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Soc. Sci., Volume 8, Issue 10 (October 2019)

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Open AccessArticle
Analysing Support Towards Inclusive and Integrated Rural Advisory Systems
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(10), 295; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8100295 (registering DOI) - 22 Oct 2019
Abstract
Public Rural Advisory Services (RAS) have adapted to different socio-economic scenarios in politically diverse countries with the help of the third sector supporting dedicated RAS programmes. The Plantwise (PW) programme, led by the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI) and designed to [...] Read more.
Public Rural Advisory Services (RAS) have adapted to different socio-economic scenarios in politically diverse countries with the help of the third sector supporting dedicated RAS programmes. The Plantwise (PW) programme, led by the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI) and designed to increase food security in over 30 countries, is a good example of a public/NGO partnership, although recent evaluations have questioned its impacts on gendered agricultural information access. This study aims to investigate Plantwise’s gender impacts from individual and institutional viewpoints, interviewing smallholder farmers and extension staff involved in and outside of, the Plantwise programme in Bahawalpur and Jhang district in the Punjab province of Pakistan. This serves to highlight the programme’s impacts on systemic processes which ultimately have the potential to contribute to gender-transformative change and a more efficient and sustainable RAS. Results show differences between extension workers in a PW district and a non-PW district and between plant doctors and non-plant doctors in a PW district, though none were significant from a gendered perspective. There were interesting findings highlighting the plant clinic’s capacity as an agent of change but the low turnout of women at clinics did not reinforce the clinics’ capacity for change from a female perspective. Information from systemic, male and female-specific analyses are important to consider for PW from a practical perspective, such as the importance of spiritual locations. This study into the Pakistani PW initiative also offers an opportunity to contribute to the growing body of academic literature on the individual and institutional impacts of international development programmes, helping to understand wider aspects of international development involvement in RAS. From a practical perspective, this study also enables PW and other international development initiatives to better understand and interpret stakeholders’ perceptions, highlighting the importance of design and investment in participatory approaches to enable longer term impacts, especially focused on gender. It will also help the PW programme assess and understand implementation challenges in order to attain impact on the ground and be a driver of positive change in the country. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Gender Studies)
Open AccessArticle
Father’s Use of Parental Leave in Organizations with Different Institutional Logics
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(10), 294; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8100294 (registering DOI) - 22 Oct 2019
Abstract
Although the use of the father’s quota of parental leave has become a majority practice among Norwegian fathers, there is some variation between different groups of fathers. This article explores how male managers in the engineering industry and male brokers in the finance [...] Read more.
Although the use of the father’s quota of parental leave has become a majority practice among Norwegian fathers, there is some variation between different groups of fathers. This article explores how male managers in the engineering industry and male brokers in the finance industry use the father’s quota. Based on the theoretical framework of institutional logics, the article uses two pairs of opposite concepts-‘available and unavailable’ and ‘replaceable and irreplaceable’ in a work context, to focus on how the use of the father’s quota is affected. Analyzing two different male-dominated organizations, the findings show how the use of the father’s quota depends on different institutional logics, which sets the framework for the practice and culture of the two organizations. The male managers in the engineering industry become unavailable and replaceable in their organizations, thus making it possible for the fathers to use the father’s quota and parental leave. In contrast to this, the institutional logic in the finance industry makes brokers available and irreplaceable in their organizations, thus making it difficult for them to use father’s quota or parental leave Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Family and Work: Parental Leave and Careers)
Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Success Factors of Reward-Based Crowdfunding Campaigns Using Multi-Theory Approach in ASEAN-5 Countries
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(10), 293; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8100293 - 21 Oct 2019
Viewed by 109
Abstract
This study aims to determine the multi-sided factors of crowdfunding campaigns on the fundraising success of crowdfunding projects conducted in ASEAN-5 (five big countries in The Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries between 2014 and January 2019 through a multi-theory approach. Using secondary [...] Read more.
This study aims to determine the multi-sided factors of crowdfunding campaigns on the fundraising success of crowdfunding projects conducted in ASEAN-5 (five big countries in The Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries between 2014 and January 2019 through a multi-theory approach. Using secondary and cross-section data from Kickstarter, this research uses the probit regression method to analyze the data and test the hypotheses. First, in line with the goal setting theory, small-sized projects are more likely to be funded. Second, the large teams are preferable by the potential backers, in line with the resource-based view of firms. Further, the self-determination theory shows that rewards are one of the big extrinsic motivations for the backers in ASEAN. Moreover, our paper also shows the remarkable result with the funding target which has negative influence to probability success of crowdfunding. This is because our project samples are used from the ASEAN countries whose owner or investor is more concerned to be risk averse than a risk taker. These results provide insight and bring a contribution to the crowdfunding literatures in ASEAN. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Does Mothers’ Parental Leave Uptake Stimulate Continued Employment and Family Formation? Evidence for Belgium
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(10), 292; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8100292 - 21 Oct 2019
Viewed by 100
Abstract
Parental leave schemes undoubtedly facilitate the combination of work and family life during leave-taking. In addition to this instantaneous effect of parental leave uptake, a growing yet limited body of research addresses the question of subsequent effects of parental leave uptake. As work-family [...] Read more.
Parental leave schemes undoubtedly facilitate the combination of work and family life during leave-taking. In addition to this instantaneous effect of parental leave uptake, a growing yet limited body of research addresses the question of subsequent effects of parental leave uptake. As work-family policies, such as parental leave, are geared towards stimulating family formation and (female) employment, this study assessed whether the individual uptake of parental leave by employed mothers after the birth of a child yielded differential parity progression and employment patterns compared to eligible employed mothers that did not take leave. Using data from the Belgian Administrative Socio-Demographic panel, we applied dynamic propensity score matching and hazard models. Our results indicate that previous leave uptake is a differentiating factor in subsequent fertility and employment outcomes, but also that (self-)selection strongly affects this relation. Descriptive analyses indicate that mothers who use leave shortly after childbearing exhibit a similar progression to second births, more third births and less fourth births, while displaying substantially lower hazards of exiting the labour force regardless of parity. However, when controlling for the fact that mothers who use parental leave exhibit a stronger pre-birth attachment to the labour force, work for larger employers in specific employment sectors, and also differ from non-users in terms of household characteristics (e.g., higher household income, more likely to be married and less likely to have a non-Belgian background), many associations between leave uptake and subsequent fertility and employment outcomes turn neutral or even negative. No indication for higher parity progression among leave users was found and the hazard of exiting the labour force was moderately higher for leave users. These empirical results are discussed in the Belgian context of low parental leave benefits, short leave entitlements and low uptake of parental leave, features which are also displayed by other Western European countries and contrast with the Nordic European countries studied in previous research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Family and Work: Parental Leave and Careers)
Open AccessArticle
Insight or Intrusion? Correlating Routinely Collected Employee Data with Health Risk
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(10), 291; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8100291 - 16 Oct 2019
Viewed by 277
Abstract
The volume, variety and velocity of data available to companies about their employees is already significant and likely to increase. Employers hold data about employees that could be used to explore the relationship between workplace practice in their organisation and risks to employee [...] Read more.
The volume, variety and velocity of data available to companies about their employees is already significant and likely to increase. Employers hold data about employees that could be used to explore the relationship between workplace practice in their organisation and risks to employee health. However, there is significant uncertainty about whether employers subject to English law are permitted to use this data for this purpose, and even whether they may be under a legal obligation to do so. In this article, the question of whether employers are legally permitted or legally obliged to use employee data to identify associations between workplace practice and risk to employee health is answered through an analysis of two spheres of English Law: data protection law, and health and safety law. The authors establish a hypothetical case study concerning a company that wishes to use employee data in this way, to illuminate a set of detailed legal issues. In particular, the question of whether a reasonable and prudent employer is under an obligation under health and safety law to use the data and analytic tools at his or her disposal to assess risk and inform his or her actions is considered. Also addressed is the question of whether such processing would satisfy the data protection law principles of “lawful, fair, and transparent” processing and that of “purpose limitation”. A complex picture emerges. The analysis reveals that data protection legislation may not support a trend towards the re-use of employee data to enhance workplace health and safety; nor is there currently a clear mandate that responsible employers use data in this way. The line between useful insight into workplace practices and intrusion into employees’ privacy remains blurred. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Big Data and Employee Wellbeing)
Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Circular Migration on FGM/C: Transnational Communities in Spain and The Gambia
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(10), 290; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8100290 - 14 Oct 2019
Viewed by 294
Abstract
Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is a traditional harmful practice that migrates with people and has become a global phenomenon. Understanding how the diaspora resignifies and can change the tradition will allow us to measure the impact of transnational relations on information flows and [...] Read more.
Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is a traditional harmful practice that migrates with people and has become a global phenomenon. Understanding how the diaspora resignifies and can change the tradition will allow us to measure the impact of transnational relations on information flows and decision making in a multisite space. The objective is to analyze the influence of migration on the practice of FGM/C with a participatory and circular methodology, focused on Gambian communities both in Spain and in The Gambia. The study shows the trends on how acculturation processes entail cultural change, both in Africa as well as in diaspora. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Place-Based Policies for Sustainability and Rural Development: The Case of a Portuguese Village “Spun” in Traditional Linen
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(10), 289; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8100289 - 14 Oct 2019
Viewed by 313
Abstract
In recent decades, European rural development policies have transitioned toward a more place-based approach. This claim rests on the assumption that the diversity of resources within rural areas can be a potential source for place-shaping practices and sustainability. Moreover, this shift away from [...] Read more.
In recent decades, European rural development policies have transitioned toward a more place-based approach. This claim rests on the assumption that the diversity of resources within rural areas can be a potential source for place-shaping practices and sustainability. Moreover, this shift away from a top-down sectorial toward a more territorial focus has also shed light on the importance of agency, relations, and how people engage. Many rural areas in Europe, and particularly in Portugal, have seen a withdrawal of focus away from agriculture toward more diversified activities, where place-based approaches can untap local potential, stimulate sustainable place-shaping practices, and create significant well-being. However, some rural communities have difficulties in capitalizing on them due to unfavorable demographics such as depopulation and aging, a focus on traditional industries, and a lack of technical knowledge. The aim of the article is to discuss the role of place-based policies for enabling place-shaping practices revolving around traditional resources in rural areas and their contribution to sustainability. The study briefly highlights the recent debate around European rural development policies and illustrates their implementation through place-shaping practices via a case study in a Portuguese rural village—Várzea de Calde. The village revalorized itself and is trying to tackle marginalization processes through its traditional linen, which is a local material and immaterial resource, via collective agency and a strong sense of identity. The case study will provide empirical insights in discussing the effects of sustainable place-shaping practices stimulating by place-based policy instruments. Our conclusions highlight the positive contributions toward sustainability through improvements in social (e.g., identity) and economic well-being. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Policy)
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Open AccessArticle
Attitude as a Mediator between Sustainable Behaviour and Sustainable Knowledge: An Approximation through a Case Study in the Dominican Republic
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(10), 288; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8100288 - 14 Oct 2019
Viewed by 169
Abstract
The current ongoing globalisation shows an increasing amount of issues regarding sustainability, which is to be addressed from the very first stages. In this sense, different variables have been measured in the form of a survey in order to learn about the behaviour, [...] Read more.
The current ongoing globalisation shows an increasing amount of issues regarding sustainability, which is to be addressed from the very first stages. In this sense, different variables have been measured in the form of a survey in order to learn about the behaviour, attitude and knowledge of high school students in the Dominican Republic regarding sustainability, using a methodology based on structural equations through the SmartPls (v. 3.2.8) program. Among the main deductions, a mediation between their knowledge and behaviour towards sustainable development is to be highlighted. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Civilized Muscles: Building a Powerful Body as a Vehicle for Social Status and Identity Formation
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(10), 287; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8100287 - 13 Oct 2019
Viewed by 252
Abstract
This paper explored the relationship between having a muscular body and identity formation in young men. Theoretically, it was built on evolutionary psychology; empirically, it drew on the author’s research into young men’s use of anabolic-androgenic steroids in gym settings. The questions I [...] Read more.
This paper explored the relationship between having a muscular body and identity formation in young men. Theoretically, it was built on evolutionary psychology; empirically, it drew on the author’s research into young men’s use of anabolic-androgenic steroids in gym settings. The questions I addressed were the following: First, why does the building of a muscular body through weight and strength training appeal to young men who have not yet found their place in the societal hierarchy? Second, what identity-related consequences does it have for them, when the size and posture of their body changes? First, the paper outlined some important aspects of the civilizing process and evolutionary psychology in order to offer an explanation on how and why brute force has been marginalized in today’s society, while the strong body continues to appeal to us. Then followed an explanation of the concept of identity used in this context. Hereafter, it was examined how building a more muscular body influences the young men and their relationship with their surroundings. Next, an underlying alternative understanding of health that may influence young men’s decision to use anabolic steroids was discussed. The article concluded with some remarks on the body’s impact on identity in a time where a strong build no longer has any practical importance in our lives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extreme Sports, Extreme Bodies)
Open AccessArticle
Perspectives of University-Industry Technology Transfer in African Emerging Economies: Evaluating the Nigerian Scenario via a Data Envelopment Approach
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(10), 286; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8100286 - 13 Oct 2019
Viewed by 264
Abstract
All of Africa’s emerging economies are faced with developmental challenges, which can be partly ameliorated using effective University–Industry technology transfer. While technology transfer remains at the infant stage, sparsely documented, and with no complex ongoing processes in many African societies, Universities in Africa [...] Read more.
All of Africa’s emerging economies are faced with developmental challenges, which can be partly ameliorated using effective University–Industry technology transfer. While technology transfer remains at the infant stage, sparsely documented, and with no complex ongoing processes in many African societies, Universities in Africa are making efforts in University–Industry collaborations aimed at bringing significant improvements to the continent in a bid to drive national innovation and regional economic development. In this paper, we attempt to evaluate the progress made so far by Nigerian Universities in technological innovation transfer, in order to suggest ways for possible future progress. To do this, crucial technology transfer resource factors (inputs), namely, the number of linkage projects funded by the “African Research Council” (ARC), consortium membership of the University’s technology transfer office, and the number of doctoral staff at the University’s technology transfer office, were checked against a set of performance measures (number of executed licenses, amount of licensing royalty income, number of spin-offs created, and the number of spin-offs created with university equity), using data envelopment analysis and multiple regression, respectively. Results suggest that Universities that possess better resource factors reported higher outputs on most of the performance indicators applied. In addition, it was observed that Universities with greater ability to effectively transfer knowledge had higher technology commercialization performance and financial sustainability. The implication of these results is that Universities in Africa need to develop in line with the technology transfer resource (input) factors suggested within this study, as this is the way to go for better performance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Exploring Gender Differences in Teacher–Student Interactions during an Adapted Robotics Program for Children with Disabilities
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(10), 285; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8100285 - 11 Oct 2019
Viewed by 197
Abstract
We compared the interactions between teachers and children with disabilities enrolled in an adapted robotics program to examine potential gender differences in these interactions. We coded video recordings from instructional sections of the HB FIRST® robotics program, an adapted robotics program developed [...] Read more.
We compared the interactions between teachers and children with disabilities enrolled in an adapted robotics program to examine potential gender differences in these interactions. We coded video recordings from instructional sections of the HB FIRST® robotics program, an adapted robotics program developed through a partnership between a pediatric rehabilitation hospital and FIRST® Canada (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). The program consists of 6-weekly, two-hour workshops. We coded videos from four separate single-gender workshops (two all-girls, and two all-boys) involving 22 children aged 6 to 8 years-old. Results revealed that boys and girls display different styles of engagement during the robotics, and teachers’ behaviour is functionally responsive to these differences. The differences in the interaction styles of boys and girls identified in this study may contribute to gender differences in students’ perceived STEM competence, and ultimately interest in pursuing STEM education and careers. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Linguistic Integration of Refugees in Italy
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(10), 284; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8100284 - 10 Oct 2019
Viewed by 277
Abstract
The creation of laws regarding the linguistic integration of migrants has contributed to the change in Italian language teaching, which has had to adapt its materials and methodology to migrants. However, the specific case of refugees has not been specifically assessed, with the [...] Read more.
The creation of laws regarding the linguistic integration of migrants has contributed to the change in Italian language teaching, which has had to adapt its materials and methodology to migrants. However, the specific case of refugees has not been specifically assessed, with the exception of experimentation with the Council of Europe toolkit for refugees. This paper aimed to study the linguistic integration of adult refugees in Italy by conducting an ethnography through participant observation and semi-structured interviews between Italian language teachers and refugees. The results of this work show both the teachers’ perceptions of the refugees’ linguistic integration and the refugees’ perceptions of linguistic integration practice. The conclusions highlight the need for more hours of Italian language courses as well as lessons based on specific integration needs. Moreover, this study emphasizes that the integration practice itself implies language learning. A final consideration is made concerning the current integration situation of refugees in Italy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integration and Resettlement of Refugees and Forced Migrants)
Open AccessArticle
Who Wants to Work More? Multilevel Study on Underemployment of Working Mothers in 22 European Countries
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(10), 283; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8100283 - 10 Oct 2019
Viewed by 240
Abstract
This study examines underemployment of working mothers in 22 European countries. Underemployed mothers are defined as those who wish to work longer hours than they are currently working. Compared to unemployment and employment in general, the research tradition of underemployment is less established. [...] Read more.
This study examines underemployment of working mothers in 22 European countries. Underemployed mothers are defined as those who wish to work longer hours than they are currently working. Compared to unemployment and employment in general, the research tradition of underemployment is less established. This article contributes to the existing knowledge on underemployment in two ways. First, it focuses on a specific group of workers: mothers. Secondly, while the vast majority of earlier studies has concentrated on single countries, this study is cross-national. Using data from the 2010/2011 European Social Survey (ESS), a multilevel analysis provides three major findings. First, underemployment exists in all countries examined, but the prevalence varies significantly. Second, the prevalence and depth (i.e., how large is the gap between preferred and current working hours) of underemployment are not necessarily correlated; a high prevalence can be accompanied by shallower underemployment and vice versa. Third, at the individual-level, underemployment particularly hurts mothers who are in a more insecure position in terms of their economic and labor market situation. At the country level, underemployment is related to a poorer economic situation and less-extensive childcare system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Policy)
Open AccessArticle
Gender Concerns When Noah the Economist Ranks Biodiversity Protection Policies
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(10), 282; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8100282 - 10 Oct 2019
Viewed by 239
Abstract
Because the funds to protect biodiversity are very limited, biodiversity protection policies are prioritized using the Noah’s Ark perspective. I discuss how gender affects Noah’s assessment of key elements of his ranking: Discounting, changes in total economic value, marginal costs, changes in ecological [...] Read more.
Because the funds to protect biodiversity are very limited, biodiversity protection policies are prioritized using the Noah’s Ark perspective. I discuss how gender affects Noah’s assessment of key elements of his ranking: Discounting, changes in total economic value, marginal costs, changes in ecological value, and the probability of policy success. This incremental approach makes visible the breadth of the mechanisms by which gender differentiated social constructs interact to affect Noah in a richly complex manner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Gender Studies)
Open AccessArticle
Algorithmic Justice in Child Protection: Statistical Fairness, Social Justice and the Implications for Practice
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(10), 281; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8100281 - 08 Oct 2019
Viewed by 688
Abstract
Algorithmic tools are increasingly used in child protection decision-making. Fairness considerations of algorithmic tools usually focus on statistical fairness, but there are broader justice implications relating to the data used to construct source databases, and how algorithms are incorporated into complex sociotechnical decision-making [...] Read more.
Algorithmic tools are increasingly used in child protection decision-making. Fairness considerations of algorithmic tools usually focus on statistical fairness, but there are broader justice implications relating to the data used to construct source databases, and how algorithms are incorporated into complex sociotechnical decision-making contexts. This article explores how data that inform child protection algorithms are produced and relates this production to both traditional notions of statistical fairness and broader justice concepts. Predictive tools have a number of challenging problems in the child protection context, as the data that predictive tools draw on do not represent child abuse incidence across the population and child abuse itself is difficult to define, making key decisions that become data variable and subjective. Algorithms using these data have distorted feedback loops and can contain inequalities and biases. The challenge to justice concepts is that individual and group rights to non-discrimination become threatened as the algorithm itself becomes skewed, leading to inaccurate risk predictions drawing on spurious correlations. The right to be treated as an individual is threatened when statistical risk is based on a group categorisation, and the rights of families to understand and participate in the decisions made about them is difficult when they have not consented to data linkage, and the function of the algorithm is obscured by its complexity. The use of uninterpretable algorithmic tools may create ‘moral crumple zones’, where practitioners are held responsible for decisions even when they are partially determined by an algorithm. Many of these criticisms can also be levelled at human decision makers in the child protection system, but the reification of these processes within algorithms render their articulation even more difficult, and can diminish other important relational and ethical aims of social work practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Critical Debates and Developments in Child Protection)
Open AccessArticle
Information Disorder and Self-Regulation in Europe: A Broader Non-Economistic Conception of Self-Regulation
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(10), 280; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8100280 - 07 Oct 2019
Viewed by 282
Abstract
Over the past decade, the problems arising from social communication have yet again become burning issues on social and political agendas. Information disorder, hate speeches, information manipulation, social networking sites, etc., have obliged the most important European institutions to reflect on how to [...] Read more.
Over the past decade, the problems arising from social communication have yet again become burning issues on social and political agendas. Information disorder, hate speeches, information manipulation, social networking sites, etc., have obliged the most important European institutions to reflect on how to meet the collective challenges that social communication currently poses in the new millennium. These European Institutions have made a clear commitment to self-regulation. The article reviews some recent European initiatives to deal with information disorder that has given a fundamental role to self-regulation. To then carry out a theoretical review of the normative notion of self-regulation that distinguishes it from the neo-liberal economicist conception. To this end, (1) a distinction is drawn between the (purportedly) self-regulating market and (2) a broader conception of self-regulation inherent not to media companies or corporations, but to the social subsystem of social communication, is proposed. This involves increasing the number of self-regulatory mechanisms that may contribute to improve social communication, and reinforcing the commitment of those who should exercise such self-regulation, including not only media companies but also the professionals working at them and the public at large. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Democracy, Free Speech and Minorities)
Open AccessArticle
Exploring the Impact of Complex Multi-Level Governance Structures on the Societal Contribution of Universities to Knowledge-Based Urban Development
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(10), 279; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8100279 - 02 Oct 2019
Viewed by 342
Abstract
The current debate aims to reconceptualize the changing role and missions of the university in today’s knowledge economy and investigate how universities’ knowledge resources can benefit urban development and inform the direction of changes in universities. However, there is a lack of empirical [...] Read more.
The current debate aims to reconceptualize the changing role and missions of the university in today’s knowledge economy and investigate how universities’ knowledge resources can benefit urban development and inform the direction of changes in universities. However, there is a lack of empirical studies exploring how governance networks and the institutional conditions of universities in specific contexts can support, limit and/or incentivize the integration of academic activities into societal development. There is a discussion of the various and paradoxical components of university transformation (institutional and physical), affecting their societal contribution, which conceptualizes a holistic and integrated approach towards governance that previously has not been fully investigated. This paper will examine the co-location case of university campuses in Trondheim to explore the implications of a multilevel governance network for achieving the goals of sustainable and knowledge-based urban development. This paper suggests that engineering effective governance is challenging and that factors related to the culture of the institution and their connecting strategies, government priorities, and temporal factors have a great influence on universities’ contribution to their societies. While investigating governance in this topic requires political, cultural, and periodic review, focusing on the interactions of governance multi-layers, this paper concludes that governments’ control functions or some moderate hierarchical coordination is necessary to avoid the failure of university governance and unbalanced societal contributions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Universities’ Contributions to Societal Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Can We Rely on Self-Assessments of Sense of Coherence? The Effects of Socially Desirable Responding on the Orientation to Life Questionnaire (OLQ) Responses
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(10), 278; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8100278 - 01 Oct 2019
Viewed by 290
Abstract
A large number of studies in health psychology have shown that sense of coherence (SOC) is an essential factor in wellbeing and health. SOC is most commonly measured with the Antonovsky’s Orientation to Life Questionnaire (OLQ), which has been so far translated into [...] Read more.
A large number of studies in health psychology have shown that sense of coherence (SOC) is an essential factor in wellbeing and health. SOC is most commonly measured with the Antonovsky’s Orientation to Life Questionnaire (OLQ), which has been so far translated into at least 48 languages. Despite the vast popularity of the OLQ, the relationships between OLQ and socially desirable responding (impression management and self-deception) have not been studied. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the correlations between social desirability and Antonovsky’s OLQ. Method: The first sample consisted of 423 students who completed the 13-item OLQ and the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ), including the Lie scale. Also, the Balanced Inventory for Desirable Responding by Paulhus was administered together with the OLQ to 202 students. Results: SOC correlated positively with measures of social desirability among men but not among women. Hence, sex moderated the relationship between socially desirable responding and sense of coherence. Conclusions: Socially desirable responding and, especially, self-deception are positively related to high scores in SOC among men but not among women. The OLQ as a measure of sense of coherence can be used among women without worrying about the bias caused by socially desirable responding. When using the OLQ among men, the strong relationship between self-deception and sense of coherence should be taken into account. Full article
Open AccessCommunication
On Political Correctness
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(10), 277; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8100277 - 01 Oct 2019
Viewed by 351
Abstract
This paper aims to analyse the arguments in favour and against applying Political Correctness policies on campus, especially on the curricula. The arguments in favour that will be studied are the criticism of the canon and the fair representation of minorities. The [...] Read more.
This paper aims to analyse the arguments in favour and against applying Political Correctness policies on campus, especially on the curricula. The arguments in favour that will be studied are the criticism of the canon and the fair representation of minorities. The arguments against are that Political Correctness is a threat to freedom of expression, academic freedom and its methodology is problematic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Democracy, Free Speech and Minorities)
Open AccessArticle
Freedom of Expression, Secularism and Defamation of Religion: The Case of Charlie Hebdo
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(10), 276; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8100276 - 01 Oct 2019
Viewed by 377
Abstract
I argue that under normal circumstances a state that is liberal and secular should not use its legal apparatus to suppress the publication of cartoons like those that triggered the deadly terrorist attack on the premises of Charlie Hebdo in 2015, if it [...] Read more.
I argue that under normal circumstances a state that is liberal and secular should not use its legal apparatus to suppress the publication of cartoons like those that triggered the deadly terrorist attack on the premises of Charlie Hebdo in 2015, if it is determined to abide by its core values. These values, which include religious neutrality, religious freedom, and unhindered freedom of criticism, imply that individual citizens are prima facie legally free to express their disapproval of particular religions or religious faith in general, through any non-violent means they consider appropriate, including parody and ridicule. This idea is open to various objections. Those focusing on the protection of religion as such can be easily dismissed, but the charge that defamation of religion causes offence to believers has to be taken seriously. Nevertheless, I defend the view that we need something stronger than taking offense to justifiably ban harsh religious criticism. In particular, I argue that, if the above sort of criticism prevents its recipients from exercising their basic rights or it incites third parties to engage in criminal activities against the above individuals, it should be subject to legal sanctions. However, this is not the case with the cartoons that appeared in Charlie Hebdo, since, as far as I can tell, no basic rights of French Muslims were violated, and no violent actions were committed against them as a result of their publication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Democracy, Free Speech and Minorities)
Open AccessArticle
A College Knowledge Program for Latino Immigrant Families: Examining Parental Academic Involvement and Adolescents’ Academic Goals
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(10), 275; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8100275 - 29 Sep 2019
Viewed by 352
Abstract
The current study examined how parents’ and adolescents’ reports of parental involvement were associated with adolescents’ academic goals before and after participating in a college knowledge program. Twelve parent-adolescent dyads (Mage = 13.58) participated in the program. Thematic analysis was used to [...] Read more.
The current study examined how parents’ and adolescents’ reports of parental involvement were associated with adolescents’ academic goals before and after participating in a college knowledge program. Twelve parent-adolescent dyads (Mage = 13.58) participated in the program. Thematic analysis was used to analyze these data and create themes that emerged based on patterns in parents’ and adolescents’ semi-structured interviews. Findings suggested that while parents’ reports of their involvement remained relatively the same (high involvement), half of the adolescents indicated increases in their academic goals and perceived parental involvement after participating in the program. This study highlights the role of a college knowledge program on parents’ and adolescents’ changes in perceived parental involvement and academic goals. The study findings identify an avenue to help families access additional capital that can help their children pursue their academic goals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding Family Diversity: Inclusive Perspectives)
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Open AccessArticle
A Durkheimian Theorization of Scottish Suicide Rates, 2011–2017
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(10), 274; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8100274 - 29 Sep 2019
Viewed by 388
Abstract
This article examines recent aggregate statistical data generated by Scottish Government medical bodies concerning suicide rates and the social contexts of those who die by suicide. It compares rates and trends with international studies. Inherent in the data sets explored are indications suggesting [...] Read more.
This article examines recent aggregate statistical data generated by Scottish Government medical bodies concerning suicide rates and the social contexts of those who die by suicide. It compares rates and trends with international studies. Inherent in the data sets explored are indications suggesting that suicide is patterned by variables such as gender, employment, class and marital status. Neoliberalism increases social disparities that influence patterns of suicide, resulting in anomie and alienation, disproportionately impacting the already disenfranchised. Using recent statistical data (2011–2017), the article offers a theorization of suicide through the lens of Emile Durkheim’s social causation model of suicide. Suicide is associated with risk factors inherent in social structures and political processes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Big Data and Human Resources Management: The Rise of Talent Analytics
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(10), 273; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8100273 - 29 Sep 2019
Viewed by 383
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the opportunities talent analytics offers HR practitioners. As the availability of methodologies for the analysis of large volumes of data has substantially improved over the last ten years, talent analytics has started to be used [...] Read more.
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the opportunities talent analytics offers HR practitioners. As the availability of methodologies for the analysis of large volumes of data has substantially improved over the last ten years, talent analytics has started to be used by organizations to manage their workforce. This paper discusses the benefits and costs associated with the use of talent analytics within an organization as well as to highlight the differences between talent analytics and other sub-fields of business analytics. It will discuss a number of case studies on how talent analytics can improve organizational decision-making. From the case studies, we will identify key channels through which the adoption of talent analytics can improve the performance of the HR function and eventually of the whole organization. While discussing the opportunities that talent analytics offer organizations, this paper highlights the costs (in terms of data governance and ethics) that the widespread use of talent analytics can generate. Finally, it highlights the importance of trust in supporting the successful implementation of talent analytics projects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Big Data and Employee Wellbeing)
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Open AccessArticle
‘I Respect You but I Am Not Willing to Be You’: Critical Reflections of Western Teaching of Social Work to Students in China—What Can be Learned Both Ways?
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(10), 272; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8100272 - 27 Sep 2019
Viewed by 375
Abstract
Staff from a Western University annually travel to China to teach social work students at a Chinese University, providing a rich opportunity to share ideas and knowledge about values and practices in social work. One common point of tension that arises each year [...] Read more.
Staff from a Western University annually travel to China to teach social work students at a Chinese University, providing a rich opportunity to share ideas and knowledge about values and practices in social work. One common point of tension that arises each year is how to teach critical reflection whilst considering differences between Eastern and Western ways of knowing and doing. This article is based on email conversations between one Australian lecturer and one Chinese student, containing their discussions on not just critical reflection but also of various key social work topics in China such as social worker’s salary, social work as a profession and using empathy. The student questioned social work in an authentic and practical manner; while the lecturer responded with examples and reflections as a role model of critical reflective thinking and practice in the Chinese context. While such letters of exchange only reflect the particular points of view of the lecturer and the student, much can still be learned about current issues and debates in both countries. The insights given raise many questions about the implications and benefits for sensitively teaching social work across East/West contexts whilst trying to develop anti-colonial social work educational approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Personal Essays in Social Science)
Open AccessArticle
Reciprocal Personality Assessment of Both Partners in a Romantic Relationship and Its Correlates to Dyadic Adjustment
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(10), 271; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8100271 - 27 Sep 2019
Viewed by 395
Abstract
This project examines the effects of self- and partner-rated personality and their reciprocal interaction between two partners. Personality in 113 young dating couples was measured with the Five-Factor Model and maladaptive personality trait model of the DSM-5. Partners completed self- and partner-reports of [...] Read more.
This project examines the effects of self- and partner-rated personality and their reciprocal interaction between two partners. Personality in 113 young dating couples was measured with the Five-Factor Model and maladaptive personality trait model of the DSM-5. Partners completed self- and partner-reports of the NEO-FFI-3 and the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5) as well as the self-report Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS). Three sets of Actor-Partner Interdependence Models (APIMs) were run to estimate actor and partner effects of self-rated personality, partner-rated personality, and of both sets of effects simultaneously in an integrated model. When self- and partner-rating models were examined separately, several significant actor and partner effects were observed. However, the strongest effects were observed in the partner-rating models. When self- and partner-rated personality were examined at the same time, most effects from the self-rating models disappeared. Furthermore, most of the effects as well as the strongest one observed were associated with an individual’s perception of their partner’s personality, particularly men’s perception of women’s personality. This study demonstrates the incremental predictive utility of individuals’ perception of their partner’s personality for explaining their own dyadic adjustment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
What Helps and What Hinders? Exploring the Role of Workplace Characteristics for Parental Leave Use and Its Career Consequences
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(10), 270; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8100270 - 26 Sep 2019
Viewed by 428
Abstract
The division of parental leave among couples today is still unequal—even in countries with progressive leave schemes. Given the gendered nature of the workplace, we examine how organizational characteristics relate to fathers’ uptake and length of parental leave as well as to the [...] Read more.
The division of parental leave among couples today is still unequal—even in countries with progressive leave schemes. Given the gendered nature of the workplace, we examine how organizational characteristics relate to fathers’ uptake and length of parental leave as well as to the perceived career consequences of leave uptake among those fathers who took leave. In our mixed methods study, we draw on unique quantitative and qualitative data on different-sex couples with young children in Germany (2015). We find that the fear of professional repercussions and the lack of a replacement at work inhibit fathers both from taking leave in general and, for those who take leave, from taking it for more than two months. Interestingly, however, the majority of fathers who took leave did not think that their leave negatively affected their professional advancement. This positive evaluation was independent of the length of leave. We compared fathers’ perceived leave consequences to those of mothers, who tended to have a more negative view of the impact of taking leave on their careers. Both fathers and mothers were more likely to report negative career consequences if they worked in organizations that promoted a strong ideal worker norm, that is, where employees thought that they were expected to prioritize paid work over their private life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Family and Work: Parental Leave and Careers)
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Open AccessArticle
Profile of Female Sterilization in Brazil
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(10), 269; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8100269 - 25 Sep 2019
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Abstract
(1) Background: This study analyzes the profile of female sterilization in Brazil by age, parity, type of delivery, place of delivery, color/race, region of residence, years of schooling, marital status, number of unions, and desired number of children reported by women; (2) Methods: [...] Read more.
(1) Background: This study analyzes the profile of female sterilization in Brazil by age, parity, type of delivery, place of delivery, color/race, region of residence, years of schooling, marital status, number of unions, and desired number of children reported by women; (2) Methods: The descriptive analysis is based on the most recent Brazilian database on reproductive health: the 2006 Brazilian National Survey on Demography and Health of Women and Children (PNDS). This dataset has information on the history of pregnancies with live births from January 2001 to July 2007; (3) Results: The study suggests that (a) women with high levels of sterilization, high percentages of more than one pregnancy in the period, and larger parity than the desired number of children tend to have high parity, be black, brown, or indigenous, reside in the North or Northeast, have low levels of education, and have two or more unions; and (b) women with high levels of sterilization, low percentages of more than one pregnancy in the period, and lower parity than the desired number of children tend to have cesarean sections, give birth utilizing private health care obtained through a private insurance plan or direct out-of-pocket payment at private hospitals, and be married. (4) Conclusions: The 1997 family planning law could be altered in order to allow female sterilization in conjunction with childbirth, as a way to attend the demand of Brazilian women in public hospitals. Policies are necessary not only to regulate the public sector, but also to aim better services at private institutions. Female sterilization should be discussed in the context of fertility below the replacement level, as one of its associated factors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Higher Education, Widening Access and Market Failure: Towards a Dual Pricing Mechanism in England
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(10), 268; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8100268 - 23 Sep 2019
Viewed by 426
Abstract
Over a period of around fifteen years English higher education has become characterised by an increasingly marketise and differentiated system, most recently with the encouragement of new “challenger” providers potentially creating price competition for undergraduate degrees. This paper explores shifting patterns of enrolments [...] Read more.
Over a period of around fifteen years English higher education has become characterised by an increasingly marketise and differentiated system, most recently with the encouragement of new “challenger” providers potentially creating price competition for undergraduate degrees. This paper explores shifting patterns of enrolments between different institution types (those requiring high entry grades and those requiring lower entry grades) for evidence of how these types may be responding to the new market conditions. We introduce the concept of a “dual-pricing” mechanism to model how different institution types may be reacting. Dual pricing would be exemplified as a situation where entry requirements (a “price” based on qualification tariff points required for entry) and tuition-fee are matched in a linear hierarchy of institutions: Only the most prestigious institutions offering the courses demanding the highest entry qualifications (tariff) would command the highest fee (in this case a maxima of £9250 per annum), with fees demanded by institutions requiring lower entry requirements tapering off towards £6000 per year. This dual-pricing mechanism is discussed here as a policy aim, and the intention of this paper is to locate it in relation to market failure (defined as the failing of a market intervention to meet that policy aim). This paper’s critique of the marketised direction of travel in English higher education (HE) policymaking is that a dual-price mechanism would seriously undermine efforts to widen access for underrepresented social groups, particularly those from low income households who may be more likely to access low-cost provision rather than more transformative HE opportunities (supposedly those deriving from having a degree from a more prestigious institution), even if they met the entry requirements for higher-cost provision. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Tale of Two Subjectivities: An Academic Life Story
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(10), 267; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8100267 - 20 Sep 2019
Viewed by 445
Abstract
In this article I present an autobiographical account as someone who has been an academic in both Mexico and Spain for the last thirty years. My life story shows the transition from a life centred on an academic project to a life centred [...] Read more.
In this article I present an autobiographical account as someone who has been an academic in both Mexico and Spain for the last thirty years. My life story shows the transition from a life centred on an academic project to a life centred on mere survival in the system. These are two subjectivities that do not neatly appear consecutively but that are intertwined. The first starts from the traditional but exciting idea that an academic career must progress linearly to the achievement of a solid and stable identity, with a permanent contract as a symbolic and material destination. The second subjectivity, which starts from neo-liberalism demanding permanent mobilization, constant change, and absolute flexibility, is accompanied by pain and resignation, as precarity has already occupied the greatest part of my academic life. The story has the modest mission of exemplifying, in the flesh, without hiding class and gender marks, the neo-liberal transformation of the academy and its inhabitants. Yet it is also an example of how difficult it can be to resist this dynamic, given that we, the teaching and research staff, are more or less forced accomplices of this transformation. I write this narrative in the hope that the story may help others to visualize and plan a different future for academia and for themselves: a future based on more engaged personal relationships and built on an ethics of care which can help resist injustice, as feminist literature suggests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Personal Essays in Social Science)
Open AccessArticle
Commenting on Top Spanish YouTubers: “No Comment”
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(10), 266; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8100266 - 20 Sep 2019
Viewed by 554
Abstract
The aim of this paper was to analyze commenting activity and sentiment (polarity and subjectivity) in interactions in response to videos by Spain’s most-subscribed YouTubers. An exploratory study was conducted on the content of the comments, their relationship with other social media actions, [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper was to analyze commenting activity and sentiment (polarity and subjectivity) in interactions in response to videos by Spain’s most-subscribed YouTubers. An exploratory study was conducted on the content of the comments, their relationship with other social media actions, subjectivity, and polarity, as well as from the perspective of the participatory culture. The results show that commenting is a potential option for interaction that is underused by the communities of users. Replies to comments are found to be limited to the user–user level, while YouTubers themselves and the moderators that YouTube allows them to designate rarely comment or reply on social networks. However, creators do monitor comments and provide feedback to a limited selection thereof in subsequent videos. There thus appears to be a strategic, exploitative use of comments, marked by a delayed response aimed at attracting audiences to new content. Full article
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