Editor’s Choice Articles

Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of MDPI journals from around the world. Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to readers, or important in the respective research area. The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

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15 pages, 288 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Relational in Relational Wellbeing
by Sarah C. White and Shreya Jha
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(11), 600; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12110600 - 28 Oct 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2485
Abstract
This paper explores the different ways that relationships and the relational figure in the integrative approach, relational wellbeing (RWB). These are (1) conceptualising persons as relational subjects; (2) relationships as the means through which people seek to address a wide variety of needs; [...] Read more.
This paper explores the different ways that relationships and the relational figure in the integrative approach, relational wellbeing (RWB). These are (1) conceptualising persons as relational subjects; (2) relationships as the means through which people seek to address a wide variety of needs; (3) inter-relations between the experience of wellbeing and the underlying factors within persons and their contexts that either promote or undermine wellbeing; (4) relationships serving as conduits of power and the making of identities; and (5) inter-relations between the concepts and methods of research with representations of (persons and) wellbeing. The main thrust of the paper is theoretical, but it is anchored in long-standing research into wellbeing in the global South and practical experience in applying RWB in the global North. Empirically, it draws, in particular, on a case study from Zambia of a ‘meshwork’ of relations between birth and foster parents and children moving between households. This places the relational, rather than the individual, at the centre of analysis. It shows how different dimensions of wellbeing may coincide, but there may also be trade-offs between them. Relationships are bearers of power, and it is the interactions of structure and agency that ultimately limit or engender opportunities for sustained individual and collective wellbeing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Relational Wellbeing in the Lives of Young Refugees)
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16 pages, 318 KiB  
Article
Skilled Migrants and Their Encounters with Care and Employment Regimes: Childcaring among Highly Skilled Female Migrants from Korea in Germany
by Jaok Kwon
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(9), 477; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12090477 - 28 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 890
Abstract
By analysing the childcaring experiences of female skilled workers from South Korea (hereafter, Korea) in Germany, this paper maintains that the challenges in labour market participation for highly skilled women, and especially those with children, should be understood in the context of their [...] Read more.
By analysing the childcaring experiences of female skilled workers from South Korea (hereafter, Korea) in Germany, this paper maintains that the challenges in labour market participation for highly skilled women, and especially those with children, should be understood in the context of their encounters with similar and different care and employment regimes between their home and host countries. On the theoretical level, this research confirms the argument that the migration of highly skilled workers should be contextualized not from a neoclassical perspective in which the maximization of economic profits takes priority, but from an institutional point of view in which social and cultural norms, practices, and policies in both the home and host societies are taken into consideration. Specifically, through a series of in-depth interviews conducted with skilled female migrants from Korea, this paper highlights the significance of taking the function of similar and different caring and employment regimes into account in explaining the challenges faced by highly skilled migrant women in labour market participation. On the empirical level, this paper sheds light on the migration experiences of skilled women from Asia as well as the (dis)integration processes of newcomers from third-national countries in Germany, with a focus on female migrants from Korea. Full article
15 pages, 348 KiB  
Article
What ChatGPT Tells Us about Gender: A Cautionary Tale about Performativity and Gender Biases in AI
by Nicole Gross
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(8), 435; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12080435 - 01 Aug 2023
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 13271
Abstract
Large language models and generative AI, such as ChatGPT, have gained influence over people’s personal lives and work since their launch, and are expected to scale even further. While the promises of generative artificial intelligence are compelling, this technology harbors significant biases, including [...] Read more.
Large language models and generative AI, such as ChatGPT, have gained influence over people’s personal lives and work since their launch, and are expected to scale even further. While the promises of generative artificial intelligence are compelling, this technology harbors significant biases, including those related to gender. Gender biases create patterns of behavior and stereotypes that put women, men and gender-diverse people at a disadvantage. Gender inequalities and injustices affect society as a whole. As a social practice, gendering is achieved through the repeated citation of rituals, expectations and norms. Shared understandings are often captured in scripts, including those emerging in and from generative AI, which means that gendered views and gender biases get grafted back into social, political and economic life. This paper’s central argument is that large language models work performatively, which means that they perpetuate and perhaps even amplify old and non-inclusive understandings of gender. Examples from ChatGPT are used here to illustrate some gender biases in AI. However, this paper also puts forward that AI can work to mitigate biases and act to ‘undo gender’. Full article
19 pages, 5635 KiB  
Article
I Can Do: Co-Designing a Service with and for People with Dementia to Engage with Volunteering
by Kristina Niedderer, Isabelle Tournier, Laura Orton and Steve Threlfall
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(6), 364; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12060364 - 19 Jun 2023
Viewed by 3090
Abstract
This article reports on the co-development of the concept of a skills exchange service for people with early to mid-stage dementia. The service was co-designed with people with dementia, carers and professionals from the health, care and volunteer sectors in Greater Manchester, UK. [...] Read more.
This article reports on the co-development of the concept of a skills exchange service for people with early to mid-stage dementia. The service was co-designed with people with dementia, carers and professionals from the health, care and volunteer sectors in Greater Manchester, UK. The idea for the service arose from the recognition that it is important to people with dementia to be able to continue contributing to the life of others and to be valued for it, but that there is little support for people to do so. The initial data collection with stakeholders into opportunities and barriers in Greater Manchester provided key insights as a starting point for the service concept development. For its development, seven co-design workshops were held: two with people with dementia and five with carers and health, care and volunteer professionals. The outcome was the development of the concept and criteria of the I Can Do Pathway to support people with a dementia diagnosis in identifying their interests and strengths and to connect them with relevant volunteer opportunities. The article explains the transformative co-design process and its results, followed by a reflection of the insights of designing a new service within an existing service system. Full article
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30 pages, 1142 KiB  
Article
Returns to Relationships: Social Capital and Household Welfare in India
by Jaya Jha and Edward J. Kelley
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(3), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12030184 - 17 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2302
Abstract
Sociological scholarship, economic theory, and empirical studies all indicate that interpersonal relationships are valuable productive assets and deserve to be formally incorporated into the study of human development. This paper employs the India Human Development Survey to examine, using OLS and logistic regressions, [...] Read more.
Sociological scholarship, economic theory, and empirical studies all indicate that interpersonal relationships are valuable productive assets and deserve to be formally incorporated into the study of human development. This paper employs the India Human Development Survey to examine, using OLS and logistic regressions, the impact of different dimensions of social capital on multiple proxies for household welfare. Social capital in the form of memberships in local community organizations and social network connections has a statistically and economically significant association with household consumption expenditures, physical asset ownership, and the probability of a household living in poverty. Households that are members of any formal community organization are expected to have higher monthly per capita consumption expenditures than households without any memberships. Estimates of a similar magnitude are observed when modeling a household’s stock of physical assets, a longer-term indicator of economic welfare. These indicators of social capital are also significantly associated with lower odds of a household living below the poverty line. Organizational memberships and social networks are also associated with considerably higher odds of a household assessing its own economic situation positively. Overall, social capital is a catalyst for increasing household welfare along multiple dimensions, and, therefore, a critical area of focus for economists, sociologists, development practitioners, and policymakers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Economics)
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20 pages, 427 KiB  
Review
Intimate Partner Rape: A Review of Six Core Myths Surrounding Women’s Conduct and the Consequences of Intimate Partner Rape
by Caroline Lilley, Dominic Willmott, Dara Mojtahedi and Danielle Labhardt
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12010034 - 04 Jan 2023
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 5711
Abstract
The focus of this paper is to highlight and review the evidence surrounding common intimate partner rape (IPR) myths, their prevalence in society, and identify those who are most likely to endorse such beliefs. Six core IPR myths are discussed related to misconceptions [...] Read more.
The focus of this paper is to highlight and review the evidence surrounding common intimate partner rape (IPR) myths, their prevalence in society, and identify those who are most likely to endorse such beliefs. Six core IPR myths are discussed related to misconceptions surrounding (1) women’s decisions to remain in abusive relationships, (2) why women delay or never report IPR, (3) women’s perceived motivations when an IPR report is made, (4) a perceived lack of trauma that occurs as a consequence of this type of rape, (5) male sexual entitlement within intimate relationships, and (6) whether it is even possible to rape a marital partner. This article draws together a wealth of studies and research that evidence why such IPR myths are indeed factually inaccurate and examines how victims, justice professionals, police practitioners, and legal decision-makers endorsement of false beliefs pertaining to intimate partner rape serve to hinder various justice pathways. We discuss the consequences of rape mythology in so far as they create social barriers that prohibit the reporting of rape, impact the progression of an allegation through the criminal justice system and ultimately, obstruct rape victims’ access to justice. The review concludes by considering evidence regarding the possible benefits of education interventions in reducing the problematic influence of rape myths. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gendered Violence: Victim Perceptions and System Responses)
17 pages, 301 KiB  
Article
An Insider–Outsider Approach to Understanding the Prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation in Pusiga in the Upper East Region of Ghana
by Benedict Ekow Ocran and Godwin Agot Atiigah
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(11), 526; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11110526 - 16 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2774
Abstract
Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) as a form of gender-related violence continues to thrive within communities and across borders, with (under)reported prevalence among communities in the diaspora. Reports of FGM/C among communities in the diaspora speak to the socio-cultural and religious factors which promote [...] Read more.
Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) as a form of gender-related violence continues to thrive within communities and across borders, with (under)reported prevalence among communities in the diaspora. Reports of FGM/C among communities in the diaspora speak to the socio-cultural and religious factors which promote its prevalence. Successful interventions offer alternatives such as rites of passage to the socio-cultural-religious prospects offered by FGM/C to practicing communities. This suggests the need for a critical approach to research methods that engage intimately with the worldview of communities practicing FGM/C while inferring implications for designing health-promotion interventions in specific contexts. This paper draws on the insider and outsider approach to positionality to assess the factors accounting for the prevalence of FGM/C in Pusiga (3.8% nationally and 27.8% in Pusiga) in the Upper East Region of Ghana while inferring lessons for designing health promotion interventions. Applying a phenomenological qualitative design guided by focus groups and interviews, we draw on the insider approach to present a contextually and culturally sensitive report of five survivors, five non-survivors, and ten religious leaders on factors that account for the prevalence of FGM/C. Next, we assume an outsider approach to infer implications based on participants’ perspectives for designing health promotion interventions to curb FGM/C. The findings suggest shifting from socio-cultural-religious factors to economic undertones underpinning FGM/C. Inter-generational differences also vary attitudes toward FGM/C. We recommend a systematic approach to health promotion that addresses FGM/C’s deep socio-cultural and economic, religious underpinnings of FGM/C in Pusiga. The insider–outsider continuum in feminist research provides a powerful approach to producing knowledge on contextual factors that account for FGM/C in particular settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender-Related Violence: Social Sciences’ Research & Methods)
15 pages, 620 KiB  
Article
Building Consensus during Racially Divisive Times: Parents Speak Out about the Twin Pandemics of COVID-19 and Systemic Racism
by Wendy Luttrell, Mieasia Edwards and José Jiménez
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(10), 491; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11100491 - 21 Oct 2022
Viewed by 2096
Abstract
This paper utilizes narrative inquiry to examine the effect of COVID-19 on political resistance, focusing on education as a key site. Based on survey and interview data the paper considers parents’ perspectives about the impacts of COVID-19 and racial inequalities in their children’s [...] Read more.
This paper utilizes narrative inquiry to examine the effect of COVID-19 on political resistance, focusing on education as a key site. Based on survey and interview data the paper considers parents’ perspectives about the impacts of COVID-19 and racial inequalities in their children’s schooling. Two narrative types are constructed and analyzed: consensus narratives and parenting narratives that refute an overarching, manufactured political narrative in the United States of “divisiveness” about race and education, while also identifying the layers and complexities of individual parents’ everyday lives raising and educating children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Narratives of Resistance in Everyday Lives and the Covid Crisis)
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14 pages, 388 KiB  
Article
Inclusive Research and Intellectual Disabilities: Moving Forward on a Road Less Well-Travelled
by Patricia O’Brien, Edurne Garcia Iriarte, Roy Mc Conkey, Sarah Butler and Bruce O’Brien
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(10), 483; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11100483 - 17 Oct 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2888
Abstract
In reflecting on the title of the special issue: Inclusive Research: A road less or more well-travelled, this paper reviews the strengths of inclusive research that have augmented the global knowledge about the lives of people with intellectual disabilities across the lifespan. The [...] Read more.
In reflecting on the title of the special issue: Inclusive Research: A road less or more well-travelled, this paper reviews the strengths of inclusive research that have augmented the global knowledge about the lives of people with intellectual disabilities across the lifespan. The successes of inclusive research are outlined with the respective ongoing individual challenges discussed. Authors will draw upon their own experiences of inclusive research, together with the seminal and current literature, as well as the dialogue between them. The conclusions of the article are in the form of recommendations aimed at increasing the traffic on the road of inclusive research through: 1. expanding its purpose and parameters across all forms of disability research; 2. developing systems for sustaining inclusive research as a funded model; 3. creating capacity to enable people with intellectual disabilities to be employed as researchers directing research projects; and 4. establishing bridges and crossroads with policy and practice through its findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inclusive Research: Is the Road More or Less Well Travelled?)
15 pages, 352 KiB  
Perspective
Can the Sick Speak? Global Health Governance and Health Subalternity
by Tammam Aloudat
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(9), 417; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11090417 - 13 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4336
Abstract
Global Health Governance (GHG) uses a set of financial, normative, and epistemic arguments to retain and amplify its influence. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the GHG regime used its own successes and failures to prescribe more of itself while demanding further resources. However, the [...] Read more.
Global Health Governance (GHG) uses a set of financial, normative, and epistemic arguments to retain and amplify its influence. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the GHG regime used its own successes and failures to prescribe more of itself while demanding further resources. However, the consistent failures of this form governance and its appeasement to a dominant neoliberal ideology lead to the following question: Is the global health governance regime failing at its goal of improving health or succeeding at other political and ideological goals that necessitate such failures? Using concepts and ideas from social theory and post-colonial studies; I examine the definitions, epistemic basis, and drivers of GHG and propose certain conditions for the legitimacy of a global health governance system. Examining historical and current cases, I find that the GHG regime currently fails to fulfil such conditions of legitimacy and instead creates spaces that limit rather than help many populations it purports to serve. Those spaces of sickness confine people and reduce them into a state of health subalternity. In being health subalterns, people’s voices are neither sought nor heard in formulating the policies that determine their health. Finally, I argue that research and policymaking on global health should not be confined to the current accepted frameworks that assumes legitimacy and benevolence of GHG, and propose steps to establish an alternative, emancipatory model of understanding and governing global health. Full article
22 pages, 4535 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Dynamic Shock of Unconventional Monetary Policy Channels on Income Inequality: A Panel VAR Approach
by Lindokuhle Talent Zungu and Lorraine Greyling
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 369; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080369 - 18 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2193
Abstract
In response to the “Great Recession and Global Financial Crisis”, central banks had to deploy unconventional monetary policies (UMP) in order to fight the severe impact of the crisis. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine the dynamic shock of unconventional [...] Read more.
In response to the “Great Recession and Global Financial Crisis”, central banks had to deploy unconventional monetary policies (UMP) in order to fight the severe impact of the crisis. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine the dynamic shock of unconventional monetary policies through earning heterogeneity, income composition, and portfolio channels on income inequality in emerging economies covering the period 2000–2019, using the panel vector autoregressive (PVAR) model. A PVAR model was designed for this study because of its ability to address the dynamics of numerous entities considered in parallel. The findings suggest that the UMPs used by these countries’ central banks may have increased income inequality through all of the channels investigated in this study, as a shock to unconventional monetary policy results in a positive response in income inequality. Even when pre-tax income, held by the top 10%, is adopted to measure income inequality, the study yields similar results. It is evident that a central bank’s objective is and should be to fulfil its mandate of achieving maximum employment and price stability, thus bringing wide economic benefits. Thus, some forms of policies are more appropriate for addressing concerns about inequality (income policy or fiscal policy) than others. However, the current study alerts the central bank to the fact that monetary policies may have a wounding impact on income inequality. Therefore, the central banks should consider the cost of monetary policies on income inequality when drafting or implementing these kinds of policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Stratification and Inequality)
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13 pages, 296 KiB  
Article
‘Live with the Virus’ Narrative and Pandemic Amnesia in the Governance of COVID-19
by Mark David McGregor Davis
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(8), 340; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11080340 - 01 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3638
Abstract
Political leaders have commonly used the phrase ‘learn to live with the virus’ to explain to citizens how they should respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. I consider how the ‘live with the virus’ narrative perpetrates pandemic amnesia by refusing what is known about [...] Read more.
Political leaders have commonly used the phrase ‘learn to live with the virus’ to explain to citizens how they should respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. I consider how the ‘live with the virus’ narrative perpetrates pandemic amnesia by refusing what is known about pandemic-related inequities and the strategies that can be used to overcome these effects. Advice to ‘live with the virus’ helps to further austerity public policy and therefore individualises the social and health burdens of post pandemic life. ‘Live with the virus’ asks citizens to look only to their own futures, which are political strategies that might work for privileged individuals who have the capacity to protect their health, but less well for those with limited personal resources. I draw on Esposito’s framing of affirmative biopolitics and scholarship on how excluded communities have built for themselves health-sustaining commons in responses to pandemic threats to health. I argue that creating opportunities for a ‘COVID-19 commons’ that can enlarge capacity for citizenly deliberation on how they have been governed and other pandemic related matters is vital for the development of more ethical and equitable post-pandemic politics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Narratives of Resistance in Everyday Lives and the Covid Crisis)
23 pages, 2093 KiB  
Article
The Gender Gap in Income and the COVID-19 Pandemic in Ireland
by Karina Doorley, Cathal O’Donoghue and Denisa M. Sologon
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(7), 311; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11070311 - 17 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3014
Abstract
The gender income gap is large and well documented in many countries. Recent research shows that it is mainly driven by differences in working patterns between men and women but also by wage differences. The tax–benefit system cushions the gender income gap by [...] Read more.
The gender income gap is large and well documented in many countries. Recent research shows that it is mainly driven by differences in working patterns between men and women but also by wage differences. The tax–benefit system cushions the gender income gap by redistributing it between men and women. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented levels of unemployment in 2020 in many countries, with some suggestions that men and women have been differently affected. This research investigated the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the gender gap in income in Ireland. By using nowcasting techniques and microsimulation, we modeled the effect of pandemic-induced employment and wage changes on the market and disposable income. We showed how the pandemic and the associated tax–benefit support could be expected to change the income gap between men and women. Policy conclusions were drawn about future redistribution between men and women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dynamics of Gender Income Inequality)
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16 pages, 283 KiB  
Article
Green Lights and Red Flags: The (Im)Possibilities of Contextual Safeguarding Responses to Extra-Familial Harm in the UK
by Carlene Firmin and Jenny Lloyd
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(7), 303; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11070303 - 12 Jul 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3794
Abstract
Young people experience significant harm in a range of social contexts and from adults and peers unconnected to their caregivers. The recognition of this by policymakers in England, Scotland, and Wales has resulted in child protection policy frameworks increasingly requiring social work responses [...] Read more.
Young people experience significant harm in a range of social contexts and from adults and peers unconnected to their caregivers. The recognition of this by policymakers in England, Scotland, and Wales has resulted in child protection policy frameworks increasingly requiring social work responses to the extra-familial contexts where such harm occurs, as well as to the young people affected. This paper presents results from an embedded research project in which five local children’s social care departments used a Contextual Safeguarding framework to respond to this shifting policy direction. The data collected via ethnographic methods over three years included meeting and practice observations (n = 65), meeting participation (n = 334), reviews of young people’s case files (n = 122), interviews (n = 27) and focus groups (n = 33) with professionals, focus groups (n = 6), interviews (n = 2) and surveys (n = 78) with parents and young people, and analysis of local policies and procedures (n = 101). At two stages in the project, the researchers used this dataset to review the progress in each participant site against the Contextual Safeguarding framework. Reporting on the progress made across the five sites, this paper identifies elements of the system change that appeared most feasible or challenging. The results demonstrate four ways in which current policy reforms fall short in creating national contexts that are conducive to the implementation of Contextual Safeguarding, despite local progress towards this goal. The implications for the policy and practices are outlined, with fundamental questions asked of the statutory systems which need to protect, but all too often criminalise, young people abused beyond their front doors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Critical Child Protection Studies)
22 pages, 3345 KiB  
Article
Leaving No One Behind: A Photovoice Case Study on Vulnerability and Wellbeing of Children Heading Households in Two Informal Settlements in Nairobi
by Robinson Karuga, Rosie Steege, Inviolata Njoroge, Millicent Liani, Neele Wiltgen Georgi, Lilian Otiso, Nelly Muturi, Linet Atieno Okoth, Sally Theobald and Rachel Tolhurst
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(7), 296; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11070296 - 11 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3809
Abstract
Children heading households (CHH) in urban informal settlements face specific vulnerabilities shaped by limitations on their opportunities and capabilities within the context of urban inequities, which affect their wellbeing. We implemented photovoice research with CHHs to explore the intersections between their vulnerabilities and [...] Read more.
Children heading households (CHH) in urban informal settlements face specific vulnerabilities shaped by limitations on their opportunities and capabilities within the context of urban inequities, which affect their wellbeing. We implemented photovoice research with CHHs to explore the intersections between their vulnerabilities and the social and environmental context of Nairobi’s informal settlements. We enrolled and trained four CHHs living in two urban informal settlements—Korogocho and Viwandani—to utilise smartphones to take photos that reflected their experiences of marginalisation and what can be done to address their vulnerabilities. Further, we conducted in-depth interviews with eight more CHHs. We applied White’s wellbeing framework to analyse data. We observed intersections between the different dimensions of wellbeing, which caused the CHHs tremendous stress that affected their mental health, social interactions, school performance and attendance. Key experiences of marginalisation were lack of adequate food and nutrition, hazardous living conditions and stigma from peers due to the limited livelihood opportunities available to them. Despite the hardships, we documented resilience among CHH. Policy action is required to take action to intervene in the generational transfer of poverty, both to improve the life chances of CHHs who have inherited their parents’ marginalisation, and to prevent further transfer of vulnerabilities to their children. This calls for investing in CHHs’ capacity for sustaining livelihoods to support their current and future independence and wellbeing. Full article
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15 pages, 313 KiB  
Article
Cultural Identity in Bicultural Young Adults in Ireland: A Social Representation Theory Approach
by Mamobo Ogoro, Anca Minescu and Mairead Moriarty
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(6), 230; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11060230 - 24 May 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4997
Abstract
This research investigates the nature by which first- and second-generation Irish young adults of (1) African descent, (2) Asian descent, and (3) Eastern European descent explore their cultural identity(ies) through communicating and interpreting social representations relating to their ethnic and national cultures. Using [...] Read more.
This research investigates the nature by which first- and second-generation Irish young adults of (1) African descent, (2) Asian descent, and (3) Eastern European descent explore their cultural identity(ies) through communicating and interpreting social representations relating to their ethnic and national cultures. Using Social Representation Theory (SRT) and, more widely, Proculturation Theory as the theoretical underpinning, we examine how grown children of migrants construct their cultural identity(ies) by exploring external social representations. We conducted three separate in-depth focus groups for each continental group in virtual rooms on Zoom, lasting between 60 and 90 mins. A thematic analysis was pursued to understand how the participants discussed the representation of their cultural groups both in social and media-driven situations. The results indicated the overarching themes of Anchoring Irishness and Latent Media Representation, whereby participants communicated and dialogically explored their subjective interpretations of the social representations of their cultural groups which, in turn, may have informed their cultural identity(ies). Highlighting the dynamic nature of the cultural reality of Ireland and how it impacts generations after the initial migration period, this research highlights and exemplifies the importance of external social representations that serve to construct the multiple cultural identities of first- and second-generation migrants. Full article
19 pages, 328 KiB  
Article
Asian Australians’ Experiences of Online Racism during the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Alanna Kamp, Nida Denson, Rachel Sharples and Rosalie Atie
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(5), 227; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11050227 - 23 May 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 5809
Abstract
Between 13 November 2020 and 11 February 2021, an online national survey of 2003 Asian Australians was conducted to measure the type and frequency of self-identified Asian Australians’ experiences of racism during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey also aimed to gauge the relationships [...] Read more.
Between 13 November 2020 and 11 February 2021, an online national survey of 2003 Asian Australians was conducted to measure the type and frequency of self-identified Asian Australians’ experiences of racism during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey also aimed to gauge the relationships between racist experiences and targets’ mental health, wellbeing and sense of belonging. In this paper, we report findings on the type and frequency of online racist experiences and their associations with mental health, wellbeing and belonging. The survey found that 40 per cent of participants experienced racism during the COVID-19 pandemic. Within that group, 66 per cent experienced racism online. The demographic pattern of those most likely to experience online racism were younger age groups, males, those born in Australia, English speakers at home, non-Christians, and migrants who have been in Australia less than 20 years. Analysis also found a strong correlation between Asian Australians’ experiences of online racism and poor mental health, wellbeing and belonging. The relationship between experiencing racism, non-belonging and morbidity were more pronounced for those who experienced online racism compared to those who experienced racism in other offline contexts. This points to the corrosive nature of online racism on social cohesion, health and belonging. Full article
13 pages, 1801 KiB  
Article
Doing Research Inclusively: Understanding What It Means to Do Research with and Alongside People with Profound Intellectual Disabilities
by Catherine de Haas, Joanna Grace, Joanna Hope and Melanie Nind
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(4), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11040159 - 01 Apr 2022
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 10417
Abstract
Positive developments in inclusion in line with ‘Nothing about us without us’ have rarely extended to people with profound intellectual disabilities. Advances in inclusive research are in danger of leaving this group (and their families and allies) on the outside, with researchers relying [...] Read more.
Positive developments in inclusion in line with ‘Nothing about us without us’ have rarely extended to people with profound intellectual disabilities. Advances in inclusive research are in danger of leaving this group (and their families and allies) on the outside, with researchers relying on proxies at best, or more often omitting this group as ‘too difficult’ to include in the research process at all. This paper argues that finding a way for people with profound intellectual disabilities to belong in inclusive research is important. Using examples, small stories and photographs, it explores and illustrates potential ways to research with and alongside those with profound intellectual disabilities that celebrate different kinds of agency and personhood and that support relational autonomy. The paper concludes that rather than starting from how inclusive research is currently conceived, the starting point should be a deep knowledge of people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities. The way forward is likely to be an inclusive research culture that can accommodate ‘being with’ as core to its research approach. This will enable the voices of people with profound intellectual disabilities to inform the research in creating intersubjective knowledge together. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inclusive Research: Is the Road More or Less Well Travelled?)
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22 pages, 631 KiB  
Article
Subsidy Reform and the Transformation of Social Contracts: The Cases of Egypt, Iran and Morocco
by Georgeta Vidican Auktor and Markus Loewe
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(2), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11020085 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4840
Abstract
After independence, subsidies have been a cornerstone of the social contracts in the Middle East and North Africa. Governments spent heavily to reduce poverty and strengthen their legitimacy. Yet, subsidies became financially unsustainable and donors pressed for reforms. This article assesses reform processes [...] Read more.
After independence, subsidies have been a cornerstone of the social contracts in the Middle East and North Africa. Governments spent heavily to reduce poverty and strengthen their legitimacy. Yet, subsidies became financially unsustainable and donors pressed for reforms. This article assesses reform processes in Morocco, Egypt and Iran between 2010 and 2017, thus before sanctions against Iran were further tightened and before the COVID-19 pandemic. We show that even though the three countries had similar approaches to subsidisation, they have used distinct strategies to reduce subsidies and minimise social unrest—with the effect that their respective social contracts developed differently. Morocco tried to preserve its social contract as much as possible; it removed most subsidies, explained the need for reform, engaged in societal dialogue and implemented some compensatory measures, preserving most of its prevailing social contract. Egypt, in contrast, dismantled subsidy schemes more radically, without systematic information and consultation campaigns and offered limited compensation. By using repression and a narrative of collective security, the government transformed the social contract from a provision to a protection pact. Iran replaced subsidies with a more cost-efficient and egalitarian quasi-universal cash transfer scheme, paving the way to a more inclusive social contract. We conclude that the approach that governments used to reform subsidies transformed social contracts in fundamentally different ways and we hypothesize on the degree of intentionality of these differences. Full article
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12 pages, 272 KiB  
Article
Characteristics and Impacts of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence against Men in the DRC: A Phenomenological Research Design
by Ines Yagi, Judith Malette, Timothee Mwindo and Buuma Maisha
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(2), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11020034 - 20 Jan 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3495
Abstract
There is increased evidence of the existence of sexual violence against men and boys in many war-stricken areas. Yet, there are still discrepancies in understanding male victims’ experience in depth. Furthermore, limited research on sexual violence against men in the context of the [...] Read more.
There is increased evidence of the existence of sexual violence against men and boys in many war-stricken areas. Yet, there are still discrepancies in understanding male victims’ experience in depth. Furthermore, limited research on sexual violence against men in the context of the war in the Eastern Region of the Congo has been undertaken to date. As part of addressing this knowledge gap, a phenomenological study was conducted to shed light and understand the experience of male survivors of sexual violence. The participants were males who experienced sexual violence in the war. Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted. The findings show that participants experienced a wide range of psychological and physical wounds other than rape. Their experience during the event (s) falls under the umbrella term gender-based violence (GBV) which encompasses other forms of harmful acts against one’s will including sexual assault, genital mutilation, acts of penetration with different objects, and cultural inappropriate actions with intention to sexually harass and humiliate. The results show a wide and complex range of short and long-term impact on multiple levels. The findings add clarification and understanding to the controversial and taboo subject around conflict-related sexual violence against men in the Congo. They shed light on how the understanding of gender impacts participants’ masculine identity, their sexual victimization experience, and healing journey. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender-Related Violence: Social Sciences’ Research & Methods)
19 pages, 426 KiB  
Review
Framing Studies Evolution in the Social Media Era. Digital Advancement and Reorientation of the Research Agenda
by Pablo López-Rabadán
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11010009 - 27 Dec 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 10667
Abstract
Framing studies remain a powerful line of research in political communication. However, in recent years, coinciding with the emergence of social media, theoretical and operational advances have been detected, as well as a significant reorientation of its research agenda. The interaction between media [...] Read more.
Framing studies remain a powerful line of research in political communication. However, in recent years, coinciding with the emergence of social media, theoretical and operational advances have been detected, as well as a significant reorientation of its research agenda. The interaction between media and platforms such as Twitter or Facebook has built a clearly hybrid communicative environment and profoundly transformed the organization of public debate. This is the case, especially, with processes such as the setting of the public agenda or the construction of interpretive frames. Based on a systematic review of the international reference literature (2011–2021), this article analyses the influence of social media on the evolution of framing studies. Moreover, specifically, the beginning of a new stage of digital development is contextualized, and a triple research impact is explored. The main contributions of the text are that it (1) identifies advances in the theoretical and empirical organization of these studies; (2) explores its reorientation of content towards a greater balance between the analysis of media and political frames; and (3) reviews the recent experimental development of effects studies. Finally, the main challenges for future research in this field are detailed. Full article
20 pages, 338 KiB  
Article
Culture and Social Change in Mothers’ and Fathers’ Individualism, Collectivism and Parenting Attitudes
by Jennifer E. Lansford, Susannah Zietz, Suha M. Al-Hassan, Dario Bacchini, Marc H. Bornstein, Lei Chang, Kirby Deater-Deckard, Laura Di Giunta, Kenneth A. Dodge, Sevtap Gurdal, Qin Liu, Qian Long, Paul Oburu, Concetta Pastorelli, Ann T. Skinner, Emma Sorbring, Sombat Tapanya, Laurence Steinberg, Liliana Maria Uribe Tirado, Saengduean Yotanyamaneewong and Liane Peña Alampayadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(12), 459; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10120459 - 30 Nov 2021
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 8684
Abstract
Cultures and families are not static over time but evolve in response to social transformations, such as changing gender roles, urbanization, globalization, and technology uptake. Historically, individualism and collectivism have been widely used heuristics guiding cross-cultural comparisons, yet these orientations may evolve over [...] Read more.
Cultures and families are not static over time but evolve in response to social transformations, such as changing gender roles, urbanization, globalization, and technology uptake. Historically, individualism and collectivism have been widely used heuristics guiding cross-cultural comparisons, yet these orientations may evolve over time, and individuals within cultures and cultures themselves can have both individualist and collectivist orientations. Historical shifts in parents’ attitudes also have occurred within families in several cultures. As a way of understanding mothers’ and fathers’ individualism, collectivism, and parenting attitudes at this point in history, we examined parents in nine countries that varied widely in country-level individualism rankings. Data included mothers’ and fathers’ reports (N = 1338 families) at three time points in China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, and the United States. More variance was accounted for by within-culture than between-culture factors for parents’ individualism, collectivism, progressive parenting attitudes, and authoritarian parenting attitudes, which were predicted by a range of sociodemographic factors that were largely similar for mothers and fathers and across cultural groups. Social changes from the 20th to the 21st century may have contributed to some of the similarities between mothers and fathers and across the nine countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parenting in the 21st Century)
13 pages, 274 KiB  
Article
Producing Child-Centered Interventions: Social Network Factors Related to the Quality of Professional Development for Teachers of Autistic Students
by Elizabeth McGhee Hassrick, Jessica Suhrheinrich, Patricia Schetter, Allison Nahmias, Melina Melgarejo, Jennica Li, Jonas Ventimiglia, Yue Yu and Aubyn Stahmer
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(12), 453; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10120453 - 25 Nov 2021
Viewed by 3672
Abstract
Autistic students benefit from child-centered goals that align with evidence-based practices (EBPs) that meet their individualized needs, however, most teachers are not trained in how to implement autism-specific EBPs. The challenges do not lie with teachers alone. Professional development (PD) providers, such as [...] Read more.
Autistic students benefit from child-centered goals that align with evidence-based practices (EBPs) that meet their individualized needs, however, most teachers are not trained in how to implement autism-specific EBPs. The challenges do not lie with teachers alone. Professional development (PD) providers, such as district or regional autism experts who train and coach teachers on how to implement autism-specific EBPs, face barriers accessing the needed supports to conduct high-quality PD and lack experience with individualizing their methods for training and coaching teachers. When PD providers have networks of professional support, they can potentially gain access to resources to provide successful individualized coaching for teachers. No research has measured the impact of the social networks of PD providers on their performance as coaches in classrooms for teachers of autistic students. To test the hypothesis that social network resources can impact the performance of PD providers who coach teachers how to use EBPs for their autistic students, we conducted social network analysis with PD providers. Findings suggest that network factors were associated with the self-reported performance for PD providers. PD providers who have more people in their networks who were autism EBP experts, as well as more people in their networks who supported them with how to individualize their PD efforts to specific teachers or districts, had higher performance as teacher coaches. We discuss future research about how to support network development for PD providers and policy implications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child-Centric Approaches in Theory, Policy and Practice)
14 pages, 593 KiB  
Article
Gender and Financialization of the Criminal Justice System
by Lisa Servon, Ava Esquier and Gillian Tiley
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(11), 446; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10110446 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 6149
Abstract
(1) The increase in women’s mass incarceration over the past forty years raises questions about how justice-involved women experience the financial aspects of the criminal justice system. (2) We conducted in-depth interviews with twenty justice-involved women and seven criminal law and reentry professionals, [...] Read more.
(1) The increase in women’s mass incarceration over the past forty years raises questions about how justice-involved women experience the financial aspects of the criminal justice system. (2) We conducted in-depth interviews with twenty justice-involved women and seven criminal law and reentry professionals, and conducted courtroom observations in southeastern Pennsylvania. (3) The results from this exploratory research reveal that women’s roles as caregivers, their greater health needs, and higher likelihood of being poor creates barriers to paying fines and fees and exacerbates challenges in reentry. (4) These challenges contribute to a cycle of prolonged justice involvement and financial instability. Full article
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16 pages, 302 KiB  
Article
An Ethnographic Perspective of Well-Being, Salutogenesis and Meaning Making among Refugees and Asylum Seekers in the Gambia and the United Kingdom
by Brianne Wenning
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(9), 324; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10090324 - 27 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3525
Abstract
Research on refugees and asylum seekers largely focuses on the negative impacts that forced migration has on well-being. Though most individuals do not experience poor long-term mental health because of forced migration, less attention has been given to what factors promote positive well-being. [...] Read more.
Research on refugees and asylum seekers largely focuses on the negative impacts that forced migration has on well-being. Though most individuals do not experience poor long-term mental health because of forced migration, less attention has been given to what factors promote positive well-being. Using an ethnographic approach, I elucidate how the concept of salutogenesis can be applied to African refugees and asylum seekers living in the greater Serrekunda area of the Gambia and in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the United Kingdom. Specifically, I explore what resources impact on the sense of coherence construct and its three components—comprehensibility, manageability and meaningfulness—and how these are embedded in everyday discussions and understandings. In total, I spent twenty months conducting ethnographic fieldwork between the two sites and conducted forty individual interviews. Amongst my interlocutors, the three most common resources that people spoke positively about, particularly as it relates to meaning making, are work, education and religion. Further research in this area is crucial in order to identify, promote and strengthen those factors facilitating positive well-being amongst those who have been forcibly displaced. Full article
15 pages, 337 KiB  
Article
Determinants of the Arab Spring Protests in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya: What Have We Learned?
by Zahraa Barakat and Ali Fakih
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(8), 282; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10080282 - 23 Jul 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 11595
Abstract
This paper provides empirical evidence on the determinants of protest participation in Arab Spring countries that witnessed major uprisings and in which social unrest was most pronounced. Namely, this paper investigates the latter in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya using a micro-level data survey, [...] Read more.
This paper provides empirical evidence on the determinants of protest participation in Arab Spring countries that witnessed major uprisings and in which social unrest was most pronounced. Namely, this paper investigates the latter in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya using a micro-level data survey, the Arab Transformation Survey (2015). The findings of our probit regression analysis reveal that gender, trust in government, corruption concern, and social media usage have influenced the individual’s perception of protest activism. We find evidence that the role of economic factors was inconsistent, whereas political grievances were more clearly related to the motive to participate in the uprisings. We then control for country-specific effects whereby results show that citizens in each country showed different characteristics of participation. The findings of this research would set the ground for governments to better assess the health of their societies and be a model of governance in the Middle East. Full article
15 pages, 345 KiB  
Article
Detained during a Pandemic: Human Rights behind Locked Doors
by Justine N. Stefanelli
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(7), 276; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10070276 - 20 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3491
Abstract
Every year, thousands of people are detained in United States immigration detention centers. Built to prison specifications and often run by private companies, these detention centers have long been criticized by academics and advocacy groups. Problems such as overcrowding and lack of access [...] Read more.
Every year, thousands of people are detained in United States immigration detention centers. Built to prison specifications and often run by private companies, these detention centers have long been criticized by academics and advocacy groups. Problems such as overcrowding and lack of access to basic healthcare and legal representation have plagued individuals in detention centers for years. These failings have been illuminated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately impacted detained migrants. Against a human rights backdrop, this article will examine how the U.S. immigration detention system has proven even more problematic in the context of the pandemic and offer insights to help avoid similar outcomes in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crimmigration in the Age of COVID-19)
22 pages, 922 KiB  
Article
Non-Parental Investment in Children and Child Outcomes after Parental Death or Divorce in a Patrilocal Society
by Gretchen C. Perry
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(6), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10060196 - 27 May 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 5483
Abstract
Children rely on support from parental helpers (alloparents), perhaps especially in high-needs contexts. Considerable evidence indicates that closer relatives and maternal relatives are the most likely to provide this care, as inclusive fitness theory suggests, but whether this is equally true across different [...] Read more.
Children rely on support from parental helpers (alloparents), perhaps especially in high-needs contexts. Considerable evidence indicates that closer relatives and maternal relatives are the most likely to provide this care, as inclusive fitness theory suggests, but whether this is equally true across different family types and in culturally patrilocal societies requires investigation. This structured interview study (N = 208 respondents with 323 dependent children) focuses on who helps raise children in rural Bangladesh after the father’s or mother’s death, or divorce, in comparison to families with both parents present or the father temporarily a migrant laborer. Family types differed in where and with whom children resided, who served as their primary and secondary caregivers, and who provided material support, but mother’s kin played a major role, and were the primary providers of material resources from outside the child’s household in all family types. Despite the patrilineal ideology, only one-quarter of children of divorce lived with the father or his family, and even after the death of the mother, only 59% remained with father or other paternal kin. Household income varied by family type and was a strong predictor of child height and weight. The children of deceased mothers moved between successive caregivers especially frequently, and were uniquely likely to have no schooling. The typology of Bangladeshi society as patrilocal obscures the extent to which matrilateral family support children’s well-being. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Behavioral Ecology of the Family)
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20 pages, 274 KiB  
Article
Becoming White in a White Supremacist State: The Public and Psychological Wages of Whiteness for Undocumented 1.5-Generation Brazilians
by Kara Cebulko
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(5), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10050184 - 20 May 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4095
Abstract
This study draws on in-depth and longitudinal interviews with twenty-nine 1.5-generation Brazilian immigrants, all of whom can pass as white and experienced illegality in young adulthood. I argue that they benefit from what W.E.B. Du Bois calls “the public and psychological wages of [...] Read more.
This study draws on in-depth and longitudinal interviews with twenty-nine 1.5-generation Brazilian immigrants, all of whom can pass as white and experienced illegality in young adulthood. I argue that they benefit from what W.E.B. Du Bois calls “the public and psychological wages of whiteness”. That is, white and white-passing, undocumented 1.5-generation Brazilian men and women can largely navigate public space without being stopped, questioned, arrested, detained and/or deported. Additionally, they benefit psychologically—as they gain confidence due to perceived whiteness, even as their immigration status would render them vulnerable to exploitation in the labor market and deportation. These public and psychological wages of whiteness can facilitate social and material gains. I argue that there are three mechanisms by which they experience the wages of whiteness. First, whiteness brings assumed innocence. Second, white racial solidarity with other whites facilitates opportunities and protection. Third, some 1.5-generation Brazilians actively construct whiteness to accrue the public and psychological wages. These findings challenge the master status perspective of illegality and underscore the importance of an intersectional framework for understanding immigrants’ varied experiences with illegality, bringing to light the quotidian, gendered practices and identities that sustain the structures of white supremacy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immigration and White Supremacy in the 21st Century)
19 pages, 263 KiB  
Article
Unfinished Decriminalization: The Impact of Section 19 of the Prostitution Reform Act 2003 on Migrant Sex Workers’ Rights and Lives in Aotearoa New Zealand
by Calum Bennachie, Annah Pickering, Jenny Lee, P. G. Macioti, Nicola Mai, Anne E. Fehrenbacher, Calogero Giametta, Heidi Hoefinger and Jennifer Musto
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(5), 179; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10050179 - 19 May 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 7299
Abstract
In 2003, Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ) passed the Prostitution Reform Act 2003 (PRA), which decriminalized sex work for NZ citizens and holders of permanent residency (PR) while excluding migrant sex workers (MSWs) from its protection. This is due to Section 19 (s19) of [...] Read more.
In 2003, Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ) passed the Prostitution Reform Act 2003 (PRA), which decriminalized sex work for NZ citizens and holders of permanent residency (PR) while excluding migrant sex workers (MSWs) from its protection. This is due to Section 19 (s19) of the PRA, added at the last minute against advice by the Aotearoa New Zealand Sex Workers’ Collective (NZPC) as an anti-trafficking clause. Because of s19, migrants on temporary visas found to be working as sex workers are liable to deportation by Immigration New Zealand (INZ). Drawing on original ethnographic and interview data gathered over 24 months of fieldwork, our study finds that migrant sex workers in New Zealand are vulnerable to violence and exploitation, and are too afraid to report these to the police for fear of deportation, corroborating earlier studies and studies completed while we were collecting data. Full article
13 pages, 339 KiB  
Article
What about the “Social Aspect of COVID”? Exploring the Determinants of Social Isolation on the Greek Population during the COVID-19 Lockdown
by Evgenia Anastasiou and Marie-Noelle Duquenne
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10010027 - 18 Jan 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4954
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic, its duration, and its intensity are harbingers of demographic change. In the context of social demography, it is crucial to explore the social challenge emerging from the coronavirus disease. The main purpose of this study is (i) to explore the [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic, its duration, and its intensity are harbingers of demographic change. In the context of social demography, it is crucial to explore the social challenge emerging from the coronavirus disease. The main purpose of this study is (i) to explore the determinants that affected the population in Greece in terms of social isolation during the lockdown period and (ii) to examine possible differences in the assessment of the social isolation factors depending on whether individuals live in urban or rural areas or regions with relative geographical isolation. Field research was conducted with 4216 questionnaires during the first wave of COVID-19 (March to April 2020). Multivariate analysis methods were applied to detect the main factors that impacted the feeling of social isolation, and nonparametric tests were performed to detect possible differences between population groups. Despite the resistance shown to the spread of the disease, the Greek population totally complied with the measures of social distancing and thus was socially and psychologically affected. The results indicate that psychosomatic disorders, employment situations, changes in sleep habits, socialization on the Internet, demographic status, health concerns, and trust in government and the media response determine the Greeks’ social isolation feeling. Pandemic and confinement measures have consequences for individuals and social groups and may prejudice social cohesion at multiple levels. By understanding how the pandemic affected the societies, interventions and public policies may be implemented to ensure both social cohesion and populations’ wellbeing by addressing the social isolation feeling. Full article
15 pages, 992 KiB  
Article
The Visual Politics of the Alternative for Germany (AfD): Anti-Islam, Ethno-Nationalism, and Gendered Images
by Nicole Doerr
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10010020 - 14 Jan 2021
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 12051
Abstract
This article is an empirical investigation into the visual mobilization strategies by far-right political parties for election campaigns constructing Muslim immigrants as a “threat” to the nation. Drawing on an interdisciplinary theoretical approach of social movement studies and research on media and communication, [...] Read more.
This article is an empirical investigation into the visual mobilization strategies by far-right political parties for election campaigns constructing Muslim immigrants as a “threat” to the nation. Drawing on an interdisciplinary theoretical approach of social movement studies and research on media and communication, I focus on the far-right political party Alternative for Germany (AfD), which has produced several widespread inflammatory series of visual election posters featuring anti-Islam rhetoric, combined with provocative images of gender and sexuality. By approaching visual politics through a perspective on actors constructing visual forms of political mobilization, I show how far-right populist “movement parties” are supported by professional graphic designers commercializing extremist ideologies by creating ambivalent images and text messages. My findings on the AfD’s visual campaign politics document the instrumentalization and appropriation of the rhetoric of women’s empowerment and LGBT rights discourse, helping the AfD to rebrand its image as a liberal democratic opposition party, while at the same time, maintaining its illiberal political agenda on gender and sexuality. Visual representations of gender and sexuality in professionally created election posters served to ridicule and shame Muslim minorities and denounce their “Otherness”—while also promoting a heroic self-image of the party as a savior of white women and Western civilization from the threat of male Muslim migrants. By documenting the visual politics of the AfD, as embedded in transnational cooperation between different actors, including visual professional graphic designers and far-right party activists, my multimodal analysis shows how far-right movement parties marketize and commercialize their image as “progressive” in order to reach out to new voters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Global Rise of the Extreme Right)
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18 pages, 329 KiB  
Article
Making Sense of Murder: The Reality versus the Realness of Gang Homicides in Two Contexts
by Marta-Marika Urbanik and Robert A. Roks
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10010017 - 12 Jan 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4110
Abstract
Despite the proliferation of research examining gang violence, little is known about how gang members experience, make sense of, and respond to peer fatalities. Drawing from two ethnographies in the Netherlands and Canada, this paper interrogates how gang members experience their affiliates’ murder [...] Read more.
Despite the proliferation of research examining gang violence, little is known about how gang members experience, make sense of, and respond to peer fatalities. Drawing from two ethnographies in the Netherlands and Canada, this paper interrogates how gang members experience their affiliates’ murder in different street milieus. We describe how gang members in both studies made sense of and navigated their affiliates’ murder(s) by conducting pseudo-homicide investigations, being hypervigilant, and attributing blameworthiness to the victim. We then demonstrate that while the Netherland’s milder street culture amplifies the significance of homicide, signals the authenticity of gang life, and reaffirms or tests group commitment, frequent and normalized gun violence in Canada has desensitized gang-involved men to murder, created a communal and perpetual state of insecurity, and eroded group cohesion. Lastly, we compare the ‘realness’ of gang homicide in The Hague with the ‘reality’ of lethal violence in Toronto, drawing attention to the importance of the ‘local’ in making sense of murder and contrasting participants’ narratives of interpretation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Gang-Related Violence in the 21st Century)
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