International Science Index

International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences

The Social Structuring of Mate Selection: Assortative Marriage Patterns in the Israeli Jewish Population
Love, so it appears, is not socially blind. We show that partner selection is socially constrained, and the freedom to choose is limited by at least two major factors or capitals: on the one hand, material resources and education, locating the partners on a scale of personal achievement and economic independence. On the other, the partners' ascriptive belonging to particular ethnic, or origin, groups, differentiated by the groups' social prestige, as well as by their culture, history and even physical characteristics. However, the relative importance of achievement and ascriptive factors, as well as the overlap between them, varies from society to society, depending on the society's structure and the factors shaping it. Israeli social structure has been shaped by the waves of new immigrants who arrived over the years. The timing of their arrival, their patterns of physical settlement and their occupational inclusion or exclusion have together created a mosaic of social groups whose principal common feature has been the country of origin from which they arrived. The analysis of marriage patterns helps illuminate the social meanings of the groups and their borders. To the extent that ethnic group membership has meaning for individuals and influences their life choices, the ascriptive factor will gain in importance relative to the achievement factor in their choice of marriage partner. In this research, we examine Jewish Israeli marriage patterns by looking at the marriage choices of 5,041 women aged 15 to 49 who were single at the census in 1983, and who were married at the time of the 1995 census, 12 years later. The database for this study was a file linking respondents from the 1983 and the 1995 censuses. In both cases, 5 percent of household were randomly chosen, so that our sample includes about 4 percent of women in Israel in 1983. We present three basic analyses: (1) Who was still single in 1983, using personal and household data from the 1983 census (binomial model), (2) Who married between 1983 and a1995, using personal and household data from the 1983 census (binomial model), (3) What were the personal characteristics of the womens’ partners in 1995, using data from the 1995 census (loglinear model). We show (i) that material and cultural capital both operate to delay marriage and to increase the probability of remaining single; and (ii) while there is a clear association between ethnic group membership and education, endogamy and homogamy both operate as separate forces which constraint (but do not determine) the choice of marriage partner, and thus both serve to reproduce the current pattern of relationships, as well as identifying patterns of proximity and distance between the different groups.
Investigating Personal Information Management, Social Influence and Commitment in the Enterprise Systems Implementation
A knowledge worker’s goal commitment is critical to the success of system implementation in the organization. This paper investigates an individual’s information formality motivation and social influence as important determinants in developing goal commitment in the system implementation based on the social psychology and information management literature. An empirical test of the proposed model was conducted in the field test. Partial Least Square (PLS) was used to analyze the model and supported the validity of the results. Social influence and information formality influence knowledge worker’s goal commitment as expected. Social influence has the higher effects on goal commitment than information formality motivation. The results of this study help us understand the antecedents of goal commitment in the system implementation based on the social influence theory and personal information management model. Based on the test results of this study, Information Systems (IS) practitioners will be able to understand the different roles of social and personal factors in developing successful system implementation.
Conjugal Relationship and Reproductive Decision-Making among Couples in Southwest Nigeria
This paper emphasizes the relevance of conjugal relationship and spousal communication towards enhancing men’s involvement in contraceptive use among the Yorubas of South Western Nigeria. An understanding of males influence and the role they play in reproductive decision making can throw better light on mechanisms through which egalitarianness of husband/wife decision making influences contraceptive use. The objective of this study was to investigate how close conjugal relationships can be a good indicator of joint decision making among couples using data derived from a survey conducted in three states of South Western Nigeria. The study sample consisted of five hundred and twenty one (521) male respondents aged 15-59 years and five hundred and forty seven (547) female respondents aged 15-49 years. The study used both quantitative and qualitative approached to elicit information from the respondents. In order that the study would be truly representative of the towns, each of the study locations in the capital cities was divided into four strata: The traditional area, the migrant area, the mixed area (i.e. traditional and migrant), and the elite area. In the rural areas, selection of the respondents was by simple random sampling technique. However, the random selection was made in such a way that all the different parts of the locations were represented. Generally, the data collected were analysed at univariate, bivariate, and multivariate levels. Logistic regression models were employed to examine the interrelationships between male reproductive behaviour, conjugal relationship and contraceptive use. The study indicates that current use of contraceptive is high among this major ethnic group in Nigeria because of the improved level of communication among couples. The problem, however, is that men still have lower exposure rate when it comes to question of family planning information, education and counseling. This has serious implications on fertility regulation in Nigeria.
Secondary Traumatic Stress and Related Factors in Australian Social Workers and Psychologists
Secondary traumatic stress (STS) is an indirect form of trauma affecting the psychological well-being of mental health workers; STS is found to be a prevalent risk in mental health occupations. Various factors impact the development of STS within the literature; including the level of trauma individuals are exposed to and their level of empathy. Research is limited on STS in mental health workers in Australia; therefore, this study examined STS and related factors of empathetic behavior and trauma caseload among mental health workers. The research utilized an online survey quantitative research design with a purposive sample of 190 mental health workers (176 females) recruited via professional websites and unofficial social media groups. Participants completed an online questionnaire comprising of demographics, the secondary traumatic stress scale and the empathy scale for social workers. A standard hierarchical regression analysis was conducted to examine the significance of covariates, traumatized clients, traumatic stress within workload and empathy in predicting STS. The current research found 29.5% of participants to meet the criteria for a diagnosis of STS. Age and past trauma within the covariates were significantly associated with STS. Amount of traumatized clients significantly predicted 4.7% of the variance in STS, traumatic stress within workload significantly predicted 4.8% of the variance in STS and empathy significantly predicted 4.9% of the variance in STS. These three independent variables and the covariates accounted for 18.5% of the variance in STS. Practical implications include a focus on developing risk strategies and treatment methods that can diminish the impact of STS.
Using ePortfolios to Mapping Social Work Graduate Competencies
Higher education is changing globally and there is increasing pressure from professional social work accreditation bodies for academic programs to demonstrate how students have successfully met mandatory graduate competencies. As professional accreditation organizations increase their demand for evidence of graduate competencies, strategies to document and recording learning outcomes becomes increasingly challenging for academics and students. Studies in higher education have found support for the pedagogical value of ePortfolios, a flexible personal learning space that is owned by the student and include opportunity for assessment, feedback and reflection as well as a virtual space to store evidence of demonstration of professional competencies and graduate attributes. Examples of institutional uses of ePortfolios include e-administration of a diverse student population, assessment of student learning, and the demonstration of graduate attributes attained and future student career preparation. The current paper presents a case study on the introduction of ePortfolios for social work graduates in Australia as part of an institutional approach to technology-enhanced learning and e-learning. Social work graduates were required to submit an ePortfolio hosted on PebblePad. The PebblePad platform was selected because it places the student at the center of their learning whilst providing powerful tools for staff to structure, guide and assess that learning. The ePortofolio included documentation and evidence of how the student met each graduate competency as set out by the social work accreditation body in Australia (AASW). This digital resource played a key role in the process of external professional accreditation by clearly documenting and evidencing how students met required graduate competencies. In addition, student feedback revealed a positive outcome on how this resource provided them with a consolidation of their learning experiences and assisted them in obtaining employment post-graduation. There were also significant institutional factors that were key to successful implementation such as investment in the digital technology, capacity building amongst academics, and technical support for staff and students.
Relationship Profiling over Social Networks: Reverse Smoothness from Similarity to Closeness
On social networks, while nodes bear rich attributes, we often lack the ‘semantics’ of why each link is formed– and thus we are missing the ‘road signs’ to navigate and organize the complex social universe. How to identify relationship semantics without labels? Founded on the prevalent homophily principle, we propose the novel problem of Attribute-based Relationship Profiling (ARP), to profile the closeness w.r.t. the underlying relationships (e.g., schoolmate) between users based on their similarity in the corresponding attributes (e.g., education) and, as output, learn a set of social affinity graphs, where each link is weighted by its probabilities of carrying the relationships. As requirements, ARP should be systematic and complete to profile every link for every relationship– our challenges lie in effectively modeling homophily. We propose a novel reverse smoothness principle by observing that the similarity-closeness duality of homophily is consistent with the well-known smoothness assumption in graph-based semi-supervised learning– only the direction of inference is reversed. To realize smoothness over noisy social graphs, we further propose a novel holistic closeness modeling approach to capture ‘high-order’ smoothness by extending closeness from edges to paths. Extensive experiments on three real-world datasets demonstrate the efficacy of ARP.
The Importance of Changing the Traditional Mode of Higher Education in Bangladesh: Creating Huge Job Opportunities for Home and Abroad
Bangladesh has set its goal to reach middle-income country status by 2021. To attain this status, the country must satisfy the World Bank requirement of achieving minimum Gross National Income (GNI). Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) predicts two million youths will join the labor force every year. So, the vital issue of this country is to understand how the GNI and jobs can be increased. The objective of this paper is to address these issues and find ways to create more job opportunities for youths at home and abroad which will increase the country’s GNI. The paper studies proportion of different goods Bangladesh exported, and also the percentage of employment in different sectors. The data used here for the purpose of analysis have been collected from the available literature. These data are then plotted and analyzed. Through these studies, it is concluded that growth in sectors like agricultural, ready-made garments (RMG), jute industries and fisheries are declining and business community is not interested in setting capital-intensive industries. Under this situation, the country needs to explore other business opportunities for higher economic growth rate. Knowledge can substitute the physical resource. Since the country consists of the large youth population, higher education will play a key role in economic development. It now needs graduates with higher-order skills with innovative quality. Such dispositions demand changes in a university’s curriculum, teaching and assessment method which will function young generations as active learners and creators. By bringing these changes in higher education, a knowledge-based society can be created. The application of such knowledge and creativity will then become the commodity of Bangladesh which will help to reach its goal as a middle-income country.
High Speed Rail vs Other Factors Affecting the Tourism Market in Italy
The analysis of the factors having an impact on destination image has been the subject of several papers in the international literature providing a significant contribution to the understanding of tourists' behaviour. The transportation industry is a global industry that meets the need for moving passengers as efficiently as possible. It is often argued that a country with a good transportation system can be considered a tourist destination. During the centuries, the transport modes have been changing according to the development of technology and discovery and application of steam and electricity in the 19th century and the internal combustion engine in the 20th century. The latter has recently experienced significant expansion and new projects all around the world are in the pipeline. Considering that Europe is among the most visited continents in the world, High Speed Rail (HRS) is likely to induce changes in tourists' behaviour. The objective of this manuscript is to investigate the relationship between the increase of accessibility brought by High-Speed Rail systems and the tourism market in Italy. The impacts of HSR projects on tourism can be quantified in different ways. In this manuscript, an empirical analysis has been carried out with the aid of a dataset containing information both on tourism and transport for 99 Italian provinces, during the 2006-2016 period. Panel data regression models have been considered since they allow modeling a wide variety of correlation patterns. Results show that High-Speed Rail has an impact on the choice of a given destination both for the Italian and Foreign tourists together with other variables such as Attractions at destination. The number of Hotels and Holiday_homes affect mainly foreign tourists. Variables concerning the Security, such as the number of Crimes, of a given destination affect negatively the choice of the destination itself.
Social Enterprise Strategies for Financial Sustainability in the Economic Literature
Due to persistent socioeconomic problems regarding sustainability and labour market equilibrium in Europe, the subjects of social economy gained considerable academic attention recently. At the meantime, social enterprises pursuing the double bottom line criteria, struggling to find the proper management philosophies and strategies to make their social purpose business financially sustainable. Despite the strategic management literature was developed mainly on the bases of large corporations, in the past years, the interpretation of strategy concepts became a frequent topic in scientific discussions in the case of small and medium-sized enterprises also. The topic of strategic orientations is a good example of the trend. However, less is known about the case of social enterprises, despite the fact, the majority of them are small businesses engaged in real business activities. The main purpose of this work is to give a comprehensive summary of different perspectives regarding the interpretations of strategic orientations of social enterprises. The novelty of this work is it shows the previous outcomes and models of scholars from various fields of economic science who tried to intertwine the two spheres in different forms, methodize the findings and draw attention to the shortcomings.
An Analysis on Aid for Migrants: A Descriptive Analysis on Official Development Assistance During the Migration Crisis
Migration has recently become a mainstream development sector and is currently at the forefront in institutional and civil society context. However, no consensus exists on how the link between migration and development operates, that is how development is related to migration and how migration can promote development. On one hand, Official Development Assistance is recognized to be one of the levers to development. On the other hand, the debate is focusing on what should be the scope of aid programs targeting migrants groups and in general the migration process. This paper provides a descriptive analysis on how development aid for migration was allocated in the recent past, focusing on the actions that were funded and implemented by the international donor community. In the absence of an internationally shared methodology for defining the boundaries of development aid on migration, the analysis based on lexical hypotheses on the title or on the short description of initiatives funded by several Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. Moreover, the research describes and quantifies aid flows for each country according to different criteria. The terms migrant and refugee are used to identify the projects in accordance with the most internationally agreed definitions and only actions in countries of transit or of origin are considered eligible, thus excluding the amount sustained for refugees in donor countries. The results show that the percentage of projects targeting migrants, in terms of amount, has followed a growing trend from 2009 to 2016 in several European countries, and is positively correlated with the flows of migrants. Distinguishing between programs targeting migrants and programs targeting refugees, some specific national features emerge more clearly. A focus is devoted to actions targeting the root causes of migration, showing an inter-sectoral approach in international aid allocation. The analysis gives some tentative solutions to the lack of consensus on language on migration and development aid, and emphasizes the need to internationally agree on a criterion for identifying programs targeting both migrants and refugees, to make action more transparent and in order to develop effective strategies at the global level.
The Role of British Public Opinion in the Process of the Great Britain’s Involvement in the Crimean War
As a result of the policies constituted and pursued by Russia which aimed to gain territory and power at Ottoman expense, Crimean War broke out in 1853. Nevertheless, the Eastern policies of Russia were in contradiction with the interests of Great Britain which was the great power of the era. Yet, it did hesitate to be confronted with Russian on its route to India, so the Ottoman territorial integrity was defended. In that period, Tzar Nicholas II, to begin with, tried to eliminate a probable opposition coming from the British side, and then tried its chance to build up cooperation with Britain on the territories of the sick man. As a more positive relation was being observed between these two states before the Crimean War, Great Britain initially had adopted a neutral policy. However, in the end, Britain entered the war against Russia due to the efforts of the opposing side in the British Parliament and the rising pressure of the public opinion. The article aims to examine the role of British public opinion in the process of Great Britain’s Involvement in this war. Also, the article will try to find an answer to the following question: to what extent did the public opinion become effective on the foreign policy-making of Great Britain before the war?
Mothers and Moneymakers: A Case Study of How Citizen-Women Shape U.S. Marriage Migration Politics Online
Social media, internet technology, and affordable travel have created avenues like tourism and internet chatrooms for Western women to meet foreign partners without paid, third-party intermediaries in regions like the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) and Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where men from mid-level developing countries meet and marry Western women and try to relocate. Foreign nationals who marry U.S. citizens have an expedited track to naturalization. U.S. immigration officials require that “green card” petitioning couples demonstrate that their relationships are “valid and subsisting” (i.e., for love) and not fraudulent (i.e., for immigration papers). These requirements are ostensibly gender- and racially-neutral, but migration itself is not; black and white women petitioners who seek partners from these regions and solicit advice from similar others about the potential obstacles to their petitions’ success online. Using an online ethnography and textual analysis of conversation threads on a large on-line immigration forum where U.S. petitioners exchange such information, this study examines how gendered and racialized standards of legitimacy are applied to family and sexuality and used discursively online among women petitioners differently to achieve “genuineness” and define “red flags” indicating potential marriage fraud. This paper argues that forum-women members police immigration requests even before cases reach an immigration officer, and use this social media platform to reconstruct gendered and racialized hierarchies of U.S. citizenship. Women petitioners use the formal criteria of U.S. immigration in ways that reveal gender and racial ideologies, expectations for conformity to a gendered hegemonic family ideal, and policing of women’s sexual agency, fertility, and desirability. These intersectional norms shape their online discussions about the suitability of marriages and of the migration of non-citizen male partners of color to the United States.
Attention and Memory in the Music Learning Process in Individuals with Visual Impairments
Introduction: The influence of visual impairments on several cognitive processes used in the music learning process is an increasingly important area in special education and cognitive musicology. Many children have several visual impairments due to the refractive errors and irreversible inhibitors. However, based on the compensatory neuroplasticity and functional reorganization, congenitally blind (CB) and early blind (EB) individuals use several areas of the occipital lobe to perceive and process auditory and tactile information. CB individuals have greater memory capacity, memory reliability, and less false memory mechanisms are used while executing several tasks, they have better working memory (WM) and short-term memory (STM). Blind individuals use several strategies while executing tactile and working memory n-back tasks: verbalization strategy (mental recall), tactile strategy (tactile recall) and combined strategies. Methods and design: The aim of the pilot study was to substantiate similar tendencies while executing attention, memory and combined auditory tasks in blind and sighted individuals constructed for this study, and to investigate attention, memory and combined mechanisms used in the music learning process. For this study eight (n=8) blind and eight (n=8) sighted individuals aged 13-20 were chosen. All respondents had more than five years music performance and music learning experience. In the attention task, all respondents had to identify pitch changes in tonal and randomized melodic pairs. The memory task was based on the mismatch negativity (MMN) proportion theory: 80 percent standard (not changed) and 20 percent deviant (changed) stimuli (sequences). Every sequence was named (na-na, ra-ra, za-za) and several items (pencil, spoon, tealight) were assigned for each sequence. Respondents had to recall the sequences, to associate them with the item and to detect possible changes. While executing the combined task, all respondents had to focus attention on the pitch changes and had to detect and describe these during the recall. Results and conclusion: The results support specific features in CB and EB, and similarities between late blind (LB) and sighted individuals. While executing attention and memory tasks, it was possible to observe the tendency in CB and EB by using more precise execution tactics and usage of more advanced periodic memory, while focusing on auditory and tactile stimuli. While executing memory and combined tasks, CB and EB individuals used passive working memory to recall standard sequences, active working memory to recall deviant sequences and combined strategies. Based on the observation results, assessment of blind respondents and recording specifics, following attention and memory correlations were identified: reflective attention and STM, reflective attention and periodic memory, auditory attention and WM, tactile attention and WM, auditory tactile attention and STM. The results and the summary of findings highlight the attention and memory features used in the music learning process in the context of blindness, and the tendency of the several attention and memory types correlated based on the task, strategy and individual features.
Surveyed Emotional Responses to Musical Chord Progressions Imbued with Binaural Pulsations
Applications of the binaural sound experience are wide-ranged. This paper focuses on the interaction between binaural tones and human emotion with an aim to apply the resulting knowledge artistically. For the purpose of this study, binaural music is defined as musical arrangements of sound which are made of combinations of binaural difference tones. Here, the term ‘binaural difference tone’ refers to the pulsating tone heard within the brain which results from listening to slightly differing audio frequencies or pure pitches in each ear. The frequency or tempo of the pulsations is the sum of the precise difference between the frequencies two tones and is measured in beats per second. Polyrhythmic pulsations that can be heard within combinations of these differences tones have shown to be able to entrain or tune brainwave patterns to frequencies which have been linked to mental states which can be characterized by different levels of attention and mood.
Deconstructing Reintegration Services for Survivors of Human Trafficking: A Feminist Analysis of Australian and Thai Government and Non-Government Responses
Awareness of the tragedy that is human trafficking has increased exponentially over the past two decades. The four pillars widely recognised as global solutions to the problem are prevention, prosecution, protection, and partnership between government and non-government organisations. While ‘sex-trafficking’ initially received major attention, this focus has shifted to other industries that conceal broader experiences of exploitation. However, within the regions of focus for this study, namely Australia and Thailand, trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation remains the commonly uncovered narrative of criminal justice investigations. In these regions anti-trafficking action is characterised by government-led prevention and prosecution efforts; whereas protection and reintegration practices have received criticism. Typically, non-government organisations straddle the critical chasm between policy and practice; therefore, they are perfectly positioned to contribute valuable experiential knowledge toward understanding how both sectors can support survivors in the post-trafficking experience. The aim of this research is to inform improved partnerships throughout government and non-government post-trafficking services by illuminating gaps in protection and reintegration initiatives. This research will explore government and non-government responses to human trafficking in Thailand and Australia, in order to understand how meaning is constructed in this context and how the construction of meaning effects survivors in the post-trafficking experience. A qualitative, three-stage methodology was adopted for this study. The initial stage of enquiry consisted of a discursive analysis, in order to deconstruct the broader discourses surrounding human trafficking. The data included empirical papers, grey literature such as publicly available government and non-government reports, and anti-trafficking policy documents. The second and third stages of enquiry will attempt to further explore the findings of the discourse analysis and will focus more specifically on protection and reintegration in Australia and Thailand. Stages two and three will incorporate process observations in government and non-government survivor support services, and semi-structured interviews with employees and volunteers within these settings. Two key findings emerged from the discursive analysis. The first exposed conflicting feminist arguments embedded throughout anti-trafficking discourse. Informed by conflicting feminist discourses on sex-work, a discursive relationship has been constructed between sex-industry policy and anti-trafficking policy. In response to this finding, data emerging from the process observations and semi-structured interviews will be interpreted using a feminist theoretical framework. The second finding progresses from the construction in the first. The discursive construction of sex-trafficking appears to have had influence over perceptions of the legitimacy of survivors, and therefore the support they receive in the post-trafficking experience. For example; women who willingly migrate for employment in the sex-industry, and on arrival are faced with exploitative conditions, are not perceived to be deserving of the same support as a woman who is not coerced, but rather physically forced, into such circumstances, yet both meet the criteria for a victim of human trafficking. The forthcoming study is intended to contribute toward building knowledge and understanding around the implications of the construction of legitimacy; and contextualise this in reference to government led protection and reintegration support services for survivors in the post-trafficking experience.
The Image of Egypt in CNN, BBC and Al Jazeera News Channels in Terms of Democracy, Economic Status and Stability
Egypt has been the focus of international media since 2011 revolution and its repercussions. By the end of 2017, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi will have finished his first term of presidency. With an upcoming presidential election, all eyes are returning back to Egypt as there are speculations about whether the current regime will uphold or change points in the constitution determining the years of presidency term and the allowed number or reelections. In this paper, the researcher examines the reports related to Egypt in three international news channels with different ideologies. The research aims to identify the frames used to portray major issues in Egypt like the economic struggle, democracy levels and stability and safety of the country. All available reports from these three channels in 2017 on YouTube were analyzed which is the year before the presidential elections.
The Use of Mnemonic and Mathematical Mnemonic Method in Improving Historical Understanding
This paper discusses the use of mnemonic and mathematical methods in enhancing the understanding of history. Mnemonics can help students from all levels including high school and in various disciplines including language, math, and history. At the secondary level, students are exposed to various courses that require them to remember many facts that can be mastered through the application of mnemonic techniques. Researchers use narrative literature studies to illustrate the current state of art and science in the field of research focused. Researchers used narrative literature reviews to build a scientific base of knowledge. Researchers gather all the key points in the discussion and put it here by referring to the specific field where the paper is essentially based. The findings suggest that the use of mnemonic techniques can improve the individual's memory by adding little effort. In implementing mnemonic techniques, it is important to integrate mathematics and history in the course as both are interconnected as mathematics has shaped our history and vice versa. This study shows that memory skills can actually be improved, the human mind can remember something more than expected.
Analyzing Social Media Network’s Roles: A Study of the Main Speakers, Linkers, Sources, Mediators, and Influencers of K-Pop’s BTS on Twitter
Social media platforms like Twitter can give users the power to influence the people who are connected to their network. This study provides a meaningful insight about the users’ powerful influence in a digital world on which anybody could perform any roles such the sources and influencers- anyone has the freedom to play a role in a network. On the other hand, traditional media is a one-way broadcasting system that is controlled through gatekeeping of messages- the roles are predetermined. A big data network analysis using the NodeXL program was used to identify the ‘who’ plays a role of a speaker, linker, influencer, mediator, and source of one of the most successful K-pop boy bands, the BTS on Twitter. There are three datasets conducted in determining the roles on a social media network: BTS AMAS’ international debut performance, the release of BTS’s Mic Drop song, and the BTS’s online program- Bantang Bomb. Results indicate that the main speakers, linkers, sources, mediators, and influencers have similar entities- the celebrities, media, fans and music producers, however, the fans emerged as the main linkers of BTS in all three category events while celebrities and media are the main influencers. Based on these findings, we present valuable insight on how these roles affect the success of the band in the contexts of fandom, para-social relationship and stakeholders of social media. Also, the important implications of the users’ roles in a network have been discussed for future research on the changing of roles on social media.
Gendering the Political Crisis in Hong Kong: A Cultural Analysis of Spectatorship on Marvel Superhero Movies in Hong Kong
Marvel superhero movies have obtained its unprecedented popularity around the globe. It is a dominant narrative in current scholarship on superhero studies that the political trauma of America, such as attack of September 11, and the masculinity represented in superhero genre are symbolically connected in a way of remasculinization, a standardized plot that before becoming a superhero, a man has to overcome its trauma in his life. Through this standardized plot, American audience finds their pleasure in the spectatorship of equating this plot of remasculinization with the situation of America, rewriting their traumatic memory and resolving around the economic, social, political, and psychological instability of precarity in their own context. Shifting the context to Hong Kong, where Marvel superhero movies have been reaching its dominant status in the local film market, this analysis finds its limitation in explaining the connection between text and context. This article aims to retain this connection through investigation of the Hong Kong audience’s spectatorship. It is argued that the masculinity represented in Marvel superhero movies no longer fits into the stereotypical image of superhero, but presents itself in crisis. This crisis is resolved by the technological excess of the superpower, namely, technological remasculinization. The technological remasculinization offers a sense of futurity through which it is felt that this remasculinization can be achieved in the foreseeable future instead of remaining imaginary and fictional. In this way, the political crisis of Hong Kong is gendered as masculinity in crisis which is worth being remasculinized in the future. This gendering process is a historical product as the symbolic equation between politics and masculinity has for long been encoded in the colonial history of Hong Kong. In short, Marvel superhero’s masculinity offers a sense of masculine hope for the Hong Kong audiences to overcome the political crisis they confront in reality through a postponed identification with the superhero’s masculinity. After the discussion of the Hong Kong audience’s spectatorship on Marvel superhero movies with the insights casted by spectatorship theory, above idea is generated.
The Paradox of Decentralization and Civic Culture: An Exploratory Study Applied to Local Governments in Papua New Guinea
Since gaining independence in 1975, Papua New Guinea`s core challenge has been the consolidation of democracy against a backdrop of enormous social, political and territorial diversity. Consequently, the government has implemented several political reforms including decentralization. Constitutional planners believed that national unity, would be better achieved by sharing state power over centralization. They anticipated that this would institutionalize a democratic civic culture by providing opportunities to groups and individuals to make political decisions within their jurisdiction. This would then eventually lead to confidence and participation in the larger entity of the state. In retrospect, civil society and community based groups are largely underrated and have had minimal influence on decisions at the local level, consequently contributing to nepotism, patronism and cynicism. By applying an elitist approach to analyze how national political leaders exert their influence and power within the local government system and local communities, this paper argues that decentralization has fragmented local communities. With an absence of political party roots and deeply divided ethnic groups, national political leaders have used divide and rule tactics resulting in mistrust among citizens. Through their influence and power within local governments to dictate projects and services to certain areas, this has resulted in skepticism and divisions among civil society along different cultural cleavages. This has been a contributing factor to anomalies in democratic consolidation and democratic political culture in Papua New Guinea.
Fluctuations in Radical Approaches to State Ownership of the Means of Production Over the Twentieth Century
The recent financial crisis in 2008 and the growing inequality in developed industrial societies would appear to present significant challenges to capitalism and the free market. Yet there have been few substantial mainstream political or economic challenges to the dominant capitalist and market paradigm to-date. There is no dearth of critical and theoretical (academic) analyses regarding the prevailing systems failures. Yet despite the growing inequality in the developed industrial societies and the financial crisis in 2008 few commentators have advocated the comprehensive socialization or state ownership of the means of production to our knowledge – a core principle of radical Marxism in the 19th and early part of the 20th century. Undoubtedly the experience in the Soviet Union and satellite countries in the 20th century has cast a dark shadow over the notion of centrally controlled economies and state ownership of the means of production. In this paper, we explore the history of a doctrine advocating the socialization or state ownership of the means of production that was central to Marxism and socialism generally. Indeed this doctrine provoked an intense and often acrimonious debate especially for left-wing parties throughout the 20th century. The debate within the political economy tradition has historically tended to divide into a radical and a revisionist approach to changing or reforming capitalism. The radical perspective views the conflict of interest between capital and labor as a persistent and insoluble feature of a capitalist society and advocates the public or state ownership of the means of production. Alternatively, the revisionist perspective focuses on issues of distribution rather than production and emphasizes the possibility of compromise between capital and labor in capitalist societies. Over the 20th century, the radical perspective has faded and even the social democratic revisionist tradition has declined in recent years. We conclude with the major challenges that confront both the radical and revisionist perspectives in the development of viable policy agendas in mature developed democratic societies. Additionally, we consider whether state ownership of the means of production still has relevance in the 21st century and to what extent state ownership is off the agenda as a political issue in the political mainstream in developed industrial societies. A central argument in the paper is that state ownership of the means of production is unlikely to feature as either a practical or theoretical solution to the problems of capitalism post the financial crisis among mainstream political parties of the left. Although the focus here is solely on the shifting views of the radical and revisionist socialist perspectives in the western European tradition the analysis has relevance for the wider socialist movement.
Capital vs. Labour in the Post-Industrial Information Age: A Marxist Analysis
In the third millennium AD, humanity has reached the phase of the Post-Industrial Information age. This age is characterized by the ubiquitous usage of ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) in all aspects of social reality. ICTs are not just a tool for automation of social production but are qualitatively different from other preceding technologies. It can be understood that ICTs are situated at the cutting edge of current global capitalism. There is a danger that ICTs are enhancing capitalist consumerism by converting the 'complete human being' into the 'complete consumer'. In this information age, a paradoxical social reality characterized by geography without distance, history without time, value without weight and transactions without cash seems to be unfolding. The current 'Post-Fordist' mode of production is qualitatively different from the earlier Fordist mode of production. In this historical context it becomes imperative to understand the dialectical relation between capital and labour. Rather than the 'factory' being the locus of struggle between capital and labour, since service sector and white-collar work have become important, the locus of struggle between capital and labour has in some sense shifted to the 'office'. ICT based workers can currently be considered as a 'class-in-itself', rather than a 'class-for-itself'. A large proportion of the global workforce are increasingly working for the same transnational corporations. So, it is possible to some extent to unify the global proletariat under the soul stirring Marxist slogan 'workers of the world unite'. ICT enabled 'telework' changes the 'political economy of the home’, so that more surplus value can be extracted. ICTs have influenced the contestation of time between capital and labour that has been happening all through the history of capitalism. ‘Telework’ and flexible production have influenced workers powers of collective bargaining. There are new challenges in organizing workers in the gig economy. When the ontological roots of ICTs are situated within the neo-Marxist Habermasian framework of critical theory, its potential for human emancipation is understood. But on the contrary, there is also a danger that ICTs may end up as a tool to consolidate and strengthen the existing powers of the bourgeoisie. The Gramscian notion of hegemony and Althusser’s concept of ISA (Ideological State Apparatus) may be getting reinforced by ICTs for social reproduction of the capitalist relations of production. After engaging with such issues, this paper surmises that the nature of the relation between capital and labour in the post-industrial information age is qualitatively different from the earlier industrial age. But nevertheless, it concludes that the possibilities of labour getting into a more just relation with capital and in the process bring about a more equitable global social order still exists.
A Study of SocioEconomic Problems Faced by Labors in Brick Kiln: A Case Study of District Hyderabad (Rural)
The present study investigateyhs the socio-economic problems of the labors in Brick Kilns which are situated in the vicinities of district Hyderabad (Rural). Eighty three respondents from twenty five brick kilns were selected for interview. It is found that majority of the respondents was illiterate and never visited educational, technical and religious institutions. The economic categorization of the labors revealed that majority was categorized as ‘poorest of poor’ (living below poverty line), having semi-pacca houses, earning less than 10,000 rupees per month to manage their entire family. Due to very low income they spent least amount on education and health while more on food and utilities. The general problems reported by the labors are: poor quality of drinking water, no shelter at work place, child labor, low and late payment of wages, long working hours etc. Besides these, both male and female labors informed about misbehave and use of abusive language by the owner/manager, even few of them also complained about physical abuse. Stomach problem was found as common disease in men followed by Anemia whereas in women Anemia was ranked first followed by Backache.
The Evaluation CaCO₃/Polymer Nanocomposites Performance for Preservation of Historic Lime Stone Monuments
The stone surfaces of historical architectural heritage in Egypt are under threat from of various environmental factors such as temperature fluctuation, humidity, pollution, and microbes. Due to these factors, the facades of buildings are deteriorating deformation and disfiguration of external decoration and the formation of black accretion also often from the stone works. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of CaCO₃ nano-particles as consolidation and protection material for calcareous stone monuments. Selected tests were carried out in order to estimate the superficial consolidating and protective effect of the treatment. When applied the nanoparticles dispersed in the acrylic copolymer; poly ethylmethacrylate (EMA)/methylacrylate (MA) (70/30, respectively) (EMA)/methylacrylate (MA) (70/30, respectively). The synthesis process of CaCO₃ nanoparticles/polymer nano-composite was prepared using in situ emulsion polymerization system. The consolidation and protection were characterized by TEM, while the penetration depth, re-aggregating effects of the deposited phase, and the surface morphology before and after treatment were examined by SEM (Scanning Electron Microscopy). Improvement of the stones' mechanical properties was evaluated by compressive strength tests. Changes in water-interaction properties were evaluated by water absorption capillarity measurements, and colorimetric measurements were used to evaluate the optical appearance. Together the results appear to demonstrate that CaCO₃/polymer nanocomposite is an efficient material for the consolidation of limestone architecture and monuments. As compared with samples treated with pure acrylic copolymer without Calcium carbonate nanoparticles, for example, CaCO₃ nanoparticles are completely compatible, strengthening limestone against thermal aging and improving its mechanical properties.
Confluence of Relations: An Auto-Ethnographic Account of Field Recording in the Anthropocene Age
In the age of the Anthropocene, all ecosystems, no matter how remote, is influenced by the relations between humans and technology. These influences are evidenced by current extinction rates, changes in species diversity, and species adaptation to pollution. Field recording is a tool through which we are able to document the extent to which life forms associated with the place are entangled with human-technology relationships. This paper documents the convergence of interaction between technologies, species, and landscape via an auto-ethnographic account of a field recording taken from a cell phone tower in Bali, Indonesia. In the recording, we hear a confluence of relations where critter and technology meet. The electrical hum of the tower merges with frogs and the amaranthine throb of crickets, in such a way that it is hard to tell where technology begins and the voice of creatures ends. The outcomes of this venture resulted in a framework for evaluating the sensorial relations within field recording. The framework calls for the soundscape to be understood as a multilayered ontology through which there is a convergence of multispecies relationships, or entanglements, across time and geographic location. These entanglements are not necessarily obvious. Sometimes quiet, sometimes elusive, sometimes only audible through the mediated conduit of digital technology. The paper argues that to be aware of these entanglements is to open ourselves to a type of beauty that is firmly rooted in the present paradigm of extinction and loss. By virtue of this understanding, we are bestowed with an opportunity to embrace the grave reality of the current sixth mass extinction and move forwards with what activist Joanna Macy calls the compassionate action.
Discursive (Re/De)Construction of Objectivity-Subjectivity: Critiquing Rape/Flesh Trade-Documentaries
As an offshoot of journalistic discourse, the documentary should be objective in nature without harbouring any preconceived notion to foster ulterior motifs. When it comes to a social issue like rape in South Asian countries, as media in recent times is inundated with this violent act in India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, how does one document it in terms of objectivity and subjectivity? The objective of this study is twofold: to document the history of documentaries, and to critically analyze South Asian rape/flesh trade-documentaries. The overall goal is to trace the (re/de)construction of objectivity-subjectivity in documentaries. This paper adopts a qualitative approach to documentarist discourse through the lens of critical discourse analysis (CDA). Data was gathered for 10 documentaries on the theme of rape and/or flesh trade from eight South Asian countries, predominantly the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) region. The documentaries were primarily categorised by using three frameworks based on six modes, six subgenres, and four basic approaches of documentary. Subsequently, the findings were critiqued from CDA perspective. The outcome suggests that there a two schools of thoughts regarding documentaries. According to journalistic ethics, news and/or documentaries should be objective in orientation and focus on informing the audience and/common people. The empirical findings tend to challenge ethical parameters of objectivity. At times, it seems that journalistic discourse is discursively (re)constructed to give an augmented simulation of objectivity. Based on the findings it may be recommended that if documentaries steer away from empirical facts and indulge in poetic naivety, their credibility could be questioned. A research of this nature is significant as it raises questions with regard to ethical and moral conscience of documentary filmmakers. Furthermore, it looks at whether they uphold journalistic integrity or succumb to their bias, and thereby depict subjective views, which could be tainted with political and/or propagandist ulterior motifs.
Gender Policies and Political Culture: An Examination of the Canadian Context
This paper is about gender-based analysis plus (GBA+), an intersectional gender policy used in Canada to assess the impact of policies and programs for men and women from different origins. It looks at Canada’s political culture to explain the nature of its gender policies. GBA+ is defined as an analysis method that makes it possible to assess the eventual effects of policies, programs, services, and other initiatives on women and men of different backgrounds because it takes account of gender and other identity factors. The ‘plus’ in the name serves to emphasize that GBA+ goes beyond gender to include an examination of a wide range of other related identity factors, such as age, education, language, geography, culture, and income. The point of departure for GBA+ is that women and men are not homogeneous populations and gender is never the only factor in defining a person’s identity; rather, it interacts with factors such as ethnic origin, age, disabilities, where the person lives, and other aspects of individual and social identity. GBA+ takes account of these factors and thus challenges notions of similarity or homogeneity within populations of women and men. Comparative analysis based on sex and gender may serve as a gateway to studying a given question, but women, men, girls, and boys do not form homogeneous populations. In the 1990s, intersectionality emerged as a new feminist framework. The popularity of the notion of intersectionality corresponds to a time when, in hindsight, the damage done to minoritized groups by state disengagement policies in concert with global intensification of neoliberalism, and vice versa, can be measured. Although GBA+ constitutes a form of intersectionalization of GBA, it must be understood that the two frameworks do not spring from a similar logic. Intersectionality first emerged as a dynamic analysis of differences between women that was oriented toward change and social justice, whereas GBA is a technique developed by state feminists in a context of analyzing governmental policies and aiming to promote equality between men and women. It can nevertheless be assumed that there might be interest in such a policy and program analysis grid that is decentred from gender and offers enough flexibility to take account of a group of inequalities. In terms of methodology, the research is supported by a qualitative analysis of governmental documents about GBA+ in Canada. Research findings identify links between Canadian gender policies and its political culture. In Canada, diversity has been taken into account as an element at the basis of gendered analysis of public policies since 1995. The GBA+ adopted by the government of Canada conveys an opening to intersectionality and a sensitivity to multiculturalism. The Canadian Multiculturalism Act, adopted 1988, proposes to recognize the fact that multiculturalism is a fundamental characteristic of the Canadian identity and heritage and constitutes an invaluable resource for the future of the country. In conclusion, Canada’s distinct political culture can be associated with the specific nature of its gender policies.
Deep Injection Wells for Storm Water Management
With its arid climate, Qatar experiences low annual rainfall, intense storms, and high evaporation rates. However, in recent years the incidents of surface water flooding and rising groundwater level have increased in Qatar, and specifically in city of Doha. These increases are related to the ongoing and rapid urbanization taking place across Qatar. Public Work Authority (PWA/ASHGHAL) has implemented an approach to collect and discharge the flood water into a) positive gravity systems; b) Emergency Flooding Area (EFA) – Evaporation, Infiltration or Storage with tinkering; and c) Discharge to deep injection wells. As part of flood prevention scheme, 21 deep injection wells are constructed to discharge the collected surface and groundwater table in Doha city. These injection wells are in areas where the drainage networks could not be connected to existing positive (gravity) system due to the lack of such system or risk of overloading downstream networks and creating flooding elsewhere. These injection wells are 400m deep and are constructed in a complex karstic subsurface condition with large cavities. The injection well system will discharge collected groundwater and storm surface runoff into the permeable Umm Er Radhuma Formation, which is an aquifer present throughout the Persian Gulf Region. The Umm Er Radhuma formation contains saline water that is not being used for water supply. The injection zone is separated by an impervious gypsum formation which acts a barrier between upper and lower aquifer. State of the art drilling, grouting, and geophysical techniques have been implemented in construction of the wells to assure that the shallow aquifer would not be contaminated and impacted by injected water. Injection and pumping tests were performed to evaluate injection well functionality (injectability). The results of these tests indicated that majority of the wells can accept injection rate of 200 to 300 m³ /h (56 to 83 l/s) under gravity with average value of 250 m³ /h (70 l/s) compared to design value of 50 l/s. This paper presents design and construction process and issues associated with these injection wells, performing injection/pumping tests to determine capacity and effectiveness of the injection wells, the detailed design of collection system and conveying system into the injection wells, and the operation and maintenance process. This system is completed now and is under operation and therefore, construction of injection wells is an effective option for flood control.
Social Identification among Employees: A System Dynamic Approach
Social identity among people is an important source of pride and self-esteem, consequently, people struggle to preserve a positive perception of their groups and collectives. The purpose of this paper is to explain the process of social identification and to highlight the underlying causal factors of social identity among employees. There is a little research about how the social identity of employees is shaped in Pakistan’s organizational culture. This study is based on social identity theory. This study uses Systems’ approach as a research methodology. The feedback loop approach is applied to explain the underlying key elements of employee behavior that collectively form social identity among social groups in corporate arena. The findings of this study reveal that effective, evaluative and cognitive components of an individual’s personality are associated with the social identification. The system dynamic feedback loop approach has revealed the underlying structure that is associated with social identity, social group formation, and effective component proved to be the most associated factor. This may also enable to understand how social groups become stable and individuals act according to the group requirements. The value of this paper lies in the understanding gained about the underlying key factors that play a crucial role in social group formation in organizations. It may help to understand the rationale behind how employees socially categorize themselves within organizations. It may also help to design effective and more cohesive teams for better operations and long-term results. This may help to share knowledge among employees as well. The underlying structure behind the social identification is highlighted with the help of system modeling.
Human Resource Practices and Organization Knowledge Capability: An Exploratory Study Applied to Private Organization
Organizational capability, in terms of employees’ knowledge is valuable, and difficult to reproduce; and help to build sustainable competitive advantages. Knowledge capability is linked with human resource (HR) practices of an organization. This paper investigates the relationship between HR practices, knowledge management and organization capability. In an organization, employees play key role for the effective organizational performance by sharing their knowledge with management and co-workers that contributes towards organization capability. Pakistan being a developing country has different HR practices and culture. The business opportunities give rise to the discussion about the effect of HR practices on knowledge management and organization capability as innovation performance. An empirical study is conducted through questionnaires form the employees in private banks of Lahore, Pakistan. The data is collected via structured questionnaire with a sample of 120 cases. Data is analyzed using Structure Equation Modeling (SEM), and results are depicted using AMOS software. Results of this study are tabulated, interpreted and crosschecked with other studies. Findings suggest that there is a positive relationship of training & development along with incentives on knowledge management. On the other hand, employee’s participation has insignificant association with knowledge management. In addition, knowledge management has also positive association with organization capability. In line with the previous research, it is suggested that knowledge management is important for improving the organizational capability such as innovation performance and knowledge capacity of firm. Organization capability may improve significantly once specific HR practices are properly established and implemented by HR managers. This Study has key implications for knowledge management and innovation fields theoretically and practically.