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Societies, Volume 13, Issue 3 (March 2023) – 28 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Countering human trafficking at a statewide level requires a combination of knowledge from lived experience, inter-sector collaborations, and evidence-based tools to measure progress. Since 2010, the nonprofit Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking (LCHT) has collected and analyzed data on how partners and organizations across the state work toward ending human trafficking. This paper provides a single case study of LCHT’s use of Community-Based Participatory Research and includes an analysis of the three iterations of the Colorado Project from 2013 to 2023. LCHT has provided tools and a roadmap for collaborative design and decision making among academic, nonprofit, and public sector partners seeking to conduct research on social movements utilizing a community-engaged process. View this paper
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11 pages, 223 KiB  
Article
Refugee Students’ Psychosocial Well-Being: The Case of a Refugee Hospitality Centre in Greece
by Nektaria Palaiologou and Viktoria Prekate
Societies 2023, 13(3), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13030078 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1311
Abstract
Education can be important for assisting the psychosocial well-being of marginalized communities such as refugees and contributes to the effective processing of feelings and isolation prevention by mitigating the long-term effects of trauma and developing strategies to manage life changes. A small-scale study [...] Read more.
Education can be important for assisting the psychosocial well-being of marginalized communities such as refugees and contributes to the effective processing of feelings and isolation prevention by mitigating the long-term effects of trauma and developing strategies to manage life changes. A small-scale study was conducted on 21 students from a Refugee Hospitality Center in Greece to investigate their psychosocial well-being through questions about their life, daily activities, former and current school life, family relations, feelings about their past and present, and expectations from their new country of residence. The research was conducted through semi-constructed interviews by a specialist research team and certain sociological factors, such as gender, country of origin, and prior school experience, were examined. The results highlight the presence of severe traumatic histories in the lives of many refugee children, the need to escape from their countries of origin, missed school years, the impact of current schooling on their psychological well-being, and the limitations of camp life. Most children reported school experiences to be among their happiest moments, affirming the importance of schooling in helping children build mental health resilience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Society and Immigration: Reducing Inequalities)
12 pages, 278 KiB  
Article
Justice System Contact and Health: Do Immigrants Fair Better or Worse than the Native-Born after Arrest, Probation, or Incarceration?
by Casey T. Harris, Michael Nino, Zhe (Meredith) Zhang and Mia Robert
Societies 2023, 13(3), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13030077 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1412
Abstract
Despite decades of both macro- and micro-level studies showing immigration to be unassociated or negatively linked to crime, research examining the consequences of justice system contact among immigrants has been comparatively underdeveloped. The current study examines whether justice system contact (arrest, probation, and [...] Read more.
Despite decades of both macro- and micro-level studies showing immigration to be unassociated or negatively linked to crime, research examining the consequences of justice system contact among immigrants has been comparatively underdeveloped. The current study examines whether justice system contact (arrest, probation, and incarceration) is linked to poorer health and, in turn, whether there were differences in how justice system contact is related to immigrant versus native-born health. Using data from multiple waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health), we construct both ordinal and Poisson regression models predicting poor self-rated health and the prevalence of chronic health conditions for both foreign-born and native-born groups, as well as different generations. The findings suggest important differences by nativity, immigrant generation, and type of justice system contact. Despite lower criminality than the native-born, the health of immigrants is deleteriously impacted by some types of justice system contact, especially incarceration, while probation is more strongly linked to poor health among the native-born. Our findings carry implications for the provision of care for individuals with histories of criminal justice involvement, as well as academic research examining the consequences of justice contact and the immigration–crime nexus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immigration and Crime)
16 pages, 975 KiB  
Concept Paper
Strategic Competence Model for Understanding Smart Territorial Development
by Urška Fric, William O’Gorman and Borut Rončević
Societies 2023, 13(3), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13030076 - 20 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1420
Abstract
In this paper, the authors propose a multi-level model for the strategic competence of territorial units, which can help explain why some territorial units manage to respond appropriately to global challenges and thrive while others fail. Strategic competence is defined by two components: [...] Read more.
In this paper, the authors propose a multi-level model for the strategic competence of territorial units, which can help explain why some territorial units manage to respond appropriately to global challenges and thrive while others fail. Strategic competence is defined by two components: substantive knowledge and strategic connections. This is the foundation for the development of four ideal types of strategic competences at the level of territorial actors—Conductor, Broker, Lone Wolf, or Rent Seeker—and four at the level of territorial units—Pioneers, Absorbers, Drifters, or Laggers. This multi-level model forms the basis for future research to transform the concepts into a set of measurable indicators to determine the current strategic competence of regions and territories. Additionally, it will provide the basis for research-informed policymaking for the purpose of co-designing, co-developing, co-implementing and co-measuring policy initiatives and their results. Full article
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13 pages, 634 KiB  
Concept Paper
Low Job Market Integration of Skilled Immigrants in Canada: The Implication for Social Integration and Mental Well-Being
by Mohammad M. H. Raihan, Nashit Chowdhury and Tanvir C. Turin
Societies 2023, 13(3), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13030075 - 19 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 9968
Abstract
Skilled immigrants are critical assets to the social and economic dynamism of Canada. However, they are less likely to find employment matching their skillset due to a lack of inclusive post-immigration professional integration policies and support. They generally earn less and often live [...] Read more.
Skilled immigrants are critical assets to the social and economic dynamism of Canada. However, they are less likely to find employment matching their skillset due to a lack of inclusive post-immigration professional integration policies and support. They generally earn less and often live below the low-income cutoff relative to their Canadian-born counterparts. This paper aims to review the current situation of low job market integration (LJMI) of skilled immigrants in Canada and its implications on their social integration and mental well-being. Skilled immigrants continue to face disparities in getting desired jobs, despite having sufficient skills and credentials similar if not superior to that of Canadian-borns. Based on the existing literature, this study demonstrates that low job market integration limits skilled immigrants’ productivity, and they experience a lower level of social integration and deteriorated mental well-being. Therefore, initiatives from multidisciplinary and multisector stakeholders are necessary to improve skilled immigrants’ mental well-being by providing equal opportunities devoid of social exclusion and marginalization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anti-racist Perspectives on Sustainabilities)
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15 pages, 599 KiB  
Article
Planning for Health Equity: How Municipal Strategic Documents and Project Plans Reflect Intentions Instructed by the Norwegian Public Health Act
by Monica Lillefjell, Siren Hope, Kirsti Sarheim Anthun, Eirin Hermansen, John Tore Vik, Erik R. Sund, Bodil Elisabeth Valstad Aasan, Mari Sylte and Ruca Maass
Societies 2023, 13(3), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13030074 - 18 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1320
Abstract
The Norwegian Public Health Act (PHA) mandates municipalities to integrate a systematic, knowledge-based, cross-sectoral approach aimed at levelling the social gradient in health. This study aimed to describe and analyse how the intentions of the PHA are addressed in municipal plans and project-planning [...] Read more.
The Norwegian Public Health Act (PHA) mandates municipalities to integrate a systematic, knowledge-based, cross-sectoral approach aimed at levelling the social gradient in health. This study aimed to describe and analyse how the intentions of the PHA are addressed in municipal plans and project-planning documents. A document analysis of municipal plans and project documents extracted from four municipalities in Central Norway was employed and complemented with deductive, qualitative content analysis. Findings indicate awareness of public health work as a whole-of-municipality responsibility. Systematic knowledge-based processes that make use of relevant data in planning and decision-making processes are described across municipality projects and plans. Multisectoral working groups are set up at a project level; however, opportunities for further improvements arise in respect to the anchor of these structures and systematic knowledge-based working procedures in the wider municipal context. Public health process aims (systematic knowledge-based approach, cross-sectoral governance) receive more attention than outcome aims (health equity) in both program documents and municipal plans. Only very rarely does the document hold operationalizations of how to achieve health equity. As such, effort placed on cross-administrative levels and sectors to promote structures for health equity is still needed. Full article
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13 pages, 602 KiB  
Article
Contributing to SDG Targets 4.5 and 5.5 during Physical Education Sessions: The Effect of a Collective Sports Intervention on Gender Attitudes
by Lucía Martínez, Olalla García-Taibo, Alberto Ferriz-Valero and Salvador Baena-Morales
Societies 2023, 13(3), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13030073 - 18 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1323
Abstract
In recent years, the sustainability of the planet has been undermined. Education is the basis for raising awareness and is the engine for achieving attitudinal change among citizens. In terms of the social dimension, gender inequality is increasing, with it being common among [...] Read more.
In recent years, the sustainability of the planet has been undermined. Education is the basis for raising awareness and is the engine for achieving attitudinal change among citizens. In terms of the social dimension, gender inequality is increasing, with it being common among children, and co-education aims to address this. Likewise, physical activity favors education and gender issues. Therefore, studying how physical education (PE) affects gender stereotypes can be analyzed in depth. This research analyzed whether a co-educational PE intervention improved students’ gender beliefs, eliminated inequalities in universal education, and promoted women’s full participation. For this purpose, 91 primary school pupils (42 females) completed the research. The mean age was 11.5 ± 0.7 years. A quasi-experimental, pre–post study was carried out with a control group and an experimental group. The sample was distributed by convenience among the pupils, using two instruments already used in other research studies: attitudes towards gender equality among primary school pupils and data collection on the internalization of gender stereotypes. For three weeks, the experimental group carried out a didactic intervention of four sessions of “Colpbol”, among others. In turn, the control group followed the PE sessions without methodological variations. To analyze the normality of the results, the Shapiro–Wilk test was used and was confirmed to be non-parametric. To measure the effect of the intervention, the Mann–Whitney and Wilcoxon U tests were used. The statistics showed that the improvement in the experimental group was slightly more significant than in the control group after the intervention, with a significance of 0.022 for the social behavior variable, with a significance of 0.05. These results show the relationship between PE, sustainable development, and gender equality, linking to SDG 4 and 5 and contributing to targets 4.5 and 5.5. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender and Social Class Issue in Academic Field)
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12 pages, 1962 KiB  
Article
Digital Habits of Users in the Post-Pandemic Context: A Study on the Transition of Mexican Internet and Media Users from the Monterrey Metropolitan Area
by Daniel Javier de la Garza Montemayor, Daniel Barredo Ibáñez and Mayra Elizabeth Brosig Rodríguez
Societies 2023, 13(3), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13030072 - 16 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1814
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the transformation of digital interactions, a development that has been growing in the last decade. Digital platforms have become indispensable in the institutional communication of public and private organizations. The magnitude of this change was evident during the pandemic [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the transformation of digital interactions, a development that has been growing in the last decade. Digital platforms have become indispensable in the institutional communication of public and private organizations. The magnitude of this change was evident during the pandemic at a time when several countries implemented social distancing measures to contain the contagion. This situation caused a certain degree of user dependence on information and communication technologies. The objective of this research is to analyze the time of use, the changes, and habits of digital consumption at the beginning and during the COVID-19 pandemic in the metropolitan area of Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico. Access to both social networks and digital entertainment platforms was examined during the period in which Internet users had resumed a large part of face-to-face activities, and 1500 questionnaires were conducted considering the current data of the population of the urban area according to what was reported by the INEGI (National Institute of Statistics and Geography). The results indicate that after COVID-19, a digital transformation was accelerated, and, in that period, social media helped to build trust according to the users consulted in the Monterrey metropolitan area. However, trust was given at an interpersonal level due to motivations such as the prior user relationships in offline spaces and not so much because of the institutional campaigns that were behind the digital transformation. Full article
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13 pages, 305 KiB  
Article
Job Expectations and Professional Role Identity in Gambian Journalists: The Mediation Role of Job Satisfaction
by Gabriele Puzzo, Maha Yomn Sbaa, Salvatore Zappalà and Luca Pietrantoni
Societies 2023, 13(3), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13030071 - 15 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1204
Abstract
This study investigates, in a sample of journalists, the relationship between meeting job expectations and professional role identity. Specifically, job expectations concerning career development, remuneration, and relationships with users were examined, while professional role identity was contextualised to the field of journalism. Following [...] Read more.
This study investigates, in a sample of journalists, the relationship between meeting job expectations and professional role identity. Specifically, job expectations concerning career development, remuneration, and relationships with users were examined, while professional role identity was contextualised to the field of journalism. Following Mellado, we conceptualized journalists’ role identity as composed by the three dimensions of watchdog, propagandist, and citizen-oriented. An online questionnaire was administered from December 2021 to January 2022 and 74 Gambian journalists living in Gambia and in European countries answered the survey. The results indicated that job satisfaction fully mediated the relationship between meeting the expectations of the relationship with users and the citizen-oriented role identity. Additionally, job satisfaction mediated the relationship between met expectations of career development and both citizen-oriented and watchdog professional role identities. These findings suggest that meeting expectations of career development and interaction with citizens is related to journalists’ role identities focused on controlling the political and economic establishment and empowering people. The theoretical and practical implications of these results are discussed. Full article
15 pages, 311 KiB  
Article
Use of Twitter during Televised Election Debates: Spanish General Election (28 April 2019) vs. French General Election (24 April 2022)
by Julia Fontenla-Pedreira, Carmen Maiz-Bar and Talia Rodríguez-Martelo
Societies 2023, 13(3), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13030070 - 14 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1336
Abstract
Social media have become key in political communication, playing a crucial role in election campaigns due to their fast, ubiquitous communication. This paper focuses on the comparison of the use of the social network Twitter in Spanish and French public and commercial television [...] Read more.
Social media have become key in political communication, playing a crucial role in election campaigns due to their fast, ubiquitous communication. This paper focuses on the comparison of the use of the social network Twitter in Spanish and French public and commercial television stations, during the last televised debates held during their general elections (2019 and 2022). It seeks to find whether conversation and interaction with their audiences take place, and whether these meet the dialogic principles set forth by Kent and Taylor adapted to Twitter by Ribalko and Seltzer to include usefulness of information, generation of return visits and dialogic loop preservation. To do this, the content of the general Twitter profiles of two French television stations, together with their profiles focused on informative content, were analyzed before, during and after the televised election debate held on 20 April. Likewise, the Twitter profiles corresponding to two Spanish television stations, together with the profiles corresponding to their news programs, were studied before, during and after the televised election debates held on 22 and 23 April. After screening all their posts, those referring to the debate and generating the largest engagement figures were selected, in order to compare the topics covered in the televised debates with those covered in Twitter. The results reveal that the information-focused accounts originate more posts whose content is linked to the televised debates, in contrast with the general accounts. Furthermore, both the unidirectionality of their content, and the lack of dialogue and interaction between these accounts and their audiences, become apparent, in addition to the minimal occurrence of “debate about the debate” flow among users. Full article
17 pages, 5396 KiB  
Article
Murder on the VR Express: Studying the Impact of Thought Experiments at a Distance in Virtual Reality
by Andrew Kissel, Krzysztof J. Rechowicz and John B. Shull
Societies 2023, 13(3), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13030069 - 14 Mar 2023
Viewed by 2503
Abstract
Hypothetical thought experiments allow researchers to gain insights into widespread moral intuitions and provide opportunities for individuals to explore their moral commitments. Previous thought experiment studies in virtual reality (VR) required participants to come to an on-site laboratory, which possibly restricted the study [...] Read more.
Hypothetical thought experiments allow researchers to gain insights into widespread moral intuitions and provide opportunities for individuals to explore their moral commitments. Previous thought experiment studies in virtual reality (VR) required participants to come to an on-site laboratory, which possibly restricted the study population, introduced an observer effect, and made internal reflection on the participants’ part more difficult. These shortcomings are particularly crucial today, as results from such studies are increasingly impacting the development of artificial intelligence systems, self-driving cars, and other technologies. This paper explores the viability of deploying thought experiments in commercially available in-home VR headsets. We conducted a study that presented the trolley problem, a life-and-death moral dilemma, through SideQuestVR, a third-party website and community that facilitates loading applications onto Oculus headsets. Thirty-three individuals were presented with one of two dilemmas: (1) a decision to save five lives at the cost of one life by pulling a switch and (2) a decision to save five lives at the cost of one life by pushing a person onto train tracks. The results were consistent with those of previous VR studies, suggesting that a “VR-at-a-distance” approach to thought experiments has a promising future while indicating lessons for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Societal Implications of Virtual Reality: Maximizing Human Potential)
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19 pages, 632 KiB  
Article
Putting Fairness into the Gig Economy: Delivery Cooperatives as Alternatives to Corporate Platforms
by Ernest Cañada, Carla Izcara and María José Zapata Campos
Societies 2023, 13(3), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13030068 - 13 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3965
Abstract
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, platform capitalism has expanded greatly in the delivery sector. The consolidation of an oligopoly controlled by a few corporate platforms has led to precarious working conditions for “gig economy” workers. Increasing protests and strikes have led to the [...] Read more.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, platform capitalism has expanded greatly in the delivery sector. The consolidation of an oligopoly controlled by a few corporate platforms has led to precarious working conditions for “gig economy” workers. Increasing protests and strikes have led to the reform of labour directives and to the emergence of alternative ways of organising work through platform cooperatives. This article examines how these emergent platform cooperatives are mobilised and their challenges and implications. Barcelona, the cradle of many platform economy and delivery sector start-ups, is a critical case for examining the recent birth of alternative delivery cooperatives. This article is informed by the cases of three cooperatives, organised by those working as riders, providing delivery services in the city of Barcelona: Mensakas, Les Mercedes, and 2GoDelivery. The paper shows how the embeddedness of these nascent platform cooperatives in favourable governance arrangements, a supportive social and solidarity movement, the knowledge and experience of workers, and the territory where the cooperatives are embedded are essential for their creation. This multi-layered embeddedness is necessary, but not sufficient, to explain how platform cooperatives thrive. The study concludes that the agency of platform workers, who triggered this transformation, was essential for the emergence of alternative ways of organising work in the platform economy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Transformation and the Labour Market Inequalities)
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14 pages, 286 KiB  
Article
Family–Teacher Relationships and Child Engagement in Early Care and Education
by Hillary R. Lewis, Shannon T. Lipscomb, Bridget E. Hatfield, Roberta Weber, Beth Green and Lindsey Patterson
Societies 2023, 13(3), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13030067 - 12 Mar 2023
Viewed by 2249
Abstract
Young children’s positive interactions with teachers and peers in early care and education (ECE) settings support the development of their social and academic skills. Identifying malleable factors that contribute to children’s positive engagement in these interactions is important in supporting early development. The [...] Read more.
Young children’s positive interactions with teachers and peers in early care and education (ECE) settings support the development of their social and academic skills. Identifying malleable factors that contribute to children’s positive engagement in these interactions is important in supporting early development. The current study examines one potential malleable factor that could be bolstered through supports for families and teachers alike: family–teacher relationships. We investigate associations between three specific domains of family–teacher relationships and children’s engagement in ECE, so that findings are specific and relevant to intervention. We examine data from Oregon’s Quality Rating Improvement System Validation Study; a diverse sample of 492 preschool-aged children in center-based ECE participated. Children’s engagement was directly observed; parents reported their perception of family–teacher relationships. Multilevel models examined the associations between family–teacher relationships and children’s positive engagement with teachers and peers in ECE classrooms. Results indicate a positive significant relationship between practices and children’s positive engagement with teachers. Although this association was not causal, it suggests that teachers who collaborate and communicate with families, respond to family feedback and cultural values, and demonstrate a family-focused concern may help children engage more positively with teachers. Findings are discussed, limitations addressed, and future directions provided. Full article
20 pages, 992 KiB  
Article
Team Approaches to Addressing Sex Trafficking of Minors: Promising Practices for a Collaborative Model
by Andrea Nichols, Sarah Slutsker, Melissa Oberstaedt and Kourtney Gilbert
Societies 2023, 13(3), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13030066 - 11 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1983
Abstract
The extant research literature is lacking in its focus on community-based responses (CBRs) to sex trafficking involving minors in the juvenile justice system. To address this research gap, the present study draws from 35 interviews with social service and justice system practitioners who [...] Read more.
The extant research literature is lacking in its focus on community-based responses (CBRs) to sex trafficking involving minors in the juvenile justice system. To address this research gap, the present study draws from 35 interviews with social service and justice system practitioners who work with juvenile justice-involved minors experiencing sex trafficking to examine collaborative responses in two Study Sites. Specifically, protocols to respond to trafficking and collaboration with community partners are explored. Results indicate that a formal protocol engaging a team approach inclusive of multiple community partners is a promising mezzo level response to addressing the sex trafficking of minors involved in the juvenile justice system. Informal and formal relationships, establishing a shared goal, open and ongoing communication, and trust building were also found to enhance community-based responses. Implications include establishing a protocol to respond to sex trafficking in the juvenile court system when sex trafficking is suspected and/or confirmed, which would engage a CBR team involving the survivor, parent(s)/guardian(s), DJO, supervisor, investigator, judge, Children’s Division caseworker, and social services provider(s). Establishing a shared goal within the CBR team and developing a pattern of communication and follow up can facilitate trust building, ultimately benefitting CBRs addressing the sex trafficking of minors involved with the juvenile justice system. Full article
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18 pages, 958 KiB  
Article
Developing Employee Productivity and Performance through Work Engagement and Organizational Factors in an Educational Society
by Nadia Abdelhamid Abdelmegeed Abdelwahed and Mohammed A. Al Doghan
Societies 2023, 13(3), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13030065 - 10 Mar 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 10600
Abstract
In today’s working environment, various organizations confront the significant challenges of productivity and performance. However, higher education institutes (HEIs) are also not free from this massive issue. Therefore, the present study investigates employee productivity and performance through work engagement (WEE) and organizational factors. [...] Read more.
In today’s working environment, various organizations confront the significant challenges of productivity and performance. However, higher education institutes (HEIs) are also not free from this massive issue. Therefore, the present study investigates employee productivity and performance through work engagement (WEE) and organizational factors. The modes of study are quantitative and based on cross-sectional data. The study collects the response from academic and administrative staff from public and private HEIs of Saudi Arabia. The study applies convenience sampling and successfully proceeds 254 valid cases to conclude the findings. The applied structural equation model (SEM) path analysis demonstrates a positive and significant effect of WEE comprising vigour, dedication, and absorption factors on employee productivity (EPD). In addition, employee performance (EP) is predicted through organizational factors such as management support (MS), learning culture (LC), work environment (WE) and organizational commitment (OC). Finally, the study finds a significant and positive effect of EPD on EP among the employees of HEIs. The study findings would be guidelines for policymakers and the top management of higher education commissions to advance the knowledge and skills of EPD and EP of the organizations. The study would support achieving job tasks and goals through developing WEE and organizational factors for productivity and performance. Lastly, the findings will augment the literature and provide empirical evidence from Middle East countries. The study provides a vigorous model which connects the WEE theory and organizational factors towards EPD and EP in an integrated way. Full article
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16 pages, 592 KiB  
Systematic Review
Advancing Gender Equality in Schools through Inclusive Physical Education and Teaching Training: A Systematic Review
by Miguel A. Guerrero and Laura Guerrero Puerta
Societies 2023, 13(3), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13030064 - 09 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 7344
Abstract
The importance of achieving an inclusive education to ensure parity and equality between genders is a worldwide challenge. Consequently, it is essential to rethink the various places and spaces within the school environment where gender inequalities are produced. Physical education is one of [...] Read more.
The importance of achieving an inclusive education to ensure parity and equality between genders is a worldwide challenge. Consequently, it is essential to rethink the various places and spaces within the school environment where gender inequalities are produced. Physical education is one of these spaces which has been identified as a problematic area in the literature. In order to address this issue and respond to the needs identified in the research, this systematic review presents action initiatives aimed at applying certain teaching strategies highlighted in the study. The PRISMA method was used to review 274 studies which explore this topic at various levels of education, emphasizing the need for coeducational teaching of physical education and the necessity of proposing motivational tasks for both sexes. In particular, results show that some studies have focused on the need for physical education teachers to be aware of potential gender-biased structures when developing curricula, approaches and materials. Other research has highlighted that in order for physical education classes to be inclusive, equitable opportunities must be provided for all students to participate. In addition, strategies should be implemented which promote positive attitudes towards physical activity by addressing any underlying gender stereotypes and by breaking down traditional boundaries that exist between genders. In conclusion, this systematic review has identified a number of teaching strategies which could help teachers create an equitable learning environment within physical education classes. This could subsequently lead to greater success in achieving an inclusive education which promotes parity and equality between genders. Full article
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9 pages, 1624 KiB  
Concept Paper
Disability, Rehabilitation, and Assistive Technologies for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Italy: Policies and Challenges
by Marco Tofani, Silvia Iorio, Anna Berardi, Giovanni Galeoto, Antonella Conte, Giovanni Fabbrini, Donatella Valente and Maurizio Marceca
Societies 2023, 13(3), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13030063 - 09 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1360
Abstract
Good health and well-being for all, including those with disabilities, is one of the main sustainable development goals. Data on refugees and asylum seekers with disabilities are limited. Refugees have poor access to rehabilitation and assistive technologies, although laws and policies in Italy [...] Read more.
Good health and well-being for all, including those with disabilities, is one of the main sustainable development goals. Data on refugees and asylum seekers with disabilities are limited. Refugees have poor access to rehabilitation and assistive technologies, although laws and policies in Italy guarantee this type of healthcare. However, there are several limitations to the successful implementation of these services. First, the national health system is regionally based, and therefore healthcare facilities and services vary in terms of quality in different regions. A link between reception centers and the healthcare system is therefore highly recommended, because only 10 out of 20 regions have specific services for refugees and asylum seekers with disabilities. Second, only 2% of the total available posts for hosting refugees are reserved for people with disabilities. The lack of a standardized vulnerability assessment represents the main barrier to the organization of specific services for migrants within the community. National stakeholders urgently need to collaborate in order to remove barriers to rehabilitation and assistive technology for refugees with disabilities. Initiatives should focus on health literacy and the empowerment of migrants, data collection on health, disability, and assistive technology, and the organization of community-based rehabilitation programs. Full article
11 pages, 267 KiB  
Article
How Does the Public Receive Information about Vaccines during the COVID-19 Pandemic? A Nationwide Cross-Sectional Study in Spain
by Daniel Catalan-Matamoros and Andrea Langbecker
Societies 2023, 13(3), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13030062 - 09 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1176
Abstract
Spain has been one of the most severely impacted countries by COVID-19. Vaccination against COVID-19 is one of the most successful preventive strategies. However, some citizens show vaccine resistance, in part due to widespread disinformation that has been disseminated since the pandemic’s start. [...] Read more.
Spain has been one of the most severely impacted countries by COVID-19. Vaccination against COVID-19 is one of the most successful preventive strategies. However, some citizens show vaccine resistance, in part due to widespread disinformation that has been disseminated since the pandemic’s start. The objective of this study was to explore the characteristics of the Spanish population in terms of their use of traditional and social media for COVID-19 vaccine-related information. A countrywide survey was conducted in June 2022 following a descriptive cross-sectional analysis. Respondents declared that 80.4% had received the full schedule of COVID-19 vaccination, and over 60% would take the booster dosage without hesitation. The major reasons for not having the booster vaccine were possible health risks (37%), and a lack of trust in the COVID-19 vaccines (29%). More than 85% of respondents closely followed the news on this topic, with the journalistic media (27%) and health authorities (26%) considered to be the most important sources for pandemic information, while social media was considered by 9% of respondents. Further collaboration between the media and health professionals, as well as campaigns to enhance vaccination uptake of the COVID-19 booster dose, might be considered in future strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fake News Post-COVID-19)
17 pages, 878 KiB  
Concept Paper
Galvanizing Local Anti-Trafficking Partnership Work Using Intelligence: Profiling the Problem and Building Resilience
by Juliana Rinaldi-Semione and Ben Brewster
Societies 2023, 13(3), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13030061 - 07 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1624
Abstract
Prior research has evidenced the importance of collaboration and multi-agency partnership work in responding to human trafficking in both the UK and US. Three previous key studies are synthesized in this paper. We situate multi-agency anti-trafficking collaborative work within conceptualizations of “resilience” and [...] Read more.
Prior research has evidenced the importance of collaboration and multi-agency partnership work in responding to human trafficking in both the UK and US. Three previous key studies are synthesized in this paper. We situate multi-agency anti-trafficking collaborative work within conceptualizations of “resilience” and mechanisms by which to achieve it, and draw comparisons between the structure, organization, and activities of anti-trafficking partnerships in the UK and US. We present results, reflections, and discussion regarding the utility of local-problem diagnosis and multi-agency, using collaborative intelligence analysis as a mechanism to galvanize and organize local partnership action, resulting from action research conducted in one police force area. We posit the replication of this “problem profile” exercise as a mechanism for anti-trafficking collaborators to galvanize their aims and day-to-day efforts to make their communities resilient to human trafficking. We close by arguing for resilience as a framing for this mechanism and for local collaborative efforts. Full article
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8 pages, 189 KiB  
Article
“Refugees in the Amphitheatre”: An Intercultural Action Research on Co-Educating Student Teachers and Peer Refugees
by Kostas Magos
Societies 2023, 13(3), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13030060 - 06 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 943
Abstract
The contribution of action research to teacher education as well as to refugee education has been highlighted in the international literature. Through action research, teachers can link educational theories with everyday school practices. In addition, the participation of refugees in action research, especially [...] Read more.
The contribution of action research to teacher education as well as to refugee education has been highlighted in the international literature. Through action research, teachers can link educational theories with everyday school practices. In addition, the participation of refugees in action research, especially in cooperation with members of the dominant ethnic and cultural group, could play a significant role in their empowerment and social inclusion. This article describes the content and the results of an action research, which took place in the context of an academic course in a Greek University. The aim of the action research was the interaction between students and peer refugees and, through it, the development of intercultural competence and empathy. The action research developed in three cycles, featuring the students and refugees’ participation in intercultural routes–walks. The action research findings showed that the participation in the abovementioned walks supported the intercultural communication and interaction among the group members, as well as the reflection on refugee identity stereotypes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migration and Multilingual Education: An Intercultural Perspective)
18 pages, 2086 KiB  
Article
Political Disaffection and Digital Political Participation in Latin America: A Comparative Analysis of the Period 2008–2020
by Ángel Cazorla-Martín, Juan Montabes-Pereira and Mateo Javier Hernández-Tristán
Societies 2023, 13(3), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13030059 - 05 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2066
Abstract
One of the issues facing the field of political behaviour analysis in recent years has been the transformation of political participation among citizens, in a context of increasing change, profoundly marked by the spread of a new digital paradigm. Network society has brought [...] Read more.
One of the issues facing the field of political behaviour analysis in recent years has been the transformation of political participation among citizens, in a context of increasing change, profoundly marked by the spread of a new digital paradigm. Network society has brought with it new forms of political participation, where different types of participatory citizenship coexist in a process of increasing interaction which, in turn, creates new morphologies, and where online and offline modes are reciprocal, generating new patterns of behaviour. Of these different types of participatory citizenship, that of the disaffected is perhaps among the most important in recent years and, in particular, since the start of the so-called “Great Recession” around 2008, and the subsequent global COVID-19 crisis. This recent context can be characterised by a significant increase in political disaffection, resulting from a loss of trust in institutions and from the constant distancing of a certain section of the citizenry from politics as a coded punishment of those governments and institutions they see as ineffective. This paper provides an analysis of citizenship types in Latin America, particularly that of the disaffected, describing their relationship to the following of political information through digital media and social networks, and identifying patterns of evolution and development in some of the trends. Results show that a clear distinction exists between the different types of citizenship and associated forms of participation, both online and offline, while also describing differences in both political perceptions and attitudes, and between areas or regions in Latin America. Likewise, important differences are found according to citizen type in relation to the following of different social networks, especially among citizens categorised as critical or disaffected. Full article
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20 pages, 317 KiB  
Article
Populism on the Web: Presidential Elections in Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia (2020–2022)
by Maria-Ines Quevedo-Stuva, Gloria Tovar-Gil and Andrea Mila-Maldonado
Societies 2023, 13(3), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13030058 - 05 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2125
Abstract
Populism has become one of the main features of political action worldwide. This research aims to characterize the populist discourse in the tweets of presidential candidates in the Andean Community in recent elections (2020–2022). Accordingly, we analyze the characteristics of their social network [...] Read more.
Populism has become one of the main features of political action worldwide. This research aims to characterize the populist discourse in the tweets of presidential candidates in the Andean Community in recent elections (2020–2022). Accordingly, we analyze the characteristics of their social network profiles, as well as the content and latent discourse of their tweets. We demonstrate that the differences and similarities of their discourse go beyond their right and left association. The differences result from how they construct their identity and establish their relationship with their electorate. Our analysis reveals that this type of discourse is ideological as well as performative. It is ideological because, in the candidates’ discourse, they recontextualize the actual meanings of “us” and “them”. It is performative because it is carried out by a charismatic leader who acts in a specific way to define himself or herself as the embodiment of “the people” and “the good”. Full article
13 pages, 271 KiB  
Article
Democratizing Higher Education: The Use of Educational Technologies to Promote the Academic Success of University Students with Disabilities
by Maria de las Nieves Sanchez-Diaz and Beatriz Morgado
Societies 2023, 13(3), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13030057 - 02 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1421
Abstract
The rise of information and communication technologies has not gone unnoticed in the university context. An increasing number of university faculty members are using technological resources in their teaching. However, the success of technologies in the teaching and learning process depends on the [...] Read more.
The rise of information and communication technologies has not gone unnoticed in the university context. An increasing number of university faculty members are using technological resources in their teaching. However, the success of technologies in the teaching and learning process depends on the way they are used. This article analyses the actions of university faculty members who engage in inclusive teaching practices using educational technologies in their classrooms. A qualitative approach was followed using the biographical narrative method. Data collection was carried out through semi-structured individual interviews with 42 inclusive faculty members from 6 Spanish public universities. The results obtained reveal the technological resources used by these faculty members in their classrooms, the main uses they make of virtual learning platforms, as well as the actions that the faculty members implement to facilitate access and participation of students with disabilities through the use of technologies. These results allow us to detect some of the faculty’s training needs related to the use of educational technologies and offer practical keys that contribute to guaranteeing inclusive and quality learning for all students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Transformation: Social and Educational Perspective)
11 pages, 274 KiB  
Article
A Qualitative Study on Barriers in Learning Opportunities in Ecuadorian Higher Education
by Gardenia Silva-Martínez, Marcos Jesús Iglesias-Martínez and Inés Lozano-Cabezas
Societies 2023, 13(3), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13030056 - 27 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2591
Abstract
The university context is increasingly complex and diverse. Students’ individual circumstances in particular, whether personal or relating to family and work, are increasingly challenging. They are affecting their academic development or even leading to them dropping out of university. The objective of this [...] Read more.
The university context is increasingly complex and diverse. Students’ individual circumstances in particular, whether personal or relating to family and work, are increasingly challenging. They are affecting their academic development or even leading to them dropping out of university. The objective of this study was to identify the obstacles to the completion of university studies based on students’ perspectives. Adopting a qualitative approach, we analysed the narratives of randomly selected students at UTE University of Santo Domingo (Ecuador). The main barriers identified by the students were the lack of reconciliation between academic and/or work life and family, as well as schedule incompatibilities—making it difficult for them to attend class. Participants also noted that teachers usually failed to incorporate curricular adaptations according to students’ personal or professional circumstances, which prevented them from experiencing a normal learning process like their classmates. To conclude, factors that continue to interfere with students’ university trajectories include the following: insufficient financial resources, family reconciliation issues, and lack of institutional support. Higher Education Institutions should therefore promote strategies and/or provide resources that guarantee equal opportunities for university students and contribute to the development of lifelong learning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender and Social Class Issue in Academic Field)
11 pages, 679 KiB  
Concept Paper
New Perspectives for Human and Artificial Intelligence Interactions for Leadership e-Recruitment
by Dan Anghel
Societies 2023, 13(3), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13030055 - 26 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2924
Abstract
In order to adapt to the post-pandemic era, e-recruitment systems should change their requirements to search for a more competitive leader profile. These systems currently search for individual skills specific to leaders, taking into consideration whether a leader has the required skills and [...] Read more.
In order to adapt to the post-pandemic era, e-recruitment systems should change their requirements to search for a more competitive leader profile. These systems currently search for individual skills specific to leaders, taking into consideration whether a leader has the required skills and abilities for a certain job. The aim of this study is to improve e-recruitment searches for capable leaders in this new environment. In this regard, the study proposes to search for combinations of complementary skills. These skills, to be effective, should necessarily support each other in order to create successful management. The author’s proposal is to call this combination of skills: Leadership Complementary Skills (LCS). Understanding that some skills should be complementary in order to be viable, the LCS’ new insight into the hiring process was developed to comply with the aim of a performant organization. The idea was drawn from the author’s half a century of real-world experience and from several discussions with employers, employees, consultants and MBA students, debating cases along working and teaching. Statements are presented regarding proposals of appropriate combinations of skills to be implemented in the software of e-recruitment systems, their influence on employees’ behavior and the possible consequences on organizational outcomes. Consistent with the proposals, the author has also developed the Honeycomb Complementary Skills Model for Leadership as a first step in this endeavor, inviting future researchers to find other LCS to be added to the model and accomplish the actual ideal profile of a leader, opening as such a new field of research. Full article
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20 pages, 14156 KiB  
Article
Street Art in Aveiro: City Walls as Dialogic Spaces of Collective Memories and Identity
by Anabela V. Simões
Societies 2023, 13(3), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13030054 - 25 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2242
Abstract
In urban centers around the world, street art has become an unavoidable element of the landscape. Located in west-central Portugal, Aveiro is no exception to this trend, and the art form has been used to enhance the cultural vibrancy of a place where [...] Read more.
In urban centers around the world, street art has become an unavoidable element of the landscape. Located in west-central Portugal, Aveiro is no exception to this trend, and the art form has been used to enhance the cultural vibrancy of a place where tourism is one of the most important economic pillars. Seeking to look beyond the value of street art as a tourism product, by combining observations and photos from field research with bibliographic and documental data, as well as residents’ responses on social media, this paper adopts an autoethnographic approach to offer an exploratory, (self-)reflexive perspective on how street art has evolved into a phenomenon that has contributed to locals’ cultural identity (re)construction. Drawing on Jan Assmann’s cultural memory theory, it is argued that street art can be understood as a form of communicative memory, an ephemeral vehicle into our history, knowledge, traditions and practices, one that, by retelling the story of who we are, stimulates awareness of selfhood and a feeling of belonging to a place and a community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Young People’s Constructions of Identities: Global Perspectives)
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17 pages, 303 KiB  
Article
Intimate Partner Violence in Vulnerable Contexts: A Case Study
by Carmen Mañas, María A. Martínez and Francisca Burgueño
Societies 2023, 13(3), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13030053 - 24 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1962
Abstract
A case study of domestic abuse is presented from the perspective of the socio-structural basis of gender violence. The research analyzes gender violence based on the accounts of a group of 30 women who have suffered abuse and have filed reports at the [...] Read more.
A case study of domestic abuse is presented from the perspective of the socio-structural basis of gender violence. The research analyzes gender violence based on the accounts of a group of 30 women who have suffered abuse and have filed reports at the Judicial Unit for victims of domestic violence in the city of Cuenca (Ecuador). Survivors agreed to express their voices and experiences voluntarily and in a natural context. The results demonstrate, on one hand, the enormous weight of social pressure and stereotypes, with the resulting fear, guilt, and sense of helplessness. On the other hand, the guarantees of safety and assistance from the institutions that should protect them have not always been within reach, nor have they been sufficient. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender and Social Class Issue in Academic Field)
15 pages, 1372 KiB  
Article
Tenders for Institutional Communication Campaigns in the Spanish Autonomous Communities: Transparency or Digital Disinformation
by Montserrat Vázquez-Gestal, Jesús Pérez-Seoane and Ana Belén Fernández-Souto
Societies 2023, 13(3), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13030052 - 24 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1188
Abstract
With an investment of over 700 million euros, the public sector is the main advertiser in the Spanish market. Altogether, the central, regional, and local governments launch more than 5000 institutional advertising and communication contracts. In Spain, these tenders are governed by Law [...] Read more.
With an investment of over 700 million euros, the public sector is the main advertiser in the Spanish market. Altogether, the central, regional, and local governments launch more than 5000 institutional advertising and communication contracts. In Spain, these tenders are governed by Law 9/2017 on Public Sector Contracts and Law 19/2013 on Transparency, Access to Public Information and Good Governance, in compliance with which governments have developed openly accessible websites that provide practical information on the contracts for interested individuals and companies. This paper compares all regional procurement platforms through the study of a hundred institutional communication public contracts launched in 2021, assessing the usefulness of the published content, detecting good practices, and identifying gaps and areas of improvement. The results obtained support the idea that these platforms do not provide exhaustive information on public contracts, which limits their potential as tools aimed at ensuring competition and transparency in public contracts. Based on this last criterion, a ranking is created among the regions analysed. Full article
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17 pages, 1544 KiB  
Article
Lessons Learned from the Colorado Project to Comprehensively Combat Human Trafficking
by Annie Miller, Julie Laser, Annjanette Alejano-Steele, Kara Napolitano, Nevita George, Natcha Connot and Amanda Finger
Societies 2023, 13(3), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13030051 - 22 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2153
Abstract
Countering human trafficking at a statewide level requires a combination of knowledge from lived experience, inter-sector collaborations, and evidence-based tools to measure progress. Since 2010, the nonprofit Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking (LCHT) has collected and analyzed the data on how partners and [...] Read more.
Countering human trafficking at a statewide level requires a combination of knowledge from lived experience, inter-sector collaborations, and evidence-based tools to measure progress. Since 2010, the nonprofit Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking (LCHT) has collected and analyzed the data on how partners and organizations across the state work toward ending human trafficking. LCHT uses Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) to measure and illuminate promising paths toward ending human trafficking. Through CBPR, many collaborative working documents and activities have been created: Colorado Action Plans, Policy Recommendations, a Partnership Toolkit, and Partnership Convenings. This paper provides a single case study analysis of the Colorado Project, from 2013 through 2023, and offers a glimpse into the goals for the Colorado Project 2028. The ideas, strengths, and challenges presented here can guide other local efforts to support data-informed responses to trafficking. The CBPR methodology sheds light on the changes in Colorado’s anti-trafficking movement and the actions taken on behalf of partnerships (task forces and coalitions) across the state of Colorado. This paper offers a roadmap for collaborative design and decision-making among academic, nonprofit, and public sector partners seeking to conduct research on social movements utilizing a community-engaged process. Full article
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