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SocArXiv papers

  • Choice and Social Stability: The Morphogenesis of a Sociodynamic Constant
    This essay uses an example of Margaret Archer's morphogenetic approach to sociodynamics to explore the explanatory gap indicated in the following propositions: 1. Individuals act and interact in variable ways from constantly shifting states-of-affairs in pursuit of variable and inconsistent interests; 2. Groups are made-up of individuals and their actions/interactions; 3. The vast majority of groups, current and historic, are stable. Together, the above statements comprise one of the central, perennial problems of sociology; given that the three statements above are empirically verifiable and thus objectively true, we live in stable societies made up of mutually inconsistent, constantly fluctuating individual actions. But how can this be? How can the patterned regularity of social life be aggregated from the disorder and seeming randomness of individual actions? When modeled, sampled, and plotted, the data set of statement 1 should have wide fluctuation in its mean; indeed, rational choice models have shown this to be the case. However the data set for statement 3 should not, yet because 3 is derived from 1 (via the axiom held at statement 2), we are confronted with the above problem. The answer lies in what I call the Predictability Hypothesis, consisting of two clauses: A) of the possible paths to achieving her desired goals, an individual will choose the most predictable path towards the most predictable desired goal; if the individual cannot sufficiently predict the behavior or attributes of their interest or the path that constitutes pursuit of its achievement, she is very unlikely to choose to pursue the interest or to follow that path to the interest, and will instead choose a path and/or interest with a higher predictability; B) for comparable societies, those that provide more choice to their members simultaneously provide more predictability and will, ceteris paribus, be more stable than those that provide less choice and, thus, less predictability. I contend that this hypothesis allows the resolution of the above difficulty: the analytical centrality of (neo-Bayesian) predictability to every choice no matter the context bridges the explanatory gap between individual actions and the large-scale sociological phenomena of social stability; in the same way, the analytical centrality of stability to groups and group structures allows us to identify the predictable paths of agency. This analytical dualism is used to identify the mutual morphogenesis of both sociodynamic 'poles' in the example...individual and collective, 'micro' and 'macro', agent and structure-culture, in a way applicable to a wide range of rigorous sociological inquiry.
  • Investigative Approaches to Information Technology Research
    Recent events make clear that information technology companies often consciously design products that are societally harmful. They also make clear that these companies are unlikely to disclose their practices and often go to great lengths to keep them hidden. At the same time, however, these companies are responsible for wide-reaching, influential phenomena that should be of core interest to scholars of information technology. While scholars' methodologies and ethical conventions have tended to privilege the agency of research participants and focused on the prevention of harm, we argue that the current landscape calls for a reevaluation of these conventions. Specifically, we consider here what it would mean for researchers to take a more investigative approach by seeking to discover and reveal information that the subjects of the research would prefer to remain unknown. In reviewing literature on investigative journalism as a potential source of inspiration, we attempt to start a discussion about how our research can be more impactful, as well as the challenges that would accompany such a change.
  • Fixed-Term Work Contracts and Anti-Immigration Attitudes. A Novel Test of Ethnic Competition Theory
    Whether or not labor market competition is shaping anti-immigration attitudes is a contentious issue. This study takes a novel approach to testing ethnic competition theory by comparing the attitudes towards immigration of workers with fixed-term contracts to those who have permanent jobs in European labor markets. Fixed-term contract workers are particularly at risk of competition as they may have to compete for jobs in the foreseeable future. As contract type cuts across education and occupation, it allows disentangling the effects of competition from those other attitude shaping mechanisms. Our analyses comprise two steps. In the first step, we analyze cross-sectional data (ESS, 2002-16) from 18 Western European countries. We find that--contrary to our expectation--fixed-term workers are less rather than more anti-immigration. The effect is however substantively small. There is no interaction between contract-type and share of immigrants in the sector of employment. In the second step, we use a fixed-effects design with longitudinal data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP, 1999-2015). This analysis rules out time-constant unobserved heterogeneity and responds to calls to take a dynamic rather than static approach to competition. We find that transitioning from a fixed- to a permanent contract does not affect anti-immigration attitudes. Our combined results thus add to the evidence against labor market competition as an explanation of anti-immigrant attitudes.
  • Quantified bodies, exclusion, and the history of randomised clinical trials
    The standard historiography of clinical trials, at least in Britain, is built around the trial of streptomycin as a treatment for tuberculosis organised by the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) in the late 1940s. A series of clinical trials took place in Glasgow in the 1930s which doesn't feature in the standard account. The reasons for their exclusion, and why they did take place, are the subject of this paper. In recovering the context in which the Glasgow clinical trials took place three factors stand out. Firstly, the practice operated by the Glasgow Corporation of treating most cases of skin infection by hospitalising patients. Secondly, the high degree of interconnectivity between voluntary and state-funded hospitals in Glasgow at the time. Thirdly, the belief of Thomas Anderson in the value of biometry as a basis for evaluating therapies. These factors can be given names. The first is the moral economy of medicine - the practice of establishing fever and isolation hospitals as part of hospital provision in Glasgow in the nineteenth century. The second is the political economy of medicine - the relationships among doctors, especially the degree of interconnectedness between the health systems associated with the University of Glasgow and the Corporation of Glasgow. The third is the mathematization of causality - in this case, the biometric sensibilities of Thomas Anderson: his understanding of, expertise, and belief in, the efficacy of quantification as a means of progress in scientific medicine.
  • Exploring the personal and professional factors associated with student evaluations of teachers
    Tenure-track faculty members in the United States are evaluated on their performance in both research and teaching. In spite of accusations of bias and invalidity, student evaluations of teaching have dominated teaching evaluation at U.S. universities. However, studies establishing these issues have tended to be limited to particular institutional and disciplinary contexts. Moreover, in spite of the idealistic assumption that research and teaching are mutually beneficial, there have been few studies examining the link between research performance and student evaluations of teaching. In this study, we conduct a large scale exploratory analysis of the factors associated with student evaluations of teachers controlling for heterogeneous institutional and disciplinary contexts. We source public student evaluations of teaching from and information regarding career and contemporary research performance metrics from the company Academic Analytics. The factors most associated with higher student ratings were the attractiveness of the faculty and the student's interest in the class; the factors most associated with lower student ratings were course difficulty and whether student comments mentioned an accent or a teaching assistant. Moreover, faculty tended to be rated more highly when they were young, male, in the humanities, and held a rank of associate professor. We observed little to no evidence of any relationship, positive or negative, between student evaluations of teaching and research performance. These results shed light on what factors relate to student evaluations of teaching across diverse contexts. We hope that these results will provide additional insights to the continuing discussion of student teaching evaluations and faculty evaluation more generally.
  • Does Downward Social Mobility Make People More Hostile towards Immigrants?
    This study explores the relationships between intergenerational social class mobility and attitudes towards immigration. We interpret a failure to keep up with parental social class (i.e. downward mobility) as an indicator that individual's status achievements lag behind expectations and contribute to subjective feelings of loss and decline. An innovative feature of this paper is that we investigate both whether individual's mobility experience -- micro level -- and also whether opportunity structures -- mobility on a macro level -- are linked with attitudes towards immigration. In contexts with high downward-mobility, opportunities for moving up are limited and hence perceived economic decline and loss might lead to more hostility towards immigrants. By contrast, high upward mobility expands opportunities for all and as such might promote positive attitudes towards immigrants. We use the European Social Survey data (2002-10) and conduct analyses on 30 countries using diagonal reference models that allow the effects of individual mobility trajectory to be disentangled from origin status and destination status. Our results show that the working classes hold stronger anti-immigration attitudes and parental class continues to exert an effect on attitudes in adulthood even after accounting for individual's own social class position. Being downwardly mobile from parental class does not appear to be associated with more hostility towards immigrants, except in a few European countries like Italy, Poland, and Greece. Our random-effects meta-regression models show, however, that people living in contexts of high downward mobility are more hostile towards immigrants compared to people in contexts with high upward mobility.
  • Role of Energy use in the Prediction of CO2 Emissions and Growth in India: An Application of Artificial Neural Networks (ANN)
    The correspondence among energy use, carbon dioxide emissions and growth is a matter of discussion among policymakers, economists and researchers. It is not possible to deny that the concept of sustainable development inspires them for the enquiry into this arena. The primary aspiration of this work is to develop and use the machine learning technique in the prediction of carbon dioxide emissions and growth by taking energy use as the inputs variables. Our findings suggest that the prediction accuracy of the CO2 and growth can improve by using machine learning techniques. In this case, prediction using Adam optimisation is better than Stochastic Gradient Descent (SGD) in the context of carbon dioxide emissions and growth. Further, result highlights that movement from fossil fuel use to renewable energy use is a possible way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions without sacrificing economic growth.
  • Proposition pour le dechiffrement de l'elamite lineaire
    This paper presents the decipherment process of Linear Elamite, and gives the sign values found for this script.
  • Cosas de mujeres: lectura y penitenciaria
    ?Que uso le dan a la biblioteca penitenciaria las mujeres detenidas en Santa Cruz do Bispo? ?Que leen? ?Que practicas de lectura desarrollan? ?Cuando y donde leen? ?Por que leen? Este fue un conjunto de preguntas de partida que motivaron la investigacion cualitativa que realice en esta prision femenina, orientada a comprender procesos y agentes. Mas tarde agregue otras interrogantes: ?Cuales son sus preferencias? ?Siguen alguna orientacion en la lectura y de quien? ?Como cambian los significados de la lectura en el contexto penitenciario?
  • Quantifying the Scientific Revolution
    The Scientific Revolution is one of the most important phenomena in human history. Yet it is ill understood, partly because of a lack of quantification. Here, we leverage large datasets of individual biographies to build national estimates of scientific production during the early modern period. While aggregate levels of national production are unsurprising, per capita estimates reveal striking differences across countries, with the two richest countries of the time (England and the United Provinces) being much more scientifically productive than the rest of Europe. Overall, our study demonstrates a strong association between scientific creativity and per capita income. We also show that scientific creativity is associated with other kinds of creative activities in philosophy, literature, music and the arts, suggesting a common underlying factor. Our results also challenge long-held hypotheses regarding the role of religion, universities, demography, and the printing press, and support the idea that economic development and rising living standards are key to explaining the rise of modern science.
  • The Pleasure Principle: Why (Some) People Develop a Taste for Politics
    Often, citizens talk politics or watch political shows solely for the pleasure they derive from these activities. Yet, existing theories struggle to explain why (some) individuals engage with politics as an end in itself even if the behavior does not produce any separable instrumental value. Integrating psychological theories from motivation studies, this study deduces a need-based model of political motivation in order to explain intrinsic political engagement. The model proposes that intrinsic political motivation has roots in the seemingly apolitical processes of need satisfaction which are deeply ingrained in the human psyche. Providing a theoretical framework for existing political science findings, this study argues that citizens seek behaviors they previously experienced as pleasurable. Differences in intrinsic political motivation are therefore theorized to reflect whether political engagement was previously experienced as satisfying basic psychological needs which is argued to predict both whether and how individuals engage with politics. By manipulating need-related situational features before and during political engagement, a pre-registered survey experiment tested the basic tenet that need-related experiences with politics affect the quality and quantity of future activities in the political domain. However, 15 out of 15 analytical tests do not yield the expected evidence in line with the need-based model of political motivation. Showcasing a step-wise approach for dealing with null-results in hypothesis-driven research to assess and increase the information value of the conducted analysis, the presented evidence calls into question the accuracy of the presented theory and the previous insights in psychology and political science on which it was built. This study thus adds a new piece to the puzzle of understanding what does and what does not underlie intrinsic motivation for political engagement.
  • Human Origins 2021
    We argue that research on human origins and our subsequent cultural and social evolution is vital not only for foundational scientific discovery but also for understanding, mitigating, and solving the most pressing challenges faced by our society. Advancing research on human origins and social complexity is also very timely given recent advances and emerging opportunities. Fully capitalizing on these requires a concerted transdisciplinary effort of researchers from a diverse set of disciplines. Success in this endeavor could yield tremendous gains for society.
  • Revisiting Causal Inference in Forced-Choice Conjoint Experiments: Identifying Preferences Net of Compositional Effects
    In forced-choice conjoint experiments, respondents choose between two options, each characterized by a set of randomized attributes. Political scientists and sociologists increasingly implement this kind of design, almost always to capture respondents' preferences. In so doing, they routinely rely on a single quantity of interest--the average marginal component effect (AMCE). The AMCE, however, not only captures preferences, it also captures a compositional effect reflecting the distribution of the pool of options. As a result, when the goal is to infer preferences, as is almost always the case, the quantity estimated is not the quantity of interest. This paper shows why the AMCE does not identify preferences and proposes a novel estimand--the average marginal component effect on preferences (AMCEP)--designed for this purpose. It presents a general method for estimating this quantity and illustrates its use and interpretation by replicating a classic forced-choice conjoint experiment on attitudes toward immigrants.
  • Where do negative stereotypes come from? The case of Indian English in the USA
    Language attitudes inform social stereotyping, which in turn affects linguistic judgments (Fiske, Cuddy, & Glick, 2007). Nonstandard varieties are particularly subject to negative stereotypes, being evaluated as "less friendly" and "hard to understand" (Giles & Watson, 2013). Recent studies point out a critical public health problem found within communities of immigrants who speak nonstandard varieties: being linguistically targeted is shown to cause long-term depression in both adolescents and adults (Kim et al., 2011; Inman et al., 2015). In this study, we investigate attitudes towards Indian English, a variety of English spoken by one of the largest immigrant populations in the USA (approximately 2.4 million), to understand the roots of linguistic stereotyping towards this variety of English. We compared attitudes of American English speakers towards Indian English and British English. Our results show that while American English speakers do not explicitly indicate any communication problem with Indian English, they disfavor Indian English compared to British English. This disfavoring of Indian English aligns with Raciolinguistic theories, suggesting that post-colonialism, especially Whiteness, is factor in language prestige and how different varieties are perceived.
  • Detecting the Effects of Early-Life Exposures: Why Fecundity Matters
    Prenatal exposures have meaningful effects on health across the lifecourse. Innovations in causal inference have shed new light on these effects. Here, we motivate the importance of innovation in the characterization of fecundity, and prenatal selection in particular. We argue that such innovation is crucial for expanding knowledge of the fetal origins of later life health. Pregnancy loss is common, responsive to environmental factors, and closely related to maternal and fetal health outcomes. As a result, selection into live birth is driven by many of the same exposures that shape the health trajectories of survivors. Lifecourse effects that are inferred without accounting for these dynamics may be significantly distorted by survival bias. We use a set of Monte Carlo simulations with realistic parameters to examine the implications of prenatal survival bias. We find that even in conservatively specified scenarios, true fetal origin effects can be underestimated by 50% or more. In contrast, effects of exposures that reduce the probability of prenatal survival but improve the health of survivors will be overestimated. The absolute magnitude of survival bias can even exceed small effect sizes, resulting in inferences that beneficial exposures are harmful or vice-versa. We also find reason for concern that moderately sized true effects, underestimated due to failure to account for selective survival, are missing from scientific knowledge because they do not clear statistical significance filters. This bias has potential real-world costs; policy decisions about interventions to improve maternal and infant health will be affected by underestimated program impact.
  • ABMLS Pilot Report 2018-2019: Methodology and preliminary findings
    This report documents the development of the A Broader Mind Longitudinal Survey at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The survey is designed to track the personal, academic, civic, and professional development of students as they progress through their study program. We survey students at VU Amsterdam at least every year to measure the attitudes, values, skills and behaviors reflecting "A Broader Mind" among students at VU Amsterdam. The survey provides a barometer of student life: how are students doing with respect to civic-mindedness, student engagement, professional orientation?
  • Detecting Incivility and Impoliteness in Online Discussions. Classification Approaches for German User Comments.
    Impoliteness and incivility in online discussions have recently been discussed as relevant issues in communication science. However, automatically detecting these concepts with computational methods is challenging. In our study, we build and compare supervised classification models to predict impoliteness and incivility in online discussions on German media outlets on Facebook. Using a sample of 10,000 hand-coded user comments and a theory-grounded coding scheme, we develop classifiers on different feature sets including unigram and n-gram distributions as well as various dictionary-based features. Our findings show that impoliteness and incivility can be measured to a certain extent on the word level of a comment, but the models suffer from high misclassification rates, even if lexical resources are included. This is mainly because the classifiers cannot reveal subtle forms of incivility and because comment authors often use predictive words of incivility or impoliteness in non-offensive ways or in different contexts. Still, when applying the classifiers to a comparable set of comments, we find that the machine-coded categories and the hand-coded categories reveal similar patterns regarding the distribution of and the user reactions to uncivil/impolite comments. The findings of our study therefore provide new insights into the supervised machine learning approach to the detection of different forms of offensive language.
  • Early-life circumstances and their effect over the life course
    The idea that early-life circumstances shape people's health, development, and well-being over the life course has gained renewed centrality in the last two decades. This renewed interest has been informed by new approaches that emphasize sensitive and critical periods during the first years of life, offer an understanding of human development as a hierarchical and cross-fertilizing process, suggest plausible mechanisms for the persistent effect of early exposures, and explore heterogeneity in effects based on environmental and biological factors. The articles included in this special issue of Population Research and Policy Review advance the field of early-life circumstances in several important dimensions. They examine the determinants and effects of noxious exposures at different developmental stages--ranging from the prenatal period to adolescence--in a variety of national settings. They offer an understanding of early-life circumstances that moves from discrete outcomes to a dynamic life-course approach, and consider diverse sources of heterogeneity in the effects of early exposures.
  • Trump's New Face of Power in America
    This article proposes that the advent of Trumpism is a moment of danger that compels us to analyse the micropolitics of the present. In the first part, I describe the constellation that gave rise to Trumpism. In the second part, I introduce Goffman's concept of face-work and suggest how it remains relevant for describing Trump's aggressive face-work. In the third part, I take Deleuze and Guattari's concept of faciality as a point of departure for understanding micro-fascism. As an abstract machine, Trump's faciality opens up possibilities of authoritarian micropolitics around a messenger/disrupter in chief. It works in connection with a landscape and relative to a collective assemblage of enunciation that extracted a territory of perception and affect. In the micropolitics of the present, the defining feature of Trumpism is how the corrupt abuse of power beyond the constitutional rule of law and the counterforces limiting his potency have collided on an ominous, convulsive political reality TV show.
  • The Longitudinal Revolution. Sociological Research at the 50-Year Milestone of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics
    The U.S. Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2018. Initially designed to assess the nation's progress in combatting poverty, PSID's scope broadened quickly to a variety of topics and fields of inquiry. To date, sociologists are the second-most frequent users of PSID data after economists. Here, we describe the ways in which PSID's history reflects shifts in social science scholarship and funding priorities over half a century, take stock of the most important sociological breakthroughs it facilitated, in particular those relying on the longitudinal structure of the data, and critically assess the unique advantages and limitations of the PSID and surveys like it for today's sociological scholarship.
  • From children's literature to sustainability science and youth in scientific research
    As the future of human development increasingly hinges on the need for sustainable education and science, this essay re-examines the imminent threats to humankind and the relevance of achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to science-technology research among today's young scientists. It also discusses some socio-political and economic challenges to achieving sustainability and argues that developing sustainability science is difficult but not impossible. The hope lies in our current efforts to build productive and creative scientific communities through nurturing youth engagement with science and the scientific mindset.
  • Social Desirability Bias in Attitudinal Measures. An Experimental Study Looking at Survey Modes, Respondent Traits and the Desirability of Survey Topics and Individual Questions
    This study looks at negative attitudes towards various out-groups and examines in an experimental design the influence of anonymous interview settings on estimates of attitudes towards supposedly sensitive topics. Respondents were presented with instruments meant to measure various forms of prejudice towards out-groups while the interview was conducted at random either as a computer assisted personal interview (CAPI) or computer assisted self interview (CASI). The scales used in this study can be shown to be both reliable as well as valid, furthermore, in accordance with various research by Bierly (1985), Zick et al. (2008) and Heitmeyer (2005) the results of a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) show various forms of prejudice form a type of generalized attitude. In the more recent articles from Zick et al. (2008), Heitmeyer (2005), Wagner et al. (2008), this is referred to as the 'Syndrome Group-Focused Enmity' (GFE). So while both an overarching 'syndrome' of prejudice as well as valid and reliable measures of individual forms of prejudice can be empirically confirmed, the results of the analyses show that prejudice towards a specific out-group, let alone a generalized attitude of prejudice, cannot be seen as uniformly desirable. Specific items elicit varying response behaviour. Item- and topic-trait desirabilities were established to help explain the extent to which the survey mode affected estimates. Other respondent- and item-related characteristics also influence SD bias. Survey mode effects are often only seen in conjunction with other factors.
  • Attitude-behaviour relations in teaching natural science. Results from a longitudinal study using the theory of planned behaviour
    This study looks at pre-service teachers, their usage of experiments in the classroom, and the factors that influence their behavior. In a longitudinal panel-study of high school/grammar school-level biology and chemistry pre-service teachers at all training colleges in the German State of Rhineland-Palatinate, we examine the role of attitudes, perceived behavioral controls, and subjective norms on the participants' intention to- and actual use of experiments in the classroom. As a theoretical framework, we use the Theory of Planned Behavior. Attitudes, social norms, behavioural control and behavioural intention were measured at time points t1 and t2; behaviour with regards to experiments was measured at t3. In a second step, we examine which fundamental beliefs influence attitudes, social norms and behavioural control. The analyses show that attitudes, subjective norms and behavioural controls play important roles in determining the use of experiments. While for pre-service teachers with the subject biology attitudes play the most important role, for those with the subject chemistry it is behavioural control that most strongly influences the use experiments. The reform of teachers' education programs in Germany has no significant effects on the intent or actual behaviour regarding experiments.
  • Police Legitimacy and the Norm to Cooperate: Using a Mixed Effects Location-Scale Model to Estimate the Strength of Social Norms at a Small Spatial Scale
    Objectives: Test whether cooperation with the police can be modelled as a placed-based norm that varies in strength from one neighborhood to the next. Estimate whether police legitimacy predicts willingness to cooperate in weak-norm neighborhoods, but not in strong-norm neighborhoods, where most people are willing to cooperate (or not to cooperate) irrespective of their perceptions of police legitimacy. Methods: A survey of 1,057 individuals in 98 relatively high-crime neighborhoods defined at a small spatial scale measured (a) willingness to cooperate using a hypothetical crime vignette and (b) legitimacy using indicators of normative alignment between police and citizen values. A mixed-effects, location-scale model estimated the cluster-level mean and cluster-level variance of willingness to cooperate as a neighborhood-level latent variable. A cross-level interaction tested whether legitimacy predicts individual-level willingness to cooperate only in neighborhoods where the norm is weak. Results: Willingness to cooperate clustered strongly by neighborhood. There were neighborhoods with (i) high mean and low variance, (ii) high mean and high variance, (iii) (relatively) low mean and low variance, and (iv) (relatively) low mean and high variance. Legitimacy was only a positive predictor of cooperation in neighborhoods that had a (relatively) low mean and high variance. There was little variance left to explain in neighborhoods where the norm was strong. Conclusions: Findings support a boundary condition of procedural justice theory: namely, cooperation can be modelled as a placed-based norm that varies in strength from neighborhood to neighborhood and legitimacy only predicts cooperation in neighborhoods where the norm is relatively weak.
  • Die Auswirkung der Bachelor-Master-Reform auf die Beurteilung der universitaren Lehrerausbildung. Eine quasi-experimentelle Studie mit Biologie- und Chemie-Referendaren in Rheinland-Pfalz
    Diese empirische Studie untersucht den Einfluss den die Reform der Lehrerbildung in Deutschland auf Referendare mit den Fachern Chemie und Biologie in Rheinland-Pfalz genommen hat. Ziel der Reform war es, eine Aufwertung der Bereiche Fachdidaktiken und Bildungswissenschaften zu erreichen, um die Berufsrelevanz der Lehrerbildung zu erhohen. Damit verbunden war jedoch eine Kurzung der fachwissenschaftlichen Ausbildung der angehenden Lehrkrafte. In einem quasi-experimentellen Design werden Referendare des alten Staatsexamens-Modells mit den neuen Bachelor-Masterstudiengangen in einer multivariaten Varianzanalyse (ANCOVA) verglichen. Entgegen unserer Erwartungen zeigt die Studie, dass Referendare der neuen Bachelor-Masterstudiengange in Bezug auf ihre fachwissenschaftliche Ausbildung nicht signifikant schlechter abschneiden. Sie sind allerdings in Bezug auf die Bereiche Fachdidaktik und Bildungswissenschaften sogar besser vorbereitet als die Staatsexamensreferendare.
  • Intra-Asian infrastructures of Chinese birth tourism: agencies' operations in China and Taiwan
    This chapter focuses on the development of the Chinese birth tourism industry and its intra-Asian operations. It discusses Chinese birth tourism away from the United States. The chapter focuses on existing regional linkages, such as long-standing but small-scale informal birth tourism from Taiwan and a brief surge of Chinese birth tourism to Hong Kong in the 2000s, that buttress China-United States birth tourism networks. It also focuses on birth tourism agencies' operations in China and Taiwan. The chapter examines the emerging literature by providing empirics on Chinese birth tourism agencies' operations and, to a lesser extent, prospective birth tourists' experiences at these agencies. The chapter focuses on intra-Asian infrastructures of contemporary Chinese birth tourism industry, describing separately for birth agencies in China and Taiwan their modes of recruitment, clientele demographics and scales of operations. It demonstrates, contemporary ethnic Chinese birth tourism to the United States is overwhelmingly commercialised and draws its clientele from both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
  • Correlation between scientific production and democracy
    There is a strong positive correlation between the quality of democracy and the scientific output of countries. The correlation remains even after correcting for research spending.
  • New opportunities for comparative male fertility research: Insights from a new data resource based on high-quality birth registers
    Obtaining cross-country comparative perspectives on male fertility has long been difficult, as male fertility is usually less well registered than female fertility. This paper presents analyses based on a new male fertility database providing data on more than 330 million live births. This new resource, made available in the Human Fertility Collection, allows for the first time a comparative perspective on male fertility in high-income countries using high-quality birth register data. Contrasting male and female fertility trends across 17 countries, we show that trends in disparities between male and female period fertility rates are driven to a large degree by the interplay of parental age and cohort size differences. For parental age differences at childbirth, we observe a tendency toward smaller disparities, except in Eastern Europe. This observation fits with expectations based on gender theories. However, variation across countries also seems to be driven by factors other than gender equality.
  • Male fertility data for 17 high-income countries: Data documentation and methods
    We provide age-specific fertility rates (ASFRs) for males in 17 high-income countries. In this paper, we describe the data and the methods used to calculate the ASFRs. Specifically, we discuss the register-based birth count data underlying the ASFRs and the methods used to handle the birth count data.
  • La percepcion de la identidad colectiva a partir de lo comico
    [Castellano] Este ensayo compara lo dicho en diferentes contextos por George Meredith, Ramon Gomez de la Serna y Henri Bergson sobre el humor de un territorio a partir de varios referentes literarios. Se discute, entonces, sobre la posibilidad y los factores que atribuirian a la idea de que un territorio tenga un humor particular. Los paises a los que estos tres autores hacen referencia son Espana, Francia, Italia y, sobretodo, Inglaterra. [English] This essay discusses the ideas of George Meredith, Ramon Gomez de la Serna and Henri Bergson regarding the attributes of a national identity that has a recognizable humour. All of these authors, in different contexts and lengths, wrote about how a territory had certain humoristic traits. Behind this is the idea of a single referent taking over the narrative that later becomes a national identity. These authors referred to Spain, France and Italy- but, most often, England.
  • "Neglected, Ignored, and Abandoned"? The Working Class in Popular U.S. Culture
    This paper develops new text-mining methods to measure the recognition of American workers in the U.S. press and in American movies. The text-mining program searches 167,193 newspaper articles and 18,056 movie plots for over 35,000 job titles and codes them into standard U.S. Census occupational categories. These occupations are then recoded into common definitions of the working class and tracked over time. For The New York Times since 1980, recognition of working-class jobs has not declined, but it was always low. For regional American papers like the St. Louis Post Gazette, the Detroit News, or the Tampa Bay Times, working-class occupations had once enjoyed higher levels of recognition, but the rates have declined recently to levels similar to the New York Times. U.S. produced movies show a similar decline since 1930 in working-class inclusion.
  • The Wealth Defence Industry: A large-scale study on accountancy firms as profit shifting facilitators
    Corporations increasingly engage in innovative 'tax planning strategies' by shifting profits between jurisdictions. In response, states try to curtail such profit shifting activities while at the same time attempting to retain and attract multinational corporations. We aim to open up this dichotomy between states and corporations and argue that a wealth defence industry of professional service firms plays a crucial role as intermediaries. We investigate the subsidiary structure of 27,000 MNCs and show that clients of the Big Four accounting firms show systematically higher levels of aggressive tax planning strategies than clients of smaller accounting firms. We specify this effect for three distinct strategies and also uncover marked differences across countries. As such we provide empirical evidence for the systematic involvement of auditors as intermediaries in corporate wealth defence.
  • Becoming A Dominant Misinterpreted Source: The Case of Ferdinand De Saussure in Cultural Sociology
    Cultural analysts in sociology typically cite the work of Ferdinand de Saussure to motivate a narrow theory of meaning. In so doing, sociologists incorrectly attribute to Saussure: (1) the postulate that meaning is arbitrary (2) the idea that signs gain meaning only through relations of opposition to other signs, and (3) the view that there is an isomorphic correspondence between linguistic signs and all cultural units of analysis, ergo culture is fundamentally arbitrary, and finally (4) he offers a Durkheimian theory of culture (i.e. Saussure was follower of Durkheim). Saussure's project, rather, was specific to linguistics, and mainly one of theoretical and methodological clarification regarding phonology. Saussure never intended his analytical model of phonology to apply to the real operation of meaning in general, as done by contemporary interpreters and, furthermore, never argued that meaning is arbitrary.
  • The Valuation of Credit Default Swap with Counterparty Risk and Collateralization
    This article presents a new model for valuing a credit default swap (CDS) contract that is affected by multiple credit risks of the buyer, seller and reference entity. We show that default dependency has a significant impact on asset pricing. In fact, correlated default risk is one of the most pervasive threats in financial markets. We also show that a fully collateralized CDS is not equivalent to a risk-free one. In other words, full collateralization cannot eliminate counterparty risk completely in the CDS market.
  • Black-White Disparities in Adult Mortality: Implications of Differential Record Linkage for Understanding the Mortality Crossover
    Mortality rates among black individuals exceed those of white individuals throughout much of the life course. The black-white disparity in mortality rates is widest in young adulthood, and then rates converge with increasing age until a crossover occurs at about age 85 years, after which black older adults exhibit a lower mortality rate relative to white older adults. Data quality issues in survey-linked mortality studies may hinder accurate estimation of this disparity and may even be responsible for the observed black-white mortality crossover, especially if the linkage of surveys to death records during mortality follow-up is less accurate for black older adults. This study assesses black-white differences in the linkage of the 1986-2009 National Health Interview Survey to the National Death Index through 2011 and the implications of racial/ethnic differences in record linkage for mortality disparity estimates. Match class and match score (i.e., indicators of linkage quality) differ by race/ethnicity, with black adults exhibiting less certain matches than white adults in all age groups. The magnitude of the black-white mortality disparity varies with alternative linkage scenarios, but convergence and crossover continue to be observed in each case. Beyond black-white differences in linkage quality, this study also identifies declines over time in linkage quality and even eligibility for linkage among all adults. Although linkage quality is lower among black adults than white adults, differential record linkage does not account for the black-white mortality crossover.
  • The trilemma of sustainable industrial growth: evidence from a piloting OECD's Green city
    Can green growth policies help protect the environment while keeping the industry growing and infrastructure expanding? The City of Kitakyushu, Japan, has actively implemented eco-friendly policies since 1967 and recently inspired the pursuit of sustainable development around the world, especially in the Global South region. However, empirical studies on the effects of green growth policies are still lacking. This study explores the relationship between road infrastructure development and average industrial firm size with air pollution in the city through the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) hypothesis. Auto-Regressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) and Non-linear Auto-Regressive Distributed Lag (NARDL) methods were applied on nearly 50-years' time series data, from 1967 to 2015. The results show that the shape of the EKC of industrial growth, measured by average firm size, depends on the type of air pollution: inverted N-shaped relationships with NO2 and CO, and the U-shaped relationships with falling dust particle and Ox. Regarding infrastructure development, on the one hand, our analysis shows a positive effect of road construction on alleviating the amount of falling dust and CO concentration. On the other hand, the emissions of NO2 and Ox are shown to rise when plotted against road construction. The decline of CO emission, when plotted against both industrial growth and road development, indicates that the ruthlessness of the local government in pursuing green growth policies is effective in this case. However, the story is not straightforward when it comes to other air pollutants, which hint at limits in the current policies. The case of Kitakyushu illustrates the complex dynamics of the interaction among policy, industry, infrastructure, and air pollution. It can serve as an important reference point for other cities in the Global South when policies are formed, and progress is measured in the pursuit of a green economy. Finally, as an OECD SDGs pilot city and the leading Asian green-growth city, policymakers in Kitakyushu city are recommended to revise the data policy to enhance the findability and interoperability of data as well as to invest in the application of big data.
  • Lo comico en la satira: Bergson en la tierra de los Houyhnhnms
    [Castellano] El presente ensayo analiza el ultimo capitulo de Los viajes de Gulliver, , a traves de los mecanismos bergsonianos de lo risible, deteniendose en las limitaciones de estos recursos y reparando, ademas, en las ideas de alteridad, novela de viaje y satira. [English] This essay attempts to exemplify the use of bergsonian mechanisms as a tool for analysing a text, focusing on the last chapters of Gulliver's Travels. Discussed herein are the ideas of otherness, travel literature, and satire. [Deutsch] In diesem Aufsatz wird es versucht, die Verwendung von Bergsonschen Mechanismen als Hilfsmittel fur die Analyse eines Textes zu veranschaulichen, wobei der Schwerpunkt auf den letzten Kapiteln von Gullivers Reisen liegt.
  • Securities exchanges: Subjects and agents of financialization
    How have exchanges shaped financialization? This chapter argues that similar to other financial market actors, securities exchanges have themselves undergone a significant transformation. In the last 25 years, marketization, internationalization, and digitization have fundamentally changed the way exchanges function, turning them from national marketplaces into markets actors. As a result of this transformation, exchanges have become crucial agents in processes of financialization. First, by organizing capital markets they influence market dynamics, facilitating volatility and market stability. Second, exchanges have turned into agents of disintermediation, selling and exporting financial technologies and expertise, facilitating the development of capital markets globally. Third, exchanges have emerged as politically and economically powerful players, both vis-a-vis other market actors but also towards regulators and states. Overall, through their transformation exchanges have become crucial actors in the spreading of capital markets, the transformations of contemporary finance and the politics of financialization.
  • Assessing and comparing models for sequence data by microsimulation (with Supplementary Material)
    We consider the study of the occurrence of different states over (discrete) time for a set of subjects, focusing on the resulting trajectories as a whole rather than on the occurrence of specific events. Such situation occurs commonly in a variety of settings, for example in the social and biomedical sciences. Model based approaches, such as multi-state models or hidden Markov models, designed to study the transitions across states, are being used increasingly to analyze trajectories and to study their relationships with a set of explanatory variables. Comparing the performance of competing models, typically based upon different assumptions, is an open problem. To accomplish this task, we introduce a novel approach based on microsimulation, i.e. the model-based generation of trajectories, and on dissimilarities. In particular, we discuss some criteria to compare competing models with respect to their ability to generate trajectories similar to the ones in the data. We illustrate the methods using life course trajectories arising from the Fertility and Family Survey study.
  • Martin Heidegger / Karl Lowith, Briefwechsel 1919-1973. Martin-Heidegger-Briefausgabe, Band II.2. Herausgegeben und kommentiert von Alfred Denker, Freiburg/Munchen: Karl Alber Verlag, 2017, 330 pp.
    Martin Heidegger / Karl Lowith, Briefwechsel 1919-1973. Martin-Heidegger-Briefausgabe, Band II.2. Herausgegeben und kommentiert von Alfred Denker, Freiburg/Munchen: Karl Alber Verlag, 2017, 330 pp. (en: REVISTA DE FILOSOFIA DIANOIA, Volumen 64, Numero 83 noviembre de 2019-abril de 2020, UNAM/Instituto de Investigaciones Filosoficas, Ciudad de Mexico)
  • Zum Auftritt der Figur 'Professor' in Berufungsverfahren
    The contribution discusses the casting and performance of the character 'a professor'. In contrast to other academic characters such as 'an author' or 'a colleague', the character 'professor' is embedded in the organizational context of the university. Going beyond an understanding of 'professor' as a mere status position, the contribution proceeds from an understanding of the 'professor' as a subject position with specific rights, duties and expectations towards it. Drawing on archived files of appointment procedures, the contribution examines the casting and performance of the subject position 'a professor'.
  • Happier with less? Members of European environmental grassroots initiatives reconcile lower carbon footprints with higher life satisfaction and income increases
    Scientists and policymakers recognize the need to address consumption and lifestyles in order to reconcile environmental and development agendas. Sustainability-oriented grassroots initiatives emerge bottom-up to create opportunities for sustainable lifestyles; yet no prior assessment has ascertained the efficacy of their members to reduce carbon footprints (CF) and enhance well-being. We compare the CF of non-members and members of grassroots initiatives in the domains of food, clothing, housing and transport. We further compare the groups by testing the influence of socio-economic variables that are typically associated with both footprint and well-being. Here we show that grassroots initiative members have 16% lower total carbon footprint, and 43% and 86% lower carbon footprints for food and clothing respectively, compared to their "non-member" regional sociodemographic counterparts. We find a higher adoption of some energy-saving behaviors for initiative members such as greater active travel distance and lower indoor temperatures in the winter, yet no significant differences in the CF of housing and transport. Interestingly, increases in income are not associated with increases in the total CF of members, while the influence of income is confirmed for the CF of the total sample. Instead, factors such as age, household size, and gender better explain the variation in the domain-specific CFs of initiative members. Finally, members show higher life satisfaction compared to non-members and are 11-13% more likely to evaluate their life positively. Our results suggest that initiative members uncover lifestyle features that not only enable lower emissions, but also reconcile emissions with income and well-being.
  • A Reconstruction of the Lost Chronology of Zhou
    The first half of the Zhou Dynasty, known as Western Zhou, was a critical formative period of Chinese civilization. Western Zhou introduced philosophical ideas, cultural motifs, governing practices, and social institutions that have had a profound and lasting impact on Chinese and East Asian societies. Unfortunately, only a partial chronology of this time period survives. Recovering the absolute dates of Western Zhou has since become a classical and unresolved question for over two millennia. Here I report a successful reconstruction of this long-sought chronology using archaeoastronomical methods. Systematic analysis of the relative compatibility of all 81 known fully-dated bronze inscriptions revealed the definitions of the lunar phase terms, which enabled computation of absolute dates. These calculations, combined with available archaeological and textual evidence, produced a complete chronology starting in the year King Wen received the Mandate of Heaven and ending in the year of King Ping's death. The results also reveal a previously unknown seven-year gap in the regnal years of Zhou, which explains the inconsistencies between excavated material and the annals of Shiji. The complete chronology reported here is highly consistent with archaeological evidence, textual records, and historical astronomic events, thus providing a reliable temporal framework for studying ancient Chinese history, and facilitating a deeper understanding of the origins of Chinese civilization.
  • No Future: Alienation as Futurelessness in an Era of Financial Capitalism
    There is an extensive body of literature detailing the forces behind and experiences of alienation in capitalist societies. However, the interest in alienation became parochial and balkanized by the 1970s, just as capitalism entered a period of hyper-financialization. To reconstruct a unifying concept of alienation that can address this era of financial capitalism, we propose a temporal theory of alienation as futurelessness. We argue that alienation is best conceived as a deficient relationship to the future in which people's senses of possibility ossify and dissipate as systemic features of a capitalist social order. This future-denial may result from inclusion in and exclusion from the institutions of financial capitalism. Moreover, these processes of inclusion and exclusion can be voluntary and involuntary. We then provide examples of each of these four modes of alienation: commercial exhaustion, imaginative marginalization, therapeutic nowism, and pragmatic denialism. We conclude by proposing that a sociology of possibility may help us understand the systemic sources and character of alienation, as well as its opposite.
  • Targeted Advertising: Documenting the Emergence of Gun Culture 2.0 in Guns Magazine, 1955-2019
    This study replicates Yamane, Ivory, and Yamane's (2019b) earlier analysis of the rise of self-defense in gun advertisements in The American Rifleman. It uses the same methodological procedures and applies them to a for-profit, general interest firearm magazine that has been continuously published for 65 years: Guns magazine. Like the earlier study, we hypothesize that the center of gravity in US gun culture has evolved over time from "Gun Culture 1.0," the historic gun culture of hunting and recreational shooting, to "Gun Culture 2.0," America's contemporary defensive gun culture, an evolution reflected in the content of gun advertisements. The data show that the predominance of Gun Culture 1.0 themes in advertising persists through the 1980s and into the 1990s, when the center of gravity of gun culture begins to shift decisively toward the Gun Culture 2.0 themes of personal protection/self-defense and concealed carry. This trend continues through the 1990s and 2000s, with the two emphases crossing-over in the 2010s. As reflected in advertising, in addition to other indicators such as self-reported reasons for gun ownership, Gun Culture 2.0 is now America's dominant and still expanding core gun culture today.
  • Is orgasmic meditation a form of sex?
    Orgasmic Meditation(OM) is a structured, partnered meditative practice in which one person, who can be any gender, strokes the clitoris of their partner for 15 minutes. As such, it resembles a sexual activity. OM is taught as a practice that is distinct from sex, and we wondered whether people who engage in OM actually maintain that distinction themselves. We conducted an online convenience sample survey including qualitative open-ended text questions and quantitative Likert-style questions that was distributed to email listservs for practitioners of OM. The 30-item questionnaire included questions designed to differentiate the potentially related concepts of OM, seated meditation, fondling, and sex, as bases for comparison. The quantitative results of this mixed method study show that OM practitioners view the practice as significantly more similar to meditation than to sex or fondling. These results were consistent, regardless of whether the question was asked in the positive or negative and whether OM was being compared to one behavior individually or to multiple behaviors at the same time. The distinction between OM and sex/fondling rapidly becomes more pronounced as practitioners complete more OMs. This suggests that the novelty of genital touching in meditation may diminish over time, as practitioners get used to the more alternative point of focus. The results of this study have implications for the practice and how it is approached and regulated.
  • Do Entrepreneurs Respond to Everyday Changes in Financing Cost?
    We study whether U.S. entrepreneurs respond to small everyday variation in financing costs. Using a high frequency index of the quality and quantity of U.S. entrepreneurship and identification through heteroskedasticity, we estimate the impact of exogenous changes in the short-term interest rate on the aggregate level of new firm formation. We identify a positive, heterogeneous, stable, and statistically significant impact of interest rate shocks on entrepreneurship. A one percentage point increase in the interest rate is associated with a drop of 6.8% in the flow of the quantity of startups, and 3.5% in the quality-adjusted quantity, seven days later. The negative impact dissipates after six weeks, and there is no corresponding overcompensation, suggesting the loss is permanent.
  • Graphical Causal Models for Survey Inference
    We demonstrate the usefulness of graphical causal models to communicate theoretical assumptions about the collection of survey data, to determine whether typical population parameters of interest to survey researchers can be recovered from a respondent pool, and to support the choice of suitable adjustment strategies. Starting from graphical representations of prototypical selection scenarios, we provide an explicit justification for the use of standard weighted regression estimators, which is missing in the literature. We then introduce multiple selection nodes to represent the various stages of the survey data collection process in line with the Total Survey Error approach as the dominant conceptual foundation for studying survey errors. Finally, we discuss areas for future survey methodological research that can benefit from recent advances in the graph literature in computer science and epidemiology.
  • Perception of safety for the armed -conflict affected child: Interactions between family factors and sociodemographic characteristics
    Feeling safe is important for children's wellbeing and a requisite in humanitarian interventions with children affected by armed conflict during the post displacement phase. This study investigates the role of demographic factors, family factors (parent-child relationship, economic stress, family conflict, family composition) and length of stay in 384 randomly selected internally displaced children (Mage 12.9, female 55.6%) living within six post displacement communities in Nigeria. Hierarchical regression analysis indicates the prominent role of family functioning variables in the perception of safety for the children. Residing longer within the community and younger age contributes positively to feeling safer. These findings suggest that interventions for armed-conflict affected children may need to include programs that will improve family relationship and functioning
  • Opinion-based Homogeneity on YouTube: Combining Sentiment and Social Network Analysis
    When addressing public concerns such as the existence of politically like-minded communication spaces in social media, analyses of complex political discourses are met with increasing methodological challenges to process communication data properly. To address the extent of political like-mindedness in online communication, we argue that it is necessary to focus not only on ideological homogeneity in online environments, but also on the extent to which specific political questions are discussed in a uniform manner. This study proposes an innovative combination of computational methods, including natural language processing and social network analysis, that serves as a model for future research examining the evolution of opinion climates in online networks. Data were gathered on YouTube, enabling the assessment of users' expressed opinions on three political issues (i.e., adoption rights for same-sex couples, headscarf rights, and climate change). Challenging widely held assumptions on discursive homogeneity online, the results provide evidence for a moderate level of connections between dissimilar YouTube comments but few connections between agreeing comments. The findings are discussed in light of current computational communication research and the vigorous debate on the prevalence of like-mindedness in online networks.