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SocArXiv papers

  • Linking Service Provision to Material Cycles - A New Framework for Studying the Resource Efficiency-Climate Change Nexus (RECC)
    Material production accounts for 23% of all greenhouse gas emissions. More efficient use of materials - through decoupling of services that support human wellbeing from material use - is imperative as other emissions mitigation options are expensive. An interdisciplinary scientific assessment of material efficiency and its links to service provision, material cycle management, and climate policy is needed to identify effective strategies and help design the policy framework required for their implementation. We present RECC, the Resource Efficiency-Climate Change mitigation framework, a first step towards such a comprehensive assessment. RECC is based on dynamic material flow analysis and links the services provided (individual motorized transport and dwelling) to the operation of in-use stocks (passenger vehicles and residential buildings), to the expansion and maintenance of these stocks to their material cycles (major materials like steel and cement), and to energy use and climate impacts. A key innovation of RECC is the up-scaling of detailed descriptions of future product archetypes with different degrees of material and energy efficiency, which are simulated with engineering tools. We utilize RECC with augmented storylines of the shared socioeconomic pathways (SSP) to describe future service demand and associated material requirements. Ten material efficiency strategies at different stages of the material cycle can be assessed by ramping up their implementation rates to the identified technical potentials. RECC provides scenario results for the life cycle impacts of ambitious service-material decoupling concurrent with energy system decarbonization, giving detailed insights on the resource efficiency-climate change mitigation nexus to policy makers worldwide.
  • Non-Fascist AI
    Draft of a book chapter. This text was first published in Propositions for Non-Fascist Living: Tentative and Urgent, Maria Hlavajova and Wietske Maas, eds. (Utrecht and Cambridge, MA: BAK basis voor actuele kunst and MIT Press, 2019).
  • Vulnerability to Negative Life Events: Unemployment and Loss of a Spouse in Japan
    The purposes of this study are to introduce the idea of a vulnerability score for measuring the potential damage from negative life events as socially embedded hazards, and to show analytical examples of this by using the SSM 2015 data, which is Japanese national survey data. In the analysis, we apply the statistical method of causal inference for estimating the degree of vulnerability to negative life events from cross-sectional social survey data and define the vulnerability score as this measurement of vulnerability. We analyze the SSM survey data to assess people's vulnerability in terms of household income and subjective well-being in response to negative life events, such as unemployment and loss of a spouse, and reveal differences based on gender, age, and educational attainment. As for unemployment, we find from the analyses that both men and women who are around 40 years old and has less education face the most severe risk of damaging household income, while younger men are at severe risk of damaging their subjective well-being through the event. As for loss of a spouse, we found that women are more vulnerable than men in terms of objective well-being, while men are more vulnerable than women in terms of subjective well-being.
  • The Effect of Peer-to-Peer Risk Information on Potential Migrants - Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial in Senegal
    In response to mounting evidence of the dangers of irregular migration from Africa to Europe, the number of information campaigns designed to raise awareness of the potential risks has rapidly increased. Governments, international organizations and civil society organizations implement a variety of campaigns to counter misinformation spread by smuggling and trafficking networks. The evidence on the effects of such information interventions on potential migrants remains limited and largely anecdotal. More generally, the role of risk perceptions for the decision-making process of potential irregular migrants is rarely explicitly tested while the concept of risk pervades conventional migration models, particularly in the field of economics. We address this gap by providing causal evidence of the effects of a peer-to-peer information intervention on the perceptions, knowledge and intentions of potential migrants in Dakar, Senegal, using a randomized controlled trial design. The results show that - three months after the intervention - peer-to-peer information events about risks increased potential migrants' subjective information levels, raised risk perceptions; and reduced intentions to migrate irregularly. We found no substantial effects on factual migration knowledge. We discuss how the effects may be driven by the trust and identification-enhancing nature of peer-to-peer communication.
  • Does the oil palm certification create trade-offs between environment and development in Indonesia?
    Environmental and social problems triggered by the rapid palm oil expansion in the tropics have spurred the proliferation of sustainability certification standards, which are market-based initiatives intended to ensure commodity production is carried out in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. One such certification scheme, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), aims to mitigate the impact of oil palm production on local communities and ecosystems. While previous work has focused on the environmental impact of RSPO, little is known about its impact on village development and potential trade-offs with environmental goals. To address this gap, we evaluate the impact of RSPO on promoting village development and protecting ecosystems in Kalimantan and Sumatra in Indonesia, the top global oil palm producer. Using observations from 11,000 villages over a period of 11 years, we apply rigorous quasi-experimental methods to quantify impacts along environmental and village development outcomes. We find that relative to noncertified concessions, RSPO resulted in small, often heterogeneous and geographically limited environmental and village infrastructure impacts relative to traditional oil palm concessions. Between environmental and development goals, we identify trade-offs on both islands. While in Kalimantan the impact on population was statistically insignificant, in Sumatra the trade-offs are correlated with a statistically significant decrease in the number of people in the treated villages. By illustrating the heterogeneity of the RSPO impacts, our results have important implications for understanding the mechanisms behind RSPO's impacts and improving its design.
    Objectives: Drawing upon optimal foraging theory, we examine graffiti writers' individual target preferences to establish the diversity in their target choices (henceforth called "target specialization"). Ecological research implies that the total population of writers can consist of target specialists, generalists, or both. Target preferences are either similar or dissimilar among individuals. Methods: One year of graffiti removal data relating to 1,904 incidents committed by 263 individuals were extracted for a medium-sized city in Belgium. Individual target specialization and preferences were analyzed using ecological network methods. Results: The total diversity in target choices at the aggregate level is primarily the result of substantial between-individual variation. The results indicate that the total population of graffiti writers largely consists of target specialists, and can be divided into subgroups that share similar target preferences. Aggregate patterns of target selection do not accurately reflect individual variation in target choice specialization, at least for graffiti writing. Conclusions: We recommend future research to account for individual differences in target specialization. The patterns observed here are similar to those observed in animal ecology studies supporting the idea that crime patterns might correspond to common behavioral ecological patterns.
  • Research publication productivity among senior faculty at Ph.D.-granting institutions in the United States
    The aging of the professoriate is a source of concern for research in the United States. Do senior faculty remain active and contribute to scientific advancement when there is no mandatory retirement? This study quantifies senior faculty publication activity in six broad fields, comparing their publication rates to their younger colleagues for published journal articles, conference proceedings, books, and book chapters. Career publication activity does not follow a "peak and decline" pattern described in earlier studies. Senior scholars remain active and shift their research focus to the development and evolution of ideas through the publication of books and book chapters.
  • The Immigration Issue in the European Electoral Campaign in the UK: Text-Mining Public Debate from Newspapers and Social Media
    In recent years, the issue of immigration has become increasingly salient in the UK political and media debate. Moreover, with the development and persistence of the economic and financial crisis within the EU, immigration has been linked to growing opposition and criticism towards the European Union. In a country in which Euroscepticism has historically been high compared to countries in continental Europe, EU immigration-related statements connected to EU free-border agreements became more widespread. For this reason, we expect immigration to be a prominent issue in the electoral campaign of the upcoming 2014 European Parliament elections in the media. By covering EU immigrants and EU immigration issues in a certain way, media tend to promote or restrain certain ideas of immigration, that might eventually affect public's views. In fact, we know from previous studies that immigration, particularly in times of economic crisis, is a challenge for society that can be framed not only in positive or negative terms, but also in economic or cultural terms. This study first considers the salience of coverage of EU immigrants and EU immigration issues in UK newspapers in the three months preceding the EU elections of May 2014. It further explores whether news coverage of different newspapers is framed in terms of economic or cul- tural terms. In addition, we mine information from social media to discover how the immigration debate is framed by politically engaged members of the public on these platforms.
  • The West's Teeth: IMF Conditionality During the Cold War
    Was the International Monetary Fund (IMF) susceptible to political pressure from the United States and its Western allies during the Cold War? To answer this question, we construct a new database containing the number of conditions applied to over 500 IMF loans since 1970 and analyze how the distance from a borrowing country to its closet communist neighbor affected the IMF conditionality. We show that the fund imposed fewer conditions on loans to countries geographically closer to the communist bloc. Results are stronger when neighboring communist countries were not part of the Warsaw Pact. This pattern persisted during the 1990s, when the fund helped former communist countries in their transition to market economies. However, we find no strong evidence of such discretionary treatment by the IMF after 2001, when the containment of communism had ceased to be the West's top priority.
  • Exploring Social Relationships in "a Mixed Way": Mixed Structural Analysis
    While the concept of mixed method social network analysis (MMSNA) is gaining in popularity, there is a notable lack of specific mixed research designs that guide the implementation of MMSNA. In this chapter, I draw from qualitative social network analysis, specifically, qualitative structural analysis, and expand it towards a mixed research design. This change, which requires relatively little additional input, fulfills several important purposes at the same time, and hence may be conducive in increasing the overall quality of a study.
  • Gender Pay Gap in the Banking Sector: Has the Great Recession changed the obvious?
    ABSTRACT In a highly competitive global economy, employee diversity offers a proven route for innovation and organizational performance. While it is generally accepted that the gender should be no barrier on equal pay for work requiring equal skills, efforts, responsibilities, and working conditions, women are still under-represented at all levels of the companies around the world. Furthermore, unequal pay for equal job implemented by both qualified men and women results in gender discrimination in the career development of women in the labor market. Gender discrimination holds capable women from further personal growth and contribution to economic development. This problem particularly revals itself in the banking and financial sector. This study examines the impact of the Great Recession on the gender wage gap. Using the U.S. Census American Community Survey microdata for bank employees from 2001 to 2017, the study will analyze the changes in the pay gap between male and female employees in the financial sector, before and after the Great Recession.
  • The Emergence of the Crack Epidemic and City-to-Suburb Mobility Between and Within Ethno-Racial Groups
    Violence often induces white flight to the suburbs and traps blacks in high-crime cities, shaping black-white suburbanization inequality. This study examines the emergence of the crack epidemic in the mid-1980s and city-to-suburb mobility between and within ethno-racial groups. Using the 1980 and 1990 IPUMS data, I compare the mean and dispersion of city-to-suburban mobility before and during the period of the crack epidemic in cities with high intensity of the epidemic relative to cities with low intensity. The results suggest that the crack epidemic increased black and Hispanic flight to the suburbs, but it did not increase white flight. Furthermore, the crack epidemic increased disparity in city-to-suburb mobility among blacks. I find that the source of this heterogeneity is middle-class black migrants who fled to the suburbs. Supporting evidence is consistent with the idea that the crack epidemic changed the location of business establishments from the inner-city to the suburbs, which results in greater economic returns to city-to-suburb migration among selective demographic groups who were heavily affected by the crack epidemic but had resources to migrate. Given the historically lower rates of suburbanization among blacks and Hispanics, the results suggest that the crack epidemic decreased suburbanization inequality between minorities and whites but increased suburbanization inequality among blacks.
  • Case Selection and Supreme Court Pivots
    How does the Rule of Four affect Supreme Court decisions? We show two effects of changing a ``hearing pivot" justice who is decisive for case selection. First, as this justice becomes more extreme, the court hears a larger set of policies. That is, as the hearing pivot becomes more conservative, the court hears more cases with liberal status quo precedents. Second, as the hearing pivot becomes more extreme, dispositional majorities shrink and rulings are more polarized. When the median justice becomes more extreme without changing the hearing pivot, rulings become more extreme as the majority opinion shifts. Yet, the set of cases heard changes very little. Finally, we show that changing non-pivotal justices also affects case selection. If an extreme justice is replaced with someone even more extreme, this may expand the gridlock interval. Extreme justices pull the bargaining policy away from the hearing pivot, thus making status quo precedents more appealing.
  • Campaign Contributions and Lobbying
    Interest groups can influence governmental policy through multiple channels. First, they may spend money before elections to help elect their preferred candidate. Second, they may also lobby after the election to affect the implemented policy. We analyze a game-theoretic model of campaign spending and lobbying to understand the strategic relationship between these two means of outside influence. We consider how several lobbying environments, each featuring different access to the elected politician, affect both the willingness to spend during the campaign and the final policy. Campaign spending is a function of both expected final policy due to lobbying and also expected lobbying effort costs. We find that increased policy moderation often, but not always, accompanies decreased campaign spending. When extreme interest groups give campaign contributions in exchange for access, campaign spending decreases as policy becomes more extreme. Open-access lobbying, where all interest groups lobby regardless of ideological alignment, is always best for the voter. We then show that caps on campaign contributions may have minimal effect on policy because of later lobbying efficacy. Finally, we highlight comparative statics that predict different empirical patterns of contributions depending on whether politicians grant lobbying access to all interest groups or only to ideologically-aligned groups. Our results demonstrate that interest-group and candidate polarization must be considered relative to one another; the effect of greater interest-group polarization depends to a large extent on whether it implies more or less ideological proximity to the group's aligned candidate.
  • Fall 2016 Update for Ferguson, Gray, and Davis: An Analysis of Recorded Crime Incidents and Arrests in Baltimore City, March 2010 through October 2016
    This report offers an updated analysis of recorded crime incidents and arrests in Baltimore City from March 2010 through October 2016, evaluating alternatives explanations for changes therein.
  • Ferguson, Gray, and Davis: An Analysis of Recorded Crime Incidents and Arrests in Baltimore City, March 2010 through December 2015
    This report offers an analysis of recorded crime incidents and arrests in Baltimore City from March 2010 through December 2015, evaluating alternatives explanations for changes therein.
  • Traditional and Non-traditional Forms of Political Participation in Multigenerational Households
    The relationship between demographic trends and political participation is seldom overlooked, as even minute movements within the population can result in the systematic alteration of behavior among the American electorate. Throughout the past two decades, the United States has experienced consistent growth in the number of multigenerational households, seemingly correlated with cultural and economic changes across the country. According to one Census report, more than 4.3 million households, or roughly 5.6\% of all households in the United States, are multigenerational. Surprisingly, the political behavior of such a significant demographic subgroup has yet to be analyzed in any meaningful way. It is unknown if and how such households differ from traditional households with regard to political participation and engagement. Using data from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series Current Population Survey (IPUMS-CPS) Voter Supplement for years 2000-2016 and Civic Engagement Supplement for the years of 2008-2011 and 2013, I am able to identify the individuals living in multigenerational households and assess their propensity to engage in a variety of political acts. Across a multitude of regression models and specifications of participation, I show that those living in multigenerational households participate at a significantly lower rate than those living in traditional households controlling for key demographics variables that have previously been shown to influence participation. Additionally, the panel structure of the IPUMS-CPS microdata creates the unique opportunity for a conditional differences-in-differences analysis with matching, so those who were not living in a multigenerational household at time $t$ but were in time $t+1$ can be compared to similar individuals who don't live in such a household in either time period. Those living in multigenerational households vote at a lower rate in presidential, midterm, and local elections, and are also less likely to engage in other forms of political engagement such as talking to family about politics, contacting an elected official, and being a part of organizations.
  • Bureaucrats under Populism
    We explore the consequences of populism for bureaucrats' incentives by analyzing a model of delegated policy-making between politicians and bureaucrats. We characterize equilibrium behavior for politicians and bureaucrats when politicians may or may not be populist and bureaucrats may or may not be experts. First, we show that populist leaders prefer non-expert bureaucrats over competent agents. We then show that this leads competent bureaucrats to engage in strategic policy-making. Competent bureaucrats may feign loyalty to the current incumbent, therefore making future politicians believe the bureaucrat is loyal instead of competent. Second, they may implement the correct policy even at the cost of being fired. We show that feigning loyalty becomes more likely as the probability of a populist-loyalist combination increases. Next, we show the bureaucratic turnover is higher under populists when the bureaucracy is strong and higher under non-populists when the bureaucracy is weak.
  • Intergenerational Mobility in the Fourth Industrial Revolution
    The maturation of industrial society has long been seen as an engine of occupational upgrading and opportunity. Following the rise of the factory, the assembly line, and the office computer, some claim that we are now entering a fourth industrial revolution where autonomous systems are transforming the nature of work. What are the consequences of this transformation for intergenerational income mobility? Examining variation across 722 U.S. labor markets, we find that intergenerational persistence is higher in areas heavily exposed to industrial automation. These effects are rooted in childhood experiences and concentrated among men from disadvantaged homes. Unequal labor relations appear to exacerbate the association, while affordable access to college ameliorates it. The received view of industrial change as an engine of mobility should be revised to consider the institutional context of automation.
  • New room to maneuver? National tax policy under in-creasing financial transparency
    Why have OECD governments raised taxes on dividends at the shareholder level since 2008? Previous research points to the importance of budget deficits and voter demand for compensa-tory fairness in the aftermath of the financial crisis. We complement this literature by showing that the effect of domestic drivers of tax increases on capital income crucially depends on the level of financial transparency in a country's investment network. Low financial transparency increases the risk of capital flight in response to a tax hike, whereas high financial transparency reduces this risk. Hence, governments facing fiscal pressure become more likely to raise taxes on capital income when transparency is high. To substantiate our argument, we construct an original indicator of financial transparency in countries' investment networks, which we utilize in a regression analysis of tax reforms by 204 cabinets in 35 OECD countries between 2001 and 2018.
  • U.S. Cyber Strategy of Persistent Engagement & Defend Forward: Implications for the Alliance and Intelligence Collection
    The 2018 U.S. Cyber Command vision and the Department of Defense Cyber Strategy embody a fundamental reorientation in strategic thinking. Much has been written about the implications of U.S. change in strategic doctrine for great power dynamics. Yet, less systematic attention, has been devoted to the strategy's implications for the alliance and intelligence collection. The purpose of this Perspective is to conduct a benefit-risk assessment of the US strategy on these issues. Whilst the U.S.'s mission to persistently engage with adversaries may have benefits for alliance relationships, the paper identified four avenues how the strategy leads to negative implications for the alliance i) loss of trust due to offensive cyber effects operations in allied systems or networks; compromise of allied intelligence operations and capabilities; iii) exploitability of the strategy by adversaries; and iv) the implementation (and justification) of persistent engagement by other countries. The paper suggests several ways forward, including the promoting of new NATO-memorandum of understanding on cyber operations.
  • Effective Reading Strategies for Generation Z Using Authentic Texts
    The article deals with the use of effective reading strategies with Generation Z students based on a critical review of modern psychological and pedagogical studies of 'digital learners'. The relevance of the study is substantiated by the fact that the subjects of the modern educational process today are mostly representatives of Generation Z and their ways of study, preferences and values are bringing important changes to teaching and learning contexts. The purpose of the article is to analyse effective reading strategies using authentic texts. It features a brief overview of the studies devoted to the reading strategies and highlights the differences between reading skills and reading strategies. The authors explore the concept of authenticity of texts and tasks and suggest their highly motivational nature for digital learners. The article presents an analysis of Generation Z's unique characteristics and projects them onto the choice of effective reading strategies for digital learners. The article concludes with a discussion of pedagogical implications and a list of recommendations to consider when selecting effective reading strategies for language classrooms.
  • The Use of Vocabulary Learning Strategies by EFL and EAP Undergraduate University Learners' in the Iraqi Context
    Vocabulary learning is an essential part of foreign or second language learning. This study aims at identifying the most and least common strategies that are used by Iraqi English as a foreign language (EFL) majors and English for academic purposes (EAP) learners. Also, determine the differences that are in EFL and EAP students' vocabulary learning strategy (VLS) use as well as exploring EFL and EAP students' views and difficulties. The study samples were 100 undergraduate learners (50 EAP learners and 50 EFL majors studying at Al-iraqia University, Iraq). There were two methods adopted; a validated Likert-scale questionnaire based on a developed version of Schmitt (1997) and further selected four of them for a follow-up semi-structured interview. The results of the survey indicated that EFL and EAP learners' most common strategy was determination strategy, whereas, the least common strategy was metacognitive. The finding of the independent sample t-test of the five identified categories: metacognitive, determination, cognitive, memory as well as social, indicated that there was no significant difference between EFL and EAP learners' in the frequency of the use of VLS. The results of the interview indicated that the majority of EFL and EAP learners' valued the significance role of VLS.
  • Politeness Strategies and Maxims in English for Islamic texts: A Sociolinguistic Analysis of Quran
    This research tackles two chapters from the Holy Quran, the sura of Prophet Yusuf, and the sura of the Cave (al-Kahf) to find out whether the theories of Leech (1983) and Brown and Levinson (1987) can be applied to find out the positive and negative politeness strategies and the politeness maxims. The Leech's model (1983) consists of six maxims, and for Brown and Levinson (1987), consists of two major politeness strategies. It consists of two principles of politeness, where one of them is positive, and the other is negative politeness. This study aims at investigating politeness strategies, and politeness principle linguistically in two Suras from the Holy Quran, how politeness strategies and politeness maxims used within the Holy Quran. This study tries to investigate the image of the main characters in the most sacred book. A qualitative approach is employed to provide interpretations of selected verses. In this paper, we will discuss the politeness strategies, positive and negative politeness strategies, and politeness maxims. The study falls into two parts. It begins briefly to overview the theoretical framework underlying politeness, in particular discussing some definitions of politeness and politeness principle and its maxims, exploring the face theory and its strategies by Brown and Levinson, and how far these strategies affect polite style then, dealing with politeness maxims by Leech. The other part displays a practical application of what has presented theoretically. Also, the researcher examined the politeness strategies, and politeness maxims of two Suras (Yusuf and Al-Kahf). Moreover, the study observed that approximately the majority of negative politeness in two suras then positive politeness, and the last one is politeness maxims.
  • The Impact of Social Media Application in Promoting Speaking Skill of Iraqi University learners of English: A Skype-based Study
    The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of applying social media, specifically, using Skype devices in teaching the speaking skill (Male/Female) as a supportive environment of English language teaching. Moreover, this study seeks to find whether the designed questionnaire enjoys the required validity and reliability. As a case study, the sample of the experiment consists of seventy sophomores major in English at Mustansiriya University in Iraq. The researcher randomly divided the participants into control and experimental cohorts. The two groups submitted to the pretest and posttest. The participants of the study reported their responses to a six-statement designed questionnaire on suitable ways of improving the speaking skill. Statistical data have been collected based on the Likert Scale questionnaire, while the statistical values, such as mean, t-value, standard deviation, and chi-square, have been employed. The normality, confirmatory, validity, and reliability of the questionnaire were measured by using SPSS and LISREL programs. The research findings indicate that there is a significant difference in the speaking achievement between male and female participants who subjected to social media after receiving instructions via Skype devices. Based on these results, the impact of social media on students' achievements in speaking skills urges the need for a rethinking of the traditional method of teaching English. Further, educators should pay more attention to the process of employing social media applications in the educational domain.
  • Examining the Effect of Listening Strategy Instruction on EFL Iraqi learners' Listening Anxiety
    The present study examined the effect of process-based listening strategy instruction on decreasing the learners' listening anxiety level, and the relationship between listening anxiety (LA) and listening comprehension (LC). The participants consisted of sixty sophomore Iraqi learners who were studying English as a Foreign Language (EFL) at the Department of English at the University of Kufa, Iraq. They were divided into experimental (n=30) and control(n=30) groups. The experimental group received explicit, and integrated listening strategies instruction based on Siegel's model of process-based listening strategy instruction (2015). The control group received the conventional teaching of listening without receiving any training in strategy process-based instruction over a semester (ten weeks). A modified version of the Foreign Language listening Anxiety Scale (FLLAS) developed by Elkhafaifi (2005) was taken by the participants once before and once after the intervention to measure their LA. The listening section of the Preliminary English Test (PET) used to measure the learners' LC before and after the intervention. Findings showed that listening strategy instruction could decrease learners' LA. Furthermore, a negative relationship found between LA and LC. The paper concluded with some useful pedagogical implications, and suggestions for further research are discussed based on the findings for researchers, teachers, and educators within the constraints of the Iraqi context.
  • Pragmatic Deficits in Iraqi Patients with Schizophrenia: A Descriptive Study
    Patients with schizophrenia often experience impairments in several cognitive domains. One domain of particular interest is pragmatics, i.e., the ability to match language to context. This study aims at (a) investigating the pragmatic abilities of Iraqi patients with schizophrenia on both the production and comprehension level; (b) identifying which Grice's (1975) maxims do those patients most frequently violate; and (c) determining which of the demographic variables (gender, education, and age) has an influence on both the production and comprehension performance and violations. To this end, thirty patients were required to orally perform six pragmatic tasks using the Assessment of Pragmatic Abilities and Cognitive Substrates (APACS) (Arcara & Bambini, 2016). Results revealed that first, patients' performance in comprehension is worse than that in production. Secondly, the most frequently violated maxim is that of quality. Thirdly, there were statistically substantial differences among patients on the comprehension level for education and age only, whereas results of violations of Grice's maxims recorded significant differences for all the three variables. The study concluded that people with schizophrenia might suffer from pragmatic deficits, particularly on the comprehension level, and that the degree of the difficulty of the task assigned along with the three variables could play a vital role in the degree of their performance. The findings of this study may be applied to the development of effective treatment strategies in schizophrenia.
  • Posters in Vocabulary Learning
    An essential element in English as a foreign language (EFL) learning is vocabulary. There is a big emphasis on learning the new words' meaning from the books or inside classrooms. Also, it is a major part of language teaching as well as being fundamental to the learner but there is a big challenge in vocabulary instruction due to the weak confidence by teachers in selecting the suitable practice in teaching vocabulary or they sometimes unable to specify a suitable time for it during the teaching process. The major aim of this study is to investigate the value of posters in vocabulary learning on the 2nd grade students at Halemat Alsaadia High School in Baghdad - Iraq. It hypothesized that there are no statistically significant differences between the experimental and control groups' scores in the post-test. Participants were randomly assigned to two groups out of four groups. Group A which represents the control group are taught without using posters, and group B which represents the experimental group is taught by using posters. The whole number of participated students is 62 students. The control group is (32) , and the experimental group is (30) students. Students were subjected to pre and posttests. The researcher used the T-test for two independent samples to know the equivalent between the experimental and control groups in the pre-test. The researcher used chi-square to find out statistically significant differences between the experimental and control groups' variables of mothers and fathers' academic achievement. The results of the post-test shown that there are differences between the experimental and control groups for the favor of the experimental group. It is concluded that teaching vocabulary by using posters proved to be more useful for the students of Intermediate school than through taught without using posters. This adequacy of using posters is clear on developing both memorizing and written achievement. The present study suggests that English teachers in Iraq need to activate their students' minds and memorization through using posters and recommends that other researchers to research the effectiveness of Facebook and social media in increasing English language vocabulary learning.
  • A Study of Irony in Political Discourse
    This study examines the ideological and evaluative nature of irony in discourse. It aims to reveal the linguistic constructions involved in ironic utterances and to uncover ideologies underpinning such structures. It draws upon the echo and pretense theories to account for utterance representation along with Wodak's (2007) framework of self and other presentation strategies. The study examines the incongruous construction of an attitude, and the objectives attempted to achieve by taking a cynical stance. The main research questions center on the role played by ironic utterances and how they contribute to preserving the image of the speaker and to the negative representation of the other. The study reveals the way politicians mark their verbal irony, i.e., to classify and categorize the co-textual markers including hyperboles, and repetitive follow-up commentaries. The findings in this study support Bertuccelli (2018) view that irony is not merely saying the opposite of what one means but instead communicating an attitude. It adds to the existing literature that irony involves not a reversal of evaluation, but a reversal of attitudes about social actors to draw a positive self-image. Furthermore, the study shows that echoing the opponent's utterance involves a representation of acts and speech acts along with free direct and indirect speech.
  • Finding a Time to See: Videogames and Aesthetic Contemplation
    Videogames present incredibly rich visual environments that can be studied from a variety of perspectives including those germane to the visual arts. The medium has evolved to such a degree that evaluation should not rest on whether an individual game can be considered art, but what types of aesthetic engagement the medium affords. A key figure in the study of the visual arts is aesthetic contemplation, in which extended attention reveals aesthetic differences. Although the videogame presents many sites and scenes worthy of such contemplation, this mode of spectatorship requires sufficient time and space to attend to a visual object. In order to open up a space for aesthetic engagement, many of the ludological and narrative demands of the game must recede. In this paper, we will investigate the degree to which players have choice in how, or how long, they attend to a game's visual environment.
  • Living in the Present: Rethinking the Paradox of Suspense through Videogames
    In the study of film, Noel Carroll (2001) coined the term the "paradox of suspense" to refer to a situation in which rewatching a film continues to invoke suspenseful feelings. According to the paradox, the tension associated with anticipation and uncertainty persists even though the spectator definitely knows what will happen (Carroll 2001). Many of the articles on the paradox and suspense examine the narrative events shaping spectator or player knowledge (Branigan 1992; Gerrig 1997; Ortony, Clore, and Collins 1988; Prieto-Pablos 1998; Smuts 2008; Yanal 1996), however, this paper takes a slightly different approach by addressing factors that contribute to the feeling of suspense irrespective of the awareness of specific narrative events. By examining videogames, we also shift the frame of reference from narration to gameplay and the way players prepare for suspenseful events. We argue that videogames require a particular attitude manifest in the gameplay that continues to foster suspense even in the replaying of a game.
  • On Fluctuations in Sexual Development
    This call to research paper addresses some questions about intersex and differences in sexual development and issues with the binary sex modal, before constructing the idea of fluctuations in sexual modes and suggesting a few possible areas of research to better understand evolutionary dynamics of certain intersex states. While there are many conditions that fall under the category of intersex, this paper focuses on DSDs that have a significant genetic component rather than environmental component. The final part of the paper focuses on changes in selective pressures against intersex variations and high fertility rates, due to improved socioeconomic conditions and changes in infant and childhood mortality rates.
  • Participation of civil society in decisions to mitigate environmental degradation in post-conflict societies: evidence from Somalia
    The question of the degree to which participation by civil society contributes to environmental decisions in post-conflict societies has received little attention. This study sheds light on the extent to which degrees of participation contribute to environmental decision-making in the Puntland State of Somalia using questionnaire surveys. We found that active participation has the highest contribution to environmental decisions. Our findings also indicated that the most pressing forms of environmental degradation in Puntland, as perceived by the respondents, are land degradation, drought related to the scarcity of rainfall, and deforestation. This study recommends "environmental cooperation" built into the peace-building process as a clear-cut concept to tackle both environmental degradation and conflicts. At the core of this concept is active participation and collaboration between civil society and the government as a means of mitigating environmental degradation in post-conflict Somalia. This will result in favorable environmental conditions and sustainable peace.
  • New Zealand children's experiences of online risks and their perceptions of harm. Evidence from Nga taiohi matihiko o Aotearoa - New Zealand Kids Online
    While children's experiences of online risks and harm is a growing area of research in New Zealand, public discussion on the matter has largely been informed by mainstream media's fixation on the dangers of technology. At best, debate on risks online has relied on overseas evidence. However, insights reflecting the New Zealand context and based on representative data are still needed to guide policy discussion, create awareness, and inform the implementation of prevention and support programmes for children. This research report presents findings from a quantitative study regarding different aspects related to risks and online safety. It looks at the online experiences that children find bothersome and upsetting and explores the hurtful behaviours they encounter or engage in, both online and in person. Evidence regarding exposure to different types of potentially harmful online content is also presented. Another relevant contribution is the insights related to excessive internet use.The findings presented in this report are based on data from 2,061 New Zealand children aged 9-17. We hope the findings will contribute to the development of policies, practices and services designed to support New Zealand children to safely take advantage of the opportunities available to them online.
  • Beyond Wilenskey: A Speculative Model of Professional Devolution
    Many writers have explored the processes by which traditional occupations and skilled trades have evolved into the modern professions, as well as the conditions and social accommodations necessary for those transitions to occur (Parsons 1939, Larson 1979, Swick 2000, Cruess et al., 1997, 2000, 2004, etc.). Beginning in the second half of the 20th century, a number of technological, economic, political, and social forces began to collectively undermine the societal terms and conditions under which established professions operate to the extent that it is now possible to speculate that the adaptation mechanisms of several of the professions will prove inadequate for the emerging environment and suggesting that those professions may devolve back into occupations and trades. Harold Wilenskey (1964) examined the development of eighteen professions from the 17th through the 20th centuries and offered a five stage model of professional development. Central to Wilenskey's model is the formation of a "first collective," -- in his terminology, a professional association. Using Wilenskey's general model, this paper will suggest that, under certain conditions, a "second collective" may form in response to an external challenge, and that this formation can be a key initiator of devolutionary processes. A complementary speculative model of profession devolution is then proposed. This paper will explore only the processes involved in, and not the social implications of, professional class displacement.
  • County-level association of unemployment to mortality in the coterminous United States: a Bayesian spatiotemporal modeling approach
    This study spatiotemporally examines an association between unemployment and mortality. Hypothesizing the spatiotemporally heterogeneous association, we employ the Integrated Nested Laplace Approximation (INLA)-based random slope model with the spatiotemporal interaction under the control of common covariates. The model design aims to investigate the spatiotemporally transforming relationship between unemployment rates and mortality rates. The causes for all, self-harm, and mental disorders in 3,108 coterminous counties in the United States for 2001-2014, which includes two economic recessions, are considered. The results show the sporadic spatial effect and the cause-specific change of spatiotemporal interactions during the study period. The spatiotemporal patterns did not only have the same magnitude but also show the same direction of shift for causes of death. The spatiotemporal changes of the associations of one-year lagged unemployment rates are summarized as follows: (1) Dakotas and the west Appalachian counties have highly positive association in recent years; (2) the geographical shifts in high association regions were various for each cause of death: the dividing cluster for all-cause, the southerly moving cluster for the self-harm and interpersonal violence, and intensifying clusters in central and west Appalachian for the mental and substance-use disorders mortality; (3) the associations become weaker during the Great Recession period. Those patterns may be attributed to regional contexts, such as devoid of healthcare facilities and psychological deprivation. Even though there are possible mediating factors indicated by the substantial degree of residuals in some regions, our approach illustrates that the association of unemployment and mortality is spatiotemporally different across regions. It also suggests the spatiotemporal approach is effective in investigating the relationship between unemployment and mortality.
  • Caracteristicas das populacoes em Terras Indigenas na regiao de influencia da Usina Hidreletrica de Belo Monte, estado do Para
    Este trabalho pretende contribuir com a caracterizacao das populacoes residentes em Terras Indigenas localizadas na regiao de influencia da Usina Hidreletrica de Belo Monte, no estado do Para. Trata-se da maior hidreletrica do Brasil e os efeitos de sua construcao tem sido objeto de diversos levantamentos que se debrucam sobre as alteracoes relativas aos ambientes naturais, mas tambem referentes aos efeitos sobre as populacoes. Nesse trabalho, fruto de uma pesquisa realizada por Dagnino; Estanislau (2015), foram analisadas 11 Terras Indigenas, que a partir do metodo de area minima comparavel foram agrupadas em oito unidades espaciais nas quais foram calculados 25 indicadores, baseados nos dados dos Censos de 2000 e 2010 e Contagem 2007, do Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatistica (IBGE). Os resultados mostram que os indicadores seguem algumas tendencias verificadas no Brasil como um todo entre 2000 e 2010, tal como: envelhecimento da estrutura etaria, aumento da renda aliado a reducao do analfabetismo, diminuicao da razao de sexo e forte presenca de imigrantes de curta distancia.
  • Ethnic Intermarriage in Russia: The Tale of Four Cities
    Background: Across most Western societies, trends towards increased ethnic intermarriage have been observed across the second half of the 20th century. Whether such trends hold across the multi-ethnic society of Russia is not known. Objective: We describe levels and trends in ethnic intermarriage rates in four highly different regions of Russia. Methods: We analyse census data from Moscow, Kazan, Makhachkala, Vladikavkaz, calculate odds ratios for ethnic intermarriage and fit log-linear and log-multiplicative models to test for trends in intermarriage. We use age as a proxy for marriage/cohabitation cohorts. Results: We find no change in ethnic intermarriage in Moscow, but more intermarriage in younger cohorts in the other three cities. However, in Kazan and Vladikavkaz the trend is towards more intermarriage between Russians and Tatars, and between Russians and Ossetians, respectively, while in Makhachkala, where there are few ethnic Russians, the trend is towards more intermarriage between indigenous Muslim peoples. Conclusions: Levels and trends in ethnic intermarriage vary substantially throughout Russia by locality and ethnic group. There is no evidence for a trend towards increased intermarriage in Moscow. Contribution: We provide new insight into ethnic intermarriage in Russia. More generally, our study highlights how trends in intermarriage can vary within a society, and how the local, historic context may play an important role.
  • Does social capital affect wages? A panel data analysis of causal mechanisms
    Many studies document the positive association between accessed social capital and wages. It is widely accepted that the underlying relationship is causal. However, most studies use cross-sectional data, and only a few test causal mechanisms. In our analysis, we first test a broad range of social capital indicators by applying fixed-effects panel data regression to a sample of currently employed and a sample of newly employed individuals. Second, we test reservation wages, network search, being offered a job without prior job search, and the number of job interviews as some of the theoretical mechanisms put forward to explain positive social capital effects. Overall, we find no empirical evidence for wage effects of the social capital measure and no evidence that any of the proposed mechanisms are empirically relevant.
  • Reducing Exclusionary Attitudes Through Interpersonal Conversation: Evidence from Three Field Experiments
    Exclusionary attitudes--prejudice toward outgroups and opposition to policies that promote their well-being--are presenting challenges to democratic societies worldwide. Drawing on insights from psychology, we argue that non-judgmentally exchanging narratives in interpersonal conversations can facilitate durable reductions in exclusionary attitudes. We support this argument with evidence from three pre-registered field experiments targeting exclusionary attitudes toward unauthorized immigrants and transgender people. In these experiments, 230 canvassers conversed with 6,869 voters across 7 US locations. In Experiment 1, face-to-face conversations deploying arguments alone had no effects on voters' exclusionary immigration policy or prejudicial attitudes, but otherwise identical conversations also including the non-judgmental exchange of narratives durably reduced exclusionary attitudes for at least four months (d = 0.08). Experiments 2 and 3, targeting transphobia, replicate these findings and support the scalability of this strategy (ds = 0.08, 0.04). Non-judgmentally exchanging narratives can help overcome the resistance to persuasion often encountered in discussions of these contentious topics.
  • Making Sense of Kids' Technology Use
    Portable electronic devices are everywhere. Kids love them, and schools are sending them into homes. This accessibility challenges parents, who want to balance dangers like addiction, bullying, and strangers against benefits for social relationships and future careers. How are these pressures affecting kids, families, and society? Is this a new "moral panic?" What does the future hold?
  • Cultural Capital in China? Television tastes and cultural distinction among college students in Beijing
    Can television taste function as cultural capital in contemporary China? This paper investigates, for the first time, how Chinese engage with global pop culture to mark their positions in China's swiftly changing social and cultural hierarchies. Using multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) of a survey (n=422) and 48 interviews with students at an elite Beijing university, we identify three distinct taste dimensions: not-knowers versus dislikers; TV lovers versus avoiders; and Western and Eastern TV taste. We identify dimensions 1 and 3 as cultural capital dimensions: respondents on the "high end" draw taste-based social boundaries vis-a-vis those on the low end, who in turn accept the hierarchies implied in these tastes. The two dimensions differ in the criteria used to make aesthetic distinctions, the type of cultural knowledge they rely on, and in the strength of their boundary-drawing. We conclude that the "Western" taste is more exclusive than the "dislike" taste. The first is mainly based on aesthetic criteria (complexity, authenticity), whereas the second combines aesthetic (complexity, depth) and cosmopolitan (language skills, international experience) distinctions. While the liking of both dimensions is related to parental cultural capital (education, occupation, urbanity), the "Western" taste also correlates with parental economic capital and international experience. This "discovery" of cultural capital in China has implications for our understanding of cultural and cosmopolitan capital, of the global diffusion of cultural goods and the aesthetic and status systems implied in these goods, and for our understanding of culture and stratification in China.
  • Rental Housing Spot Markets: How Online Information Exchanges Can Supplement Transacted-Rents Data
    Traditional US rental housing data sources such as the American Community Survey and the American Housing Survey report on the transacted market--what existing renters pay each month. They do not explicitly tell us about the spot market--i.e., the asking rents that current homeseekers must pay to acquire housing--though they are routinely used as a proxy. This study compares governmental data to millions of contemporaneous rental listings and finds that asking rents diverge substantially from these most recent estimates. Conventional housing data understate current market conditions and affordability challenges, especially in cities with tight and expensive rental markets.
  • Global AgeWatch Index and Insights
    Global AgeWatch Index and Insights by HelpAge International aim to contribute to achievement of long-term transformative change in respect to ageing and the lives of older people by advocating for better production of timely and good quality data to inform policy and program response. The Global AgeWatch Index is a composite index that measures quality of life of older people, and ranks countries based on four domains - income security, health status, enabling environment and capability. The index was developed in partnership with Professor Asghar Zaidi. The index was published during 2013-2015. The Global AgeWatch Insights is a research-based advocacy tool that examines situation of older people in low- and middle-income countries, assesses availability of relevant data and evidence to support the analysis, and identification of policy actions. The Insights are produced in partnership with AARP. The reports were launched in 2018 are planned to be released every three years with a different thematic focus. The first report focuses on the inequities of the health systems in twelve low- and middle-income countries.
  • Does Sure Start spending improve school readiness? An ecological longitudinal study.
    Background Early child development predicts a range of later outcomes including educational achievement, employment, involvement in crime, health, and social care need. Inequalities in early childhood also cause inequalities in health later on in life. Because of this, early childhood is an important time for intervention. School readiness in England is used to refer to an assessment of a child's cognitive, emotional, and physical development, and is a major focus of effort for local and national policymakers. However, evidence on what factors affect school readiness is needed to guide policymakers at local and national levels. Methods I analysed a panel data set of 150 English upper tier local authorities from 2012 to 2016, for a total of 750 local-authority years. I used fixed effects poisson regression models to test for associations between local trends in school readiness performance and sure start spending, non-sure start children's services spending, and child poverty rates. Results After adjustment for local trends in child poverty and spending on other children's services, local trends in Sure Start spending were positively associated with school readiness, both among all children and among children eligible for free school meals (an indicator of poverty). All effects were small, with a 10% change in per-child Sure Start spending associated with a less than 0.2% change in school readiness performance. Conclusion Despite limitations associated with the ecological nature of this study, it provides evidence that Sure Start spending may improve school readiness. This complements wider evidence on the health benefits of Sure Start, suggesting that this programme had benefits across a range of outcomes.
  • Accumulation or absorption? Changing disparities of household non-employment in Europe during the Great Recession
    This comparative study analyses the impact of the Great Recession on household non-employment across Europe since 2008. We use the EU-SILC (2007 to 2014) for a shift-share analysis that de-composes annual variations in household non-employment in 30 European countries. Investigating whether job-loss is absorbed or accumulated by households, we break down non-employment vari-ations to changes in individual non-employment, household compositions, and polarization. We find that jobless households increased since 2008, especially in crisis countries. There is no evi-dence for widespread absorption of individual non-employment in families or multi-person house-holds. Instead, household dynamics and unequal distribution of non-employment leads to further risk accumulation within households during the crisis. Paradoxically, this pattern occurs in those crisis countries known for their traditional household structures and less accommodating welfare systems which have relied thus far on families to absorb employment risks. The impact of the crisis has aggravated household disparities in joblessness.
  • Public Perceptions of Biofuels - Case Study: Frames of Biofuel Discussion in the Finnish Context
    Biofuels are fuels made of biological materials and they can be used in cars, trucks and other engines. The EU's policy and regulatory framework for bioeconomy and biofuels is seen as a multi-layered and complex issue. Policies around biofuels have developed recently in the EU. Renewable Energy Directive II established a binding target for the use of renewable energy across the European Union by 2030 to be 32% of the total energy production. Finland is a country where the utilization of forest biomass has traditions ranging back centuries and continues in the present day with bioenergy holding a central role in the Finnish energy matrix. Our case study is focused on examining the public perceptions of biofuels in Finland and is linked to the discussion about climate change, global warming, and sustainable development. We used a stakeholder approach and mapped key stakeholders in the biofuel sector in Finland from six stakeholder categories: corporations, governmental actors, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), municipalities, universities, and the media. We selected 59 online publications for our analysis from a time period between 2010-2019. Frame analysis was conducted using three pairs of polarised frames: environmental positive and negative, economic positive and negative, and technological positive and negative. The results show that for the most part the framing of biofuel discussion in Finland is positive and emphasizes the environmentally and economically positive aspects. The negative aspects that came to front are especially in the notions of economic costs and in arguments for environmental calculations. The EU legislation itself is seen as a background to all this discussion and is itself not scrutinized extensively by the various stakeholders.
  • Employment Trajectories Among Females Returning from Prison
    Life course criminology has long argued that having a job may act as a turning point in trajectories of offending, moving individuals toward conventional activities. However, while finding and keeping a job are considered one of the key challenges inmates face as they move back into society, there is limited research on the dynamics and trajectories of post-prison employment. Little is also know about whether work characteristics and its relation to crime affect employment trajectories following release. Using data from the study ``Reintegration, desistance and recidivism among female inmates in Chile'' (RDFC), our paper describes trajectories of employment among a cohort of 225 women released from prison in Santiago, Chile and followed during the first year after release. We use sequence analysis to explore monthly patterns of employment considering different types of work (i.e., self-employed / employed, legitimate / under-the-table). To better account for the complex relationship between work and crime, we include offending as another type of income-generating activity. Finally, we use cluster analysis and regression models to explore which individual characteristics are associated with employment and offending trajectories. Our results show a significant level of heterogeneity in employment trajectories by job type, and the importance of considering work and offending to obtain a more complete picture of the dynamics of employment during reentry.
  • DARPA: the Differentiator
    today the U.S. is facing many internal and external challenges. Internally, productivity growth rate has slowed down significantly in the past 15 years; externally, rising powers, such as China and Russia, are challenging American hegemony. In this article we argue that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is the differentiator that enables the U.S. prevail against these challenges. In the past 60 years DARPA has been the core engine for the development of breakthrough technologies. We examine how DARPA has continuously delivered breakthrough technologies to drive economic growth, and the impacts of DARPA technologies on the U.S. economy. Also, by comparing DARPA's performance against some of the world's leading technology venture capital firms, and other DARPA-like agencies around the world, we conclude that DARPA is the differentiator that guarantees American hegemony in this era.
  • Informal caregiving and quality of life among older adults: Prospective analyses from the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health (SLOSH)
    Providing unpaid informal care to someone who is ill or disabled is a common experience in later life. While a supportive and potentially rewarding role, informal care can become a time and emotionally demanding activity, which may hinder older adults' quality of life. In a context of rising demand for informal carers, we investigated how caregiving states and transitions are linked to overall levels and changes in quality of life, and how the relationship varies according to care intensity and burden. We used fixed effects and change analyses to examine six-wave panel data (2008-2018) from the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health (SLOSH, n=5076; ages 50-74). The CASP-19 scale is used to assess both positive and negative aspects of older adults' quality of life. Caregiving was related with lower levels of quality of life in a graded manner, with those providing more weekly hours and reporting greater burden experiencing larger declines. Two-year transitions corresponding to starting, ceasing and continuing care provision were associated with lower levels of quality of life, compared to continuously not caregiving. Starting and ceasing caregiving were associated with negative and positive changes in quality of life score, respectively, suggesting that cessation of care leads to improvements despite persistent lower overall levels of quality of life. Measures to reduce care burden or time spent providing informal care are likely to improve the quality of life of older people.