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Soc. Sci., Volume 12, Issue 4 (April 2023) – 60 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): This study examines multidimensional aspects of social network characteristics of mothers reported to and investigated by the child protection system (CPS). Specifically, this study assesses having a recurrent CPS investigation within one year of an index investigation as a function of positive social network ties, negative social network ties, and perceived neighborhood support. Cluster analysis is used to identify distinct combinations of network characteristics among mothers with recent investigations, and logistic regression analyses are applied to examine whether different cluster types are predictive of CPS re-investigations within one year. Study results suggest that a more multi-faceted view of social networks can be helpful for understanding the social contexts of mothers as they experience contact with CPS. View this paper
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13 pages, 318 KiB  
Article
The Entropy of Romanian Economists into the Labour Market
by Mihaela Simionescu
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(4), 254; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12040254 - 21 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1168
Abstract
The rate of unemployment for higher educated people has increased in Romania in the last few decades. The aim of this paper is to analyse survey data from master’s students in Economics from some private and public universities in Bucharest. The study uses [...] Read more.
The rate of unemployment for higher educated people has increased in Romania in the last few decades. The aim of this paper is to analyse survey data from master’s students in Economics from some private and public universities in Bucharest. The study uses ANOVA/linear Dependent Dirichlet Process mixture model to explain the scores from these surveys. The results suggest that the causes of interview rejections for master’s students are due to gender, work seniority, type of university attended, and the requirements of employers in the field. In addition, a rank ordered probit model is used to assess the importance assigned by managers to recommendations to improve university education. The results confirm the rigidities of the Romanian labour market and the necessity to design more and better internships that support policy recommendations for better school-to-work transition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Work, Employment and the Labor Market)
18 pages, 601 KiB  
Article
Teleworking and Job Quality in Latin American Countries: A Comparison from an Impact Approach in 2021
by Yanira Marcela Oviedo-Gil and Favio Ernesto Cala Vitery
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(4), 253; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12040253 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2246
Abstract
This article studies the relationship between teleworking and job quality in 2021 for reference countries in Latin America, namely, Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia. Teleworking is an increasingly important alternative line of work; hence, it is relevant to investigate its influence on the quality [...] Read more.
This article studies the relationship between teleworking and job quality in 2021 for reference countries in Latin America, namely, Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia. Teleworking is an increasingly important alternative line of work; hence, it is relevant to investigate its influence on the quality of jobs. To this end the following points are addressed: (i) the definitions of teleworking and job quality are conceptually reviewed; (ii) the relationships between both concepts are identified in the literature; (iii) a comparable job quality index is constructed for each of the countries studied using factorial analysis, ensuring the objective nature of the data is considered rather than preconceived judgments; and (iv) the characteristics of job quality and the constructed index are compared in a controlled manner using a propensity score matching model. This research finds that teleworkers, compared to other workers with similar observable characteristics, have higher labor income in Colombia and Argentina. In addition, teleworkers work fewer hours per week and have similar levels of job stability across the three countries. Regarding teleworkers in Brazil and Colombia, a gap in social security coverage is observed and needs to be addressed. Full article
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14 pages, 315 KiB  
Article
Work Ability, Work-Related Health, and Effort–Reward Imbalance: A Cross-Sectional Study among University Staff during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Thailand
by Chamnong Thanapop, Sasina Jit-akson, Dusanee Suwankhong, Irniza Rasdi, Warangkana Chankong and Sasithorn Thanapop
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(4), 252; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12040252 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1605
Abstract
During the COVID-19 pandemic, university policies and public health measures resulted in university staff facing hazardous work environments and psychological health problems. This cross-sectional study aimed to analyze the association between sociodemographic characteristics, health conditions, work-related health, effort and reward imbalance (ERI), and [...] Read more.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, university policies and public health measures resulted in university staff facing hazardous work environments and psychological health problems. This cross-sectional study aimed to analyze the association between sociodemographic characteristics, health conditions, work-related health, effort and reward imbalance (ERI), and work ability among university staff in southern Thailand. Data were collected using stratified random sampling of 381 participants between April and September 2022. Descriptive statistics and binary logistic regression analyses were used to examine the associations between the variables. The majority of the participants were female (63.5%) and aged below 45 years old (52%). Nearly 70% of the participants reported the absence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), while half of them were overweight, and 54.9% had an effort–reward ratio (ERR) greater than one. Most participants reported good-to-excellent work ability (82.4%). The probability of having poor-to-moderate work ability was higher among staff working from home (adj. OR = 2.4; 95% CI: 1.3, 4.6), those with NCDs (adj. OR = 3.5; 95% CI: 2.0, 6.4), those who followed poor health behaviors (adj. OR = 2.6; 95% CI: 1.4, 4.9), and those who had an ERR greater than one (adj. OR = 2.8; 95% CI: 1.5, 5.6). In conclusion, the majority of university staff in southern Thailand had good-to-excellent work ability. Work ability was associated with the presence of NCDs, poor health behavior, working from home, and ERI. Therefore, universities should create suitable occupational health programs and resources to mitigate the negative effects of work conditions, including ERI, and promote healthy behaviors for their staff during the COVID-19 pandemic and future disasters. Full article
19 pages, 958 KiB  
Article
Honouring Differences in Recovery: Methodological Explorations in Creative Eating Disorder Recovery Research
by Andrea LaMarre, Siobhán Healy-Cullen, Jessica Tappin and Maree Burns
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(4), 251; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12040251 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2759
Abstract
What would it look like to honour differences in eating disorder recovery? Recoveries from eating disorders and eating distress are enacted in relation to discursive, material, and affective flows that open and constrain different possibilities for differently embodied people. Yet, the pull toward [...] Read more.
What would it look like to honour differences in eating disorder recovery? Recoveries from eating disorders and eating distress are enacted in relation to discursive, material, and affective flows that open and constrain different possibilities for differently embodied people. Yet, the pull toward establishing consensus on “what recovery is” continues to dominate the landscape of both qualitative and quantitative eating disorder recovery work. While researchers from a variety of perspectives, disciplines, and methodological traditions have sought to establish consensus on what recovery “is”, a singular definition remains elusive. Indeed, when researchers continue to adopt the same methodologies—which largely emphasize establishing patterns of sameness—the opportunity to dig into contradictions and tensions that enliven recoveries is missed. In this paper, we reflect on our experiences conducting creative, collaborative, generative research to re-write, re-design, re-draw, and otherwise re-imagine recoveries. The knowledge generated in our research is co-constructed with people with living experience of disordered/distressed eating/eating disorders who spoke back to mainstream recovery discourses (e.g., the idea that recovery is about perfection, that recovery is linear, that one is either recovered or not, that the word “recovered” encapsulates the experience, etc.). We engaged with 12 participants: four in an online group workshop and eight in individual online sessions. Participants held a variety of experiences and backgrounds from Canada, the United States, and Aotearoa New Zealand. We explored their journeys into this conversation with us, the meaning of recovery, and their thoughts on what makes recovery im/possible. Participants were offered several options for creative engagement and took up the idea of “creativity” in ways as different as the stories they shared. Participants created collages, short stories, poems, drawings, and told stories about their experiences. Here, we discuss methodological insights gained from asking participants to lead the creative process. We also explore how this project potentially enables different ways of thinking about and doing eating disorder recovery. Delving into the differences in both method and content opens up opportunities to take seriously the different relational, material, and affective constellations of participants’ living experiences of eating distress/disorder “recovery”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rethinking Artful Politics: Bodies of Difference Remaking Body Worlds)
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14 pages, 2598 KiB  
Article
Lobbyists in Spain: Professional and Academic Profiles
by Antonio Castillo Esparcia, Andrea Moreno Cabanillas and Ana Almansa Martinez
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(4), 250; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12040250 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1311
Abstract
Public relations are fundamental in organisations to establish an adequate relationship between the company and its public, and in the field of relations with public authorities, lobbying has become a very important activity. Two types of action can be distinguished: direct lobbying and [...] Read more.
Public relations are fundamental in organisations to establish an adequate relationship between the company and its public, and in the field of relations with public authorities, lobbying has become a very important activity. Two types of action can be distinguished: direct lobbying and grassroots lobbying. The aim of this research is to determine the professional and academic profiles of Spanish lobbyists to determine which type of activity is most common. To achieve this, the professional profiles of 370 Spanish lobbyists were analysed on LinkedIn, and a questionnaire was sent to them to find out about their experience, academic background, and typical activities. The results indicate that Spanish lobbyists are organised around companies and consultancies specialising in political communication and communication advice. The need to formalise lobbying activity, explain its tasks, recognise the exercise of influence, and establish an official register is highlighted. Regarding academic training, new Spanish lobbyists have studied Communication with postgraduate degrees in Political Science and Sociology rather than legal studies, as previously thought. There is also a growing presence of women in this field. In addition, it was determined that 88% of Spanish lobbyists focus on direct lobbying, and only 12% focus on grassroots lobbying. Full article
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14 pages, 276 KiB  
Article
Transforming Trauma through an Arts Festival: A Psychosocial Case Study
by Jill Bennett, Gail Kenning, Lydia Gitau, Rebecca Moran and Marianne Wobcke
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(4), 249; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12040249 - 19 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2191
Abstract
Through a psychosocial lens, informed by relational psychoanalysis, this article discusses the design, delivery, and impact of The Big Anxiety’s 2022 festival in Warwick, Queensland—an arts-based program that engages with lived experiences of trauma, distress, and suicide, and in this case with the [...] Read more.
Through a psychosocial lens, informed by relational psychoanalysis, this article discusses the design, delivery, and impact of The Big Anxiety’s 2022 festival in Warwick, Queensland—an arts-based program that engages with lived experiences of trauma, distress, and suicide, and in this case with the devastating impact of youth suicide, disproportionately affecting First Nations communities. It describes the festival’s methods of creative engagement, examining how these create conditions for the transformation of trauma and for experiences of growth. Full article
13 pages, 458 KiB  
Article
Agency and the Limits of Responsibility: Co-Management of Technology-Enabled Care in Supported Housing
by Regina C. Serpa, Steve Rolfe, Grant Gibson, Julia Lawrence and Vikki McCall
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(4), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12040248 - 19 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1384
Abstract
Since at least 2012, UK housing providers (and policy makers) have introduced policies aimed at developing autonomy and independence among service users, through an agenda sometimes referred to as ‘responsibilisation’. This paper considers the role that technologies play in this agenda, through an [...] Read more.
Since at least 2012, UK housing providers (and policy makers) have introduced policies aimed at developing autonomy and independence among service users, through an agenda sometimes referred to as ‘responsibilisation’. This paper considers the role that technologies play in this agenda, through an analysis of how wellbeing and independence are facilitated amongst older social housing tenants. Based on case studies of four supported housing schemes in England, the research considers the capacity to exercise agency amongst older persons, through their willingness and ability to accept technological interventions, and the role of support networks to facilitate independent living. Using the concept of modalities of agency, the research examines the impact of implementing ‘low-level’ assistive technologies in the home, based on the perspectives of residents and staff. The interventions studied were designed to improve social relationships, promote self-sufficiency and support self-managed care (based on the principle that the most effective projects facilitate individual agency). The research findings identified that residents responded differentially to technology, based on their levels of capability, motivation, reluctance and resistance. Whilst the study demonstrated that small technological innovations could have disproportionately positive impacts in improving wellbeing, the research demonstrates the complex nature of agency and limits of responsibility. The paper argues that responsibilisation is part of a wider neoliberal project, where choice and agency are manufactured to create an idealised notion of the autonomous actor (in this case through technology-enabled care). The article argues that a collaborative approach to service provision in which responsibility is shared, via co-managed care, is a more effective means of enhancing agency, than one which advocates a withdrawal of support (in the guise of autonomy). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Policy and Welfare)
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16 pages, 305 KiB  
Article
Documentation Status and Youth’s Critical Consciousness across Borders
by Sarah Gallo and Melissa Adams Corral
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(4), 247; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12040247 - 19 Apr 2023
Viewed by 939
Abstract
Centering the testimonios of two sets of transborder high school seniors living and learning in Mexico and the U.S., in this article, we draw upon decolonizing approaches to theorize critical consciousness formation for and with students from families with mixed documentation status who [...] Read more.
Centering the testimonios of two sets of transborder high school seniors living and learning in Mexico and the U.S., in this article, we draw upon decolonizing approaches to theorize critical consciousness formation for and with students from families with mixed documentation status who cross physical and metaphorical borders. Data come from two larger qualitative studies on immigration and education and demonstrate how young people recognize inequity, critique it, and engage in a range of actions to counteract it. We argue that border-crossing youth draw upon personal experiences to critique and take action to change oppressive realities. We extend critical consciousness scholarship by bringing unique attention to the role of undocumentedness in critical consciousness formation. Full article
16 pages, 333 KiB  
Review
Understanding Narratives in Governance: Naming and Framing Regional Inequality in the United Kingdom
by Tamás Kaiser
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(4), 246; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12040246 - 19 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1535
Abstract
Narratives play a pivotal role in solving complex problems, as they provide an interpretive framework for facilitating the solution to a given challenge. We presume that if the basis of a narrative applied to a complex problem is incorrect, the interpretation of the [...] Read more.
Narratives play a pivotal role in solving complex problems, as they provide an interpretive framework for facilitating the solution to a given challenge. We presume that if the basis of a narrative applied to a complex problem is incorrect, the interpretation of the problem will also be distorted. Therefore, solutions that are primarily low-efficiency in nature demand new or “rframed” narratives. We examine this premise through the case of the United Kingdom in the light of changes in narratives created to solve regional inequalities, particularly regarding the interpretative framework of the “Levelling Up” policy agenda and narrative, which was introduced by the government of Boris Johnson. Additionally, we conducted a literature review on the Levelling Up policy to provide a supplementary theoretical background beyond the concept of narratives. Conclusions on narratives and Levelling Up are also outlined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Contemporary Politics and Society)
28 pages, 1136 KiB  
Systematic Review
Systematic Review on New Challenges of University Education Today: Innovation in the Educational Response and Teaching Perspective on Students with Disabilities
by María Dolores Pérez-Esteban, Jose Juan Carrión-Martínez and Luis Ortiz Jiménez
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(4), 245; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12040245 - 18 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2137
Abstract
Offering a suitable educational response to students with disabilities continues to be a challenge for higher education institutions, where the teaching attitude, the educational strategies to deal with diversity and the obstacles or difficulties continue to condition the commitment to inclusive education at [...] Read more.
Offering a suitable educational response to students with disabilities continues to be a challenge for higher education institutions, where the teaching attitude, the educational strategies to deal with diversity and the obstacles or difficulties continue to condition the commitment to inclusive education at universities. This systematic review has been carried out following the indications of the PRISMA method. The main objective is to present critical information about the educational response offered to students with disabilities at higher education institutions. Fourteen articles dealing with teaching attitude, difficulties and strategies used were reviewed. The results show how there is a positive attitude towards students with disabilities in some areas, various inclusive strategies are established in the classroom and there are still obstacles that make it difficult to meet all students’ needs. In conclusion, inclusive education continues to be a pending issue for university institutions, which are moving towards inclusion, yet at a slower pace, in comparison to other education levels. Full article
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13 pages, 444 KiB  
Article
Short- and Long-Term Effects of an Intervention to Act against Sexual Violence in Sports
by Alina Schäfer-Pels, Jeannine Ohlert, Thea Rau and Marc Allroggen
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(4), 244; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12040244 - 18 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1405
Abstract
In recent years, an increasing number of cases of sexual violence (SV) in organized sports have received worldwide attention. To counteract the emergence of SV, various preventive measures have been developed and implemented. However, the effectiveness of these preventive measures has not been [...] Read more.
In recent years, an increasing number of cases of sexual violence (SV) in organized sports have received worldwide attention. To counteract the emergence of SV, various preventive measures have been developed and implemented. However, the effectiveness of these preventive measures has not been adequately tested. To close this gap, the purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a workshop intervention that was conducted within the context of organized sports in Germany. The one-day workshop intervention was conducted with 137 stakeholders in organized sports (coaches, athletes, board members, and parents). The intervention was evaluated by measuring the short-term (immediately before and after the workshop) and long-term effects (six months after the workshop). The analyses showed positive short-term (such as on attitudes toward SV and the intention to act against SV) and positive long-term effects (on knowledge about SV and a culture of prevention in the sports club and club behavior) of the workshop. The workshop was effective in the short term and the long term regarding the most relevant indicators (i.e., taking measures against SV). Therefore, it can be concluded that more workshops should be held in clubs in order to sensitize stakeholders and foster measures against SV in sports. Full article
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18 pages, 1959 KiB  
Article
Refugee Population and Environmental Quality in Sweden and Lebanon: Is Fertility Rate Changing the Dynamics?
by Andrew Adewale Alola, Anar Aliyev, Hephzibah Onyeje Obekpa and Ishaaqa Olagunju
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(4), 243; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12040243 - 18 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1168
Abstract
Arising from the arrays of man-made factors (including political- and socioeconomic-related factors) and natural disasters across the globe, population displacement, as one of the consequences of the above-mentioned factors, has continued to trigger refugee populations. This is the reason Lebanon (with the highest [...] Read more.
Arising from the arrays of man-made factors (including political- and socioeconomic-related factors) and natural disasters across the globe, population displacement, as one of the consequences of the above-mentioned factors, has continued to trigger refugee populations. This is the reason Lebanon (with the highest number of refugees per total population in the world) and Sweden (with the highest number of refugees per total population in Europe) are considered in a comparative investigation. Importantly, this study examines the environmental effect of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions via the refugee population and fertility rate, alongside the roles of income and natural resource abundance, from 1990 to 2021. The results reveal that fertility rates spur GHG emissions, thereby hampering environmental sustainability in both countries. While the refugee population mitigates GHG emissions in Sweden, the effect is contrary and environmentally damaging in Lebanon. The disparity in the countries’ environmental proactiveness, which has supposedly permeated societal values, especially in Sweden, could have influenced the above result. Meanwhile, in both countries, the refugee populations moderate the effect of the fertility rate, increasing the environmental demerit of the increase in the fertility rate. However, the Swedish income level improvement helps mitigate GHG emissions, thus validating the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) hypothesis in the long run. In Sweden, the natural resource abundance also promotes environmental benefit. Contrarily, in Lebanon, increases in both the natural resource abundance and income per person increase GHG emissions, thus worsening the environmental quality. Finally, this study offers policy recommendations for improving refugee programs. Full article
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10 pages, 502 KiB  
Article
Burnout Syndrome, Stress and Study Hours in the Selection Process for Educational Teaching Staff: The Role of Resilience—An Explanatory Model
by Eduardo Melguizo-Ibáñez, Gabriel González-Valero, Félix Zurita-Ortega, José Manuel Alonso-Vargas, Maria Rosario Salazar-Ruiz and Pilar Puertas-Molero
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(4), 242; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12040242 - 17 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1371
Abstract
Candidates for the public teaching profession are subjected to high levels of stress, which can lead to the development of burnout syndrome during the competitive examination process. The present research reflects the objective of analysing the effect of resilience on burnout syndrome, stress [...] Read more.
Candidates for the public teaching profession are subjected to high levels of stress, which can lead to the development of burnout syndrome during the competitive examination process. The present research reflects the objective of analysing the effect of resilience on burnout syndrome, stress and study hours in Spanish public teacher candidates. A cross-sectional, descriptive, comparative and ex post facto study was carried out on a sample of 4117 Spanish candidates (M = 31.03; S.D = 6.800). The Perceived Stress Scale was used to measure the stress variable. The Maslach Burnout Inventory was used to collect data related to burnout syndrome and the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale was used to measure data related to resilience. The conclusions are that resilience helps to mitigate the effects generated by burnout syndrome and stress, helping to maintain a positive attitude towards the number of hours of study. Full article
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15 pages, 3722 KiB  
Article
Rise of Constabulary Maritime Agencies in Southeast Asia: Vietnam’s Paragunboat Diplomacy in the North Natuna Seas
by Bama Andika Putra
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(4), 241; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12040241 - 17 Apr 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1676
Abstract
The rising tensions in disputed waters in Southeast Asia have caused policymakers to diverge their maritime diplomatic strategy to include maritime constabulary forces. The use of coastguards and other non-military vessels are an emerging trend in the maritime diplomatic strategy of Southeast Asian [...] Read more.
The rising tensions in disputed waters in Southeast Asia have caused policymakers to diverge their maritime diplomatic strategy to include maritime constabulary forces. The use of coastguards and other non-military vessels are an emerging trend in the maritime diplomatic strategy of Southeast Asian states, including in the high-profile case of the North Natuna Seas, to which scholars pay little attention. This article contends that (1) contemporary maritime diplomacy in Southeast Asia positions the utilization of maritime constabulary forces (coastguards, maritime law enforcement agencies) as its primary maritime diplomatic strategy; (2) Vietnam’s coercive turn in its maritime disputed areas was a deliberate attempt to balance a coercive-cooperative stance against Indonesia in the North Natuna Seas, following its traditional coercive maritime diplomatic stance against China, and; (3) Vietnam’s utilization of maritime constabulary forces as a measure to solidify its sovereign claims coincided with the benefits of tactical military flexibility and non-escalatory means to achieve its aims in the Natuna Seas. This empirical explanatory research delves into the development of Vietnam’s coastguards and maritime law enforcement agencies by interpreting the secondary data from the Indonesia Ocean Justice Initiative between 2021–2022 on cases relating to suspicious maneuvers conducted by the Vietnamese Fisheries Resource Surveillance vessels safeguarding the conduct of Vietnamese IUUF. Full article
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14 pages, 321 KiB  
Article
Secondary Traumatic Stress in Portuguese Social Workers
by Maria Irene Carvalho, Sofia Mendes Cunha, Helena Teles and Carla Ribeirinho
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(4), 240; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12040240 - 17 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1863
Abstract
This article analyses the level of secondary traumatic stress in Portuguese social workers. Social workers practice their profession in conditions that generate stress and trauma on a daily basis; this is triggered by clients’ anxiety, threats to the integrity of the professionals, and [...] Read more.
This article analyses the level of secondary traumatic stress in Portuguese social workers. Social workers practice their profession in conditions that generate stress and trauma on a daily basis; this is triggered by clients’ anxiety, threats to the integrity of the professionals, and situations that have a negative impact on professional practice. This study was conducted in organisations registered under the Social Charter, which coordinates institutions of social policies operationalised in Portugal. A Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS) index was used to obtain data regarding practitioners’ practice for the characterisation and identification of situations of trauma experienced by clients, and their impact on social workers. Questionnaires were sent to the organisations via email, and in return 872 were answered by social workers. The results reveal a score of 2.65 on the Secondary Traumatic Stress Scale, and this appears more apparent in the Arousal dimension, followed by Avoidance and lastly Intrusion. Furthermore, it is evident that the conditions of professional practice and the sector in which professionals work generate STS because they significantly expose social workers to the traumas of the most vulnerable clients. The professionals recognise these incidences, which feasibly denotes that there is a possibility to avoid and act against STS by stimulating professionals’ internal resilience and psychological capital, increasing professionals’ access to professional supervision and improving working conditions in the organisations where they practice. Full article
20 pages, 1289 KiB  
Article
A Delphi Study to Develop Items for a New Tool for Measuring Child Neglect for Use by Multi-Agency Practitioners in the UK
by Simon Haworth, Paul Montgomery and Jason Schaub
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(4), 239; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12040239 - 17 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2115
Abstract
Social work and allied professions can struggle to accurately assess child neglect. Our research project is developing a new child neglect measurement tool for use by multi-agencies to address this issue. Phase two of this project employed a Delphi study to gather the [...] Read more.
Social work and allied professions can struggle to accurately assess child neglect. Our research project is developing a new child neglect measurement tool for use by multi-agencies to address this issue. Phase two of this project employed a Delphi study to gather the views of a range of experts to help develop it. There were two important stages to inform the Delphi study: a systematic review of child neglect measures, and three online focus groups with a purposive sample of 16 participants with expertise in child neglect (academics, practitioners, and experts by experience). We then conducted a three-round modified online Delphi study with a purposive sample of 60 international panellists with expertise in child neglect. We followed the CREDES guidelines for the rigorous application of the Delphi technique. The panel generated salient items for the tool and scaled these for importance. The panel reached consensus for 18 items and 15 elements for the tool. The items included neglect type, chronicity, and severity. The elements included hyperlinks to research and the use of 10-point scales. The draft tool is short and may be useable by a range of practitioners in multi-agency settings. It is inclusive of social harms, such as poverty and social isolation. It will now be piloted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Childhood and Youth Studies)
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15 pages, 592 KiB  
Article
January 6th and De-Democratization in the United States
by Ernesto Castañeda and Daniel Jenks
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(4), 238; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12040238 - 17 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3107
Abstract
The events of January 6th were a clear example of threats to American democracy. De-democratization is a process that preceded Trump’s election and that can still be seen in the United States and around the world. Social theorist Charles Tilly wrote about [...] Read more.
The events of January 6th were a clear example of threats to American democracy. De-democratization is a process that preceded Trump’s election and that can still be seen in the United States and around the world. Social theorist Charles Tilly wrote about how becoming a democracy is not a unidirectional, one-time event or goal, but a non-linear process. This paper analyzes developments in the United States that signal rises and falls in the level of democracy over the last several decades. It discusses Donald Trump’s rise to power, the insurrection on January 6th, 2021, and the state of inclusion of ethnoracial minorities in the United States. It uses Tilly’s proposed processes of democratization and de-democratization. This more nuanced understanding of democracy and state–society relations helps avoid celebratory stances about the promise of electoral politics as well as pessimistic assessments about the imminent arrival of fascism and authoritarianism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Elections and Political Campaigns in Times of Uncertainty)
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12 pages, 436 KiB  
Article
The Career Adaptability and Support Structures of Pilots Losing Medical Certification
by Trevis Kurukulaadithya, Rajeev Nair, Waqas Tariq, Jeremy Wall and John Rodwell
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(4), 237; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12040237 - 16 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1263
Abstract
The regulation of occupations such as aviation pilots can result in their facing the shock of losing their medical certification and thus, their license to work. What are the issues that these former pilots face upon losing their medical certification? The key issues [...] Read more.
The regulation of occupations such as aviation pilots can result in their facing the shock of losing their medical certification and thus, their license to work. What are the issues that these former pilots face upon losing their medical certification? The key issues may take the form of protean career characteristics and mechanisms such as identity, adaptability, and agency, which may help the individuals match to a new occupational environment. The method of convergent interviewing is used to inductively acquire the key common issues that arise when pilots lose their medical certification in Australia. The results indicate that the clarity and strength of the pilots’ sense of occupational identity may amplify the impact of the shock when that career is denied to them. The findings highlight the importance of adaptability, although the reliance on adaptability varies depending on the pathway chosen to respond to the shock. Those in situations with less adaptability, agency, or support may be most in need of career and mental health counseling. Support and adaptability may be particularly important for those facing career shocks in occupations with substantial investments in their career identity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Managing the Transition into Post-pandemic Work)
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11 pages, 1692 KiB  
Review
Using Exponential Random Graph Models for Social Networks to Understand Meta-Communication in Digital Media
by Zhou Nie
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(4), 236; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12040236 - 15 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1194
Abstract
In recent years; digital media has garnered widespread interest from various domains. Despite advancements in the technology of digital media for globalized communication; disparities persist in user interaction patterns across different regions. These differences can be attributed to the presence of a control [...] Read more.
In recent years; digital media has garnered widespread interest from various domains. Despite advancements in the technology of digital media for globalized communication; disparities persist in user interaction patterns across different regions. These differences can be attributed to the presence of a control system, known as meta-communication, which shapes the coding of information based on social relationships. Meta-communication is formed in various social contexts, resulting in varying communication patterns among different groups. However, empirical research on the social processes that form meta-communication in digital media is scarce due to the challenges in quantifying meta-communication. This study aims to introduce exponential random graph models as a potential tool for analyzing meta-communication in digital media and to provide a preliminary understanding of its formation. The use of such models could prove valuable for researchers seeking to study meta-communication in digital media. Full article
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15 pages, 360 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Role of Gamification in the Online Shopping Experience in Retail Stores: An Exploratory Study
by João M. Lopes, Sofia Gomes, Pedro Lopes, Adriana Silva, Daniel Lourenço, Duarte Esteves, Mafalda Cardoso and Valter Redondo
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(4), 235; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12040235 - 15 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3936
Abstract
Online retail shops increasingly implement gamified marketing strategies to enrich consumers’ online experience and increase engagement. This study aims to evaluate the ludic experience of consumers in online retail stores and the role of gamification and game mechanics in changing the online shopping [...] Read more.
Online retail shops increasingly implement gamified marketing strategies to enrich consumers’ online experience and increase engagement. This study aims to evaluate the ludic experience of consumers in online retail stores and the role of gamification and game mechanics in changing the online shopping experience. It seeks to assess, through a qualitative methodology, based on an exploratory study approach obtained through 30 interviews with Portuguese consumers, whether consumers have playful experiences when shopping in online retail shops and whether the introduction of game mechanics changes this experience by generating co-creation. The results show that online shopping can be playful and generate positive emotional benefits. However, gamification in online retail shops is not guided by a co-creation process, nor do game mechanics create greater online consumer engagement. There is a need to review how gamification is introduced in online retail shops, and strategies should be designed to co-create experience value and brand co-creation. This study is original, as it contributes to developing knowledge about gamification in the context of the online retail experience. Studies on this topic are scarce, and this study contributes to filling that gap. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Economics)
20 pages, 390 KiB  
Article
Multidimensional Aspects of Social Networks: Implications for CPS Recurrence
by Reiko Boyd, Abigail Williams-Butler, Katarina Ploch and Kristen Slack
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(4), 234; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12040234 - 14 Apr 2023
Viewed by 2816
Abstract
This study examines the social network characteristics of 670 mothers reported to and investigated by the child protection system (CPS) in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin in 2016. Specifically, having a recurrent CPS investigation within one year of an index investigation that did not result [...] Read more.
This study examines the social network characteristics of 670 mothers reported to and investigated by the child protection system (CPS) in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin in 2016. Specifically, having a recurrent CPS investigation within one year of an index investigation that did not result in an ongoing CPS case is assessed as a function of positive social network ties, negative social network ties, and perceived neighborhood support. Few studies have explored these aspects of social networks comparatively and simultaneously in relation to CPS outcomes, or within this population. We used cluster analysis to identify particular combinations of network characteristics among mothers with recent investigations and then examined whether different cluster types are predictive of recurrent CPS involvement within one year. Clusters differed on the perceived levels of both positive and negative interpersonal ties as well as perceived neighborhood support and were associated with different levels of known child maltreatment risk factors. Clusters with lower levels of perceived neighborhood support were more likely to be associated with future CPS investigations, but this association becomes statistically insignificant when controlling for mothers’ depressive symptoms. The results of this study suggest that a more multi-faceted view of social networks can be helpful to understand the social contexts of mothers as they experience contact with CPS and raises questions about how these contexts interact with parental mental health in relation to CPS recurrence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Revisiting Social Support for Disadvantaged Women)
19 pages, 361 KiB  
Essay
Comparing Perfectionism, Cognitive Mindset, Constructive Thinking, and Emotional Intelligence in Gifted Students by Grade and Gender
by Min-Ying Tsai
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(4), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12040233 - 14 Apr 2023
Viewed by 2004
Abstract
The study compared the differences among gifted students of different grades and genders concerning perfectionism, cognitive mindset, constructive thinking, and emotional intelligence. The study included 908 gifted primary-school students from third to sixth grade. The study used the t-test and analysis of [...] Read more.
The study compared the differences among gifted students of different grades and genders concerning perfectionism, cognitive mindset, constructive thinking, and emotional intelligence. The study included 908 gifted primary-school students from third to sixth grade. The study used the t-test and analysis of variance methods, and four scales. Furthermore, the following were the conclusions. Firstly, gifted pupils of different grades and genders scored considerably differently on some perfectionism subscales. Second, there were notable differences in the cognitive mindset of gifted pupils in different grades. Lastly, there was a substantial difference between gifted pupils in different grades in the distrust-of-others subscale in the constructive-thinking scale. Finally, there was a substantial difference in introversion, interpersonal relationships, and mood among gifted students of different genders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Childhood and Youth Studies)
24 pages, 457 KiB  
Article
The Dis-Embedded Arbitrator: Releasing Arbitration from Corruption-Shaped Environments in the Wake of the Odebrecht Arbitral Ordeal in Peru
by Riccardo Vecellio Segate
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(4), 232; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12040232 - 13 Apr 2023
Viewed by 2372
Abstract
Despite local instances of single arbitrators’ corruption not having proven completely absent from arbitration chronicles over the last decades, one may safely argue that until very recently, no scandal had ever been severe enough to shake the foundations of arbitration communities on a [...] Read more.
Despite local instances of single arbitrators’ corruption not having proven completely absent from arbitration chronicles over the last decades, one may safely argue that until very recently, no scandal had ever been severe enough to shake the foundations of arbitration communities on a regional, let alone global, level. However, this eventually occurred in 2019 in Peru as the outcome of one of the countless parallel investigations stemming from the 2016 Odebrecht corruption saga, propagated from Brazil to the whole of Latin America, the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa, and beyond, and labelled by many as the largest scandal of its kind in recent history. Peru’s vicissitudes revolved around a number of corrupted arbitrators who systematically accepted bribes and political favours from Odebrecht in return for favourable awards upholding the repricing of public-procurement contracts. This story can teach us about more than the simple evidence that arbitrators, too, might fall for corruption; criminologically, it suggests that arbitration as a dispute-resolution mechanism can find itself embedded within regionalised networked systems of corruption-prone regulatory capture, and even play an active role in their normalised perpetuation. To prevent this, while having regard for safeguarding the independence and confidentiality of arbitral proceedings to the highest possible extent, the enactment of context-sensitive binding regulation is advised. Full article
17 pages, 312 KiB  
Article
Struggles of Refugee-Receiving Schools in Turkey
by Dilara Özel and Özgür Erdur-Baker
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(4), 231; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12040231 - 13 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1764
Abstract
A total of 82.4 million persons had emigrated from their countries by the end of 2020 because of global conflicts. A total of 3.6 million settled in Turkey, which became the most refugee-receiving country. Among those resettled in Turkey, the majority were school-aged [...] Read more.
A total of 82.4 million persons had emigrated from their countries by the end of 2020 because of global conflicts. A total of 3.6 million settled in Turkey, which became the most refugee-receiving country. Among those resettled in Turkey, the majority were school-aged children, and schools became an inseparable instrument in the adaptation process. Thus, schools play a vital role in creating a safe space for healing; through students, schools also contribute to building solidarity and collective responsibility for the social inclusion of refugees. Schools’ guidance services are key in working with the school’s stakeholders. This study aims to analyze the needs and issues of schools with high refugee density in different parts of Turkey from the school counselors’ perspectives. Using a semistructured interview protocol, we interviewed fifteen school counselors from seven different cities, and three main themes emerged: (a) student-related issues, (b) contextual issues, and (c) response strategies. Findings indicate that refugee-receiving schools need to attend to students and families, as well as deal with conflicts among Syrians and conflicts between Syrians and locals, with limited resources. Full article
18 pages, 313 KiB  
Article
Perceptions of and Attitudes toward COVID-19 Vaccination among Urban Slum Dwellers in Dhaka, Bangladesh
by Wafa Alam, Nadia Farnaz, Farzana Manzoor, Sally Theobald and Sabina Faiz Rashid
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(4), 230; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12040230 - 13 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2043
Abstract
Vaccine hesitancy or low uptake was identified as a major threat to global health by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2019. Vaccine hesitancy is context-specific and varies across time, place, and socioeconomic groups. In this study, we aimed to understand the perceptions [...] Read more.
Vaccine hesitancy or low uptake was identified as a major threat to global health by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2019. Vaccine hesitancy is context-specific and varies across time, place, and socioeconomic groups. In this study, we aimed to understand the perceptions of and attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccination through time among urban slum dwellers in Dhaka, Bangladesh. In-depth telephone interviews were conducted between October 2020 and January 2021 with 36 adults (25 females and 11 males) living in three urban slums of Dhaka City, Bangladesh. Follow-up interviews were undertaken in April and August 2021 to capture any shift in the participants’ perceptions. Our findings show that for many there was an initial fear and confusion regarding the COVID-19 vaccine among people living in urban informal settlements; this confusion was soon reduced by the awareness efforts of government and non-government organizations. Women and young people were more interested in being vaccinated as they had had more exposure to the awareness sessions conducted by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and on social media. However, people living in the slums still faced systemic barriers, such as complicated online vaccine registration and long queues, which led to low uptake of the vaccine despite their increased willingness to be vaccinated. This study highlights the importance of using sources such as NGO workers and television news to debunk myths, disseminate COVID-19 vaccine information, and support adherence to vaccination among urban slum dwellers. Our study underscores the importance of addressing systemic barriers blocking access and understanding community perceptions in order to develop effective communication strategies for vulnerable groups that will then improve the COVID-19 vaccine uptake. Full article
11 pages, 584 KiB  
Article
The Mediating Effect of Basic Psychological Needs Satisfaction between Future Socio-Economic Status and Undergraduates’ Sense of Meaning in Life
by Feng Zhang, Li Su and Xiaowei Geng
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(4), 229; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12040229 - 12 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1312
Abstract
Finding meaning in life helps improve undergraduates’ well-being, hope, and adaptation to life. To investigate the relationship between future socioeconomic status (future SES) and undergraduates’ sense of meaning in life, 333 undergraduates were surveyed using the Meaning in Life Scale, Basic Psychological Needs [...] Read more.
Finding meaning in life helps improve undergraduates’ well-being, hope, and adaptation to life. To investigate the relationship between future socioeconomic status (future SES) and undergraduates’ sense of meaning in life, 333 undergraduates were surveyed using the Meaning in Life Scale, Basic Psychological Needs Scales, and Social Ladder Scale. Results showed that (1) undergraduates’ sense of meaning in life was at the middle level, their current SES was low, but their future SES was high. (2) The sense of meaning in life was significantly predicted by future SES, with sex, age, objective SES, and current SES controlled. (3) Basic psychological needs satisfaction mediated the influence of future SES on sense of meaning in life. Thus, undergraduates expected future SES influenced their sense of meaning in life through satisfying their basic psychological needs, i.e., relatedness need, autonomy need, and competence need. Full article
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20 pages, 1651 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Interplay of Cultural Restraint: The Relationship between Social Media Motivation and Subjective Happiness
by Islam Habis Mohammad Hatamleh, Amjad Omar Safori, Amer Khaled Ahmad and Neibal Moh’d Ibrahim Al-Etoum
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(4), 228; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12040228 - 12 Apr 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2933
Abstract
This study aims to investigate the intricate relationship between social media motivations and subjective happiness, utilizing a novel framework based on the uses and gratifications theory and cultural restraint. Through a quantitative analysis using structural equation modeling (SEM) of a sample of 391 [...] Read more.
This study aims to investigate the intricate relationship between social media motivations and subjective happiness, utilizing a novel framework based on the uses and gratifications theory and cultural restraint. Through a quantitative analysis using structural equation modeling (SEM) of a sample of 391 young Jordanian adults, the findings reveal a surprising positive correlation between social media motivations and subjective happiness, with cultural restraint emerging as a critical moderator in this dynamic. Cultural restraint negatively moderates the relationship between social media motivations and subjective happiness. By shedding light on the powerful role of cultural factors in shaping our relationship with social media, this study offers essential insights for practitioners seeking to enhance user experiences and maximize well-being. This research expands upon existing knowledge, providing a fresh perspective on the interplay between motivation and happiness, and highlighting the potential for understanding cultural restraint to unlock greater happiness and fulfillment in the digital age. The findings indicate that the positive impact of social media motivations on subjective happiness may be influenced by the level of cultural restraint within a society. Full article
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11 pages, 280 KiB  
Article
The Perception of Security and Youth: A Practical Example
by María Vílchez and Francisco Trujillo
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(4), 227; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12040227 - 11 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1396
Abstract
This investigation presents the perspective that Spanish postgraduate students have on security. The data compiled here encompass the results of a research study involving Spanish Master’s students with backgrounds in international law and international relations. This study aims to conceptualize what security means [...] Read more.
This investigation presents the perspective that Spanish postgraduate students have on security. The data compiled here encompass the results of a research study involving Spanish Master’s students with backgrounds in international law and international relations. This study aims to conceptualize what security means for young adults, with the concept of security being extracted from their own opinions. This is a qualitative investigation of students who are pursuing their studies in international and security fields. In their coursework, they study matters related to security, and therefore their opinions are well grounded. The results indicate that the concept of security is progressively more ambiguous and distant from those of conventional standards, where personal, economic, environmental, and border security (as well as other aspects of security) intertwine. The concept itself is increasingly more ambiguous and closer to the idea of human security. Young people have a greater perception of insecurity, and they demand more to ensure that the State and different institutions fulfill their responsibility of guaranteeing security. They also feel more committed to participating in different aspects that construct their very open sense of security. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Contemporary Politics and Society)
30 pages, 1156 KiB  
Article
Diverse Social Mobility Trajectories: Portrait of Children of New Immigrants in Taiwan
by Tzung-Ruei Tsou
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(4), 226; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12040226 - 10 Apr 2023
Viewed by 2230
Abstract
The present study examines the social mobility trajectories of children of new immigrants (those who have at least one new immigrant parent) in early adulthood (between the ages of 18 and 40) in Taiwan. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews and online surveys. [...] Read more.
The present study examines the social mobility trajectories of children of new immigrants (those who have at least one new immigrant parent) in early adulthood (between the ages of 18 and 40) in Taiwan. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews and online surveys. The findings demonstrate that there is no significant difference between the participating children of new immigrants and the general population in higher education attendance rate and annual income. Family socioeconomic status appears to be a significant factor in shaping their social mobility trajectories. Participants with a stable family financial situation are generally more advantaged, as seven out of eleven of them have graduated from a reputable university and have well-paid jobs. Nonetheless, there are some participants from a disadvantaged family background who have achieved upward mobility because their parents hold a positive attitude toward education and have found ways to support their education. There are other factors that have helped them overcome barriers posed by their family backgrounds such as supportive people, non-governmental organizations, and government policy. Although ethnic identity is trivial in this process generally, it is salient in certain situations thanks to relevant policy programs. The government’s recent emphasis on Southeast Asian languages and cultures and policy programs targeting children of new immigrants have made more choices available to them, which can be observed from their diverse social mobility trajectories. Full article
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19 pages, 2578 KiB  
Article
Analyzing Sociodemographic Factors Influencing Citizen Participation: The Case of Infrastructure Planning in Khon Kaen, Thailand
by Peeranun Panyavaranant, Thi Phuoc Lai Nguyen, Djoen San Santoso, Vilas Nitivattananon and Takuji W. Tsusaka
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(4), 225; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12040225 - 10 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1824
Abstract
While public participation (PP) is a legal requirement for mega projects in most countries, some PP processes are perceived as the ceremonial fulfilment of obligations without the adequate involvement of citizens. However, limited empirical studies have explored the individual factors of PP in [...] Read more.
While public participation (PP) is a legal requirement for mega projects in most countries, some PP processes are perceived as the ceremonial fulfilment of obligations without the adequate involvement of citizens. However, limited empirical studies have explored the individual factors of PP in infrastructural development. To bridge this knowledge gap, this study investigated the sociodemographic factors influencing citizen participation in the light rail transit (LRT) project in Khon Kaen, Thailand by using sequential mixed methods to quantify and gain an in-depth understanding of citizen participation. Proportionate stratified random sampling was employed to select 505 respondents for the survey with a semi-structured questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were applied to elaborate the respondents’ participation level (non-participation, tokenism, and citizen power), while multinomial logistic regression (MLR) was used to analyze seven sociodemographic attributes potentially associated with the participation categories. The results showed that the majority (67%) of the respondents participated at the medium level of participation (tokenism). The MLR analysis revealed that residential location, age, occupation, and income had significant effects on the likelihood of participation at a high (citizen power) level. Meanwhile, age and occupation had significant effects on medium participation behavior (tokenism). The findings shed light on how PP can potentially be enhanced through sociodemographic targeting when designing citizen involvement in infrastructure planning. Full article
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