Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 40418

Humanities and Social Sciences

Three-Dimensional Model of Leisure Activities: Activity, Relationship, and Expertise
Previous works on leisure activities had been categorizing activities arbitrarily and subjectively while focusing on a single dimension (e.g. active-passive, individual-group). To overcome these problems, this study proposed a Korean leisure activities’ matrix model that considered multidimensional features of leisure activities, which was comprised of 3 main factors and 6 sub factors: (a) Active (physical, mental), (b) Relational (quantity, quality), (c) Expert (entry barrier, possibility of improving). We developed items for measuring the degree of each dimension for every leisure activity. Using the developed Leisure Activities Dimensions (LAD) questionnaire, we investigated the presented dimensions of a total of 78 leisure activities which had been enjoyed by most Koreans recently (e.g. watching movie, taking a walk, watching media). The study sample consisted of 1348 people (726 men, 658 women) ranging in age from teenagers to elderlies in their seventies. This study gathered 60 data for each leisure activity, a total of 4860 data, which were used for statistical analysis. First, this study compared 3-factor model (Activity, Relation, Expertise) fit with 6-factor model (physical activity, mental activity, relational quantity, relational quality, entry barrier, possibility of improving) fit by using confirmatory factor analysis. Based on several goodness-of-fit indicators, the 6-factor model for leisure activities was a better fit for the data. This result indicates that it is adequate to take account of enough dimensions of leisure activities (6-dimensions in our study) to specifically apprehend each leisure attributes. In addition, the 78 leisure activities were cluster-analyzed with the scores calculated based on the 6-factor model, which resulted in 8 leisure activity groups. Cluster 1 (e.g. group sports, group musical activity) and Cluster 5 (e.g. individual sports) had generally higher scores on all dimensions than others, but Cluster 5 had lower relational quantity than Cluster 1. In contrast, Cluster 3 (e.g. SNS, shopping) and Cluster 6 (e.g. playing a lottery, taking a nap) had low scores on a whole, though Cluster 3 showed medium levels of relational quantity and quality. Cluster 2 (e.g. machine operating, handwork/invention) required high expertise and mental activity, but low physical activity. Cluster 4 indicated high mental activity and relational quantity despite low expertise. Cluster 7 (e.g. tour, joining festival) required not only moderate degrees of physical activity and relation, but low expertise. Lastly, Cluster 8 (e.g. meditation, information searching) had the appearance of high mental activity. Even though clusters of our study had a few similarities with preexisting taxonomy of leisure activities, there was clear distinctiveness between them. Unlike the preexisting taxonomy that had been created subjectively, we assorted 78 leisure activities based on objective figures of 6-dimensions. We also could identify that some leisure activities, which used to belong to the same leisure group, were included in different clusters (e.g. filed ball sports, net sports) because of different features. In other words, the results can provide a different perspective on leisure activities research and be helpful for figuring out what various characteristics leisure participants have.
A Modeling Approach for Blockchain-Oriented Information Systems Design
The blockchain technology is regarded as the most promising technology that has the potential to trigger a technological revolution. However, besides the bitcoin industry, we have not yet seen a large-scale application of blockchain in those domains that are supposed to be impacted, such as supply chain, financial network, and intelligent manufacturing. The reasons not only lie in the difficulties of blockchain implementation, but are also root in the challenges of blockchain-oriented information systems design. As the blockchain members are self-interest actors that belong to organizations with different existing information systems. As they expect different information inputs and outputs of the blockchain application, a common language protocol is needed to facilitate communications between blockchain members. Second, considering the decentralization of blockchain organization, there is not any central authority to organize and coordinate the business processes. Thus, the information systems built on blockchain should support more adaptive business process. This paper aims to address these difficulties by providing a modeling approach for blockchain-oriented information systems design. We will investigate the information structure of distributed-ledger data with conceptual modeling techniques and ontology theories, and build an effective ontology mapping method for the inter-organization information flow and blockchain information records. Further, we will study the distributed-ledger-ontology based business process modeling to support adaptive enterprise on blockchain.
Scientific Development as Diffusion on a Social Network: An Empirical Case Study
Broadly speaking, scientific development is studied in either a qualitative manner with a focus on the behavior and interpretations of academics, such as the sociology of science and science studies or in a quantitative manner with a focus on the analysis of publications, such as scientometrics and bibliometrics. Both come with a different set of methodologies and few cross-references. This paper contributes to the bridging of this divide, by on the on hand approaching the process of scientific progress from a qualitative sociological angle and using on the other hand quantitative and computational techniques. As a case study, we analyze the diffusion of Granovetter's hypothesis from his 1973 paper 'On The Strength of Weak Ties.' A network is constructed of all scientists that have referenced this particular paper, with directed edges to all other researchers that are concurrently referenced with Granovetter's 1973 paper. Studying the structure and growth of this network over time, it is found that Granovetter's hypothesis is used by distinct communities of scientists, each with their own key-narrative into which the hypothesis is fit. The diffusion within the communities shares similarities with the diffusion of an innovation in which innovators, early adopters, and an early-late majority can clearly be distinguished. Furthermore, the network structure shows that each community is clustered around one or few hub scientists that are disproportionately often referenced and seem largely responsible for carrying the hypothesis into their scientific subfield. The larger implication of this case study is that the diffusion of scientific hypotheses and ideas are not the spreading of well-defined objects over a network. Rather, the diffusion is a process in which the object itself dynamically changes in concurrence with its spread. Therefore it is argued that the methodology presented in this paper has potential beyond the scientific domain, in the study of diffusion of other not well-defined objects, such as opinions, behavior, and ideas.
Migrant Labour in Kerala: A Study on Inter-State Migrant Workers
In the recent years, Kerala is witnessing a large inflow of migrants from different parts of the country. Though initially, the migrants were largely from the districts of Tamil Nadu and mostly of seasonal nature, but at a later period, the state started getting migrants from the far-off states like UP, Assam, Bengal, etc. Higher wages for unskilled labour, large opportunities for employment, the reluctance on the part of Kerala workers to do menial and hard physical work, and the shortage of local labour, paradoxically despite the high unemployment rate in the state, led to the massive influx of migrant labourers. This study takes a multi-dimensional overview of migrant labour in Kerala by encompassing factors such as channels of migration, nature of employment contracts entered into and the corresponding wages and benefits obtained by them. The study also analysed the circumstances that led to the large influx of migrants from different states of India. It further makes an attempt to examine the varying dimensions of living and working environment, and also the health conditions of migrants. The study is based on the empirical findings obtained as a result of the primary interviews conducted with migrants in the districts of Palakkad, Malappuram, and Ernakulam. The study concludes by noting that Kerala will inevitably have to depend on migrant labour and is likely to experience heavy in-migration of labour in future, provided that if the existing socioeconomic and demographic situations persist. Since, this is inevitable, the best way before the state is to prepare well in advance to receive and accommodate such migrant labour to lead a comfortable life in a hassle free environment, so that it would definitely play a vital role in further strengthening and sustaining the growth trajectory of not only Kerala’s economy but also the states of origin.
Attracting the European Youths to STEM Education and Careers: A Pedagogical Approach to a Hybrid Learning Environment
To bring science and society together in Europe, thus increasing the continent’s international competitiveness, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education must be more relatable to European youths in their everyday life. STIMEY (Science, Technology, Innovation, Mathematics, Education for the Young) project researches and develops a hybrid educational environment with multi-level components that is being designed and developed based on a well-researched pedagogical framework, aiming to make STEM education more attractive to young people aged 10 to 18 in this digital era. This environment combines social media components, robotic artefacts, and radio to educate, engage and increase students’ interest in STEM education and careers from a young age. Additionally, it offers educators the necessary modern tools to deliver STEM education in an attractive and engaging manner in or out of class. Moreover, it enables parents to keep track of their children’s education, and collaborate with their teachers on their development. Finally, the open platform allows businesses to invest in the growth of the youths’ talents and skills in line with the economic and labour market needs through entrepreneurial tools. Thus, universities, schools, teachers, students, parents, and businesses come together to complete a circle in which STEM becomes part of the daily life of youths through a hybrid educational environment that also prepares them for future careers.
Demographic Bomb or Bonus in All Provinces in 100 Years after Indonesian Independence
According to National Population and Family Planning Board (BKKBN), demographic bonus will occur in 2025-2035, when the number of people within the productive age bracket is higher than the number of elderly people and children. This time will be a gold moment for Indonesia to achieve maximum productivity and prosperity. But it will be a demographic bomb if it isn’t balanced by economic and social aspect considerations. Therefore it is important to make a prediction mapping of all provinces in Indonesia whether in demographic bomb or bonus condition after 100 years Indonesian independence. The purpose of this research were to make the demographic mapping based on the economic and social aspects of the provinces in Indonesia and categorizing them into demographic bomb and bonus condition. The research data are gained from Statistics Indonesia (BPS) as the secondary data. The multiregional component method, regression and quadrant analysis were used to predict the number of people, economic growth, Human Development Index (HDI), and gender equality in education and employment. There were different characteristic of provinces in Indonesia from economic aspect and social aspect. The west Indonesia was already better developed than the east one. The prediction result, many provinces in Indonesia will get demographic bonus but the others will get demographic bomb. It is important to prepare particular strategy to particular provinces with all of their characteristic based on the prediction result so the demographic bomb can be minimalized.
Meaning beyond Pleasure in Leisure: Comparison between Korea and France
This study investigates individual’s intrinsic motivation to practice their leisure activities, as well as, how the cultural environment may influence their motivation to practice their activities. Focused on the positive psychology, the present study proposed redefinition of leisure activities considering two factors. First, leisure activities could be as any activities that provide pleasure or meaning to individuals. Second, they can be practiced alone or in groups. In fact, based on this definition, a four-dimensional model of leisure activities was developed, to measure individual’s perception of their leisure experience, based on four factors that are: personal pleasure, social pleasure, personal meaning and social meaning. Furthermore, recent studies have argued that leisure activities can be interpreted and understood differently across cultures. Therefore, the present study proposed to examine the possible role of the cultural context of individual’s leisure practices. To do so, two cultural groups (Koreans vs. French) were compared in terms of the four-dimensional model of leisure activities. Three hundred Koreans and three hundred French participants were asked to answer an online survey about their leisure activities. Participants had to respond to questions related to several aspects of leisure practices as followed: the reason why their practice their leisure activities, the reason why they fail to practice their leisure, and their obsession relate to their leisure activities. Factor analyses based on participant’s responses proposed a moderate fit of the four-dimensional model of leisure activities. Furthermore, significant cultural differences were also found. As a result, the cultural context seems to influence the reason why individuals practice their leisure activities based on our model. In fact, Koreans explained more than French, the practice of their leisure activities with social-pleasurable reasons. At a contrary, French explained more than Koreans, the practice of their leisure activities with social-meaningful reasons. The two cultural groups also significantly differ on their perception of failure. The results showed that French participants used more meaningful social factors to explain why they failed to practice their leisure activities than did Koreans participants. Finally, Koreans and French significantly differed regarding their obsession on their leisure activities. In general, French tend to have more obsession than Koreans about their leisure activities. Those results validated the four-dimensional model of leisure, as well as, the cultural differences in leisure practices. However, further studies are needed to validate this model at an individual and cultural level.
Climate Change and Land Grabbing
Climate change and land grabbing are tightly interconnected in ways that are both diverse and complex. They have impacted each other in significant ways too. Both phenomena are not only a political reality, but have diverse dire implications, especially for food and livelihood security of vulnerable populations in developing economies. The critical nexus and interactions of climate change and land grabbing remain one of the challenges of sustainable development in modern times. The nuanced understanding of the nexus, importance and implications of climate change and land grabbing are the primary focus of this chapter. It begins with conceptual clarifications, particularly arguing that the absence of some important principles of engagement underline and define a land grab. It also analyses and notes a good number of contemporary land deals as 'one-sided', in which wealthy entities connive with local elites to exploit and disposes rural poor populations. The paper not only examines both global and local factors that drive land grabbing and, in some cases, their connections with the incidence of climate change, but also explores their crucial links with such sector as agriculture. It is argued and exhibited in the paper why certain societies are susceptible to the incidence of climate change and land grabbing, while the overall consequences of these phenomena on the affected societies are further interrogated. The paper concludes that the lack of political will by global political leaders to effectively combat and resolve critical issues associated with both climate change and land grabbing remains a daunting challenge. It notes that these phenomena – climate change and land grabbing – if not abated, will certainly become another set of global tragic episodes to be regretted in the future.
Fulani Herdsmen and the Threat to Grassroots Security in Rural Nigeria
There is an ongoing grassroots war in Nigeria, particularly in its north central zone, as well as all through its southern parts, which have been most bloody. The war is between Fulani herdsmen and farming communities – an age-long problem which has escalated in the last decade and has assumed a very deadly dimension. In a typical scenario, Fulani herdsmen move into non-Fulani homelands with their cattle which graze on local farmlands, destroying farmers’ crops. This provokes their victims – the farmers – to acts of resistance, preventing the Fulani and their cattle from entering into farmlands. In some cases, there have been incidences of killing and/or stealing cattle, or poisoning of fields. In response, the herders wedge deadly attacks on farming communities, leading to the death of thousands of people. To be sure, this has been a major factor of instability in the rural areas of Nigeria. This paper aims at engaging the issues and cross-cutting issues of interest, as well as providing context and perspectives to the violent conflicts between Fulani herders and local communities in Nigeria. It particularly interrogates four central issues: (1) the nature and dynamics of the crisis, (2) the positions and stakes of the parties to the crisis, (3) the remedies available for containing/managing the conflicts and their desirability, and (4) perspectives on the positions of government(s) (and the African Union) on this conflict. Both primary and secondary sources were used for the purposes of this essay.
Effect of Financial Empowerment on Reporting Rates of Sexual Violence among Female Sex Workers in India: A Cross-Sectional Study
Introduction: Implementation research was carried out as part of AVAHAN, An HIV prevention program in 5 high HIV prevalent states of India. Commercial sex workers are particularly at risk of facing sexual violence. Sexual violence has been directly associated with an increased risk of HIV. Addressing Sexual violence effectively can be a challenge if it fails to get reported. This study explores how financial empowerment can be an effective tool to improve reporting of sexual violence among female sex workers. Mediation effect of Involvement in Community organizations was also assessed. Methodology: A systematic process of data collection was undertaken by field workers in their respective intervention areas using existing lists available with Community Organizations and Targeted intervention Programs. A complete enumeration was done using a pre-tested structured tool. The Cross-sectional study was conducted in April-September 2015, Covering 109,366 FSWs from 71 COs in high prevalent Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Telangana. Important socio-economic characters, as well as Composite indices to assess financial security and social protection (FSSPI) and Involvement in Community Organization (COBI), were used as independent variables. Reporting of Violence was taken as the outcome indicator. Pathway analysis was carried out to assess the mediation of COBI on the relationship between FSSPI and reporting behavior. SPSS V 22 package was used for multivariate analysis. Findings: Approximately 7% (7322) of the FSWs surveyed reported to have faced sexual violence in the last 6 months. The multivariate logistic regression analysis included 6103 FSWs.70% (4322) of FSWs who had faced sexual abuse reported it. Of the socio-demographic characters assessed, receiving more years of education and ever been married were associated with higher reporting rates. FSWs who had a street or home typology were less likely to report sexual abuse. A Higher FSSPI was found to be associated with increased reporting rates AOR 1.79 CI(1.58-2.03).Higher reporting behavior was also observed among KPs with higher levels of COBI AOR 1.16 CI (1.03-1.31).Path analysis indicated a statistically significant partially mediation effect of COBI on the relation between FSSPI and reporting behavior. Conclusion: This study clearly demonstrates the association of higher financial and social empowerment on improving reporting behavior. There is a statistically significant mediation effect of community involvement in the relationship of Financial and social empowerment on reporting behavior. Providing better access to financial and social services and encouraging participation in community organization can be potent drivers in improving reporting rates of abuse, thereby leading to better redressal and prevention of sexual violence.
Psychological Aspects in the Doctrine of Dependent Origination
This research is an attempt to examine psychological aspect of the Buddha’s most cardinal and fundamental doctrine of Dependent Origination (paṭiccasamuppāda) along with drawing out a clear picture of the constituents from the law of causation and analyzes the mental states and motivational factors behind each constituent among twelvefold links. Meticulous research into the doctrine of Dependent Origination reveals how the main links from the doctrine of dependent origination provide a framework for psychological analysis through volitional formation (saṅkhāra), consciousness (viññāna), mentality and materiality (nāma-rūpa), contact (phassa), feeling (vedanā), craving (tanhā) and clinging (upādāna). This paper further illustrates the notion of perception (saññā) which can be found in the function of volitional formation (saṅkhāra) - a contributing factor, according to modern psychology, in the role of understanding human (puggala) motivation. The psychological analysis of dependent origination expounds the concept of personality highlighting present existence through the inter-relationship of the five faculties (pañcaupadānakkhandhā), viz., form (rūpa), feeling (vedanā), perception (saññā), volitional formation (saṅkhārā) and consciousness (viññāṇa).
Power and Representation in Female Autobiographies
The study discusses relativity of perception and interpretation of power, its interdependence with conformity level of an individual. It describes an autobiography as a form of epiphany. It is suggested that life-writing helps the author analyze the past and define the borders of his personal power and sources of empowerment. As all life-writings deal with behaviors, values, attitudes, relationships and emotions, their investigation requires qualitative methods to understand social norms, gender roles, religion, and their role in empowerment and disempowerment of the author. The study consists of two parts. The first part is theoretical and interrogates the notion of personal power and how writing the own life can bring to conscious empowerment. The second part presents two autobiographies by female authors from two different Muslim cultures who negotiate between the larger nationalist agenda and their own personal concerns. These autobiographies (Tehmina Durrani, Pakistani author ‘My Feudal Lord’, Banine, Azerbaijani writer 'Caucasian days' and 'Parisian days') are the end of their authors’ long silence, their revolt against the conventional norms, their decision to have an agency to confess and protest. These autobiographies are the authors’ attempts to break the established matrix of perceptions, imposed norms, and gain power to build the real picture of their identity. The study sums up with the conclusion that in spite of very similar motifs of female authors to get empowered through self-analysis, different cultures and time create specific subjectivities associated with particular historical events and geographical location.
First Year Experience of International Students in Malaysian Universities
The higher education institutions in Malaysia is challenged with a more socially and culturally diverse student population than ever before, especially with the increasing number of international students studying in Malaysia in the recent years. First year university is a critical time in students’ lives. Students are not only developing intelectually, they are also establishing and maintaining personal relationships, developing an identity, deciding about career and lifestyle, maintaining personal health and wellness, and developing an integrated philosohy of life. The higher education institutions work as a diverse community of learners to provide a supportive environment for these first year students in assisting them in their transition from high school to university. Although many universities are taking steps to improve the first year experience for their new local and international students, efforts must be taken to ensure organized and coordinated manner in order for the initiatives to be successful. The objectives of the study are to examine the international students’ perceptions and interpretation of their first year experiences in shaping and determining their attitudes toward study and the quality of their entire undergraduate academic career; and identify an appropriate mechanism to encounter the international students’ adjustment in the new environment in order to facilitate cross-functional communication and create a coherent and meaningful first year experience. A key construct in this study is that if universities wish to recruiting and retaining international students, it is their ethical responsibility to determine how they can best meet their needs at the academic and social level, create a supportive ‘learning community’ as a foundation of their educational experience, hence facilitate cross-cultural communication and create a coherent and meaningful first year experience. This study is simultaneously frames in relation to focus on the factors that influence a successful and satisfying transition to university life by the first year international students. The study employs a mixed-method data collection involving semi-structured interviews, questionnaire, classroom observation and document analysis. This study provides valuable insight into the struggles that many international students face as they attempt to make the adjustment not only to a new educational system but factors such as psychosocial and cultural problems. It would discuss some of the factors that impact the international students during their first year in university in their quest to be academically successful. It concludes with some recommendations on how Malaysian universities provide these students with a good first year experience based on some the best practices of universities around the world.
Family Models in Contemporary Multicultural Society: Exploratory Study Applied to Immigrants of Second and Third Generations
A qualitative research based on twenty-eight semi-structured interviews of students in Social Work, in Brussels (Belgium), showed specific results for the Arab and Muslim students: second and third generations immigrants build their identity on the basis of a mix of differentiation with and recognition of their parents' culture of origin. Building a bridge between Modernity and Tradition, they claim active citizenship; at the same time they show and live by values and religious believes which reinforce the link to their parents’ origins. But they present those values and believes as their own rational choices among other choices, all available and rich for our multicultural society. The way they speak of themselves is highly modern. But, they still have to build a third way to find a place for themselves in society: one allowing them to live their religion as a partially public matter (when the Occidental society leaves no such place for religion) while ensuring, at the same time, the development of independent critical thought. On this basis, other semi-structured interviews are being laid with Social workers working with families from diverse ethnic backgrounds. They will verify the reality of those identity and cultural bricolages when those young adults of second and third generations build their own family. In between the theoretical models of traditional family and modern family, shall we find a new model, hybrid and more or less stable, combining some aspects of the former and the latter? The exploratory research phase focuses on three aspects of building a family life in this context : the way those generations play, discursively or not, in between their parents and the society in which they grew up; the importance of intercultural dialogue in this process of building; and testing the hypothesis that some families, in our society, show a special way of courting Modernity.
Introduction of a Model of Students' Practice in Social Work Education: Case of Republic of Srpska
Department of Social Work of the Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Banja Luka is the only School of Social Work in the Republic of Srpska (entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina). This Department has been implementing students’ practice as mandatory module since it was established in year 2000. As of 2006, the University of Banja Luka initiated the transformation of the education system in accordance with the Bologna Agreement. The Department of Social Work adopted a new Curriculum that anticipated 120 hours of Students’ practice. After ten years, a new process of changing and improving the Curriculum has been initiated, and research was conducted, in order to meet both the needs of practice and academic standards in the field of social work education. From 2006-2016 students were evaluating their practice experience under the mentor’s supervision. These evaluations were subject to the evaluation process of current Curriculum, including students practice module. Additional research was designed in order to assess the opinions of certified mentors on specific aspects of students’ practice, the needs of practice and possibilities for improving the education for social workers. Special research instruments were designed for the purpose of this research. All mentors were graduated social works working in all fields where social work services are provided (social welfare sector, health, education, non-government sector etc.). The third dimension of the research was a qualitative analysis of curriculums of Schools of Social Work in the region of Southeast Europe. This paper represents the results of the research, conclusions and consequences that led towards the improvement of Students’ practice and Curriculum of the Department of Social Work. The new Model anticipates 300 hours of Students’ practice, divided in three years of study, with different and specific learning outcomes.
Economic Isolation in the Globalised World Order: A Case Study of North Korea
With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, that marked the end of the prolonged struggle of ideologies between capitalism of the United States of America and communism of the Soviet Union, the world entered a new era of free markets, trade and economic liberalization. Through analysis of various literatures on North Korea, this study focuses on the impact of Globalization on North Korea- its people, economy and the regime. The study also takes a glance at the Juche ideology, which was crafted by the Supreme Leader Kim Il Sung, for the people of DPRK and its role and influence in shaping the North Korean economy. The new buzz word being Globalization, as businesses started to expand on international scale, demanding the need for co-operation, connectivity and interdependence of countries around the world. States tilted their focus towards industrialization, production of raw materials, production of goods to meet the growing demands and grabbing markets for the manufactured products. This became the norm as many newly independent countries adopted democracy and aligned their views with globalization processes. Socialist and communist regimes either fell one after the other to join the globalization trend or reformed their economic system to meet the globalization trends. However, even after staying isolated for more than six decades, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Hermit Kingdom, refuses to open up its economy to the globalised world. North Korean regime still controls all the sectors of the country and no trade and investment freedom is given to the people. North Korea vigorously makes efforts to emphasize on its Juche ideology of self-sustenance and self-reliance to keep away from actively engaging in global trade and process of globalization, which they refer to as “Americanization” of the world. Nevertheless, the reality is that North Korea’s economy is not self sustained and is collapsing from within, which led them to solicit foreign aid from the United States of America, South Korea (Republic of Korea) and People’s Republic of China. The regime needs to implement reforms and make adjustments for the economy to survive in the competing world.
Engaging the World Bank: Good Governance and Human Rights-Based Approaches
It is habitually assumed and stated that the World Bank should engage and comply with international human rights standards. However, the basis for holding the Bank to such standards is unclear. Most advocates of the idea invoke aspects of international law to argue that the Bank has existing obligations to act in compliance with human rights standards. The Bank itself, however, does not appear to accept such arguments, despite having endorsed the importance of human rights for a considerable length of time. A substantial challenge is that under the current international human rights law framework, the World Bank is considered a non-state actor, and as such, has no direct human rights obligations. In the absence of clear legal duties for the Bank, it is necessary to look at the tools available beyond the international human rights framework to encourage the Bank to comply with human rights standards. This article critically examines several bases for arguing that the Bank should comply and engage with human rights through its policies and practices. Drawing on the Bank’s own ‘good governance’ approach as well as the United Nations’ ‘human rights-based-approach’ to development, a new basis is suggested. First, the relationship between the World Bank and human rights is examined. Three perspectives are considered: (1) the legal position – what the status of the World Bank is under international human rights law, and whether it can be said to have existing legal human rights obligations; (2) the Bank’s own official position – how the Bank envisages its relationship with and role in the protection of human rights; and (3) the relationship between the Bank’s policies and practices and human rights (including how its attitudes are reflected in its policies and how the Bank’s operations impact human rights enjoyment in practice). Here, the article focuses on two examples – the (revised) 2016 Environmental and Social Safeguard Policies and the 2012 case-study regarding Gambella, Ethiopia. Both examples are widely considered missed opportunities for the Bank to actively engage with human rights. The analysis shows that however much pressure is placed on the Bank to improve its human rights footprint, it is extremely reluctant to do so explicitly, and the legal bases available are insufficient for requiring concrete, ex ante action by the Bank. Instead, the Bank’s own ‘good governance’ approach to development – which it has been advocating since the 1990s – can be relied upon. ‘Good governance’ has been used and applied by many actors in many contexts, receiving numerous different definitions. This article argues that human rights protection can now be considered a crucial component of good governance, at least in the context of development. In doing so, the article explains the relationship and interdependence between the two concepts, and provides three rationales for the Bank to take a ‘human rights-based approach’ to good governance. Ultimately, this article seeks to look beyond international human rights law and take a governance approach to provide a convincing basis upon which to argue that the World Bank should comply with human rights standards.
Constructing Practices for Lifestyle Journalism Education
The London College of Communication is one of the only universities in the world to offer a lifestyle journalism master’s degree. A hybrid originally constructed largely out of a generic journalism program crossed with numerous cultural studies approaches, the degree has developed into a leading lifestyle journalism education attracting students worldwide. This research project seeks to present a framework for structuring the degree as well as to understand how students in this emerging field of study value the program. While some researchers have addressed questions about journalism and higher education, none have looked specifically at the increasingly important genre of lifestyle journalism, which Folker Hanusch defines as including notions of consumerism and critique among other identifying traits. Lifestyle journalism, itself poorly researched by scholars, can relate to topics including travel, fitness, and entertainment, and as such, arguably a lifestyle journalism degree should prepare students to engage with these topics. This research uses the existing Masters of Arts and Lifestyle Journalism at the London College of Communications as a case study to examine the school’s approach. Furthering Hanusch’s original definition, this master’s program attempts to characterizes lifestyle journalism by a specific voice or approach, as reflected in the diversity of student’s final projects. This framework echoes the ethos and ideas of the university, which focuses on creativity, design, and experimentation. By analyzing the current degree as well as student feedback, this research aims to assist future educators in pursuing the often neglected field of lifestyle journalism. Through a discovery of the unique mix of practical coursework, theoretical lessons, and broad scope of student work presented in this degree program, researchers strive to develop a framework for lifestyle journalism education, referring to Mark Deuze’s ten questions for journalism education development. While Hanusch began the discussion to legitimize the study of lifestyle journalism, this project strives to go one step further and open up a discussion about teaching of lifestyle journalism at the university level.
Evaluation of Non-Destructive Application to Detect Pesticide Residue on Leaf Mustard Using Spectroscopic Method
This study was conducted to evaluate the capability of spectroscopic methods to detect the presence of pesticide residues on leaf mustard. A total of 105 leaf mustard used were divided into five batches, four batches were treated with four different types of pesticides whereas one batch with no pesticide applied. Spectral data were obtained using visible shortwave near infrared spectrometer (VSWNIRS) which is Ocean Optics HR4000 High-resolution Miniature Fiber Optic Spectrometer. Reflectance value was collected to determine the difference between one pesticide to the other. The obtained spectral data were pre-processed for optimum performance. The effective wavelength of approximate 880 nm, 675-710 nm also 550 and 700 nm indicates the overtones -CH stretching vibration, tannin, also chlorophyll content present in the leaf mustard respectively. This study has successfully demonstrated that the spectroscopic method was able to differentiate between leaf mustard sample with and without pesticide residue.
Self-Awareness on Social Work Courses: A Study of Students Perceptions of Teaching Methods in an English University
Global accreditation standards require Higher Education Institutions to ensure social work students develop self-awareness by reflecting on their personal values and critically evaluating how these influence their thinking for professional practice. The knowledge base indicates there are benefits and vulnerabilities for students when they self-reflect and more needs to be understood about the learning environments that nurture self-awareness. The connection between teaching methods and self-awareness is of interest in this paper which reports findings from an on-line survey with students on BA and MA qualifying social work programs in an English university (n=120). Students were asked about the importance of self-awareness and their experiences of teaching methods for self-reflection. Generally, students thought that self-awareness is of high importance in their education. Students also shared stories that illuminated deeper feelings about the potential risks associated with self-disclosure. The findings indicate that students appreciate safe opportunities for self-reflection, but can be wary of associated assessments or feeling judged. The research supports arguments to qualitatively improve facilitation of self-awareness through the curriculum.
A Comparative Approach to the Concept of Incarnation of God in Hinduism and Christianity
This is a comparative study of the incarnation of God according to Hinduism and Christianity. After dealing with their basic ideas on the concept of the incarnation of God, the main similarities and differences between each other will be examined by quoting references from their sacred texts. In Hinduism, the term avatara is used in order to indicate the concept of the incarnation of God. The word avatara is derived from ava (down) and tri (to cross, to save, attain). Thus avatara means to come down or to descend. Although an avatara is commonly considered as an appearance of any deity on earth, the term refers particularly to descents of Vishnu. According to Hinduism, God becomes an avatara in every age and entering into diverse wombs for the sake of establishing righteousness. On the Christian side, the word incarnation means enfleshment. In Christianity, it is believed that the Logos or Word, the Second Person of Trinity, presumed human reality. Incarnation refers both to the act of God becoming a human being and to the result of his action, namely the permanent union of the divine and human natures in the one Person of the Word. When the doctrines of incarnation and avatara are compared some similarities and differences can be found between each other. The basic similarity is that both doctrines are not bound by the laws of nature as human beings are. They reveal God’s personal love and concern, and emphasize loving devotion. Their entry into the world is generally accompanied by extraordinary signs. In both cases, the descent of God allows for human beings to ascend to God. On the other hand, there are some distinctions between two religious traditions. For instance, according to Hinduism there are many and repeated avataras, while Christ comes only once. Indeed, this is related to the respective cyclic and linear worldviews of the two religions. Another difference is that in Hinduism avataras are real and perfect, while in Christianity Christ is also real, yet imperfect; that is, he has human imperfections, except sin. While Christ has never been thought of as a partial incarnation, in Hinduism there are some partial and full avataras. The other difference is that while the purpose of Christ is primarily ultimate salvation, not every avatara grants ultimate liberation, some of them come only to save a devotee from a specific predicament.
Polarization as a Proxy of Misinformation Spreading
Information, rumors, and debates may shape and impact public opinion heavily. In the latest years, several concerns have been expressed about social influence on the Internet and the outcome that online debates might have on real-world processes. Indeed, on online social networks users tend to select information that is coherent to their system of beliefs and to form groups of like-minded people –i.e., echo chambers– where they reinforce and polarize their opinions. In this way, the potential benefits coming from the exposure to different points of view may be reduced dramatically, and individuals' views may become more and more extreme. Such a context fosters misinformation spreading, which has always represented a socio-political and economic risk. The persistence of unsubstantiated rumors –e.g., the hypothetical and hazardous link between vaccines and autism– suggests that social media do have the power to misinform, manipulate, or control public opinion. As an example, current approaches such as debunking efforts or algorithmic-driven solutions based on the reputation of the source seem to prove ineffective against collective superstition. Indeed, experimental evidence shows that confirmatory information gets accepted even when containing deliberately false claims while dissenting information is mainly ignored, influences users’ emotions negatively and may even increase group polarization. Moreover, confirmation bias has been shown to play a pivotal role in information cascades, posing serious warnings about the efficacy of current debunking efforts. Nevertheless, mitigation strategies have to be adopted. To generalize the problem and to better understand social dynamics behind information spreading, in this work we rely on a tight quantitative analysis to investigate the behavior of more than 300M users w.r.t. news consumption on Facebook over a time span of six years (2010-2015). Through a massive analysis on 920 news outlets pages, we are able to characterize the anatomy of news consumption on a global and international scale. We show that users tend to focus on a limited set of pages (selective exposure) eliciting a sharp and polarized community structure among news outlets. Moreover, we find similar patterns around the Brexit –the British referendum to leave the European Union– debate, where we observe the spontaneous emergence of two well segregated and polarized groups of users around news outlets. Our findings provide interesting insights into the determinants of polarization and the evolution of core narratives on online debating. Our main aim is to understand and map the information space on online social media by identifying non-trivial proxies for the early detection of massive informational cascades. Furthermore, by combining users traces, we are finally able to draft the main concepts and beliefs of the core narrative of an echo chamber and its related perceptions.
An Analytical Study of Organizational Implication in EFL Writing Experienced by Iranian Students with Learning Difficulties
This present study concentrates on the organizational implication the Iranian students with learning difficulties (LD) experience when they write an English essay. Particularly, the present study aims at exploring students' structural problems in EFL essay writing. A mixed method research design was employed including a questionnaire and a semi-structured in-depth interview. Technical Data Analysis of findings exposed that students experience a number of difficulties in the structure of EFL essay writing. Discussion and implications of these findings are presented respectively.
Thanking as a Compliment Response at Higher Education Institution: A Comparative Study of Omani and Australian Speakers
This study investigates how the compliment response of thanking is performed by Omani and Australian, lecturers and students, in higher educational settings. Semi-structured interviews and observation records were used to collect data. Thanking responses were aggregated from interviews with Omani lecturers and students in Oman, and from Australian lecturers and students in Australia, wherein they were asked to imagine themselves being complimented on five different compliment topics. After the interviews, they used observation record to note down real-life examples of compliment exchanges, along with their opinions. The findings show that thanking is not a simple compliment response. Depending on the context in which the compliment is delivered, thanking does not always suggest positive thoughts or feelings and compliment approval.
The Public Policy of Energy Subsidies Reform in Egypt
This research examines the public policy energy subsidies reform efforts in Egypt since 2014. Egypt’s widely used energy subsidies have been controversial since they were first introduced, as they inadequately target the poorest part of the population. Also, their effect on economic development and democratic transition became very challenging in recent years. This research argues that although subsidy reform is a highly politicalized issue in democratizing countries, there are still a number of pragmatic public policies that can be applied to make the subsidy system function more efficiently and at the same time decrease inequality which could facilitate a more orderly and peaceful transition to democracy. Therefore, this research attempts to study the role of the executive branch in reforming the subsidy programmes to support the poor and bring about structural changes to achieve social justice and economic growth. This research also attempts to analyze the role of the military and civil society in reforming the subsidy system. Moreover, it attempts to discuss the role of the state media in social mobilization to rationalize consumption and its contribution to subsidies reform.
Repositioning Religion as a Catalyst for Conflict Resolution in Nigeria
Religious chauvinism has attained an alarming status in Contemporary Nigerian society. Arguably, Nigeria is the largest economy and most populous nation in Africa with over 182 million people, the advantages offer by vibrant economy and high population have been sacrificed on the altar of religion. Tolerance, sacrifice, humility, compassion, love, justice, trustworthiness, dedication to the well-being of others, and unity are the universal spiritual principles that lie at the heart of any religion either Christianity or Islam even traditional. Whereas traditional religious practices foreground the beliefs, norms and ritual that are related to the sacred being God because of its quick and immediate consequence of its effect, the new-found religious sentiments have deviated from the norms, thus undermining cosmic harmony in Nigeria because of its long-time consequence of its effect. Religion, which is expected to accelerate growth and motivate people to develop spiritual nuances for the betterment of their communities, has, however occasioned conflict and violence in Nigeria socio-political cosmo. Therefore, this study examines the content of religion in the promotion of peace and unity and its contextual missing link in the promotion of conflict and violence in Nigeria.
Assessing the Sheltering Response in the Middle East: Studying Syrian Camps in Jordan
This study focuses on the sheltering response in Middle East, specifically through reviewing two Syrian refugee camps in Jordan, involving Zaatari and Azraq. Zaatari camp involved the rapid deployment of tents and shelters over a very short period of time and Azraq was purpose built and pre-planned over a longer period. At present, both camps collectively host more than 133,000 occupants. Field visits were taken to both camps and the main issues and problems in the sheltering response were highlighted through focus group discussions with camp occupants and inspection of shelter habitats. This provided both subjective and objective research data sources. While every case has its own significance and deployment to meet humanitarian needs, there are some common requirements irrespective of geographical region. The results suggest that there is a gap in the suitability of the required habitat needs and what has been provided. It is recommended that the global international response and support could be improved in relation to the habitat form, construction type, layout, function, and critically the cultural aspects. Services, health and hygiene are key elements to the shelter habitat provision. The study also identified the amendments to shelters undertaken by the beneficiaries providing insight into their key main requirements. The outcomes from this study could provide an important learning opportunity to develop improved habitat response for future shelters.
Against the Philosophical-Scientific Racial Project of Biologizing Race
The concept of race has recently come prominently back into discussion in the context of medicine and medical science, along with renewed effort to biologize racial concepts. This paper argues that this renewed effort to biologize race by way of medicine and population genetics fail on their own terms, and more importantly, that the philosophical project of biologizing race ought to be recognized for what it is—a retrograde racial project—and abandoned. There is clear agreement that standard racial categories and concepts cannot be grounded in the old way of racial naturalism, which understand race as a real, interest-independent biological/metaphysical category in which its members share “physical, moral, intellectual, and cultural characteristics.” But equally clear is the very real and pervasive presence of racial concepts in individual and collective consciousness and behavior, and so it remains a pressing area in which to seek deeper understanding. Recent philosophical work has endeavored to reconcile these two observations by developing a “thin” conception of race, grounded in scientific concepts but without the moral and metaphysical content. Such “thin,” science-based analyses take the “commonsense” or “folk” sense of race as it functions in contemporary society as the starting point for their philosophic-scientific projects to biologize racial concepts. A “philosophic-scientific analysis” is a special case of the cornerstone of analytic philosophy: a conceptual analysis. That is, a rendering of a concept into the more perspicuous concepts that constitute it. Thus a philosophic-scientific account of a concept is an attempt to work out an analysis of a concept that makes use of empirical science's insights to ground, legitimate and explicate the target concept in terms of clearer concepts informed by empirical results. The focus in this paper is on three recent philosophic-scientific cases for retaining “race” that all share this general analytic schema, but that make use of “medical necessity,” population genetics, and human genetic clustering, respectively. After arguing that each of these three approaches suffers from internal difficulties, the paper considers the general analytic schema employed by such biologizations of race. While such endeavors are inevitably prefaced with the disclaimer that the theory to follow is non-essentialist and non-racialist, the case will be made that such efforts are not neutral scientific or philosophical projects but rather are what sociologists call a racial project, that is, one of many competing efforts that conjoin a representation of what race means to specific efforts to determine social and institutional arrangements of power, resources, authority, etc. Accordingly, philosophic-scientific biologizations of race, since they begin from and condition their analyses on “folk” conceptions, cannot pretend to be “prior to” other disciplinary insights, nor to transcend the social-political dynamics involved in formulating theories of race. As a result, such traditional philosophical efforts can be seen to be disciplinarily parochial and to address only a caricature of a large and important human problem—and thereby further contributing to the unfortunate isolation of philosophical thinking about race from other disciplines.
Comparative Learning Challenges Experienced by Students in Universities of Developing Nations in Sub-Sahara Africa
The study investigated learning challenges experienced by students in universities situated in developing sub-Sahara African countries using selected universities in South Africa and Nigeria. Questionnaires were administered to 2335 randomly selected students from selected universities in South Africa and Nigeria. The outcome of the study shows that six common learning challenges are visible in developing sub-Sahara African universities. The causes of these learning challenges cut across failure in responsibilities of the various stakeholders in the field of education and the effects are monumental both to the students and the society. The paper suggests recommendations to university administrators, education policy makers and implementers on the need to take education more serious, review and implement appropriate policies, ensure the provision of quality education through the supply of adequate amenities and other motivating factors.
An Introduction to the Concept of Environmental Audit: Indian Context
Phenomenal growth of population and industry exploit the environment in varied ways. Consequently, the greenhouse effect and other allied problems are threatening the mankind world over. Protection and upgradation of environment have, therefore, become the prime necessity of every mankind for the sustainable development of environment. People in humbler walks of life including the corporate citizens have become aware of the impacts of environmental pollution. Governments of various nations have entered the picture with laws and regulations to correct and cure the effects of present and past violations of environmental practices and to obstruct future violations of good environmental disciplines. In this perspective, environmental audit directs verification and validation to ensure that the various environmental laws are complied with and adequate care has been taken towards environmental protection and preservation. The discipline of environmental audit has experienced expressive development through the world. It examines the positive and negative effects of the activities of an enterprise on environment and provides an in depth study of the company processes any growth in realizing long-term strategic goals. Environmental audit helps corporations assess its achievement, correct deficiencies and reduce risk to the health and improving safety. Environmental audit being a strong management tool should be administered by industry for its own self-assessment. Developed countries all over the globe have gone ahead in environment quantification; but unfortunately, there is a lack of awareness about pollution and environmental hazards among the common people in India. In the light of this situation, the conceptual analysis of this study is concerned with the rationale of environmental audit on the industry and the society as a whole and highlights the emerging dimensions in the auditing theory and practices. A modest attempt has been made to throw light on the recent development in environmental audit in developing nations like India and the problems associated with the implementation of environmental audit. The conceptual study also reflects that despite different obstacles, environmental audit is becoming an increasing aspect within the corporate sectors in India and lastly, conclusions along with suggestions have been offered to improve the current scenario.