Based on a convenience sample of 2,092 participants from across all 50 states of the United States, a survey was conducted to explore Americans’ mask-wearing behaviors during COVID-19 according to their political convictions, religious beliefs, and ethnic cultures from late July to early September, 2020. The purpose of the study is to provide evidential support for government policymaking so as to drive up more effective public policies by taking into consideration the variance in these social factors. It was found that the respondents’ party affiliation or preference, religious belief, and ethnicity, in addition to their health condition, gender, level of concern of contracting COVID-19, all affected their mask-wearing habits both in March, the initial coronavirus outbreak stage, and in August, when mask-wearing had been made mandatory by state governments. The study concludes that pandemic awareness campaigns must be run among all citizens, especially among African Americans, Muslims, and Republicans, who have the lowest rates of wearing masks, in order to protect themselves and others. It is recommended that complementary cognitive bias awareness programs should be implemented in non-Black and non-Muslim communities to eliminate social concerns that deter them from wearing masks.
Social media networks, such as Twitter, offer the perfect opportunity to either positively or negatively affect political attitudes on large audiences. The existence of influential users who have developed a reputation for their knowledge and experience of specific topics is a major factor contributing to this impact. Therefore, knowledge of the mechanisms to identify influential users on social media is vital for understanding their effect on their audience. The concept of the influential user is related to the concept of opinion leaders' to indicate that ideas first flow from mass media to opinion leaders and then to the rest of the population. Hence, the objective of this research was to provide reliable and accurate structural mechanisms to identify influential users, which could be applied to different platforms, places, and subjects. Twitter was selected as the platform of interest, and Saudi Arabia as the context for the investigation. These were selected because Saudi Arabia has a large number of Twitter users, some of whom are considerably active in setting agendas and disseminating ideas. The study considered the scientific methods that have been used to identify public opinion leaders before, utilizing metrics software on Twitter. The key findings propose multiple novel metrics to compare Twitter influencers, including the number of followers, social authority and the use of political hashtags, and four secondary filtering measures. Thus, using ratio and percentage calculations to classify the most influential users, Twitter accounts were filtered, analyzed and included. The structured approach is used as a mechanism to explore the top ten influencers on Twitter from the political domain in Saudi Arabia.
More and more youth are doubtful of making a satisfactory labour market transition because of the present global economic instability and this is more so in Africa of the Sahara and metropolis like Douala. We use the explanatory sequential mixed method: in the first phase we randomly administered 610 questionnaires in the Douala metropolis respecting the population size of each division and its gender composition. We constructed the questionnaire using the desired values for living a comfortable life in Douala. In the second phase, we purposefully selected and interviewed 50 poor youth in order to explain in detail the initial quantitative results. We obtain the following result: The modal income class is 24,000-74,000 frs Central Africa Franc (CFA) and about 67% of the youth of the Douala metropolis earn below 75,000 frs CFA. They earn only 31.02% of the total income. About 85.7% earn below 126,000 frs CFA and about 92.14% earn below 177,000 frs CFA. The poverty-line is estimated at 177,000 frs CFA per month based on the desired predominant values in Douala and only about 9% of youth earn this sum, therefore, 91% of the youth are poor. We discovered that the salary a youth earns influences his level of poverty. Low income earners eat once or twice per day, rent low-standard houses of below 20,000 frs, are dependent and possess very limited durable goods, consult traditional doctors when they are sick, sleep and gamble during their leisure time. Intermediate income earners feed themselves either twice or thrice per day, eat healthy meals weekly, possess more durable goods, are independent, gamble and drink during their leisure time. High income earners feed themselves at least thrice per day, eat healthy food daily, inhabit high quality and expensive houses, are more stable by living longer in their neighbourhoods, like travelling and drinking during their leisure time. Unsalaried youth, are students, housewives or unemployed youth, they eat four times per day, take healthy meals daily, weekly, fortnightly or occasionally, are dependent or homeless depending on whether they are students or unemployed youth. The situation of the youth can be ameliorated through investing in the productive sector and promoting entrepreneurship as well as formalizing the informal sector.
In recent years, the number of individuals experiencing homelessness has increased in the United States. This paper analyzes 2019 data from 16 different emergency shelters in Monroe County, located in Upstate New York. The data were collected through the County’s Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), and individuals were de-identified and de-duplicated for analysis. The purpose of this study is to explore the basic characteristics of the homeless population in Monroe County, and the dynamics of shelter use. The results of this study showed gender as a significant factor when analyzing the relationship between demographic variables and recorded reasons for shelter entry. Results also indicated that age and ethnicity did not significantly influence odds of re-entering a shelter, but did significantly influence reasons for shelter entry. Overall, the most common recorded cause of shelter entry in 2019 in the examined county was eviction by primary tenant. Recommendations to better address recurrent shelter entry and potential chronic homelessness include more consideration for the diversity existing within the homeless population, and the dynamics leading to shelter stays, including enhanced funding and training for shelter staff, as well as expanded access to permanent supportive housing programs.
The role of the government to tangibly alleviate poverty, improve and sustain the quality of people’s lives remains a “work in progress” twenty-two years after the dawn of democracy in South Africa despite a host of socio-economic programs and pro-poor policies and legislations. This paper assesses the development process and the implementation of the White Paper on Families in South Africa as one of the pro-poor policies intended to curb poverty and redress the imbalances of the apartheid regime. The paper is the result of a qualitative implementation research theory facilitated through in-depth interviews with social work managers complemented by literature and policy review techniques. It investigates the level of basic knowledge and understanding as well as the implementation challenges of the White Paper on Families as causes of its failure. The paper emphasizes the importance of the family-centered approach in the implementation of pro-poor policies. To facilitate the understanding of the White Paper on Families by its users, the Department of Social Development needs take stock of the identified challenges of its implementation so as to facilitate its success in fostering positive family well-being that will directly contributes to the overall socio-economic development of South Africa.
Dubai and the UAE governments have been investing in technology and digital communication for a long time. These governments are pioneers in introducing innovative strategies, policies and projects. They are also recognized worldwide for defining and implementing long term public programs. In terms of eGovernment Dubai and the UAE rank among the world’s most advanced. Both governments have surprised the world a few years ago by creating a Happiness Ministry. This paper focuses on UAE’s government digital strategies and its approach to the next era. The main goal of this exploratory study is to understand the new era of eGovernment and transfer of the happiness and wellness programs. Data were collected from the corpus latente and analysis was anchored in qualitative methodology using content analysis and observation as analysis techniques. The study allowed to highlight that the 2020 government reshuffle has a strong focus on digital reorganisation and digital sustainability, one of the newest trends in sustainability. Regarding happiness and wellbeing portfolio, we were able to observe that there has been a major change within the government organisation: The Ministry of Happiness was extinct and the Ministry of Community Development will manage the so-called ‘Happiness Portfolio’. Additionally, our observation allowed to note the government dual approach to governance: one through digital transformation, thus enhancing the digital sustainability process and, the second one trough government development.
Architecture morphs with advances in technology and the roof, wall, and floor as basic elements of a building, follow in redefining themselves over time. Their contribution is bound by time and held by design principles that deal with function, sturdiness, and beauty. Architecture engages with people to give joy through its form, material, design structure, and spatial qualities. This paper attempts to re-interpret John Ruskin’s “Seven lamps of Architecture” in the context of the architecture of the modern and present period. The paper focuses on the “wall” as an element of study in this context. Four of Ruskin’s seven lamps will be discussed, namely beauty, truth, life, and memory, through examples of architecture ranging from modernism to contemporary architecture of today. The study will focus on the relevance of Ruskin’s principles to the “wall” in specific, in buildings of different materials and over a range of typologies from all parts of the world. Two examples will be analyzed for each lamp. It will be shown that in each case, there is relevance to the significance of Ruskin’s lamps in modern and contemporary architecture. Nature to which Ruskin alludes to for his lamp of “beauty” is found in the different expressions of interpretation used by Corbusier in his Villa Stein façade based on proportion found in nature and in the direct expression of Toyo Ito in his translation of an understanding of the structure of trees into his façade design of the showroom for a Japanese bag boutique. “Truth” is shown in Mies van der Rohe’s Crown Hall building with its clarity of material and structure and Studio Mumbai’s Palmyra House, which celebrates the use of natural materials and local craftsmanship. “Life” is reviewed with a sustainable house in Kerala by Ashrams Ravi and Alvar Aalto’s summer house, which illustrate walls as repositories of intellectual thought and craft. “Memory” is discussed with Charles Correa’s Jawahar Kala Kendra and Venturi’s Vana Venturi house and discloses facades as text in the context of its materiality and iconography. Beauty is reviewed in Villa Stein and Toyo Ito’s Branded Retail building in Tokyo. The paper thus concludes that Ruskin’s Lamps can be interpreted in today’s context and add richness to meaning to the understanding of architecture.
Labor market activity and paid employment should be a key factor in protecting individuals and families from falling into poverty and providing them with sufficient resources to meet the needs of their members. However, due to various processes in the labor market as well as the influence of individual factors and often insufficient social capital, there is a relatively large group of households that cannot eliminate paid employment and find themselves in a state of so-called working poverty. The aim of the research was to find out what strategies families use in managing poverty and meeting their needs and which of these strategies prevail in the Slovak population. A quantitative research strategy was chosen. The method of data collection was a structured interview focused on finding out the use of individual management strategies and also selected demographic indicators. The research sample consisted of members of families in which at least one member has a paid job. The condition for inclusion in the research was that the family's income did not exceed 60% of the national median equalized disposable income. The analysis of the results showed 5 basic areas to which management strategies are related - work, financial security, needs, social contacts and perception of the current situation. The prevailing strategies were strategies aimed at increasing and streamlining labor market activity and the planned and effective management of the family budget. Strategies that were rejected were mainly related to debt creation. The results make it possible to identify the preferred ways of managing poverty in individual areas of life, as well as the factors that influence this behavior. This information is important for working with families living in a state of working poverty and can help professionals develop positive ways of coping for families.
Multimodality involves the communication between verbal and visual components in various discourses. A painting represents a form of communication between the artist and the viewer in terms of colors, shades, objects, and the title. This paper aims to present how multimodality can be used to decode the verbal and visual dimensions a painting holds. For that purpose, this study uses Kress and van Leeuwen’s theoretical framework of visual grammar for the analysis of the multimodal semiotic resources of selected paintings of Salvador Dali. This study investigates the visual decoding of the selected paintings of Salvador Dali and analyzing their social and political meanings using Kress and van Leeuwen’s framework of visual grammar. The paper attempts to answer the following questions: 1. How far can multimodality decode the verbal and non-verbal meanings of surrealistic art? 2. How can Kress and van Leeuwen’s theoretical framework of visual grammar be applied to analyze Dali’s paintings? 3. To what extent is Kress and van Leeuwen’s theoretical framework of visual grammar apt to deliver political and social messages of Dali? The paper reached the following findings: the framework’s descriptive tools (representational, interactive, and compositional meanings) can be used to analyze the paintings’ title and their visual elements. Social and political messages were delivered by appropriate usage of color, gesture, vectors, modality, and the way social actors were represented.
The universe of aesthetic perception entails impasses about sensitive divergences that each text or visual object may be subjected to. If approached through intertextuality that is not based on the misleading notion of kinships or similarities a priori admissible, the possibility of anachronistic, heterogeneous - and non-diachronic - assemblies can enhance the emergence of interval movements, intermediate, and conflicting, conducive to a method of reading, interpreting, and assigning meaning that escapes the rigid antinomies of the mere being and non-being of things. In negative, they operate in a relationship built by the lack of an adjusted meaning set by their positive existences, with no remainders; the generated interval becomes the remnant of each of them; it is the opening that obscures the stable positions of each one. Without the negative of absence, of that which is always missing or must be missing in a text, concept, or image made positive by history, nothing is perceived beyond what has been already given. Pairings or binary oppositions cannot lead only to functional syntheses; on the contrary, methodological disturbances accumulated by the approximation of signs and entities can initiate a process of becoming as an opening to an unforeseen other, transformation until a moment when the difficulties of [re]conciliation become the mainstay of a future of that sign/entity, not envisioned a priori. A counter-history can emerge from these unprecedented, misadjusted approaches, beginnings of unassigned injunctions and disjunctions, in short, difficult alliances that open cracks in a supposedly cohesive history, chained in its apparent linearity with no remains, understood as a categorical historical imperative. Interstices are minority fields that, because of their opening, are capable of causing opacity in that which, apparently, presents itself with irreducible clarity. Resulting from an incomplete and maladjusted [at the least dual] marriage between the signs/entities that originate them, this interval may destabilize and cause disorder in these entities and their own meanings. The interstitials offer a hyphenated relationship: a simultaneous union and separation, a spacing between the entity’s identity and its otherness or, alterity. One and the other may no longer be seen without the crack or fissure that now separates them, uniting, by a space-time lapse. Ontological, semantic shifts are caused by this fissure, an absence between one and the other, one with and against the other. Based on an improbable approximation between some conceptual and semantic shifts within the design production of architect Rem Koolhaas and the textual production of the philosopher Jacques Derrida, this article questions the notion of unity, coherence, affinity, and complementarity in the process of construction of thought from these ontological, epistemological, and semiological fissures that rattle the signs/entities and their stable meanings. Fissures in a thought that is considered coherent, cohesive, formatted are the negativity that constitutes the interstices that allow us to move towards what still remains as non-identity, which allows us to begin another story.
Gender is about equal rights that both males and females having access to responsibilities and opportunities in decision making is a fundamental human right. It is also a precondition for, and a mark of, sustainable people-oriented development. In Bangladesh, women have fewer opportunities than men do to access credit from banks and financial institutions. Entrenched patriarchal attitudes, unequal inheritance rights, and male-dominated hierarchies in the financial system, plus high interest rates and a lack of security/collateral, make it harder for women to obtain bank loans. Limited access to institutional credit is a serious restraint on the productivity and income of women entrepreneurs, (and the wider economy). These gender-biased and structural barriers inhibit women’s access to fundamental economic rights. Using a liberal feminist theoretical lens, this study provides some useful insights into the relationship between gender inequality and entrepreneurship, leading to a better understanding of women’s entrepreneurship development in Bangladesh. Recently, the Bangladesh Government, the United Nations Capital Development Fund, and Bangladesh Bank opened up the Women Entrepreneur Support Fund (WESF) ‒ Credit Guarantee Scheme (CGS) pilot project to cover collateral shortfalls for women entrepreneurs in the small and medium enterprise sector. The aim is to improve gender equality and advance women’s rights in relation to receiving credit. This article examines the challenges and prospects of the WESF-CGS, and suggests that implementation of measures in WESF-CGS policymaking, coupled with a combination of legislatory and regulatory reforms that implement the fundamental tenets of liberal feminism, can lead to a comprehensive and effective credit policy to boost women’s agency and economic empowerment. This may ultimately lead to more sustainable development in Bangladesh.
In Abu Dhabi, there are many different education curriculums where sector of private schools and quality assurance is supervising many private schools in Abu Dhabi for many nationalities. As there are many different education curriculums in Abu Dhabi to meet expats’ needs, there are different requirements for registration and success. In addition, there are different age groups for starting education in each curriculum. In fact, each curriculum has a different number of years, assessment techniques, reassessment rules, and exam boards. Currently, students that transfer curriculums are not being placed in the right year group due to different start and end dates of each academic year and their date of birth for each year group is different for each curriculum and as a result, we find students that are either younger or older for that year group which therefore creates gaps in their learning and performance. In addition, there is not a way of storing student data throughout their academic journey so that schools can track the student learning process. In this paper, we propose to develop a computational framework applicable in multicultural countries such as UAE in which multi-education systems are implemented. The ultimate goal is to use cloud and fog computing technology integrated with Artificial Intelligence techniques of Machine Learning to aid in a smooth transition when assigning students to their year groups, and provide leveling and differentiation information of students who relocate from a particular education curriculum to another, whilst also having the ability to store and access student data from anywhere throughout their academic journey.
Raga, as the soul and base, is a distinctive musical entity, in the music system, with unique structure on its construction of srutis (musical sounds) and application. One of the essential components of the music system is the ‘tala’ that defines the rhythm of a song. There are seven basic swaras (notes) Sa, Ri, Ga, Ma, Pa, Da and Ni in the carnatic music system that are analogous to the C, D, E, F, G, A and B of the western system. The carnatic music further builds on conscious use of microtones, gamakams (oscillation) and rendering styles. It has basic 72 ragas known as melakarta ragas, and a plethora of ragas have been developed from them with permutations and combinations of the basic swaras. Among them, some ragas derived from a same melakarta raga are distinctly different from each other and could evoke a profound difference in the raga bhava (emotion) during rendering. Although these could bear similar arohana and avarohana swaras, their quintessential differences in the gamakas usage and srutis present therein offer varied melodic feelings; variations in the intonation and stress given to certain swara phrases are the root causes. This article enlightens a group of such allied ragas (AR) from the perspectives of their schema and raga alapana (improvisation), ranjaka prayogas (signature phrases), differences in rendering tempo, gamakas and delicate srutis along with the range of sancharas (musical phrases). The intricate differences on the sruti frequencies and use of AR in composing kritis (musical compositions) toward emotive accomplishments such as mood of valor, kindness, love, humor, anger, mercy to name few, have also been explored. A brief review on the existing scientific research on the music therapy on some of the Carnatic ragas is presented. Studying and comprehending the AR, indeed, enable the music aspirants to gain a thorough knowledge on the subtle nuances among the ragas. Such knowledge helps leave a long-lasting melodic impression on the listeners and enable further research on the music therapy.
Thoughtful intelligence offers a sustainable position to enhance the influence of decision-makers. Thoughtful Intelligence implies the understanding to realize the impact of one’s thoughts, words and actions on the survival, dignity and development of the individuals, groups and nations. Thoughtful intelligence has received minimal consideration in the area of Decision Support Systems, with an end goal to evaluate the quantity of knowledge and its viability. This pattern degraded the imbibed contribution of thoughtful intelligence required for sustainable decision making. Given the concern, this paper concentrates on the question: How to present a model of Thoughtful Decision Support System (TDSS)? The aim of this paper is to appreciate the concepts of thoughtful intelligence and insinuate a Decision Support System based on thoughtful intelligence. Thoughtful intelligence includes three dynamic competencies: i) Realization about long term impacts of decisions that are made in a specific time and space, ii) A great sense of taking actions, iii) Intense interconnectivity with people and nature and; seven associate competencies, of Righteousness, Purposefulness, Understanding, Contemplation, Sincerity, Mindfulness, and Nurturing. The study utilizes two methods: Focused group discussion to count prevailing Decision Support Systems; 70% results of focus group discussions found six decision support systems and the positive inexistence of thoughtful intelligence among decision support systems regarding sustainable decision making. Delphi focused on defining thoughtful intelligence to model (TDSS). 65% results helped to conceptualize (definition and description) of thoughtful intelligence. TDSS is offered here as an addition in the decision making literature. The clients are top leaders.
This study explores how a reality TV show which aired in Nigeria in 2019 (Big Brother Naija - BBN), played a role in enhancing gender-biased conversations among its viewers and social media followers. Thematic analysis is employed here to study Twitter conversations among BBN 2019 followers, which ensued after the show had stopped airing. The study reveals that the show influenced the way viewers and fans engaged with each other, as well as with the show’s participants, on Twitter, and argues that, despite having aired for a short period of time, BBN 2019 was able to draw people together and provide a community where viewers could engage with each other online. Though the show aired on TV, the viewers found a digital space where they could air their views, react to what was happening on the show, as well as simply catch up on action that they probably missed. Within these digital communities, viewers expressed their attractions, disgust and identities, most of these having a form of reference to sexuality and gender identities and roles, as were also portrayed by the show’s producers both on TV and on social media.
This paper explores the extent, nature, and characteristics of public sector corruption in Nigeria and the enhancement of the major anti-corruption initiatives (reforms), thereby providing insight into the types, forms and causes of corruption in Nigeria. This paper argues that attempts to devise and suggest effective anti-corruption reforms to control systemic corruption in Nigeria require identifying the most prevalent types of corruption targeted and tackling the fundamental country specific causes. It analyses two types of public sector corruption as it relates to Nigeria and the workings of its inefficient governance system. This paper concludes with the imperative of a collective action against corruption supported by considerable amount of domestic political will existing in a favourable policy context. In undertaking this, the paper draws upon publicly available documents, case laws review and semi-structured interviews conducted with various personnel working in the field of corruption in the dedicated anticorruption agencies, academics, and practitioners from other relevant institutions of accountability.
Expert sight readers rely on their ability to recognize patterns in scores, their inner hearing and prediction skills in order to perform complex sight reading exercises. They also have the ability to observe deviations from expected patterns in musical scores. This increases the “Eye-hand span” (reading ahead of the point of playing) in order to process the elements in the score. The study aims to investigate the gaze patterns of expert and non-expert sight readers focusing on key and time signatures. 20 musicians were tasked with playing 12 sight reading examples composed for one hand and five examples composed for two hands to be performed on a piano keyboard. These examples were composed in different keys and time signatures and included accidentals and changes of time signature to test this theory. Results showed that the experts fixate more and for longer on key and time signatures as well as deviations in examples for two hands than the non-expert group. The inverse was true for the examples for one hand, where expert sight readers showed fewer and shorter fixations on key and time signatures as well as deviations. This seems to suggest that experts focus more on the key and time signatures as well as deviations in complex scores to facilitate sight reading. The examples written for one appeared to be too easy for the expert sight readers, compromising gaze patterns.
Since 2010, the genre of comedy became predominant in film market in China. However, compared with the huge commercial success, these films received severe public criticism. These films are referred as trash (lan pian) by the public because of the fragment narrative, the non-professional photographing and advocating money warship. The paper aims to explain the contradictive phenomena between the higher box office and the lower mouth of word within hegemony theory. Four popular comedies that ranked top 20 in domestic revenue in the year the film released will be chosen to analyze their popularity in general. Differing from other popular films, these comedies’ popularity is generated from their disruptive pleasures instead of good stories or photographing. The destruction in Confucianism and socialism formulated the public consent or popularity, and caused the public criticism as well. Moreover, the happy-endings restore the normality at the superficial level.
Nation-building has been a key consideration in ethno-linguistically diverse post-colonial ‘artificial states’, where ethnic tensions, religious differences and the risk of persecution of minorities are common. Language policy can help with nation-building, but it can also hinder the process. An important challenge is in recognising which language policy to adopt. This article proposes that the designation of a widely used lingua franca as a national language (in an official capacity or otherwise) - in a culturally, ethnically and linguistically diverse post-colonial state - assists its nation-building efforts in the long run. To demonstrate, this paper looks at the cases of Sri Lanka, Indonesia and India: three young nations which together emerged out of the Second World War with comparable colonial experiences, but subsequently adopted different language policies to different effects. Insights presented underscore the significance of inclusive language policy in sustainable nation-building in states with comparable post-colonial experiences.
The Nigerian hip-hop music genre, like the African American scene where it was adopted from, is riddled with musical lyrics that amplify and normalize hypermasculinity, homophobia, sexism, and objectification of women. Several factors are responsible for this anomaly; however, the greatest factor is the urge of hip-hop musicians to achieve the commercial success that is dependent on selling records and appealing to the established societal accepted norm for hip-hop music. Consequently, this paper presents a counter-narrative of this gender representation within the Nigerian hip-hop industry. This study analyzed the musical lyrics of the ‘Hypocrisy’ track on the 2019 album of famous Nigerian rapper, Falz the Bahd Guy; and argued that Falz in this album challenged the predominant ideas of hegemonic masculinity by singing in favor of LGBT people and women. Also, based on the success of this album, this paper argues that a hip-hop album can achieve commercial success without aligning with predominant hip-hop parameters of gender representation. The study recommends that future studies should evaluate the reactions of Nigerians to these gender presentations by Falz the Bahd guy.