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Societies, Volume 11, Issue 4 (December 2021) – 30 articles

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17 pages, 728 KiB  
Article
Understanding South Korea’s Use of Sports Mega-Events for Domestic, Regional and International Soft Power
by Jonathan Grix, Joonoh Brian Jeong and Hyungmin Kim
Societies 2021, 11(4), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11040144 - 7 Dec 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 7979
Abstract
This paper seeks to contribute to the growing literature on ‘soft power’ by focusing on East Asia as a region gaining in political and economic significance; equally, we highlight the role sports mega-events play in the region’s most powerful states’ soft power strategies. [...] Read more.
This paper seeks to contribute to the growing literature on ‘soft power’ by focusing on East Asia as a region gaining in political and economic significance; equally, we highlight the role sports mega-events play in the region’s most powerful states’ soft power strategies. For the purpose of this paper, we focus on South Korea’s soft power strategy and how the hosting of major sporting events has become a central part of this. We introduce both a novel tripartite approach to the study of the motives behind hosting sports mega-events, along with new, empirical data on the chosen case of South Korea. Our findings strengthen the notion that an explanation of why states seek to host major sports events can be better understood by considering the domestic, regional and international dimensions to capture the complexities behind such decisions. Full article
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18 pages, 285 KiB  
Article
Organizational Justice and Workplace Bullying: Lessons Learned from Externally Referred Complaints and Investigations
by Annabelle M. Neall, Yiqiong Li and Michelle R. Tuckey
Societies 2021, 11(4), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11040143 - 3 Dec 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 6066
Abstract
Workplace bullying is a serious psychosocial risk which, when poorly managed, results in detrimental outcomes for individuals, organizations, and society. Some of the most common strategies for addressing bullying within the workplace centre on attempts to document and contextualise the bullying situation—that is, [...] Read more.
Workplace bullying is a serious psychosocial risk which, when poorly managed, results in detrimental outcomes for individuals, organizations, and society. Some of the most common strategies for addressing bullying within the workplace centre on attempts to document and contextualise the bullying situation—that is, the internal complaint and investigation process. Scholarly inquiries of these investigative mechanisms, however, are limited, and most have neglected the influence of organisational justice as an underpinning mechanism in explaining complainant dissatisfaction. Using evidence from 280 real-life cases of workplace bullying lodged with a peak work, health, and safety agency, we identify how organizational justice manifests in externally referred cases of workplace bullying. Specifically, we match complainant evaluations of the internal complaint and investigation handling process to domains of organisational justice, thereby ascertaining potential threats to efforts to effectively manage and prevent bullying in the workplace. Four types of justice—distributive, procedural, interpersonal, and informational—were identified within the cases. Specifically, in cases of workplace bullying where distributive justice is not upheld (usually by virtue of unsubstantiated claims), the way in which information is gathered and decisions are made (procedural), the way in which the parties are treated (interpersonal), and the timeliness and validity of explanations provided (informational) are all cited by complainants as key factors in their decision to escalate the complaint to an external investigative body. These results signal the need for timely, clear, and compassionate investigative processes that validate complainants’ experiences and serve as a tool for rebuilding trust and repairing damaged relationships in the workplace. Full article
17 pages, 3076 KiB  
Article
Experiences of Adolescent Participation in Educational Institutions in Croatia
by Ivana Borić, Andrea Ćosić and Iva Prskalo
Societies 2021, 11(4), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11040142 - 3 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2535
Abstract
Adolescents in educational institutions are one of the groups of children whose voice is seldom heard, who have fewer opportunities to participate, and face more obstacles when they want to participate. Furthermore, growing up in out-of-home care often increases the children’s vulnerability and [...] Read more.
Adolescents in educational institutions are one of the groups of children whose voice is seldom heard, who have fewer opportunities to participate, and face more obstacles when they want to participate. Furthermore, growing up in out-of-home care often increases the children’s vulnerability and endangers their participatory rights in terms of obtaining adequate information on the course of care, the opportunities to participate in decisions relevant to their life and care, the impact on the quality of care, etc. The aim of this paper is to describe adolescent participation from two perspectives: prescribed and formalized in the form of beneficiary councils in educational institutions and in the form of adolescent’s experiences in institutions. A qualitative approach was used, and the data were obtained from focus groups with adolescents, as well as from descriptions of beneficiary councils through online questionnaires. The results shed light on the importance of adolescent’s rights but also on the lack of their fulfilment in educational institutions, especially when it comes to participation. Adolescents’ participation in educational institutions is perceived as limited, characterized by restriction and a lack of choice, which results in decreased motivation for participation. Beneficiary councils, despite being regulated in terms of legislation, are not considered a significant form of child participation in educational institutions. Full article
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16 pages, 607 KiB  
Article
COVID-19, Rural Communities, and Implications of Telebehavioral Health Services: Addressing the Benefits and Challenges of Behavioral Health Services via Telehealth in Nebraska
by Emily Freske and Benjamin Robert Malczyk
Societies 2021, 11(4), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11040141 - 30 Nov 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3350
Abstract
Telehealth has been in use, in various forms, for over a century and is growing increasingly more popular. The current research sought to examine the prevalence, benefits, and challenges of telehealth for behavioral and mental health services in the state of Nebraska with [...] Read more.
Telehealth has been in use, in various forms, for over a century and is growing increasingly more popular. The current research sought to examine the prevalence, benefits, and challenges of telehealth for behavioral and mental health services in the state of Nebraska with a particular focus on rural communities. The COVID-19 pandemic coincided with the research endeavors and impacted the questions that were asked related to the use of telebehavioral health. Specifically, the research included an investigation of the rates of use of telebehavioral health across agencies and whether/how the pandemic impacted the use of telehealth services. The research included an initial examination of more than 50 behavioral health agencies to assess overall utilization of telehealth. Researchers then conducted interviews with 15 practitioners to discuss the challenges and benefits associated with telehealth services. Key results suggest that implementation of telehealth in Nebraska has resulted in increased access to services among rural residents and has deeply impacted clinical practice. Additionally, clinicians identified specific benefits and challenges of telebehavioral health. It was also noted that the majority of clinicians plan to continue providing services via telehealth if the policies and regulations remain as they are post-COVID-19. Implications of this research highlight the efficiency and effectiveness of using telehealth to increase access. Full article
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18 pages, 2071 KiB  
Article
Communism and Anti-Communist Dissent in Romania as Reflected in Contemporary Textbooks
by Radu Săgeată, Nicoleta Damian and Bianca Mitrică
Societies 2021, 11(4), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11040140 - 30 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3240
Abstract
The structural changes brought about by the collapse of the communist system also included the reconfiguration of social memory, so that future generations have a more objective imagining of the impact of the communist period on the societies from Central and Eastern Europe. [...] Read more.
The structural changes brought about by the collapse of the communist system also included the reconfiguration of social memory, so that future generations have a more objective imagining of the impact of the communist period on the societies from Central and Eastern Europe. In this view, the depoliticization of recent history is a top priority. The present study aims to highlight the way in which the schoolbooks in Romania bring into the memory of the young generation a strictly secret episode in recent (pre-1990) history: anti-communist dissent. Two categories of methods were used: researching the data and information contained in history textbooks and other bibliographic sources on anti-communist dissent in Romania in the overall socio-political context of that era; and assessing—with the help of a set of surveys—the degree of assimilation by young people in Romania of the knowledge about communism conveyed through textbooks. Research points to the conclusion that the Romanian curriculum and textbooks provide an objective picture of the communist period in this country, but young people’s perception of communism in general and of Romanian communism in particular tends to be distorted by poor education, poverty and surrounding mentalities rooted in that period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Communism and Post-memory among Young People in East-Central Europe)
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17 pages, 330 KiB  
Article
Social Risks as the Source of Threats and Concerns: The Survey in the Czech Republic
by Ludmila Siarda Trochtová, Jiří Pospíšil and Helena Pospíšilová
Societies 2021, 11(4), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11040139 - 26 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2382
Abstract
The object of this research was to determine the subjective recognized social threats in the context of contemporary society. Given the growing number of people who feel threatened by certain social threats, there is a presumption that the risk is real, and the [...] Read more.
The object of this research was to determine the subjective recognized social threats in the context of contemporary society. Given the growing number of people who feel threatened by certain social threats, there is a presumption that the risk is real, and the identified groups are affected by social risks. The recognition of social threats in the population has a broader social context, and may be influenced by key socio-demographic factors. This influence is significant for many risks, and helps to better understand the nature of the specific groups at risk. It also allows us to recognize that the socio-demographic and family context creates specific conditions for the occurrence of social threats. The aim of the paper is to find the relationships between different types of social threats and gender, age groups, personal situation (occupation), educational attainment, and family situation. A similar study was carried out by the OECD in 2018 (the Czech Republic was not included). The research was designed as cross-sectional ex-post-facto, and the statistical significance was determined using χ2 test of independence. The survey was carried out in 2018–2019 nationwide across the Czech Republic. The processed data of 5425 respondents has shown that, in the Czech Republic, the subjectively perceived significant threats seem to be the loss of job and unemployment, insufficient skills, and an unwillingness to educate oneself or to be trained, social pressure, and unsatisfactory housing conditions. The research reveals that the recognition of social threats depends on social and family conditions, and there exist specific groups feeling threats more intensively than exist in others. The groups that are at the most risk are individuals with primary education and an apprenticeship. In the population, women are more at risk, as well as the 25–34 and 45+ age groups. Full article
16 pages, 357 KiB  
Article
Who Believes in Conspiracy Theories about the COVID-19 Pandemic in Romania? An Analysis of Conspiracy Theories Believers’ Profiles
by Raluca Buturoiu, Georgiana Udrea, Denisa-Adriana Oprea and Nicoleta Corbu
Societies 2021, 11(4), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11040138 - 13 Nov 2021
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 6860
Abstract
The current COVID-19 pandemic has been accompanied by the circulation of an unprecedented amount of “polluted” information, especially in the social media environment, among which are false narratives and conspiracy theories about both the pandemic and vaccination against COVID-19. The effects of such [...] Read more.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has been accompanied by the circulation of an unprecedented amount of “polluted” information, especially in the social media environment, among which are false narratives and conspiracy theories about both the pandemic and vaccination against COVID-19. The effects of such questionable information primarily concern the lack of compliance with restrictive measures and a negative attitude towards vaccination campaigns, as well as more complex social effects, such as street protests or distrust in governments and authorities in general. Even though there is a lot of scholarly attention given to these narratives in many countries, research about the profile of people who are more prone to believe or spread them is rather scarce. In this context, we investigate the role of age, compared with other socio-demographic factors (such as education and religiosity), as well as the role of the media (the frequency of news consumption, the perceived usefulness of social media, and the perceived incidence of fake information about the virus in the media) and the critical thinking disposition of people who tend to believe such misleading narratives. To address these issues, we conducted a national survey (N = 945) in April 2021 in Romania. Using a hierarchical OLS regression model, we found that people who perceive higher incidence of fake news (ß = 0.33, p < 0.001), find social media platforms more useful (ß = 0.13, p < 0.001), have lower education (ß = −0.17, p < 0.001), and have higher levels of religiosity (ß = 0.08, p < 0.05) are more prone to believe COVID-19-related misleading narratives. At the same time, the frequency of news consumption (regardless of the type of media), critical thinking disposition, and age do not play a significant role in the profile of the believer in conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 pandemic. Somewhat surprisingly, age does not play a role in predicting belief in conspiracy theories, even though there are studies that suggest that older people are more prone to believe conspiracy narratives. As far as media is concerned, the frequency of news media consumption does not significantly differ for believers and non-believers. We discuss these results within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fighting Fake News: A Generational Approach)
8 pages, 192 KiB  
Concept Paper
Viewing Gamification Design Limitations and Weaknesses through a Pandemic Lens
by Gene Klein
Societies 2021, 11(4), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11040137 - 12 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3699
Abstract
Design challenges and limitations of gamification were examined using the COVID-19 pandemic as a lens. Online or remote environments were also examined. These environments highlight the literature gap in evidence-based design recommendations and studies that isolate gamification from other pedagogical interventions or methodologies. [...] Read more.
Design challenges and limitations of gamification were examined using the COVID-19 pandemic as a lens. Online or remote environments were also examined. These environments highlight the literature gap in evidence-based design recommendations and studies that isolate gamification from other pedagogical interventions or methodologies. The literature recognizes the differences between actual games and gamification. Gamification focuses and relies on entertainment to boost academic achievement. This focus on entertainment and its implications to motivation, both intrinsic and extrinsic, are examined. This reliance on entertainment creates unrealistic expectations. In fact, gamification expectations may be conflated with game expectations—especially in an educational setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impact of Games during the COVID-19 Pandemic)
15 pages, 1069 KiB  
Concept Paper
Filtering Facepiece Respirator Supply Chain Management Framework in a Disaster Such as COVID-19
by Kihyung Kim and Li Zhao
Societies 2021, 11(4), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11040136 - 11 Nov 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3166
Abstract
Due to the lack of vaccines and treatments, filtering facepiece respirators are a primary and effective tool to dampen the spread of COVID-19. To meet the huge and continuous demand for filtering facepiece respirators, this concept paper suggests a supply chain management framework [...] Read more.
Due to the lack of vaccines and treatments, filtering facepiece respirators are a primary and effective tool to dampen the spread of COVID-19. To meet the huge and continuous demand for filtering facepiece respirators, this concept paper suggests a supply chain management framework based on the disaster management principle. This concept paper adopts an exploratory and qualitative literature review to provide managerial insights for the supply chain participants. Due to implementation delay and strategic interdependency, the supply chain management strategies need to be systematically integrated. A viable way to integrate strategies is based on the disaster management cycle: mitigation, preparation, response, and recovery phases. Our model integrates innovative and successful but overlooked supply chain management strategies. First, the production capacity should be flexible so that the production mode in emergency and normal situations can be different. Second, the concept paper and development facilities can utilize their capacities for actual production in emergencies. Third, the quality certification process should accommodate the flexible production capacities. Fourth, inventory stockpiling should be renewable. This concept paper contributes to policymakers, healthcare sector decision-makers, stakeholders throughout the FFR supply chain to cope with future crises caused by pandemics by providing a systematic approach to constructing an effective, flexible, and resilient supply chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges of Post-COVID-19 for a Sustainable Development Society)
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13 pages, 1341 KiB  
Concept Paper
Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence in Migration and Mobility: Transnational Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Marie McAuliffe, Jenna Blower and Ana Beduschi
Societies 2021, 11(4), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11040135 - 10 Nov 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 10744
Abstract
Digitalization and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in migration and mobility have incrementally expanded over recent years. Iterative approaches to AI deployment experienced a surge during 2020 and into 2021, largely due to COVID-19 forcing greater reliance on advanced digital technology to monitor, inform [...] Read more.
Digitalization and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in migration and mobility have incrementally expanded over recent years. Iterative approaches to AI deployment experienced a surge during 2020 and into 2021, largely due to COVID-19 forcing greater reliance on advanced digital technology to monitor, inform and respond to the pandemic. This paper critically examines the implications of intensifying digitalization and AI for migration and mobility systems for a post-COVID transnational context. First, it situates digitalization and AI in migration by analyzing its uptake throughout the Migration Cycle. Second, the article evaluates the current challenges and, opportunities to migrants and migration systems brought about by deepening digitalization due to COVID-19, finding that while these expanding technologies can bolster human rights and support international development, potential gains can and are being eroded because of design, development and implementation aspects. Through a critical review of available literature on the subject, this paper argues that recent changes brought about by COVID-19 highlight that computational advances need to incorporate human rights throughout design and development stages, extending well beyond technical feasibility. This also extends beyond tech company references to inclusivity and transparency and requires analysis of systemic risks to migration and mobility regimes arising from advances in AI and related technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges of Post-COVID-19 for a Sustainable Development Society)
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18 pages, 4175 KiB  
Article
Enabling Immersive Exercise Activities for Older Adults: A Comparison of Virtual Reality Exergames and Traditional Video Exercises
by Lucie Kruse, Sukran Karaosmanoglu, Sebastian Rings, Benedikt Ellinger and Frank Steinicke
Societies 2021, 11(4), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11040134 - 9 Nov 2021
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 4396
Abstract
Participating in cognitive and physical activities can help older adults to live a healthy and independent life. However, with the ongoing pandemic, face-to-face training options became unavailable or limited, yielding a need for alternatives. In this paper, we conducted a user study with [...] Read more.
Participating in cognitive and physical activities can help older adults to live a healthy and independent life. However, with the ongoing pandemic, face-to-face training options became unavailable or limited, yielding a need for alternatives. In this paper, we conducted a user study with older adults (N = 25) to compare a traditional, recorded 2D gymnastics video with an immersive virtual reality (VR) exergame. We evaluated the movement and heart rate of the participants, as well as their enjoyment, attention to the task, and perceived workload. In the VR condition, we additionally assessed their feeling of cybersickness. Finally, qualitative feedback about their preferences was collected. The results indicate that our immersive VR exergame can be a suitable alternative, but not a replacement for traditional 2D video-based exercise activities. Furthermore, the cognitive aspect of exergames can lead to the feeling of physical workload, even if easy movements are performed. Finally, we discuss the implications of our results for future VR exergames and point out advantages and disadvantages of the systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impact of Games during the COVID-19 Pandemic)
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11 pages, 1665 KiB  
Article
Libraries Fight Disinformation: An Analysis of Online Practices to Help Users’ Generations in Spotting Fake News
by Paula Herrero-Diz and Clara López-Rufino
Societies 2021, 11(4), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11040133 - 1 Nov 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 5239
Abstract
The work of libraries during the COVID-19 pandemic, as facilitators of reliable information on health issues, has shown that these entities can play an active role as verification agents in the fight against disinformation (false information that is intended to mislead), focusing on [...] Read more.
The work of libraries during the COVID-19 pandemic, as facilitators of reliable information on health issues, has shown that these entities can play an active role as verification agents in the fight against disinformation (false information that is intended to mislead), focusing on media and informational literacy. To help citizens, these entities have developed a wide range of actions that range from online seminars, to learning how to evaluate the quality of a source, to video tutorials or the creation of repositories with resources of various natures. To identify the most common media literacy practices in the face of fake news (news that conveys or incorporates false, fabricated, or deliberately misleading information), this exploratory study designed an ad hoc analysis sheet, validated by the inter-judge method, which allowed one to classify the practices of N = 216 libraries from all over the world. The results reveal that the libraries most involved in this task are those belonging to public universities. Among the actions carried out to counteract misinformation, open-access materials that favor self-learning stand out. These resources, aimed primarily at university students and adults in general, are aimed at acquiring skills related to fact-checking and critical thinking. Therefore, libraries vindicate their role as components of the literacy triad, together with professors and communication professionals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fighting Fake News: A Generational Approach)
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16 pages, 1504 KiB  
Article
Centralized Industrialization in the Memory of Places. Case Studies of Romanian Cities
by Radu Săgeată, Bianca Mitrică and Irena Mocanu
Societies 2021, 11(4), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11040132 - 29 Oct 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2805
Abstract
The paper highlights the impact of excessive industrialization during the centralized economy era on urban spatial identity, as well as the disruption of this identity through political-administrative decisions, a phenomenon characteristic of the Central and Eastern European region during the era of centralized [...] Read more.
The paper highlights the impact of excessive industrialization during the centralized economy era on urban spatial identity, as well as the disruption of this identity through political-administrative decisions, a phenomenon characteristic of the Central and Eastern European region during the era of centralized economies. The tendency to rebalance urban territorial systems is achieved through deindustrialization, together with reindustrialization and tertiarization. All these changes affect functionality, physiognomy as well as urban culture, and can be quantified through the changes in the memory of places. Urban toponyms related to industrialization are disappearing and are replaced by toponyms that illustrate the historical past of the city and, in general, its spatial identity. The paper aims to contribute to the development of research on the impact of oversized industrialization on the memory of places, in the context of the transition from industrial to service-based economies, a process that affected the states of the former Communist Bloc after 1990. Based on bibliographic sources and field research conducted between 2008 and 2020 in two cities in Romania (Bucharest, the country’s capital, and Galați, the largest river and seaport and the main centre of the steel industry in the country), we have evaluated quantitatively these changes with the help of indices resulting from the toponymic changes resulting from these processes. The study shows that the functional disturbances due to the oversized industrialization that characterized the communist period only managed to a small extent to affect the correlation between the spatial identity of the two cities and their toponymy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Culture, Heritage and Territorial Identities for Urban Development)
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12 pages, 1584 KiB  
Article
Shopping When You Are Deafblind: A Pre-Technology Test of New Methods for Face-to-Face Communication—Deafblindness and Face-to-Face Communication
by Claude Vincent, Walter Wittich, François Bergeron, Mathieu Hotton and Bertrand Achou
Societies 2021, 11(4), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11040131 - 28 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2977
Abstract
This article presents the first-year results of a project that aimed to explore the feasibility of using a braille display and a smartphone in society to improve face-to-face communication for a person living with deafblindness, using a simulated communication situation. An applied experimental [...] Read more.
This article presents the first-year results of a project that aimed to explore the feasibility of using a braille display and a smartphone in society to improve face-to-face communication for a person living with deafblindness, using a simulated communication situation. An applied experimental development design was implemented, followed by a pre-test in the community. Two clinicians and an engineer conducted communication tests with three communication partners with normal vision in a shopping mall. A blind clinician acting as deafblind bought an iPhone case and asked for the location of two stores. Communication partners did not report any difficulties, understood the exchanges, and were proud to have helped a person living with deafblindness. No communication breakdowns or keyboard input incidents occurred. Speech turns were not optimal but can be improved. Clinicians proposed a sequence of three training modules: (1) prior knowledge (basic operations for iPhone, software, and braille display), (2) methods for preparing a face-to-face discussion, and (3) processes during a face-to-face discussion. Results demonstrate the feasibility of using a tactile technological solution coupled with a smartphone to interact with unknown interlocutors. Technology trials form the groundwork for a 9-month case study, involving two individuals with deafblindness. Full article
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13 pages, 288 KiB  
Concept Paper
COVID-19 Stigma and Charismatic Social Relationship: A Legitimization Narrative of President Trump’s Status as a Charismatic Leader following a SARS-CoV-2 Infection Reported by the Portuguese Media
by Carlos Miguel Ferreira and Sandro Serpa
Societies 2021, 11(4), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11040130 - 28 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2508
Abstract
This concept paper aimed to understand how stigma, a concept usually associated with negative social relationships, in the context of a pandemic threat such as COVID-19 can, in some situations, structure a charismatic social relationship in a perceived positive association between stigma and [...] Read more.
This concept paper aimed to understand how stigma, a concept usually associated with negative social relationships, in the context of a pandemic threat such as COVID-19 can, in some situations, structure a charismatic social relationship in a perceived positive association between stigma and a specific social characteristic. For this purpose, we used the example of the news selected and highlighted by several Portuguese media about the actions and messages developed by President Trump in the context of his infection with SARS-CoV-2 and the subsequent recovery process. These news reports gave visibility to a narrative that can be considered as reinforcing the legitimization of his condition as a charismatic leader in an electoral context marked by the pandemic threat. In conclusion, stigma associated with a pandemic health threat and generally linked to a negative social status can also reinforce admiration, trust, and belief in the charismatic leader by supporters and followers, as demonstrated with the plight of President Trump. Stigma can be a factor in social uplift in affirming an upward trajectory of social status and symbolic power for actors seen as ill, where stigma-motivated discrimination is experienced positively, unlike in most cases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges of Post-COVID-19 for a Sustainable Development Society)
18 pages, 619 KiB  
Article
Can Esports Substitute Traditional Sports? The Convergence of Sports and Video Gaming during the Pandemic and Beyond
by Haozhou Pu, Jeeyoon Kim and Corinne Daprano
Societies 2021, 11(4), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11040129 - 28 Oct 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 11623
Abstract
This research examines the various ways that video games, particularly esports, have been leveraged for content production and fan engagement (i.e., gamification) in traditional sports during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as sports fans’ reactions in relation to their motives, points of attachment, [...] Read more.
This research examines the various ways that video games, particularly esports, have been leveraged for content production and fan engagement (i.e., gamification) in traditional sports during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as sports fans’ reactions in relation to their motives, points of attachment, and other consumer behavior. The study presents a sports–gaming convergence framework and identifies six popular gamification modes where video games and traditional sports converge during the pandemic. The survey results further reveal that gamification content is not consumed as simply a “substitute” for traditional sports, but instead a complementary yet unique product. In conclusion, we suggest that it is critical to recognize the differences between fans of video games and fans of traditional sports concerning market segmentation. Nevertheless, esports could effectively bridge these two industries and their consumers by enriching the content offering and extending distribution channels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impact of Games during the COVID-19 Pandemic)
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21 pages, 288 KiB  
Article
Immigration Policy and State Power
by Yasha Daniel Maccanico
Societies 2021, 11(4), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11040128 - 25 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4283
Abstract
An analysis of 20 years of official documents (1995–2014) and legislative acts at national and EU levels using Jessop’s Strategic Relational Approach (SRA) offers insights into inherent structural flaws in the Justice and Home Affairs aspects of European and member state migration policies. [...] Read more.
An analysis of 20 years of official documents (1995–2014) and legislative acts at national and EU levels using Jessop’s Strategic Relational Approach (SRA) offers insights into inherent structural flaws in the Justice and Home Affairs aspects of European and member state migration policies. Focusing on two triptychs (hierarchy, governance and government; state power(s), strategic selectivities and structures) and tracking their development clarifies that this policy field’s purposes stray beyond migration management. In fact, the EU migration policy model was set up to be inherently expansive and is intimately linked to EU institutions and national governments striving to enhance their power(s). This is why apparent aberrations and unlawful acts by states amounting to a power grab have developed into an attack against normative frameworks including human rights. This article investigates whether European approaches to immigration policy at the EU and national levels currently pose a problem in terms of state power and authoritarianism due to inherently expansive tendencies and the serial production of problems and hierarchies. It offers a methodological, state-theoretical contribution to address a policy fix in which the EU and its member states appear caught, with harmful effects that spread beyond EU borders through externalisation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on International Migrations and Security Governance)
12 pages, 259 KiB  
Concept Paper
Physical Education and Sport between Human Rights, Duties, and Obligations—Observations from Germany
by Michael Fritz Krüger
Societies 2021, 11(4), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11040127 - 22 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2873
Abstract
The starting point entails the declarations of the International Olympic Committee, as well as UNESCO and the Council of Europe on sport as a human right. This article adopts a philosophical and historical perspective on the question of which duties, obligations, and constraints [...] Read more.
The starting point entails the declarations of the International Olympic Committee, as well as UNESCO and the Council of Europe on sport as a human right. This article adopts a philosophical and historical perspective on the question of which duties, obligations, and constraints stand in the way of realising this utopian perspective of fair and humane sport as a general human right. The work is based on central historical documents and writings. Two strands of argumentation are pursued. Firstly, the introduction of compulsory physical education, particularly in Germany and on the European continent, in the context of nation-building since the 19th century. Secondly, the idea of a world of sport of its own, which emerged from Olympism and was intended to assert itself against political and economic appropriations. Compulsory physical education is not a human right but a duty. The idea of a world of sports of its own has produced further regulations and obligations in certain fields of sports like professional and commercial sports. Doing sport for health and fitness may become a social obligation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Rights through Sport)
22 pages, 5538 KiB  
Article
Are Energy-Vulnerable Households More Prone to Informative, Market, and Behavioral Biases?
by Christina Kaliampakou, Lefkothea Papada and Dimitris Damigos
Societies 2021, 11(4), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11040126 - 14 Oct 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2720
Abstract
The present paper focuses primarily on investigating whether energy-vulnerable households are more prone to informative, market, and behavioral biases. In this direction, a stated preference approach was used to elicit information about human behavior and cognitive barriers in the context of energy poverty [...] Read more.
The present paper focuses primarily on investigating whether energy-vulnerable households are more prone to informative, market, and behavioral biases. In this direction, a stated preference approach was used to elicit information about human behavior and cognitive barriers in the context of energy poverty based on both subjective and objective indicators. For the purposes of the survey, a questionnaire was developed that included around 40 questions about housing conditions and information, market, and behavioral barriers related to energy efficiency, energy vulnerability, etc., and specific survey hypotheses were tested employing non-parametric tests. The survey was carried out between November 2020 and January 2021 involving residents of Metsovo, a mountain settlement in Greece. In total, 303 participants took place in the survey through personal interviews, which were conducted remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic-related distancing measures, using a video platform. The analysis shows that households that face thermal discomfort or are in arrears on energy bills seem to be more prone to certain behavioral and other biases. This conclusion is not confirmed for households that face condensation, mold and damp problems or are classified as energy-poor under the “ten percent rule”. The main conclusion drawn is that the income status of the household plays a greater role compared to its classification as energy vulnerable. Nevertheless, the findings of the study need to be confirmed by future research, because the research specifically on how energy poverty affects people’s decision making is extremely limited. In any case, the results are worrisome and illustrate the need for more effective energy poverty policies that will take into account the effects of scarcity on household decision making. Full article
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13 pages, 253 KiB  
Article
From Tabletop to Screen: Playing Dungeons and Dragons during COVID-19
by Paul Scriven
Societies 2021, 11(4), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11040125 - 9 Oct 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 8254
Abstract
Media reports suggest that the tabletop roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons saw its biggest year to date in 2020, with many such reports touting the interactive and social benefits for people facing COVID-19 lockdowns. This paper explores the reported challenges and benefits of [...] Read more.
Media reports suggest that the tabletop roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons saw its biggest year to date in 2020, with many such reports touting the interactive and social benefits for people facing COVID-19 lockdowns. This paper explores the reported challenges and benefits of playing D&D through teleconferencing hardware and software, and the experience of using virtual tabletops. A thematic analysis of a sample of Reddit threads discussing player experiences of transitioning D&D to remote play during COVID-19 social distancing was undertaken. The findings highlight a variety of player attitudes and preferences towards playing D&D remotely. The data suggest a mostly negative sentiment towards playing D&D online for groups that had transitioned from in-person to remote play. Loss of in-person socialisation was identified as an important contributor to a poor play experience, but groups would persevere with remote play to maintain social relationships, suggesting that, for many players, D&D serves an important social function beyond mere play. Some avenues for future research are identified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impact of Games during the COVID-19 Pandemic)
15 pages, 654 KiB  
Article
Jogging during the Lockdown: Changes in the Regimes of Kinesthetic Morality and Urban Emotional Geography in NW Italy
by Michele Filippo Fontefrancesco
Societies 2021, 11(4), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11040124 - 9 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1965
Abstract
Jogging is the most practiced physical activity in the west. This form of light running appears a solution to the health problems caused by the sedentary of contemporary dwelling and affirmed the role of the extensive use of urban space as a key [...] Read more.
Jogging is the most practiced physical activity in the west. This form of light running appears a solution to the health problems caused by the sedentary of contemporary dwelling and affirmed the role of the extensive use of urban space as a key to individual well-being and health. The COVID-19 pandemic and the imposition of lockdowns imposed a new form of kinesthetic morality based on domestic confinement; a morality that is in open contrast to that of jogging. The article explores this conflict and its consequences in terms of perception of the urban environment and the society among joggers. Based on case study research conducted in 2020 in Alessandria, NW Italy, this study delves into this abrupt change and explores how the urban spatiality changed for the joggers. In so doing, it asks what this event teaches us about the development of new, more effective, urban policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges of Post-COVID-19 for a Sustainable Development Society)
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13 pages, 598 KiB  
Concept Paper
The “Undeserving” Narrative in Child and Family Social Work and How It Is Perpetuated by “Progressive Neoliberalism”: Ideas for Social Work Education
by Jane Fenton
Societies 2021, 11(4), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11040123 - 8 Oct 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 4616
Abstract
“Progressive neoliberalism” is the current hegemonic approach to understanding social justice in Western liberal democracies. “Progressive neoliberalism” also resurrects the “deserving” vs. “undeserving” narrative that can lead to punitive and pathologising approaches to poor and unemployed people—the demographic comprising the majority of child [...] Read more.
“Progressive neoliberalism” is the current hegemonic approach to understanding social justice in Western liberal democracies. “Progressive neoliberalism” also resurrects the “deserving” vs. “undeserving” narrative that can lead to punitive and pathologising approaches to poor and unemployed people—the demographic comprising the majority of child and family social work service users. Indeed, research suggests that social workers’ attitudes towards families in poverty are strikingly congruent with “progressive neoliberalism.” This article suggests that generational changes and the particular form of group-based identity, postmodern social justice ideology often taught in social work education have unwittingly conspired to create this concerning picture. This article suggests that the resurrection of radical social work, with attention to economic inequality, is one way to counteract this trend. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Protection and Child Welfare)
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18 pages, 296 KiB  
Article
Protection of Immigrant Children and Youth at Risk: Experiences and Strategies of Social Integration in Portugal
by Inês Casquilho-Martins and Thais Matela
Societies 2021, 11(4), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11040122 - 1 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1866
Abstract
Over the years, social projects and programmes in Portugal have resulted in actions and outcomes to improve the integration and social inclusion of immigrant children and young people in socially vulnerable territories. This article aims to analyse the intervention experiences of teams with [...] Read more.
Over the years, social projects and programmes in Portugal have resulted in actions and outcomes to improve the integration and social inclusion of immigrant children and young people in socially vulnerable territories. This article aims to analyse the intervention experiences of teams with immigrant children and young people at risk. The developed study focused on a qualitative approach through the systematisation of measures to protect the rights of immigrant children and young people in Portugal. Semi-structured interviews were also carried out with professionals working in multidisciplinary teams intervening with immigrant children and young people. The results allow the identification of strategies and intervention methods with a positive impact on social integration supported by collaborative and participatory methodologies, but also highlight limitations such as cultural and linguistic barriers, and lack of children’s participation. Thus, it becomes fundamental to value the central role of children and young people in promoting and guaranteeing their rights. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Protection and Child Welfare)
12 pages, 437 KiB  
Article
Fake News and the “Wild Wide Web”: A Study of Elementary Students’ Reliability Reasoning
by Jodi Pilgrim and Sheri Vasinda
Societies 2021, 11(4), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11040121 - 1 Oct 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2785
Abstract
Online research presents unique challenges for elementary students as they develop and extend fundamental literacy skills to various media. Some features of internet text differ from that of traditional print, contributing to the challenges of discerning “fake news.” Readers must understand how to [...] Read more.
Online research presents unique challenges for elementary students as they develop and extend fundamental literacy skills to various media. Some features of internet text differ from that of traditional print, contributing to the challenges of discerning “fake news.” Readers must understand how to navigate online texts to conduct research effectively, while applying critical thinking to determine the reliability of online information. Descriptive data from an ongoing study revealed that children in grades 1–5 lack some basic understanding of how to search the “wild wide web.” Just as children benefit from explicit instruction related to text features, children benefit from instruction related to the features of the internet. This article presents a study of website evaluation that occurs early in the search process prior to the selection of a particular website or article. The application of the web literacy skills required to conduct an internet search is addressed, and recommendations prompt teachers to consider searches beyond the “walled garden,” as well as ways to handle the “messiness” of internet exploration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fighting Fake News: A Generational Approach)
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11 pages, 284 KiB  
Article
Child and Adolescent Multiple Victimization and/or Polyvictimization: A Portuguese Comparative Study
by Ana Isabel Sani, Daniela Bastos and Maria Alzira Pimenta Dinis
Societies 2021, 11(4), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11040120 - 1 Oct 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2159
Abstract
Worldwide, children and adolescents are exposed to violence every day and in countless contexts, whether in the family, at school, or in the community. Child multiple victimization has been the subject of extensive international research because of the impact on child and youth [...] Read more.
Worldwide, children and adolescents are exposed to violence every day and in countless contexts, whether in the family, at school, or in the community. Child multiple victimization has been the subject of extensive international research because of the impact on child and youth development. A quantitative and comparative study aiming to understand child multiple victimization and/or polyvictimization from the perspective of children is presented. Two groups were studied, with and without psychological counselling, with 20 children each, aged 12–18 years old. All the participants answered to juvenile victimization questionnaire (JVQ). The study was approved by the University Ethics Committee responsible for the study in Portugal, and it was initiated after the obtained consent of the children’s legal guardians. The results indicated that young people frequently experience violent situations, with particular emphasis on conventional crimes, e.g., theft, robbery, vandalism, and assault with or without a weapon, with sexual victimization being less common. The results also show that there is a cumulative experience of violence, which evidences multiple victimization and polyvictimization of the child/adolescent throughout their life. These phenomena are not necessarily more common between populations with clinical follow-up. When the types of violence were compared, multiple victimization and polyvictimization, this study found no differences between the samples with and without psychological counselling. It can be concluded that the multiple victimization or polyvictimization problem is not unusual among the population in the studied age range. It is important to alert to the phenomenon of child/adolescent multiple victimization, aiming at a more effective assessment and intervention among these populations. Raising awareness of the phenomenon of multiple child and youth victimization or polyvictimization is of particular importance for preventing violence at all stages of development. Full article
15 pages, 307 KiB  
Article
Source Information Affects Interpretations of the News across Multiple Age Groups in the United States
by Robert B. Michael and Mevagh Sanson
Societies 2021, 11(4), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11040119 - 1 Oct 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2126
Abstract
People have access to more news from more sources than ever before. At the same time, they increasingly distrust traditional media and are exposed to more misinformation. To help people better distinguish real news from “fake news,” we must first understand how they [...] Read more.
People have access to more news from more sources than ever before. At the same time, they increasingly distrust traditional media and are exposed to more misinformation. To help people better distinguish real news from “fake news,” we must first understand how they judge whether news is real or fake. One possibility is that people adopt a relatively effortful, analytic approach, judging news based on its content. However, another possibility—consistent with psychological research—is that people adopt a relatively effortless, heuristic approach, drawing on cues outside of news content. One such cue is where the news comes from: its source. Beliefs about news sources depend on people’s political affiliation, with U.S. liberals tending to trust sources that conservatives distrust, and vice versa. Therefore, if people take this heuristic approach, then judgments of news from different sources should depend on political affiliation and lead to a confirmation bias of pre-existing beliefs. Similarly, political affiliation could affect the likelihood that people mistake real news for fake news. We tested these ideas in two sets of experiments. In the first set, we asked University of Louisiana at Lafayette undergraduates (Experiment 1a n = 376) and Mechanical Turk workers in the United States (Experiment 1a n = 205; Experiment 1b n = 201) to rate how “real” versus “fake” a series of unfamiliar news headlines were. We attributed each headline to one of several news sources of varying political slant. As predicted, we found that source information influenced people’s ratings in line with their own political affiliation, although this influence was relatively weak. In the second set, we asked Mechanical Turk workers in the United States (Experiment 2a n = 300; Experiment 2b n = 303) and University of Louisiana at Lafayette undergraduates (Experiment 2b n = 182) to watch a highly publicized “fake news” video involving doctored footage of a journalist. We found that people’s political affiliation influenced their beliefs about the event, but the doctored footage itself had only a trivial influence. Taken together, these results suggest that adults across a range of ages rely on information other than news content—such as how they feel about its source—when judging whether news is real or fake. Moreover, our findings help explain how people experiencing the same news content can arrive at vastly different conclusions. Finally, efforts aimed at educating the public in combatting fake news need to consider how political affiliation affects the psychological processes involved in forming beliefs about the news. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fighting Fake News: A Generational Approach)
13 pages, 266 KiB  
Article
Male Sex Workers Selling Physical Sex during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Portugal: Motives, Safer Sex Practices, and Social Vulnerabilities
by Henrique Pereira
Societies 2021, 11(4), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11040118 - 24 Sep 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3735
Abstract
The purpose of this research was to assess the motives, safer sex practices, and vulnerabilities of male sex workers who sold physical sex during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study used a mixed strategy, utilizing purposive sampling techniques to conduct 13 online surveys with [...] Read more.
The purpose of this research was to assess the motives, safer sex practices, and vulnerabilities of male sex workers who sold physical sex during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study used a mixed strategy, utilizing purposive sampling techniques to conduct 13 online surveys with male sex workers working in Portugal during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants were aged between 23 and 47 years old and mostly provided their services to other men. Additionally, half of the participants were immigrants. Participants mentioned paying for essential expenses (rent, food, phone, etc.), having money for day-to-day expenses, wanting to, and enjoying it, as their main motives for engaging in sex work. Regarding sexual practices, 3 to 11 participants did not always or did not consistently use condoms during penetrative sex with their clients. Thematic analysis was used to identify the following repeated patterns of meaning regarding COVID-19-related vulnerabilities, encompassing a loss of clients and income, increased work availability, price reductions and negotiation difficulties, emotional functioning, health care access, safer sex negotiations, age, and immigration status. The findings serve as a basis for recommendations regarding social policies aimed at male sex workers who sell physical sex in Portugal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges of Post-COVID-19 for a Sustainable Development Society)
10 pages, 813 KiB  
Article
Humble and Kind: Cultural Humility as a Buffer of the Association between Social Dominance Orientation and Prejudice
by Emilio Paolo Visintin and Marika Rullo
Societies 2021, 11(4), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11040117 - 24 Sep 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2880
Abstract
With the rise of prejudice and discrimination against ethnic and immigrant minorities, strategies to reduce prejudice and discrimination, and to counteract the impact of intolerant, anti-egalitarian ideologies, are needed. Here we focused on cultural humility, i.e., the ability to have a humble and [...] Read more.
With the rise of prejudice and discrimination against ethnic and immigrant minorities, strategies to reduce prejudice and discrimination, and to counteract the impact of intolerant, anti-egalitarian ideologies, are needed. Here we focused on cultural humility, i.e., the ability to have a humble and other-oriented approach to others’ cultural backgrounds, resulting from self-examination and critical thinking about structural privileges and inequalities. In this research we proposed that cultural humility might attenuate the effects of intolerant, anti-egalitarian ideologies such as social dominance orientation (SDO) and right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) on negative intergroup attitudes and perceptions. In a correlational study conducted in Italy, we found that cultural humility moderated the associations between SDO and prejudice toward immigrants, as well as between SDO and perceptions of threat posed by immigrants. Specifically, the associations of SDO with prejudice and threat were lower among respondents with high cultural humility compared to respondents with low cultural humility. Conversely, cultural humility did not moderate the effects of RWA on prejudice and threat. Findings are discussed considering the motivations underlying prejudice of high-SDO and high-RWA individuals, and proposing cultural humility training to foster positive intergroup relations. Full article
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15 pages, 258 KiB  
Article
A Study of Social Integration through Sports Program among Migrant Women in Korea
by Se-Joong Lee, In-Sung Yeo and Byoung-Wook Ahn
Societies 2021, 11(4), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11040116 - 23 Sep 2021
Viewed by 2530
Abstract
This study aimed to examine sports programs at multicultural family support centers located throughout the country and present the possibility of social integration through the sports programs. The multicultural sports program showed that it affected the ability of migrant women in international marriages [...] Read more.
This study aimed to examine sports programs at multicultural family support centers located throughout the country and present the possibility of social integration through the sports programs. The multicultural sports program showed that it affected the ability of migrant women in international marriages to socially integrate with other women like themselves, their husbands, and the natives, and also affected themselves. In order to clarify the purpose of the research, in-depth interviews were carried out. The collected material was transcribed, encoded, and classified. The results were analyzed from the perspective of sports’ physical, psychological, and social functions. This social integration was shown to be more effective than any other program at the multicultural family support center. Regarding their relationship with their husbands, the program provided opportunities for deepening their mutual understanding. The sports program was also utilized as a place of leisure for the women as well, and it was discovered that sports activities were being used as a means of resolving stress. The migrant women’s life radius and interpersonal relations were small due to their limited linguistic abilities. They provided opportunities to form confidence in their Korean life. Full article
13 pages, 307 KiB  
Article
Tourism Getting Back to Life after COVID-19: Can Artificial Intelligence Help?
by Marko Perić and Vanja Vitezić
Societies 2021, 11(4), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11040115 - 22 Sep 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3910
Abstract
Measures aimed at keeping physical and social distance during the COVID-19 pandemic have started to be a big challenge for service industries all over the world. The utilization of new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI robots) in hospitality and tourism can be [...] Read more.
Measures aimed at keeping physical and social distance during the COVID-19 pandemic have started to be a big challenge for service industries all over the world. The utilization of new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI robots) in hospitality and tourism can be imposed as a potential safety-related problem solver. This study explores consumers’ intentions to use hospitality services once all restrictions related to COVID-19 have been relaxed as well as their perception of how important they find some of the safety-related protective measures when visiting accommodation facilities. Respondents find that more rigorous cleaning techniques, additional disinfection, and hand sanitizer stations are the most important safety-related protective measures when staying at the accommodation facility. Although the respondents do not perceive AI robots as an important protective measure or beneficial in delivering a catering service, the results indicate some significant differences between more and less risk-averse travelers suggesting some potential strategic pathways during the crisis but also in the post-coronavirus future. Full article
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