Other social sciences
While workers movements have been largely phased out and considered out-dated in most parts of the world during the 1990s, the 21st century has seen a surge in new and unprecedented forms of strikes and workers organisations. The collection of essays in this book, spanning countries across global South and North, provides an account of strikes and working class resistance in the 21st century. Through original case studies, the book looks at the various shades of workers’ movements, analysing different forms of popular organisation as responses to new social and economic conditions, such as restructuring of work and new areas of investment.
This book offers a comparative analysis of value and identity changes in several post-Communist countries. In light of the tremendous economic, social and political changes in former communist states, the authors compare the values, attitudes and identities of different generations and cultural groups. Based on extensive empirical data, using quantitative and qualitative methods to study complex social identities, this book examines how intergenerational value and identity changes are linked to socio-economic and political development. Topics include the rise of nationalist sentiments, identity formation of ethnic and religious groups and minorities, youth identity formation and intergenerational value conflicts
This report presents the results of an ESRC-funded research project that examined the behavioural and attitudinal impacts of the English plastic bag charge that was introduced in October 2015. The project used a mixed-methods longitudinal approach, and included a national survey, a diary-interview study, and supermarket observation study. Overall, the research has shown that the English plastic bag charge has made a strong and positive impact on people’s behaviours and attitudes. The research found that the charge was eff ective at breaking old habits, and that it became more popular as people adapted to the policy. Evidence was also found that the charge increased environmental awareness and the acceptability of other environmental policies. The success of the plastic bag charge in eff ectively changing plastic bag use and increasing support for other charges to reduce waste suggests that similar policies could also be successfully implemented, such as a deposit return scheme on plastic bottles or a charge on disposable coff ee cups.
Background and aims. This research reported here presents findings from an evaluation of the development and implementation of the Healthy Community Challenge Fund (otherwise known as the ‘Healthy Towns’ programme). A key aim of the research has been to inform the development of future environmental and systems‐based ‘whole town’ approaches to obesity prevention. The overall aim of the Healthy Towns programme was to pilot and stimulate novel ‘whole town’ approaches that tackle the ‘obesogenic’ environment in order to reduce obesity, with a particular focus on improving diet and increasing physical activity. Through a competitive tender process, nine towns were selected that represented urban areas across England ranging from small market towns to areas of large cities. The fund provided £30 million over the period 2008‐2011, divided amongst the nine towns. The amounts awarded ranged from £900,000 to £4.85 million. Towns were instructed to be innovative and were given freedom to develop a locally‐specific programme of interventions. This report supplements local process and impact evaluations undertaken by each town (not reported here) by taking an overall view of the programme’s development and implementation. Our evaluation therefore addressed the following research questions: 1. What kinds of interventions were delivered across the Healthy Towns programme? 2. Were environmental and infrastructural interventions equitably delivered? 3. How was the Healthy Towns programme theorised and translated into practice? 4. How was evidence used in the selection and design of interventions? 5. What are the barriers and facilitators to the implementation of a systems approach to obesity prevention?
The aim of this study is to develop and examine a scale that measures three components of perceived political efficacy: personal, collective and external. Twelve statements were formulated based on four abilities: 1) ability to influence the enactment of new laws and political decisions, 2) ability to facilitate the election of a political leader, 3) ability to demand that existing laws and political decisions be observed and 4) ability to express any political opinions freely and publicly. Data was collected online via social media from Russian, Kazakh and Ukrainian samples (N = 2,184) between 2015 and 2017. The scale’s structural validity was tested using confirmatory factor analysis. Results showed that with some modification the short version of the proposed model exhibits good fit indexes across all samples. Configural, metric and scalar invariance of the short version of the Perceived Political Efficacy Scale was also successfully tested. Additionally, differences in political efficacy between certain age groups were discovered, as well as between countries. Namely, people in the 30+ age bracket exhibited higher political efficacy than those in the 18–19 age bracket. Ukrainian respondents showed significantly higher personal and collective efficacy when compared to Russian and Kazakh respondents. Kazakh respondents exhibited the highest level of external efficacy.
Nonprofit organizations in Russia are introducing for-profit activities as a means of gaining autonomy from external donors, and as instruments of strategic planning and sustainable development. This study focuses on organizations that work with welfare provision and explores how they reconcile entrepreneurial activities with their social mission. More specifically, we interrogate how two institutional logics, business and nonprofit, are defined and reconciled in organizational identities, structures and hierarchies. Socially oriented nonprofits define their mission through service to beneficiaries, through personal and professional dedication to beneficiaries’ well-being, and through making an impact on public policies and the society at large. They mimic a business approach in strategic planning and meticulous reporting, but subordinate profit-seeking to social mission by integrating entrepreneurial activities into already existing organizational structures, or by separating them into independent entities.
In this exploratory study, we examined several interethnic ideologies held by individuals (assimilation, colorblindness, multiculturalism, and polyculturalism) from a social ecological perspective. We examined moderation effects of neighborhood ethnic density (ED) on relationships between interethnic ideologies and intergroup bias towards various minority ethnic groups in the Russian context. Intergroup bias was assessed as a composite score of bias toward four ethnic groups who have different cultural distances from the Russian mainstream population: Chechens, Belarusians, Uzbeks, and Chinese. We obtained a gender balanced sample of ethnic Russians from the Central Federal District of Russia (N = 359) comprising of 47% women and 53% men. The measures were used in a Russian translation by an adaptation using the back-translation and cognitive interviews. Multiple regression analysis was used to test the relationships. The results showed that high perceived neighborhood non-Russian ED weakened negative relations between intergroup bias and ideologies that purportedly accept cultural diversity (multiculturalism and polyculturalism). On the other hand, for interethnic ideologies those purportedly reject cultural diversity, high perceived neighborhood non-Russian ED weakened the positive relations between intergroup bias and assimilation and strengthened the negative relations between intergroup bias and colorblindness. The pattern of results suggests that the relationship between attitudes and intergroup bias may change based on the perceived ethnic composition of the local area and frequency of contacts. Although our findings are relatively novel they support the emerging view that attitudes and intergroup relations need to be studied from a social ecological context.
The article investigates the accessibility of mobile and networking technologies to schoolchildren of different ages living in various areas and how they use these technologies. The author considers the potential ways in which modern technologies can be used in education. The potential benefits of such technologies are particularly promising for rural schools. The article comments on the modern trend to create a seamless educational environment on the basis of e-learning.
This article considers the relationships among meaning generation, selection, and the dynamics of discourse from a variety of perspectives ranging from information theory and biology to sociology. Following Husserl’s idea of a horizon of meanings in intersubjective communication, we propose a way in which, using Shannon’s equations, the generation and selection of meanings from a horizon of possibilities can be considered probabilistically. The information-theoretical dynamics we articulate considers a process of meaning generation within cultural evolution: information is imbued with meaning, and through this process, the number of options for the selection of meaning in discourse proliferates. The redundancy of possible meanings contributes to a codification of expectations within the discourse. Unlike hard-wired DNA, the codes of nonbiological systems can coevolve with the variations. Spanning horizons of meaning, the codes structure the communications as selection environments that shape discourses. Discursive knowledge can be considered as meta-coded communication that enables us to translate among differently coded communications. The dynamics of discursive knowledge production can thus infuse the historical dynamics with a cultural evolution by adding options, that is, by increasing redundancy. A calculus of redundancy is presented as an indicator whereby these dynamics of discourse and meaning may be explored empirically.
Items presented in large font are rated with higher judgments of learning (JOLs) than those presented in small font. According to current explanations of this phenomenon in terms of processing fluency or implicit beliefs, this effect should be present no matter the type of material under study. However, we hypothesized that the linguistic cues present in sentences may prevent using font size as a cue for JOLs. Experiment 1, with short sentences, showed the standard font-size effect on JOLs, and Experiment 2, with pairs of longer sentences, showed a reduced effect. These results suggest that linguistic factors do not prevent font size from being used for JOLs. However, Experiment 3, with both short and long sentences, showed an effect of font size only for the former and not the latter condition, suggesting that the greater amount of to-be-remembered information eliminated the font-size effect. In Experiment 4, we tested a mechanism to explain this result and manipulated cognitive load using the dot-memory task. The short sentences from Experiments 1 and 3 were used, and the results replicated the font-size effect only in the low-cognitive load condition. Our results are consistent with the idea that perceptual information is used to make JOLs only with materials such as words, word pairs, or short sentences, and that the increased cognitive load required to process longer sentences prevents using font size as a cue for JOLs.
We set out to quantitatively evaluate the discordance between perceived and desired acculturation attitudes by immigrants in Russia in the eyes of host group members and consider relationships between this discordance and other intergroup attitudes. We used the coefficient of intrarater agreement as a measure of discordance between acculturation attitudes of the host population. The host population in Russia mostly preferred an assimilation-type of adjustment of immigrants but believed that immigrants prefer separation. Discordance between acculturation attitudes can have consequences for intergroup relations. Further investigation of the discordance can help to better understand the process of mutual accommodation and the evaluation of discordance can help to enhance this accommodation.
The use of the MRI-navigation system ensures accurate targeting of TMS. This, in turn, results in TMS motor mapping becoming a routinely used procedure in neuroscience and neurosurgery. However, currently, there is no standardized methodology for assessment of TMS motor-mapping results. Therefore, we developed TMSmap – free standalone graphical interface software for the quantitative analysis of the TMS motor mapping results (http://tmsmap.ru/). In addition to the estimation of standard parameters (such as the size of cortical muscle representation and the center of gravity location), it allows estimation of the volume of cortical representations, excitability profile of the cortical surface map and the overlap between cortical representations. The input data for the software includes the coordinates of the coil position (or electric field maximum) and the corresponding response in each stimulation point. TMSmap has been developed for versatile assessment and comparison of TMS maps relating to different experimental interventions including, but not limited to longitudinal, pharmacological and clinical studies (e.g., stroke recovery). To illustrate the use of TMSmap we provide examples of the actual TMS motor-mapping analysis of two healthy subjects and one chronic stroke patient.
The energy security theories are based on the premises of sufficient and reliable supply of fossil fuels at affordable prices in centralized supply systems. Policy-makers and company chief executives develop energy security strategies based on the energy security theories and definitions that dominate in the research and policy discourse. It is therefore of utmost importance that scientists revisit these theories in line with the latest changes in the energy industry: the rapid advancement of renewables and smart grid, decentralization of energy systems, new environmental and climate challenges. The study examines the classic energy security concepts (neorealism, neoliberalism, constructivism and international political economy) and assesses if energy technology changes are taken into consideration. This is done through integrative literature review, comparative analysis, identification of ‘international relations’ and ‘energy’ research discourse with the use of big data, and case studies of Germany, China, and Russia. The paper offers suggestions for revision of energy security concepts through integration of future technology considerations.