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Societies, Volume 14, Issue 4 (April 2024) – 13 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Endometriosis (mate kirikōpū) is an incurable condition thought to affect 10% of women and people presumed female at birth in Aotearoa New Zealand. This study assessed the experiences, perspectives, and priorities of Māori and Pasifika endometriosis patients. Māori and Pasifika patients experience long delays to diagnosis, high rates of drug-seeking accusations and weight-based discrimination, and perceive endometriosis treatment as not readily available. These difficulties in accessing management and care can dissuade these patients from seeking help and perpetuate existing healthcare inequities. In the future, it will be vital to ensure that advancements in endometriosis care incorporate cultural safety and holistic considerations for person-centred care into the healthcare structure. View this paper
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13 pages, 233 KiB  
Article
Exploring Narratives of Teachers Working with Culturally Diverse Students: Any Insights about Inclusion?
by Eleni Samsari, Nektaria Palaiologou and Georgios Nikolaou
Societies 2024, 14(4), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14040055 - 21 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1145
Abstract
The aim of the present study is to capture the teachers’ reflections and lived experiences on the inclusion of culturally diverse students in Greek school settings. Through a qualitative narrative inquiry approach, teachers share their personal accounts and stories about their efforts, initiatives, [...] Read more.
The aim of the present study is to capture the teachers’ reflections and lived experiences on the inclusion of culturally diverse students in Greek school settings. Through a qualitative narrative inquiry approach, teachers share their personal accounts and stories about their efforts, initiatives, and moves towards more inclusive schooling, as well as the barriers they face in the school environment. Five (n = 5) primary school teachers were recruited purposefully because of their work experience with culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students in mainstream, integration or reception classes. Narrative-discursive analysis unravels the effectiveness of inclusive practice in Greece for culturally diverse students according to specific aspects of inclusive pedagogy such as progressive education, transformative learning, innovative practices, and strategies, as well as school–family partnership. Teachers’ experiences revealed their complex work to handle the increasing diversity in schools and to respond to all students’ needs in a context of slow but steady measures towards inclusion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migration and Multilingual Education: An Intercultural Perspective)
16 pages, 2903 KiB  
Article
Unveiling the Complex Facets of Poverty: Unidimensional and Multidimensional Insights from Rural Areas of Suri Sadar Sub-Division, Birbhum District, Eastern India
by Ranajit Ghosh and Prolay Mondal
Societies 2024, 14(4), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14040054 - 17 Apr 2024
Viewed by 685
Abstract
Poverty, particularly in developing regions, is a complex, multifaceted issue deeply embedded in various interrelated factors. It extends beyond mere financial insufficiency, encompassing limited access to essential services such as healthcare, education, and overall living standards. This study examines both the unidimensional and [...] Read more.
Poverty, particularly in developing regions, is a complex, multifaceted issue deeply embedded in various interrelated factors. It extends beyond mere financial insufficiency, encompassing limited access to essential services such as healthcare, education, and overall living standards. This study examines both the unidimensional and multidimensional aspects of rural poverty in Suri Sadar Sub-Division, located in Eastern India. For the unidimensional aspect, this study employs the poverty headcount ratio and the Poverty Gap Index to gauge the incidence and intensity of poverty. In contrast, the multidimensional approach utilized three dimensions and 12 indicators to assess the incidence, severity, and multidimensional poverty index utilizing the Alkire–Foster (AF) methodology. The unidimensional analysis, focusing on income and consumption, highlights significant economic disparities, particularly in the western Community Development Blocks, namely, Khoyrasole, Md. Bazar, and Rajnagar. The highest levels of multidimensional poverty are generally consistent with the unidimensional findings, particularly in the western blocks. These results underscore the need for comprehensive poverty reduction strategies that address both economic and broader aspects of poverty. In areas like the western blocks, where both income-based and multidimensional poverty rates are high, strategies should integrate economic development, improved healthcare access, enhanced educational quality, and living standards improvement. Therefore, this study serves not only as an academic endeavor but also as a vital tool for informed policymaking in poverty alleviation, providing planners, administrative officials, and researchers with essential insights to develop effective, localized, and sustainable poverty reduction strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Social Sciences and Intelligence Management)
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22 pages, 1246 KiB  
Article
What Are the Current Directions in the Local Marketplaces Fiscalization? The Online Media Content Analysis
by Stefan Denda, Marko D. Petrović, Zlata Vuksanović-Macura, Milan M. Radovanović and Edna Ely-Ledesma
Societies 2024, 14(4), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14040053 - 17 Apr 2024
Viewed by 978
Abstract
Local markets have been a special setting throughout human history. Apart from their important social role, they had immeasurable economic importance as primary forms of exchange of goods (trade). Nonetheless, they experienced numerous transformational changes that affected their functioning. Like other countries, Serbia [...] Read more.
Local markets have been a special setting throughout human history. Apart from their important social role, they had immeasurable economic importance as primary forms of exchange of goods (trade). Nonetheless, they experienced numerous transformational changes that affected their functioning. Like other countries, Serbia has a long tradition of market activity. However, several novelties have been introduced in recent years. Among many, the process of e-fiscalization is the main issue. Therefore, the focus of our research is based on a qualitative analysis of online media content (news and comments) related to the fiscalization of market activity. The attitudes of different categories of participants (state authorities, vendors, and customers) were analyzed. LIGRE open-access software was used for this purpose. The results of the analysis showed conflicting parties. Legislators emphasize the exclusive positive effects, while vendors point to the negative side of fiscalization. As a third party, customers (service users) have an undefined attitude in relation to fiscalization (pros/cons/neutral). There is an agreement to introduce market activity into legal flows. However, the key prerequisite is the prior resolution of a number of problems (working conditions, business costs, market monopoly, etc.). Full article
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18 pages, 1149 KiB  
Article
Medical Students’ Views on Cannabis Use in Recreational Contexts Are Related to Their Own Consumption Intention
by Anca-Livia Panfil, Simona C. Tamasan, Lucretia Marin-Bancila, Bianca Matei, Minas G. Musca, Claudia C. Vasilian, Alina Petrica and Diana Lungeanu
Societies 2024, 14(4), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14040052 - 11 Apr 2024
Viewed by 880
Abstract
Health professionals are regarded as important sources of information and guidance for healthy living. Knowing health determinants and risks, and invested with credibility in society, many struggle with their own human limits to apply these principles. A cross-sectional study was conducted among advanced [...] Read more.
Health professionals are regarded as important sources of information and guidance for healthy living. Knowing health determinants and risks, and invested with credibility in society, many struggle with their own human limits to apply these principles. A cross-sectional study was conducted among advanced medical students to assess their attitude towards recreational cannabis consumption, intention to use it, and their opinion of its legal status. Secondary objectives were to explore the relation of these primary outcomes to: (a) potentially addictive habits (such as smoking and drinking); (b) individuals’ disturbances in self-organization (DSOs), defined in the ICD-11 as pervasive chronic effects of traumatic experiences or stressful events. An anonymous online questionnaire active in November 2022 collected data from 171 medical students, of which almost 56% were in favor of recreational cannabis legalization. In a logistic regression analysis, each additional point of own consumption intention (on a scale from 1 to 5) was found to increase the odds of a positive opinion of legalization by three times, when controlling for gender, age, smoking, drinking, onset age of smoking, and DSO: OR = 2.918, 95%CI (1.893–4.497). In conclusion, health professionals’ personal beliefs and practices regarding substance use have a significant subjective component. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthy Lifestyle: The Relevance of Health Promotion for Society)
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17 pages, 332 KiB  
Article
Vulnerability to Sex Trafficking: Adult Women’s Experiences While They Were Adolescents
by Karla Lorena Andrade-Rubio, José Moral-de-la-Rubia and Simón Pedro Izcara-Palacios
Societies 2024, 14(4), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14040051 - 11 Apr 2024
Viewed by 818
Abstract
The concept of vulnerability to sex trafficking has been the subject of intense academic debate. It is well documented in the literature that child sex trafficking is facilitated by the abuse of a position of vulnerability, though limited research has focused on children’s [...] Read more.
The concept of vulnerability to sex trafficking has been the subject of intense academic debate. It is well documented in the literature that child sex trafficking is facilitated by the abuse of a position of vulnerability, though limited research has focused on children’s order of birth as an element of vulnerability to sex trafficking. The objective of this article, based on a sample of 112 Central American women smuggled to the United States for the sex trade before they had attained the age of eighteen years, is to examine whether the order of birth constitutes an element of vulnerability to sex trafficking. Trafficked minors had vulnerabilities linked to structural-level and individual-level factors. We conclude that sisters occupying the first place in the order of birth are the most susceptible to being recruited by an international network that smuggles women for prostitution. On the contrary, the youngest and middle sisters are less at risk due to the protection and guidance of the other sisters. Full article
18 pages, 600 KiB  
Article
Enhancing Productivity at Home: The Role of Smart Work and Organizational Support in the Public Sector
by Barbara Barbieri, Marina Mondo, Silvia De Simone, Roberta Pinna, Maura Galletta, Jessica Pileri and Diego Bellini
Societies 2024, 14(4), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14040050 - 10 Apr 2024
Viewed by 778
Abstract
In recent years, Italian Public Administrations (PAs) have swiftly adapted to flexible work arrangements due to the impact of COVID-19. The flexible work has led to addressing new challenges including the need to balance work demands with family commitments, a lack of social [...] Read more.
In recent years, Italian Public Administrations (PAs) have swiftly adapted to flexible work arrangements due to the impact of COVID-19. The flexible work has led to addressing new challenges including the need to balance work demands with family commitments, a lack of social support, struggles with inadequate technology, and managing home interruptions that negatively affect home performance. Based on the job demands-resources (JD-R) model, the present study aims at examining the negative impact of home interruptions on smart working performance and the moderating role of two potential job resources: organizational support and perceived quality of the smart working. A convenience sample of 301 Italian public employees engaged in smart working completed an online questionnaire. Multivariate regression analysis results showed that organizational support plays a moderating role in reducing the negative effect of interruptions on home performance. However, the findings did not support a moderating role for the perceived quality of smart working. Overall, these findings highlight the critical role of social factors in buffering the negative effects of smart working, as compared to the quality of the technological arrangements. This information could be valuable for organizations looking to enhance the effectiveness of smart working by focusing on organizational support. Full article
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15 pages, 2421 KiB  
Article
From Scientific Journals to Newspapers in Spain: Interest in Disinformation (2000–2023)
by Beatriz Catalina García, María del Carmen García Galera and Mercedes Del Hoyo Hurtado
Societies 2024, 14(4), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14040049 - 9 Apr 2024
Viewed by 739
Abstract
As disinformation has become a topic of conversation in the media in recent years, the theory of agenda setting is once again making its presence known. The aim of this research is to verify the degree of interest in disinformation by the media [...] Read more.
As disinformation has become a topic of conversation in the media in recent years, the theory of agenda setting is once again making its presence known. The aim of this research is to verify the degree of interest in disinformation by the media (mainstream press) and in academic writing (scientific communication journals) according to frequency and whether or not such disinformation can be observed in the field of science. The primary research has been carried out through quantitative content analysis of three Spanish newspapers (El País, Abc, El Mundo) and 32 Spanish scientific communication journals included in the SJR-SCImago Journal Rank database from the year 2000 to 2023. The results were 732 units of analysis. From those, it can be concluded that once again, the pandemic represents a before and after. Firstly, a general increase in disinformation has been observed, as well as a corresponding rise in false information in certain fields of science, especially that of health. Secondly, a gradual increase in public interest in disinformation has also been detected, which indicates that the issue is on the agenda of both the media and citizens. Full article
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13 pages, 988 KiB  
Article
Toward Gender Understanding: Examining Ambivalent Sexism among University Students and Its Impact on Faculty Evaluation
by Amaia Yurrebaso Macho, Raquel Guzmán-Ordaz, Eva Picado-Valverde and Álvaro Jáñez González
Societies 2024, 14(4), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14040048 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 774
Abstract
This study examines gender differences in levels of sexism among university students and evaluates variations in assessing sexist attitudes toward professors. The aim is to analyze potential disparities between men and women regarding ambivalent sexism (both hostile and benevolent) and to determine if [...] Read more.
This study examines gender differences in levels of sexism among university students and evaluates variations in assessing sexist attitudes toward professors. The aim is to analyze potential disparities between men and women regarding ambivalent sexism (both hostile and benevolent) and to determine if these differences influence the evaluation of specific behaviors by teaching faculty. Additionally, the present study seeks to validate the variability hypothesis, asserting that men are over-represented in the extremes of distributions compared to women concerning analyzed sexist attitudes. Eighty university students participated voluntarily and anonymously, completing three questionnaires on ambivalent sexism, neosexism, and the assessment of sexist behaviors by their instructors. Consistent with prior research, the results reveal higher levels of sexism among men in this context. Despite these differences, both men and women align in evaluating specific behaviors in teaching faculty, irrespective of their individual levels of sexism. Finally, the data presented support the variability hypothesis, indicating greater variability in sexist attitudes among men than women. These findings suggest that general attitudes assessed in most questionnaires might not be representative of the behaviors and attitudes that people display in real specific situations. This could change how future research and interventions approach these issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Critical Thinking, Gender, and Education)
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18 pages, 1267 KiB  
Concept Paper
Taking Back Control: Human Rights and Human Trafficking in the United Kingdom
by Todd Landman, Ben Brewster and Sara Thornton
Societies 2024, 14(4), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14040047 - 3 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1155
Abstract
Modern slavery and human trafficking are well recognized as significant problems in need of legislation, policies, and actions from a wide range of stakeholders in the United Kingdom. The passage of the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 is a hallmark of these concerns [...] Read more.
Modern slavery and human trafficking are well recognized as significant problems in need of legislation, policies, and actions from a wide range of stakeholders in the United Kingdom. The passage of the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 is a hallmark of these concerns and has made the UK a world leader in the fight against modern slavery and human trafficking, a legislative development that is in line with the country’s broader formal commitment to the international and European human rights regime. In the post-Brexit period, however, there has been an increasing de jure conflation of modern slavery and human trafficking with efforts to curb immigration, leading to a significant questioning of the UK’s commitment to human rights. This article locates the consideration of human rights and human trafficking within these broader political trends in order to understand the prospects for meaningful measures to combat modern slavery and human trafficking in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Trafficking and Human Rights)
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21 pages, 655 KiB  
Article
The Perspectives of Māori and Pasifika Mate Kirikōpū (Endometriosis) Patients in Aotearoa New Zealand
by Katherine Ellis, Jordan Tewhaiti-Smith, Deborah Munro and Rachael Wood
Societies 2024, 14(4), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14040046 - 30 Mar 2024
Viewed by 2063
Abstract
Experiences with endometriosis have been understudied in indigenous and people of colour populations. This study aimed to investigate the experiences of Māori and Pasifika endometriosis patients in Aotearoa New Zealand. Twenty-seven Māori endometriosis participants from 21 iwi (tribes), and 10 Pasifika participants from [...] Read more.
Experiences with endometriosis have been understudied in indigenous and people of colour populations. This study aimed to investigate the experiences of Māori and Pasifika endometriosis patients in Aotearoa New Zealand. Twenty-seven Māori endometriosis participants from 21 iwi (tribes), and 10 Pasifika participants from 8 different island nations participated in online, asynchronous, anonymous text-based discussions about their endometriosis journeys. Their explanations were analysed qualitatively with an inductive thematic approach. The average delay from symptom onset to a confirmed or suspected endometriosis diagnosis was 11.6 ± 7.8 years in the Māori cohort and 12.4 ± 6.2 years in the Pasifika cohort. There were high levels of dissatisfaction with the availability of treatment, with 66.7% of Māori participants and 60.0% of Pasifika participants feeling that endometriosis treatment was not readily available to them. Poor experiences with the medical profession might dissuade Māori and Pasifika patients from seeking care, exacerbating a culture of distrust and perpetuating healthcare inequities. This could potentially be improved by increasing the capacity to take time for relationship building within general practice or through the incorporation of cultural advisors to support relationship establishment that emphasises holistic consideration of patient well-being and culturally safe care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Diversity Competence and Social Inequalities)
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27 pages, 7405 KiB  
Article
Informing the Design of an Accessible Arabic Typeface: A Visual Analysis to Identify Letterform Features of Dyslexia-Friendly Typefaces
by Muneera Mohamed Hejres and Amanda J. Tinker
Societies 2024, 14(4), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14040045 - 29 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1079
Abstract
Dyslexia-friendly typefaces for the Latin script have been proliferating during the past decade. The typefaces are designed to tackle the challenges faced in a dyslexic reading experience by manipulating their letter forms and typographic attributes; several studies reported a positive effect on the [...] Read more.
Dyslexia-friendly typefaces for the Latin script have been proliferating during the past decade. The typefaces are designed to tackle the challenges faced in a dyslexic reading experience by manipulating their letter forms and typographic attributes; several studies reported a positive effect on the reading experience. To this date, no working dyslexia-friendly Arabic typefaces are available for the public. The present study is part of a larger practice-based research, where a novel dyslexia-friendly Arabic typeface is designed using a user-centred design approach. The current visual analysis marks the developmental phase, identifying the letterform features of dyslexia-friendly Latin typefaces that can be mapped to the Arabic script. This article explores the typographic features of dyslexia-friendly Latin typefaces by conducting a qualitative visual analysis; a proposed modified version of Leeuwen’s Typographic Distinctive Features Framework is employed. The results are discussed considering the Arabic script’s visual implications in a dyslexic reading experience. The findings of this study are used to create a list of design considerations for a dyslexia-friendly Arabic typeface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Visual Arts and Design: Practice-Based Research)
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18 pages, 1226 KiB  
Article
Social Justice Profiles: An Exploratory Study towards an Empirically Based Multi-Dimensional Classification of Countries Regarding Fairness of Participation in Higher Education
by Pepka Boyadjieva, Kaloyan Haralampiev and Petya Ilieva-Trichkova
Societies 2024, 14(4), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14040044 - 25 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1101
Abstract
The aim of this article is to suggest a better—theoretically and empirically grounded—understanding of the complex character of social justice in higher education. Theoretically, this article conceptualises social justice in higher education as mediating participation in, completion of and outcomes from higher education. [...] Read more.
The aim of this article is to suggest a better—theoretically and empirically grounded—understanding of the complex character of social justice in higher education. Theoretically, this article conceptualises social justice in higher education as mediating participation in, completion of and outcomes from higher education. It introduces the concept of composite capability for achieving higher education that captures capabilities to participate in, complete and gain outcomes from higher education. This study also develops a methodology for building an empirically based classification of countries regarding social justice in participation in higher education, taking into account the assessed inequality in students’ pathways to higher education as well as inequality in their social conditions, associated with students’ social origin. In so doing, it develops three indices: the index of inequalities in students’ pathways, the index of inequalities in students’ social conditions and the index of participation in higher education. Using microdata from the EUROSTUDENT VII survey (2019–2021) for 12 European countries, it applies the developed methodology to classify countries, for which data are available, by the degree of fairness in participation in higher education. This study’s results demonstrate the social embeddedness of social justice in higher education in different economic and political contexts. Full article
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29 pages, 5902 KiB  
Article
Disinformation and Fact-Checking in the Face of Natural Disasters: A Case Study on Turkey–Syria Earthquakes
by Sandra Méndez-Muros, Marián Alonso-González and Concha Pérez-Curiel
Societies 2024, 14(4), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc14040043 - 23 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1306
Abstract
Natural disasters linked to contexts of unpredictability and surprise generate a climate of uncertainty in the population, resulting in an exponential increase in disinformation. These are crisis situations that cause the management of public and governmental institutions to be questioned, diminish citizens’ trust [...] Read more.
Natural disasters linked to contexts of unpredictability and surprise generate a climate of uncertainty in the population, resulting in an exponential increase in disinformation. These are crisis situations that cause the management of public and governmental institutions to be questioned, diminish citizens’ trust in the media, and reinforce anonymity in social networks. New digital algorithms create a scenario plagued by fake news and levels of viralization of rumors never before contemplated. Our objective is to analyze the verification capacity of fact-checking agencies at X at times of information disorder, such as the Turkey–Syria earthquakes in 2023. We apply a mixed methodology of comparative content analysis to government, news agency, and IFCN accounts, generating a general sample (n = 46,747) that is then subjected to thematic categorization to create a specific sample (n = 564). The results indicate a low commitment to fact-checking on the part of official bodies and news agencies, as opposed to fact-checking agencies’ accurate handling of the facts. The lack of debate and engagement generated by digital audiences in the face of the discursive intentionality of disinformation is significant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fake News Post-COVID-19)
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