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Soc. Sci., Volume 12, Issue 11 (November 2023) – 57 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): In recent years, a considerable amount of research on teaching controversial issues has been published. Much of this research has focused on the need to develop relevant and fruitful pedagogical as well as didactic strategies. This research is of paramount importance; however, it is also essential to investigate the theoretical frameworks for how knowledge-based teaching of controversial subjects can be developed. Having relevant knowledge of the issues being discussed and being well informed about how arguments for and against different positions can be critically evaluated are fundamental prerequisites for epistemically well-founded discussions in classrooms. This article discusses powerful knowledge as a conceptual frame for epistemically anchored teaching of what are perceived as controversial issues in social studies subjects. View this paper
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17 pages, 379 KiB  
Essay
Contributions of a “Brazilianized” Radical Behaviorist Theory of Subjectivity to the Feminist Debate on Women
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(11), 641; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12110641 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 822
Abstract
An essentialist view of gender and an individualistic concept of subjectivity have distanced psychological theories from emancipatory feminist projects. In Brazil, similar to some other psychological orientations, the behavior-analytic field has sought an interface with feminism. The anti-essentialist vein of radical behaviorism underpins [...] Read more.
An essentialist view of gender and an individualistic concept of subjectivity have distanced psychological theories from emancipatory feminist projects. In Brazil, similar to some other psychological orientations, the behavior-analytic field has sought an interface with feminism. The anti-essentialist vein of radical behaviorism underpins the early movement toward feminism. This essay aims to expand the area of contact with feminism through a theoretical proposal for understanding women’s subjectivity inspired by Brazilian behavior-analytic literature. From a contextualized, multidimensional, pluralized, and politicized view of subjectivity, women’s subjectivation is forged in a tripartite complex of body, person, and “self”, whose relative unity is susceptible to changes and conflicts. In a patriarchal, racist, and cis-heteronormative society, such as the Brazilian one, subjectivation is also an oppressive process. Nevertheless, the essay demonstrates that women’s subjectivation can be a process of emancipatory liberation. This possibility is glimpsed within a virtuous dialectical circuit between disruptive verbal communities (uncommitted to institutional, hierarchical, and oppressive social control) and subversive subjectivities. Thus, behavior-analytic psychology has theoretical tools to situate the process of women’s subjectivation not as a locus of depoliticization but as a crucial ally in constructing a more equitable and just society, as envisioned by feminism. Full article
16 pages, 565 KiB  
Article
Refugee and Immigrant Youth Leaders: Strengths, Futurity, and Commitment to Community
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(11), 640; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12110640 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1073
Abstract
This study explored the Youth Leadership/Peer Tutoring program at Refugee and Immigrant Transitions (RIT), a community-based non-profit organization in Northern California. It includes 12 semi-structured interviews with refugee and immigrant youth leaders. Bringing together works on Community Cultural Wealth (with the addition of [...] Read more.
This study explored the Youth Leadership/Peer Tutoring program at Refugee and Immigrant Transitions (RIT), a community-based non-profit organization in Northern California. It includes 12 semi-structured interviews with refugee and immigrant youth leaders. Bringing together works on Community Cultural Wealth (with the addition of Migration Capital) and Critical Refugee Studies collectively as a conceptual framework, this study highlights three themes: (a) commitment to community, family, and giving back; (b) encouraging communication and cultivating a pan-newcomer community; and (c) leadership as commitment to community and positive, collective futurities. Data support a strengths-based framework when working with refugee and immigrant youth as they transition and adjust to their new school environments and communities. All 12 participants were refugee and immigrant newcomer youth who participated as youth leaders/peer tutors in RIT’s Youth Leaders/Peer Tutoring program. Countries of origin included Burma (Karen), Bhutan, Nepal, China, and El Salvador. As scholars and practitioners in the field, we are seeing an increased need and demand for more scholarship in this area through a strengths-based lens, as evidenced by calls from educators and school/district administrators requesting support and resources. We submit this article at a time of growing numbers of immigrant and refugee youth in schools in the United States, including non-diverse school environments that are unprepared (and sometimes unwilling) to receive newcomer youth. Our hope is for this study to reveal possibilities for extending welcome and mutual support through a strengths-based lens within diverse newcomer peer learning environments. Full article
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15 pages, 360 KiB  
Article
Factors Affecting Job-Loss Anxiety: The Influence of Decent Work Policies and Corporate Sustainability in a Case Study of Economic Crises
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(11), 639; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12110639 - 19 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1105
Abstract
This study examined the factors affecting the fear of job loss, which is characteristic of various phases of an economic crisis. We used a representative sample of data from the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey-Higher School of Economics for 2007, 2009, 2013, 2015, 2019, [...] Read more.
This study examined the factors affecting the fear of job loss, which is characteristic of various phases of an economic crisis. We used a representative sample of data from the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey-Higher School of Economics for 2007, 2009, 2013, 2015, 2019, and 2021. It was assumed that the factors that determine the level of layoff anxiety are dynamic. The current economic conditions caused by both the COVID-19 pandemic and the growing prerequisites of a new economic crisis in Russia have promoted increased interest in this area. Method: Binary choice models were estimated using the maximum likelihood method with the calculation of average marginal effects. State ownership in the capital of an organization, a high income, job satisfaction, good qualifications, and a positive assessment of one’s health reduce layoff anxiety. The fear of job loss was found to peak at 45 years of age. The factors associated with job insecurity can be permanent or temporary, depending on the phase of the economic cycle. The conclusions of this study may be of interest to the management of organizations interested in increasing the efficiency of labor and production. Full article
17 pages, 1306 KiB  
Article
Cuba: The Last Destination of the Republic of Korea’s Nordpolitik?
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(11), 638; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12110638 - 19 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1004
Abstract
This article analyzes the possibility of normalizing diplomatic relations between the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Republic of Cuba (Cuba). It poses two main questions: Why does the ROK desire to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba? Can diplomatic normalization be achieved, and [...] Read more.
This article analyzes the possibility of normalizing diplomatic relations between the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Republic of Cuba (Cuba). It poses two main questions: Why does the ROK desire to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba? Can diplomatic normalization be achieved, and if so, what policy measures are necessary to make it happen? To answer these questions, the article explores the ROK’s previous efforts and assesses the current state of bilateral relations between the ROK and Cuba. The strong relationship between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Cuba is pointed out as an essential obstacle, and the article examines what policy actions could be taken to overcome it. Finally, the article draws on previous experiences and cases of Nordpolitik (Northern Policy) to suggest a direction for the ROK’s foreign policy toward normalizing diplomatic relations with Cuba. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section International Relations)
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9 pages, 277 KiB  
Review
Suicide Research with Refugee Communities: The Case for a Qualitative, Sociocultural, and Creative Approach
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(11), 637; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12110637 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 867
Abstract
People from refugee backgrounds experience distinctively complex situations pre- and post-resettlement and are at heightened risks of suicide. The bulk of research on refugee suicide and suicidal ideation is based on diagnostic perspectives, biomedical approaches, and quantitative measures. To explore lived experience of [...] Read more.
People from refugee backgrounds experience distinctively complex situations pre- and post-resettlement and are at heightened risks of suicide. The bulk of research on refugee suicide and suicidal ideation is based on diagnostic perspectives, biomedical approaches, and quantitative measures. To explore lived experience of suicide among refugee communities in more depth, this review highlights the need for qualitative, creative methods and a different paradigm to conceptualise suicide research from a social and cultural perspective as an alternative to framing and treating suicidality purely as a mental health issue. Situational and lived experience-based knowledge can significantly expand understandings of how to curb the rise in suicidal ideation and reduce suicide risks among refugees. In this context, creative research methods can be excellent tools to uncover the deeply contextual dimensions of suicidality. When interdisciplinary research explores subjective and sociocultural meanings attached to suicidal ideation, there is a greater potential to develop culturally safe supports, which are models attuned to cultural norms as determined by those most affected by lived experience of an issue or problem. Qualitative suicide research using creative methods and grounded in sociocultural knowledge can address the multidimensional and situational factors affecting refugee communities to improve interventions beyond medical framings. Full article
14 pages, 502 KiB  
Article
This Is Bullshit: The Relationship between Organizational Bullshitting and Employee Job Satisfaction
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(11), 636; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12110636 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1017
Abstract
Bullshitting is a term that has been introduced lately in the literature to describe the practice of communicating with no grounding in truth. This study examines the relationship between organizational bullshit and employee job satisfaction. Using a sample of 261 employees from five [...] Read more.
Bullshitting is a term that has been introduced lately in the literature to describe the practice of communicating with no grounding in truth. This study examines the relationship between organizational bullshit and employee job satisfaction. Using a sample of 261 employees from five organizations in Saudi Arabia, this study finds that employees are more likely to be dissatisfied when their organizations have no regard for the truth in making their decisions, and specifically, when their direct supervisor is bullshitting. This study contributes to the emerging literature on organizational bullshit and offers practical implications as well as suggestions for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Work, Employment and the Labor Market)
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11 pages, 271 KiB  
Article
Digital Séance: Fabricated Encounters with the Dead
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(11), 635; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12110635 - 16 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1253
Abstract
Digital afterlife is becoming increasingly possible due to advancements in VR, deepfake, and AI technologies. The use of computational photography for mourning and commemoration has been re-integrated into practices of remembrance, farewell, continuity, and disengagement. Two case studies, the Shoah Foundation’s Dimensions in [...] Read more.
Digital afterlife is becoming increasingly possible due to advancements in VR, deepfake, and AI technologies. The use of computational photography for mourning and commemoration has been re-integrated into practices of remembrance, farewell, continuity, and disengagement. Two case studies, the Shoah Foundation’s Dimensions in Testimony and the TV production Meeting You, are analyzed to explore these new possibilities. We show how photography’s new affordances enable interaction while maintaining its essence as a representation of reality and argue that this socio-technological transformation habituates contemporary practices of mourning and commemoration, adjusting images to serve the individual needs and interests of the bereaved and the community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DIDE–Digital Death: Transforming History, Rituals and Afterlife)
21 pages, 3220 KiB  
Article
Households’ Willingness to Pay for Renewable Energy Alternatives in Thailand
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(11), 634; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12110634 - 15 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1153
Abstract
While the problems about the environmental effects of traditional energy use are growing, Thailand has a rapid response by increasing its renewable energy (RE) policy. Even though Thailand has seen rapid growth in RE, it has been focusing on supporting the producers and [...] Read more.
While the problems about the environmental effects of traditional energy use are growing, Thailand has a rapid response by increasing its renewable energy (RE) policy. Even though Thailand has seen rapid growth in RE, it has been focusing on supporting the producers and not considering the users. In addition, there were few studies on RE receivers in Thailand. To reach sustainable growth and increase the empirical study, this research aims to analyze the socio-economy, electric consumption behavior, attitude, opinions, and cognition of households in Bangkok Metropolitan to willingly pay for RE alternatives in Thailand. A questionnaire survey was carried out for 250 households covering six administrative districts, selected through multistage and stratified sampling techniques. The data were analyzed by descriptive statistics and conditional logit regression. It is found that the overall household in Bangkok still unchanged the status of electricity production based on the findings of socio-economy, behavior, and psychological factors. Considering to pay for RE alternatives, households are willing to pay (WTP) for solar energy at the highest level among other types, and biomass is the least willing to pay when the RE share is expected to reach 40%. These results are relevant for the planning of RE in the metropolitan region and the methodology applicable to other regions for extending RE opportunities to the national level. Full article
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17 pages, 534 KiB  
Article
Mothering a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder during the COVID-19 Outbreak
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(11), 633; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12110633 - 15 Nov 2023
Viewed by 847
Abstract
(1) Background: The lockdown that was forced by the Jordanian government as part of the attempt to contain the COVID-19 outbreak included extreme measures such as home confinement and the shutting down of schools’ special education centers. This study explores the experiences of [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The lockdown that was forced by the Jordanian government as part of the attempt to contain the COVID-19 outbreak included extreme measures such as home confinement and the shutting down of schools’ special education centers. This study explores the experiences of mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) during this significant life disturbance. (2) Methods: Eleven mothers of children with ASD took part in semi-structured telephone interviews, which were transcribed verbatim and underwent thematic analysis. (3) Results: The analysis was conducted in an iterative consensus-building process to identify mothers’ experiences, concerns, challenges, coping strategies, and perceived needs during the lockdown. The main themes that emerged from the analysis were maternal stress, maternal fears, and maternal hopes. Our findings indicate that the COVID-19 outbreak greatly affected the family lives of the mothers interviewed, which required them to optimize their coping strategies and resilience. (4) Conclusions: The mothers faced significant difficulties during the pandemic and there is an urgent need to support them on multiple levels. Additionally, our findings reveal the need for more research that takes Jordan’s cultural context into account when determining how best to support children with ASD and their parents. Full article
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18 pages, 371 KiB  
Article
The More-Than-Human Life of Capitalism: Assemblages, Affects and the Neoliberal Black Hole
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(11), 632; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12110632 - 15 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 968
Abstract
This paper applies a more-than-human, relational, new materialist ontology to ask the Deleuzian question: what does capitalism actually do? The transactions identified in Marx’s Capital are re-analysed as more-than-human assemblages, constituted by affective flows involving both human and non-human matter. The paper then [...] Read more.
This paper applies a more-than-human, relational, new materialist ontology to ask the Deleuzian question: what does capitalism actually do? The transactions identified in Marx’s Capital are re-analysed as more-than-human assemblages, constituted by affective flows involving both human and non-human matter. The paper then identifies further more-than-human affects that produce the fluctuations in prices and quantities of goods sold, described in classical economics as the ‘laws of supply and demand’. Analysis reveals these affects to be associated with the affective and relational capacities of commodities. The consequences of this more-than-human ontology of capitalism are explored by means of a short case study of the digital economy. This demonstrates how more-than-human affects are responsible for many of the negative consequences of a capitalist economy, including uncertainty, waste and social inequalities. The paper suggests that capitalism is progressively becoming a ‘black hole’ from which neither workers nor capitalist enterprises can escape, and draws conclusions that diverge radically from both neoliberal and Marxist analyses of capitalism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Contemporary Politics and Society)
17 pages, 1494 KiB  
Article
Changing the Story: The Evaluation of a Leadership Development Programme for Vulnerable and Deaf Youth in South Africa
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(11), 631; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12110631 - 13 Nov 2023
Viewed by 994
Abstract
Vulnerable youth and youth with disabilities are at great risk of not having their rights met. In addition, they face challenges with regard to empowerment and participation in their own lives. Youth development programmes frequently focus primarily on the individual skills of the [...] Read more.
Vulnerable youth and youth with disabilities are at great risk of not having their rights met. In addition, they face challenges with regard to empowerment and participation in their own lives. Youth development programmes frequently focus primarily on the individual skills of the youth. However, reviews have indicated that for youth to be able to drive change, additional opportunities at community and broader society levels are required. This project sought to evaluate the changes facilitated by the Changing the Story—Leadership Development Programme as implemented in the Youth Accountability and Deaf Inclusion in South Africa project, for both vulnerable and Deaf youth. A longitudinal Q-sort methodology was used to measure the youths’ changes in perceptions. The results provided evidence of significant change following the programme, including increases in perceptions of empowerment within the community. Furthermore, although vulnerable and Deaf youth began the programme with differing perceptions of self, community and society, these perceptions were more aligned after completion of the programme. The results and challenges experienced using a longitudinal Q-sort methodology are presented and discussed. Recommendations and limitations are also highlighted. Full article
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28 pages, 2412 KiB  
Article
Tailor-Made Development Pathways: A Framework to Enhance Active Participation of Youth in Agriculture
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(11), 630; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12110630 - 13 Nov 2023
Viewed by 883
Abstract
The development of youth to actively engage in agriculture could address the persistent youth unemployment problem. For youth to actively engage in agriculture, adequate access to key productive resources is necessary. The main aim of this article is to develop and validate tailor-made [...] Read more.
The development of youth to actively engage in agriculture could address the persistent youth unemployment problem. For youth to actively engage in agriculture, adequate access to key productive resources is necessary. The main aim of this article is to develop and validate tailor-made development pathways based on the characteristics of four youth typologies, addressing the constrained access to key livelihood capitals, and to enhance the participation of youth in agriculture. The pathways are developed based on the Modified Sustainable Livelihood Framework (MSLF), which includes six livelihood capitals, namely, physical, natural, social, financial, human and psychological capitals. Four pathways were developed and named Business-oriented, Gender-oriented, Occupation-oriented and Livestock-oriented. Through focus group discussions, the pathways were validated to determine whether they can be used successfully to facilitate the participation of youths in agriculture. The results confirm that tailor-made development pathways can be used to develop youth characterised by the typology that informed that pathway, to actively engage in agriculture. The implementation of support strategies to support youth in agriculture, should therefore, be guided by the specific needs of different typologies. This allows for the coordination and coherence of youth support initiatives to enhance access to resources, which can yield improvements to desired development outcomes compared to initiatives implemented as piecemeals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Gender Studies)
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21 pages, 2516 KiB  
Article
A Quantitative Study on the Factors Influencing Implementation of Cybersecurity Laws and Regulations in Pakistan
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(11), 629; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12110629 - 10 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1315
Abstract
The phenomenon of law implementation has received limited attention, despite the clear evidence that it is influenced by various factors prevalent in the country, and these factors can have an impact on and obstruct the effective implementation of legislation. The primary objective of [...] Read more.
The phenomenon of law implementation has received limited attention, despite the clear evidence that it is influenced by various factors prevalent in the country, and these factors can have an impact on and obstruct the effective implementation of legislation. The primary objective of this study was to analyze the critical factors that impact the implementation of cybersecurity laws in developing nations, such as Pakistan. The prevalence of corruption, a major hindrance to the implementation of cybersecurity laws and regulations, emerged as the most influential factor in Pakistan. Additionally, factors such as discrimination, illicit conduct, expertise, ambiguity, and public confidence significantly influenced the implementation of cybersecurity laws in Pakistan. A survey was conducted among managers from banking and IT firms to collect data samples on the factors that could potentially impact the implementation of the law. The findings from a sample of 172 respondents revealed that corruption, discrimination, illicit conduct, and ambiguity appeared to have a significant negative influence on cybersecurity law implementation, whereas expertise and public confidence emerged to have a significant positive influence on the implementation of cybersecurity laws in Pakistan. This study suggests that the government of Pakistan should consider various measures such as providing training, improving capacity building, fostering institutional cooperation, strengthening legislative conviction, and promoting global collaborations to enhance the implementation of cybersecurity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Local Governance, Wellbeing and Sustainability)
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13 pages, 635 KiB  
Article
“The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”: Predicting College Students’ Voting Behavior Using the Extended Parallel Process Model
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(11), 628; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12110628 - 10 Nov 2023
Viewed by 911
Abstract
This longitudinal study examines how well the EPPM predicts and explains college students’ voting behavior. One-hundred-and-seventy-eight undergraduate students filled out a survey at two points in time: (1) four weeks before and (2) one week after the 2022 midterm election. As hypothesized, the [...] Read more.
This longitudinal study examines how well the EPPM predicts and explains college students’ voting behavior. One-hundred-and-seventy-eight undergraduate students filled out a survey at two points in time: (1) four weeks before and (2) one week after the 2022 midterm election. As hypothesized, the EPPM accurately predicted danger control outcomes (i.e., severity, susceptibility, self-efficacy, and response efficacy predicted voting intentions, and voting intentions predicted voting behavior). The EPPM also predicted one fear control outcome (though only the path between severity and fear was significant). More specifically, the EPPM explained 45.7% of the variance in intention, 81.7% of the variance in behavior, 77% of the variance in contesting, and 33.6% of the variance in suppression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Political Communication and Emotions)
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21 pages, 345 KiB  
Article
Gender Bias in the Australian Construction Industry: Women’s Experience in Trades and Semi-Skilled Roles
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(11), 627; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12110627 - 10 Nov 2023
Viewed by 995
Abstract
While most industry sectors in the Australian workforce have consistently improved regarding the participation of women, the construction industry remains an exception. Despite multiple gender equality initiatives and regulations at all levels of the Australian Government, the proportion of women employed in the [...] Read more.
While most industry sectors in the Australian workforce have consistently improved regarding the participation of women, the construction industry remains an exception. Despite multiple gender equality initiatives and regulations at all levels of the Australian Government, the proportion of women employed in the construction industry has steadily declined. In 2020, only 1% of the trades and technician positions in the Australian construction industry were filled by women. In this qualitative study, interviews were undertaken with 43 women working in trades and semi-skilled roles to identify the varying types of gender biases experienced by women and the resultant harms that these biases create. Biases consisted of challenges to credibility; characteristics of the work environment comprising support, amenities, conditions of employment, career development, and access to meaningful work; gender stereotypes about women’s work roles; and objectification. Each of these biases has a cumulative impact on women, leading to systemic and structural discrimination. The implications and suggestions for strategies to address biases are discussed, including the need for structural interventions to create epistemic justice and recognition for women working in construction. Full article
20 pages, 2964 KiB  
Article
Financial Literacy as a Key to Entrepreneurship Education: A Multi-Case Study Exploring Diversity and Inclusion
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(11), 626; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12110626 - 10 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1232
Abstract
This article presents the results of the financial literacy assessment of young Mexican students between the ages of 17 and 24 enrolled in public and private institutions in five Mexican cities. This study’s objective was to approach the financial knowledge, behaviors, and attitudes [...] Read more.
This article presents the results of the financial literacy assessment of young Mexican students between the ages of 17 and 24 enrolled in public and private institutions in five Mexican cities. This study’s objective was to approach the financial knowledge, behaviors, and attitudes of young Mexicans through focus groups and questionnaires to identify their perceptions of complex thinking and its use for financial products and services. The most relevant findings suggest that (a) most of the young participants in the study use banking services through their parents, (b) there are significant gender differences in financial knowledge and behaviors, (c) critical thinking significantly and positively correlates with financial behaviors and attitudes, and (d) the level of critical thinking predicts financial behavior. There is a need to develop women’s critical thinking to discern between the financial behavior they socially imitate and their capabilities to become more involved in financial issues, thus decreasing the gender gap. Full article
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17 pages, 333 KiB  
Article
How Layers of Context and Material Deprivation Impact Reemployment in Stable or Casual Work
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(11), 625; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12110625 - 09 Nov 2023
Viewed by 768
Abstract
Reemployment for those who are unemployed is both economically and socially important but may be constrained because of the person’s context. The current study investigates key socioeconomic, structural, and individual factors that may impact the likelihood of reemployment for unemployed working age adults [...] Read more.
Reemployment for those who are unemployed is both economically and socially important but may be constrained because of the person’s context. The current study investigates key socioeconomic, structural, and individual factors that may impact the likelihood of reemployment for unemployed working age adults over the period of a year. Reemployment is further separated in terms of stability and security by delineating casual versus non-casual reemployment. A multinomial regression analysis of an Australian dataset (n = 375 adults who reported no limitation to their ability to gain employment) found that economic constraints played a substantial role and that the context issues act differently by employment type if reemployed. The results highlight the importance of socio-structural issues, reflecting resource asymmetry. Supportive neighborhoods and material deprivation set the scene, while education enables the pursuit of more stable and secure employment opportunities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Policy and Welfare)
14 pages, 286 KiB  
Article
Fragile Solace: Navigating toward Wellbeing in ISIS-Occupied Mosul in 2014–2017
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(11), 624; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12110624 - 09 Nov 2023
Viewed by 834
Abstract
Populations in conflict contexts often live for extended periods of time in displacement or under occupation. Both have profound consequences for navigating daily wellbeing. Drawing on narrative interviews (n = 8) with participants who lived through the ISIS (Islamic State) occupation of Mosul [...] Read more.
Populations in conflict contexts often live for extended periods of time in displacement or under occupation. Both have profound consequences for navigating daily wellbeing. Drawing on narrative interviews (n = 8) with participants who lived through the ISIS (Islamic State) occupation of Mosul in 2014–2017, we seek to highlight narratives of wellbeing- and illbeing-emerging from their experiences. Our case study suggests that multiple persistent threats forced a renegotiation of ways to sustain key elements of wellbeing. Our findings suggest that intentionally propagated distrust led to reduced interaction, while insecurity and fear diminished personal freedoms, causing recurring shocks requiring constant adaptation. Decreasing the size of the core social unit helped families manage risks and resources when facing existential threats, while the diversification of interpersonal and communal relations created space for moments of normalcy. Choices made in order to stay safe and sane under such exceptional circumstances include complex relational choices, such as breaking familial ties with loved ones. Our research expands on the positive and negative impacts of relations on wellbeing and deepens our understanding of how wellbeing is navigated in contexts of forced departure—environments from which people often flee to seek refuge elsewhere. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Relational Wellbeing in the Lives of Young Refugees)
22 pages, 4260 KiB  
Article
Sentiment Analysis on Twitter-Based Teleworking in a Post-Pandemic COVID-19 Context
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(11), 623; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12110623 - 08 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1250
Abstract
The implementation of the telework model has become popular globally due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this new model of work organization generates conflicting opinions regarding the positive and negative effects that its implementation can bring to organizations. In this study, sentiment analysis [...] Read more.
The implementation of the telework model has become popular globally due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this new model of work organization generates conflicting opinions regarding the positive and negative effects that its implementation can bring to organizations. In this study, sentiment analysis of Twitter-based teleworking in a post-pandemic COVID-19 context was conducted. A set of Twitter conversations is examined by applying text mining and opinion analysis techniques. The results show the prevalence of positive sentiments regarding telework. In addition, opinions are generally associated with confidence, anticipation, and joy. According to the results, it is recommended to consider telework as an opportunity to improve worker well-being. However, it is important to consider some factors, such as the sector to which the company belongs, the characteristics of the job, and the working conditions. Full article
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13 pages, 1064 KiB  
Case Report
Cognitive Support Technology for People with Intellectual Disabilities: Factors for Successful Implementation
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(11), 622; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12110622 - 08 Nov 2023
Viewed by 931
Abstract
In Europe, large numbers of people with disabilities are willing to work but have problems finding a job. One of the barriers to this is job complexity, particularly for those with low education, low IQ, or cognitive impairments. Digital technologies might help. Specifically, [...] Read more.
In Europe, large numbers of people with disabilities are willing to work but have problems finding a job. One of the barriers to this is job complexity, particularly for those with low education, low IQ, or cognitive impairments. Digital technologies might help. Specifically, cognitive support technology (CST) has the potential to make jobs less complex and thus more accessible. CST may concern step-by-step digital instructions presented with monitors, tablets, smart phones, beamer projections, or near-eye displays. Based on cross-case evaluations, we aimed to define the success factors in the process of technology selection, development, and implementation. Four cases, situated at public social firms which offer jobs to people with disabilities, were selected. In each case, the optimal form of CST was selected. A qualitative analysis of subjective experiences of work accessibility, performance, usability, and acceptance was applied. The results were positive for most participants in most cases. Once installed, the CST was successful in simplifying jobs. A proportion of the workforce for which a specific job had been considered too complex was able to perform that job when supported by CST. Moreover, a majority of people judged the usability of the technology positively. For the consecutive steps of selection, development, and implementation, we ended up with eleven factors of success; these included, among others, shared and transparent decision making (in technology selection), the iterative and active involvement of workers to optimally adjust work instructions (in technology development), and explicit attention for psychosocial barriers (in technology implementation). Full article
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16 pages, 636 KiB  
Article
What Do Pupils Learn from Voting Advice Applications in Civic Education Classes? Effects of a Digital Intervention Using Voting Advice Applications on Students’ Political Dispositions
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(11), 621; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12110621 - 08 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 835
Abstract
To what extent does the use of Voting Advice Applications in (digital) civic education classes at school impact students’ political knowledge, attitudes, motivations and behavioral dispositions toward elections? This article provides answers to this question by presenting a sample analysis of the responses [...] Read more.
To what extent does the use of Voting Advice Applications in (digital) civic education classes at school impact students’ political knowledge, attitudes, motivations and behavioral dispositions toward elections? This article provides answers to this question by presenting a sample analysis of the responses of 1189 pupils who participated in a digital civic education intervention, with the German Voting Advice Application Wahl-O-Mat at its core, whose usage was embedded in an elaborated didactical concept in civic education classes. Using a quasi-experimental field design with pre- and post-tests, the study shows that the intervention substantially improves students’ knowledge of the investigated state election. Furthermore, we can trace a significant increase in young people’s political efficacy and specific interest in the election campaign. Finally, we observe a substantial increase in intended electoral participation, especially among those adolescents whose intention to participate in elections was low prior to the intervention, which contributes to a reduction in existing participation gaps. In particular, we identify changes in motivational and cognitive political dispositions, but only to a limited extent evaluative and sociodemographic background variables, as key factors driving the intervention-induced change in willingness to participate in the state election. Our paper concludes by discussing the limitations of the study and its implications for empirical research and practice in civic education. Full article
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16 pages, 501 KiB  
Article
Citizen Science in Biomedicine: Attitudes, Motivation, and Concerns of the General Public and Scientists in Latvia
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(11), 620; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12110620 - 08 Nov 2023
Viewed by 698
Abstract
Citizen science is research carried out by citizens in cooperation with scientists based on scientifically developed methods. Citizen science makes science accessible to the public and promotes public trust. Since there is scarce evidence about attitudes toward citizen science in the field of [...] Read more.
Citizen science is research carried out by citizens in cooperation with scientists based on scientifically developed methods. Citizen science makes science accessible to the public and promotes public trust. Since there is scarce evidence about attitudes toward citizen science in the field of biomedicine, we aimed to evaluate the attitudes, motivations, and concerns of the Latvian general population and scientists from the biomedical research field toward citizen science research projects. We developed a survey that consisted of seven different citizen science research project examples (vignettes) and circulated it among the Latvian general population and researchers online, collecting quantitative and qualitative data. In total 314 individuals from the general population and 49 researchers filled in the survey. After the analysis was performed, we concluded that the general population and biomedical scientists in Latvia have different expectations toward citizen science. The results showed that while the general public is more interested in individual and societal benefits and concerned with specific participation aspects like filming, photographing, or co-funding, the scientists see the biggest potential contribution to their project in aspects of additional data collection and potential financial support, and are concerned about data quality, potential legal issues, and additional coordination communication that would be needed. Full article
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16 pages, 276 KiB  
Article
Powerful Knowledge as a Conceptual Frame for Teaching Controversial Issues in Ethics and Values Education in Social Studies Subjects
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(11), 619; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12110619 - 08 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 918
Abstract
Much has recently been written about how teaching on “controversial issues” may be designed and developed in accordance with various pedagogical and didactic guidelines and based on a democratic ethos. In this article, I develop an analysis of the theoretical prerequisites for a [...] Read more.
Much has recently been written about how teaching on “controversial issues” may be designed and developed in accordance with various pedagogical and didactic guidelines and based on a democratic ethos. In this article, I develop an analysis of the theoretical prerequisites for a tenable and solid teaching on controversial ethical issues in social-studies subjects. With reference to Diana Hess’s research, which identifies four pedagogical strategies in teaching on controversial issues in a general sense, I critically examine how these strategies can be conceived in a context where ethics and values education are taught in school. I make a claim for the importance of exploring an ethical meta-language for the establishment of a theoretical framework, defined with regard to the concept of powerful knowledge, where teachers may find support for teaching on controversial ethical issues. This claim is supported by a critical discussion of Michael Hand’s well-known defence of the “epistemic criterion”. Full article
24 pages, 4194 KiB  
Article
Livelihood Changes, Spatial Anticontagion Policy Effects, and Structural Resilience of National Food Systems in a Sub-Saharan African Country Context: A Panel Machine Learning Approach
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(11), 618; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12110618 - 06 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1068
Abstract
The livelihood changes due to the COVID-19 policies in low-income and transitional economies serve as a lever for gauging the structural resilience of national food systems. Yet, few studies have addressed the cascading effects of the pandemic policies on the livelihood changes of [...] Read more.
The livelihood changes due to the COVID-19 policies in low-income and transitional economies serve as a lever for gauging the structural resilience of national food systems. Yet, few studies have addressed the cascading effects of the pandemic policies on the livelihood changes of farming system actors or modeled and provided coherent hypotheses about the transitory structural shifts at the micro-level. Other studies on the subject have either captured the early impacts of the pandemic on food systems with limited or no insight into the sub-Saharan African context or have used macro-level data, due to sparsely available micro-level data. These early insights are relevant for the design of early warning systems. However, an ongoing and deeper insight into the effects of pandemic policies is critical, since new and more comprehensive policies are needed to address the economic fallout and the extenuating effects of COVID-19 on food supply chain disruptions. The overriding questions are as follows: what are the effects of the pandemic policies on the livelihoods of food system actors and are there spatial-economic variations in the effects of the pandemic policies on the livelihoods of the farming system actors? Using 2019 and 2020 primary data from 836 farming system actors in Ghana, we offer fresh insights into the transitory micro-level livelihood changes caused by the COVID-19 anticontagion policies. We analyzed the data using the generalized additive, subset regression, classical linear, and logistic regression models in a machine learning framework. We show that the changes in the livelihood outcomes of the food system actors in Ghana coincide with the nature of pandemic mitigation policies adopted in the spatial units. We found that the lockdown policies had a negative and significant effect on the livelihoods of the farming system actors in the lockdown areas. The policies also negatively affected the livelihoods of the farming system actors in distant communities that shared no direct boundary with the lockdown areas. On the contrary, the lockdown policies positively affected the livelihoods of the farming system actors in the directly contiguous communities to the lockdown areas. We also document the shifts in the livelihood outcomes of the farming system actors, such as income, employment, food demand, and food security in the different spatial policy areas. Full article
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15 pages, 325 KiB  
Article
Legitimising and Delegitimising Women Coaches in the Golf Industry: Women Golf Professionals’ Experiences of Advocacy
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(11), 617; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12110617 - 04 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1131
Abstract
The underrepresentation of women in sport coaching continues to be recognised by researchers and some international organisations. Golf too suffers from a dramatic underrepresentation of women coaches. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of women golf coaches and how [...] Read more.
The underrepresentation of women in sport coaching continues to be recognised by researchers and some international organisations. Golf too suffers from a dramatic underrepresentation of women coaches. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of women golf coaches and how they navigate this male-dominated coaching domain with a particular focus on experiences of advocacy. The research was designed to qualitatively capture women PGA Professionals’ lived experiences. Women PGA Professionals (N = 11) with 10–34 years of experience (M = 19.8) participated in semi-structured interviews that were structured on the four Ecological Systems Theory (EST) layers. Data were thematically analysed using the EST layers for initial categorization. From this, four themes were developed: recruitment and opportunity; on the course and in the pro shop; perceptions of women PGA Professionals; and advocacy and allies. The themes were part of two related processes: legitimisation and delegitimisation. These dual processes work to either validate women coaches—both as individuals and as a collective—or to undermine them within the profession, respectively, and operate over the four EST layers. Further, these processes are not always discreet and the two may overlap in unanticipated ways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport, Gender and Stereotypes)
18 pages, 571 KiB  
Article
Navigating the Digital Sphere: Exploring Websites, Social Media, and Representation Costs—A European Union Case Study
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(11), 616; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12110616 - 03 Nov 2023
Viewed by 925
Abstract
In the intricate and multifaceted landscape of the European construction process, where the development and governance of the European Union take shape through a myriad of policies, institutions, and stakeholders, this study delves into the role of lobbies affiliated with the European Transparency [...] Read more.
In the intricate and multifaceted landscape of the European construction process, where the development and governance of the European Union take shape through a myriad of policies, institutions, and stakeholders, this study delves into the role of lobbies affiliated with the European Transparency Register. It focuses on the relationship between the utilization of social media platforms and the representation costs among interest groups. Analysis of data from 12,430 groups, encompassing website presence, social media engagement, and declared representation costs, reveals that 97.14% of groups maintain websites, while 67.52% actively use social media platforms. Among groups disclosing representation costs, the mean is EUR 181,333, with a median of EUR 74,999. Multiple linear regression analysis uncovers a positive association between Twitter and YouTube usage and representation costs, while Facebook usage demonstrates a negative correlation. However, no statistically significant relationships are observed for Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn. These findings offer insights into the potential impact of social media on representation costs for interest groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Contemporary Politics and Society)
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18 pages, 1774 KiB  
Article
A Life Course Approach on Older Portuguese Gay and Bisexual People: The Multifactorial Development of Sexual Identity
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(11), 615; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12110615 - 03 Nov 2023
Viewed by 865
Abstract
Research shows that successful development of sexual identity is essential for healthy and well-adjusted ageing. Gay and bisexual (GB) older people have experienced cumulative events throughout their lives that may have affected the development of their identity. In addition, the few previous studies [...] Read more.
Research shows that successful development of sexual identity is essential for healthy and well-adjusted ageing. Gay and bisexual (GB) older people have experienced cumulative events throughout their lives that may have affected the development of their identity. In addition, the few previous studies show an alarming lack of community connectedness among older GB people in Portugal. This study assessed the factors that have contributed to the development of sexual identity in Portuguese GB older adults throughout their lives, using an inductive qualitative cross-sectional approach based on Life Course Theory. Twenty-two semi-structured interviews were carried out with older (60+ years) GB people living in the community and using the lifeline technique. The interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis with a codebook approach. Results suggest a multifactorial contribution of factors throughout the life cycle that have affected the development of GB older people’s sexual identity. These include historical–cultural factors (e.g., sexual repression and traditionalism of the dictatorship), psychosocial factors (e.g., cumulative sexual stigma), relational factors (e.g., relational clandestinity) and intrapersonal factors (e.g., concealment of sexual orientation). The existence of the Internalized Sexual Minority Disconnectedness phenomenon and its contribution to the formation of the sexual identity of older GB adults were also verified. These results reveal important clues about the development of older GB people in Portugal and the factors that may be affecting the current invisibility of these people in the social and health-related context. Relevant implications for the clinical context are also discussed. Full article
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14 pages, 262 KiB  
Review
Complexities of Intergovernmental Relations in Water Service Provision: A Developmental Local Government Perspective
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(11), 614; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12110614 - 03 Nov 2023
Viewed by 825
Abstract
Water is a fundamental human right, and its provision is essential for the maintenance of the general quality of life. The South African government has a constitutional obligation to provide clean potable water to all citizens. This study explores the practice of cooperative [...] Read more.
Water is a fundamental human right, and its provision is essential for the maintenance of the general quality of life. The South African government has a constitutional obligation to provide clean potable water to all citizens. This study explores the practice of cooperative government among the three spheres of government in the provision of water services to communities in South Africa. It also seeks to analyse the application of the principle of cooperative government as an effective tool for ensuring water service delivery in local government. Thus, to achieve these objectives, the study addresses two research questions: first, what are the complexities associated with intergovernmental relations in the efforts to provide water services to communities? And secondly, how could cooperative government be utilised as a mechanism for water service delivery in local government? This article begins by examining the literature on intergovernmental relations and cooperative government to provide a comprehensive understanding of the topic. A qualitative research method is applied, where interviews were conducted to determine the impact of cooperative governance on water governance. This study sheds light on the complexities associated with intergovernmental relations in the provision of water services to communities. The findings of this study recognise the need for municipalities to continuously monitor and improve their water service delivery strategies and water service delivery plans, to align with the conditions of the municipality and needs of the people. This is significant as it provides useful insights to policy makers, water service providers, and researchers in the field of intergovernmental relations and water service provision on how to address challenges associated with water service delivery within the intergovernmental relations context. Full article
17 pages, 2048 KiB  
Article
Measuring the Outcome of Perpetrator Programmes through a Contextualised and Victim-Centred Approach: The Impact Project
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(11), 613; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12110613 - 02 Nov 2023
Viewed by 884
Abstract
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a public health and widespread problem, and perpetrator programmes are in a unique position to prevent it. Research on the outcomes of perpetrator programmes has advanced in recent years, but still some challenges remain. These challenges include the [...] Read more.
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a public health and widespread problem, and perpetrator programmes are in a unique position to prevent it. Research on the outcomes of perpetrator programmes has advanced in recent years, but still some challenges remain. These challenges include the absence of measures related to survivor safety and wellbeing as well as the impact on the victim. Additionally, other contextual measures, such as motivation to change or taking responsibility, are typically not included in outcome studies. The Impact Outcome Monitoring Toolkit was developed to help overcome these challenges. The participants were 444 men enrolled in a perpetrator programme and their (ex-)partners (n = 272). The results showed that all types of violence were reduced significantly in terms of both frequency and presence, as reported by both the men enrolled in the programme and their (ex-)partners. The impact of violence had been reduced for (ex-)partners, but some still suffered impacts and felt afraid. The results on the impact of violence on children and improved parenting were quite concerning. The Impact Toolkit makes it possible to measure the outcomes of perpetrator programmes in a contextualised manner and has shown promising results, supporting the inclusion of survivor-centric outcome measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives on Measuring Interpersonal Violence)
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21 pages, 399 KiB  
Article
Foreign Aid and Institutional Quality towards Reducing Gender-Based Violence
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(11), 612; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12110612 - 02 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 775
Abstract
Studies have shown a possible link between women achieving some degree of economic independence through empowerment and a decline in gender-based violence (GBV). However, inadequate funding has been a major challenge in developing economies, while foreign aid has been seen as an alternative [...] Read more.
Studies have shown a possible link between women achieving some degree of economic independence through empowerment and a decline in gender-based violence (GBV). However, inadequate funding has been a major challenge in developing economies, while foreign aid has been seen as an alternative funding source. Foreign aid for promoting women’s rights and gender equality is improving in African countries. Yet, according to official statistics, the frequency of GBV in Africa is among the highest in the world. Given this, this paper examines the impact of women’s aid and institutional quality on factors that can reduce GBV using both cross-sectional autoregressive lags to investigate short- and long-run implications and the Panel Vector Correction Model to examine the shock effect of aid on other variables. Also, the mediating role of institutional quality and women’s aid are considered. The metrics used for the factors that reduce GBV are female children out of school, the secondary school gender parity index, the genital mutilation prevalence rate, and the metrics for institutional quality are the rules of law and government effectiveness. The implications from the findings show that enhancing the legal structure is very important in Africa, given the low coefficient values to reduce discrimination against the right to education; more should be done to increase the enrolment of female students through the maximisation of women’s aid in order to achieve the short- and long-term objectives of reducing gender violence. The findings also show that the rule of law significantly aids in the reduction of female genital mutilation in the short and long run; government effectiveness is insignificant. Also, they show that women’s aid also reduces female genital mutilation, albeit at a low rate. The results of this study call for strong enhanced government support and funding to end the practice of female genital mutilation and discrimination against female education in the short and long run. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Gender Studies)
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