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Societies, Volume 13, Issue 7 (July 2023) – 24 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): This article examines representations of multiple sclerosis in direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertisements televised during 2021 in the U.S. The application of textual analysis to direct-to-consumer advertisements that promote drug therapies for multiple sclerosis uncovers the prevalence of profit-driven, rather than person-driven, medical neoliberal ideologies. On first impressions, the advertisements appear to challenge the metanarrative of multiple sclerosis as a life-limiting tragedy. However, this research reveals that multiple sclerosis is framed as the “hidden enemy” of the American dream, supposedly threatening individuals’ abilities to live productive and meaningful lives, while the consumption of “wonder” drugs is treated as an act of self-empowerment. View this paper
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2 pages, 190 KiB  
Correction
Correction: Puggioni, R. Two Years of the COVID-19 Crisis: Anxiety, Creativity and the Everyday. Societies 2023, 13, 24
Societies 2023, 13(7), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13070174 - 24 Jul 2023
Viewed by 625
Abstract
In the original publication [...] Full article
15 pages, 286 KiB  
Article
Gender Roles in Formal Second Language Learning in a Migratory Context: L2 Teachers’ Perceptions of Moroccan Origin Women in Catalonia
Societies 2023, 13(7), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13070173 - 24 Jul 2023
Viewed by 627
Abstract
In Catalonia, the largest group of immigrants is that of Moroccan origin. Some Moroccan women are conditioned by a traditional family model that is concretised by the spatial separation between men and women in all spheres of society, a fact that influences the [...] Read more.
In Catalonia, the largest group of immigrants is that of Moroccan origin. Some Moroccan women are conditioned by a traditional family model that is concretised by the spatial separation between men and women in all spheres of society, a fact that influences the socialisation of these women and that, in a migratory context, may have an impact on their early abandonment of formal second language courses. Accordingly, this study aims to analyse the importance of accounting for the culture and gender factors in language teaching in a migratory context. We conducted semi-structured interviews with eight teachers of Catalan and Spanish as a second language, as they are the link between the institution and the students. The results suggest that providing instruction to segregated groups might grant women who are unable to participate in mixed-gender language classes the opportunity to increase their second language proficiency and thus facilitate their integration into the corresponding host territory. Offering gender-specific courses is a particular challenge for public L2 schools, where groups are organised according to the learners’ levels and not according to characteristics linked to origin and gender, as the latter practice may be at odds with the criteria of equality that guide public education in the host territory. Full article
24 pages, 382 KiB  
Review
Public Functions Implementation by Artificial Intelligence: Current Practices and Prospects for Common Measures within Particular Periods across Continents and Regions
Societies 2023, 13(7), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13070172 - 21 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1305
Abstract
The paper explores practices regarding the implementation by AI of public functions through the analysis of research activities, and administrative and legal regulations of AI in countries of various regions and continents. The hypothesis is that there might be some global trends regarding [...] Read more.
The paper explores practices regarding the implementation by AI of public functions through the analysis of research activities, and administrative and legal regulations of AI in countries of various regions and continents. The hypothesis is that there might be some global trends regarding the AI phenomenon within international institutional vision, research, and national authorities with the goal to suggest common measures within the identification of short, medium, and long-term periods to provide public authorities with trajectories to regulate the AI in terms of its implementation of public functions regarding countries of different regions. The empirical research uses administrative and legal documents, information, and analytical materials from diverse countries. The study uses the comparative method and formal logic tools. The main findings suggest modeling measures within the identification of short, medium, and long-term periods and single out measures that are common to diverse countries, regarding the implementation by AI of public functions. Full article
19 pages, 848 KiB  
Article
The Society’s Heterogeneity Regarding Attitudes towards Tourism: A Cluster Analysis of the Ibiza Residents
Societies 2023, 13(7), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13070171 - 21 Jul 2023
Viewed by 734
Abstract
The residents’ attitudes towards tourism are heterogeneous, although most studies do not focus their analysis on analyzing this variability. The segmentation of residents based on their attitudes has sought to determine the existing profiles within the local society of tourist destinations and their [...] Read more.
The residents’ attitudes towards tourism are heterogeneous, although most studies do not focus their analysis on analyzing this variability. The segmentation of residents based on their attitudes has sought to determine the existing profiles within the local society of tourist destinations and their quantitative importance. The aim of this article is to carry out a segmentation of Ibiza residents according to their attitudes towards tourism. In this case, it seeks to analyze the existing heterogeneity in the local society of a mature and highly mediated tourist destination. Ibiza is a Spanish island in the Western Mediterranean with a surface area of 572 km and 150,000 inhabitants. It receives three million tourists a year, making it one of the most internationally known tourist destinations. The methodology used is a descending hierarchical cluster analysis (Howard-Harris algorithm) on a sample of 418 residents selected by a random procedure. The analysis has made it possible to identify five groups with opinions ranging from the most favorable towards tourism (enthusiastic supporters) to the most adverse (critics), with several intermediate groups (interested supporters, supporters with nuanced opinions, and neutrals). The most numerous groups are the supporters with nuanced opinions (23.0%), called by other authors “realists” for being aware of both the positive and negative impacts, and the critics (23.4%) concerned about the negative impacts. The minority group is the neutrals (13.6%). These proportions are plausible given the fact that it is a mature and highly crowded destination. This heterogeneity of attitudes should remind us that, in societies, there are always very different personal situations that will generate very different attitudes, and it is essential to know this social heterogeneity in order to manage the tourist destination correctly. Full article
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18 pages, 643 KiB  
Concept Paper
Disability Ghosting in the Double Lockdown Institution of COVID-19
Societies 2023, 13(7), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13070170 - 21 Jul 2023
Viewed by 776
Abstract
This paper surveys some of the voluminous journalistic coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic and the public health responses that ensued. While investigative reporting in newspapers and news programming played an important function, we expose the terms of the underreporting about the lockdowns in [...] Read more.
This paper surveys some of the voluminous journalistic coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic and the public health responses that ensued. While investigative reporting in newspapers and news programming played an important function, we expose the terms of the underreporting about the lockdowns in institutions for the disabled and elderly that ultimately changed little about public knowledge of the lives of disabled people who were always or already confined. Second, we detail the rapid unfolding of a critical journalism that revealed the mortality-dealing conditions of institutionalization beyond the acceleration of pandemic risk levels. Such governmental and for-profit run practices of letting individuals who were disabled or elderly die while in their care were enacted, of which residents could do nothing to protect themselves (in fact, risky exposure was a conscious practice of state governments during the unfolding viral epidemic). This essay argues, however, that a critical branch of COVID-19 journalism (largely based in the US) used investigative reporting to expose governmental miscounting, undercounting, and neglecting-to-count of disability deaths due to COVID-19 and/or to collect them under “other categories,” such as the overall death rate of a population. Our key findings point out that despite the importance of this coverage, no one used this opportunity to talk with institutionalized disabled and/or elderly people—who were gravely at risk. Thus, we learned little about disabled peoples’ lives as they were shipped back to congregate care settings and institutions from hospitals without treatment. An opportunity to explain disability institutionalization and its inherent dangers were lost despite the media saturation of coverage that rose in the wake of COVID-19 public health policies and practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability and the Media)
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36 pages, 2111 KiB  
Article
Biopsychosocial Factors of Adolescent Health Risk Behaviours during the COVID-19 Pandemic—Insights from an Empirical Study
Societies 2023, 13(7), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13070169 - 20 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1354
Abstract
The paper focuses on the association between Bulgarian adolescents’ health risk behaviours (cigarette smoking, vaping, alcohol use and drunkenness) and biopsychosocial factors at individual and interpersonal levels, using data from the pre-pandemic and the pandemic periods, i.e. Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) [...] Read more.
The paper focuses on the association between Bulgarian adolescents’ health risk behaviours (cigarette smoking, vaping, alcohol use and drunkenness) and biopsychosocial factors at individual and interpersonal levels, using data from the pre-pandemic and the pandemic periods, i.e. Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study (2018) and the study of adolescent health and well-being in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic (2022/2023). Logistic regression models reveal a positive association with age in both periods, decreasing gender difference in smoking, presistant effect of family structure, strengthened effect of the material status of the family and a differenciating effect of ethnicity at the end of the pandemic. Family support is positively asociated with substance (mis)use in both periods. At the end of the pandemic generalized anxiety is positively associated with substance (mis)use, loneliness has a negative association with drunkenness, and limited social interaction and vaping are in a positive relationship. The experience of COVID-19 infection in the family is associated with higher risk of smoking, while treatment in hospital for COVID-19 of the adolescent or a family member is associated with a higher risk of vaping and drunkenness. Interactions with COVID-19 experience and psychosocial variables reveal a divergence in health risk behaviours, including also engagement in substance (mis)use. Effective interventions, targeting the identified risk factors and risk groups, are needed for promotion of healthy lifestyles among adolescents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Family and Social Environment on Shaping Juvenile Growth)
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16 pages, 609 KiB  
Review
Misinformation and Its Impact on Contested Policy Issues: The Example of Migration Discourses
Societies 2023, 13(7), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13070168 - 19 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1592
Abstract
Misinformation, in the form of false or inaccurate information deliberately created and spread through various channels, including social media, has become pervasive in the context of migration. An analysis of 45,000 English tweets revealed a wide range of attitudes towards migrants, including the [...] Read more.
Misinformation, in the form of false or inaccurate information deliberately created and spread through various channels, including social media, has become pervasive in the context of migration. An analysis of 45,000 English tweets revealed a wide range of attitudes towards migrants, including the presence of misinformation, concerns, and positive and negative attitudes. This study acknowledges the negative effects of misinformation, such as the formation of preconditions that promote false representations of migrants, foster negative attitudes, and consolidate prejudices against them. Misinformation also leads to mistrust among migrants towards official authorities and creates an environment conducive to exploitation by smugglers and traffickers. To address these issues, this study suggests corrective measures, including raising awareness, promoting evidence-based reasoning, and facilitating diverse forms of interpersonal dialogue. Full article
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12 pages, 285 KiB  
Article
“I Don’t Feel like an Adult”—Self-Perception of Delayed Transition to Adulthood in NEET Sample
Societies 2023, 13(7), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13070167 - 17 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1135
Abstract
Nowadays, there has been a debate about factors still crucial for the actual definition of adulthood and the role played by uncertainty in employment, the economic crisis, changing cultural contexts, and globalization in the adulthood transition. This study aimed to provide a deeper [...] Read more.
Nowadays, there has been a debate about factors still crucial for the actual definition of adulthood and the role played by uncertainty in employment, the economic crisis, changing cultural contexts, and globalization in the adulthood transition. This study aimed to provide a deeper understanding of the self-perception of the transition to adulthood among the Italian NEET (young people not engaged in education, employment, or training). A group of 53 NEETs were asked to assess their transition from adolescence to adulthood by rating themselves on a scale from 1 (=adolescence) to 7 (=adulthood). They were also asked to reflect on the reasons why they felt like adults or not. The qualitative data were coded using the criteria of adulthood attainment proposed by Arnett’s markers of adulthood scale. Analysis showed that the category with the highest frequency was role transition, and almost all the NEETs in this category felt “in-between”. The excerpts portrayed the centrality of work as a crucial factor in self-perception as an adult. The research emphasizes the importance of mixed-methods research to understand where and how people feel about the transition to adulthood, aspects that are difficult to grasp using only quantitative data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue School-to-Work Transitions: Developmental and Mental Health Outcomes)
16 pages, 275 KiB  
Article
“Who Will Take Better Care of Him Than Me?!” Perpetuating Institutional Culture in Families of Children with Disabilities in Bulgaria
Societies 2023, 13(7), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13070166 - 17 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1604
Abstract
The right to live in the community is fundamental and is directly related to the possibility of independent living for persons with disabilities, a central principle of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), ratified by Bulgaria in 2012. [...] Read more.
The right to live in the community is fundamental and is directly related to the possibility of independent living for persons with disabilities, a central principle of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), ratified by Bulgaria in 2012. The opposite of these principles is living in an institution, and being compelled to reside in a space where one does not have the ability or one is not allowed to exercise control over one’s life and day-to-day decisions. Through oral history and anthropological reconstructive analysis, with a special focus on the cultural contexts and social meanings of personal experience, we explore how families of children with disabilities are simultaneously victims of the local disabling legacies, environments and practices, and key agents that effectuate and perpetuate institutional culture. We highlight the dynamics and interactions of the traumatic images on the legacy of state socialism, the actual barriers during the transition period, the coping strategies chosen by families and, ultimately, the grim effects with regard to the affirmation and implementation of the idea of independent living for people with disabilities in Bulgaria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Family and Social Environment on Shaping Juvenile Growth)
21 pages, 1293 KiB  
Article
Youth Practices of Reading as a Form of Life and the Digital World
Societies 2023, 13(7), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13070165 - 16 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1690
Abstract
The proliferation of digital technologies is precipitating a transformation in the socio-cultural fabric of human existence. The present study is dedicated to investigating the coexistence of various reading practices among contemporary youth in the modern era. The advent of new forms of reading [...] Read more.
The proliferation of digital technologies is precipitating a transformation in the socio-cultural fabric of human existence. The present study is dedicated to investigating the coexistence of various reading practices among contemporary youth in the modern era. The advent of new forms of reading has resulted in a shift from conventional paper-based reading to electronic formats, which, in turn, has transformed the practice of reading and the way of life associated with it. The methodological foundation of this research is the socio-philosophical theory that the practice of reading, rooted in the habitus of reading, is enacted by practitioners, and organized through public initiatives. The context of the reading practice system is a distinct historical system of circumstances in which practices are reproduced. This study encompasses an empirical component, focusing on the examination of reading practices among young individuals in a large modern city, specifically within the confines of Yekaterinburg (N = 200). The research was conducted between December 2021 and January 2022. This study permits an analysis of the constituent elements of the reader’s habitus model as a form of life. Full article
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14 pages, 278 KiB  
Article
Who Provides Resilience to the Community Resilience Providers?
Societies 2023, 13(7), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13070164 - 13 Jul 2023
Viewed by 806
Abstract
The article focuses on employees of nonprofit organizations (NPOs) as an essential component of community resilience. Forty women, professionals in the helping professions, were interviewed about their work experiences as employees in social service NPOs. The interviews were conducted from 2019 to 2020, [...] Read more.
The article focuses on employees of nonprofit organizations (NPOs) as an essential component of community resilience. Forty women, professionals in the helping professions, were interviewed about their work experiences as employees in social service NPOs. The interviews were conducted from 2019 to 2020, mostly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to understand those employees’ perceptions of work conditions, contracting-out of social services, professional community and relationships with co-workers, work–life balance, job satisfaction, and their future plans. The findings present loneliness at work and lacking of a sense of community and a strong sense of mission while facing a challenging environment and work conditions in NPOs. In the discussion, we offer a complementary understanding of solidarity and resilience in NPOs—and we elaborate on the lack of professional “communitiness” and its possible harmful effect on the resilience of wider communities in times of crisis—when resilience is mostly needed. The paper presents NPOs employees as critical actors in producing resilience, hence there exists a need to examine their work environment, job perceptions, and the latter’s contribution to their own resilience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilient Communities)
15 pages, 1045 KiB  
Article
The Mediating Role of Positive and Negative Affect in the Relationship between Death Anxiety and Italian Students’ Perceptions of Distance Learning Quality during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Societies 2023, 13(7), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13070163 - 12 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1127
Abstract
Recent data show that death anxiety and negative affect (NA) have become increasingly relevant because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The constant reminders of mortality through mass media and social media have contributed to this trend. Simultaneously, students have experienced a sudden and radical [...] Read more.
Recent data show that death anxiety and negative affect (NA) have become increasingly relevant because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The constant reminders of mortality through mass media and social media have contributed to this trend. Simultaneously, students have experienced a sudden and radical shift from face-to-face to online teaching, reducing direct human interactions and increasing anxiety. Death anxiety is often associated with mental illnesses and maladaptive mood states such as depression, anxiety, and NA. Despite this, few studies have investigated the effect of death anxiety, positive affect (PA), and NA on students’ perceived quality of distance learning. The present study aims to investigate the association among death anxiety, PA, NA, and the perceived quality of distance learning in a sample of 429 students attending university or training courses. Positive and negative affect were assessed through the positive and negative affect scales; death anxiety was measured through the death anxiety scale, and the perceived quality of distance learning was evaluated through the perceived quality of distance learning questionnaire. Zero-order correlation coefficients were calculated among the examined variables. To study the mediating role of positive and negative affect in the relationship between students’ perceptions of distance learning quality and death anxiety, we employed multiple regression analyses. Our findings indicate a significant association between death anxiety and cognitive–emotive reactions to distance learning. Lower levels of death anxiety are associated with PA, while higher levels are related to NA. Moreover, PA and NA act as mediators in the relationship between death anxiety and a positive reaction to distance learning. In conclusion, our findings highlight that PA and NA partially mediate the relationship between death anxiety and the perceived quality of distance learning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Psychology and Psychological Health in Contemporary Society)
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18 pages, 2001 KiB  
Article
Keeping in Motion or Staying Put: Internal Migration in the United States and China
Societies 2023, 13(7), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13070162 - 08 Jul 2023
Viewed by 2128
Abstract
The rate of people moving within the United States is at one of its lowest points in U.S. history, while China has experienced unprecedented levels of domestic migration. While both are world-leading economies, these countries demonstrate stark contrasts in geographic mobility, urbanization, and [...] Read more.
The rate of people moving within the United States is at one of its lowest points in U.S. history, while China has experienced unprecedented levels of domestic migration. While both are world-leading economies, these countries demonstrate stark contrasts in geographic mobility, urbanization, and economic growth. Despite these differences, social factors affect migration capabilities in both places, with some people more mobile than others. This study assesses internal migration and highlights the structural and social determinants of mobility in both countries. This article’s analysis reveals an accentuated downturn and the longest annual decline recorded in the U.S. Evidence shows declining internal migration in the U.S. primarily occurring at the local level and amongst renters. Large and expensive American cities have had significant losses of residents in recent years. By contrast, China’s “floating population” has increased as migrants move to cities. This study examines trends from 2010 to 2020 to compare the two countries regarding internal migration, urbanization, housing, social mobility, and economic growth. However, rather than simply comparing them, the paper argues that the internal migration dynamics in both countries are, to a degree, connected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Society and Immigration: Reducing Inequalities)
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16 pages, 27518 KiB  
Article
Repositioning Ethnicity and Transnationalism: Community Resilience Strategies among the Non-Migratory Segment of Turkish Jewry
Societies 2023, 13(7), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13070161 - 07 Jul 2023
Viewed by 797
Abstract
The methods that communities exploit to cope with national hegemonies that dispossess and exclude them have attracted the interest of migration scholars who emphasize the development of transnational strategies as community-building vehicles. Some scholars focus on migrant communities, whereas other studies analyze the [...] Read more.
The methods that communities exploit to cope with national hegemonies that dispossess and exclude them have attracted the interest of migration scholars who emphasize the development of transnational strategies as community-building vehicles. Some scholars focus on migrant communities, whereas other studies analyze the “stayers”—those who remain in the countries of origin—in their analyses of the impacts of transnational trends on these groups. Yet how such transnational dynamics influence the “stayers” among ethnonational communities whose members rapidly “repatriate” en masse to their perceived nation-state, such as the migration of Middle Eastern Jews to Israel in the era of regional decolonization and nationalization, remain understudied. This article focuses on the community of “stayers” among Turkish Jews, whose leaders sought methods to cope with the effects of rising nationalism on their community structure and the intensity of an emigration crisis that engulfed them due to the vacuum they faced after losing 40 percent of their members in 1948–1949 to Israel. We analyze Şalom, the most important newspaper that Turkish Jewry continued to publish well after 1948. To escape marginalization and to re-establish their base in Turkey, one of Şalom’s main strategies, we find, is conveying to its readership in Turkey the advantage of connecting and twinning the two national centers that had become the focal points of most of the community by 1950—the Turkish Republic and the State of Israel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilient Communities)
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13 pages, 295 KiB  
Article
Combatting Fake News: A Global Priority Post COVID-19
Societies 2023, 13(7), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13070160 - 05 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1735
Abstract
This paper reviews some academic works on fake news published in Spain in the last seven years, a period in which the 2016 and 2020 US elections and the COVID-19 pandemic marked a turning point in the ’era of disinformation’, a term that [...] Read more.
This paper reviews some academic works on fake news published in Spain in the last seven years, a period in which the 2016 and 2020 US elections and the COVID-19 pandemic marked a turning point in the ’era of disinformation’, a term that the European Union (EU) describes as “verifiably false or misleading information that is created, presented and disseminated for profit or to deliberately mislead the public, and is likely to cause public harm”. Methodology: Some of the most relevant academic articles on fake news published from 2016 to the present were analysed. Results: In the last seven years, hoaxes and fake news have become even more sophisticated—including audiovisual materials, known as deep fakes—and constitute a political and social concern of the first order insofar as they threaten democratic life and social harmony in all countries. Conclusions: Although it is not a phenomenon specific to the media, since it has found its natural medium in social networks and the Internet, disinformation—which polarises society and fosters hatred—once again calls into question the role of journalism in the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fake News Post-COVID-19)
13 pages, 251 KiB  
Article
Perceptions of ZEP Teachers towards Parental Involvement of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Families: Promoting School–Family Cooperation
Societies 2023, 13(7), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13070159 - 04 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1043
Abstract
Parental involvement of super-diverse families in the educational process is an integral part of the integration of emergent bilingual students, which, however, entails obstacles to its implementation in Greek schools and worldwide. Τhe present study investigates, through a qualitative case study, the perceptions [...] Read more.
Parental involvement of super-diverse families in the educational process is an integral part of the integration of emergent bilingual students, which, however, entails obstacles to its implementation in Greek schools and worldwide. Τhe present study investigates, through a qualitative case study, the perceptions of eight primary school teachers who had worked in zones of educational priority (ZEPs) in Greek public education, which are also called reception classes, towards the involvement of immigrant and refugee parents in the educational process as well as the barriers that influence it. The methodological tool of semi-structured interviews was used, while the sample was selected with both the convenience and snowball sampling techniques. Some important results reveal the usefulness of parental involvement for all involved persons in the school–family partnership as well as the multiple obstacles to its implementation. The main difficulties encountered by the participants were the parents’ lack of competence in Greek or in an intermediate language as well as their unfamiliarity with a culturally different education system. In response to this reality, the establishment of translation services at school with language and cultural interpreters that could bridge theses distances while recognizing families’ differences as an asset rather as an obstacle emerges as a necessity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migration and Multilingual Education: An Intercultural Perspective)
15 pages, 304 KiB  
Article
Sad Cases and Success Stories: Representations of Multiple Sclerosis in Direct-to-Consumer Pharmaceutical Advertising
Societies 2023, 13(7), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13070158 - 03 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1662
Abstract
This article examines representations of multiple sclerosis in direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertisements televised during 2021 in the United States. Drawing on and developing Cultural Disability Studies theory, it highlights how advertising produced by pharmaceutical companies influences mass understandings, as well as personal experiences of, [...] Read more.
This article examines representations of multiple sclerosis in direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertisements televised during 2021 in the United States. Drawing on and developing Cultural Disability Studies theory, it highlights how advertising produced by pharmaceutical companies influences mass understandings, as well as personal experiences of, multiple sclerosis. The application of textual analysis to a small-sample of direct-to-consumer advertisements that promote drug therapies for multiple sclerosis (n. 4) uncovers the prevalence of profit-driven, rather than person-driven, medical neoliberal ideologies. On first impressions, the advertisements appear to challenge the metanarrative of multiple sclerosis as a life-limiting tragedy. However, the research findings reveal that multiple sclerosis is framed as the “hidden enemy” of the American dream, supposedly threatening individuals’ abilities to live productive and meaningful lives, while the consumption of pharmaceutical “wonder” drugs is treated as an act of self-empowerment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability and the Media)
19 pages, 850 KiB  
Article
Vocal Emotional Expression in Parkinson’s Disease: Roles of Sex and Emotions
Societies 2023, 13(7), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13070157 - 03 Jul 2023
Viewed by 841
Abstract
Introduction: Parkinson’s disease (PD) commonly causes speech impairments, including difficulties in expressing emotions through voice. Method: The objective of this study was to investigate gendered vocal expressions of fear, anger, sadness, and happiness for mild to moderate PD. Prosodic features (related to fundamental [...] Read more.
Introduction: Parkinson’s disease (PD) commonly causes speech impairments, including difficulties in expressing emotions through voice. Method: The objective of this study was to investigate gendered vocal expressions of fear, anger, sadness, and happiness for mild to moderate PD. Prosodic features (related to fundamental frequency (F0), intensity (I), speech rate, articulation rate, and number and duration of pauses) and acoustic correlates of voice quality (CPPS, jitter, shimmer, and HNR) were collected from 14 patients with PD (mean age = 69.93; SD = 7.12; 8 males, 6 females) and 13 healthy controls (HC) (mean age = 68.13; SD = 8.27; 5 males, 8 females) matched for age, sex, and years of education. The utterances were extracted from four emotional and one neutral text. The neutral utterance and the emotional utterances were compared. Intra-sex comparison (female with PD vs. female HC and male with PD vs. male HC) and inter-sex comparison (female vs. male both for patients with PD and for HC), were performed with the Mann–Whitney test. A Mann–Whitney test was also used to compare the different emotional conditions, considering sex and PD diagnosis as well. Results: No significant intra-sex differences were found for the neutral speech, but inter-sex differences emerged. Regarding emotional speech, females with PD featured lower MaxF0 than female HCs for happiness and higher intensity variability (SD I) for sadness. Utterances by females with PD had lower CPPS than utterances by HCs for anger and fear. Utterances by males with PD had lower minimum intensity (MinI) than utterances by male HCs when expressing fear. Conclusions: Emotional vocal expression in individuals with PD was found to be impaired and showed sex differences. These findings have the potential to significantly impact the quality of life of PD patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Psychology and Psychological Health in Contemporary Society)
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12 pages, 279 KiB  
Article
Exploratory Factor Analysis, Criterion and Psychometric Properties of a Proposed Scale to Measure the Risk of Eating Disorders in Adolescents (PETCA)
Societies 2023, 13(7), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13070156 - 30 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1063
Abstract
This paper deals with the different risk scales of eating disorder in adolescents. The main objective is to create a scale to measure the risk of developing eating disorders using social and behavioral variables. The trial sample included 605 adolescents, aged 12–17 years [...] Read more.
This paper deals with the different risk scales of eating disorder in adolescents. The main objective is to create a scale to measure the risk of developing eating disorders using social and behavioral variables. The trial sample included 605 adolescents, aged 12–17 years (M = 14.27; SD 1.44), randomly selected from several centers who requested to participate in a health program. After using the principal component extraction method (PCA) with adequate internal consistency and reliability, and with a total explained variance of 60%, factor analysis showed five factors: satisfaction with body image, self-esteem, use of social networks, negative relationship with food, and image and social recognition. Pearson’s correlation coefficients between our scale and reference scale (SCOFF) factors provided information on converging validity. However, the Cronbach’s alpha values for dimensions 3 and 4 failed to reach the desired scores, and it was noted that not all dimensions had the same number of elements. Therefore, future interventions and proposals to develop a stronger scale are proposed. Despite the drawbacks, our findings provide a solid foundation for further analysis to find the most reliable method of analysis possible in this innovative area. We believe that this scale can help both health and education professionals to develop effective interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthy Lifestyle: The Relevance of Health Promotion for Society)
12 pages, 263 KiB  
Article
Effect of Outdoor Leisure Activity Participation on Leisure Attitude, Serious Leisure, Recreational Specialization, and Leisure Satisfaction
Societies 2023, 13(7), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13070155 - 28 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1124
Abstract
Due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a tendency for people to participate more frequently in outdoor leisure activities as opposed to indoor leisure activities. Leisure activities bestow various benefits. The purpose of this research is to study the effect of [...] Read more.
Due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a tendency for people to participate more frequently in outdoor leisure activities as opposed to indoor leisure activities. Leisure activities bestow various benefits. The purpose of this research is to study the effect of leisure attitude, serious leisure, recreational specialization, and leisure satisfaction among outdoor leisure activity participants in South Korea. Therefore, this research is used to analyze the relationships amongst leisure attitudes, serious leisure, recreational specialization, and leisure satisfaction among various theories about leisure. The participants in this study were collected from amongst 356 people who were frequent participants in outdoor leisure activities. For the data analysis, we used frequency, confirmatory analysis, reliability, correlation, and structural equaling modeling. The findings are as follows. First, leisure attitude had an influence on serious leisure and leisure satisfaction. Second, serious leisure had an effect on recreational specialization and leisure satisfaction. Third, recreational specialization had an influence on leisure satisfaction. According to the results of this study, leisure attitude and recreational specialization had insignificant effects, but all other hypotheses were accepted. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, it was various reasons such as, leisure attitude, serious leisure, recreational specialization, leisure satisfaction and which was continuous participation in outdoor leisure activities were confirmed in South Korea. Full article
15 pages, 284 KiB  
Article
Functional Ego States, Behavior Patterns, and Social Interaction of Bulgarian Adolescents and Their Parents
Societies 2023, 13(7), 154; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13070154 - 27 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1945
Abstract
Adolescence is a dynamic period of transition, and interaction with parents is important for successfully passing through it. This article presents results from a study of three transactional analysis theory personality constructs of adolescents and their parents—functional ego states, life positions, and stroke [...] Read more.
Adolescence is a dynamic period of transition, and interaction with parents is important for successfully passing through it. This article presents results from a study of three transactional analysis theory personality constructs of adolescents and their parents—functional ego states, life positions, and stroke economy. The sample included 215 students from 12 to 16 years old and 215 parents from 30 to 55 years old. The results show significant differences between the ego states Adult, Adapted Child, Nurturing Parent and Normative Parent of the adolescents and their parents, which are more expressed in the parents. It was found that the life position, “I am OK—you are OK” is more strongly expressed in parents, while the life position, “I am not OK—you are not OK” is leading in adolescents. In their interactions with others, adolescents express modesty, self-doubt, and underestimation of their own success, while parents are more assertive, confident, and resilient in their behavior. The obtained results can be used in different programs to improve social interaction and increase the effectiveness of adolescent-parent relationships. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Family and Social Environment on Shaping Juvenile Growth)
12 pages, 2074 KiB  
Article
Exploring Migrant Students’ Attitudes towards Their Multilingual Identities through Language Portraits
Societies 2023, 13(7), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13070153 - 27 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 810
Abstract
The increasing linguistic and cultural diversity in contemporary societies inevitably affects the field of education by challenging teachers to cope with the coexistence of different languages in the classroom. The present research was intended to investigate migrant children’s attitudes towards languages through language [...] Read more.
The increasing linguistic and cultural diversity in contemporary societies inevitably affects the field of education by challenging teachers to cope with the coexistence of different languages in the classroom. The present research was intended to investigate migrant children’s attitudes towards languages through language portraits in order to help educators obtain insights into student multilingual repertoires and experiences. To this end, by adopting a qualitative approach, the study used linguistic portraits and semi-structured interviews to collect the data. The participants of the study were 10 primary school children whose ages ranged from 8 to 12 with a migrant background who have been living in Greece, particularly on the island of Crete. Using the method of content analysis, the findings of the study indicated that migrant children made specific color choices based on flags, emotions, and world experience, and they put colors on parts of the body according to their functions, which signified students’ multilingual identities and experiences. Moreover, the findings highlighted multilingual students’ need to negotiate their multiple linguistic repertoires, make choices between the languages, prioritize them, rank them, or give priority to the second language, Greek, without, however, abandoning their first languages. The present study aspires to contribute to the relevant research and draws implications for the implementation of multilingual education and culturally sustaining pedagogies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migration and Multilingual Education: An Intercultural Perspective)
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14 pages, 648 KiB  
Article
Gender-Role Stereotypes in the Bulgarian Family: Cross-Generational Transmission of Gender Attitudes
Societies 2023, 13(7), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13070152 - 26 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1514
Abstract
This article reports a representative quantitative and qualitative study covering the entire territory of Bulgaria, related to the analysis of stereotypes regarding male and female roles in the family and in the society. The results of the study indicate that the factor “age” [...] Read more.
This article reports a representative quantitative and qualitative study covering the entire territory of Bulgaria, related to the analysis of stereotypes regarding male and female roles in the family and in the society. The results of the study indicate that the factor “age” is significant in relation to attitudes towards the social roles of men and women in the modern family, including in relation to domestic violence. The interpretation of the results enabled the formulation of justified conclusions related to changes in attitudes towards the roles of men and women in a dynamic way. The hypothesis was proven that the tensions between them can be more easily overcome through appropriate differentiated measures tailored to the different age groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Family and Social Environment on Shaping Juvenile Growth)
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18 pages, 662 KiB  
Concept Paper
Branding, Diplomacy, and Inclusion: The Role of Migrant Cuisines in Cities’ Local and International Action
Societies 2023, 13(7), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13070151 - 25 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1768
Abstract
This paper features as its starting point the observation that unprecedented migration flows have made cultural diversity a common feature of most cities across the world. Among the many components of such diversity, gastronomy will be presented as both a primary employment niche [...] Read more.
This paper features as its starting point the observation that unprecedented migration flows have made cultural diversity a common feature of most cities across the world. Among the many components of such diversity, gastronomy will be presented as both a primary employment niche for migrants and a valuable resource for many municipalities’ intercultural turn aimed at enhancing social cohesion, local economic development, international cooperation, and branding. The paper will then discuss the relationship between diaspora cuisines and their countries of origin in the framework of the expanding field of gastrodiplomacy. Thus, the paper will present the increasingly evident distance between most countries’ authenticity discourse on national cuisine and the reality of their food scene. Finally, the approaches of cities and nations to gastronomic diversity will be compared, examining the possibilities for overcoming this dualism as the benefits of intercultural approaches become increasingly apparent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Socioeconomic Innovation in the Context of Globalization)
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