariates. Race was the focal moderator. Linear regression models were used for data analysis. Results: In the pooled sample, maternal education (b = 11.62, p < 0.001) and household income (b = 0.73, p < 0.001) at baseline were predictive of family income 15 years later. Race, however, interacted with maternal education (b = −12,073.89, p < 0.001) and household income (b = −312.47, p < 0.001) at birth on household income 15 years later, indicating smaller effects for Black compared to White families. These differential gains were independent of family structure, mother age, and child gender. Conclusions: The economic return of family SES is smaller for Black compared to White families, regardless of the SES indicator. Policies should specifically address structural barriers in the lives of racial and ethnic minorities to minimize the diminished return of SES resources across racial minority groups. Policies should also reduce extra costs of upward social mobility for racial minorities. As the likely causes are multi-level, solutions should also be also multi-level. Without such interventions, it may be very difficult if not impossible to eliminate the existing Black–White economic gap. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inequality and Poverty)
Article
National Identity and Migration in an Emerging Gateway Community
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(5), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7050073 - 26 Apr 2018
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1609
Abstract
This paper examines how conceptions of national and local identity influence reactions to migration in the Shenandoah Valley, a rural location in Southwest Virginia with unique demographic characteristics. While Shenandoah Valley residents have been predominantly non-Hispanic whites of European descent, a recent visible [...] Read more.
This paper examines how conceptions of national and local identity influence reactions to migration in the Shenandoah Valley, a rural location in Southwest Virginia with unique demographic characteristics. While Shenandoah Valley residents have been predominantly non-Hispanic whites of European descent, a recent visible influx of Hispanic laborers, a higher than national average Muslim population, a history of refugee resettlement and the migration of urbanites from Northern Virginia have made the Valley one of the most diverse locations in the state of Virginia today. Using a qualitative methods approach with both apriori and emergent coding, I offer some insights as to how a traditional ethnic and civic framework of national identity and emergent themes of local identity, including family values and traditionalism, influence reactions to the changing demographics in this rural community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Politics of Race, Ethnicity and Immigration)
Article
A Multi-Level Analysis on School Connectedness, Family Support, and Adolescent Depression: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, 1995–1996
by
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(5), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7050072 - 25 Apr 2018
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2033
Abstract
Objective: The purpose of this study is to gain insight into the effect of family support, school connectedness, and school environments on depressive symptoms among adolescents across racial/ethnic groups on both the student-level and school-level. Method: This study uses a sample [...] Read more.
Objective: The purpose of this study is to gain insight into the effect of family support, school connectedness, and school environments on depressive symptoms among adolescents across racial/ethnic groups on both the student-level and school-level. Method: This study uses a sample of 4228 students (2122 girls and 2016 boys) from the public use data of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Students were measured at two time points (one year apart) on school connectedness, family support, socio-demographic factors, and the Center for Epidemiological Studies’ Depression Scale. Hierarchical Linear Modeling was used to examine potential predictors on adolescent depressive symptoms. This is, to the best of the author’s knowledge, the first study to examine the interplay of school connectedness, school racial composition, and adolescent depression. Results: School connectedness partially mediates the effects of family support on depressive symptoms, but both remain strong predictors of depressive symptoms. African American adolescents are the only racial/ethnic group that has constantly higher CES-D scores than the non-Hispanic white adolescents. School-level connectedness is positively related to students’ depressive symptoms. The racial composition of a school has different effects on students’ depressive symptoms on student’s race. Conclusions: Low perceived family support, low school connectedness, being female, and being African American are consistently associated with greater depressive symptoms one year later. The overall level of school connectedness of a school is found to be related with greater individual student’s depressive symptoms, while the effects of school proportion of minority students on students’ depressive symptoms differ significantly across the race/ethnicity of students. Future study is needed to explore the association between racial/ethnic segregation and adolescent depression while considering students’ racial/ethnic status. Full article
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Article
How the Demographic Composition of Academic Science and Engineering Departments Influences Workplace Culture, Faculty Experience, and Retention Risk
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(5), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7050071 - 24 Apr 2018
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2635
Abstract
Although on average women are underrepresented in academic science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) departments at universities, an underappreciated fact is that women’s representation varies widely across STEM disciplines. Past research is fairly silent on how local variations in gender composition impact faculty [...] Read more.
Although on average women are underrepresented in academic science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) departments at universities, an underappreciated fact is that women’s representation varies widely across STEM disciplines. Past research is fairly silent on how local variations in gender composition impact faculty experiences. This study fills that gap. A survey of STEM departments at a large research university finds that women faculty in STEM are less professionally satisfied than male colleagues only if they are housed in departments where women are a small numeric minority. Gender differences in satisfaction are largest in departments with less than 25% women, smaller in departments with 25–35% women, and nonexistent in departments approaching 50% women. Gender differences in professional satisfaction in gender-unbalanced departments are mediated by women’s perception that their department’s climate is uncollegial, faculty governance is non-transparent, and gender relations are inequitable. Unfavorable department climates also predict retention risk for women in departments with few women, but not in departments closer to gender parity. Finally, faculty who find within-department mentors to be useful are more likely to have a favorable view of their department’s climate, which consequently predicts more professional satisfaction. Faculty gender and gender composition does not moderate these findings, suggesting that mentoring is equally effective for all faculty. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Male-Dominated Domains)
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