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Soc. Sci., Volume 3, Issue 1 (March 2014), Pages 1-192

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Social Sciences in 2013
Soc. Sci. 2014, 3(1), 140-141; doi:10.3390/socsci3010140
Received: 27 February 2014 / Accepted: 27 February 2014 / Published: 27 February 2014
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Abstract The editors of Social Sciences would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2013. [...] Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle Once You Are In You Might Need to Get Out: Adaptation and Adaptability in Volatile Labor Markets—the Case of Musical Actors
Soc. Sci. 2014, 3(1), 1-23; doi:10.3390/socsci3010001
Received: 13 September 2013 / Revised: 22 November 2013 / Accepted: 4 December 2013 / Published: 8 January 2014
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Abstract
The labor market for musical actors is very challenging for several reasons. On the one hand, it is difficult to acquire a position: qualification requirements are high, competition is fierce and reputation is difficult to build up. On the other hand, once [...] Read more.
The labor market for musical actors is very challenging for several reasons. On the one hand, it is difficult to acquire a position: qualification requirements are high, competition is fierce and reputation is difficult to build up. On the other hand, once in it is often necessary to get out: once being in, market demand for roles with a stage age above 45 drops dramatically and it becomes increasingly hard to stay healthy due to the threefold exposure to bodily strains of acting, dancing and singing. This labor market thus presents potentially interesting situations, in which the meaning of the concept resilience—in the sense of valuing preservation—can change fundamentally. While at the beginning of a career, the main challenge is often to adapt to market requirements, in the second half of a career it becomes increasingly important to become adaptable to a broader spectrum of opportunities, including exit scenarios. The paper generates empirically grounded ideal-typical accounts of the meaning of adaptation and adaptability for musical actors with a focus on the actors’ networking strategies, their professional identities, and the corresponding ways of perceiving and creating spaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Constructing Resilience, Negotiating Vulnerability)
Open AccessArticle Coping with Break-Ups: Rebound Relationships and Gender Socialization
Soc. Sci. 2014, 3(1), 24-43; doi:10.3390/socsci3010024
Received: 27 November 2013 / Revised: 18 January 2014 / Accepted: 22 January 2014 / Published: 27 January 2014
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Abstract
When serious romantic relationships are terminated, partners are faced with convoluted and complex challenges of detachment from their previous partner, negative feelings about the overall situation, and the need to move forward in life. When faced with this relational upheaval, some individuals [...] Read more.
When serious romantic relationships are terminated, partners are faced with convoluted and complex challenges of detachment from their previous partner, negative feelings about the overall situation, and the need to move forward in life. When faced with this relational upheaval, some individuals employ and find relief in superficial or noncommittal rebound relationships, which act as a means for coping with the loss of the previous relationship and the severed emotional attachment to an ex-partner, but which are under studied by empirical researchers. In a study of 201 participants, men were predicted and found to be more likely to enter rebound relationships in the aftermath of a relational termination based on lower levels of social support, more emotional attachment to an ex-partner, and displaying the ludus (or game playing) love style. In addition to the measures of these variables, gender socialization and parental investment theory provide further support for the study’s claims. In sum, rebound relationships were employed by men as a distraction from their feelings of emotional attachment for their ex-partner, but also as a source of support and due to inherent ludic characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Personal Relationships)
Open AccessArticle On Resilience
Soc. Sci. 2014, 3(1), 60-70; doi:10.3390/socsci3010060
Received: 13 September 2013 / Revised: 3 January 2014 / Accepted: 16 January 2014 / Published: 10 February 2014
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Abstract
This commentary reviews key themes posed by papers in this Special Issue and points to open questions. For example, does resilience in socio-technical systems degrade with use or, like immune systems, is resilience upgraded with use? Similarly, is resilience about responding in [...] Read more.
This commentary reviews key themes posed by papers in this Special Issue and points to open questions. For example, does resilience in socio-technical systems degrade with use or, like immune systems, is resilience upgraded with use? Similarly, is resilience about responding in the face of the rare event? Or, is it being prepared for the rare event? Is it useful to think about the evolution of resilience? What are the risks posed by models of risk? That is, do models to reduce vulnerability to risk, increase vulnerability? What is the role of reflexivity in the analysis of resilience? Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Constructing Resilience, Negotiating Vulnerability)
Open AccessArticle Limits of Religious Analogy: The Example of Celebrity
Soc. Sci. 2014, 3(1), 71-83; doi:10.3390/socsci3010071
Received: 24 November 2013 / Revised: 27 January 2014 / Accepted: 6 February 2014 / Published: 14 February 2014
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Abstract
Focusing on celebrities is often compared to a religious behavior, be it by the actors when describing their own practices or by scholars when using analogies with “cult”, “sacralization” or “sanctification”. Such comparisons appear to be both obvious and hardly convincing, since [...] Read more.
Focusing on celebrities is often compared to a religious behavior, be it by the actors when describing their own practices or by scholars when using analogies with “cult”, “sacralization” or “sanctification”. Such comparisons appear to be both obvious and hardly convincing, since they merely evoke, without analyzing or explaining. Moreover, they ignore the normative effects—be they positive or negative—produced by any kind of religious analogy. This paper proposes several paths toward a reasoned use of comparison with religion: extending comparison to differences and not only to resemblances; passing from “religion” in general to the plurality of religions; deconstructing the said “religious” phenomenon into several functions depending on contexts; replacing discontinuous categories by continuous typologies and, finally, “religion” conceived as an original matrix by “religion” conceived as a contextual configuration. “Religion” thus appears as a common sense notion rather than as a conceptual instrument, and analysis may then fully develop without being restricted by religious analogies, while comparison may be used as a real tool. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Social Sciences)
Open AccessArticle An Instrument to Investigate Expectations about and Experiences of the Parent-Child Relationship: The Parent-Child Relationship Schema Scale
Soc. Sci. 2014, 3(1), 84-114; doi:10.3390/socsci3010084
Received: 1 December 2013 / Revised: 30 January 2014 / Accepted: 10 February 2014 / Published: 18 February 2014
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Abstract
This paper explains the reasons for and process of creating and testing for reliability and constructing the validity of the Parent-Child Relationship Schema Scale (PCRSS). The instrument is based on the Model of Relationships Survey (MRS). However, where the MRS is an [...] Read more.
This paper explains the reasons for and process of creating and testing for reliability and constructing the validity of the Parent-Child Relationship Schema Scale (PCRSS). The instrument is based on the Model of Relationships Survey (MRS). However, where the MRS is an open-ended survey which takes 20–30 minutes to complete and longer to analyze, the PCRSS is a Likert scale survey which can be completed in less than half the time and offers more sophisticated analysis possibilities as well as new research opportunities. The paper explains the three-stage process used to create the PCRSS and the five tests of reliability and concurrent validity that it “passed”. We also discuss the potential for new areas of research about the parent-child relationship with the PCRSS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Personal Relationships)
Open AccessArticle Peer Influence and Attraction to Interracial Romantic Relationships
Soc. Sci. 2014, 3(1), 115-127; doi:10.3390/socsci3010115
Received: 27 November 2013 / Revised: 14 January 2014 / Accepted: 6 February 2014 / Published: 19 February 2014
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Abstract
The present research examined the effect of social influence on White, heterosexual individuals’ attraction to targets of varying races (White vs. Black) in two  college student samples from the United States (one that leaned politically liberal and one that leaned politically conservative). [...] Read more.
The present research examined the effect of social influence on White, heterosexual individuals’ attraction to targets of varying races (White vs. Black) in two  college student samples from the United States (one that leaned politically liberal and one that leaned politically conservative). Using a within-subjects experimental design, participants were given artificial peer evaluation data (positive, negative, or none) before providing ratings of attractiveness and dating interest for a series of targets. In both samples, positive information was associated with greater levels of attraction and dating interest than negative information, regardless of target race. Within the conservative sample, participants reported greater attraction toward and more dating interest in White targets relative to Black targets, while in the liberal sample, participants’ ratings of targets did not significantly differ from one another. These findings suggest that social influence can affect perceptions of attractiveness even in very different political climates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Personal Relationships)
Open AccessArticle Performance of Survey Forecasts by Professional Analysts: Did the European Debt Crisis Make it Harder or Perhaps Even Easier?
Soc. Sci. 2014, 3(1), 128-139; doi:10.3390/socsci3010128
Received: 20 December 2013 / Revised: 9 January 2014 / Accepted: 14 February 2014 / Published: 21 February 2014
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Abstract
As the future movements of financial time series like the European Central Bank’s benchmark rate are exposed to uncertainty, financial market participants regularly have to rely on professional analysts’ forecasts. Not surprisingly—and for decades already—the quality of survey forecasts has been evaluated, [...] Read more.
As the future movements of financial time series like the European Central Bank’s benchmark rate are exposed to uncertainty, financial market participants regularly have to rely on professional analysts’ forecasts. Not surprisingly—and for decades already—the quality of survey forecasts has been evaluated, with heterogeneous results. In addition, forecasters’ performance can change through the course of time. This may happen not only due to wrong or inadequate underlying models. Especially in times of financial turmoil or monetary crisis—like the European debt crisis—the interest rate moves made by central bankers may become even harder to predict (at least the direct reaction to the crisis). Because of this, we evaluate the performance of survey forecasts for the three months rate in the Euro zone performed by financial professionals and test for structural breaks to evidence for crisis related changes and the corresponding forecast errors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Eurozone Crisis: A Multidisciplinary Perspective)
Open AccessArticle Local Constructions of Vulnerability and Resilience in the Context of Climate Change. A Comparison of Lübeck and Rostock
Soc. Sci. 2014, 3(1), 142-159; doi:10.3390/socsci3010142
Received: 16 September 2013 / Revised: 4 January 2014 / Accepted: 14 February 2014 / Published: 28 February 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (421 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Climate change is globally defined as a “reality”. This does not mean however that the way in which it is understood is the same all over the world. Rather, perceptions may differ at different places and times, even if physical and geographical [...] Read more.
Climate change is globally defined as a “reality”. This does not mean however that the way in which it is understood is the same all over the world. Rather, perceptions may differ at different places and times, even if physical and geographical conditions are similar. For the time being, this phenomenon has not been dealt with on a theoretical-conceptual level. The article will address this desiderate. Based on the approaches of social constructivism as well as actor-network theory, a theoretical concept will be suggested as a heuristic model for empirical analysis. By the examples of Lübeck and Rostock, two cities on Germany’s Baltic coast, it will be shown that climate change related perceptions of vulnerability and resilience may build on physical-material aspects but that they are above all considerably interwoven with specific cultural and social patterns of interpretation. In the framework of the local discourse in Lübeck, it is the strong Hanseatic tradition which consumes the climate change issue, whereas in Rostock it is the problems and historical breaks of a transformation society which shape the way of viewing climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Constructing Resilience, Negotiating Vulnerability)
Open AccessArticle The Eurozone Crisis: Psychological Mechanisms Undermining and Supporting European Solidarity
Soc. Sci. 2014, 3(1), 160-171; doi:10.3390/socsci3010160
Received: 27 January 2014 / Revised: 24 February 2014 / Accepted: 3 March 2014 / Published: 10 March 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (79 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Europe has become a vivid example of intergroup dynamics with all the risks and chances it holds for peaceful and respectful co-existence. While Europe as a superordinate social category has the capability of solidarity between its subcategories (i.e., nations), negative [...] Read more.
Europe has become a vivid example of intergroup dynamics with all the risks and chances it holds for peaceful and respectful co-existence. While Europe as a superordinate social category has the capability of solidarity between its subcategories (i.e., nations), negative emotions and behaviors among the countries’ citizens have become more prevalent throughout the emerging crisis. This article aims to analyze the psychological outcomes (i.e., negative attitudes) following on from the structural and economic imbalances within the European Union. More precisely, we argue that political reactions towards the Euro crisis facilitated routes to nationalism and thereby fostered supremacy in a few countries. This perceived supremacy of some countries, in turn, legitimized negative reactions towards others. Based on predictions from a social identity perspective, we describe how these processes perpetuate themselves. We also suggest strategies that might prevent the idea of a common Europe from failing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Eurozone Crisis: A Multidisciplinary Perspective)
Open AccessArticle Your Resilience is My Vulnerability: ‘Rules in Use’ in a Local Water Conflict
Soc. Sci. 2014, 3(1), 172-192; doi:10.3390/socsci3010172
Received: 12 September 2013 / Revised: 14 February 2014 / Accepted: 3 March 2014 / Published: 11 March 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (262 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper uses an empirical analysis of a water conflict in the German state of Brandenburg to explore diverse constructions of vulnerability to water scarcity by local stakeholders. It demonstrates how, in the absence of effective formal institutions, these constructions are getting [...] Read more.
This paper uses an empirical analysis of a water conflict in the German state of Brandenburg to explore diverse constructions of vulnerability to water scarcity by local stakeholders. It demonstrates how, in the absence of effective formal institutions, these constructions are getting translated into conflictual resilience strategies practiced by these stakeholders, creating situations in which “your resilience is my vulnerability”. The novel contribution of the paper to resilience research is threefold. Firstly, it illustrates how the vulnerability and resilience of a socio-ecological system—such as small catchment—are socially constructed; that is, how they are not given but rather the product of stakeholders’ perceptions of threats and suitable responses to them. Secondly, the paper emphasizes the role of institutions—both formal and informal—in framing these vulnerability constructions and resilience strategies. Particular attention is paid to the importance of informal ‘rules in use’ emerging in the wake of (formal) ‘institutional voids’ and how they work against collective solutions. Thirdly, by choosing a small-scale, commonplace dispute to study vulnerability and resilience, the paper seeks to redress the imbalance of resilience research (and policy) on dramatic disaster events by revealing the relevance of everyday vulnerabilities, which may be less eye-catching but are far more widespread. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Constructing Resilience, Negotiating Vulnerability)

Other

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Open AccessProject Report Intercorrelations of Intimacy and Identity Dating Goals with Relationship Behaviors and Satisfaction among Young Heterosexual Couples
Soc. Sci. 2014, 3(1), 44-59; doi:10.3390/socsci3010044
Received: 26 November 2013 / Revised: 20 January 2014 / Accepted: 22 January 2014 / Published: 29 January 2014
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Abstract
Goals indicate what individuals are working towards in their present lives and what they want to achieve or avoid. In this study of 87 young, unmarried couples (age 17 to 25 years), intimacy and identity dating goals were assessed to investigate couple [...] Read more.
Goals indicate what individuals are working towards in their present lives and what they want to achieve or avoid. In this study of 87 young, unmarried couples (age 17 to 25 years), intimacy and identity dating goals were assessed to investigate couple similarity in goals, associations between personal goals and relationship behaviors, and whether goals and behavior were associated with relationship satisfaction. Couples were similar in their intimacy goals but not their identity goals. As expected, intimacy goals were associated with behaviors when reported by the partner, including greater warmth, autonomy support and structure, and less rejection. One’s own intimacy goals and the positive behaviors of one’s partner, but not one’s own identity goals or the goals of the partner, were uniquely associated with relationship satisfaction. The findings suggest that individual differences in dating goals are relevant to understanding how young people behave with their partners, and why some individuals are more or less satisfied with their relationships. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Personal Relationships)

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