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Soc. Sci., Volume 8, Issue 5 (May 2019) – 33 articles

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Open AccessArticle
Investigating the Correlation of Purchase Power Parity (PPP) with the Adopted Waste Management Method in EU28
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(5), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8050162 - 27 May 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1739
Abstract
The amount of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) generated mostly in large urban centers is a major problem. For a modern society, the proper management and treatment of MSW is imperative and necessary. However, each community has organized and installed different waste treatment methods [...] Read more.
The amount of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) generated mostly in large urban centers is a major problem. For a modern society, the proper management and treatment of MSW is imperative and necessary. However, each community has organized and installed different waste treatment methods based on environmental, social and economic criteria. In this paper, a comparative analysis of waste treatment methods that countries in EU28 have adopted based on economic factors for a time period of 2008–2017, is presented. Power Purchase Parity (PPP), production of MSW and population growth have been considered as to identify how these factors may influence or determine the selected waste management methods. From the results obtained, what should be highlighted is the decrease of MSW in the majority of countries in EU28, regardless of population growth. PPP seems to have no correlation with more ecofriendly waste treatment methods such as recycling and composting, while countries that started to invest in waste-to-energy in the initial years of the examined period (2008–2017), increased their confidence in this technology up until the present day, regardless of PPP formulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Economic Aspects of Waste Management)
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Open AccessArticle
“Wir Schaffen Das!”? Spatial Pitfalls of Neighborhood-Based Refugee Reception in Germany—A Case Study of Frankfurt-Rödelheim
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(5), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8050161 - 27 May 2019
Viewed by 2118
Abstract
Refugee reception in Germany is a primarily municipal task that relies heavily on neighborhood-based volunteering. This paper asserts that there are fundamental spatial mismatches between municipal policies and neighborhood-based approaches that place additional burden on all of the stakeholders involved. Drawing from the [...] Read more.
Refugee reception in Germany is a primarily municipal task that relies heavily on neighborhood-based volunteering. This paper asserts that there are fundamental spatial mismatches between municipal policies and neighborhood-based approaches that place additional burden on all of the stakeholders involved. Drawing from the case of Frankfurt-Rödelheim, which is a socially and ethnically mixed neighborhood in Frankfurt am Main, I show how the way the municipality accommodates refugees disregards the politically embraced work of neighborhood-based volunteers and how the ideal of neighborhood-based inclusion creates a spatial fetish that fails the living reality of the refugees. The findings are based on my ethnographic fieldwork as volunteer in a neighborhood-based welcome initiative. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Glass Door of Academia: Unveiling New Gendered Bias in Academic Recruitment
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(5), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8050160 - 24 May 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1977
Abstract
Gender statistics and studies on gendering mechanisms have been developing over recent years on two parallel tracks. This research reveals the need to rethink the standard indicators used in European comparative analyses to identify (1) gender-related mechanisms responsible for the production and reproduction [...] Read more.
Gender statistics and studies on gendering mechanisms have been developing over recent years on two parallel tracks. This research reveals the need to rethink the standard indicators used in European comparative analyses to identify (1) gender-related mechanisms responsible for the production and reproduction processes of gender asymmetries, (2) their specificities in different local contexts, and (3) the profound transformations that have characterized the academies and the research system in Europe in recent years. The paper analyses the data on the composition of Italian academia provided by the Italian Ministry of Education, universities and research from a gender perspective. The introduction of the glass door index, specifically designed to measure gendering processes taking place in the recruitment stages in Italian academia, discloses new forms of gender segregation in Italian universities after the last academic reform (Law 240/2010), despite the emphasis placed on the neutral and meritocratic criteria of the new recruitment and career progression rules. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women and Leadership in Higher Education)
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Open AccessArticle
Adopting Circular Economy at the European Union Level and Its Impact on Economic Growth
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(5), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8050159 - 24 May 2019
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2174
Abstract
Based on the findings of the economic studies on the implications of industrialization in the case of growing economies, this study aims to present the economic factors that are at the basis of the development of circular economy at the European Union level. [...] Read more.
Based on the findings of the economic studies on the implications of industrialization in the case of growing economies, this study aims to present the economic factors that are at the basis of the development of circular economy at the European Union level. Starting with the model of economic growth based on the recycling rate of municipal waste, human capital, productivity of the resources, and green energy use, three statistical hypotheses were validated through a panel data model with the use of EViews 10 statistical software. The analysis was conducted for 27 European Union countries during the time frame 2008–2017. The paper highlights that the circular economy model is determined by resource productivity, labor employed in environmental protection, recycling rate of municipal waste, and renewable energy use. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Chattel or Child: The Liminal Status of Companion Animals in Society and Law
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(5), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8050158 - 23 May 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1994
Abstract
Companion animals in the U.S. are increasingly regarded as members of the family with whom one may share a strong emotional bond. However, despite an evolving social construction that has elevated their status in the dominant culture, companion animals lack meaningful legal rights, [...] Read more.
Companion animals in the U.S. are increasingly regarded as members of the family with whom one may share a strong emotional bond. However, despite an evolving social construction that has elevated their status in the dominant culture, companion animals lack meaningful legal rights, and “family member” is a provisional status that can be dissolved at will based on the discretion of the sole rights-holder in the relationship: the human owner. Because they are still defined within the U.S. legal system as property, it is a common lament within the animal protection movement that the law has not kept pace with the emergent cultural perception of companion animals as family or best friends who may occupy a significant place in one’s constellation of interpersonal relationships. But how divergent are the laws that govern our treatment of companion animals from prevailing social norms? This article examines current trends in animal law and society to shed light on this question. I find that while a new family member cultural status is emerging for companion animals in the U.S., their legal status as property is a countervailing force, enabling contradictory practices and beliefs that construct animals as expendable. The fact that their cultural status is in flux in turn reinforces their status under the law. I conclude with proposed policy reforms that will facilitate the integration of companion animals into society as true rather than rhetorical family members. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue We Are Best Friends: Animals in Society) Printed Edition available
Open AccessArticle
Racial Dot Maps Based on Dasymetrically Modeled Gridded Population Data
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(5), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8050157 - 18 May 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1795
Abstract
Racial geography, mapping spatial distributions of different racial groups, is of keen interest in a multiracial society like the United States. A racial dot map is a method of visualizing racial geography, which depicts spatial distribution, population density, and racial mix in a [...] Read more.
Racial geography, mapping spatial distributions of different racial groups, is of keen interest in a multiracial society like the United States. A racial dot map is a method of visualizing racial geography, which depicts spatial distribution, population density, and racial mix in a single, easy-to-understand map. Because of the richness of information it carries, the dot map is an excellent tool for visual analysis of racial distribution. Presently-used racial dot maps are based on the Census data at the tract or the block level. In this paper, we present a method of constructing a more spatially-accurate racial dot map based on a sub-block-resolution population grid. The utility of our dot maps is further enhanced by placing dots on the map in random order regardless of the race they represent in order to achieve a more accurate depiction of local racial composition. We present a series of comparisons between dot maps based on tract, block, and grid data. The advantage of a grid-based dot map is evident from the visual comparison of all maps with an actual image of the mapped area. We make available the R code for constructing grid-based dot maps. We also make available 2010 grid-based racial dot maps for all counties in the conterminous United States. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Economic Development and the World Bank
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(5), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8050156 - 17 May 2019
Viewed by 2147
Abstract
We contribute to the research stream examining the effects of World Bank lending programs on economic growth in developing economies. We contend that it is important to distinguish between the short-term effects and extended exposure of countries to these lending programs and also [...] Read more.
We contribute to the research stream examining the effects of World Bank lending programs on economic growth in developing economies. We contend that it is important to distinguish between the short-term effects and extended exposure of countries to these lending programs and also to assess the Bank’s (late 1990s) reforms to improve the effectiveness of these programs in recipient countries to assess whether program lending has any positive impacts on economic growth. Our comparative cross-national findings using instrumental variables analysis to control for endogeneity between program participation and economic growth demonstrate that both the short-term and longer exposure to program lending worsens economic growth. We find no evidence that World Bank reforms improved economic growth rates in the post-reform (1999–2009) period. Our findings are robust to changes in model specifications and estimation techniques. Future research should examine whether these reforms had beneficial impacts in other societal areas affected by program lending. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Sex Trafficking at the Border: An Exploration of Anti-Trafficking Efforts in the Pacific Northwest
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(5), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8050155 - 17 May 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2663
Abstract
The prevalence of human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labour in the Pacific Northwest has been well documented in recent years. This paper focuses specifically on trafficking for sex work across the British Columbia and Washington State border and [...] Read more.
The prevalence of human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labour in the Pacific Northwest has been well documented in recent years. This paper focuses specifically on trafficking for sex work across the British Columbia and Washington State border and seeks to determine whether the border is an effective instrument or tool for the identification and intervention of human trafficking for sex work. We provide an exploration of the legal frameworks and policies on either side of the border and offer an analysis of the cross-border anti-trafficking efforts carried out at the borderlands. The paper concludes that current mechanisms fail to appropriately address and combat the issue of cross-border sex trafficking for several reasons, including the following: a lack of uniform definitions of sex trafficking; the conflation of migrant sex work and sex trafficking, leading to misidentification at the border; and an emphasis on border security measures over victim support. Recommendations for enhanced responses are provided. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Industry 4.0: A Solution towards Technology Challenges of Sustainable Business Performance
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(5), 154; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8050154 - 16 May 2019
Cited by 149 | Viewed by 5649
Abstract
Technology adoption is always a difficult task for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) due to lack of resources and other market issues. Many technology challenges adversely affect the sustainable business performance of SMEs. However, the incorporation of Industry 4.0 can overcome various technology [...] Read more.
Technology adoption is always a difficult task for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) due to lack of resources and other market issues. Many technology challenges adversely affect the sustainable business performance of SMEs. However, the incorporation of Industry 4.0 can overcome various technology issues. The goal of Industry 4.0 is to attain an advanced level of operational effectiveness and productivity, as well as a higher level of automatization. Thus, the objective of this study is to identify the role of Industry 4.0 to promote sustainable business performance in SMEs in Thailand. A survey has been prepared to collect the data from managers of SMEs and analyzed with the help of Partial Least Square. The questionnaire was used to collect the data and questionnaires were distributed by using simple random sampling. A total of 500 questionnaires were distributed amongst the managerial staff of SMEs located in Thailand. From these distributed questionnaires, 280 were returned and 270 valid responses were found. Data were analyzed by using Partial Least Square (PLS)-Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). Findings reveal that Industry 4.0 is a key to the growth of sustainable business performance among SMEs. Elements of Industry 4.0 such as big data, Internet of Things and smart factory have a positive role in promoting information technology (IT) implementation, which contributes to sustainable business performance. Moreover, organization structure and process strengthen the positive relationship between Industry 4.0 and IT implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industry 4.0 Implication for Economy and Society)
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Open AccessArticle
Science and Technology Policy Research in the EU: From Framework Programme to HORIZON 2020
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(5), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8050153 - 15 May 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2160
Abstract
Science and Technology policy is regarded as an essential factor for future growth in the EU, and Horizon 2020 is the world’s most extensive research and innovation programme created by the European Union to support and encourage research in the European Research Area [...] Read more.
Science and Technology policy is regarded as an essential factor for future growth in the EU, and Horizon 2020 is the world’s most extensive research and innovation programme created by the European Union to support and encourage research in the European Research Area (ERA). The purpose of this study is to analyse and evaluate the changes to the EU’s science and technology policies from Framework Programme to Horizon 2020 and to provide vital information to research organisations and academia to conceive and conduct future research on international cooperation with the EU. Through a policy analysis, this study summarised the four science and technology policy implications: (1) building ecosystems through mutual complementation among industries, (2) solving social problems through science and technology, (3) strengthening SMEs’ participation, and (4) sharing knowledge and strengthening collaboration with non-EU countries. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Diffusion and Implementation of the Balanced Scorecard in the Norwegian Municipality Sector: A Descriptive Analysis
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(5), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8050152 - 14 May 2019
Viewed by 1803
Abstract
The Balanced Scorecard (BSC) has over the last two and a half decades received much attention as a management model for both private and public sector organizations. However, the BSC concept’s use and application in local governments and municipalities remains relatively understudied. This [...] Read more.
The Balanced Scorecard (BSC) has over the last two and a half decades received much attention as a management model for both private and public sector organizations. However, the BSC concept’s use and application in local governments and municipalities remains relatively understudied. This is particularly the case for the Norwegian context. Therefore, the aim of this article is to conduct a descriptive analysis of the diffusion and implementation of the BSC in the Norwegian municipality sector. The article draws on two sources of data: (1) an electronic survey sent to all 428 municipalities in Norway, yielding a response rate of 26%, and (2) follow-up interviews with representatives from 15 municipalities. In the empirical analysis, the article first provides an overall overview of patterns related to the diffusion and implementation of the BSC in the Norwegian municipality sector. With respect to BSC diffusion and implementation, the data show that the BSC is still widely used among Norwegian municipalities and has not yet entered a clear downturn phase. With respect to adoption and implementation, a more fine-grained analysis of five categories of respondents (non-adopters, planners, implementers, current users, ex-users) is also carried out, focusing on the motives, perceptions and applications of the concept. The analysis reveals considerable variation when it comes to perceptions and experiences associated with BSC adoption and implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Economics)
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Open AccessArticle
The Politics of Young Children through the ‘Epistemologies of the South’
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(5), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8050151 - 13 May 2019
Viewed by 2232
Abstract
Drawing data from an ethnographic study conducted in an early-years setting in Chennai, India, where everyday politics is couched in material and relational practices, the paper ruminates on the idea of ‘children as subjects’ in relation to politics and public life. By using [...] Read more.
Drawing data from an ethnographic study conducted in an early-years setting in Chennai, India, where everyday politics is couched in material and relational practices, the paper ruminates on the idea of ‘children as subjects’ in relation to politics and public life. By using the framework of ‘epistemologies of the south’, the analysis illustrates how a focus on ‘global cognitive justice’ might enable us to understand the politics of life in the global south differently from Western critical theory. The paper further deliberates on how such a ‘decolonial imagination’ would help us to reframe Eurocentric liberalist thinking and its conceptualisations of childhood and the political, practiced in a zone of messy social reality. In so doing, the paper tries to unpack ‘the political’ through paying particular attention to different ways of being, knowing, and doing children’s politics, and the subaltern practices of generational relations in subject making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Childhood and Society)
Open AccessArticle
Perceptions of the Public Transport Service as a Barrier to the Adoption of Public Transport: A Qualitative Study
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(5), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8050150 - 11 May 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2090
Abstract
This article presents the outcomes of a qualitative study involving users of public transportation in the metropolitan area of Lisbon in order to obtain a deeper understanding of attitudes towards public transport and to explore perceptions of the public transport service. It is [...] Read more.
This article presents the outcomes of a qualitative study involving users of public transportation in the metropolitan area of Lisbon in order to obtain a deeper understanding of attitudes towards public transport and to explore perceptions of the public transport service. It is important to know what people think and feel about public transport so that strategies can be designed to attract people to public transport. Ethnographic interviews and focus group discussions were conducted to identify factors that potentially influence people’s perceptions and determine their satisfaction, or dissatisfaction with the public transport service. The key findings suggest that public transport usage would increase if the level of service was brought in line with users’ expectations; more specifically, there should be a better connection between inter-modal options, more compliance with timetables, and a more appropriate response to users’ needs. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Children’s Involvement in Research—A Review and Comparison with Service User Involvement in Health and Social Care
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(5), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8050149 - 10 May 2019
Viewed by 1884
Abstract
Changing conceptions of children and childhood have in the last three decades led to the increasing participation of children in social research and their involvement in active research roles. However, the benefits and challenges of this process are rarely discussed in relation to [...] Read more.
Changing conceptions of children and childhood have in the last three decades led to the increasing participation of children in social research and their involvement in active research roles. However, the benefits and challenges of this process are rarely discussed in relation to the wider literature on adult involvement, thus missing an opportunity to learn from potential commonalities or differences. In this paper, I argue for an explicit comparison between children’s involvement in research and (adult) service user involvement in health and social care research. The paper presents findings from a review of children’s involvement in research, first separately, and second, in comparison with themes from the literature on service user involvement. As the paper will illustrate, many of the themes manifest themselves in similar ways in the two areas of practice, leaving scope for the development of cross-disciplinary practice, reflection and conceptual development. Particular suggestions deriving from the paper are (a) a strengthening of organisational frameworks within Higher Education institutions to facilitate the involvement of diverse groups of children in research, (b) the development of a more systematic mechanism for reporting the involvement of children and young people in research and (c) cross-disciplinary and theoretical exploration of key concepts such as power and empowerment within the involvement context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Childhood and Society)
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Open AccessArticle
Who Will Be the Members of Society 5.0? Towards an Anthropology of Technologically Posthumanized Future Societies
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(5), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8050148 - 10 May 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3046
Abstract
The Government of Japan’s “Society 5.0” initiative aims to create a cyber-physical society in which (among other things) citizens’ daily lives will be enhanced through increasingly close collaboration with artificially intelligent systems. However, an apparent paradox lies at the heart of efforts to [...] Read more.
The Government of Japan’s “Society 5.0” initiative aims to create a cyber-physical society in which (among other things) citizens’ daily lives will be enhanced through increasingly close collaboration with artificially intelligent systems. However, an apparent paradox lies at the heart of efforts to create a more “human-centered” society in which human beings will live alongside a proliferating array of increasingly autonomous social robots and embodied AI. This study seeks to investigate the presumed human-centeredness of Society 5.0 by comparing its makeup with that of earlier societies. By distinguishing “technological” and “non-technological” processes of posthumanization and applying a phenomenological anthropological model, this study demonstrates: (1) how the diverse types of human and non-human members expected to participate in Society 5.0 differ qualitatively from one another; (2) how the dynamics that will shape the membership of Society 5.0 can be conceptualized; and (3) how the anticipated membership of Society 5.0 differs from that of Societies 1.0 through 4.0. This study describes six categories of prospective human and non-human members of Society 5.0 and shows that all six have analogues in earlier societies, which suggests that social scientific analysis of past societies may shed unexpected light on the nature of Society 5.0. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Society 5.0: Innovation, Uncertainty and Social Sciences)
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Open AccessArticle
Social and Physical Neighbourhood Effects and Crime: Bringing Domains Together Through Collective Efficacy Theory
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(5), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8050147 - 10 May 2019
Viewed by 1962
Abstract
Criminologists and social scientists have long sought to explain why crime rates vary across urban landscapes. By dissecting the city into neighbourhood units, consideration has been given to the comparable features of settings under study which may help to explain why measured crime [...] Read more.
Criminologists and social scientists have long sought to explain why crime rates vary across urban landscapes. By dissecting the city into neighbourhood units, consideration has been given to the comparable features of settings under study which may help to explain why measured crime is higher in certain areas as compared to others. Some, from the socio-spatial perspective, argue that the socio-demographic makeup of a neighbourhood influences the social processes within it relevant to the disruption of crime. Others posit that physical features of neighbourhood settings, which include its layout, architectural design, and more specific measures to ‘target harden’ buildings against property crimes, can exhibit a deterrent effect. Whilst these explanations profess discrete empirical support, little has been done to consider how these influences may come to explain neighbourhood crime rates concomitantly. In this article, I seek to develop a new socio-physical model in an attempt to integrate and appraise aspects of these domains and their purported ability to explain variations in recorded crime. To achieve this, I use Collective Efficacy theory as a central organising concept which can aid researchers in interrogating current findings. I conclude that the dichotomy between how neighbourhood settings can be both defended, and be defensible, can be addressed by considering the relevance of social cohesion in activating resident social control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crime Prevention through Pro-Social Design)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Out of Sight: Social Control and the Regulation of Public Space in Manchester
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(5), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8050146 - 09 May 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1799
Abstract
This paper considers the history and context of the control of public spaces, how this is regulated currently and how it relates to the politics of homelessness and community governance with a specific focus on the regulation of public space in the contemporary [...] Read more.
This paper considers the history and context of the control of public spaces, how this is regulated currently and how it relates to the politics of homelessness and community governance with a specific focus on the regulation of public space in the contemporary city of Manchester. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crime Prevention through Pro-Social Design)
Open AccessArticle
Mutual Benefit: How Vocational Training Programs Utilize Employer Engagement and Refugee Strengths to Facilitate Integration
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(5), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8050145 - 08 May 2019
Viewed by 1596
Abstract
Successful integration of newly arriving refugees requires the engagement of the receiving community and active facilitation of integration through provision of employment, access to housing, and protection of basic rights. Understanding how local entities effectively facilitate integration is important for policymakers and scholars [...] Read more.
Successful integration of newly arriving refugees requires the engagement of the receiving community and active facilitation of integration through provision of employment, access to housing, and protection of basic rights. Understanding how local entities effectively facilitate integration is important for policymakers and scholars interested in identifying best practices and replicating outcomes. This study examines the integration outcomes of refugees who participated in a vocational hospitality training program in Chicago, Illinois between 2008 and 2012. In particular, we explore the integration experiences—using employment, housing, and homeownership—of Bhutanese origin refugees who represented the largest country of origin group in the hospitality course. We find that the Bhutanese refugees who participated in the course had high rates of homeownership, stable employment, higher wages and experienced socioeconomic upward mobility—positive indicators of integration. In our analysis, we identify three reasons the program is successful in facilitating integration: a practice of selective enrollment, active employer engagement, and informed industry selection. Importantly, our findings suggest a positive benefit for employers in addition to refugee employees. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immigration and Refugee Integration Policy in the United States)
Open AccessArticle
The Categorized and Invisible: The Effects of the ‘Border’ on Women Migrant Transit Flows in Mexico
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(5), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8050144 - 08 May 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1718
Abstract
In an increasingly globalized world, border control is continuously changing. Nation-states grapple with ‘migration management’ and maintain secure borders against ‘illegal’ flows. In Mexico, borders are elusive; internal and external security is blurred, and policies create legal categories of people whether it is [...] Read more.
In an increasingly globalized world, border control is continuously changing. Nation-states grapple with ‘migration management’ and maintain secure borders against ‘illegal’ flows. In Mexico, borders are elusive; internal and external security is blurred, and policies create legal categories of people whether it is a ‘trusted’ tourist or an ‘unauthorized’ migrant. For the ‘unauthorized’ Central American woman migrant trying to achieve safe passage to the United States (U.S.), the ‘border’ is no longer only a physical line to be crossed but a category placed on an individual body, which exists throughout her migration journey producing vulnerability as soon as the Mexico–Guatemala boundary is crossed. Based on policy analysis and fieldwork, this article argues that rather than protecting ‘unauthorized’ migrants, which the Mexican government narrative claims to do, border policies imposed by the state legally categorize female bodies in clandestine terms and construct violent relationships. This embodied illegality creates forced invisibility, further marginalizing women with respect to finding work, and experiences of sexual violence and abuses by migration actors. The analysis focuses on three areas: the changing definition of ‘borders’; the effects of categorization and multiple vulnerabilities on Central American women; and the dangers caused by forced invisibility. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Economic, Social Impacts and Operation of Smart Factories in Industry 4.0 Focusing on Simulation and Artificial Intelligence of Collaborating Robots
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(5), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8050143 - 08 May 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2571
Abstract
Smart Factory is a complex system that integrates the main elements of the Industry 4.0 concept (e.g., autonomous robots, Internet of Things, and Big data). In Smart Factories intelligent robots, tools, and smart workpieces communicate and collaborate with each other continuously, which results [...] Read more.
Smart Factory is a complex system that integrates the main elements of the Industry 4.0 concept (e.g., autonomous robots, Internet of Things, and Big data). In Smart Factories intelligent robots, tools, and smart workpieces communicate and collaborate with each other continuously, which results in self-organizing and self-optimizing production. The significance of Smart Factories is to make production more competitive, efficient, flexible and sustainable. The purpose of the study is not only the introduction of the concept and operation of the Smart Factories, but at the same time to show the application of Simulation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods in practice. The significance of the study is that the economic and social operational requirements and impacts of Smart Factories are summarized and the characteristics of the traditional factory and the Smart Factory are compared. The most significant added value of the research is that a real case study is introduced for Simulation of the operation of two collaborating robots applying AI. Quantitative research methods are used, such as numerical and graphical modeling and Simulation, 3D design, furthermore executing Tabu Search in the space of trajectories, but in some aspects the work included fundamental methods, like suggesting an original whip-lashing analog for designing robot trajectories. The conclusion of the case study is that—due to using Simulation and AI methods—the motion path of the robot arm is improved, resulting in more than five percent time-savings, which leads to a significant improvement in productivity. It can be concluded that the establishment of Smart Factories will be essential in the future and the application of Simulation and AI methods for collaborating robots are needed for efficient and optimal operation of production processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industry 4.0 Implication for Economy and Society)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Collaborative Economy: A Reflection
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(5), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8050142 - 07 May 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1692
Abstract
Collaborative economy, a practice based on access to goods, is making its way into society, with disruptive effects for traditional economy, which is based on property. Although it is a recent phenomenon, its rapid growth and user acceptance make it possible to predict [...] Read more.
Collaborative economy, a practice based on access to goods, is making its way into society, with disruptive effects for traditional economy, which is based on property. Although it is a recent phenomenon, its rapid growth and user acceptance make it possible to predict that in the near future, collaborative economy will be an important pillar of economic growth and employment. The results of this research indicate the existence of other effects of the collaborative economy, not always desirable, among which are changes in mentality or the appearance of new business models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Social View of Economic Growth and Energy Consumption)
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Open AccessArticle
Identifying Opinion Leaders on Twitter during Sporting Events: Lessons from a Case Study
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(5), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8050141 - 07 May 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1879
Abstract
Social media platforms have had a significant impact on the public image of sports in recent years. Through the relational dynamics of the communication on these networks, many users have emerged whose opinions can exert a great deal of influence on public conversation [...] Read more.
Social media platforms have had a significant impact on the public image of sports in recent years. Through the relational dynamics of the communication on these networks, many users have emerged whose opinions can exert a great deal of influence on public conversation online. This research aims to identify the influential Twitter users during the 2016 UCI Track Cycling World Championships using different variables which, in turn, represent different dimensions of influence (popularity, activity and authority). Mathematical variables of the social network analysis and variables provided by Twitter and Google are compared. First, we calculated the Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient among all users (n = 20,175) in pairwise comparisons. Next, we performed a qualitative analysis of the top 25 influential users ranked by each variable. As a result, no single variable assessed is sufficient to identify the different kinds of influential Twitter users. The reason that some variables vary so greatly is that the components of influence are very different. Influence is a contextualised phenomenon. Having a certain type of account is not enough to make a user an influencer if they do not engage (actively or passively) in the conversation. Choosing the influencers will depend on the objectives pursued. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Economics)
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Open AccessArticle
Determinants of Decision-Makers’ Attitudes toward Industry 4.0 Adaptation
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(5), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8050140 - 06 May 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1768
Abstract
Industry 4.0 could drastically change not only firms’ production sites, organization, operation, and marketing but also industrial competition rules. This study aims at investigating a real situation of firms’ willingness to adapt to Industry 4.0 and revealing the determinants of decision-makers’ attitudes toward [...] Read more.
Industry 4.0 could drastically change not only firms’ production sites, organization, operation, and marketing but also industrial competition rules. This study aims at investigating a real situation of firms’ willingness to adapt to Industry 4.0 and revealing the determinants of decision-makers’ attitudes toward Industry 4.0 adaptation, as well as factors that inhibit adaptation. The study, using statistical analysis and questionnaire survey data for quantitative observation, finds that firms required the following: fostering the positive attitude of decision-makers toward adapting Industry 4.0, enhancing decision-makers’ acquisition of appropriate knowledge, and complementing lack of resources such as skilled workers. Moreover, firms applying to adapt to Industry 4.0 as well as outsiders must participate in promoting it among manufacturing firms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industry 4.0 Implication for Economy and Society)
Open AccessArticle
Too Many Cooks: Multiple International Principals Can Spoil the Quality of Governance
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(5), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8050139 - 06 May 2019
Viewed by 1649
Abstract
We contribute to the research stream emphasizing the competition between international organizations and citizens for influence over the domestic policy choices of national politicians. Drawing upon previous theoretical and empirical work on the common agency problem, we contend that the joint influence of [...] Read more.
We contribute to the research stream emphasizing the competition between international organizations and citizens for influence over the domestic policy choices of national politicians. Drawing upon previous theoretical and empirical work on the common agency problem, we contend that the joint influence of a country’s memberships in multiple international governmental organizations (IGOs) generates consistent, unintended, disruptive effects, which reduces domestic accountability and can worsen the quality of a domestic government. Even if we assume that joining any particular IGO is beneficial for member states, the competing demands of multiple IGO memberships could undermine the quality of their governments. Our comparative, cross-national empirical findings support this theoretical expectation. Countries participating in a larger number of IGOs tend to have poorer scores on five widely used indicators of the quality of a domestic government. Future research should identify the types of policies and countries where the negative externalities of international cooperation on domestic accountability are greatest. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Green Practices among Fashion Manufacturers: Relationship with Cultural Innovativeness and Perceived Benefits
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(5), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8050138 - 04 May 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1602
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine green practices implemented among fashion manufacturers and identify factors that drive the adoption of those practices, specifically focusing on a company’s cultural innovativeness and the perceived benefits of green innovations. An online survey was created [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to examine green practices implemented among fashion manufacturers and identify factors that drive the adoption of those practices, specifically focusing on a company’s cultural innovativeness and the perceived benefits of green innovations. An online survey was created containing both open-ended and multiple-choice questions using Likert scales. Data were gathered from 29 fashion manufacturers that were identified by the Google search engine and then approached. Qualitative data were analyzed to obtain insights into fashion manufacturers’ green practices and a cluster analysis was conducted to categorize companies into distinct groups based on their level of green product innovations and green process innovations. Our findings suggest that the adoption of green practices was related to a company’s internal characteristics such as cultural innovativeness and social responsibility perceptions. Perceived benefits from green practices were not a sufficient motivator for adopting those practices. It is important to examine manufacturers’ perceptions of becoming more involved in green practices because they have great potential to make a positive impact on the mainstream industry and appeal to a wider market audience. Full article
Open AccessArticle
A Women-Only Leadership Development Program: Facilitating Access to Authority for Women in Swedish Higher Education?
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(5), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8050137 - 02 May 2019
Viewed by 1742
Abstract
This article explores a national women-only leadership development program in Swedish higher education, the so-called IDAS program (an acronym for Identity, Development, Advancement, Support). IDAS encouraged and supported women academics to pursue leadership/administrative careers in higher education and was a unique intervention, aiming [...] Read more.
This article explores a national women-only leadership development program in Swedish higher education, the so-called IDAS program (an acronym for Identity, Development, Advancement, Support). IDAS encouraged and supported women academics to pursue leadership/administrative careers in higher education and was a unique intervention, aiming to increase the number of women Rectors. By drawing on interviews with some of the women who participated in the IDAS program and subsequently became Rectors, the article provides a valuable case study over best practices to increase women senior leaders in higher education. Notwithstanding the success of the leadership program, the article also deals with resistance and criticism linked to equal opportunity initiatives such as this. The article analyzes the criticism voiced by the women interviewed and suggests that it can be understood in relation to different conceptions of gender and gender (in)equality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women and Leadership in Higher Education)
Open AccessArticle
What Do Global Metrics Tell Us about the World?
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(5), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8050136 - 01 May 2019
Viewed by 2033
Abstract
There are now a wide variety of global indicators that measure different economic, political and social attributes of countries in the world. This paper seeks to answer two questions. First, what is the degree of overlap between these different measures? Are they, in [...] Read more.
There are now a wide variety of global indicators that measure different economic, political and social attributes of countries in the world. This paper seeks to answer two questions. First, what is the degree of overlap between these different measures? Are they, in fact, measuring the same underlying dimension? To answer this question, we employ a principal component analysis (PCA) to 15 indices across 145 countries. The results demonstrate that there is one underlying dimension that combines economic development and social progress with state stability. Second, how do countries score on this dimension? The results of the PCA allow us to produce categorical divisions of the world. The threefold division identifies a world composed of what we describe and map as rich, poor and middle countries. A five-group classification provided a more nuanced categorization described as: The very rich, free and stable; affluent and free; upper middle; lower middle; poor and not free. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Contemporary Politics and Society)
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Open AccessReview
Investigating Ties between Energy Policy and Social Equity Research: A Citation Network Analysis
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(5), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8050135 - 30 Apr 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2090
Abstract
Just over twenty years ago, the Kyoto Protocol brought nations together to address the emergent issue of climate change. To support the development of energy policy, a number of academic fields were strengthened, particularly surrounding sustainable development and the economic, environmental, and social [...] Read more.
Just over twenty years ago, the Kyoto Protocol brought nations together to address the emergent issue of climate change. To support the development of energy policy, a number of academic fields were strengthened, particularly surrounding sustainable development and the economic, environmental, and social aspects of sustainability. This research focuses on the social aspects of energy policy, beginning with climate justice, through to the emergence of energy justice and the notion of a just transition. Through a bibliometric analysis of 5529 academic studies incorporating energy policy and social equity across relevant academic fields, strong ties among five distinct schools of thought were identified. Interestingly, energy transitions scholarship appears distinct from most social equity and energy justice related scholarship. There is a need to better integrate disparate schools of thought in order to achieve a just transitions framework able to address inequities in energy policy outcomes in the Paris Agreement era and beyond. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Contemporary Politics and Society)
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Open AccessArticle
Three Bizarre Presidential-Election Scenarios: The Perils of Simplism
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(5), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8050134 - 29 Apr 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1511
Abstract
The 1968, 2000, and (future) 2024 U.S. presidential elections provide settings for deliberately provocative, offbeat scenarios that might have happened or could happen. Throughout, the Electoral College and plurality voting both receive blame. Scenario 1 exposes a quirk previously unnoticed: Under (albeit special) [...] Read more.
The 1968, 2000, and (future) 2024 U.S. presidential elections provide settings for deliberately provocative, offbeat scenarios that might have happened or could happen. Throughout, the Electoral College and plurality voting both receive blame. Scenario 1 exposes a quirk previously unnoticed: Under (albeit special) conditions, certain 1968 Humphrey voters could have made Humphrey rather than Nixon the election victor had they voted strategically for Wallace instead of Humphrey. In Scenario 2, overlooked nonidentifiability of undervotes would have plagued the 2000 Florida recount had the U.S. Supreme Court not halted it, thus raising questions about the foresightfulness of almost everyone involved; but, in addition, Gore missed an opportunity that, through use of proper statistical sampling, could have propelled him to victory. In Scenario 3, National Popular Vote Interstate Compact supporters fail to foresee that even one state, by changing its method for presidential voting, can wreck this innovative and widely promoted compact. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Moving People in a Changing Climate: Lessons from Two Case Studies in Fiji
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(5), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8050133 - 29 Apr 2019
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2487
Abstract
High levels of vulnerability to climate change impacts are rendering some places uninhabitable. In Fiji, four communities have already initiated or completed the task of moving their homes and livelihoods to less exposed locations, with numerous more communities earmarked for future relocation. This [...] Read more.
High levels of vulnerability to climate change impacts are rendering some places uninhabitable. In Fiji, four communities have already initiated or completed the task of moving their homes and livelihoods to less exposed locations, with numerous more communities earmarked for future relocation. This paper documents people’s lived experiences in two relocated communities in Fiji—Denimanu and Vunidogoloa villages—and assesses the outcomes of the relocations on those directly affected. This study in particular seeks to identify to what extent livelihoods have been either positively or negatively affected by relocation, and whether these relocations have successfully reduced exposure to climate-related hazards. This study shows that planned climate-induced relocations have the potential to improve the livelihoods of affected communities, yet if these relocations are not managed and undertaken carefully, they can lead to unintended negative impacts, including exposure to other hazards. We find that inclusive community involvement in the planning process, regular and intentional monitoring and evaluation, and improving livelihoods through targeted livelihood planning should be accounted for in future relocations to ensure outcomes are beneficial and sustainable. Full article
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