Pay Gap Increases Mental Health Issues for Women

A study of 22,600 Americans finds that women are more likely to experience mental health issues within workplaces that pay women less than their male counterparts.

Beyond prohibiting overt gender discrimination, policies must be created to address embedded inequalities in procedures surrounding labour markets and compensation in the workplace.
Beyond prohibiting overt gender discrimination, policies must be created to address embedded inequalities in procedures surrounding labour markets and compensation in the workplace.

 

The study is published in Social Science and Medicine.

Culture is important in Capitalist Business

“Even at the heart of capitalist #business, culture is important.
A purely strategic approach isn’t sustainable.” In “Solidarity in Strategy, ” Dr Lyn Spillman shows that business is not purely about self interest and profit. Business networks are driven to success through collaboration. Civic action and working towards the common good have taken on new meaning in the market. This is why an understanding of social and cultural relationships is central to economic progress.

Social Science of Chinatown

Whenever I go to Little Bourke Street, I think of geographer Kay Anderson’s research on Chinatown in Melbourne (she’s also done similar work in Vancouver). Anderson shows how in many multicultural cities you can find a Chinatown. They resemble one another yet they do not reflect the reality of large Chinese cities. This is because they are drafted as a project between Chinese entrepreneurs and local government with mutual benefits. For Chinese investors Chinatown establishes a business hub for trade and a promotion of culture. For local government these sites are a tourist attraction. On the one hand Chinatown represents a fixed idea of one unified Chinese culture, when in reality China is home to various cultural traditions that are always changing. On the other hand Chinatown is a successful collaboration between communities, business and government.
Continue reading Social Science of Chinatown

Empathy in Youth Work

“Empathy is vital in understanding the needs and issues facing young people, and it is important to recognise the potential they have.” Sociologists Steven MacLennan, Keith Muir & Susan Thoms review the important elements of working with youth, focusing on a shared common purpose. It is essential to acknowledge the injustice that youth may have experienced while working towards goals. At the same time tasks should be mutually negotiated rather than imposed,working to the individual’s strengths and interests. This is good management practice in all fields as research shows that people are most productive when they feel listened to and validated.

What is Fair?

Socialisation and culture determine what we think is fair. In Western nations, a 50-50 split is idealised as fair, where the fairest outcome is one where I get the same amount as you. In other societies, however, fairness is acted out differently.

Anthropologist turned psychologist Joe Henrich studied how strangers divide $100 between them. In his experiments, one person makes a monetary offer and the other person can refuse it if they think the amount is too low. If they refuse, however, neither person gets any money. So most Americans tend to favour an even split; but if given a low offer, they are also more likely to reject the amount altogether to punish the other person.

Other societies find this whole notion odd. Remote groups in Peru and in other rural areas more readily take a small amount rather than punish someone else for being selfish.

I’ll return to this theme again later as it impacts social justice!

How Over Population Changes the World

The lights in the video above represent areas where there’s more than 1 million people. This display at the Museum of Victoria educates on the ecological impact of population growth on the environment and climate change. Not represented is the sociological impact. Research shows that loss of ecological diversity is correlated with loss of linguistic diversity. As areas are deforested, mined and otherwise plundered in unsustainable ways, Indigenous groups that live in harmony with that ecosystem are pushed out into urban areas. Their culture and environmental knowledge is lost.

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Volunteering and Social Capital

 

Volunteering and Social CapitalYour social science snack for this month is on the benefits of volunteering!A study published in the journal Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly finds that strong social networks encourage donations & volunteering for secular causes as well as religious charities.

This is known as social capital: the values, social norms, trust, social ties and other social resources that help communities coordinate social and economic action. Individuals don’t simply do good on their own; they do so in response to their social connections.

Want a more in-depth look at how volunteering can help your business? Check out my article The Benefits of Volunteering for the Business Sector.

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