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Volume 9, January

Soc. Sci., Volume 9, Issue 2 (February 2020) – 15 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Taking intergroup threat theory as the theoretical framework, “Classical and Modern Prejudice toward Asylum Seekers: The Mediating Role of Intergroup Anxiety in a Sample of Italians” investigates the negative attitudes toward asylum seekers in Italy. It examines whether and to what extent intergroup anxiety mediates the relationship between antecedents and attitudes toward asylum seekers. The current results suggest that intergroup anxiety represents a key variable in increasing prejudice against asylum seekers. This highlights the importance of the emotional aspects of prejudice and confirms the central role that cultural and situational factors which elicit negative emotions (e.g., the images conveyed by traditional and new media) could have on anti-immigrant attitudes. Prejudice represents a reaction to the perception of ingroup threat, which increases the expression of hostility. View this paper
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Article
A Participatory Journalism Management Platform: Design, Implementation and Evaluation
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9020021 - 22 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3081
Abstract
During the last two decades, citizens’ participation in news production process has attracted significant interest from both academia and the media industry. Media production and consumption have been altered considerably and traditional concepts, such as gatekeeping, have been under discussion. Many news organisations [...] Read more.
During the last two decades, citizens’ participation in news production process has attracted significant interest from both academia and the media industry. Media production and consumption have been altered considerably and traditional concepts, such as gatekeeping, have been under discussion. Many news organisations include in their websites tools and applications that allow users to be active consumers or even co-producers of journalistic content, by liking, sharing, commenting and submitting material. At the same time, large amounts of user-generated content are uploaded every day on social media platforms. Subsequently, media organisations must deal with continually available information which requires management, classification and evaluation not only to keep high journalistic standards, but also to avoid problems. The latter category can include grammar mistakes, fake or misleading information and hate speech. All the above-mentioned parameters highlight the obvious need for platforms that can support journalism manage practice. Such a platform should utilise semantic technologies, which can support organised collection and moderation of content in an effective way and in short time. This study discusses the design and the implementation of a participatory journalism management platform. Full article
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Article
Cultural Immersion: A Trigger for Transformative Learning
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9020020 - 20 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2540
Abstract
This study examines the cultural immersion experience of 26 students who participated in either a study abroad program (SAP) or global service learning program (GSL). Specifically, the study investigates the transformative learning before, during, and after cultural immersion and the impact it had [...] Read more.
This study examines the cultural immersion experience of 26 students who participated in either a study abroad program (SAP) or global service learning program (GSL). Specifically, the study investigates the transformative learning before, during, and after cultural immersion and the impact it had on participants’ attitudes toward diverse others. The findings indicate that attitude change during and after the cultural immersion experience is a multi-dimensional and unique process that differs for individuals. Additionally, the results suggest that during cultural immersion, certain program factors and personal factors are essential for transformative learning to occur. These factors include intentionality in pre-immersion preparation, the intensity of cultural immersion, and willingness to engage in reflection during post-immersion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Economics)
Article
Analyzing Migration Management: On the Recruitment of Nurses to Germany
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(2), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9020019 - 16 Feb 2020
Viewed by 2586
Abstract
In Germany, a grave labor shortage in the nursing and elderly care sectors has prompted the response of recruiting skilled nursing staff from abroad in recent years. This article analyzes these recruitment practices as forms of “migration management”: German migration policy has changed [...] Read more.
In Germany, a grave labor shortage in the nursing and elderly care sectors has prompted the response of recruiting skilled nursing staff from abroad in recent years. This article analyzes these recruitment practices as forms of “migration management”: German migration policy has changed according to this paradigm to attempt utilitarian control over migration processes and mediate between labor market concerns on the one hand and isolationist, politico-cultural seclusion on the other. Based on original research through interviews and document analysis, we identify four relevant levels of analysis in researching migration management in the context of the recruitment of skilled nurses: (1) Definition of problem areas: How is migration programmatically legitimized as a solution to social problems? (2) Categorization of migration: How are migration processes classified? (3) Change in statehood: How are sites and actors of migration control being privatized and diversified? (4) Technologies: By means of which procedures, legal foundations and political instruments does migration management take place in the everyday? We believe that taking these four foci as points of departure would be beneficial for further inquiries in critical migration research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reshaping the World: Rethinking Borders)
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Article
Management Students Values Depending on Religion—Comparative Research from Poland
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(2), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9020018 - 14 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1978
Abstract
Research on religion and its influence on work values is not frequent in Europe, where researchers do not usually consider this relation because of historical reasons. Nonetheless, the number of publications concerning religion’s contribution to organization management is systematically increasing. This study sheds [...] Read more.
Research on religion and its influence on work values is not frequent in Europe, where researchers do not usually consider this relation because of historical reasons. Nonetheless, the number of publications concerning religion’s contribution to organization management is systematically increasing. This study sheds light on the way Christian religions (Orthodox and Catholic) can shape value preferences of their believers as well as those who do not practice any religion but their families do. The study used a self-constructed value scale, which is a modification of M. Rokeach’s questionnaire survey. It differs from Rokeach’s Value Scale in respect to the quantity and quality of the proposed values and the assumption regarding the value hierarchy. A statistical analysis was carried out, enabling the indication of differences between the preference rates of 20 terminal and 20 instrumental values, depending on the denomination of the respondent and their family. Results of the study suggest that both religions influence the values preferences of their believers as well as non-believers coming from Catholic or Orthodox families. This impact was confirmed in the study both in relation to believers (through family) and non-believers (through family or social environment). Religion, therefore, proves to be an influential source of values preferences, which can be impactful also in the corporate surrounding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Economics)
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Article
Prioritising Family Needs: A Grounded Theory of Acculturation for Sub-Saharan African Migrant Families in Australia
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(2), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9020017 - 14 Feb 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2197 | Correction
Abstract
Pre-existing acculturation models have focused on individual orientation and may not be fully applicable to African migrants due to their strong connection to family. In this study, we utilised qualitative semi-structured interviews to explore how 22 migrant families from eight sub-Saharan African representative [...] Read more.
Pre-existing acculturation models have focused on individual orientation and may not be fully applicable to African migrants due to their strong connection to family. In this study, we utilised qualitative semi-structured interviews to explore how 22 migrant families from eight sub-Saharan African representative countries: Congo, Eritrea, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zimbabwe, who now reside in Townsville, Australia experienced the acculturation process. Data were analysed at the family unit level using the three steps of grounded theory method: open, axial and selective coding. The theory derived illustrates that the acculturation process involves two major phases (maintaining core moral values and attaining a sense of belonging) within which six categories were identified. Three of the categories were related to deeply held heritage values and beliefs (family relationships, societal expectations and cultural norms), while the other three (religious beliefs, socio-economic gains and educational values) indicated integration with the host culture. These categories constitute central concerns for the participants and demonstrate what matters to them as a family unit and not as individuals. We conclude that a selective process of “prioritising family needs” determines the acculturation strategy of sub-Saharan African migrant families, aiding the fulfilment of their migration goals, ensuring effective functioning of the family unit, and enabling them to be productive members of their local community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Community and Urban Sociology)
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Article
Small Houses, Big Community: Tiny Housers’ Desire for More Cohesive and Collaborative Communities
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(2), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9020016 - 13 Feb 2020
Viewed by 3084
Abstract
Past research on the tiny house movement has primarily focused on understanding the individual motivations behind adopting the tiny house lifestyle. While some studies have suggested that tiny housers do entertain an interest in community, no systematic research exists that examines the actual [...] Read more.
Past research on the tiny house movement has primarily focused on understanding the individual motivations behind adopting the tiny house lifestyle. While some studies have suggested that tiny housers do entertain an interest in community, no systematic research exists that examines the actual complexities of this phenomenon. To make first inroads into this body of literature, twenty-four community-oriented tiny housers were interviewed about their ideal community. Interview questions ranged from definitions of community to specific ideas of the nature of community characteristics. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and then coded in NVivo 12.0. Four main themes and eleven subthemes emerged from the qualitative content analysis. Select themes were then subjected to a subsequent quantification analysis in order to refine and deepen the theoretical understanding. The findings of this exploratory study suggest that a majority of tiny housers desire to be part of more cohesive and collaborative communities. While stressing the importance of community, tiny housers also expressed concerns over privacy. To explain the findings, the paper offers a set of arguments situated in the broader socio-cultural texture of our time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Community and Urban Sociology)
Article
Revisiting the Right to the City, Rethinking Urban Environmentalism: From Lifeworld Environmentalism to Planetary Environmentalism
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(2), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9020015 - 11 Feb 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2428
Abstract
In the environmental politics literature, cities are commonly framed as key sites for a shift towards greater sustainability and urban grassroots initiatives, such as food co-ops, urban gardening initiatives, repair cafés, and libraries of things, are commonly portrayed as such a shift’s key [...] Read more.
In the environmental politics literature, cities are commonly framed as key sites for a shift towards greater sustainability and urban grassroots initiatives, such as food co-ops, urban gardening initiatives, repair cafés, and libraries of things, are commonly portrayed as such a shift’s key drivers. This paper develops a critical perspective on both common portrayals. It does so by drawing on critical urban theory, especially Lefebvre’s Right to the City. First, inspired by Lefebvre’s critique of city-centrism, the paper argues that the scope and limits of urban environmentalism hinge not only on the goals pursued but also on how the urban is framed. Urban environmentalism may mean mere lifeworld environmentalism: the greening of cities as if there were (relatively) bounded sites. Yet urban environmentalism may also mean planetary environmentalism: the mapping, problematization, and transformation of unsustainable urbanization processes that underpin given sites and lifeworlds, but also operate at beyond the latter—at a societal and planetary scale. Second, inspired by Lefebvre’s reformulation of right claims as a transformative political tool, this paper takes issue with environmental practices and discourses that present society’s niches, cracks, and margins as a key fermenting ground for radical environmental change. Since not only institutional but also bottom-up pursuits of more sustainable nature-society relations often remain stuck in mere lifeworld reform, this paper foregrounds heterodox right claims as an underexplored modus operandi in active pursuits of and discourses on radical environmental change. Heterodox right claims mean the active appropriation of dominant political languages, such as the language of right, while seeking to change the latter’s grammar. What this may mean in the realm of environmental politics, will be spelled out at hand of the example of claims to a right to public transport. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rethinking Environmental Citizenship for Grassroots Politics )
Article
Rethinking Women’s Empowerment: Insights from the Russian Arctic
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(2), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9020014 - 08 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2529
Abstract
This article examines women’s political empowerment in the Russian Arctic as an example of progress towards gender equality. In contrast to women’s severe underrepresentation in Russian federal politics, a strong trend towards women’s political empowerment can be observed in the Arctic regions of [...] Read more.
This article examines women’s political empowerment in the Russian Arctic as an example of progress towards gender equality. In contrast to women’s severe underrepresentation in Russian federal politics, a strong trend towards women’s political empowerment can be observed in the Arctic regions of the country. Using the Nenets Autonomous Region as a case study, this article is aimed at narrowing the research gaps in women’s leadership by examining the representation of female deputies in both the regional and local levels of government/self-government. Research on women’s numerical representation indicates that women’s participation and political empowerment in decision-making processes are manifested most vividly in predominantly indigenous communities. Placing a special focus on these Arctic communities, this study describes the historical and institutional roots that impact shifts in traditional gender role and contribute to a phenomenon of indigenous women’s empowerment. Along with this positive pattern of women’s leadership, this study also reveals an alarming trend of “reverse gender disparity” concerning men’s severe underrepresentation in positions of power in indigenous communities of the North. The study results suggest that to achieve gender equality, a holistic approach to women’s empowerment requires taking into account socio-cultural and historical contexts, as well as regional and territorial disparities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Gender Studies)
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Article
Slovak Criminal Justice and the Philosophy of Its Privatization: An Appropriate Solution of Problems of Slovak Justice in the 21st Century?
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(2), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9020013 - 08 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1742
Abstract
The authors of the paper deal with the philosophy of the privatization of elements of criminal justice, which in the last decades influenced the development of criminal justice in European countries, including the Slovak Republic. The philosophy of privatization in relation to criminal [...] Read more.
The authors of the paper deal with the philosophy of the privatization of elements of criminal justice, which in the last decades influenced the development of criminal justice in European countries, including the Slovak Republic. The philosophy of privatization in relation to criminal justice represents a wider acceptance of the individual interests of the subjects of criminal procedure. It is the strengthening of powers of the parties to the proceedings and at the same time the entrusting of criminal dispute solution to their own hands. Therefore, the aim of the paper is to examine the expanding philosophy of privatization of the Slovak criminal justice system (the so-called negotiating procedure, a.k.a. plea bargain agreement) which, with the aim of facilitating and simplifying the resolution of a criminal case, has brought the possibility of negotiating with the State the conditions for admitting the guilt of the accused, in exchange for imposing a less severe punishment. However, the aim of the paper is not only to examine the current legal regulation of this expanding phenomenon but also to show its seamy sides and to present comprehensible and reasonable legal opinion relating to its suitability. In the paper, the authors, therefore, deal with the question of whether the philosophy of privatizing the criminal justice is in compliance with the traditional values of the continental legal system. At the same time, they try to answer whether the philosophy of the so-called negotiated justice is not contrary to the fundamental principles of criminal justice. In the paper, the authors also ask questions like: Can the punishment be subject to negotiating? Is it justified on the ground of the society’s morality and fundamental values of the legal system if the State negotiates with the perpetrators of crime the conditions of their confession and the length of the punishment? Does the negotiated punishment fulfill its basic functions (preventative, repressive, protective, moral condemnation by society)? Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Contemporary Politics and Society)
Article
Cluster Competitiveness Modeling: An Approach with Systems Dynamics
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(2), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9020012 - 07 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2412
Abstract
This study makes a systemic review to cluster and create a competitiveness relationship considering a systems dynamics approach. A dynamic hypothesis was constructed to validate what factors increase a cluster’s level of competitiveness, through causal analysis. Then, the causal diagram that validates the [...] Read more.
This study makes a systemic review to cluster and create a competitiveness relationship considering a systems dynamics approach. A dynamic hypothesis was constructed to validate what factors increase a cluster’s level of competitiveness, through causal analysis. Then, the causal diagram that validates the dynamic H0 hypothesis was constructed in Vensim PLE systems®. Literature review shows the evolution of the cluster system according to the current needs of the market, and emphasizes the need for new approaches and models that capture the complexity and dynamics of this system, allowing the understanding of its structure and the evaluation of the contribution of factors and capabilities to cluster competitiveness. It highlights the usefulness of systems dynamics as a simulation methodology for dynamic and complex systems, and establishes itself as a growing line of research applied to various systems of study. Dynamic hypothesis H0 was validated using the causal diagram, reaching the conclusion that innovation, productive management, financial management, organizational management, commercial management, and cluster management factors positively increase the cluster competitiveness level. From structure analysis, the behavior is associated to the archetype “Path Dependence”, usual in growing industrial markets. Full article
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Article
Academic Causes of School Failure in Secondary Education in Spain: The Voice of the Protagonists
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(2), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9020011 - 04 Feb 2020
Viewed by 1981
Abstract
School failure is, at the international level, a problem that affects, most educational systems. In Spain, it is currently a current problem that remains unresolved. Therefore, our research aims to discover and analyze situations of school failure experienced by different agents with long [...] Read more.
School failure is, at the international level, a problem that affects, most educational systems. In Spain, it is currently a current problem that remains unresolved. Therefore, our research aims to discover and analyze situations of school failure experienced by different agents with long experience in order to understand them and find out the possible responsibility of the school itself and the teacher. The methodology used in this research is qualitative in its focus on the phenomenological approach. The sample is constituted by the following: (a) active teachers; (b) retired teachers; (c) students who live school failure and (d) subjects integrated into the working world who experienced situations of school failure. The instrument used to collect information was the semi-structured interview and the focus groups, supported by a script designed and submitted to expert judgment. The results have been obtained from “content analysis” using the Nvivo11 Plus program. A wide overview of the main academic causes, incidents from the school and the classrooms that are involved in school failure is presented. Among the most relevant conclusions is that the school, with certain actions and in an indirect way, can lead to the construction of school failure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Community and Urban Sociology)
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Article
Classical and Modern Prejudice toward Asylum Seekers: The Mediating Role of Intergroup Anxiety in a Sample of Italians
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(2), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9020010 - 02 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2733
Abstract
(1) Background: Increasing waves of immigration have not only changed the demographic features of European societies but have also had important implications for intergroup relationships. Based on the theoretical model of intergroup threat theory, this study examined whether and to what extent intergroup [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Increasing waves of immigration have not only changed the demographic features of European societies but have also had important implications for intergroup relationships. Based on the theoretical model of intergroup threat theory, this study examined whether and to what extent intergroup anxiety mediates the relationship between antecedents and attitudes toward asylum seekers. (2) Method: In a sample of 470 Italians (mean age 30.21), using a survey-based study, we assessed the antecedent of intergroup anxiety (national identification) and its consequences (classical and modern prejudice). (3) Results: The results supported most of the expected predictions. While intergroup anxiety was positively associated with prejudice toward asylum seekers, national identity was positively related to intergroup anxiety and prejudice. Moreover, the relationships between antecedents and consequences were mediated by intergroup anxiety. (4) Conclusion: This study has identified antecedents that can potentially increase or decrease intergroup anxiety and proposes certain strategies for improving social inclusion policies and relationships between asylum seekers and settled communities. The implications for future studies are discussed. Full article
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Article
The End-Purpose of Teaching History and the Curricular Inclusion of Social Problems from the Perspective of Primary Education Trainee Teachers
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(2), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9020009 - 28 Jan 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2968
Abstract
The principal objective of the present study is to analyze the representations of Primary Education trainee teachers (n = 232) involving the end-purposes of teaching History and, in particular, their views on the didactic treatment and curricular inclusion of social problems at [...] Read more.
The principal objective of the present study is to analyze the representations of Primary Education trainee teachers (n = 232) involving the end-purposes of teaching History and, in particular, their views on the didactic treatment and curricular inclusion of social problems at this educational stage. A mixed investigation method is applied, which combines both qualitative and quantitative approaches. The results pointed to a predictive influence of the degree of importance attached to the didactic treatment of social problems and the frequency with which they were covered on the Degree Course, for the assessment of their explicit inclusion in the Social Sciences curriculum. Likewise, the educational potential of the social problems appeared to be unconnected to the most highly assessed end-purposes, which are related to the development of social, critical, and creative thought for participation and social intervention. Full article
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Article
Social Responsibility Attitudes and Behaviors’ Influence on University Students’ Satisfaction
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(2), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9020008 - 23 Jan 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3184
Abstract
This study focused on university social responsibility (USR). Corporate social responsibility is currently an extremely common strategy implemented by organizations. Higher education institutions are also introducing this strategy to enhance their performance, seeking to ensure that every university action is socially responsible and [...] Read more.
This study focused on university social responsibility (USR). Corporate social responsibility is currently an extremely common strategy implemented by organizations. Higher education institutions are also introducing this strategy to enhance their performance, seeking to ensure that every university action is socially responsible and oriented toward achieving advantages over competitors. This competitive advantage is the result of a social responsibility vision, which has an ethical core, that the University has implemented or is implementing among all its stakeholders. These institutions work in four areas: instruction, research, management, and projection to society. Universities must thus strive to meet the interests of different stakeholders’ interests. This research concentrated on university students as an important stakeholder. The main objective was to evaluate university students’ participation in USR activities, as well as assessing the impact of relevant university practices. In addition, the study sought to measure the existing causal relationship between students’ participation and their university’s practices in terms of student satisfaction. The fieldwork was conducted with an electronic survey distributed to a group of University of Extremadura students in Spain. A total of 362 valid questionnaires were collected, which were processed using structural equation modeling and partial least squares. The results have implications for university management in the area of social responsibility, with regard to the new USR trends are revealed. In terms of originality and value, this research emphasized a specific stakeholder in universities, namely students, and ways their satisfaction can be achieved through USR. Full article
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Article
Online Sales and Business Model Innovation in Art Markets: A Case Study
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(2), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9020007 - 21 Jan 2020
Viewed by 2538
Abstract
Every year online sales represent a higher percentage of the sales total in nearly all sectors of the economy, and the art markets are no exception. However, there are few empirical studies showing how online sales and digital technologies are transforming the art [...] Read more.
Every year online sales represent a higher percentage of the sales total in nearly all sectors of the economy, and the art markets are no exception. However, there are few empirical studies showing how online sales and digital technologies are transforming the art markets at a micro-level. This study is based on the detailed examination of the financial performance of one of the two largest Portuguese auction houses, Cabral Moncada Leilões (CML), over a period of twelve years (2007–2018), complemented with interviews with its top-managers. It analyses a set of financial indicators (e.g., EBIT, ROA, EQUITY, sales volume, net results, etc.), along with some markers that are specific to the auction sector (e.g., average lot value, number of auctions per year, etc.). From this analysis it is possible to conclude that the deterioration of this company’s financial performance was the driving force that led it to explore the potential of digital economy. In the process, its business model changed dramatically, leading the company to a different market position and to the enlargement of its national and international customer base. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Economics)
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