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Soc. Sci., Volume 8, Issue 12 (December 2019)

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Open AccessArticle
Diverse Citizenship? Food Sovereignty and the Power of Acting Otherwise
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(12), 331; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8120331 (registering DOI) - 13 Dec 2019
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Abstract
This contribution discusses two different but interlinked fields of research: political theories of sovereignty and citizenship, as well as conceptualizations of emerging alternative food movements. In drawing on James Tully’s practiced-based understanding of ‘diverse citizenship’, as well as on other selected theories of [...] Read more.
This contribution discusses two different but interlinked fields of research: political theories of sovereignty and citizenship, as well as conceptualizations of emerging alternative food movements. In drawing on James Tully’s practiced-based understanding of ‘diverse citizenship’, as well as on other selected theories of postmodern political thought, it focuses on the contested political nature of the food sovereignty movement, specifically with regard to the dynamics and actions that have brought it into being. In doing so, it conceives of citizenship as materializing on the basis of multi-faceted practices of ‘acting otherwise’, which stands in sharp contrast to a conceptualization of citizenship as an institutionalized status, as it is understood in the liberal tradition. In order to deepen and to sharpen this alternative approach, this contribution additionally draws on Theodore Schatzki’s practice theory, which, despite its rather apolitical character, makes it possible to conceive of political practices as emergent and situational phenomena that are closely connected to the quotidian practices of everyday life. The combination of these perspectives bears great potential for theoretical discussions on alternative food movements as well as for their empirical investigation, since it puts emphasis on the way how practitioners and advocates for food sovereignty disclose themselves in multifaceted struggles over the imposition and the challenging of the rules of social living together. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rethinking Environmental Citizenship for Grassroots Politics )
Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Productivity, Investment and Real Wages on Employment Absorption Rate in South Africa
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(12), 330; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8120330 - 11 Dec 2019
Viewed by 152
Abstract
Many developing countries are facing high levels of unemployment and most people who are employed are poorly remunerated due to low skills and productivity levels. Although jobs are important, a productive job is even more important, not only for employees, but also for [...] Read more.
Many developing countries are facing high levels of unemployment and most people who are employed are poorly remunerated due to low skills and productivity levels. Although jobs are important, a productive job is even more important, not only for employees, but also for employers. South Africa, being a developing country, is also facing the challenge of dramatically high levels of unemployment. This study’s aim was to examine both the short- and long-term impacts of real wages, labour productivity and investment spending on employment absorption rates in South Africa. To establish the existing relationship between variables, the study applied several econometric approaches, such as an autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) model, error correction model (ECM) and a Toda–Yamamoto causality analysis on quarterly time series data from 1995Q1 to 2019Q1. The results revealed the existence of both short- and long-run relationships among the variables. While a positive relationship was found between employment absorption, investment spending and labour productivity, it was found that real wages negatively impact on long-run employment absorption rates. Additionally, the short-run analysis indicated that the lagged employment absorption rate influences the current rate of employment. Furthermore, the causality tests indicated that a bi-directional causal relationship exists between employment absorption and investment spending; and a uni-directional relationship between employment and both real wages and labour productivity. Based on the findings, the study recommends increments of investment spending and labour productivity that enables the South African economy to carry out more activities that would require more workers, thereby improving the employment absorption rate. The fact that labour productivity positively impacts the employment absorption rate infers the requirement for quality and skilled workers to be absorbed in the South African labour market. Therefore, labour skills improvements appear to be a prerequisite for productivity enhancement and job creation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Violent Crime on Obesity
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(12), 329; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8120329 - 10 Dec 2019
Viewed by 231
Abstract
Dwelling in a violence-plagued neighborhood may amplify obesity by engendering psychological distress or by cultivating a sedentary, homebound lifestyle. This relationship is speculated to be especially relevant for black and Hispanic citizens because they are much more likely than whites to live in [...] Read more.
Dwelling in a violence-plagued neighborhood may amplify obesity by engendering psychological distress or by cultivating a sedentary, homebound lifestyle. This relationship is speculated to be especially relevant for black and Hispanic citizens because they are much more likely than whites to live in violence-beleaguered neighborhoods. Results from two multilevel analyses of 12,645 residents living in 34 New York City neighborhoods show that, while the violent crime rate does not have a direct effect on obesity, it does condition the relationships between race, ethnicity, and obesity. As the violent crime rate rises in a neighborhood, the probability of both a black and Hispanic resident being obese increases, controlling for both individual and neighborhood factors. The BMI of black and Hispanic residents is also higher in neighborhoods beset by violence. These findings suggest that violent crime may be a salient but unappreciated factor in explaining both racial and ethnic differences in obesity. Full article
Open AccessEditorial
Adopting a Circular Economy: Current Practices and Future Perspectives
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(12), 328; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8120328 - 09 Dec 2019
Viewed by 218
Abstract
All scientists, researchers, and citizens are involved in achieving sustainable goals. Their current actions contribute to writing a story for future generations, and interesting perspectives can be narrated based only on a great sense of social responsibility. The literature gives a great deal [...] Read more.
All scientists, researchers, and citizens are involved in achieving sustainable goals. Their current actions contribute to writing a story for future generations, and interesting perspectives can be narrated based only on a great sense of social responsibility. The literature gives a great deal of attention to the models of a Circular Economy (CE). This topic is multidisciplinary and different sectors are involved in its development. This Special Issue aims to underline the relevance of the CE models in the scientific field and its applications in real contexts in order to achieve sustainability goals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adopting Circular Economy Current Practices and Future Perspectives)
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Open AccessArticle
Methodological Nationalism in Global Studies and Beyond
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(12), 327; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8120327 - 04 Dec 2019
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Abstract
Global studies, or the study of globalization, is a diverse field of research, with different disciplinary focuses and with some national versions. Russian Alexander Chumakov constructed it as a philosophical discipline, while in U.S. academia it is considered an empirical inquiry at the [...] Read more.
Global studies, or the study of globalization, is a diverse field of research, with different disciplinary focuses and with some national versions. Russian Alexander Chumakov constructed it as a philosophical discipline, while in U.S. academia it is considered an empirical inquiry at the intersection of area studies, international studies, and international relations. This paper focuses on American global studies, pointing out the heavy epistemological burden it inherited from the field of knowledge dominated by international relations, which enshrines both methodological and political nationalism. International relations makes claims to be the sole theory originator in this field, but it may be criticized for several methodological and ethical issues (such as unwarranted simplifications that purge empirical contents to the point of unfalsifiability, antiquated epistemic ideals, Western and hegemonic biases, besides methodological nationalism), thus alternate theorizations are highly desirable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reshaping the World: Rethinking Borders)
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Open AccessArticle
Connecting through Technology: Smartphone Users’ Social Cognitive and Emotional Motivations
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(12), 326; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8120326 - 04 Dec 2019
Viewed by 236
Abstract
Smartphones provide various services not only for social purposes but also for personal desires. This study aims to understand the multi-dimensional motivations of smartphone users. An extended motivational framework was developed using perceived benefits (i.e., expected benefits) and social influence (i.e., social identity [...] Read more.
Smartphones provide various services not only for social purposes but also for personal desires. This study aims to understand the multi-dimensional motivations of smartphone users. An extended motivational framework was developed using perceived benefits (i.e., expected benefits) and social influence (i.e., social identity achieved from mobile social media) from a social cognitive perspective, which was then expanded to incorporate the second-order construct of emotional attachment (i.e., emotional desires). This study examines the effects of motivations on value perceptions, which consequently explains current smartphone use. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used, and data collected from 738 current smartphone users were analyzed. Regarding the results, expected benefits (i.e., information seeking, entertained activity, self-reactiveness, and immediate access), social influence (i.e., social identity achieved from mobile social media), and emotional desires (i.e., emotional attachment) explained value perceptions (i.e., social, hedonic, and utilitarian values) which positively influence the recent use of smartphones. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Introduction to Special Issue on Personal Essays in Social Science
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(12), 325; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8120325 - 02 Dec 2019
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Abstract
Dear colleagues, [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Personal Essays in Social Science)
Open AccessArticle
Knowing the Blood Nondonor to Activate Behaviour
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(12), 324; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8120324 - 28 Nov 2019
Viewed by 323
Abstract
This work is aimed at further developing the study of blood nondonor behaviour through a joint analysis of sociodemographic characteristics, psychological and physical barriers, impure altruism and anticipated emotions, as predictors of intention to donate. To that end, a step-by-step hierarchical regression analysis [...] Read more.
This work is aimed at further developing the study of blood nondonor behaviour through a joint analysis of sociodemographic characteristics, psychological and physical barriers, impure altruism and anticipated emotions, as predictors of intention to donate. To that end, a step-by-step hierarchical regression analysis was applied on a sample of 2383 Spanish nondonors. The study’s results confirm the influence of traditional variables (sociodemographic characteristics, psychological and physical barriers and impure altruism), as well as the power of anticipated emotions, both positive and negative, of donation action and inaction as variables explaining the intention to donate. Another important contribution has been to develop the moderating role of psychological and physical barriers, in addition to impure altruism, on cause–effect relationships between anticipated emotions and intention to donate. A number of practical implications can be derived from this study for transfusion centres responsible for donation promotion. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Coffee, Migration and Climatic Changes: Challenging Adaptation Dichotomic Narratives in a Transborder Region
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(12), 323; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8120323 - 25 Nov 2019
Viewed by 323
Abstract
The narratives of migration as adaptation and in situ adaptation are well established in mainstream adaptation policy and are usually presented as independent and opposing trends of action. A common and fundamental element of such narratives is the depoliticized conception of both migration [...] Read more.
The narratives of migration as adaptation and in situ adaptation are well established in mainstream adaptation policy and are usually presented as independent and opposing trends of action. A common and fundamental element of such narratives is the depoliticized conception of both migration and adaptation. Using a trans-scalar approach, we address the migration–coffee–climate change nexus: first at a regional scale, at the conflictive border of Guatemala–Mexico, to show the contradiction between the current Central American migratory crisis and the narrative of migration as adaptation; second, at a local scale and from an ethnographic perspective, we focus on the process of in situ adaptation in shade-grown coffee plots of smallholder coffee farmers in the Tacaná Volcano cross-border region, between Chiapas and Guatemala. We argue that the dichotomy “in situ adaptation” versus “migration as adaptation” is not useful to capture the intertwined and political nature of both narratives, as illustrated in the case of the renovation of smallholders’ coffee plots in a context of climatic changes. We provide elements to contribute towards the repolitization of adaptation from an integral perspective. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Culture and Art Education to Promote Cultural Welfare in Civil Society
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(12), 322; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8120322 - 22 Nov 2019
Viewed by 317
Abstract
Today, intellectual education based on the various experiences and emotions of citizens through culture and art education draws attention in terms of obtaining improvements in social welfare. Citizens can become further aware of culture and art and get a wider range of benefits [...] Read more.
Today, intellectual education based on the various experiences and emotions of citizens through culture and art education draws attention in terms of obtaining improvements in social welfare. Citizens can become further aware of culture and art and get a wider range of benefits in cultural welfare. Culture and art education are important activities of cultural welfare. This study examines some of the successes of the Seoul Arts Center academy, which represents and hosts diverse cultural and art activities in South Korea. These activities have led to successful promotion of culture and art education for Seoul citizens. Based on Lewin’s change management process model, the cases that were analyzed focus on the change in culture and art education in the Seoul Arts Center academy. Findings from this study indicate the contribution to the improvement in cultural welfare for citizens from their engagement in activities within art education and culture. The discussion also highlights that good management of the changes in educational activity with the citizens’ needs and improvements in the maturity of civil society were critical factors for educational sustainability and success. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Big Data and Employee Wellbeing: Walking the Tightrope between Utopia and Dystopia
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(12), 321; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8120321 - 22 Nov 2019
Viewed by 348
Abstract
This special issue was inspired by an Economic & Social Research Council funded seminar series that explored the possibilities for using Big Data and data analytics for assessing health and wellbeing risks within organisations. The aim of this special issue was to build [...] Read more.
This special issue was inspired by an Economic & Social Research Council funded seminar series that explored the possibilities for using Big Data and data analytics for assessing health and wellbeing risks within organisations. The aim of this special issue was to build on some of the themes developed in the seminar series and draw together and update some key insights from different disciplinary perspectives on the opportunities, challenges and lessons that could be applied in this area. This editorial, therefore, draws together the findings and themes from the submitted papers and interprets these in light of the findings from the seminar series. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Big Data and Employee Wellbeing)
Open AccessArticle
Youth and Caregiver Agreement of Youth Symptoms in Language Concordant and Discordant Dyads: Is Something Lost in Translation?
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(12), 320; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8120320 - 21 Nov 2019
Viewed by 348
Abstract
Caregivers are primarily responsible for seeking care on behalf of youth, so understanding how primary language relates to caregiver–youth agreement of youth symptoms is critical to extending the reach of mental health services. In this study, 145 youth (61% female; ages 12–17 years) [...] Read more.
Caregivers are primarily responsible for seeking care on behalf of youth, so understanding how primary language relates to caregiver–youth agreement of youth symptoms is critical to extending the reach of mental health services. In this study, 145 youth (61% female; ages 12–17 years) and their caregivers, who received behavioral health services at primary care clinics, completed measures of youth symptoms in their primary language. We hypothesized primary language concordant caregiver–youth dyads would show higher agreement when reporting on youth symptoms than language discordant dyads, and youth and their caregivers would show higher agreement when reporting on behavioral (e.g., doing drugs, getting into arguments) rather than on internal (e.g., worrying, feeling worthless) symptoms. Overall, agreement in language concordant dyads ranged from r = 0.551 to 0.615, while in discordant dyads agreement ranged from r = 0.279 to 0.441. Consistent with our hypothesis, language concordant dyads demonstrated significantly greater agreement than discordant dyads for most of the analyses. Contrary to our hypothesis, agreement was similar for internalizing and externalizing symptom clusters. Results suggest primary language differences between youth and caregivers are associated with lower agreement about youth problems; youth generally report higher symptom frequency than their caregivers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding Family Diversity: Inclusive Perspectives)
Open AccessArticle
Relevance of Gastronomy in the Tourism of a World Heritage Site: The Case of Sucre (Bolivia)
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(12), 319; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8120319 - 20 Nov 2019
Viewed by 336
Abstract
Recently, gastronomy has become one of the most important tourist attractions for cities as well as for rural areas. In this respect, tourists look for authenticity in the gastronomy heritage of these destinations, making it, thusly, a motivation for visiting the place. This [...] Read more.
Recently, gastronomy has become one of the most important tourist attractions for cities as well as for rural areas. In this respect, tourists look for authenticity in the gastronomy heritage of these destinations, making it, thusly, a motivation for visiting the place. This research presents a segmentation of the tourists who visit Sucre (Bolivia), on the basis of a higher or lower interest in the gastronomy of the city. The results extracted from the research highlight the existence of three tourist segments with different attitudes regarding gastronomic experiences. Additionally, it notes the importance that a specific type of tourist places on discovering and better understanding the gastronomy of a city as part of its cultural heritage. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Globalization and Business Masculinities in South Korea: Top Managers in the Industrial Sector
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(12), 318; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8120318 - 20 Nov 2019
Viewed by 339
Abstract
Along with the growing globalization of business, discussion concerning the “transnational business masculinity” has gained importance in recent years. Previous research on the transnational masculinity has argued for the convergence of business masculinity in a global level. This results partly from the fact [...] Read more.
Along with the growing globalization of business, discussion concerning the “transnational business masculinity” has gained importance in recent years. Previous research on the transnational masculinity has argued for the convergence of business masculinity in a global level. This results partly from the fact that previous studies have concentrated largely on the West. Focusing on the Korean transnational corporations, this paper contributes theoretically by suggesting that the configuration process of business masculinity is neither linear nor straightforward towards convergence. Based on semi-structured, in-depth interviews with top managers in the industrial sector in South Korea (hereafter Korea), this paper clarifies that the construction process of the business masculinity is plural, multi-faceted, and divergent despite the emergence of convergence in combination with socioeconomic and political factors in the local, national, and global level. Full article
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