When a New Tool Is Introduced in Different Cultural Contexts: Individualism–Collectivism and Social Network on Facebook

What will happen if a new tool is introduced to different cultures? What if the tool can potentially bridge those cultures? Will it be used in the same way across cultures and contribute to a decrease in cultural differences? Or will it be used in culturally appropriate ways and eventually integrated into preexisting cultural practices? To answer these questions, we predicted and examined cultural differences in the use of Facebook focusing on social networks. In support of the prediction, the present work found that users in individualistic cultures had more ego-centric networks (i.e., members of networks were connected via the self) than users in collectivistic cultures. The results were consistent across a two-culture comparison and a multicultural analysis across 49 nations. Additional findings suggest that (a) living in individualistic/collectivistic cultures are closely linked to these differences in social networks and (b) the individualism-collectivism may have stronger influences than ecological factors that gave rise to it.

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Posted in Collectivism, Facebook, Individualism, Social network | Tagged , , ,

Gender Stratified Monopoly: Why Do I Earn Less and Pay More?

A modified version of Monopoly has long been used as a simulation exercise to teach inequality. Versions of Modified Monopoly (MM) have touched on minority status relative to inequality but without an exploration of the complex interaction between minority status and class. This article introduces Gender Stratified Monopoly (GSM), an adaptation that can be added to existing versions of MM as a step toward such a conversation. I draw on written student reflections and observations from five test courses over two years to demonstrate the effectiveness of GSM. Data indicate student recognition of the female status as more economically challenging and less “fair” relative to the male status, with real-world consequences.

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Posted in Gender, gender inequalities, Social class | Tagged , ,

Academic couples, parenthood and women’s research careers

The paper focuses on dual-career academic couples, how they combine careers and parenthood and how their strategies translate into employment pathways of researchers, and especially women researchers. Based on sixteen in-depth interviews with dual-career academic couples, the analysis identified two types of partnerships which differed in terms of how they combined work and parenthood and how they harmonized his and her career: ‘traditional couples’ and ‘egalitarian couples’. While most previous research on dual-career couples analyses the individual level, this investigation considers the couple as a point of departure. The analysis is framed by the linked-lives approach, which studies partners’ work paths as mutually interrelated. The analysis shows that in dual-career academic couples, women’s careers are often perceived to be secondary to men’s careers, but there were differences between women who built their careers before 1989 and contemporary young women researchers. It is argued that gender ideologies have different effects depending on the institutional conditions in which the ideologies are enacted. It is suggested that the paper contributes an important dimension to explanations of the gap in the position of men and women in the academic labor market.

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Posted in gender inequalities, linked lives, parenthood, Women | Tagged , , ,

The Social Context of Adolescent Friendships: Parents, Peers, and Romantic Partners

We argue that adolescent friendships flourish, or wither, within the “linked lives” of other salient social network ties. Based on structural equation modeling with data from two-time points, we find that young people tend to be in high-quality friendships when they are tightly embedded in their social network and receive social support from their peers, parents, and romantic partners. In addition, females have higher quality friendships than males, and the life course transition to marriage has detrimental effects on friendship quality. Findings show that the influence of parents does not end in childhood but continues into adolescence. Furthermore, although earlier research documents that friends affect romantic relationships, we find the reverse, that is romantic partners influence friendships. Results demonstrate that social connectedness and support from a range of network ties contribute to high-quality, caring friendships among youth, highlighting the utility of life course and social network perspectives.

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Posted in Adolescent, Friendship, linked lives, Social network | Tagged , , ,

Persistent and Pervasive Community: New Communication Technologies and the Future of Community

Two affordances of digital communication technologies, persistent contact, and pervasive awareness are ushering in a fundamental change to the structure of a community. These affordances break from the mobility narrative that has described community since the rise of urban industrialism, including accounts of networked individualism and a postindustrial or a network society. In contrast to images of late modernity, which suggest that mobility will be maximized to the point where people are nearly free from the constraints of time, space, and social bonds, persistent–pervasive community renews the constraints and opportunities of premodern community structure. As a result of persistence—a counterforce to mobility—relationships and the social contexts where they are formed are less transitory than at any time in modern history. Through the ambient, lean, asynchronous nature of social media, awareness supplements surveillance with the informal watchfulness typified in preindustrial community. It provides for closeness and information exchange unlike what can be communicated through other channels. Social media and the algorithms behind them generate not only context collapse but an audience problem that, when managed through a dynamic balance between broadcasting and monitoring content, enhances indicators of awareness and availability of social ties. The persistent–pervasive community represents a period of metamodernism. It is a hybrid of preindustrial and urban-industrial community structures that will affect the availability of social capital, the success of collective action, the cost of caring, deliberation around important issues, and how lives are linked over the life course and across generations.

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Posted in Communication, Community, Digital age, ICT technologies, Networks culture | Tagged , , , ,

Networked – The New Social Operating System

Book – Daily life is connected life, its rhythms are driven by endless email pings and responses, the chimes and beeps of continually arriving text messages, tweets and retweets, Facebook updates, pictures and videos to post and discuss. Our perpetual connectedness gives us endless opportunities to be part of the give-and-take of networking. Some worry that this new environment makes us isolated and lonely. But in Networked, Lee Rainie and Barry Wellman show how the large, loosely knit social circles of networked individuals expand opportunities for learning, problem-solving, decision making, and personal interaction. The new social operating system of “networked individualism” liberates us from the restrictions of tightly knit groups; it also requires us to develop networking skills and strategies, work on maintaining ties, and balance multiple overlapping networks. Rainie and Wellman outline the “triple revolution” that has brought on this transformation: the rise of social networking, the capacity of the Internet to empower individuals, and the always-on connectivity of mobile devices. Drawing on extensive evidence, they examine how the move to networked individualism has expanded personal relationships beyond households and neighborhoods; transformed work into less hierarchical, more team-driven enterprises; encouraged individuals to create and share content; and changed the way people obtain information. Rainie and Wellman guide us through the challenges and opportunities of living in the evolving world of networked individuals.

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Posted in networked individualism, Networks, Social network, Social network analysis | Tagged , , ,

Between Justice and Accumulation: Aristotle on Currency and Reciprocity

For Aristotle, a just political community has to find similarity in difference and foster habits of reciprocity. Conventionally, speech and law have been seen to fulfill this role. This article reconstructs Aristotle’s conception of currency (nomisma) as a political institution of reciprocal justice. By placing Aristotle’s treatment of reciprocity in the context of the ancient politics of money, currency emerges not merely as a medium of economic exchange but also potentially as a bond of civic reciprocity, a measure of justice, and an institution of ethical deliberation. Reconstructing this account of currency (nomisma) in analogy to the law (nomos) recovers the hopes Aristotle placed in the currency as a necessary institution particular to the polis as a self-governing political community striving for justice. If the currency was a foundational institution, it was also always insufficient, likely imperfect, and possibly tragic. Turned into a tool for the accumulation of wealth for its own sake, the currency becomes unjust and a serious threat to any political community. Aristotelian currency can fail precisely because it contains an important moment of ethical deliberation. This political significance of currency challenges accounts of the ancient world as bifurcated between oikos and polis and encourages contemporary political theorists to think of money as a constitutional project that can play an important role in improving reciprocity across society.

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Posted in Aristotle, Reciprocity | Tagged ,

Prosocial behaviors in context: Examining the role of children’s social companions

This study examines the role of immediate social companions in the prosocial behaviors of children from two cultural communities from the USA and the Philippines. Materials for this study comprised behavioral observations drawn from the Six Cultures Study — with 612 five-minute observations of 23 children (12 girls, 11 boys) from Orchard Town, MA and 570 observations of 24 children (12 girls, 12 boys) from Tarong, Philippines, ranging in age from 3 to 11 years. Data were coded for instances of prosocial behaviors, as well as characteristics of social companions (age and relationship to an actor). Results revealed several interesting findings. First, the frequency of children’s behaviors varied as a function of the age of their social companions. Children generally directed the highest number of prosocial behaviors towards infants and toddlers, except for younger children’s prosocial behaviors towards relatives which were directed mostly towards adults. Second, the frequency of prosocial behaviors varied as a function of kinship, but differently for the community groups. Tarong children were generally more prosocial towards relatives, while Orchard Town children showed more prosocial behaviors towards non-relatives. Results highlight the role of immediate contexts in prosocial behaviors of children and the value of using a cross-cultural methodology to examine contextual factors in developmental processes.

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Posted in Prosocial | Tagged

Reciprocity in Crisis Situations

Crises, by their very nature, are characterized by a feeling of being overwhelmed, as we are faced with situations that call for responses above and beyond those which we normally have to face and for which we have developed the coping skills and strategies we need to deal with them. In times of crisis, we are taken outside of the “comfort zone” of our experience and competence, and so there is the potential for the sense of self-esteem which comes from that competence to be compromised if we are left floundering and unsure of ourselves. In this article, I explore how reciprocity—being able to give back as well as to receive—can contribute to the rebuilding of our self-esteem, but I also suggest that its potential for empowerment is often overlooked or undervalued when there is a high level of pressure to deal with situations quickly. Those of us who work in the “helping professions” derive some of our own self-esteem from being able to competently remove people from danger or despair. If, however, in responding to our own desires to be useful and valued, we create or reinforce dependency in others by denying them an opportunity to feel valued and useful too, we run the risk of reinforcing the feelings of helplessness and powerlessness that crises can so readily engender. This article, therefore, argues the case for developing a fuller and clearer understanding of reciprocity and the dangers of it being neglected in the heat of the crisis moment or in the aftermath.

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Posted in Crisis management, Reciprocity | Tagged ,