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Soc. Sci., Volume 9, Issue 4 (April 2020) – 29 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Lauren Wroe and Jenny Lloyd critically reflect on the role of surveillance and trusted [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Going by an English Name: The Adoption and Use of English Names by Young Taiwanese Adults
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(4), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9040060 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 662
Abstract
It is easy to understand why Taiwanese students play the part of the name assigned to them in English class, but why do so many of them continue to use this name long after their school years? A survey of young Taiwanese adults, [...] Read more.
It is easy to understand why Taiwanese students play the part of the name assigned to them in English class, but why do so many of them continue to use this name long after their school years? A survey of young Taiwanese adults, with follow-up interviews, investigated how and why they acquire and use an English name. The results mirror previously reported tendencies and suggest some new insights into the motivation and functionality of this practice. The data show that self-identification with their Western name offers pragmatic social and cultural advantages, including international identity, escape from rigid cultural formalities impeding social advances, establishing friendliness without getting too close, as well as self-expression. As concerns the often discussed nature of English names, the results indicate that the selection of an English name is influenced by Chinese name selection practice, the tendency to make the name unique or somehow related to the Chinese name, and especially by its intended role. As in previous studies, we found some unusual names, but these were used mainly as a nickname in communication with peers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reshaping the World: Rethinking Borders)
Open AccessArticle
Space Matters? Exploring Gender Differentials in the Age at Marriage, Greece (1980–2017)
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(4), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9040059 - 23 Apr 2020
Viewed by 585
Abstract
Although local context is considered a key factor shaping differences in the age at marriage between spouses, spatially explicit investigations of the gender gap in marriage timing were scarce in Europe, especially in more traditional societies. The present study analyses the spatial distribution [...] Read more.
Although local context is considered a key factor shaping differences in the age at marriage between spouses, spatially explicit investigations of the gender gap in marriage timing were scarce in Europe, especially in more traditional societies. The present study analyses the spatial distribution of the gender age gap at marriage in Greece, a country experiencing a late demographic transition compared with other European societies. Analysis of prefecture-level data between 1980 and 2017 indicates a continuous increase in the age at marriage, with a moderate reduction in the gender age gap (5 and 3 years respectively in 1980 and 2017). While in the early 1980s age differentials at marriage between men and women diverged in rural and urban areas, a reduced gender gap and greater spatial heterogeneity were observed in 2017, indicating social modernization in most rural communities. These findings highlight the role of local contexts in shaping attitudes toward marriage postponement in Greece, suggesting that the spatial diffusion of marriage homogamy—as an indicator of social change—is influenced by the emergence of ‘permeable’ and ‘resistant’ communities with characteristic socioeconomic profiles. Going beyond the traditional urban–rural divide, space has become an important mediator of gender power dynamics, evidencing the progressive fragmentation of social processes and the increasing heterogeneity of the related demographic patterns at the local community scale. Spatial analysis contributes to delineate such complex processes, integrating results from approaches that assess individual behaviors with a refined investigation of macro-scale patterns of change. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Some Voices from Italian Youth on Well-Being: How to Cope with Job Insecurity?
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(4), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9040058 - 23 Apr 2020
Viewed by 845
Abstract
’Insecure’ jobs and alternating between periods of unemployment and periods of employment under fixed-term contracts are increasingly widespread among the youth in Europe. This phenomenon is an important risk factor for young people’s well-being. Despite the growing number of studies, some issues have [...] Read more.
’Insecure’ jobs and alternating between periods of unemployment and periods of employment under fixed-term contracts are increasingly widespread among the youth in Europe. This phenomenon is an important risk factor for young people’s well-being. Despite the growing number of studies, some issues have still not been adequately addressed. Compared to the high number of quantitative studies, the number of qualitative researches is limited: in fact, few studies have tackled this topic from a qualitative standpoint, highlighting the dynamics and the subjective processes which operate in this relationship and considering the different functions that work can have for the individual. Another aspect that has not been adequately dealt with is represented by the coping strategies that young people put in place to deal with job insecurity, and which have consequences on their well-being. The present article on the Italian case is intended to give a contribution in these directions. In particular, it analyses the way in which a group of 40 unemployed or temporarily employed young people, in-depth interviewed, subjectively describe the relationship between job insecurity and well-being, and reflects on coping strategies to face job insecurity and related perceived consequences. In doing this, the authors consider the role of individual factors, as well as of meso and macro ones, given that—for example—the national contexts have a role in influencing the way in which job insecurity is perceived and managed by individuals. The results highlight the complexity of this relationship, in which the intertwining of factors at different levels plays a very important role in determining the coping strategies and the overall well-being of people: individually, like the functions and the subjective meanings of work for the youth, but also in meso and macro terms, such as the familial support and relationships, and the institutional and public resources available. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Kenya’s Over-Reliance on Institutionalization as a Child Care and Child Protection Model: A Root-Cause Approach
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(4), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9040057 - 22 Apr 2020
Viewed by 1398
Abstract
Institutionalization of children who are deprived of parental care is a thriving phenomenon in the global South, and has generated considerable concern both nationally and internationally, in the last two decades. In Kenya, the number of children growing up in live-in care institutions [...] Read more.
Institutionalization of children who are deprived of parental care is a thriving phenomenon in the global South, and has generated considerable concern both nationally and internationally, in the last two decades. In Kenya, the number of children growing up in live-in care institutions has been growing ever since the country’s early post-independence years. Although legislative and regulatory measures aimed at child protection have been in place for a number of years now, and the national government appears to be standing by the commitment it expressed in recent times to implement care reform which encompasses de-institutionalization, the national child protection system remains very dependent on institutional care. Against the backdrop of a global and national movement towards de-institutionalization of child care and child protection, in this paper we tease out the range of factors reinforcing Kenya’s over-reliance on live-in institutions as a child care and child protection model. Numerous factors—structural, political, economic, socio-cultural, and legal—contribute to the complexity of the issue. We highlight this complexity, bringing together different angles, while pointing out the interests of the different stakeholders in reinforcing institutional care. We argue that the sustainability, efficiency and effectiveness of the intended change from institutional care to alternative family-based care requires that a root-cause approach be adopted in addressing the underlying child care and child protection issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Critical Debates and Developments in Child Protection)
Open AccessArticle
Structural Equation Models on the Satisfaction and Motivation for Retirement of Spanish University Professors
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(4), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9040056 - 21 Apr 2020
Viewed by 601
Abstract
Research on the motives behind a university professor’s decision to retire is scarce. In the present work, we have tried to define and delimit the aspects of the university professor’s satisfaction that have an influence on their motivation to retire. Nine hundred and [...] Read more.
Research on the motives behind a university professor’s decision to retire is scarce. In the present work, we have tried to define and delimit the aspects of the university professor’s satisfaction that have an influence on their motivation to retire. Nine hundred and one Spanish university professors answered the Inventory “Questionnaire for Active, Retired and Emeritus University Professors.” In the analysis, three structural equations were estimated. The overall sample, as well as the professional status subsamples—active or not active—were taken into account. Significant differences were found according to the work status. Three dimensions explained the satisfaction: economic, professional, and relational. The satisfaction of the professors in each of them had an influence on their decision to retire. Work conditions created by the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and work conditions due to the educational and/or university laws determined the economic satisfaction to a greater degree. The possibilities of being part of professional networks or teams, and of publishing and disseminating knowledge, have a considerable impact on professional satisfaction. Relational satisfaction was notable for predicting the motivation to retire. Relationships with colleagues had an effect on the relational satisfaction. Policies for improving the satisfaction of the university professors could help delay the exit of talented professors, who are part of the human capital of the universities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
‘Sis Science’ and Fitness Doping: Ethnopharmacology, Gender and Risk
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(4), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9040055 - 21 Apr 2020
Viewed by 654
Abstract
This article is part of a larger investigation looking into recent changes in the demographics of fitness doping and the possible consequences of such changes. Contesting the historical alliance between masculinity and fitness doping, the article focuses on women’s narratives and experiences of [...] Read more.
This article is part of a larger investigation looking into recent changes in the demographics of fitness doping and the possible consequences of such changes. Contesting the historical alliance between masculinity and fitness doping, the article focuses on women’s narratives and experiences of fitness doping in a male-dominated open online community called Flashback. The article builds upon a qualitative and netnographic approach to the research. Employing the lens of the potential emergence of a woman-based ethnopharmacological culture, this article investigates the ways in which women talk about and rationalise their use of performance and image enhancing drugs (PEIDs), their potency and potential gendered side-effects. The results show that although fitness doping can be largely understood in terms of hegemonic patterns, women have gained ground in the context of online fitness doping, heralding a changing doping demography and a movement towards a ‘sis science’ ethnopharmacology. Although critiqued by men, the context enables women to freely discuss harm reduction, risks and the potential potencies of various drugs, and to share knowledge that is relevant to female biology and discuss their own experiences, an activity that also makes visible the negotiation of new gender positions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extreme Sports, Extreme Bodies)
Open AccessArticle
‘Warm Eyes’, ‘Warm Breath’, ‘Heart Warmth’: Using Aroha (Love) and Warmth to Reconceptualise and Work towards Best Interests in Child Protection
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(4), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9040054 - 17 Apr 2020
Viewed by 717
Abstract
The attributes ‘warm eyes’, ‘breathe warm air’, ‘heart warmth’ and aroha (love) guide our work in child protection. These quotes are from a young person from the Change Factory 2020, a MFAMILY student in 2020 and Jan Erik Henricksen Key Note at the [...] Read more.
The attributes ‘warm eyes’, ‘breathe warm air’, ‘heart warmth’ and aroha (love) guide our work in child protection. These quotes are from a young person from the Change Factory 2020, a MFAMILY student in 2020 and Jan Erik Henricksen Key Note at the 4th International Indigenous Voices in Social Work Conference, Alta, Norway 2017 respectively, to describe the way young people and families want workers to be. We reflect on the child rights and family inclusion provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRoC), and the Aotearoa New Zealand (ANZ) legislation Children, Young Persons and their Families Act (1989), in contributing to the best interests of the child. We examine current events in our locations, Aotearoa New Zealand, Norway and Western Australia, as demonstrating that these joint principles are far from universally used in child protection practice. The sole use of Article 3 of the UNCRoC, in particular, often results in excluding families as legitimate stakeholders. In seeking to achieve the best interests of the child, we apply a practice framework to example vignettes. Here, we have added micro-practices to address the identified gaps in relationship building, engagement and enabling practices in working towards the practice of best interests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Critical Debates and Developments in Child Protection)
Open AccessArticle
Big Data in Education: Perception of Training Advisors on Its Use in the Educational System
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(4), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9040053 - 15 Apr 2020
Viewed by 655
Abstract
Big Data has revolutionized decision making in many fields, including education. The incorporation of information and communication technologies into education enables us to gather information about the teaching and learning process. As Big Data can help us improve it, it is paramount to [...] Read more.
Big Data has revolutionized decision making in many fields, including education. The incorporation of information and communication technologies into education enables us to gather information about the teaching and learning process. As Big Data can help us improve it, it is paramount to integrate it into initial and continuous learning stages. This study therefore aims at finding out the perception of the training advisors of teacher training centers (N = 117) in Andalusia on the application of Big Data in education. The tool is an adaptation of the VABIDAE (Assessment of Big Data Applied to Education) scale, and the study of the descriptive statistics was carried out by using the analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Mann–Whitney U tests in order to check the existence of significant differences and correlations between the items that make up the scale. The results reflect the positive perception of training advisors on the use of Big Data in education. Significant differences were found in the competence level variable, whereby this tool was better rated by those advisors who feel that they have an advanced competence level. In conclusion, Big Data is valued for its ability to personalize educational processes and the consequent improvement in academic results, which shows the need to increase the level of knowledge about this tool. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Big Data and Social Sciences)
Open AccessArticle
Building a Common Project by Promoting Pedagogical Coordination and Educational Leadership for School Improvement: A Structural Equation Model
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(4), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9040052 - 14 Apr 2020
Viewed by 604
Abstract
Leadership and teaching practices are the most important factors that affect student learning. Many studies have pointed out the combination of both of them in a common project as a guarantee to achieve school improvement. The present study sets out to define and [...] Read more.
Leadership and teaching practices are the most important factors that affect student learning. Many studies have pointed out the combination of both of them in a common project as a guarantee to achieve school improvement. The present study sets out to define and contrast an explanatory model of pedagogical coordination as a function of management leadership, collaborative working, setting common goals, participation in decision making, involvement of teaching staff and professional development of teachers, in a sample of pedagogical leaders from secondary schools. A final sample of 547 participants from Granada and Jaen (Spain) was obtained. An instrument adapted from the DLI questionnaire (Hulpia 2009) was administered. Path analysis was conducted, which displayed good model fit for all considered indices (χ2 = 10.937; df = 2.187; p < 0.001; CFI = 0.998 TLI = 0.993; GFI = 0.994; RMSEA = 0.047). The main result was the identification of positive relationships between all dimensions of the questionnaire. It can be concluded that management plays a key role in the establishment of common goals at the school. Another important finding was that collaborative conditions should be present to favour the involvement and professional growth of the teacher. In summary, the existence of all of these conditions leads to high levels of all indices of pedagogical coordination in the examined secondary schools. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Predicting Loneliness from Where and What People Do
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(4), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9040051 - 14 Apr 2020
Viewed by 703
Abstract
The many devastating mental health outcomes associated with chronic loneliness is the motivation behind research into examining personal and demographic characteristics of the lonely. The present study sought to examine the connection of where people live (degree of urbanization) and what people do [...] Read more.
The many devastating mental health outcomes associated with chronic loneliness is the motivation behind research into examining personal and demographic characteristics of the lonely. The present study sought to examine the connection of where people live (degree of urbanization) and what people do (leisure activities) with self-report of loneliness in a large sample (N = 8356) of unrelated Dutch adults. Information regarding where people live and what they do in their leisure time was entered into a regression analysis for self-reported loneliness. The overall regression was significant and accounted for 2.8% of the loneliness scale scores. Significant independent predictors for loneliness were living in heavily urbanized areas and engaging in fewer social activities. People who went sightseeing or to amusement parks/zoos or who participated in clubs reported being less lonely. Spending time using a computer predicted higher self-report loneliness scores. Consistent with previous research, after controlling for other variables, gender was not a significant predictor of loneliness but both a younger age and a curvilinear or U-shaped curve of age predicted loneliness (the younger and the much older). The results suggest that meaningful interpersonal interactions may result in lower feelings of loneliness. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
“White Diversity”: Paradoxes of Deracializing Antidiscrimination
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(4), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9040050 - 13 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 694
Abstract
This article questions, at its starting point, the theoretical and epistemic assumptions around the emergence of the concept of (super)diversity, hailed in a growing body of academic literature as marking a “diversity turn”. In the second part, it highlights the issues raised by [...] Read more.
This article questions, at its starting point, the theoretical and epistemic assumptions around the emergence of the concept of (super)diversity, hailed in a growing body of academic literature as marking a “diversity turn”. In the second part, it highlights the issues raised by the organizational applications of the diversity paradigm in three main policy domains: migration, urban planning, and antidiscrimination. Finally, emphasizing the development of white-centered diversity conceptions, particularly in the European and French contexts, it invites a closer look at the intertwining of scholarly and practical elaborations of the diversity frame by considering knowledge as practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reshaping the World: Rethinking Borders)
Open AccessArticle
Reputation Cues as Signals in the Sharing Economy
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(4), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9040049 - 11 Apr 2020
Viewed by 675
Abstract
Reputation cues, like star ratings, signal qualities of service providers in the sharing economy and may affect user behavior. Guided by concepts from signaling theory and using a repeated measures experiment (N = 221), this study manipulated the level of star ratings of [...] Read more.
Reputation cues, like star ratings, signal qualities of service providers in the sharing economy and may affect user behavior. Guided by concepts from signaling theory and using a repeated measures experiment (N = 221), this study manipulated the level of star ratings of ride sharing drivers. Intuitive findings are perceived service quality and willingness to use the service provider are higher when the star rating is high versus low. Extending prior work, perceived service quality mediates the effect of reputation on willingness, explaining 83% of the total effect. Also, the direct effect of reputation cues on perceived service quality depends, albeit weakly (η2p = 0.02), on how much users say they pay attention to them. These novel findings clarify the kinds of mental processing that occur when users of shared services evaluate reputation cues. We discuss findings in terms of costly signaling and consider practical implications for users and providers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The TACL Model: A Framework for Safeguarding Children with a Disability in Sport
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(4), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9040048 - 10 Apr 2020
Viewed by 665
Abstract
This study represents the first investigation of how children with a disability can be safeguarded in Rugby Union. In study 1, a questionnaire containing quantitative questions was completed by 389 safeguarding volunteers regarding their experiences of working with a child with a disability [...] Read more.
This study represents the first investigation of how children with a disability can be safeguarded in Rugby Union. In study 1, a questionnaire containing quantitative questions was completed by 389 safeguarding volunteers regarding their experiences of working with a child with a disability in their role. Descriptive statistics revealed that 76% of this sample had worked with a child with a disability in Rugby Union and that 28% continue to do so on a weekly basis. In study 2, a qualitative survey was completed by 329 safeguarding volunteers and interviews were conducted with a geographically representative sample of 14 Safeguarding Officers. This study focused on developing a model of promising practice with respect to safeguarding children with a disability in Rugby Union. Based on an inductive thematic analysis of the qualitative survey and interview data, the TACL model was developed: Trigger (creating a system that sensitively identifies children with a disability), Action Plan (creating an individualized approach such that the child is effectively included and protected), Communicate (ensuring that all key stakeholders are informed about the plan) and Learn (ensuring that cases of good practice are identified and disseminated). The name TACL (pronounced tackle) was chosen to promote proactive strategies and to provide a label relevant to the language of Rugby Union. These strategies are proposed as the basis for the safeguarding of children with a disability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Critical Debates and Developments in Child Protection)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Can Social Networks Make Us More Sensitive to Social Discrimination? E-Contact, Identity Processes and Perception of Online Sexual Discrimination in a Sample of Facebook Users
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(4), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9040047 - 09 Apr 2020
Viewed by 802
Abstract
In recent years psychosocial studies have given a growing attention to online intergroup contact in reducing prejudice. Nevertheless, there is still a lack of evidence on processes that could mediate this relation. The present study aimed to fill this gap. Focused on intergroup [...] Read more.
In recent years psychosocial studies have given a growing attention to online intergroup contact in reducing prejudice. Nevertheless, there is still a lack of evidence on processes that could mediate this relation. The present study aimed to fill this gap. Focused on intergroup relationships between people with different sexual orientations, it examined whether and to what extent identity processes—i.e., sexual identity commitment and exploration—mediated the relationship between online intergroup contact and perception of mediated and vicarious sexual online discrimination on Facebook. Data was collected with a sample of 357 Facebook users (Mage = 26.07, SD = 8.37; females: 64.9%, males: 35.1%) who completed an online questionnaire. A full Structural Equation Modeling was tested. Results showed that: (a) Online contact was positively associated with perceived online sexual discrimination; (b) online contact was positively associated with identity exploration but not commitment; (c) exploration—but not commitment—was positively associated with perceived online sexual discrimination; (d) sexual identity exploration—but not commitment—mediated the relationship between online contact and perception of sexual discrimination, increasing the positive effect of contact on perceived discrimination. Limitations and directions for future research were discussed. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Minority Stress and Mental Health in Italian Bisexual People
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(4), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9040046 - 09 Apr 2020
Viewed by 944
Abstract
Bisexual people are a strongly stigmatized population experiencing health disparities caused by social stigmatization. The predominant framework helping to understand these health disparities and the impact of stigma on mental health of social groups belonging to a sexual minority identity constitutes the minority [...] Read more.
Bisexual people are a strongly stigmatized population experiencing health disparities caused by social stigmatization. The predominant framework helping to understand these health disparities and the impact of stigma on mental health of social groups belonging to a sexual minority identity constitutes the minority stress theory. In Italy, studies assessing this model in bisexual populations are very limited. Within this framework, the current study aimed at assessing in 381 Italian bisexual individuals (62 men and 319 women) the effects of anti-bisexual discrimination, proximal stressors (i.e., anticipated binegativity, internalized binegativity, and outness), and resilience on psychological distress. The results suggested that only anti-bisexual discrimination and internalized binegativity were positively associated with psychological distress, and that resilience was negatively associated with mental health issues. Furthermore, the results suggested that internalized binegativity mediated the relationship between anti-bisexual discrimination and mental health problems. No moderating effect of resilience was found. This is the first study to have thoroughly applied minority stress in Italian bisexual people, providing Italian clinicians and researchers with an outline of the associations between minority stress, stigma, resilience, and psychological distress within this population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Gender Studies)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) as a Footprint for Tutoring Systems: A Model of ABA Approach Applied to Olfactory Learning
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(4), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9040045 - 09 Apr 2020
Viewed by 687
Abstract
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) belongs to the analysis of behavior techniques introduced by the theorists of behaviorism in psychological fields. It deals with the application of behaviorism principles to guide the learning process. It can serve as a footprint to build artificial tutoring [...] Read more.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) belongs to the analysis of behavior techniques introduced by the theorists of behaviorism in psychological fields. It deals with the application of behaviorism principles to guide the learning process. It can serve as a footprint to build artificial tutoring systems in environments for specific learning processes. In this paper, we delineate the pathway to build an artificial tutoring system following ABA footprints, named the ABA tutor. In implementing the ABA tutor, the techniques of ABA are reproduced. This paper also describes how to build a tutor based on ABA and how to use it to favor olfactory learning. In more detail, the ABA tutor is inserted in SNIFF, a system that combines a software and a hardware side to assess and practice the sense of smell exploiting gamification. A first experiment was run involving 90 participants, and the results indicated that the artificial tutoring system based on ABA principles can effectively promote olfactory learning. The implications of this approach are discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Professional Values Challenged by Case Management—Theorizing Practice in Child Protection with Reflexive Practitioners
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(4), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9040044 - 08 Apr 2020
Viewed by 656
Abstract
In this article, we theorize and reflect based on former research into professional practice and discretion as well as use some results from working together with practitioners in child protection services to explore the phenomenon of non-performing. Regulation lies at the heart of [...] Read more.
In this article, we theorize and reflect based on former research into professional practice and discretion as well as use some results from working together with practitioners in child protection services to explore the phenomenon of non-performing. Regulation lies at the heart of the contemporary child protection discourse. On the one hand we have seen a trend towards systematization of assessment content and procedures, on the other hand it is assumed that rational management approaches can secure consistency of performance. Social workers may be weary of the constraints all this imposes, but seem generally content to comply. Our reasoning was that social workers in child protection should be helped to get to grips with modifications to practice so that multi-challenged families could be accorded priority. These changes would include a reframing of assessment to take account of family needs as well as the needs of children. Follow-up would also require much more attention. Additionally, the choice of help provided for children and families would have to come into better focus, despite the limitations often experienced in practice. The question we asked was whether these types of reframing could be fostered within local child welfare units. We conducted a field trial in which child protection units were encouraged to reframe their practices, with the support of an expert group. The idea was to enhance and enable innovation through the combination of a more thorough dialogue with the families involved, as well as critical reflection based on available knowledge related to the identified challenges. We do a critical discussion of the work and the results from this in order to enhance knowledge on innovation in child protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Critical Debates and Developments in Child Protection)
Open AccessArticle
A Framework to Inform Protective Support and Supportive Protection in Child Protection and Welfare Practice and Supervision
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(4), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9040043 - 07 Apr 2020
Viewed by 960
Abstract
In this article, our intention is to provide an in-depth framework to inform the management of the inevitable complexity of day-to-day practice and supervision in child protection and welfare. It is based on what is now well evidenced about child protection and welfare [...] Read more.
In this article, our intention is to provide an in-depth framework to inform the management of the inevitable complexity of day-to-day practice and supervision in child protection and welfare. It is based on what is now well evidenced about child protection and welfare literature in relation to risk, relationships, family support, supervision, and professional development. Using Ireland as a case example for illustration and application, we introduce an emerging framework based on a dualism of ‘protective support and supportive protection’ developed in previous work. We avail of Bronfenbrenner’s bio-ecological framework and network theories to progress this ongoing ‘work in progress’ to inform social work and social care practice and supervision in a global context as and where appropriate. We emphasize the importance of context specific approaches, the relevance of range of actors, practitioner and supervisor expertise through experience, and proactive partnership based engagement with children, families, and relevant communities in all aspects of service delivery, including evaluation. We reflect on the challenges and possible obstacles to how such a framework can inform practice and supervision. We argue that practitioners can best activate and apply the framework using a practice research approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Critical Debates and Developments in Child Protection)
Open AccessArticle
Examining Yam Production in Response to Climate Change in Nigeria: A Co-Integration Model Approach
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(4), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9040042 - 04 Apr 2020
Viewed by 722
Abstract
This study addressed yam production in response to climate change in Cross River State using a co-integration model approach. The specific objectives of this paper are to analyze the trend in yam production, annual precipitation, and annual temperature, and to analyze the impact [...] Read more.
This study addressed yam production in response to climate change in Cross River State using a co-integration model approach. The specific objectives of this paper are to analyze the trend in yam production, annual precipitation, and annual temperature, and to analyze the impact of climate variables on yam production. Time-series data from 1996 to 2017 was used. Based on the analysis, which constituted a linear trend analysis, co-integration test, and error correction model, the study came up with robust findings. The linear trend analysis for yam production revealed a steady increase in output between the years 2005 and 2016. The result of the rainfall trend analysis showed the presence of rainfall variability and irregularity. The trend line for temperature showed an overall downward trend for the period under study. However, the Error Correction Model result showed that temperature was statistically significant and negatively impacted yam production. The study recommends that policymakers should take appropriate steps to encourage the development of pest- and disease-tolerant yam varieties because an increase in temperature leads to the proliferation of insects, pests, and diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Economics)
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Open AccessArticle
Michael Walzer’s Humanitarian Intervention Theory Applied to Multisided Conflicts: A Discussion of Intervention and Self-Determination in the Syrian Civil War
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(4), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9040041 - 03 Apr 2020
Viewed by 940
Abstract
Humanitarian interventions have often been employed to promote the intervener’s political and economic interests. Given the issues around intervention’s morality, this article explores Michael Walzer’s humanitarian intervention theory in order to unravel the practical difficulties of legitimating humanitarian interventions in multisided conflicts. After [...] Read more.
Humanitarian interventions have often been employed to promote the intervener’s political and economic interests. Given the issues around intervention’s morality, this article explores Michael Walzer’s humanitarian intervention theory in order to unravel the practical difficulties of legitimating humanitarian interventions in multisided conflicts. After exploring Walzer’s arguments as they relate to unilateral and multilateral interventions, this article explains why, according to the self-determination principle, intervening countries must share the victim’s cause. Later, the article uses the Syrian Civil War to exemplify the conundrum of crafting a legitimate humanitarian intervention in multisided conflicts where the victims are internally divided and have opposing political, economic, and/or religious views. This case study evidences how, in such contexts, humanitarian interventions simultaneously protect the population and promote the group that best represents the intervening state’s interests, thus turning internal conflicts into foreign proxy wars. Finally, the article argues that, despite Walzer’s proposal for a consistent theory of unilateral and multilateral humanitarian interventions, unilateral interventions should be replaced in multisided conflicts by multilateral interventions able to halt atrocities and provide a stable solution for internal conflicts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Contemporary Politics and Society)
Open AccessArticle
The Shift from Consumers to Prosumers: Susceptibility of Young Adults to Radicalization
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(4), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9040040 - 03 Apr 2020
Viewed by 803
Abstract
This article examines the radicalization of young adults in relation to internet access and the social media content produced and managed by radical groups in Indonesia. Some of the research problems that become the major concern of this article were how young people [...] Read more.
This article examines the radicalization of young adults in relation to internet access and the social media content produced and managed by radical groups in Indonesia. Some of the research problems that become the major concern of this article were how young people respond to the internet and social media that provide radical content, how they find out about and access the content, what their purposes are for accessing radical content, and what they do with the radical content. The data discussed in this article were obtained from surveys and interviews with 700 students from seven state universities in Indonesia who were allegedly exposed to radicalism, according to the National Agency for Combating Terrorism (BNPT). The state universities that became research locations were the University of Indonesia (UI), Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), Bogor Agriculture University (IPB), Diponegoro University (Undip), the Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology (ITS), Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR), and the University of Brawijaya (UB). This study revealed that in addition to accessing and consuming various radical content, some students also acted as prosumers. That is, they did not only read, but also produced information related to radicalization, and then recirculated it via social media. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Policy)
Open AccessArticle
Implications of Educational Policy-Making Which Encourages Schools to Collaborate with the Community, External Agencies, Private Companies, Employers and Voluntary Organisations
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(4), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9040039 - 02 Apr 2020
Viewed by 907
Abstract
Despite the move to state education, policy-makers since the early 1900s have encouraged the community, external agencies, private companies, employers and voluntary organisations to become involved in schools. The rationales for these collaborations are to address issues (e.g., delinquency, neglect, underachievement and low [...] Read more.
Despite the move to state education, policy-makers since the early 1900s have encouraged the community, external agencies, private companies, employers and voluntary organisations to become involved in schools. The rationales for these collaborations are to address issues (e.g., delinquency, neglect, underachievement and low family support), which will be tackled through activities (e.g., extra-curricular clubs and one-to-one support) and to focus on the social aspects of schooling of wider audiences (e.g., adults). These activities are deemed as beneficial through implementation which is perceived to be issue free. Research is lacking with regard to how these policy responses are played out in practice and the perceptions of those involved. This paper reveals the individuals involved in four case study schools using an audit pro-forma, documentary analysis and interviews with school staff and external agencies. The findings highlight that several individuals were expected to deliver former statutory provision for free, but quality was a concern. Individuals may perceive that their activities contribute to the national curriculum, but staff had different perceptions. This paper reveals how policies are directing the individuals involved and their activities. There are questions over whose interests are intended to be served and the implications for pupils, parents, schools, communities and politicians. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Policy)
Open AccessArticle
Investigating Some Construct Validity Threats to TALIS 2018 Teacher Job Satisfaction Scale: Implications for Social Science Researchers and Practitioners
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(4), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9040038 - 01 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 830
Abstract
The credibility of findings ensuing from cross-sectional survey research depends largely on the validity and reliability of the research instruments. Critical attention to the quality of such instruments will ensure logical and valid results. The purpose of this article is to provide evidence [...] Read more.
The credibility of findings ensuing from cross-sectional survey research depends largely on the validity and reliability of the research instruments. Critical attention to the quality of such instruments will ensure logical and valid results. The purpose of this article is to provide evidence for two methodological issues observed that are potential threats to construct validity of widely used Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) 2018 data on teacher job satisfaction scale (TJSS). The first issue concerns reverse recoding of some items necessary to obtain a coherence covariance between these items and other items on the same subscale. The second issue concerns the addition of item cross-loading necessary to improve the fit of the TJSS. Both conceptual and empirical arguments are provided in the current article to substantiate these observations. A series of structural equation modeling tests are evaluated to assess the measurement model of the TJSS across 27 randomly selected countries/economies that participated in the survey. The results reveal gross misspecifications in the measurement model if these issues are not addressed. An alternative two-factor structure with an item cross-loading is proposed and evaluated for TJSS and found acceptable across the countries/economies. Some implications of findings for methodologists and practitioners are presented. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Watching over or Working with? Understanding Social Work Innovation in Response to Extra-Familial Harm
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(4), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9040037 - 01 Apr 2020
Viewed by 1291
Abstract
This paper critically reflects on the role of surveillance and trusted relationships in social work in England and Wales. It explores the characteristics of relationships of trust and relationships of surveillance and asks how these approaches apply to emerging policy and practices responses [...] Read more.
This paper critically reflects on the role of surveillance and trusted relationships in social work in England and Wales. It explores the characteristics of relationships of trust and relationships of surveillance and asks how these approaches apply to emerging policy and practices responses to extra-familial forms of harm (EFH). Five bodies of research that explore safeguarding responses across a range of public bodies are drawn on to present an analytical framework that explores elements of safeguarding responses, constituting relationships of trust or relationships of surveillance and control. This analytic framework is applied to two case studies, each of which detail a recent practice innovation in response to EFH studied by the authors, as part of a larger body of work under the Contextual Safeguarding programme. The application of this framework signals a number of critical issues related to the focus/rationale, methods and impact of interventions into EFH that should be considered in future work to address EFH, to ensure young people’s rights to privacy and participation are upheld. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Critical Debates and Developments in Child Protection)
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Open AccessArticle
Does Diversity in Top Management Teams Contribute to Organizational Performance? The Response of the IBEX 35 Companies
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(4), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9040036 - 30 Mar 2020
Viewed by 845
Abstract
This study contributes to the dissemination of the theoretical and empirical knowledge on the Upper Echelons Theory, considering training and demographic diversity in Top Management Teams (TMTs) as a unique feature of companies, in our case, the IBEX 35 companies. Based on the [...] Read more.
This study contributes to the dissemination of the theoretical and empirical knowledge on the Upper Echelons Theory, considering training and demographic diversity in Top Management Teams (TMTs) as a unique feature of companies, in our case, the IBEX 35 companies. Based on the results, we can confirm that the inclusion of women in management teams positively influences the sales of a company and contributes to increasing financial results. Age and knowledge of two or more languages are important factors in achieving an increase in financial performance. From the point of view of business practice, the results obtained are useful for increasing knowledge of which TMT characteristics are valid, which allows for better results and the establishment of responsible organizational policies that promote the inclusion of gender diversity in TMTs. In addition, the results of this study indicate that the incorporation of members of other non-Spanish nationalities would constitute a distinctive feature of a company and would enrich it not only financially, but also culturally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Gender Studies)
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Open AccessArticle
Populism and Independence Movements in Europe: The Catalan-Spanish Case
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(4), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9040035 - 29 Mar 2020
Viewed by 1025
Abstract
The most powerful countries in the world are immersed in a process of economic and cultural globalization. As an effect of action and reaction, there is an increasing emergence of nationalistic phenomena. This investigation undertakes an analysis of the current situation in Europe [...] Read more.
The most powerful countries in the world are immersed in a process of economic and cultural globalization. As an effect of action and reaction, there is an increasing emergence of nationalistic phenomena. This investigation undertakes an analysis of the current situation in Europe and places particular focus on the case of the Catalan independence movement, subjacent to the history of Spain, which has been growing notably in recent times. With 3600 articles reviewed, this study investigates the repercussions and communicative strategies from the point of view of the principal Spanish digital media. The results reveal two parallel universes, clearly differentiated by their perspective of the conflict, their contradictory headlines, and their parallel truths. This text presents key findings that are relevant for the study of political communication in the context of media studies. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Toward a Model of Just Tourism: A Proposal
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(4), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9040034 - 26 Mar 2020
Viewed by 862
Abstract
Inequality is growing within and between countries. Tourism is a growing sector affecting lives, with a vibrancy of its own and malleable structures that can benefit a majority, if social justice and equality are the goals. Cooperatives are one of these structures, and [...] Read more.
Inequality is growing within and between countries. Tourism is a growing sector affecting lives, with a vibrancy of its own and malleable structures that can benefit a majority, if social justice and equality are the goals. Cooperatives are one of these structures, and have the potential to drive a development trajectory that delivers a just tourism. We define just tourism as a form of tourism that delivers the most benefits to its members—for themselves and by themselves—representing a form of accumulation from within. This article is based on secondary data and is a conceptual paper. It posits a coop hotel model, which harnesses the hope of spreading the cooperative model for its finer qualities of providing job security to workers, happiness, democratic participation, decision making functions, self-governance, empowerment, openness, retention of capital within the community, the pursuit of both economic social goals, resilience, and importantly, the emphasis on community contribution and matters of sustainability. Community-based tourism and cooperatives have interlocking values such as local control, local/self-management, and being steeped in the local context. The coop hotels model, which is the main contribution of this article, suggests the creation of mother hotel coops, with coop sisters and coop children in pursuit of social justice for a just tourism. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Painting Practical Support: A Study about the Usage of Painting Materials in Children’s Painting Works
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(4), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9040033 - 26 Mar 2020
Viewed by 781
Abstract
Painting materials are one of the mediums that help painters to show the effects of paintings. The use of different painting materials can help the painter to display different painting styles and artistic conception. Six hundred sixty-seven children aged 7 to 13 participated [...] Read more.
Painting materials are one of the mediums that help painters to show the effects of paintings. The use of different painting materials can help the painter to display different painting styles and artistic conception. Six hundred sixty-seven children aged 7 to 13 participated in the study. This study is mainly about the impact of the use of different painting materials on children’s painting creation. The questionnaire survey was conducted based on primary school fine arts education to study the influence of painting materials on children’s painting ability. The content of the questionnaire survey was to investigate children’s usage of different painting materials in painting works and the grasp of painting materials knowledge. This research also provided some painting materials training methods for primary school fine arts teachers to guide children to use different painting materials for painting creation based on the study results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Big Data and Social Sciences)
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Open AccessArticle
On Decolonising Borders and Regional Integration in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(4), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9040032 - 25 Mar 2020
Viewed by 808
Abstract
This paper uses insights gained from a qualitative study of informal cross border actors on selected Southern African Development Community (SADC) borders to argue for the decolonisation of these borders. It is asserted that, although SADC citizens enjoy a 90-day free visa in [...] Read more.
This paper uses insights gained from a qualitative study of informal cross border actors on selected Southern African Development Community (SADC) borders to argue for the decolonisation of these borders. It is asserted that, although SADC citizens enjoy a 90-day free visa in member states, this should not be simplistically taken to mean that there are “open borders” and free movement of persons in region. The recognition that a border “open” to formal actors may be closed to informal cross border actors based on issues of power and class is the foundation for the decolonisation of these borders, a process which should articulate to the regional integration project in the region. Such a decolonisation of borders should recognise in policy and/or border management regimes all cross-border actors, especially non-state actors, who are criminalized and rendered invisible through cross border discourses and policies. This point is worth emphasizing, because most people who cross African borders may not be the formal actors such as multinational corporations (MNCs) and/or their proxies who are favoured by cross border policies, but ordinary people such as informal cross border traders and border citizens, who need decolonised borders for them to enjoy freedom of movement, rather than being depoliticized and relegated to the subaltern who cannot speak, let alone move. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reshaping the World: Rethinking Borders)
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