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Soc. Sci., Volume 6, Issue 1 (March 2017)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Social Sciences in 2016
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 6; doi:10.3390/socsci6010006
Received: 10 January 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2017 / Accepted: 10 January 2017 / Published: 10 January 2017
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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 2016.[...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Why Take Young Children Outside? A Critical Consideration of the Professed Aims for Outdoor Learning in the Early Years by Teachers from England and Wales
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 1; doi:10.3390/socsci6010001
Received: 10 August 2016 / Revised: 16 December 2016 / Accepted: 18 December 2016 / Published: 22 December 2016
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Abstract
This comparative study between Wales and England was undertaken to better understand what influences or drives the professed aims for outdoor provision of early years teachers; specifically the extent to which professed aims reflect the research-based literature common to both countries, and/or statutory
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This comparative study between Wales and England was undertaken to better understand what influences or drives the professed aims for outdoor provision of early years teachers; specifically the extent to which professed aims reflect the research-based literature common to both countries, and/or statutory curricular, which differs in each country. The research gathered quantitative and qualitative data through an online survey. Participants were teachers of children aged four to five years working in the respective country’s University partnership schools. Partnership schools are those who work with the University to train teachers. The findings suggest Welsh teachers aim and plan to use their outdoor spaces explicitly for curriculum-related learning more so than their English counterparts who appear not to identify such specific curriculum-related learning outcomes but to emphasise personal/social/dispositional aspects of development for young children when outside. This research indicates how the divergence of education-related policy and curriculum appears to have impacted upon the way practitioners express their aims for outdoor learning in England and Wales. The values underpinning the relative curricular documentation appear to emerge in the intended practice of early years teachers in both countries. The values underpinning the academic discourse related to provision for outdoor activity is much less prominent in the responses to the surveys from English and Welsh teachers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Equality and Social Inclusion: The Role of Education)
Open AccessArticle Planning a Career in Engineering: Parental Effects on Sons and Daughters
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 2; doi:10.3390/socsci6010002
Received: 20 July 2016 / Revised: 6 October 2016 / Accepted: 23 December 2016 / Published: 4 January 2017
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Abstract
This paper examines the extent to which prospective engineers follow in their parents’ footsteps. Specifically, we investigate the connection between fathers’ and mothers’ employment in the engineering profession and the career plans of sons and daughters. We develop a number of reasons to
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This paper examines the extent to which prospective engineers follow in their parents’ footsteps. Specifically, we investigate the connection between fathers’ and mothers’ employment in the engineering profession and the career plans of sons and daughters. We develop a number of reasons to expect an occupation-specific intergenerational association in this field, as well as hypotheses regarding gender-specific role-modeling. Data are drawn from the UCLA HERI Freshman Survey data spanning 1971 to 2011. The results point to clear and substantial effects on sons and daughters’ plans to pursue engineering, connections that cannot be explained by typical pathways such as social background, education and values. The evidence points to a pattern of increasing salience of mothers with respect to the career plans of their children, especially their daughters. The implications of these findings for the under-representation of women in engineering and for gender-specific family dynamics are discussed in the conclusion. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Politics of Race, Administrative Appeals, and Medicaid Disenrollment in Tennessee
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 3; doi:10.3390/socsci6010003
Received: 29 August 2016 / Revised: 22 December 2016 / Accepted: 26 December 2016 / Published: 4 January 2017
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Abstract
In 2004, Democratic Governor Philip Bredesen of Tennessee announced a plan to reform TennCare, the state’s Medicaid program. The reform package proposed to remove 323,000 adults from the program, which represented the most drastic cuts to Medicaid since its creation in 1965. The
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In 2004, Democratic Governor Philip Bredesen of Tennessee announced a plan to reform TennCare, the state’s Medicaid program. The reform package proposed to remove 323,000 adults from the program, which represented the most drastic cuts to Medicaid since its creation in 1965. The reform measure also allowed beneficiaries disenrolled from the program to appeal the decisions to the state Department of Human Services. This study examines how race and policy backlash—that is the backlash against Medicaid expansion—influenced the appellate process for beneficiaries removed from the program in Tennessee. The main argument is that race—especially the predisposition of African Americans—influenced the outcome of the appellate proceedings. The theoretical framework advanced in this study explains how procedural deliberations (legal decisions, policy disputes, administrative hearings) exacerbate disparities and produce differential outcomes that correspond with racial and other ascriptive hierarchies. The data for this research, comprising more than 60,000 former TennCare beneficiaries, were obtained through Open Records Requests in compliance with Tennessee state law. Using logistic regressions, the findings reveal a relationship between race and appellate proceedings. African Americans were treated unfairly in the early stage of the appellate process and those from racially polarized voting areas were less likely to receive fair rulings by hearing examiners. Additional findings identified age-related disparities between younger and older appellants, as well as a regional disadvantage between rural and urban beneficiaries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Backlash: Contemporary Obstructions to Social Justice)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Malthus and the Philanthropists, 1764–1859: The Cultural Circulation of Political Economy, Botany, and Natural Knowledge
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 4; doi:10.3390/socsci6010004
Received: 16 July 2016 / Revised: 1 December 2016 / Accepted: 3 January 2017 / Published: 10 January 2017
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Abstract
Modernity does not possess a monopoly on mass incarceration, population fears, forced migration, famine, or climatic change. Indeed, contemporary and early modern concerns over these matters have extended interests in Thomas Malthus. Yet, despite extensive research on population issues, little work explicates the
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Modernity does not possess a monopoly on mass incarceration, population fears, forced migration, famine, or climatic change. Indeed, contemporary and early modern concerns over these matters have extended interests in Thomas Malthus. Yet, despite extensive research on population issues, little work explicates the genesis of population knowledge production or how the process of intellectual transfer occurred during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. This paper examines the Delessert network’s instrumental role in cultivating, curating, and circulating knowledge that popularized Malthusian population theory, including the theory’s constitutive elements of political economy, philanthropy, industry, agriculture, and botany. I show how deviant, nonconformist groups suffered forced migration for their political philosophy, particularly during the revolutionary 1790s, resulting in their imprisonment and migration to America. A consequence of these social shifts was the diffusion and dissemination of population theory—as a pursuit of scientific knowledge and exploration—across both sides of the Atlantic. By focusing on the Delesserts and their social network, I find that a byproduct of inter and intra continental migration among European elites was a knowledge exchange that stimulated Malthus’s thesis on population and Genevan Augustin Pyramus Candolle’s research on botany, ultimately culminating in Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection and human evolution. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Influence of Religiosity on Moral Judgment in Sport
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 5; doi:10.3390/socsci6010005
Received: 29 October 2016 / Revised: 23 December 2016 / Accepted: 5 January 2017 / Published: 10 January 2017
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Abstract
The creation of a much clearer view on religiosity-morality relations was the basic goal of the present study. Another goal was to examine the impact of factors (gender, type of sports) that possibly effect the formation of moral content judgment and parts of
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The creation of a much clearer view on religiosity-morality relations was the basic goal of the present study. Another goal was to examine the impact of factors (gender, type of sports) that possibly effect the formation of moral content judgment and parts of religiosity within a sport environment. The participants were 258 athletes of the Christian Orthodox faith (180 males and 78 females). All participants were involved in the fourteen sports. They filled out the Moral Content Judgment in Sport Questionnaire (MCJSQ), the Santa Clara Strength of Religious Faith Questionnaire (SCSRFQ), and the Religious Schema Scale (RSS). Results showed an effect of gender and type of sports on moral judgment and religiosity, respectively. Results also revealed the predicting ability of religiosity on moral judgment with religious schemas presenting more intense participation than that of religious faith. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Prisons as Panacea or Pariah? The Countervailing Consequences of the Prison Boom on the Political Economy of Rural Towns
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 7; doi:10.3390/socsci6010007
Received: 24 June 2016 / Revised: 16 November 2016 / Accepted: 21 November 2016 / Published: 12 January 2017
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Abstract
The nascent literature on prison proliferation in the United States typically reveals negative impacts for communities of color. Given that Southern rural communities were the most likely to build during the prison boom (1970–2010), however, a more nuanced understanding of prison impact is
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The nascent literature on prison proliferation in the United States typically reveals negative impacts for communities of color. Given that Southern rural communities were the most likely to build during the prison boom (1970–2010), however, a more nuanced understanding of prison impact is warranted. Using a dataset matching and geocoding all 1663 U.S. prisons with their Census-appointed place, this study explores the countervailing consequences of the prison boom on rural towns across multiple periods. For example, locales that adopted prisons at earlier stages of the prison boom era received a short-term boom compared to those that did not, but these effects were not lasting. Furthermore, later in the boom, prison-building protected towns against additional economic decline. Thus, neither entirely pariah nor panacea, the prison functions as a state-sponsored public works program for disadvantaged rural communities but also supports perverse economic incentives for prison proliferation. Methodological, substantive, theoretical, and policy implications regarding the intersection of race and punishment are explored. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Transnationalism and Financial Crisis: The Hampered Migration Projects of Female Domestic Workers in Spain
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 8; doi:10.3390/socsci6010008
Received: 17 October 2016 / Revised: 1 January 2017 / Accepted: 4 January 2017 / Published: 13 January 2017
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Abstract
The importance of transnational migration projects for international development has been increasingly recognized over the past decades. Migrants who move from the Global South or East to work in low-wage sectors such as construction, agriculture or domestic services in wealthier countries may contribute
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The importance of transnational migration projects for international development has been increasingly recognized over the past decades. Migrants who move from the Global South or East to work in low-wage sectors such as construction, agriculture or domestic services in wealthier countries may contribute both to growth in the receiving countries and socio-economic development in their countries of origin. Parallel to scholarship on migration and development, research on the transnationalization of domestic work generally assumes that growing care needs and increasing demand for private household services in Western societies imply a continuing demand for migrant labour. However, since the global financial crisis broke out in 2008, unemployment among migrant workers has increased dramatically in many immigrant-receiving countries, Spain being among the most severely affected. Job destruction has so far been lower in the domestic sector than in other sectors occupying large numbers of migrant workers. Yet, we find that migrant domestic workers in Spain are affected by the recession both in terms of unemployment or underemployment and deteriorating job conditions, with transnational consequences such as loss of remittances. Many migrants find themselves in a situation of “standby,” trying to subsist while waiting for the recession to end. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Marriage Formation in Context: Four Decades in Comparative Perspective
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 9; doi:10.3390/socsci6010009
Received: 28 August 2016 / Revised: 23 December 2016 / Accepted: 11 January 2017 / Published: 17 January 2017
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Abstract
Marriage formation is deeply embedded in societal context. This study documents trends towards lower marriage rates and delayed marriage in Europe and the US. Using time series analyses, it shows the relevance of economic and gender context in understanding marriage formation. The study
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Marriage formation is deeply embedded in societal context. This study documents trends towards lower marriage rates and delayed marriage in Europe and the US. Using time series analyses, it shows the relevance of economic and gender context in understanding marriage formation. The study extends previous work by including more countries, a longer time period, and by examining changes in predictors of marriage patterns over time. Analyses show that the association between economic context and marriage rates weakens over time, but the role of gender equality and policy context remain stable. Differences in age at first marriage across policy clusters are diminishing. Although greater gender equality is consistently linked to later marriage entry, the link between economic context and age at first marriage is changing. Changes in predictors of cross-national marriage patterns over time strongly suggest the institution of marriage itself is changing. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The #nofilter Self: The Contest for Authenticity among Social Networking Sites, 2002–2016
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 10; doi:10.3390/socsci6010010
Received: 29 September 2016 / Revised: 7 January 2017 / Accepted: 12 January 2017 / Published: 20 January 2017
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Abstract
This study traces appeals to authenticity, over time, in the promotional material of leading social-networking sites (SNSs). Using the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, the public-facing websites of major SNS platforms—beginning with Friendster in 2002—were sampled at six-month intervals, with promotional language and visuals
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This study traces appeals to authenticity, over time, in the promotional material of leading social-networking sites (SNSs). Using the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, the public-facing websites of major SNS platforms—beginning with Friendster in 2002—were sampled at six-month intervals, with promotional language and visuals examined for authenticity claims. The authors tracked these appeals, with attention to changes in promotional copy, through to July 2016, among the most popular social media services (as determined by English-language web presence and active monthly user figures or, when unavailable, reported network size). The study found that nearly all SNSs invoked authenticity—directly or through language like “real life” and “genuine”—in their promotional materials. What stood out was the profoundly reactive nature of these claims, with new services often defining themselves, openly or implicitly, against legacy services’ inauthenticity. A recurring marketing strategy, in other words, has been to call out competitors’ phoniness by substituting (and touting) some other, differently grounded mode of authenticity. Since the affordances of social sites, even those touting evanescence or anonymity, make them vulnerable to similar charges, the cycle gets replayed with numbing regularity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Media, Internet and Society)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle When Care and Concern Are Not Enough: School Personnel’s Development as Allies for Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Students
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 11; doi:10.3390/socsci6010011
Received: 30 September 2016 / Revised: 17 January 2017 / Accepted: 20 January 2017 / Published: 25 January 2017
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Abstract
Trans people—and particularly trans youth—have come to the forefront of political and educational discussions, especially as legislation has aimed to ensure that school personnel act as enforcers of state-level policies targeting trans youth. For this reason, and because research demonstrates that youth in
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Trans people—and particularly trans youth—have come to the forefront of political and educational discussions, especially as legislation has aimed to ensure that school personnel act as enforcers of state-level policies targeting trans youth. For this reason, and because research demonstrates that youth in schools form attachments to and receive support from school personnel, our research looks at school personnel’s development as allies. By analyzing focus group data following a training workshop, we explore how participants understand their roles as allies to trans and gender non-conforming youth. We found that trans issues were salient and participants expressed new knowledge about and openness towards transgender youth, as well as care and concern for their wellbeing. Nonetheless, many participants retained frames of understanding that relied on trans people as Other and that situated their roles as allies through the frameworks of protection and care. We argue that these understandings of trans youth and the role of allies reinforces cisnormativity, and we push for a more nuanced understanding of allyship that moves beyond knowledge, beliefs, attitudes and intended behaviors as markers of allyship to ensure that allies do not reproduce cisnormativity even in their support of trans and gender non-conforming youth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transgender Youth: Focusing on the “T” in LGBT Studies)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Queer in STEM Organizations: Workplace Disadvantages for LGBT Employees in STEM Related Federal Agencies
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 12; doi:10.3390/socsci6010012
Received: 1 September 2016 / Revised: 22 December 2016 / Accepted: 14 January 2017 / Published: 4 February 2017
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Abstract
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals in U.S. workplaces often face disadvantages in pay, promotion, and inclusion and emergent research suggests that these disadvantages may be particularly pernicious within science and engineering environments. However, no research has systematically examined whether LGBT employees
[...] Read more.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals in U.S. workplaces often face disadvantages in pay, promotion, and inclusion and emergent research suggests that these disadvantages may be particularly pernicious within science and engineering environments. However, no research has systematically examined whether LGBT employees indeed encounter disadvantages in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) organizations. Using representative data of over 30,000 workers employed in six STEM-related federal agencies (the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the Department of Transportation), over 1000 of whom identify as LGBT, we compare the workplace experiences of LGBT employees in STEM-related federal agencies with those of their non-LGBT colleagues. Across numerous measures along two separate dimensions of workplace experiences—perceived treatment as employees and work satisfaction—LGBT employees in STEM agencies report systematically more negative workplace experiences than their non-LGBT colleagues. Exploring how these disadvantages vary by agency, supervisory status, age cohort, and gender, we find that LGBT persons have more positive experiences in regulatory agencies but that supervisory status does not improve LGBT persons’ experiences, nor do the youngest LGBT employees fare better than their older LGBT colleagues. LGBT-identifying men and women report similar workplace disadvantages. We discuss the implications of these findings for STEM organizations and STEM inequality more broadly. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Promoting Military Cultural Competence among Civilian Care Providers: Learning through Program Development
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 13; doi:10.3390/socsci6010013
Received: 7 September 2016 / Revised: 8 December 2016 / Accepted: 3 February 2017 / Published: 6 February 2017
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Abstract
Military veterans and their families belong to a unique subculture. Several studies have identified the need for helping professionals to attain military cultural competence in order to practice more effectively. In order to address this need, a Midwestern state created a military culture
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Military veterans and their families belong to a unique subculture. Several studies have identified the need for helping professionals to attain military cultural competence in order to practice more effectively. In order to address this need, a Midwestern state created a military culture certificate program (MCCP). The process of developing this program is described. Eighty-two participants of the MCCP completed a pretest survey assessing their knowledge, awareness, and self-confidence in working with this population. The majority of the participants had experience working with this population already, and their survey scores indicated moderate knowledge and moderate to high levels of overall self-efficacy. Pre-test scores indicated ten areas (six in knowledge and four in self-efficacy) that may deserve increased focus for programs and trainings on military culture. While the MCCP appeared to be generally effective, findings suggest that convenient adjunctive methods of obtaining information to enhance military cultural competence would also be helpful. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Potential Scientist’s Dilemma: How the Masculine Framing of Science Shapes Friendships and Science Job Aspirations
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 14; doi:10.3390/socsci6010014
Received: 30 August 2016 / Revised: 3 February 2017 / Accepted: 4 February 2017 / Published: 14 February 2017
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Abstract
In the United States, girls and boys have similar science achievement, yet fewer girls aspire to science careers than boys. This paradox emerges in middle school, when peers begin to play a stronger role in shaping adolescent identities. We use complete network data
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In the United States, girls and boys have similar science achievement, yet fewer girls aspire to science careers than boys. This paradox emerges in middle school, when peers begin to play a stronger role in shaping adolescent identities. We use complete network data from a single middle school and theories of gender, identity, and social distance to explore how friendship patterns might influence this gender and science paradox. Three patterns highlight the social dimensions of gendered science persistence: (1) boys and girls do not differ in self-perceived science potential and science career aspirations; (2) consistent with gender-based norms, both middle school boys and girls report that the majority of their female friends are not science kinds of people; and (3) youth with gender-inconsistent science aspirations are more likely to be friends with each other than youth with gender normative science aspirations. Together, this evidence suggests that friendship dynamics contribute to gendered patterns in science career aspirations. Full article
Open AccessArticle Fat People of Color: Emergent Intersectional Discourse Online
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 15; doi:10.3390/socsci6010015
Received: 30 September 2016 / Revised: 10 January 2017 / Accepted: 8 February 2017 / Published: 14 February 2017
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Abstract
Though the general populace has been introduced to the idea of thin privilege, the fat activist movement has been slow in gaining momentum. This is due, in part, to the symbolic annihilation of “fat” people in media. Within the fat activist framework, women
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Though the general populace has been introduced to the idea of thin privilege, the fat activist movement has been slow in gaining momentum. This is due, in part, to the symbolic annihilation of “fat” people in media. Within the fat activist framework, women of color are often further excluded from the overarching discourse and white privilege is sometimes unacknowledged. Taking an intersectional approach, I examine the Tumblr page, Fat People of Color. I use Critical Technocultural Discourse Analysis (CTDA) to examine the images and conversations posted by users. Findings reveal that Fat People of Color uses an intersectional, communal approach to posit counter-narratives against normative ideas about white thinness. This research contributes to an understudied area of sociological inquiry by presenting an analysis of the experience of “fat” women of color within a feminist framework. Ignoring the variation of experiences strengthens the types of privileges that fat activism and feminism hope to dismantle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Media, Internet and Society)
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Open AccessArticle Receiving Assistance and Local Food System Participation
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 18; doi:10.3390/socsci6010018
Received: 1 November 2016 / Revised: 15 January 2017 / Accepted: 8 February 2017 / Published: 16 February 2017
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Abstract
A body of literature has noted that local food systems (LFSs) may not involve active participation by individuals with lower incomes. This is, in part, a function of racial and class hegemony, as well as physical and financial accessibility of LFSs. LFS institutions,
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A body of literature has noted that local food systems (LFSs) may not involve active participation by individuals with lower incomes. This is, in part, a function of racial and class hegemony, as well as physical and financial accessibility of LFSs. LFS institutions, such as farmers’ markets, have been working to facilitate receipt of food assistance programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Charitable assistance programs, such as food banks, have also been actively working to engage in LFSs, for example, by making local foods available. However, little research has explored the role that receiving public or charitable assistance can play in influencing LFS participation. In this article, I utilize quantitative and qualitative data collected from across the state of Ohio to examine the relationship between receiving assistance and LFS participation for women, who remain predominately responsible for food provisioning in the U.S., including among those who participate in LFSs. Quantitative results suggest that receiving assistance can increase participation in LFSs. Qualitative data provides more nuanced information about the importance of food assistance for women who want to participate in LFSs, and suggest that it is essential that food cooperatives and farmers’ markets are equipped to receive food assistance programs, such as SNAP, in order for women with lower incomes to participate in LFSs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender, Environment, and Development)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Perceptions of the Social Relevance of Science: Exploring the Implications for Gendered Patterns in Expectations of Majoring in STEM Fields
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 19; doi:10.3390/socsci6010019
Received: 1 September 2016 / Revised: 9 January 2017 / Accepted: 15 February 2017 / Published: 21 February 2017
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Abstract
Despite efforts to increase participation in science, technology, engineering and math fields (STEM), the role of students’ perceptions of the social relevance of science in guiding their expectations to major in STEM remains largely unexplored. Though science education scholars predict that perceptions of
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Despite efforts to increase participation in science, technology, engineering and math fields (STEM), the role of students’ perceptions of the social relevance of science in guiding their expectations to major in STEM remains largely unexplored. Though science education scholars predict that perceptions of social relevance likely matter equally for boys and girls, gender scholars suggest that these perceptions should matter more for girls than boys. Using longitudinal data from a large, urban, low-income, and predominantly minority-serving district, this study examines the potentially gendered role of perceptions of social relevance in ninth graders’ expectations to major in STEM. Further, it examines these dynamics with respect to expectations to major in any STEM field as well as expectations to major in specific STEM fields. Findings largely support the perspective of gender scholars; perceptions of the social relevance of science positively and significantly predict female, but not male, students’ intentions to major in STEM (vs. non-STEM fields). Subsequent analyses that look at intentions to major in specific STEM fields reveal a similar pattern, such that perceptions of relevance positively predict female students’ intentions to major in the biological sciences, the physical sciences, and engineering, while male students’ intentions are not similarly impacted. By contrast, positive perceptions of the relevance of science predict a modest increase in interest in computer science for both boys and girls. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Beyond Depression and Suicide: The Mental Health of Transgender College Students
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 20; doi:10.3390/socsci6010020
Received: 30 December 2016 / Revised: 5 February 2017 / Accepted: 15 February 2017 / Published: 21 February 2017
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Abstract
Research studies examining the mental health of transgender individuals often focus on depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation through the use of clinic samples. However, little is known about the emerging adult (18–26 years old) transgender population and their mental health. The current study
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Research studies examining the mental health of transgender individuals often focus on depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation through the use of clinic samples. However, little is known about the emerging adult (18–26 years old) transgender population and their mental health. The current study seeks to fill that gap by using a national dataset of college students (N = 547,727) to examine how transgender college students (n = 1143) differ from their cisgender peers regarding 12 different mental health conditions. Chi-square and regression analyses were conducted. Results demonstrate that transgender students have approximately twice the risk for most mental health conditions compared to cisgender female students. A notable exception is schizophrenia, in which transgender individuals have about seven times the risk compared to cisgender females. While these were significant findings, regression analyses indicate that being non-heterosexual is a greater predictor for mental health concerns. Implications for mental health practitioners at colleges and universities are discussed. Full article
Open AccessArticle Democratic Institutions, Natural Resource Governance, and Ghana’s Oil Wealth
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 21; doi:10.3390/socsci6010021
Received: 5 December 2016 / Revised: 7 February 2017 / Accepted: 16 February 2017 / Published: 21 February 2017
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Abstract
The literature on natural resources is endowed with works on countries that have experienced slow economic performance despite their abundant natural resources (resource curse), with the exception of Norway and other few countries. Strong institutions and good governance practices have been underscored as
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The literature on natural resources is endowed with works on countries that have experienced slow economic performance despite their abundant natural resources (resource curse), with the exception of Norway and other few countries. Strong institutions and good governance practices have been underscored as some of the explanatory factors to the high performance of the outlier countries. Ghana’s oil discovery in the era of its advancing democratic practices has led some to argue that the country might escape the resource curse phenomenon. While recognizing the importance of this argument, this article, however, argues that Ghana’s likelihood of escaping the resource curse could be problematic due to its exclusive emphasis on democratic governance without greater focus on oil sector governance. Drawing on the theory of agenda setting and the existing literature, the article makes the case for agenda shift in the debate on Ghana’s oil wealth and development. It stresses the need for a dualistic governance (the democratic and the oil sector) approach in the broader discourse on how Ghana can escape the resource curse. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Structural Disadvantage: Evidence of Gender Disparities in the Norwegian Pension System
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 22; doi:10.3390/socsci6010022
Received: 24 October 2016 / Revised: 23 December 2016 / Accepted: 16 February 2017 / Published: 23 February 2017
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Abstract
Norway is a world leader in gender equality according to sustainable development performance indicators. This study goes beyond these indicators to investigate systemic economic disadvantages for women, focusing specifically on the Norwegian pension system. System dynamics modeling is used to understand how gender
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Norway is a world leader in gender equality according to sustainable development performance indicators. This study goes beyond these indicators to investigate systemic economic disadvantages for women, focusing specifically on the Norwegian pension system. System dynamics modeling is used to understand how gender disparity is built into social systems. A significant contributor to the gender inequality in pensions is the difference in lifetime working hours due to childbearing/rearing. There are childcare policies in place to equalize lifetime working hours between the genders; however, these policies require women to conform to the pension system structure and outsource their childcare. The system dynamics modeling illustrates how social investment strategy requires women to conform to a masculine pension system if they want equivalent financial security when they reach retirement. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Gender Differences in the Early Employment Outcomes of STEM Doctorates
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 24; doi:10.3390/socsci6010024
Received: 1 September 2016 / Revised: 14 December 2016 / Accepted: 15 February 2017 / Published: 4 March 2017
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Abstract
The representation of women among STEM doctorates has grown over the past decades but the underrepresentation of women in the STEM labor force persists. This paper examines the immediate post-degree employment outcomes of nine cohorts of STEM doctorates who attained their degrees between
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The representation of women among STEM doctorates has grown over the past decades but the underrepresentation of women in the STEM labor force persists. This paper examines the immediate post-degree employment outcomes of nine cohorts of STEM doctorates who attained their degrees between 1995 and 2013. The results reveal both progress toward gender equity and persistent inequities. Contrary to historical gender disparities, a small female advantage has emerged in the attainment of tenure-track faculty positions, women are increasingly less likely than men to enter postdoctoral positions, and the flow of STEM doctorates into business and industry, which was once male dominated, is now gender neutral. Among the doctorates who do not follow the doctorate-to-faculty career path, women are as likely as men to “stay in STEM,” but less likely to attain research-oriented jobs. Gender segregation in occupational attainment and significant gender gaps in earnings, however, continue to be defining characteristics of the STEM labor force. The results show that the labor market disparities vary across STEM fields but are largely not attributable to the gendered impact of parenthood and dual-career marriage. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Collaboration and Gender Equity among Academic Scientists
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 25; doi:10.3390/socsci6010025
Received: 26 September 2016 / Revised: 16 December 2016 / Accepted: 17 February 2017 / Published: 4 March 2017
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Abstract
Universities were established as hierarchical bureaucracies that reward individual attainment in evaluating success. Yet collaboration is crucial both to 21st century science and, we argue, to advancing equity for women academic scientists. We draw from research on gender equity and on collaboration in
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Universities were established as hierarchical bureaucracies that reward individual attainment in evaluating success. Yet collaboration is crucial both to 21st century science and, we argue, to advancing equity for women academic scientists. We draw from research on gender equity and on collaboration in higher education, and report on data collected on one campus. Sixteen focus group meetings were held with 85 faculty members from STEM departments, separated by faculty rank and gender (i.e., assistant professor men, full professor women). Participants were asked structured questions about the role of collaboration in research, career development, and departmental decision-making. Inductive analyses of focus group data led to the development of a theoretical model in which resources, recognition, and relationships create conditions under which collaboration is likely to produce more gender equitable outcomes for STEM faculty. Ensuring women faculty have equal access to resources is central to safeguarding their success; relationships, including mutual mentoring, inclusion and collegiality, facilitate women’s careers in academia; and recognition of collaborative work bolsters women’s professional advancement. We further propose that gender equity will be stronger in STEM where resources, relationships, and recognition intersect—having multiplicative rather than additive effects. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Black Twitter: A Response to Bias in Mainstream Media
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 26; doi:10.3390/socsci6010026
Received: 1 October 2016 / Revised: 23 February 2017 / Accepted: 2 March 2017 / Published: 5 March 2017
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Abstract
This paper seeks to shed light on the ways people of color, in the United States, are using social media to challenge racial bias. As part of this investigation, this paper draws on Critical Race Theory, Feminist Theory, and Digital New Media studies
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This paper seeks to shed light on the ways people of color, in the United States, are using social media to challenge racial bias. As part of this investigation, this paper draws on Critical Race Theory, Feminist Theory, and Digital New Media studies to examine the extent to which social media, while seen as a place for ‘play’ can also operate as a digital homespace, a space used as a tool for black women and men to (re)construct their bodies and identities, challenging the “controlling images” widespread in mainstream media and society at large. This paper employs the methods of content analysis and participant observation and find that these social media forums are not transformative by themselves but instead have little moments that make for resistance and a digital homespace. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Media, Internet and Society)
Open AccessArticle Dinner and a Conversation: Transgender Integration at West Point and Beyond
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 27; doi:10.3390/socsci6010027
Received: 31 December 2016 / Revised: 28 February 2017 / Accepted: 3 March 2017 / Published: 8 March 2017
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Abstract
In 2016, the United States military lifted the ban on transgender members serving and are expected to begin accessions of transgender service members in 2017. A paucity of research exists on transgender matters in the military, especially on attitudes towards cisgender service members.
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In 2016, the United States military lifted the ban on transgender members serving and are expected to begin accessions of transgender service members in 2017. A paucity of research exists on transgender matters in the military, especially on attitudes towards cisgender service members. This study deploys a qualitative methodology, comprised of 21 focus groups of undergraduate cadets and advanced schooled Army officers (N = 110), at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, using a semi-structured interview protocol. Overall, a diversity of experiences and familiarity with transgender people surfaced among cadets and officers. We distinguish between experiences and familiarity on a spectrum by introducing notions of transgender tourism and cosmopolitanism. Major concerns associated with (un)comfortableness emerged from the focus groups including privacy, physical standards, well-being, and costs. Interventions are offered by the participants based on their major concerns. We recommend education, increased cosmopolitism, privacy considerations, narrowing the civil-military propinquity gap, and more studies of diversity and inclusion issues in the military. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transgender Youth: Focusing on the “T” in LGBT Studies)
Open AccessArticle Active Listening Attitude Scale (ALAS): Reliability and Validity in a Nationwide Sample of Greek Educators
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 28; doi:10.3390/socsci6010028
Received: 30 December 2016 / Revised: 4 March 2017 / Accepted: 7 March 2017 / Published: 13 March 2017
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Abstract
The present study examined the Active Listening Attitude Scale (ALAS) validity and reliability in a sample of 3955 Greek educators. The sample was randomly split and an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was conducted in the even subsample to evaluate the scale’s construct validity.
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The present study examined the Active Listening Attitude Scale (ALAS) validity and reliability in a sample of 3955 Greek educators. The sample was randomly split and an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was conducted in the even subsample to evaluate the scale’s construct validity. A confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was performed in the odd subsample to confirm the three-factor model identified by the EFA. The chi square test (χ2) of the model was significant (p < 0.05), due to the large sample size. The root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA), the comparative fit index (CFI) and the goodness of fit index (GFI) values were 0.079, 0.969 and 0.960, respectively, further supporting the fit of the three-factor model. Cronbach’s alpha coefficient was used to test internal consistency reliability and was satisfactory exceeding 0.72 for ALAS subscales. The intercorrelations of the three subscales were all positive and significant (p < 0.001), ranging from 0.20 to 0.42. Student’s t-tests and the computation of effect sizes revealed that women scored higher on Listening Skill and Conversation Opportunity, while principals and participants trained on mental health promotion scored higher on all three subscales. The analyses confirmed the three-factor model of ALAS and demonstrated its validity and reliability in measuring Greek teachers’ active listening attitudes. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Gender in Engineering Departments: Are There Gender Differences in Interruptions of Academic Job Talks?
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 29; doi:10.3390/socsci6010029
Received: 1 September 2016 / Revised: 28 December 2016 / Accepted: 1 March 2017 / Published: 14 March 2017
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Abstract
We use a case study of job talks in five engineering departments to analyze the under-studied area of gendered barriers to finalists for faculty positions. We focus on one segment of the interview day of short-listed candidates invited to campus: the “job talk”,
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We use a case study of job talks in five engineering departments to analyze the under-studied area of gendered barriers to finalists for faculty positions. We focus on one segment of the interview day of short-listed candidates invited to campus: the “job talk”, when candidates present their original research to the academic department. We analyze video recordings of 119 job talks across five engineering departments at two Research 1 universities. Specifically, we analyze whether there are differences by gender or by years of post-Ph.D. experience in the number of interruptions, follow-up questions, and total questions that job candidates receive. We find that, compared to men, women receive more follow-up questions and more total questions. Moreover, a higher proportion of women’s talk time is taken up by the audience asking questions. Further, the number of questions is correlated with the job candidate’s statements and actions that reveal he or she is rushing to present their slides and complete the talk. We argue that women candidates face more interruptions and often have less time to bring their talk to a compelling conclusion, which is connected to the phenomenon of “stricter standards” of competence demanded by evaluators of short-listed women applying for a masculine-typed job. We conclude with policy recommendations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Smallholder Farmers’ Perceptions on Climate Change and the Use of Sustainable Agricultural Practices in the Chinyanja Triangle, Southern Africa
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 30; doi:10.3390/socsci6010030
Received: 1 November 2016 / Revised: 26 January 2017 / Accepted: 28 February 2017 / Published: 15 March 2017
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Abstract
In developing regions with high levels of poverty and a dependence on climate sensitive agriculture, studies focusing on climate change adaptation, planning, and policy processes, have gained relative importance over the years. This study assesses the impact of farmer perceptions regarding climate change
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In developing regions with high levels of poverty and a dependence on climate sensitive agriculture, studies focusing on climate change adaptation, planning, and policy processes, have gained relative importance over the years. This study assesses the impact of farmer perceptions regarding climate change on the use of sustainable agricultural practices as an adaptation strategy in the Chinyanja Triangle, Southern Africa. In this empirical approach, we adopt methods that account for the plausibility that unmeasured characteristics exist, which are correlated with perceptions and the adoption of Sustainable Agricultural Practices. We use a unique and representative dataset collected in December 2012 and June 2013, from smallholder farmers in the Chinyanja Triangle. The results indicate that farmer’s perceptions significantly influence the use of sustainable agricultural practices. Specifically, we established that farmer perceptions considerably impact the use of grain legume rotations, inorganic fertilizers, compost, and farmyard manure. Our results highlight the need for a serious and perhaps equal consideration of farmer perceptions regarding climate change, as important inputs to climate change adaptation policies targeted at enhancing climatic resilience in smallholder farming communities. This is plausible as the adaptation and pliability of farmers to the effects of climate change should be a social process involving the collective efforts from various stakeholders. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle At the Interface of National and Transnational: The Development of Finnish Policies against Domestic Violence in Terms of Gender Equality
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 31; doi:10.3390/socsci6010031
Received: 28 December 2016 / Revised: 2 March 2017 / Accepted: 9 March 2017 / Published: 15 March 2017
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Abstract
Although gender inequalities are the main social mechanisms behind the (re)production of domestic violence, policy responses to domestic violence as a gender-related problem vary at both the national and transnational levels. This article examines the interaction between national and transnational policies against domestic
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Although gender inequalities are the main social mechanisms behind the (re)production of domestic violence, policy responses to domestic violence as a gender-related problem vary at both the national and transnational levels. This article examines the interaction between national and transnational policies against domestic violence, focusing on how domestic violence is constructed as a gender-related problem in Finland, a Nordic welfare state that is often cited as a role model in gender equality. Using the conception of policies as historically changing and culturally specific discourses, this article offers an overview of the ways in which the perspective on domestic violence of the transnational feminist movement has been engaged and transformed in the Finnish context over the five last decades. It is shown that transnational pressure has played a critical role in pushing Finland towards a stronger recognition of domestic violence as a gender issue. However, this transformation has taken place rather within the framework of more neutral “women-friendly” welfare policies than within a feminist framework. The article concludes that the Finnish way of translating transnational norms to the national level is characterized by a tendency to modify the transformative meanings underpinning the transnational feminist discourses to a more gender-neutral form. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women, Gender and Politics: An International Overview)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Forests and Food Security: What’s Gender Got to Do with It?
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 34; doi:10.3390/socsci6010034
Received: 30 October 2016 / Revised: 3 March 2017 / Accepted: 13 March 2017 / Published: 20 March 2017
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Abstract
Hunger remains a key development problem in the 21st century. Within this context, there is renewed attention to the importance of forests and their role in supplementing the food and nutrition needs of rural populations. With a concurrent uptake of “gender mainstreaming” for
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Hunger remains a key development problem in the 21st century. Within this context, there is renewed attention to the importance of forests and their role in supplementing the food and nutrition needs of rural populations. With a concurrent uptake of “gender mainstreaming” for sustainable development, there is also a call for understanding the gendered dynamics of forest governance and food security. In this paper, we reviewed emerging research (2009–2014) on forests and food security and on the ways gender is said to matter. As with previous work on gender and natural resource management, we found that gender is an important variable; but how, to what degree and why are different in every context. That is, despite the suggestion of clear linkages, the relationships between gender, forests and food security are not generalizable across contexts. Understanding the relationship between forest resources and food security requires attention to gender disparities at the local level, but also to the broader political and economic context in which those disparities are reinforced. We flag the need to guard against ahistorical and technical approaches to gender and suggest some example research questions that use a more relational view of gender—one that examines how political economy and social power structure access to resources at multiple scales. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender, Environment, and Development)
Open AccessArticle Land Access, Agricultural Land Use Changes and Narratives about Land Degradation in the Savannahs of Northeast Ghana during the Pre-Colonial and Colonial Periods
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 35; doi:10.3390/socsci6010035
Received: 29 December 2016 / Revised: 5 March 2017 / Accepted: 14 March 2017 / Published: 20 March 2017
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Abstract
This paper discusses the evolution of socio-cultural and political relations that defined access to, use, and management of land resources in northeast Ghana during the pre-colonial and colonial periods. The aim is to historicise current meta-narratives about degradation of the natural landscape in
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This paper discusses the evolution of socio-cultural and political relations that defined access to, use, and management of land resources in northeast Ghana during the pre-colonial and colonial periods. The aim is to historicise current meta-narratives about degradation of the natural landscape in the rural savannahs of northeast Ghana. Many of those degradation narratives take their root in the past during the colonial era, but the conceptual underpinnings of those narratives have remained essentially a-historical, a-political, and a-cultural. This paper shows that the organisation of space and land uses in pre-colonial communities in northeast Ghana was governed by certain traditional knowledge systems which were ignored by the colonial authorities. While narratives about landscape degradation by natives were propagated by the colonial government to justify a need to preserve the environment, their attempts to control land management matters were essentially for political and economic reasons. The study concludes that current policy frameworks on desertification and land management need to move beyond inherent historical biases. Rather, attention ought to be given to critical historical reflections on the dynamic processes by which variations in socio-economic relations of resource access/use, farming practices, land tenure arrangements, and political agendas interact with changes in the biophysical environment to produce different land cover trajectories over time. Full article
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Open AccessReview Se Faire Voir with Jung and the Ethics of Psychoanalysis
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 16; doi:10.3390/socsci6010016
Received: 1 December 2016 / Revised: 8 February 2017 / Accepted: 10 February 2017 / Published: 16 February 2017
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Abstract
This article is an important addition to my previous work of integrating Jungian and Lacanian psychoanalysis (see Complexes Tickling the $ubject). A main focus of this article is to use Zizek’s interpretation of Lacan’s writing on desire and drive in relation to my
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This article is an important addition to my previous work of integrating Jungian and Lacanian psychoanalysis (see Complexes Tickling the $ubject). A main focus of this article is to use Zizek’s interpretation of Lacan’s writing on desire and drive in relation to my Heideggerian interpretation of Jung. As a result, this article is an important contribution to the literature because it shows the importance of the transcendent function; complexes and the Rosarium Philosophorum to elucidate the ethics of desire and drive. This article shows how Heidegger’s work in Being and Time and his interpretation of Nietzsche is important to detail the process of Lacanian psychoanalysis. Nietzsche’s books; Human All Too Human and The Gay Science will also be discussed as well as Sartre’s Being and Nothingness and Zizek’s writing on the cunning of reason; Kantian ethics; beyond the pleasure principle; Kierkegaard; Sisyphus; anxiety; Hitchcock; Gelassenheit; the Gospel of Matthew and error as a fundamental passage to truth. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperReview Left Numb and Unengaged. (Re)Conceptualising Risk: What (Seems to) Work for at-Risk Students
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 32; doi:10.3390/socsci6010032
Received: 14 July 2016 / Revised: 22 December 2016 / Accepted: 21 February 2017 / Published: 16 March 2017
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Abstract
This review of current research into ‘at-risk’ programs serves to categorise and characterise existing programs and to evaluate the contribution of these programs to assisting students ‘at-risk’ from marginalised backgrounds. This characterisation questions the (sometimes) implicit assumptions and the consequences of those assumptions
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This review of current research into ‘at-risk’ programs serves to categorise and characterise existing programs and to evaluate the contribution of these programs to assisting students ‘at-risk’ from marginalised backgrounds. This characterisation questions the (sometimes) implicit assumptions and the consequences of those assumptions inherent in and behind these various accounts. Using as a lens the (various and varied) understandings of social justice and the goals of education, three sometimes overlapping and sometimes contesting standpoints are identified in relation to ‘at-risk’ students; they are characterised as instrumentalist or rational technical, social constructivist or individualist, and critical transformative or empowering. I argue that a critical transformative understanding of ‘at-risk’ may deliver improved outcomes for young people by challenging ‘the school context in which the young people are located’. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Equality and Social Inclusion: The Role of Education)
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Open AccessCase Report Muslim Woman Seeking Work: An English Case Study with a Dutch Comparison, of Discrimination and Achievement
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 17; doi:10.3390/socsci6010017
Received: 13 December 2016 / Revised: 4 February 2017 / Accepted: 10 February 2017 / Published: 16 February 2017
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Abstract
The measurement of discrimination in employment is a key variable in understanding dynamics in the nature of, and change in “race relations”. Measuring such discrimination using ‘situation’ and ‘correspondence’ tests was influenced by John Rex’s sociological analyses, and earlier work, begun in America,
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The measurement of discrimination in employment is a key variable in understanding dynamics in the nature of, and change in “race relations”. Measuring such discrimination using ‘situation’ and ‘correspondence’ tests was influenced by John Rex’s sociological analyses, and earlier work, begun in America, was continued in England in the 1960s, and further replicated in Europe and America in later decades. This literature is reviewed, and the methodologies of testing for employment discrimination are discussed. Recent work in Britain and the Netherlands is considered in detail in the light of changing social structures, and the rise of Islamophobia. Manchester, apparently the city manifesting the most discrimination in Britain, is considered for a special case study, with a focus on one individual, a Muslim woman seeking intermediate level accountancy employment. Her vita was matched with that of a manifestly indigenous, white Briton. Submitted vitas (to 1043 potential employers) indicated significant discrimination against the Muslim woman candidate. Results are discussed within the context of Manchester’s micro-sociology, and Muslim women’s employment progress in broader contexts. We conclude with the critical realist comment that the “hidden racism” of employment discrimination shows that modern societies continue, in several ways, to be institutionally racist, and the failure to reward legitimate aspirations of minorities may have the effect of pushing some ethnic minorities into a permanent precariat, with implications for social justice and social control in ways which may deny minority efforts to “integrate” in society’s employment systems. Full article
Open AccessErratum Erratum: Kudo, S.; et al. Population Aging: An Emerging Research Agenda for Sustainable Development. Soc. Sci. 2015, 4, 940–966
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 23; doi:10.3390/socsci6010023
Received: 10 February 2017 / Accepted: 19 February 2017 / Published: 1 March 2017
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Open AccessEssay Policy Discourses and Marginal Places: Histories of Environmental Democracy in India and Sweden
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(1), 33; doi:10.3390/socsci6010033
Received: 11 July 2016 / Revised: 8 February 2017 / Accepted: 14 March 2017 / Published: 17 March 2017
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Abstract
Past decades have been marked with grassroots struggles around the use and access to natural resources such as forests, both in the global South and in the global North. On the one hand, we have politicians, bureaucrats and others needing to deal with
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Past decades have been marked with grassroots struggles around the use and access to natural resources such as forests, both in the global South and in the global North. On the one hand, we have politicians, bureaucrats and others needing to deal with these issues at the national and global level. On the other, we have the material practices and struggles at the local level as well as a parallel discourse on decentralization to local areas from the past few decades. By tracing the historical changes in policies that touch on forests-peoples relationships in India and Sweden, I contextualize these trends by placing them in a historical context and examine the questions that are central to a critical examination for environmental governance today. I analyze how environmental policy-making shaped forest politics in the two places and what spaces it provided for environmental democracy—especially in relation to possibilities for people’s participation and for gender equality. I bring attention to the imperative to take account of questions of increasing expert dominance in environmental governance and local struggles, the space for local people’s participation in forest and rural politics, the gendering of these spaces and relationships and how that affects environmental politics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender, Environment, and Development)

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