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Soc. Sci., Volume 12, Issue 12 (December 2023) – 51 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Criminology has been hampered by a lack of longitudinal data to study the consequences of victimization. However, recently, ‘Understanding Society’, the United Kingdom Household Panel Survey (UKHLS), began fielding a small battery of questions relating to the experience of violence. Here, we examine the strengths and weaknesses of these UKHLS measures with similar indices from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW). Overall, we regard the UKHLS as an important resource for future panel research on the consequences of victimization. We find the indicators measuring physical assault to be similar in both data sets. We also note differences in prevalence and/or distributions by socio-economic and demographic groups for the indices relating to feeling threatened and unsafe. View this paper
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15 pages, 342 KiB  
Article
Angels at the Top, Rocks at the Bottom: Naturalized Inequality in Brazilian Conservative Thought
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(12), 692; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12120692 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 819
Abstract
Racialized social inequality is considered a structural problem in Brazil and has been a political priority of recent progressist governments. This understanding is not backed up by the so-called New Right, who understands inequality as an inherent principle of a God-given “order” and [...] Read more.
Racialized social inequality is considered a structural problem in Brazil and has been a political priority of recent progressist governments. This understanding is not backed up by the so-called New Right, who understands inequality as an inherent principle of a God-given “order” and question of personal capability and merit. In this study, I explore the ideological roots of this powerful Rightist narrative by looking at the Brazilian canon of traditional conservative thought and its influence on New Right discourse. The results show that the core ideas stem from neo-Thomist interpretations of late-scholastic scholarship, which were promoted in Brazil through the Vatican’s integrist reaction to modernization during the First Republic. Since then, Brazilian conservatives have successfully used these religious legitimizations of naturalized inequality to constrain State-driven social reformism and join forces with neoliberalism through the invention of the supposed late scholastic roots of the Austrian School of Economics. After redemocratization, a recycled version of this liberal-conservative claim for less “State” and more “Brazil” (as guided by theocratic traditional order), promoted mainly by the philosopher and online influencer Olavo de Carvalho, has fueled the desecularizing discourse of the New Right and their attempt to conserve the colonial social hierarchy in Brazil. Full article
19 pages, 715 KiB  
Article
Providing Consumer Credit to Low-Income Populations in Brazil—The Case of Complexo da Penha
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(12), 691; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12120691 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1027
Abstract
The financial inclusion (FI) literature claims that expanding access of the poor to consumer credit in the formal financial system is an instrument to alleviate poverty. This view has been increasingly challenged by the financialization literature, which highlights unsustainable indebtedness of low-income borrowers [...] Read more.
The financial inclusion (FI) literature claims that expanding access of the poor to consumer credit in the formal financial system is an instrument to alleviate poverty. This view has been increasingly challenged by the financialization literature, which highlights unsustainable indebtedness of low-income borrowers following the introduction of FI policies. While a welcome contribution and antidote to mainstream assessments, much of the financialization literature on Brazil has, to date, focused on a macro-oriented analysis. As a major testing ground for FI, a better understanding of these dynamics in Latin America’s largest country deepens our understanding of the socio-economic consequences of inserting poor populations into the financial system. This paper contributes to the financialization literature by drawing on interviews conducted in a Rio de Janeiro slum to understand how debt dynamics operate in everyday life, along with its structural conditioners. It shows that FI policies provide limited consumption smoothing and instead increase the structural vulnerability of low-income households. Wage and welfare support along with greater oversight and control of financial products supplied to low-income borrowers are warranted. Full article
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17 pages, 606 KiB  
Article
Enhancing the Competitiveness of the Show Business Industry for Cultural Export as a Means of Creative Economy Development and Tourism Promotion in the Future New Normal Era: The Case of Thailand
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(12), 690; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12120690 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1273
Abstract
The tourism industry is considered the greatest economic generator in Thailand. Nonetheless, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic thoroughly shifted its image of tourism stability and trustworthiness. The show business industry is an element of Thai tourism that attracts more than a million [...] Read more.
The tourism industry is considered the greatest economic generator in Thailand. Nonetheless, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic thoroughly shifted its image of tourism stability and trustworthiness. The show business industry is an element of Thai tourism that attracts more than a million tourists nationwide. The show business industry not only attracts quality multinational tourists as visitors, but also indirectly establishes ‘soft power’ with audiences. This research aimed to (1) study the alternative future scenario of Thailand’s cultural show business industry with respect to cultural export and the creative economy; (2) determine the competitive potential of Thailand’s show business industry by comparing it with the global show business industry; (3) examine the market demands and behaviors within Thailand’s cultural show business industry for cultural export and the creative economy; and (4) present a strategy for elevating the competitive potential of the show business industry for cultural export, promoting a creative economy and fostering tourism in the post-pandemic ‘New Normal’ era. The results of this study found that the ‘Alternative Future Scenario’ of Thailand’s cultural performance industry with respect to cultural exports and the creative economy consists of three scenarios: (1) a mass show business tourism industry, (2) an exclusive show business tourism industry, and (3) a new mega show business tourism industry. It also revealed the competitive potential of the Thai show business industry. By comparing it with the international performing arts industry in terms of competitiveness, it was found that the show business industry in Thailand meets world-class standards. Given its clear, outstanding, and unique culture and traditions, Thailand is ready to serve as a major cultural exporter via cultural performance. Furthermore, the data analysis revealed a total of 10 significant strategies for enhancing the competitiveness of the show business industry in Thailand. Full article
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3 pages, 176 KiB  
Editorial
Powerful Knowledge in Social Studies Subjects—Challenges and Possibilities: A Problematizing Approach—Introduction
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(12), 689; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12120689 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 756
Abstract
Issues relating to the design of knowledge-based teaching in social studies subjects are always topical and it is important to discuss them in light of both research and pedagogical practice [...] Full article
19 pages, 356 KiB  
Article
The Role of Media in Risk Management Processes—Analysis of the News Coverage of the Forest Fires in Spain
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(12), 688; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12120688 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 817
Abstract
This paper focuses on the analysis of information on environmental catastrophes published in the digital editions of different national and regional newspapers, from a theoretical perspective that situates them as possible amplifiers of the social perception of risk or generators of alarm among [...] Read more.
This paper focuses on the analysis of information on environmental catastrophes published in the digital editions of different national and regional newspapers, from a theoretical perspective that situates them as possible amplifiers of the social perception of risk or generators of alarm among the population in situations of risk or catastrophe. Within this framework, the general objective of the research was to find out to what extent the analysed media (a) transmit specialized, accurate, truthful and contrasted information that moves away from the characteristics of sensationalist news; (b) are useful sources of information for the public in the face of the possibility that they may act as generators of confusion and biased perceptions; and (c) show “communication gaps” in their news in relation to two cases of forest fires in Spain: the fires in Galicia in 2017 and those in Gran Canaria in 2019. The results obtained highlight the need for the media to make an effort to transmit truthful and useful communication for citizens in situations of crisis or catastrophe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rethinking and Analyzing Political Communication in the Digital Era)
20 pages, 1379 KiB  
Article
Highly Educated Women: Exploring Barriers and Strategies for Labour Integration in an Emotional Migratory Process
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(12), 687; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12120687 (registering DOI) - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 957
Abstract
This article explores the barriers and the strategies of a group of highly educated foreign women to obtain a job-education matching situation in the Basque Country (Spain) where they all permanently settled following a binational heterosexual marriage. Drawing on 21 biographical interviews with [...] Read more.
This article explores the barriers and the strategies of a group of highly educated foreign women to obtain a job-education matching situation in the Basque Country (Spain) where they all permanently settled following a binational heterosexual marriage. Drawing on 21 biographical interviews with women from Latin America and Europe, we examine new perspectives on the complexity and fluidity between their professional pathways and family projects. For that, we apply an intersectional lens to analyse their life experience. Our results show that respondents involved in a feminised labour market (education and health) have fewer difficulties to find a job-education match. In other cases, becoming self-employed is a way to gain independence and flexibility by running an open market-oriented business. Interviewees identified language, lack of personal networks, family reconciliation, traditional gender roles and the transferring of cultural capital as the main barriers for their incorporation into the labour market. The study finds that marriage support is not enough to overcome the barriers. We argue that for a more comprehensive understanding of labour integration of highly educated migrant women, motivation and agency, linked to family support, should be considered factors to cope with structural inequalities. Full article
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20 pages, 4776 KiB  
Essay
Socio-Phenomenological Reflections on What Digital Death Brings and Denies in Terms of Relational Experiences to Orthodox Romanians
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(12), 686; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12120686 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1972
Abstract
Informed by Alfred Schütz’s phenomenology of social relations and its recent developments addressing online relationality, this essay reflects on the differences between online and offline death-related experiences in contemporary Romania. In Orthodox death cultures, religious, social, and familial bonds overlap. Orthodox Christianity is [...] Read more.
Informed by Alfred Schütz’s phenomenology of social relations and its recent developments addressing online relationality, this essay reflects on the differences between online and offline death-related experiences in contemporary Romania. In Orthodox death cultures, religious, social, and familial bonds overlap. Orthodox Christianity is sceptical about body–mind separation and values unmediated liturgical communities. It is, thus, pertinent to ask what death online brings and denies in terms of experience to Romanian internet users. Some preliminary findings from our fieldwork are discussed. So far, on Romanian Facebook, three clusters of experience emerged widely: 1. A realm of belief where faith, unchallenged by digital practices, “decodes” deadly events across life-worlds; 2. Experiences of resistance and ambivalence of those who are stuck “in-between“, that is, those less competent in their traditions, yet sceptical about digital change; 3. Death experiences seem less synchronised across life-worlds for those who value electronic proximity: digital death and real death obey different rules. Historical specificity, we shall conclude, sets typified combinations of motives for what Romanians do in the proximity of death and how they do it. Digital technologies modulate the “hows” and, less notably, the “whats”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DIDE–Digital Death: Transforming History, Rituals and Afterlife)
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13 pages, 1042 KiB  
Article
Emotional Status and Psychological Well-Being in the Educational Opposition Process
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(12), 685; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12120685 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 904
Abstract
The process to become a public teacher in Spain involves a very strict examination. In order to pass this exam, a high level of emotional competence is required. During the preparation for this test, symptoms related to anxiety, depression and stress are experienced. [...] Read more.
The process to become a public teacher in Spain involves a very strict examination. In order to pass this exam, a high level of emotional competence is required. During the preparation for this test, symptoms related to anxiety, depression and stress are experienced. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of negative emotional state on emotional intelligence and psychological wellbeing as a function of the number of sittings in the competitive examination process. The research design was quantitative and exploratory. The sample consisted of 3578 candidates. The results show an increase in the effect of negative emotional states on emotional intelligence and psychological well-being in candidates who have taken part in the selection process more than twice. It is concluded that negative emotional states increase in their effect on emotional and psychological well-being as the number of exams taken increases. Full article
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14 pages, 343 KiB  
Article
Promises and Pitfalls of Intersectional Politics: The Black Coalition for Rights in Brazil
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(12), 684; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12120684 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 829
Abstract
Based on evidence collected in a collaborative research project, this article studies the Black Coalition for Rights created in Brazil in 2019. Compared to previous experiences of antiracist struggles in Brazil, the Coalition stands out for its decentralized organization, its ability to convey [...] Read more.
Based on evidence collected in a collaborative research project, this article studies the Black Coalition for Rights created in Brazil in 2019. Compared to previous experiences of antiracist struggles in Brazil, the Coalition stands out for its decentralized organization, its ability to convey political content through adequate aesthetic forms, its capillarity in the domestic sphere, and its transnational articulations. Equally striking is its intersectional character understood as both the emphasis on the transversal character of racism and the stress of the interdependent character of social struggles against different forms of inequalities (with regard to gender, race, class, etc.). The Coalition has so far proven to be particularly successful in terms of its mobilization capacity, its public visibility, and its agenda-setting power. According to our preliminary findings, its success can be explained, to a great extent, by its ability to vocalize a broad set of political claims and, consequently, to fill the gap left by other civil society actors demobilized by the far right-wing backlash in Brazil and the pandemic. Since January 2023, in the context of a new progressive government, the Coalition has started facing difficulties in preserving its intersectional and socially encompassing character. Full article
25 pages, 418 KiB  
Article
Unaccompanied or Separated Migrant Children and Adolescents at the Colombian–Venezuelan Border: Loss of the Social Moratorium and Its Implications
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(12), 683; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12120683 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1145
Abstract
This study explains the Venezuelan migration involving unaccompanied or separated adolescents (UASA) on the Colombian–Venezuelan border, specifically in Norte de Santander-Táchira. This explanation is framed within the concept of the social moratorium, highlighting three subcategories that contribute to the early abandonment of childhood: [...] Read more.
This study explains the Venezuelan migration involving unaccompanied or separated adolescents (UASA) on the Colombian–Venezuelan border, specifically in Norte de Santander-Táchira. This explanation is framed within the concept of the social moratorium, highlighting three subcategories that contribute to the early abandonment of childhood: 1. the violation of rights, 2. working life, and 3. confrontation of dangers. These subcategories compel UASA to transition prematurely into youth, assuming social, labor, or family responsibilities. Methodologically, we adopt a narrative approach, conducting group interviews with 24 immigrant children and adolescents. Furthermore, 14 interviews are conducted in 2 local markets, and the remaining 10 on 2 central avenues in the city of Cúcuta, Colombia. We conduct a theoretical analysis drawing upon key concepts, including the social moratorium, social constructionism, interaction, and moral and cognitive development. This theoretical framework helps us understand the consequences for the life prospects of this generation. They arise from factors such as school dropout, exposure to health risks, and the absence of free leisure time. These indicators reflect socioeconomic problems, including poverty, abuse, and violence. Full article
13 pages, 300 KiB  
Essay
“Non-Corrupt Government”: Less Than Good, More Than Impartial
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(12), 682; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12120682 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 868
Abstract
In recent years, the study of corruption has become one of the most prominent in the social sciences. If there is corruption, however, it is because something has been corrupted; something pure has been sullied. This pure element serves mainly as a normative [...] Read more.
In recent years, the study of corruption has become one of the most prominent in the social sciences. If there is corruption, however, it is because something has been corrupted; something pure has been sullied. This pure element serves mainly as a normative reference: It may never have constituted a social and political reality. However, the purpose of this article is to try to define what its components might be. In this way, theoretical considerations can be used to provide a more solid basis for the fight against corruption. The position of this paper is that the opposite of corruption should be explicitly defined without the use of abstract categories such as good governance or integrity. The paper will begin with a discussion of the concept of “non-corrupt government” and then proceed to a theoretical analysis of the main issues involved. It will conclude with some practical remarks on how to build, in the most parsimonious way, the benchmark of quality that corruption undermines. The contention is that a “non-corrupt government” is based on four principles: (1) equality (input side), (2) reasonableness (input side), (3) impartiality and professionalism of the administration (output side), and (4) accountability of the office (output side). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Studies in Political Finance and Political Corruption)
20 pages, 10662 KiB  
Article
Education for Environmental Justice: The Fordham Regional Environmental Sensor for Healthy Air
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(12), 681; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12120681 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 921
Abstract
In urban environments, the nonuniform distribution of pollution contributes to disproportionate exposure to harmful pollutants in low-income and high-poverty neighborhoods. Particulate matter, especially of the class PM2.5, results from combustion processes which are a main driver for human-caused global warming and [...] Read more.
In urban environments, the nonuniform distribution of pollution contributes to disproportionate exposure to harmful pollutants in low-income and high-poverty neighborhoods. Particulate matter, especially of the class PM2.5, results from combustion processes which are a main driver for human-caused global warming and climate change. A resulting impact on socio-economically disadvantaged communities like the Bronx, NY is the high incidence of asthma, other respiratory diseases, and cardiovascular disease. This disparity is an environmental justice concern. Project FRESH Air is educating the community through STEM outreach with sensors for monitoring particulate matter, student projects, curriculum development, and wider community engagement in order to educate for environmental justice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Environmental Justice)
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18 pages, 370 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Entrepreneurial Potential in the Training of a New Generation of Change Agents in Spain
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(12), 680; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12120680 - 10 Dec 2023
Viewed by 877
Abstract
The development of entrepreneurial potential in the training of school-age pupils is relevant for carrying out projects of an innovative and transformative nature. Entrepreneurial training is enacted through Spanish educational regulations, in relation to the development of the key entrepreneurial competence. Thus, a [...] Read more.
The development of entrepreneurial potential in the training of school-age pupils is relevant for carrying out projects of an innovative and transformative nature. Entrepreneurial training is enacted through Spanish educational regulations, in relation to the development of the key entrepreneurial competence. Thus, a training programme in entrepreneurial potential for school-age students, who are considered as agents of change, was evaluated under the approach of “enterprise education pedagogy”. For this purpose, an experimental research study, pre-test and post-test, with a control and experimental group, was designed. The sample consisted of 1036 participants from eight autonomous communities in Spain. The data analysis was carried out by means of a t-test to compare the mean before and after the application of the programme on the total number of participants, as well as on the subgroups with and without entrepreneurial intentions. The results show that the PEIEO programme had a positive effect on entrepreneurial potential. The experimental group, compared to the control group, significantly increased their total score in the t-test, as well as for each dimension of entrepreneurial potential. Similarly, the participants considered to have entrepreneurial intentions further increased their entrepreneurial potential compared to the group considered to have no entrepreneurial intentions. Consequently, the results indicate that entrepreneurship education, in a holistic sense, has a relevant impact on entrepreneurial potential in a programme aimed at training agents of change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Childhood and Rights in a Global World)
25 pages, 1369 KiB  
Article
Surveillance Capitalism in Mental Health: When Good Apps Go Rogue (and What Can Be Done about It)
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(12), 679; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12120679 - 08 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1155
Abstract
Research shows that a large proportion of the world’s population has experience with mental health difficulties, and reliable as well as scalable care is urgently needed. Digital mental health seems to be an obvious solution to provide the better delivery of care but [...] Read more.
Research shows that a large proportion of the world’s population has experience with mental health difficulties, and reliable as well as scalable care is urgently needed. Digital mental health seems to be an obvious solution to provide the better delivery of care but also the delivery of better care. With an imagined future of real-time information sharing, improved diagnosis and monitoring of mental health conditions, and remote care, supported by advances in artificial intelligence, many tech companies have emerged over the last three decades to plug the treatment gap and provide services. The evidence base seems compelling: some online treatments have the capability to treat individuals quite successfully. However, the introduction, utilisation, and expansion of digital mental health technologies have not always focused on public health only. Using a surveillance capitalism perspective, this paper approaches the democratisation–privatisation dichotomy in digital mental health with a critical lens. In particular, the paper details how (commercially valuable) mental health data are extracted, “shared”, and claimed as an asset by big tech companies. Reviewing the terms, conditions, and practices of ten popular mental health apps, the paper polemically argues that mental digital health cannot unlock real value for society—better treatment, good quality care, and efficient delivery—if power, politics, and profits remain in the hands of big tech companies. To conclude, the paper draws attention to contemporary discourses that seek to promote democracy and public value for digital mental health apps, technologies, and solutions. Full article
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16 pages, 653 KiB  
Article
Work–Life Conflict and Job Satisfaction: The Moderating Role of Gender and Household Income in Western Europe
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(12), 678; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12120678 - 08 Dec 2023
Viewed by 928
Abstract
Although many potential moderators of the work–life conflict and job satisfaction relationship are well-studied, previous research has often overlooked the potential influence of different income groups on this dynamic. Our aim in this paper is to test this moderation effect within the context [...] Read more.
Although many potential moderators of the work–life conflict and job satisfaction relationship are well-studied, previous research has often overlooked the potential influence of different income groups on this dynamic. Our aim in this paper is to test this moderation effect within the context of Western Europe. Additionally, we carry out the analysis for men and women separately, as this dynamic may be strongly influenced by gender. Using data from the tenth round of the European Social Survey for twelve countries (Belgium, Finland, France, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and Switzerland), we found a significant positive moderating effect of household income on the relationship between work–life conflict and job satisfaction for women, while for men the moderation effect is not significant. Our results thus suggest that for women, higher household income may serve as a buffer, alleviating the detrimental impact of individual work–life conflict on job satisfaction. Full article
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14 pages, 319 KiB  
Article
Boundaries of Parental Consent: The Example of Hypospadias Surgery
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(12), 677; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12120677 - 08 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1019
Abstract
Human rights organisations raise concerns about medical interventions on children with intersex variations, particularly when these interventions impinge on the child’s bodily autonomy and are without a sound biomedical basis. Psychosocial literature and legal literature have made very different contributions to thinking about [...] Read more.
Human rights organisations raise concerns about medical interventions on children with intersex variations, particularly when these interventions impinge on the child’s bodily autonomy and are without a sound biomedical basis. Psychosocial literature and legal literature have made very different contributions to thinking about the healthcare of people with intersex variations, but both literatures pay attention to the process of informing patients about elective interventions and the workings of consent. The present paper addresses the absence of dialogue across medical, legal, and psychosocial literatures on the surgical treatment of children with intersex variations. The analysis presented in this paper focusses on the assumptions underpinning the practice of allowing parents to consent on behalf of their children to elective surgery in the instance of hypospadias. In this paper, we (i) introduce consent from a medico-legal perspective, (ii) analyse selected documents (including medical, psychosocial, and human rights documents) in relation to the concept of parental consent on behalf of a child, and (iii) reconsider the current practice of inviting parents to give consent for elective genital surgery on infants. What emerges from our analysis is a picture of long-term relationships and interactions over time within which the consent process is located. The focus is not whether consent is granted, but whether free and informed consent is granted. This picture allows us to expand the understanding of “informed consent,” highlighting the importance of producing ethical interactions between health professionals and patients with the view that these relationships last for years. Understanding consent as a process, considering information as dynamic, partial, and negotiated, and understanding the doctor–patient interaction as relational might enable us to imagine the kind of informed consent process that genuinely works for everyone concerned. Our examination of selected legal, medical, and psychosocial texts raises doubt about whether current hospital practice meets the requirement of informed parental consent on behalf of children undergoing hypospadias surgery. Full article
24 pages, 3613 KiB  
Article
Digital Activism Masked―The Fridays for Future Movement and the “Global Day of Climate Action”: Testing Social Function and Framing Typologies of Claims on Twitter
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(12), 676; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12120676 - 06 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1039
Abstract
This article analyzed the Fridays for Future (FFF) movement and its online mobilization around the Global Day of Climate Action on 25 September 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this event is a unique opportunity to study digital activism as marchers were considered [...] Read more.
This article analyzed the Fridays for Future (FFF) movement and its online mobilization around the Global Day of Climate Action on 25 September 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this event is a unique opportunity to study digital activism as marchers were considered not appropriate. Using Twitter’s API with keywords “#climateStrike”, and “#FridaysForFuture”, we collected 111,844 unique tweets and retweets from 47,892 unique users. We used two typologies based on social media activism and framing literature to understand the main function of tweets (information opinion, mobilization, and blame) and their framing (diagnosis, prognosis, and motivational). We also analyzed its relationship and tested its automated classification potential. To do so we manually coded a randomly selected sample of 950 tweets that were used as input for the automated classification process (SVM algorithm with balancing classification techniques). We found that the automated classification of the COVID-19 pandemic appeared to not increase the mobilization function of tweets, as the frequencies of mobilization tweets were low. We also found a balanced diversity of framing tasks, with an important number of tweets that envisaged solutions to legislation and policy changes. COVID-related tweets were less frequently prognostically framed. We found that both typologies were not independent. Tweets with a blaming function tended to be framed in a prognostic way and therefore were related to possible solutions. The automated data classification model performed well, especially across social function typology and the “other” category. This indicated that these tools could help researchers working with social media data to process the information across categories that are currently mainly processed manually. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rethinking and Analyzing Political Communication in the Digital Era)
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18 pages, 943 KiB  
Review
The Participation of Students with Autism in Educational Robotics: A Scoping Review
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(12), 675; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12120675 - 06 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1211
Abstract
Educational robotics (ER) is a growing interdisciplinary field that is attracting increasing attention in inclusive or special education settings. It provides a suitable educational environment for the participation of students with autism, through which they can utilize their main strengths and interests. Strengths-based [...] Read more.
Educational robotics (ER) is a growing interdisciplinary field that is attracting increasing attention in inclusive or special education settings. It provides a suitable educational environment for the participation of students with autism, through which they can utilize their main strengths and interests. Strengths-based vs. deficits-based approaches recognize the strengths and interests of autistic children as the starting point for their inclusion in school and the community. The scoping review was developed as the best knowledge-synthesis method for summarizing the pertinent research on the participation of students with autism in educational robotics for their successful inclusion. Forty-five studies were included and analyzed to address the main objectives, the mapping of contextual dimensions, and the specific characteristics of the educational robotic activities where the participation of students with autism occurred. The data were extracted into a charting framework, and a narrative analysis was adopted for the knowledge synthesis. According to the results, the research on the participation of children with autism is limited and has focused primarily on educational robotic activities, failing to adequately explore other dimensions that affect the successful participation and inclusion of students with autism in educational robotics. Full article
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24 pages, 1321 KiB  
Systematic Review
The Impact of Affect on the Perception of Fake News on Social Media: A Systematic Review
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(12), 674; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12120674 - 06 Dec 2023
Viewed by 2782
Abstract
Social media platforms, which are ripe with emotionally charged pieces of information, are vulnerable to the dissemination of vast amounts of misinformation. Little is known about the affective processing that underlies peoples’ belief in and dissemination of fake news on social media, with [...] Read more.
Social media platforms, which are ripe with emotionally charged pieces of information, are vulnerable to the dissemination of vast amounts of misinformation. Little is known about the affective processing that underlies peoples’ belief in and dissemination of fake news on social media, with the research on fake news predominantly focusing on cognitive processing aspects. This study presents a systematic review of the impact of affective constructs on the perception of fake news on social media platforms. A comprehensive literature search was conducted in the SCOPUS and Web of Science databases to identify relevant articles on the topics of affect, misinformation, disinformation, and fake news. A total of 31 empirical articles were obtained and analyzed. Seven research themes and four research gaps emerged from this review. The findings of this review complement the existing literature on the cognitive mechanisms behind how people perceive fake news on social media. This can have implications for technology platforms, governments, and citizens interested in combating infodemics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disinformation in the Public Media in the Internet Society)
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15 pages, 889 KiB  
Article
Gender Roles, Gender Bias, and Cultural Influences: Perceptions of Male and Female UAE Public Relations Professionals
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(12), 673; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12120673 - 06 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1205
Abstract
Research into gender dynamics in the Public Relations (PR) industry has suggested that the gendered perceptions of PR roles, gender bias, and cultural norms may contribute to gender-related issues in the field. The current study, framed as an exploratory investigation, examines how PR [...] Read more.
Research into gender dynamics in the Public Relations (PR) industry has suggested that the gendered perceptions of PR roles, gender bias, and cultural norms may contribute to gender-related issues in the field. The current study, framed as an exploratory investigation, examines how PR professionals in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) perceive gender equality issues within their industry. Drawing on survey responses from 152 PR practitioners in the UAE, this research investigates the extent to which these professionals perceive gender equality issues in the PR sector. The survey results reveal positive perceptions of gender equality issues, although some specific gender-related concerns emerge. One key finding is that there are minimal gender differences in perceiving gender equality issues between male and female professionals. Respondents also expressed confidence that their organizations are implementing practices in support of gender equality and recognizing the impact of such practices on employee performance. Given the lack of data on gender equality in the UAE, this exploratory study contributes to a better understanding of gender equality among professionals and provides insights into the strategies for advancing gender equality in the sector. Full article
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2 pages, 159 KiB  
Correction
Correction: Arday, Jason (2018). Understanding Mental Health: What Are the Issues for Black and Ethnic Minority Students at University? Social Sciences 7: 196
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(12), 672; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12120672 - 06 Dec 2023
Viewed by 655
Abstract
The publication (Arday 2018) has been amended to increase the clarity of citation sources within the text [...] Full article
17 pages, 731 KiB  
Article
Motivations to Collect: How Consumers Are Socialized to Build Product Collections
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(12), 671; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12120671 - 05 Dec 2023
Viewed by 790
Abstract
Most people have collected products at some point in their lives; however, little is known about how people are socialized to collect. This mixed methods study recruited 213 participants to explain and explore the influences of family, friends, romantic partners, and online social [...] Read more.
Most people have collected products at some point in their lives; however, little is known about how people are socialized to collect. This mixed methods study recruited 213 participants to explain and explore the influences of family, friends, romantic partners, and online social media on the continued intention to build product collections. Qualitative findings revealed a clear pattern of familial influences when participants shared how their collections started. When starting collections, participants acquired products through either personal interest in the products or receiving gifts from family members. However, quantitative results indicate that friends, romantic partners, and social media have a greater influence after the product collection has started. The results and findings of this study also guide an adaptation of the consumer socialization theory. Full article
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11 pages, 263 KiB  
Article
Phenomenon-Based Learning in Teaching a Foreign Language: Experiences of Lithuanian Teachers
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(12), 670; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12120670 - 05 Dec 2023
Viewed by 897
Abstract
Phenomenon-based learning (hereinafter PhenoBL) is widely studied in the majority of European countries, especially given that research data indicate that PhenoBL is more successful in providing effective learning, better student achievement, a stronger interest in science, and even a higher happiness index. However, [...] Read more.
Phenomenon-based learning (hereinafter PhenoBL) is widely studied in the majority of European countries, especially given that research data indicate that PhenoBL is more successful in providing effective learning, better student achievement, a stronger interest in science, and even a higher happiness index. However, there are sparse data on the educational practice of this method in Lithuania, particularly in foreign language teaching (FLT). Thus, teachers’ professional preparation for the effective implementation of PhenoBL remains one of the most relevant research problems. For this reason, this study aims to analyse the experiences of Lithuanian foreign language teachers in incorporating PhenoBL into FLT. Fifteen individual semi-structured interviews were conducted, and the obtained data were analysed by applying qualitative inductive content analysis. An inductive content analysis of the interview reports revealed six themes and related categories: the perception of student-centred teaching, the development of subject integration competencies, teamwork development competencies, research-planning skills, the positioning of personal responsibilities and duties, and foreign language usage emancipation, i.e. setting free from personal fears (fear to make grammar, vocabulary mistakes, while speaking in public) to speak a foreign languages. The content of the revealed themes indicated that teachers highlighted the flexibility of PhenoBL from the perspective of its application to different language learning levels within one group. The majority of the respondents underlined the necessity for the development of an active didactic competence. Other respondents mentioned the importance of the correlation between personal creativity competence development and success in PhenoBL. It was also stressed that if a teacher wants to be successful while using PhenoB, they must to be prepared to work with integration-based and communication-emancipatory methods, must be student-centred, must have competencies in teaching several subjects, must be good at teamwork, and must be good at managing learning time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the 7th World Conference on Qualitative Research)
17 pages, 318 KiB  
Article
The Long Arm of the State: Transnational Repression against Exiled Activists from the Arab Gulf States
by
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(12), 669; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12120669 - 04 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1148
Abstract
The Arab Spring was a period of intense activism demanding democracy and freedom that swept across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. While previous research has focused on the role of diaspora communities in the uprisings and the strategies employed by [...] Read more.
The Arab Spring was a period of intense activism demanding democracy and freedom that swept across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. While previous research has focused on the role of diaspora communities in the uprisings and the strategies employed by regimes to suppress them, it has primarily centered on countries that experienced large-scale revolutions and endured severe consequences. Consequently, the current literature has failed to explore the situation of Arab Gulf dissidents living in exile, instead focusing on a few isolated incidents. This paper examines the transnational repression (TR) campaign of the Arab Gulf states (AGSs). Drawing on the literature about the long arm of authoritarianism and TR, this paper explores the various TR methods employed by the AGSs to silence activists living abroad. The paper finds that the nature of TR in the Arab Gulf region is unique when compared with other MENA countries. The TR campaign of AGSs is alarmingly expanding, using various mechanisms and resources, making the region one of the world’s leading perpetrators. The methods employed by the AGSs include travel bans as part of their coercion by proxy, digital transnational repression, and the use of multilateral organizations as tools of repression. Additionally, this paper highlights the AGSs’ support of other countries’ TR. Full article
12 pages, 288 KiB  
Review
Linguistic Integration of Adult Migrants in Greece and Italy: Language Requirements and Learning Opportunities in L2 Greek and L2 Italian
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(12), 668; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12120668 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 833
Abstract
Migration has almost always been accompanied by language-related processes and concerns. Integration dimensions interact with numerous language-related issues, such as language requirements and learning opportunities, and the purpose of our paper is situated in the broader field of linguistic integration of adult refugees [...] Read more.
Migration has almost always been accompanied by language-related processes and concerns. Integration dimensions interact with numerous language-related issues, such as language requirements and learning opportunities, and the purpose of our paper is situated in the broader field of linguistic integration of adult refugees and migrants in Greece and Italy. Greece and Italy share a double role both as host and transition countries, as two of the main EU entry points for refugees and migrants since the 2015 refugee crisis, and therefore they have been selected as two suitable cases to be further explored. This paper aims to give an overview of the language requirements and language-learning opportunities in the migration context in Greece and Italy. Through our comprehensive review of language requirements and language-learning opportunities in Greece and Italy, we have undertaken an examination of the two contexts employing a comparative approach to scrutinize the processes of linguistic integration. The information presented has shown that similar linguistic requirements are set in both countries although the use and implementation of the Knowledge of Society (KoS) tests seem to discriminate between the two contexts. The results agree with similar findings through indexes such as the Language Policy Index for Migrants (LAPIM) and the Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX). Full article
15 pages, 288 KiB  
Article
Family-like Relationships and Wellbeing of Young Refugees in Finland, Norway, and Scotland
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(12), 667; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12120667 - 01 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1128
Abstract
In this article, we explore the role of family-like relationships in creating wellbeing for unaccompanied minor refugees (UMRs) to Europe. Our theoretical point of departure is a relational approach to wellbeing as conceptualized by Sarah C. White. The data comprises interviews with 51 [...] Read more.
In this article, we explore the role of family-like relationships in creating wellbeing for unaccompanied minor refugees (UMRs) to Europe. Our theoretical point of departure is a relational approach to wellbeing as conceptualized by Sarah C. White. The data comprises interviews with 51 settled UMRs in Finland, Norway, and Scotland, focused on their social networks, and a selection of paired interviews with young people alongside someone they defined as family-like and important for their wellbeing today. Findings illuminate the important role family-like relationships have in meeting the daily needs of young refugees. These relationships are ascribed meaning in the context of young people’s wider networks and ideas of ‘what family should do’. Family-like relationships gain particular importance for UMRs in two different ways: first, the physical absence of the family of origin enforces children and young people’s need to create trusted, reciprocal networks. Second, building family-like relationships is necessary in a new country where UMRs grow up and face new expectations, needs, and opportunities. We argue that relational wellbeing is built in a hybrid ‘third space’. A welfare state should support the wellbeing of UMRs by nurturing welcoming communities and providing UMRs help with building family-like relationships through formal and other support networks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Relational Wellbeing in the Lives of Young Refugees)
13 pages, 1567 KiB  
Article
Drawing Together in Scotland: The Opportunities and Challenges for Young Refugees within a ‘Relational Wellbeing’ Approach to Integration
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(12), 666; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12120666 - 01 Dec 2023
Viewed by 889
Abstract
In this paper, we consider how young refugees in the Drawing Together project experience integration in Scotland. We critically examine the term ‘refugee integration’ and emphasise its multiple dimensions. Specifically, we analyse Scotland’s role as a country committed to the protection and care [...] Read more.
In this paper, we consider how young refugees in the Drawing Together project experience integration in Scotland. We critically examine the term ‘refugee integration’ and emphasise its multiple dimensions. Specifically, we analyse Scotland’s role as a country committed to the protection and care of young refugees by mapping some key Scottish legal, political, social and cultural policies and strategies that provide the contexts for refugee integration as a mutual endeavour based on hospitality and reciprocity. Finally, we show the ways young refugees talk of rebuilding a life in Scotland that feels coherent in relation to their past and present circumstances, and their future plans despite the challenges that they encounter in their everyday lives. We suggest that a ‘relational wellbeing’ approach to integration in Scotland is tangible. It confirms the importance of the practical and social opportunities available to young refugees as they resettle. This approach extends the meaning of integration beyond its political and social categories, to include young refugees’ attachment to their faith of origin as well as the natural environment of Scotland. In all, we suggest that young refugees face the challenges and use the opportunities for integration in Scotland in ways that are of sustained benefit, for them as well as Scotland as their new country. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Relational Wellbeing in the Lives of Young Refugees)
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20 pages, 385 KiB  
Article
The Trajectories That Remain to Be Told: Civic Participation, Immigrant Organizations, and Women’s Leadership in Portugal
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(12), 665; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12120665 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1142
Abstract
This study focuses on migrant women and their civic participation in civil society organizations and/or immigrant associations. Despite women’s migration having a long global history and being of academic interest, extensive knowledge of this situation has increased substantially in recent decades; research on [...] Read more.
This study focuses on migrant women and their civic participation in civil society organizations and/or immigrant associations. Despite women’s migration having a long global history and being of academic interest, extensive knowledge of this situation has increased substantially in recent decades; research on the civic participation of immigrant women in Portugal is still incipient. The structural conditions affecting these women’s mobility processes remain overlooked, concealing their vulnerabilities. Additionally, success stories of migrant women, which could serve as inspirations for others, are often invisible. This exploratory research examines the role of female immigrant leaders and the demands they face in facilitating immigrants’ integration into Portuguese society. Eight qualitative interviews were conducted with diverse immigrant organizations in Portugal, advocating for immigrant rights and promoting integration through various strategies. The results reveal that migrant women’s experiences and participation in leadership roles are shaped not only by their migrant background and their qualifications but also by the difficulties they encountered upon arrival in Portugal. These leaders tend to focus on constraints, particularly regarding the organization’s sustainability, rather than emphasizing opportunities for civic participation. Nevertheless, this study also reveals that participation in IOs leads to increased autonomy and a heightened sense of empowerment for these women. It grants them a voice, visibility, and recognition both in the host society and their own communities. Overall, the study sheds light on the significance of recognizing immigrant women’s contributions and challenges, as well as the crucial role played by immigrant organizations in promoting integration and advocating for immigrants’ rights in Portugal. It also emphasizes the need for the government to financially support these organizations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Civil Society, Migration and Citizenship)
15 pages, 524 KiB  
Article
Adapting to Change: Investigating the Influence of Distance Learning on Performance in Italian Conservatories
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(12), 664; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12120664 - 30 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 787
Abstract
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the sudden switch from face-to-face learning to distance learning generated many critical issues in music institutes. Specifically, conservatories found themselves using a didactic methodology that had never been considered before to ensure the continuation of students’ education. In particular, [...] Read more.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the sudden switch from face-to-face learning to distance learning generated many critical issues in music institutes. Specifically, conservatories found themselves using a didactic methodology that had never been considered before to ensure the continuation of students’ education. In particular, the adoption of distance learning has had a greater impact on those classes characterized by a significant practical–experiential component. This study aims to investigate the phenomenon of distance learning in Italian conservatories to explore how this experience affects students’ performance through their satisfaction with distance learning. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 328 students of 41 Italian conservatories, using an online self-report questionnaire to investigate conservatory students’ experience of distance learning and its impact on performance. To test the hypotheses, a mediation model was tested using SPSS version 26. The results show that the positive experience of distance learning has a positive impact on perceived performance and that satisfaction with distance learning, as a mediator role, further reinforces this relationship. This study is the first known one to explore the relationship between the experience of distance learning and student performance in the context of conservatories and music teaching. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Work Practice and Education in the Post-Pandemic World)
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18 pages, 2799 KiB  
Article
Creating Sustainable Climate Change Havens for Migrating Populations in the United States and Other Global Sites
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(12), 663; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12120663 - 29 Nov 2023
Viewed by 970
Abstract
A model for constructing sustainable Climate Change Haven communities in appropriate areas of the United States and globally is presented. The model proposes the construction of walkable communities of 20,000 to 30,000 residents with electricity provided by hydropower generators and biofuel combustion. The [...] Read more.
A model for constructing sustainable Climate Change Haven communities in appropriate areas of the United States and globally is presented. The model proposes the construction of walkable communities of 20,000 to 30,000 residents with electricity provided by hydropower generators and biofuel combustion. The remediation of surface-mined areas using switchgrass and flood control dams to redirect excess rainfall will be required in some areas. This model also addresses the multiple social and cultural considerations required to resettle groups of migrants in Climate Change Haven communities, together with the preparation and preservation of nearby farmland for feeding the community. Full article
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