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Societies, Volume 4, Issue 1 (March 2014), Pages 1-126

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Societies in 2013
Societies 2014, 4(1), 125-126; doi:10.3390/soc4010125
Received: 26 February 2014 / Accepted: 26 February 2014 / Published: 26 February 2014
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Abstract The editors of Societies would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2013. [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Open AccessArticle The Ghost-Image on Metropolitan Borders—In Terms of Phantom of the Opera and 19th-Century Metropolis Paris
Societies 2014, 4(1), 1-15; doi:10.3390/soc4010001
Received: 7 October 2013 / Revised: 16 October 2013 / Accepted: 20 December 2013 / Published: 27 December 2013
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Abstract
This paper reviews Gaston Leroux’s Phantom of the Opera in the context of the social and cultural changes of the metropolis Paris at the end of the 19th century. The Phantom of the Opera, a success in the literary world and widely
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This paper reviews Gaston Leroux’s Phantom of the Opera in the context of the social and cultural changes of the metropolis Paris at the end of the 19th century. The Phantom of the Opera, a success in the literary world and widely proliferated in its musical and film renditions afterward, is considered and interpreted mainly in the literary and artistic tradition. In this paper, however, this work will be considered from an urban sociological perspective, especially from that of Walter Benjamin, who developed the theory of the urban culture, focusing on the dreaming collectives at the end of the 19th century. Leroux’s novel can be regarded as an exemplary social form of the collective dreams of the period expressed in arts, architectures, popular stories and films and other popular arts. Given the premise that the dream images in the novel, so-called kitsch, reflect the fears and desires of the bourgeois middle class that were pathologized in the figure of the ghost, this paper reveals the cultural, social and transnational implications of the Ghost-Image in relation to the rapidly changing borders of the 19th century metropolis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ghost-towns: Cityscapes, Memories and Critical Theory)
Open AccessArticle Eurydice at Euston?: Walter Benjamin and Marc Augé Go Underground
Societies 2014, 4(1), 16-29; doi:10.3390/soc4010016
Received: 31 October 2013 / Revised: 24 December 2013 / Accepted: 24 December 2013 / Published: 3 January 2014
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Abstract
Taking as its point of departure Walter Benjamin’s repeatedly unsuccessful attempt to give spatial form to his past, this paper suggests that it is perhaps the contemporary French anthropologist, Marc Augé, who provides the most appropriate envisioning of a ‘map of memories’ in
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Taking as its point of departure Walter Benjamin’s repeatedly unsuccessful attempt to give spatial form to his past, this paper suggests that it is perhaps the contemporary French anthropologist, Marc Augé, who provides the most appropriate envisioning of a ‘map of memories’ in his brief writings on the Parisian métro system. For Augé, the labyrinthine subway network constitutes nothing less than a ‘memory machine’ in which lines and station names serve as mnemonics, recalling long-forgotten childhood encounters and experiences. Mirroring the cityscape above, places themselves unexplored, unknown, the serried toponyms of the métro become an incantation summoning forth the shades of the past. As Augé points out, those stations that provide opportunities to change lines are felicitously termed ‘correspondences’, a Baudelairean term that fascinated Benjamin and informed his key historiographical notion of the ‘dialectical image,’ the intersection and mutual illumination of past and present moments. For me, Augé’s highly suggestive reflections bring to mind my own memories of a London childhood around 1970. Looking at the London underground map today, I cannot but see the sites of many past meetings and partings, dots connected by lines forming complex figures, constellations of memory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ghost-towns: Cityscapes, Memories and Critical Theory)
Open AccessArticle Patterns of Intergroup Contact in Public Spaces: Micro-Ecology of Segregation in Australian Communities
Societies 2014, 4(1), 30-44; doi:10.3390/soc4010030
Received: 14 October 2013 / Revised: 3 December 2013 / Accepted: 20 December 2013 / Published: 7 January 2014
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Abstract
The use of public spaces can promote social cohesion and facilitate interpersonal interactions within the community. However, the ways racial and ethnic groups interact in public spaces can also reflect and influence informal segregation in the wider community. The present study aimed to
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The use of public spaces can promote social cohesion and facilitate interpersonal interactions within the community. However, the ways racial and ethnic groups interact in public spaces can also reflect and influence informal segregation in the wider community. The present study aimed to examine patterns of intergroup contact within public spaces in Victoria, Australia through short-term observation in four localities. Data were collected on within-group, intergroup and absence of contact for people from minority and majority groups. A total of 974 contacts were observed. Findings indicate that in the observed public spaces, people from visible minority groups tended to have no contact with others or to interact with people from other ethnic/racial groups. In contrast, those from the majority group tended to interact predominately with other majority group members. This suggests that majority group members are more likely to ‘self-segregate’ in public spaces than those from minority groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cross-racial and Cross-ethnic Personal and Group Relationships)
Open AccessArticle Neighborhood Danger, Parental Monitoring, Harsh Parenting, and Child Aggression in Nine Countries
Societies 2014, 4(1), 45-67; doi:10.3390/soc4010045
Received: 1 November 2013 / Revised: 17 December 2013 / Accepted: 10 January 2014 / Published: 22 January 2014
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Abstract
Exposure to neighborhood danger during childhood has negative effects that permeate multiple dimensions of childhood. The current study examined whether mothers’, fathers’, and children’s perceptions of neighborhood danger are related to child aggression, whether parental monitoring moderates this relation, and whether harsh parenting
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Exposure to neighborhood danger during childhood has negative effects that permeate multiple dimensions of childhood. The current study examined whether mothers’, fathers’, and children’s perceptions of neighborhood danger are related to child aggression, whether parental monitoring moderates this relation, and whether harsh parenting mediates this relation. Interviews were conducted with a sample of 1293 children (age M = 10.68, SD = 0.66; 51% girls) and their mothers (n = 1282) and fathers (n = 1075) in nine countries (China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, the Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, and the United States). Perceptions of greater neighborhood danger were associated with more child aggression in all nine countries according to mothers’ and fathers’ reports and in five of the nine countries according to children’s reports. Parental monitoring did not moderate the relation between perception of neighborhood danger and child aggression. The mediating role of harsh parenting was inconsistent across countries and reporters. Implications for further research are discussed, and include examination of more specific aspects of parental monitoring as well as more objective measures of neighborhood danger. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parenting, Aggressive Behavior in Children, and Our Violent World)
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Open AccessArticle Visualized and Interacted Life: Personal Analytics and Engagements with Data Doubles
Societies 2014, 4(1), 68-84; doi:10.3390/soc4010068
Received: 4 December 2013 / Revised: 14 January 2014 / Accepted: 6 February 2014 / Published: 18 February 2014
Cited by 35 | PDF Full-text (299 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A field of personal analytics has emerged around self-monitoring practices, which includes the visualization and interpretation of the data produced. This paper explores personal analytics from the perspective of self-optimization, arguing that the ways in which people confront and engage with visualized personal
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A field of personal analytics has emerged around self-monitoring practices, which includes the visualization and interpretation of the data produced. This paper explores personal analytics from the perspective of self-optimization, arguing that the ways in which people confront and engage with visualized personal data are as significant as the technology itself. The paper leans on the concept of the “data double”: the conversion of human bodies and minds into data flows that can be figuratively reassembled for the purposes of personal reflection and interaction. Based on an empirical study focusing on heart-rate variability measurement, the discussion underlines that a distanced theorizing of personal analytics is not sufficient if one wants to capture affective encounters between humans and their data doubles. Research outcomes suggest that these explanations can produce permanence and stability while also profoundly changing ways in which people reflect on themselves, on others and on their daily lives. Full article
Open AccessArticle On Heterogeneous and Homogeneous Networks in a Multilayered Reality: Clashing Interests in the Ethnic Enclave of Lloret de Mar
Societies 2014, 4(1), 85-104; doi:10.3390/soc4010085
Received: 10 November 2013 / Revised: 15 December 2013 / Accepted: 10 February 2014 / Published: 25 February 2014
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Abstract
Over the last decade, the tourist destination of Lloret de Mar (Gerona, Spain) has experienced an increasing concentration of souvenir stores owned by a population of Indian origin. Although Lloret de Mar is already a multicultural spot, Indians represent a small minority in
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Over the last decade, the tourist destination of Lloret de Mar (Gerona, Spain) has experienced an increasing concentration of souvenir stores owned by a population of Indian origin. Although Lloret de Mar is already a multicultural spot, Indians represent a small minority in Spain. In order to explain such a remarkable concentration and economic specialization in a low profit sector, we suggest the emergence of an ethnic enclave based on a triple articulation (entrepreneurs, employees and the local community). Our findings provide support for the mixed-embeddedness hypothesis, which contends that ethnic entrepreneurs in Europe need to rely on both the co-ethnic social networks and the linkages with the host society in order to run their business successfully. However, differential degrees of social integration amongst Indians themselves—clearly shown by the composition of their social networks—and between local dwellers and Indians suggest confronting interests amongst social agents in a highly complex and micro-social touristic site undergoing deep economic crisis. Throughout, a mixed-methods approach in the paper reveals the unequal social structure of the enclave, providing a better theoretical understanding of the difficulties and backgrounds in which minority migrant groups develop and expand their social relationships in the “host society”. Full article
Open AccessArticle Longitudinal Effects of Violent Media Usage on Aggressive Behavior—The Significance of Empathy
Societies 2014, 4(1), 105-124; doi:10.3390/soc4010105
Received: 12 September 2013 / Revised: 12 February 2014 / Accepted: 13 February 2014 / Published: 26 February 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (626 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study was to thoroughly investigate the link between violent media consumption and aggressive behavior. Using a large longitudinal student sample, the role of empathy as a possible mediator of this relationship was of special interest. Data were drawn from
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The aim of this study was to thoroughly investigate the link between violent media consumption and aggressive behavior. Using a large longitudinal student sample, the role of empathy as a possible mediator of this relationship was of special interest. Data were drawn from wave three to five of the Berlin Longitudinal Study Media, a four-year longitudinal control group study with 1207 school children. Participants completed measures of media usage (violent content of TV and computer games), aggressive behavior perpetration, and empathy. The average age of participants was 10.4 years at Time 1 and 12.4 years at Time 3. Half of the study sample was male (50%). Trivariate structural equation modeling using three measurement times were conducted for assessing the role of empathy as a mediator of the longitudinal relationship between the usage of violent media content and aggressive behavior. For male students empathic skills were shown to unfold a key mediating role between problematic media usage and aggressive behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding Media Violence Effects)

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