Frontiers in Sociology provides an international, scholarly forum for the investigation of society. A utopian impulse towards imagining and building progressive societies underpins much sociological research. Frontiers in Sociology focuses on contemporary social problems, though a historical purview is key to understand the functioning and development of societies.

News Library has vol. 1(2015) to current.

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  • The agency of fertility plans

    Giacomo Bazzani; Daniele Vignoli (Frontiers Media S.A., 2022-11-01)
    Fertility plans are a prominent area for agency research, and are a clear example of a misalignment between resources and agency capacity. We relied both on the idea of conversion factors of the Capability Approach and the pragmatist tradition of temporal-oriented agency to propose a framework for the study of fertility agency as the conversion process of resources into plans and behavior. We outlined said framework by using a unique dataset on fertility plans composed of open and closed questions from an Italian sample. Economic factors and imaginaries related to children and family represented the vast majority of (hindering and enabling) conversion factors. The notion of conversion factors is crucial for disentangling the network of heterogeneous elements involved in fertility agency: it allows focus to be shifted from structural factors related to social position and psychological characteristics to more situated elements that enable agency capacity.
  • Research using hashtags: A meta-synthesis

    Gevisa La Rocca; Giovanni Boccia Artieri (Frontiers Media S.A., 2022-11-01)
    In the last 20 years, research using hashtags has grown considerably. The changes that occurred in the digital environment have influenced their diffusion and development. Today, there is considerable research on hashtags, their use, and on hashtag activism. Likewise, there is a growing interest in their descriptive measures and their metrics. This article aimed to provide a review of this area of research and studies to outline the traits of hashtag research, which are yet nascent. To achieve this, we used a meta-study to produce a meta-synthesis capable of bringing out similarities and differences in research using hashtags and identifying spaces for the generation of new knowledge.
  • Socio-historical analysis of the social importance of pharmacovigilance

    Juan R. Coca; Raquel Coca-Asensio; Gema Esteban Bueno (Frontiers Media S.A., 2022-11-01)
    Pharmacovigilance is a scientific discipline that has changed a lot in recent years and is of great social importance. The case of the so-called sulfonamide elixir showed society the importance of this discipline. Since then, pharmacovigilance has evolved into a scientific discipline with a strong social character. In this paper, a historical review is made of several paradigmatic examples of this discipline to reflect on what pharmacovigilance could be like finally. We conclude that this discipline could be more closely related to other areas of the social sciences, which would help to promote a more democratic social environment taking into account the needs of individuals and social groups.
  • Integral definition and conceptual model of mental health: Proposal from a systematic review of different paradigms

    Maday Alicia Coronel-Santos; Juan Carlos Rodríguez-Macías (Frontiers Media S.A., 2022-11-01)
    Global society presents a mental health scenario characterized by the prevalence of mental disorders and the limited existence of formal care services. Faced with such a context, it is necessary to review what is understood and done in favor of mental health. This implies, in the first instance, analyzing the concept of mental health from a comprehensive approach that takes into account different perspectives from the social and natural sciences, related factors, and care options. Therefore, the present work aimed to propose an integral definition and a conceptual model of mental health based on the Systematic Literature Review, with the PRISMA approach, of the theoretical frameworks of 52 articles related to mental health published up to February 2022. A qualitative approach was used, with a Grounded Theory design, which allowed comparing different paradigms and identifying gaps in conceptual notions to build an explanatory model of mental health. The results showed three dominant paradigms that circumscribe the concept of mental health. Mental health is understood as the absence of illness, positive mental health, and a state of equilibrium. In addition, the need to propose a definition that integrates these dominant paradigms was mainly identified, and that would allow a broader understanding of the state of equilibrium as the basic process through which the individual must pass in the search for personal recovery. From the comparative analysis of the categories designated according to the Grounded Theory approach, an explanatory model was proposed to define mental health as the internal process of self-care, centered on the self-awareness and self-regulation of the human being, in which the person seeks to balance their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors, intrapersonal and interpersonal ones, to approach an optimal state of wellbeing and absence of mental disorders according to universal values and symptoms, and biological, social, psychological, and environmental factors.
  • Migrations and culture. Essential reflections on wandering human beings

    Paolo Contini; Letizia Carrera (Frontiers Media S.A., 2022-11-01)
    It is possible that our century and the one just past will be remembered in the future as the centuries of migration. Faced with the extent of migration today, social scientists have posed several questions, and in particular they have examined the causes of migration, the integration of immigrants into host countries, and the development of their cultural identity. The newcomers are almost always poorer than those who settled before them, and have different languages, physical appearance, customs, beliefs, and religious practices. The widespread perception is that of an upheaval of the social order. For some, it is the dawn of a new world, under the banner of métissage (or hybridization) and universal brotherhood; for most, it is the beginning of an invasion. Immigration is always a matter of borders: Who is “us”? Who is “them”? The host society has the power to define, classify, and construct the social category of immigrants. There are many differences within this category and obviously any strategic policy should be able to manage every specificity. Nevertheless, we need starting by focusing the more general ideal type of what is “otherness” and what it can be in the social representations in order to construct new conditions of encounter. In this scenario, urban spaces represent the stages on which the encounter with difference takes place. The space is never neutral and may affect, sometimes significantly, the conditions of that encounter. The physical form of the city is the result of widespread social representations of all phenomena, but it is also able to act on those same social representations by altering the processes that take shape within it. The urban dimension and the redesign of the urban space become increasingly key to shaping and managing social processes aimed at governing the transformation processes in a multi-ethnic sense of the European societies. Urban policy-makers can either wait for spontaneous processes of integration and virtuous composition of differences, or implement actions to manage differences, to prevent potential conflicts and start processes of active inclusion. In order to support the act of wandering within this second pattern of urban policies, moving from simple tolerance to a Habermasian process of dialogical exchange, at least two conditions are necessary: the existence of shared public spaces, and the quality of policies for regulating the use of urban public spaces.
  • Digital (in)equalities and user emancipation: Examining the potential of Adorno's maxim of Mündigkeit for critical intergenerational learning

    Miranda Leontowitsch; Friedrich Wolf; Frank Oswald (Frontiers Media S.A., 2022-11-01)
    The widespread use of mobile technologies has penetrated the lives of people across all age groups with the usage of smartphones and wearables appearing “natural” and without alternatives. The digitalisation of everyday life means that communication and negotiation of social and societal meanings are co-constructed by users and mobile technologies thereby blurring the boundary between on- and off-line as well as social and private spheres. At the same time, the global-market logic that has driven the extent and speed of this social transformation raises questions as to how individuals retain influence and agency over the digital technologies that have come to define both social and private spheres and that surround them at all times. Against this backdrop, this theoretical paper discusses the role of Adorno's maxim of emancipation toward autonomy (Mündigkeit) for education (Erziehung) and critical learning about and living with digital technologies. The paper suggests a way forward through intergenerational learning as a didactical method of enhancing emancipation among younger and older generations of “users” in their joint efforts of becoming critical agents in an age of digitally enhanced data markets.
  • “The whole sky has broken down on me. I might die alone”: A qualitative study on the lived experiences of COVID-19 positive frontline workers in Bangladesh

    Shamsul Arefin; Tamanna Rashid; Mowsume Bhattacharjee; Md. Didarul Habib; Md. Ashraful Islam; Mohammad Anisur Rahaman (Frontiers Media S.A., 2022-11-01)
    Many countries, including Bangladesh, have conducted research on the mental health of frontline workers and their challenges in adjusting to their new workplaces. However, the authors are unaware of any studies on their real-life experiences as COVID-19-positive patients in Bangladesh. This study intends to investigate the lived experiences of Bangladeshi frontline workers who were isolated as a result of the COVID-19 infection and tested positive for the virus. We used a qualitative methodology and a semi-structured interview guide to conduct ten interviews between July 26 and August 12, 2020. The participants were recruited via a social media campaign and purposive sampling. All interviews were conducted via telephone and online and were transcribed and analyzed using Colaizzi's phenomenological method. The study does, however, identify four primary themes and 13 supporting themes, including (1) experience in a new working environment (subthemes: workload and adaptation, maintaining health protocol and social distance, and the fear of infection), (2) diagnosis (subthemes: the origin of infection, physiological problems, experiences at the diagnosis center), (3) recovery days (subthemes: earlier reactions, experiences in isolation, coping mechanisms), and (4) post-COVID-19 (subthemes: excitement, fear, and confusion; physiological problems; increased religiosity; and changes in philosophy). This study is important for healthcare policymakers because it helps them design healthcare management systems that take Bangladeshi society's social context into account. This study also recommends that long-term behavioral change programs be implemented by national policymakers to lessen societal stigma. At the same time, it suggests that the government should help lessen the barriers to health care services that persons with lower socioeconomic status confront.
  • Determinants of delinquency in the Peruvian banking and microfinance system, 2015–2020

    Julio Cesar Quispe Mamani; Miriam Serezade Hancco Gomez; Cristobal Rufino Yapuchura Saico; Juan Isidoro Gómez Palomino; Santotomas Licimaco Aguilar Pinto; Jorge Luis Vargas Espinoza; Fredy Toribio Chalco Vargas; Amira Carpio Maraza; Dominga Asunción Calcina Álvarez; Rolando Cáceres Quenta (Frontiers Media S.A., 2022-11-01)
    ObjectiveThe objective was to identify the variables that affect the delinquency rate in banking and microfinance institutions, between the periods 2015 and 2020, for which panel data models were used, considering the information registered in the banking and financial institutions to the level of Peru.MethodThe methodological design used is quantitative, not experimental, with a descriptive-correlational design, applying the analysis of the data panel for each financial institution (Multiple Banking, Municipal Savings Banks), to observe the behavior over time for the same individuals.ResultsIt was determined that the behavior of the delinquency of microfinance institutions is having significant effects on the delinquency of loans, and macroeconomic variables like microeconomic variables do determine delinquency rates such as provisions, efficiency of analysts, financial income, liquidity in national currency, growth rate of Gross Domestic Product, and the level of unemployment, both for banks and for municipal savings and credit banks, explaining the study variables in 84.30% in the banking system and in 48.95% in the financial system with respect to delinquency.ConclusionsMacroeconomic and microeconomic variables are determining factors for the level of delinquency in financial institutions.
  • Gambling and financial markets a comparison from a regulatory perspective

    Linus Weidner (Frontiers Media S.A., 2022-11-01)
    This article discusses similarities between the finance industry and the gambling industry. It considers empirical studies from both fields and compares both industries with regard to possible substitution effects. Afterwards, the current regulatory approach to gambling and financial markets is discussed. Based on this literature review, the author points out that regulators need to acknowledge the fact that both markets possess addictive properties and attract certain risk-seeking individuals. Moreover, the regulators need to find a way to align their fundamentally different objectives to find common solutions to cross-industry problems. Finally, an increased cooperation between (state) authorities is necessary. This cooperation could help to protect traders from developing gambling-related problems, provide significant insights for industry-wide and product-specific regulation and lead to a more informed use of technology for harm prevention purposes. The most important similarities and differences of both markets and the resulting regulatory implications are briefly summarized.
  • “Go with the Flo”: Conducting rapid research on prenatal stress following Hurricane Florence as participant observers

    Michaela Howells; Kelsey Dancause (Frontiers Media S.A., 2022-11-01)
    In this article, we explore the challenges of conceptualizing, designing, and establishing a rapid research agenda as a local researcher following a disaster. We share what we learned while developing and implementing this rapid study and explore the challenges shaped by time pressures, our local context, and resource availability. We identify four core challenges, experienced conducting rapid research, and provide suggestions to overcome these challenges. Our goal is to provide insight to undergraduates, graduate students, and professionals who are considering rapid research inside or outside their own communities.
  • The burdens of poverty during the COVID-19 pandemic

    Julia Petersen; Nora Hettich; Rieke Baumkötter; Philipp S. Wild; Norbert Pfeiffer; Thomas Münzel; Jochem König; Karl J. Lackner; Manfred E. Beutel (Frontiers Media S.A., 2022-11-01)
    BackgroundIndividuals living at-risk-of-poverty have an increased risk of poor mental health. The pandemic and its societal impacts might have negative effects especially on this group widening the gap between rich and poor and also exacerbate gender gaps, which in turn might impact social cohesion.AimThe objective of this longitudinal study was to determine if people living at-risk-of-poverty were more vulnerable to economic and psychosocial impacts of the pandemic and showed poorer mental health. Moreover, gender differences were analyzed.MethodWe drew data from a sample of N = 10,250 respondents of two time points (T1 starting from October 2020, T2 starting from March 2021) of the Gutenberg COVID-19 Study. We tested for differences between people living at-risk-of-poverty and more affluent respondents regarding economic impacts, psychosocial stressors, as well as depressiveness, anxiety and loneliness, by comparing mean and distributional differences. To test for significant discrepancy, we opted for chi-square- and t-tests.ResultsThe analysis sample compromised N = 8,100 individuals of which 4,2% could be classified as living at-risk-of-poverty. 23% of respondents living at-risk-of-poverty had a decrease in income since the beginning of the pandemic–twice as many as those not living at-risk-of-poverty, who reported more often an increase in income. Less affluent individuals reported a decrease in working hours, while more affluent people reported an increase. Between our survey time points, we found a significant decrease in these economic impacts. Gender differences for economic changes were only found for more affluent women who worked more hours with no change in income. Less affluent respondents were more impacted by psychosocial stressors, depressiveness, anxiety, and loneliness. Gender differences were found particularly with regard to care responsibilities.DiscussionOur results indicate a widening in the gap between the rich and the poor at the beginning of the pandemic. Gender differences concerning economic changes affect more affluent women, but women in both income groups are more burdened by care responsibilities, which might indicate a heightened resurgence of gender role in times of crisis. This increase in inequality might have impacted social cohesion.
  • Virtuous organizations: Desire, consumption and human flourishing in an era of climate change

    Geoff Moore (Frontiers Media S.A., 2022-11-01)
    The notion of virtuous organizations has an established place in the business ethics/organization studies literature. But this conceptualization drew principally on Alasdair MacIntyre's After Virtue. His more recent work Ethics in the Conflicts of Modernity, with its focus on desire, consumption and human flourishing, demands a revisiting of the original concept. The first aim of this paper, therefore, is to provide an extended theory of the notion of the virtuous organization. An obvious application of this extended theory is to the issue of climate change. In exploring this, the paper has a further aim which is to respond to Banerjee et al.'s call for more theory building that articulates post-growth possibilities at the organization level in relation to the multiple challenges which society faces in response to the changing climate. The paper begins by summarizing the current conceptual framework of the virtuous organization while recognizing critiques of MacIntyre's work and its organizational application. It then turns to the issues of desire and consumption highlighted in MacIntyre's latest book, drawing also on an extended literature in these areas including insights from Girard's work, and concluding with MacIntyre's contentions in relation to human flourishing. This leads to the extended conceptual framework which is then applied to the issue of climate change. The particular theoretical contribution of the paper is to understand virtuous organizations as playing an important role in the redirection and re-education of desires, leading to the pursuit of goods that we have good reason to desire, and so to the good for individuals and communities, and ultimately to human flourishing within ecological limits. The similarities with and differences from the degrowth/post-growth movement are explored to demonstrate the distinctive contribution a MacIntyrean approach makes. The practical implications of this theoretical contribution are then spelled out, including a consideration of the potential ubiquity or otherwise of this approach, before conclusions are drawn.
  • Big data and development sociology: An overview and application on governance and accountability through digitalization in Tanzania

    Nicole Schwitter; Alexia Pretari; William Marwa; Simone Lombardini; Ulf Liebe (Frontiers Media S.A., 2022-11-01)
    The digital revolution and the widespread use of the internet have changed many realms of empirical social science research. In this paper, we discuss the use of big data in the context of development sociology and highlight its potential as a new source of data. We provide a brief overview of big data and development research, discuss different data types, and review example studies, before introducing our case study on active citizenship in Tanzania which expands on an Oxfam-led impact evaluation. The project aimed at improving community-driven governance and accountability through the use of digital technology. Twitter and other social media platforms were introduced to community animators as a tool to hold national and regional key stakeholders accountable. We retrieve the complete Twitter timelines up to October 2021 from all ~200 community animators and influencers involved in the project (over 1.5 million tweets). We find that animators have started to use Twitter as part of the project, but most have stopped tweeting in the long term. Employing a dynamic difference-in-differences design, we also do not find effects of Oxfam-led training workshops on different aspects of animators' tweeting behavior. While most animators have stopped using Twitter in the long run, a few have continued to use social media to raise local issues and to be part of conversations to this day. Our case study showcases how (big) social media data can be part of an intervention, and we end with recommendations on how to use digital data in development sociology.
  • Territorial spillover of COVID-19 infections in Rome during the “second wave”

    Francesca Romana Lenzi; Francesco Giovanni Truglia (Frontiers Media S.A., 2022-11-01)
    The study investigates the spread of the effects of COVID in 2019 in the city of Rome, focusing on the socio-economic factors that affect the incidence of the virus in the 155 urban areas (UAs) of the city. The units of analysis of this study are the UAs. The survey emphasizes the weight of spatial contiguity between the 155 UAs. For this purpose, the spatial data model analyses the spillover between contiguous units of analysis, distinguishing direct and indirect spatial effects. Digital geocoding of the collected data has been performed to create a geodatabase (GDB) that allows the statistical information to be turned into geographic layers. Geographic layers represent information layers that can be overlapped with each other on the map of Rome. The database allowed the variables to be handled with spatial analysis methods. This emphasizes the usefulness of digital analysis methods for the study of such a complex and rapidly changing phenomenon as the spread of SARS-CoV-19 infection on an urban scale.
  • Emotional foundations of the market: Sympathy and self-interest

    Emiliano Bevilacqua (Frontiers Media S.A., 2022-11-01)
    Sociology shows the role of emotions in economic life. Sympathy and self-interest are crucial individual dispositions to explain the social behavior that shapes market institutions. Adam Smith emphasized the importance that sympathy has in the achievement of stability in social interactions that foster market society. On the other hand, Max Weber argued that disciplined self-interest is essential for the accumulation of capital. Although their analyses differed in some aspects, both Smith and Weber considered emotions to be the key to understanding the moral values that drive economic behavior. This paper will compare Smith's and Weber's theories of the relationship between emotions and the market. Finally, this paper will interpret sympathy and self-interest as the emotional foundations of the market, highlighting the fundamental role that emotions might have in economic analyses.
  • “Without social there is no health”: Social work perspectives in multidisciplinary healthcare

    Roberta T. Di Rosa (Frontiers Media S.A., 2022-11-01)
    The pandemic has not just affected the health sphere: strong social effects of the emergency have added to the health risk, stressing on social relations and the deterioration of people's living conditions, and making those who are already fragile more fragile. Notwithstanding, during the emergency following the COVID-19 pandemic the attention was focused, indeed understandably, on the health aspects, widening the already existing misalignment between the health interventions and the social ones. Emergency oriented efforts and resources more toward a clinical care approach (cure) than toward support for the social and the inclusion aspects (care). Reflecting on the specific area of health care that interacts with social care (and vice versa), shows how the medicalization in managing the emergency have undermined or, at least, weakened the global approach to the person and to vulnerability profiles that should inspire the socio-healthcare integration. The aim of this review is describing the relationship between the health and social systems and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on it: a review of studies on the role played by social work in the health sector before and during COVID-19 pandemic emergency shows how much potential there is still to be developed for social work in the health sector that acts together with the personal health services; a care that looks at the person within his or her relationships, community resources and environmental aspects requires an investment toward integration between hospital care, social services and local communities.
  • The labor market in the digital era: What matters for the Gulf Cooperation Council countries?

    Jihen Bousrih; Manal Elhaj; Fatma Hassan (Frontiers Media S.A., 2022-11-01)
    Digital transformation affects all organizations, large and small. Waves of technological change are frequent and accelerating, requiring constant adaptation by companies and their employees. Artificial intelligence, automation, and digital tools are changing the traditional organizational structure and ways of working. After the COVID-19 pandemic, the labor market has to move toward an inclusive digital transformation that braces the business systems. This paper is an attempt to explore the effect of digitalization on employment in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and compare them to some selected advanced countries. The methodology focuses on the second-generation unit root tests and the Auto Regressive Distributed Lagged model for the period 2000–2020. The findings show a negative and significant impact of ICT on employment in the industrial and services sectors for GCC countries with a moderate adjustment speed toward the long-run equilibrium. This result is explained by the shortage of skilled workers in GCC countries compared to advanced countries, where the findings show a positive and significant effect of ICT technologies on total employment, especially in the industrial sector. The adjustment speed toward the long run is significantly higher in advanced countries than in GCC countries.
  • Exploring Jordanian women's resistance strategies to domestic violence: A scoping review

    Rula Odeh Alsawalqa; Maissa N. Alrawashdeh; Yara Abdel Rahman Sa'deh; Amal Abuanzeh (Frontiers Media S.A., 2022-11-01)
    Despite there being an abundant gender and social science research on domestic violence (DV) in Jordan, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is limited understanding and knowledge of women's resistance strategies to DV. To fill this gap, this study conducted a scoping review to synthesize and analyze 11 articles published in English-language scholarly journals between 2001 and 2021 by following the PRISMA-ScR guidelines. The databases of the University of Jordan Library, Dar Almandumah, PsycINFO, PubMed, Google Scholar, and Scopus were searched in December 2021. Our review found no scientific articles that primarily discussed Jordanian women's resistance to DV and explicate it as a secondary aim within the context of screening for the causes, consequences, and prevalence of DV. Therefore, while a few articles implicitly conceptualized women's resistance in the context of the patriarchal structure—either as tactics of physical, social, economic survival, and to protect their family and honor, or as consequences of DV—no article provided an explicit definition of this concept. The articles also deliberated on 12 resistance strategies that women use to deal with DV; predominant among them are daily resistance, activities hidden for immediate and de facto gains (e.g., to avoid beatings, divorce and family disintegration, the decision to keep their children, and maintaining economic stability). The most common strategies are silence and not seeking help, reporting to family members or friends, seeking legal and social advice, and reporting to the police or healthcare provider.

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