Frontiers in Sociology

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EISSN : 2297-7775
Current Publisher: Frontiers Media SA (10.3389)
Total articles ≅ 370
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Latest articles in this journal

Siri Suh
Published: 12 April 2021
Frontiers in Sociology, Volume 6; doi:10.3389/fsoc.2021.590556

Misoprostol entered the global market under the name Cytotec in the mid-1980s for the treatment of gastric ulcers. Decades of research have since demonstrated the safety and effectiveness of off-label use of misoprostol as a uterotonic in pregnant women to prevent and treat post-partum hemorrhage, treat incomplete abortion, or terminate first-trimester pregnancy. Global health experts emphasize misoprostol’s potential to revolutionize access to reproductive health care in developing countries. Misoprostol does not require refrigeration, can be self-administered or with the aid of a non-physician, and is relatively inexpensive. It holds particular promise for improving reproductive health in sub-Saharan Africa, where most global maternal mortality related to post-partum hemorrhage and unsafe abortion occurs. Although misoprostol has been widely recognized as an essential obstetric medication, its application remains highly contested precisely because it disrupts medical and legal authority over pregnancy, delivery, and abortion. I draw on fieldwork in Francophone Africa to explore how global health organizations have negotiated misoprostol’s abortifacient qualities in their reproductive health work. I focus on this region not only because it has some of the world’s highest rates of maternal mortality, but also fertility, thereby situating misoprostol in a longer history of family planning programs in a region designated as a zone of overpopulation since the 1980s. Findings suggest that stakeholders adopt strategies that directly address safe abortion on the one hand, and integrate misoprostol into existing clinical protocols and pharmaceutical supply systems for legal obstetric indications on the other. Although misoprostol has generated important partnerships among regional stakeholders invested in reducing fertility and maternal mortality, the stigma of abortion stalls its integration into routine obstetric care and availability to the public. I demonstrate the promises and pitfalls of pharmaceuticalizing reproductive health: despite the availability of misoprostol in some health facilities and pharmacies, low-income and rural women continue to lack access not only to the drug, but to quality reproductive health care more generally.
Published: 12 April 2021
Frontiers in Sociology, Volume 6; doi:10.3389/fsoc.2021.633699

Despite significant advances in recent years, Argentina’s transgender community still faces structural social exclusion. For a vast majority of transvestites and transgender women, early expulsion from the family home and the educational system results in having to resort to prostitution as their only option for surviving. Police edicts and other similar devices are used to penalize prostitution and persecute transgender people in public places, showing that prejudice and violence against their identities also manifest in the control of urban space. Here I present the results of an in-depth qualitative linguistic analysis of a 2018 television news report about the temporary relocation of the transgender sex workers from their usual location in the Bosques de Palermo, the biggest public park in the City of Buenos Aires. The theoretical frame is Critical Discourse Analysis and the methodology is inductive and qualitative. The analysis centers on the linguistic resources that define the socio-discursive representation about the transgender sex workers in relation with urban space and the city’s government. The bases of the analysis are the Synchronic-Diachronic Method for the Linguistic Analysis of Texts and the Method of Converging Linguistic Approaches. These methods revealed, in the first place, that the transvestites and transgender women are represented as mere occupants of public space through their close association with the discursive category of Space. In the second place, they are represented as fundamentally passive in relation to the Government of the City of Buenos Aires; while, at the same time, the government’s responsibility for their displacement is systematically mitigated. Finally, the lack of work alternatives to prostitution for the transgender community is naturalized through the persistent association of the discursive categories connected with transgender people, prostitution and urban space. If we compare these results with those of previous research, we can see that these discursive features—none of which challenge the status quo—remain one of the basic components of the socio-discursive representation of transgender people elaborated by the mainstream media.
, Stephanie Lloyd, Alexandre Larivée
Published: 12 April 2021
Frontiers in Sociology, Volume 6; doi:10.3389/fsoc.2021.635986

In post-genomic science, the development of etiological models of neurobiological vulnerability to psychiatric risk has expanded exponentially in recent decades, particularly since the neuromolecular and biosocial turns in basic research. Among this research is that of McGill Group for Suicide Studies (MGSS) whose work centers on the identification of major risk factors and epigenetic traits that help to identify a specific profile of vulnerability to psychiatric conditions (e.g., depression) and predict high-risk behaviors (e.g., suicidality). Although the MGSS has attracted attention for its environmental epigenetic models of suicide risk over the years and the translation of findings from rodent studies into human populations, its overall agenda includes multiple research axes, ranging from retrospective studies to clinical and epidemiological research. Common to these research axes is a concern with the long-term effects of adverse experiences on maladaptive trajectories and negative mental health outcomes. As these findings converge with post-genomic understandings of health and also translate into new orientations in global public health, our article queries the ways in which neurobiological vulnerability is traced, measured, and profiled in environmental epigenetics and in the MGSS research. Inspired by the philosophy of Georges Canguilhem and by literature from the social studies of risk and critical public health, we explore how the epigenetic models of neurobiological vulnerability tie into a particular way of thinking about the normal, the pathological, and the milieu in terms of risk. Through this exploration, we examine how early life adversity (ELA) and neurobiological vulnerability are localized and materialized in those emerging models while also considering their broader conceptual and translational implications in the contexts of mental health and global public health interventions. In particular, we consider how narratives of maladaptive trajectories and vulnerable selves who are at risk of harm might stand in as a “new pathological” with healthy trajectories and resilient selves being potentially equated with a “new normal” way of living in the face of adversity. By troubling neurobiological vulnerability as a universal biosocial condition, we suggest that an ecosocial perspective may help us to think differently about the dynamics of mental health and distress in the adverse milieu.
, Jeanette M. Lopez-Walle, Javier Sanchez-Lopez
Published: 9 April 2021
Frontiers in Sociology, Volume 6; doi:10.3389/fsoc.2021.637671

The practice of strategies for rapid weight loss (RWL) involve diverse factors, such as individual expectations, social interactions, structural elements, etc., conforming to a “culture” of RWL, which must be evaluated and understood in a broad sense. Based on the need of a comprehensive evaluation of the use of RWL in practitioners of combat sports, an ad hoc questionnaire designed for this study, which includes the types and detailed descriptions of RWL strategies, that athletes currently use, the prevalence and frequency of use, the physiological and psychological consequences, the perception of the effect of RWL on their own performance and finally, the individuals who influence the adoption of this practice. One hundred and sixty combat athletes from wrestling and taekwondo disciplines, from Mexico, filled out this questionnaire. Data collected for their statistical analyses. Results revealed a RWL strategies prevalence of 96% across the participants. Our results revealed that 57% of those athletes using RWL lose more than 5% of their body mass. Across the athletes, the most commonly used RWL strategies and with higher intensity were increased exercise and training with plastic or thick clothes. The greater the relative weight loss, the greater the presence of physiological symptoms in athletes, such as rapid breathing and blood pressure. Athletes also mentioned mood states such as tiredness, sadness, confusion, fatigue and vigor, these last two positive and negative mood states are associated with the relative weight loss, respectively. Finally, the people who most influenced the adoption of RWL strategies were the coaches, parents and nutritionists. In conclusion, the questionnaire prepared for this study allowed us to obtain valuable information about the several factors, and their interactions, involved in the practice of RWL in combat athletes. This type of practice could increase health risks and decrease their performance. Therefore, here we state the importance of a comprehensive evaluation of RWL strategies that allows the development of psycho-educational and social-based interventions and programs for the promotion of proper weight maintenance, and prevention against RWL strategies, involving the individuals who influence the adoption of these practices and supporting it with the help of communication technologies.
Published: 9 April 2021
Frontiers in Sociology, Volume 6; doi:10.3389/fsoc.2021.604884

Research investigating how social conditions influence attitudes about immigrants has focused primarily on demographic and economic factors as potential threat inducing contexts that lead to anti-immigrant sentiment. However, the empirical evidence supporting this link is mixed, while social cohesion indicators such as the influence of social trust, have largely been left unexamined. This article uses the European Social Survey (2002–2016) to test how differences in social trust, both within and between countries influence attitudes about immigrants. Results from longitudinal analyses show that countries with higher levels of social trust have more favorable attitudes toward immigrants, and while changes in social trust over time are small, they result in comparably large changes in anti-immigrant attitudes, even when controlling for other social factors. These results are robust across different model specifications and data sources.
Published: 7 April 2021
Frontiers in Sociology, Volume 6; doi:10.3389/fsoc.2021.613042

COVID-19 has spread rapidly in Kenya and has not spared pregnant women. Evidence from Kenya shows that during the COVID-19 pandemic, health systems have been either stressed to their maximum capacity or are becoming overwhelmed. However, the population is advised not to attend hospital unless strictly necessary, and this advice seems to apply to all, including expectant mothers. There is a dearth of information on how poor expectant mothers with low bargaining power cope during COVID-19 in Kenya, which this study addresses for those in Kilifi County. This rapid qualitative study draws data from an extensive literature review and from interviews with 12 purposively selected mothers who were either expectant or had newborn babies during the pandemic in Kilifi County. Five matrons-in-charge of maternal health services and four traditional birth attendants were also interviewed via mobile phone. Data were analyzed thematically and are presented in a textual description. It emerged that expectant mothers feared attending hospitals for perinatal care due to the possibility of contracting COVID-19. Therefore, there was an increase in home deliveries with the assistance of traditional birth attendants (TBAs)/traditional midwives, who were also overwhelmed with women who sought their services. Since most causes of maternal morbidity and mortality can be prevented by prompt, suitable treatment by qualified health practitioners, the health officials interviewed recommended training and integration of TBAs in emergency healthcare responses to help during crises in MHS because they are trusted by their local communities. Notably, such integration of traditional midwives should be supported and should also include additional training and monetary incentives.
Published: 6 April 2021
Frontiers in Sociology, Volume 6; doi:10.3389/fsoc.2021.640384

This perspective article is grounded in a cognitive and context-dependent view on emotions. By considering emotions as socially embedded and constructed, the different but related concepts of Emotion Management and Emotional Intelligence can be introduced. Yet, research juxtaposing and applying them within the healthcare sector to explain healthcare professionals' multifaceted emotional experiences at work is still scarce. Hence, this article contributes to the literature on emotions by offering an overarching perspective on how the juxtaposition of Emotion Management and Emotional Intelligence may help healthcare professionals to bridge the developmental transition between these two crucial abilities which, in turn, can help them overcome emotional difficulties in complex situations. Such integration would positively influence individuals' behavioral and mental health, as well as the overall quality of the healthcare system.
Jörg Rössel,
Published: 1 April 2021
Frontiers in Sociology, Volume 6; doi:10.3389/fsoc.2021.568962

Foreign language proficiency is an unequally distributed form of linguistic capital that is becoming increasingly important in contemporary societies: first, it enables persons to participate transnationally in educational activities and in labor markets beyond the national institutions of their home country. It is also crucial for integrating an increasing share of the population with a migration background into the labor market. Thus, this article focuses on the explanation of language proficiency. Its main aim is to enrich the discussion in this field by deriving hypotheses from the sociological theory of reproduction and the discourse on migrant integration. Variables are included which have not been tested in a broad fashion in previous empirical research. We use data on different groups of migrants and non-migrants in multilingual Switzerland, where we could study the determinants of the unequal distribution of language proficiency in three official languages and foreign language repertoire in general. Our main results show that the hypotheses derived from the two theoretical discussions are empirically supported overall and contribute substantially to the explanation of language proficiency. However, most of these variables indicate the importance of unequally distributed opportunities for learning languages, thus highlighting that language learning may be part of the general process of reproducing social inequality structures.
Marat Iliyasov
Published: 31 March 2021
Frontiers in Sociology, Volume 6; doi:10.3389/fsoc.2021.631961

Approximately a quarter of Chechnya's population left the republic due to the Russo-Chechen wars and the brutality of the regime established after them. Many of the Chechen migrants settled in Europe where cultural, religious, and social differences compelled them to go through the daunting process of identity negotiation. Although most of the first-generation Chechen migrants managed to preserve their original identity, this was not always the case for their children. This article aims to identify the factors that determine the identity preferences of second-generation Chechens in Europe. The paper presents three cases which illustrate very different outcomes of the identity formation and negotiation processes. This ethnographic study concludes that home education impacted the identity choices of the migrants' children the most.
Beatriz Pagliarini Bagagli, Tyara Veriato Chaves,
Published: 31 March 2021
Frontiers in Sociology, Volume 6; doi:10.3389/fsoc.2021.652777

Safe access to public restrooms is an essential need for participation in civic life, in the workplace, in educational settings, and other public spaces. This is no different for transgender people. However, access to public restrooms according to gender identity has sparked controversy to the extent that transgender people face embarrassment and even expulsion from these spaces. The lack of access of the transgender population to public restrooms has a negative impact on the physical and mental health of this population. Thus, this article aims to address the main consequences that the ban on the use of bathrooms has for the transgender population, specifically the access of transgender women to the women's restroom. We covered some legal aspects of “bathroom laws” and the main arguments in this discussion. We understand that the prohibition of access to the restroom constitutes a form of gender violence and discrimination, as we conclude that the arguments that express concerns about safety are not supported.
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