Social stratification – Sociology Eso Science http://www.sociologyesoscience.com/ Mon, 16 May 2022 21:49:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/favicon-6-150x150.png Social stratification – Sociology Eso Science http://www.sociologyesoscience.com/ 32 32 Boris Johnson could lose his seat in Parliament in the next election https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/boris-johnson-could-lose-his-seat-in-parliament-in-the-next-election/ Mon, 16 May 2022 21:49:10 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/boris-johnson-could-lose-his-seat-in-parliament-in-the-next-election/ Residence ” Policy ” International ” Boris Johnson could lose his seat in Parliament in the next election By Ashis Ray London, May 17 (SocialNews.XYZ) An opinion poll in Britain – amid a grim economic situation and growing tension in Northern Ireland – indicates that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will lose his seat in the […]]]>

By Ashis Ray

London, May 17 (SocialNews.XYZ) An opinion poll in Britain – amid a grim economic situation and growing tension in Northern Ireland – indicates that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will lose his seat in the House of Commons in the next general election.


Johnson is an MP for the West London constituency of Uxbridge and Ruislip.

The survey of 10,000 respondents conducted by multilevel and post-stratification regression (MRP) in April also looked at the prospects of the opposition Labor Party in the election. He found that he would emerge as the largest party, but would not get an 18-seat majority.

On the other hand, if Labor undertook seat adjustments with the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party, the combination would win a comfortable majority. The number 326 is the magic mark of a party or alliance in a chamber of 650 legislators.

Likewise, if the pro-Brexit, pro-Brexit Reform Party withdraws from seats where Johnson’s Conservative Party is vulnerable, it could further hurt Labour’s prospects.

A spokesman for ‘Best for Britain’, an internationalist organisation, said: ‘Once again, Best for Britain’s seat level analysis shows that the surest path to victory in defeating this corrupt government (of Johnson) is for the opposition parties to work together during the election period.

If Labor fails, it could be left to the breakaway Scottish National Party, which could demand Scottish independence or at least another tricky referendum as a condition of its support.

Analysis of ‘Best for Britain’ by Focaldata indicated that 54% of Labor supporters and 56% of Liberal Democrat supporters want their respective leaders to work more closely with the Greens.

However, after taking part in this month’s national local elections, Labor hopes its chances will gradually improve as Johnson and the Tories fall further in public esteem.

Appearing before a select committee of the House of Commons, Governor of the Bank of England, Britain’s central bank, Andrew Bailey warned of “apocalyptic” food prices. He of course blamed this on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Figures due on Wednesday are expected to show that the annual inflation rate has topped 9% and will top 10% when the energy price cap is raised even further in the fall.

“Another factor that we are facing at the moment is a new stage of Covid-19, which is affecting China. We have seen a series of supply shocks in succession and this is unprecedented.

Under such circumstances, Johnson’s consideration of a unilateral abandonment of parts of Northern Ireland’s protocol with the European Union (EU) is seen in political circles as ill-conceived, as the introduction of customs by the EU in retaliation could have had a devastating inflationary effect.

By refusing to accept tax-free trade with the EU and opting for a customs border between mainland Britain and Northern Ireland in the Irish Sea, the Prime Minister has, as one could Predictably, created an economic and political crisis in Northern Ireland in Catholic and Protestant conflict.

So much so that the United States (along with a large Irish American population, including President Joe Biden, as a powerful lobby group), which vouches for the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which ushered in a peace relative in the region after nearly 75 years of unrest or violence, was forced to intervene.

However, Rishi Sunak, the Indian-born Chancellor of the Exchequer, is reportedly working on tax measures to ease the cost-of-living crisis, after refusing to include them in his budget statement in March.

Measures could include relief for pensioners and benefit claimants and reduced duties on imported food.

(Ashis Ray can be contacted at ashiscray@gmail.com)

Source: IANS

Boris Johnson could lose his seat in Parliament in the next election

About Gopi

Gopi Adusumilli is a programmer. He is editor of SocialNews.XYZ and president of AGK Fire Inc.

He enjoys designing websites, developing mobile apps and publishing news articles from various authenticated news sources.

As for writing, he enjoys writing about current world politics and Indian movies. His future plans include developing SocialNews.XYZ into a news website that has no bias or judgment towards any.

He can be reached at gopi@socialnews.xyz

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Determining HIV Risk for Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) in Relationships with Blessers and Partners of Different Ages: A Cross-Sectional Survey in Four Districts of South Africa | BMC Public Health https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/determining-hiv-risk-for-adolescent-girls-and-young-women-agyw-in-relationships-with-blessers-and-partners-of-different-ages-a-cross-sectional-survey-in-four-districts-of-south-africa-bmc-public/ Sat, 14 May 2022 14:03:05 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/determining-hiv-risk-for-adolescent-girls-and-young-women-agyw-in-relationships-with-blessers-and-partners-of-different-ages-a-cross-sectional-survey-in-four-districts-of-south-africa-bmc-public/ UNAIDS: HIV prevention among adolescent girls and young women. 2020. Available at: https://www.unaids.org/en/regionscountries/countries/southafrica. Han H, Yang F, Murray S, Mbita G, Bangser M, Rucinski K, Komba A, Casalini C, Drake M, Majani E, et al. Characterization of a sexual health and HIV risk stratification scale for sexually active adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in […]]]>
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    Nigerian online comedian LinoMrLion vows to continue caring for the poor https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/nigerian-online-comedian-linomrlion-vows-to-continue-caring-for-the-poor/ Tue, 10 May 2022 16:21:28 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/nigerian-online-comedian-linomrlion-vows-to-continue-caring-for-the-poor/ Popular Nigerian social media comedian LinoMrLion, whose real names are Wemimo Iyiola Samson, has vowed to continue caring for the less privileged in the country. LinoMrlion is one of the few humans whose heart of gold beats with the aim of improving the lives of the poor. It is quite easy for the Turkey-based comedian […]]]>

    Popular Nigerian social media comedian LinoMrLion, whose real names are Wemimo Iyiola Samson, has vowed to continue caring for the less privileged in the country.

    LinoMrlion is one of the few humans whose heart of gold beats with the aim of improving the lives of the poor.

    It is quite easy for the Turkey-based comedian to relate to the hardships of underprivileged people in society, having raced through the desert of life to become one of Nigeria’s most successful entertainers.

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    Wemino is remorselessly engaged in the journey of the poor whom many in his social stratification will hate with disdain and will never want to have anything to do with them. However, he has always maintained that he denies his principle of blowing his trumpet or mentioning what he has done to help the needy.

    LinoMrlion, however, is determined to continue on the path and this time take care of the poor on another level, starting a charity organization to primarily serve them in the future.

    “To mention one would violate my personal principle regarding the act of giving, but I am working to float an organization that will look after the well-being of the less privileged at home. When it’s ready to take off, it can be made public,” Linomrlion said.

    The comedian, who grew up in Lagos State, endured hardship at an early age when death took his father. But where he is today is not like where he came from; he even believes that the poor, whom society has rejected, have the germ of greatness.

    “I was born into a religious family in Oshodi, Lagos but my pastor father unfortunately passed away when I was only 10 years old and as a result my mother had to work very hard to raise me and my children. three other siblings”, LinoMrLion
    revealed.

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    Speaking further, LinoMrLion said, “I had to scramble in life, educated at Augflow Elementary School, Oshodi, and Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta. I topped it off with an MBA from Aydin University in Istanbul, Turkey”.

    On his style and content, he talked about the things that make him different from others.

    “My comedy sketches stand out because 98% of them are shot in a foreign country, but we always manage to localize our content. Although I aspire to reach the level of the best artists in the industry, what I do currently is well received by my fans.

    “I think my slang is peculiar. I saw that some artists love it and use it too. I’m proud of it. My style of dress also says a lot about me,”
    LinoMrLion added.

    ]]>
    Fine Diner secures funding round for UAE expansion https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/fine-diner-secures-funding-round-for-uae-expansion/ Mon, 09 May 2022 04:08:16 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/fine-diner-secures-funding-round-for-uae-expansion/ Dubai-based Fine Diner has received seed funding of USD 150,000 to expand its unique B2B2C platform to other Emirates and adopt new brands. The Fine Diner business model eliminates the risk of launching new brands in the food delivery space by eliminating OPEX and CAPEX. Over the past year and a half of operation, Fine […]]]>

    Dubai-based Fine Diner has received seed funding of USD 150,000 to expand its unique B2B2C platform to other Emirates and adopt new brands. The Fine Diner business model eliminates the risk of launching new brands in the food delivery space by eliminating OPEX and CAPEX.

    Over the past year and a half of operation, Fine Diner has launched several food delivery brands including Fine Diner Roast Dinner, Fine Diner Chippy, Fine Diner Store for various lodging and catering platters, SiX Pizza & Pasta , Chick Shack and Tarboosh, Doners & Pides.

    According to Sami Elayan, CEO and co-founder of Fine Diner, the company aims to establish 20 more brands by 2022 to fuel growth and revenue, as well as expand to other Emirates and the GCC. He added, “As a B2B2C platform, we leverage and utilize the unused capacity of fully equipped and underutilized kitchens, allowing them to host specific restaurants for third-party delivery, which increases their source of income and their effectiveness.

    Bernard Fantoli, Cluster General Manager for TIME Hotels has been working with Fine Diner for two years. The company saw its turnover increase by 15%.

    “Working with Fine Diner has been amazing. Since the beginning, we have seen order volumes increase. Our improved kitchen management operations, efficient quality control and renewed systems have enabled us to fulfill over 200 orders per day. Due to our recent success, our staff are heavily involved in the process of our production, packaging and logistics operations to meet the ever-increasing demand for food delivery. This trip with Fine Diner helped us. Our teams are currently implementing the same in the kitchens of our partner hotels to further develop this successful concept.

    Lead Angel Investor Faisal Alabdelsalam explains, “The Fine Diner team is diverse and has built a very creative, lucrative and scalable business model. Its management has an ironclad entrepreneurial spirit and will find solutions to multiple challenges to achieve its vision of building the largest network of kitchens in the Middle East while minimizing, if not eliminating, the CAPEX and OPEX risks of the models. traditional dark kitchens”.

    Fine Diner generated $128,000 in Q1 2022, reporting 256% quarter-on-quarter growth from Q1 2021 with a gross margin of 34%. The company is also on track to close $1,000,000 in revenue this year.

    Fine Diner currently operates in Dubai and Fujairah and hopes to cover the rest of the UAE and GCC with its new seed funding.

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    Sociology class uses 1950 census to create family trees of work history https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/sociology-class-uses-1950-census-to-create-family-trees-of-work-history/ Fri, 06 May 2022 19:00:05 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/sociology-class-uses-1950-census-to-create-family-trees-of-work-history/ Gabi Couvert-Hawks When Gabi Overcast-Hawks searched the 1950 U.S. Census records, she found her grandfather’s handwritten name, as well as that of her mother, father, and seven siblings. Birthplace: Carroll County, Virginia. Occupation: farmer. Seventy-two years ago, one of 140,000 ‘enumerators’ visited the Hawks’ home to record names, ages, occupations and other family information as […]]]>

    Gabi Couvert-Hawks

    When Gabi Overcast-Hawks searched the 1950 U.S. Census records, she found her grandfather’s handwritten name, as well as that of her mother, father, and seven siblings. Birthplace: Carroll County, Virginia. Occupation: farmer.

    Seventy-two years ago, one of 140,000 ‘enumerators’ visited the Hawks’ home to record names, ages, occupations and other family information as part of the count of Americans which has taken place every ten years since 1790.

    Individual digital records from the 1950 census were first made available to the public on April 1, 2022.

    Sophomore Overcast-Hawks and the 17 other students in sociology professor Ana-Maria Gonzalez Wahl’s sociology of work, conflict and change course used the demographic snapshots of people in their own family trees to better understand broader societal trends. .

    Using 1950 census data, students found details of grandparents or great-grandparents holding jobs as textile workers, teachers, assembly line workers, shop owners company, union organizers and university professors. The students also had conversations with their families and searched past census records and other genealogical records to trace employment histories stretching back three generations.

    This was a project to uncover not only the jobs family members had held, but also those related to larger societal forces, including post-war prosperity, the GI Bill, the boom real estate, the labor movement and workplace discrimination.

    “Individual biographies become a window to understand the larger terrain of the American economy,” Wahl said. And, the data from 1950 added to this understanding.

    “I believe there are so many great resources out there, but we live in an age of information overload,” Wahl said. “Yes, all of this data is available, but how do we find what we’re looking for and then tell a story that makes sense based on that data.”

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    Investigations under control; Pulse Asia stays true to its method https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/investigations-under-control-pulse-asia-stays-true-to-its-method/ Wed, 04 May 2022 21:44:00 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/investigations-under-control-pulse-asia-stays-true-to-its-method/ MANILA, Philippines — With just four days left until Election Day, some of the country’s top statisticians find themselves at loggerheads and wondering whether survey designs need to be updated to more accurately reflect the sentiment of the public in light of the survey results which indicate a victory for Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Statistical experts […]]]>

    MANILA, Philippines — With just four days left until Election Day, some of the country’s top statisticians find themselves at loggerheads and wondering whether survey designs need to be updated to more accurately reflect the sentiment of the public in light of the survey results which indicate a victory for Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

    Statistical experts like Romulo Virola, former secretary general of the National Statistical Coordinating Board (NSCB), and Dr. Peter Cayton of the University of the Philippines, believe recent Pulse Asia surveys show Marcos well ahead of his rival. the closest, the vice-president. Leni Robredo, had underrepresented and overrepresented certain sectors.

    Both think that those in class A and B as well as the 18-41 age group were underrepresented, while there was an overrepresentation of those in class D and E. Virola also thinks there was an under-representation of those who have reached university.

    Cayton said overrepresentation or underrepresentation means that the “proportion of officers in a survey’s sample may be higher or lower than what is generally expected of a larger population”.

    Virola clarified that he did not believe Pulse Asia was using a bad sampling method, but that the over-representation and under-representation were the result of its post-stratification process, which focused on regional stratifications on the profiles. socio-demographic groups (SDGs).

    He noted that several studies and polls abroad have shown that age, class and level of education have greater impacts on voter preferences.

    ‘Defaults’

    Virola attempted to address these “flaws” and reassessed the results of the Pulse Asia survey from March 16-21, 2022 showing a 56-24 gap between Marcos and Robredo.

    He did this using the 2017 Socio-Economic Classification System (1SEC) developed by the UP School of Statistics (to adjust for under-representation of ABC classes); the educational attainment distribution of the Philippine Statistics Authority’s voting-age population (to adjust for under-representation of those who have attained college); and the use of Comelec data on registered voters by age to adjust for the under-representation of young voters.

    Given that the numbers barely budged from March 16-21, 2022 to April 16-21, 2022, the survey and Pulse Asia have not changed its methodology since the first poll, “whatever the issue since the any beginning was still there,” Virola told the Inquirer.

    He admitted, however, that his calculations were based on an “arbitrary” split of votes (60-40 in favor of Robredo) based on the assumption that there were relatively more Robredo supporters among young people as well as among those with a higher level of education and socio-economic status. backgrounds.

    Massive gatherings

    Those assumptions, he said, were based in part on Google Trends data showing massive interest in Robredo. “Even if these are arbitrary measures, I don’t think they are unreasonable given what is happening on the ground,” he said, referring to the massive gatherings in Robredo.

    His calculations show that Marcos will still be in the lead even after adjusting the national tally by socioeconomic class (53.7% vs. 29.3%) and level of education (48.8% vs. 31.2%).

    However, adjusting the vote among people aged 18-41 and 42-57 shows Robredo narrowly taking the lead with 40.4% to 39.6%.

    Virola’s calculations were intended to increase the gaps in Pulse Asia’s sampling. But opinions differ on whether oversampling or undersampling has meaningful implications for research design.

    Cayton said it could mean “some inherent deviation, at the very least.”

    “If a group is underrepresented and overrepresented, the estimates tend to be a bit more biased in that they favor the overrepresented group than the underrepresented group,” he said. “If the deviation is very large, it could affect the results in terms of reliability and accuracy.”

    Cayton also tried to do ensemble methodologies that merged the Pulse Asia survey and Google Trends data on the assumption that big data could also be a reliable measure of public opinion.

    His calculations also bring Marcos and Robredo to a statistical tie. But he is also the first to admit that “there are a lot of heavy assumptions under this model”.

    Men Sta. Ana, coordinator of think tank Action for Economic Reforms, said the sampling used by Pulse Asia was “close to the true distribution”, especially since the demographic description of the respondents only emerged after the realization random survey.

    “Random variation is not systematic bias. This happens precisely because the outcome is random,” he said. A well-designed random survey “will result in insignificant random variation”, he added.

    Even without members of Classes A and B — who are notoriously difficult to interview and belong to the wealthiest 1% of households — in the mix, the variance would still be very low, Sta. Ana said.

    never compromise

    Pulse Asia defended its methodology, which it had used for decades.

    The margin of error for each SDG reflected the “variance for the SDG”, given its share in the total survey sample. It also corrected, “to a large extent what Dr. Virola considers to be undersampling/oversampling of specific SDGs,” Pulse Asia President Ronald Holmes said in a statement.

    He dismissed claims that Pulse Asia had been “bought out” and its work compromised. Creating such doubts about scientific polls “only deepens polarization and distrust and contributes to the continued erosion of an already extremely weak democratic order,” Holmes said.

    “Those who make these unfair and unfair criticisms bear the responsibility for their baseless accusations that fuel the spiral of disinformation and misinformation that affects our society,” he said.

    Location based

    Research companies, like Pulse Asia, use location-based multistage probability sampling. Thus, data on socio-economic classes come after the survey when respondents are grouped into classes.

    According to Jose Ramon Albert, senior researcher at the public think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), it is impossible to sample households across socioeconomic and income groups because no one has a complete list.

    “The Pulse Asia and SWS (Social Weather Stations) tables that list [socioeconomic status] are “afterthoughts” from the data collected through the survey, as are the tables on [PIDS] income groups. These are themselves data from the surveys,” Albert said.

    Google rightly warns that the information available on its search trends page is not a substitute for polling data, as users may want to know more about a party or politician for a number of reasons, without intending to vote for them.

    Online surveys and trends reflect public preference and interest at the time the survey was conducted or the data was collected, but people can and do change their minds until election day.

    After the 2016 presidential elections, SWS exit polls showed that voters decided their choice for president a bit later: 18% of respondents said they made their choice only on Election Day himself; another 15 percent only decided during the May 1-8 period; 12% made their decision in April; 8% in March; and 46% in February or earlier.

    —WITH AN INQUIRER RESEARCH REPORT

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    Study suggests aerosolized antibody delivery may contribute to host protection against SARS-CoV-2 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/study-suggests-aerosolized-antibody-delivery-may-contribute-to-host-protection-against-sars-cov-2/ Tue, 03 May 2022 09:48:00 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/study-suggests-aerosolized-antibody-delivery-may-contribute-to-host-protection-against-sars-cov-2/ Since the onset of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the rapid outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), scientists have worked at unprecedented speed to understand the different aspects of the virus. They developed several effective vaccines that significantly reduced severe infection rates and deaths from SARS-CoV-2 infection. Study: Evidence for […]]]>

    Since the onset of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the rapid outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), scientists have worked at unprecedented speed to understand the different aspects of the virus. They developed several effective vaccines that significantly reduced severe infection rates and deaths from SARS-CoV-2 infection.

    Study: Evidence for aerosol transfer of specific humoral immunity to SARS-CoV2. Image Credit: ktsdesign/Shutterstock

    Background

    Previous studies have indicated that high levels of antibodies (IgG and IgA) are present in the nasal cavity and saliva of vaccinees. These antibodies have been detected in humans and primates inoculated with mRNA- or protein-based vaccines. Several studies have revealed the respiratory transmission of a viral infection. These reports have highlighted that constituents of the oral/nasal cavity can be transferred by aerosols and/or respiratory droplets. In addition, scientists also felt that antibodies present in the oral/nasal environment may be aerosolized to some degree. A very limited amount of evidence shows the transfer of constituents (e.g. antibodies) present in the nasal/oral cavities, other than infectious particles, between two individuals.

    A new study

    A new study published on the medRxiv* The preprint server closed the previously mentioned research gap and investigated the possibility of transfer of aerosols containing SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies between vaccinated and non-immune hosts.

    The authors of this study indicated that certain rules were put in place to restrict the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infection, such as making mask wearing mandatory in social and work settings, which presented an opportunity unique to determine the possibility of aerosol antibodies. expiration of vaccinated persons.

    In this study, scientists applied a previously used method related to the isolation of antibodies from rehydrated dried blood (DBS) spots. They used this method to detect specific anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies eluted from surgical masks worn by vaccinated lab members, which were donated at the end of a working day.

    Main conclusions

    The results of this study are consistent with previous reports that found the presence of IgG and IgA in the saliva of vaccinated individuals. Scientists successfully identified IgG and IgA after eluting antibodies from face masks. Because of these observations, they hypothesized that aerosolized droplet/antibody transfer could occur between individuals, similar to the transfer of aerosolized viral particles from one individual to another.

    To test the hypothesis, the researchers performed a multiplex microsphere immunoassay (MMIA) based on flow cytometry to detect SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies in serum samples obtained from adult first responders in Arapahoe County, Colorado. Additionally, nasal swabs were collected from parents and their children at the Colorado Tricountry Vaccination Center in Aurora who were attending vaccination appointments, not limited to COVID-19 vaccinations. Nasal swabs from children living in households where their family members had varying levels of specific immunity to SARS-CoV-2 were collected.

    Scientists easily detected the presence of SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG in nasal swab samples taken from children living in vaccinated households. Importantly, some of the nasal swabs obtained from children living in unvaccinated households revealed an absence of SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies. The researchers compared SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG levels from nasal swab samples obtained from the two groups of children, i.e. living in vaccinated or unvaccinated households.

    In this study, the authors used variation in parental intranasal IgG levels as the basis for stratification across all child samples. They used data from thirty-four adult-child pairs and established antibody cutoff values ​​for high and low parental intranasal antibody levels. They reported elevated levels of intranasal IgG in vaccinated parents, associated significantly with a 0.38 increase in log-transformed intranasal IgG gMFI, in a child from the same household.

    Consequences

    The authors of this study suggested that the transmission of antibodies by aerosol could contribute positively to the protection of the host against SARS-CoV-2 infection. The finding of the present study points to the role of passive immune protection in protecting individuals against disease. The researchers said that although the levels of antibody transfer required for host protection remain to be explored in the future, any amount of antibody transfer will benefit the recipient host.

    According to a recent study, parental vaccination significantly reduced the risk of COVID-19 infection in unvaccinated children present in the same household. The authors of the current study believe that the above observation may be due to aerosol transfer of antibodies between vaccinated parents and unvaccinated children in the same household.

    *Important Notice

    medRxiv publishes preliminary scientific reports that are not peer-reviewed and, therefore, should not be considered conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behaviors, or treated as established information.

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    Big Tech’s Revenge (Where No Tech Has Gone Before) — High Country News – Know the West https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/big-techs-revenge-where-no-tech-has-gone-before-high-country-news-know-the-west/ Sun, 01 May 2022 08:04:16 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/big-techs-revenge-where-no-tech-has-gone-before-high-country-news-know-the-west/ When tech companies dominate the world, what could go wrong? Vauhini Vara began his career as a journalist in Silicon Valley in the early 2000s. Back then, the potential for tech companies to build community and connect people around the world seemed endlessly promising. But just a few years into her career as a journalist, […]]]>

    When tech companies dominate the world, what could go wrong?

    Vauhini Vara began his career as a journalist in Silicon Valley in the early 2000s. Back then, the potential for tech companies to build community and connect people around the world seemed endlessly promising. But just a few years into her career as a journalist, Vara became concerned, not just about the industry’s dizzying growth, but about its increasingly unchecked power. It was then that she turned to fiction, earning her MFA at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

    “In fiction, you can imagine these futures that aren’t there yet,” she said. “It’s not irresponsible to do that, it’s one of the things that fiction can do really beautifully and really well.”

    Immortal King Rao, Vara’s debut novel, imagines a dystopian future where the tech industry isn’t just unregulated; it is the regulator. It is government—on a global scale—that shapes all aspects of the lives of “shareholders,” that is, citizens. At its head is King Rao, who was born into a family of Dalit coconut farmers in India. Eventually, King heads to the Washington coast, where his technological innovations catapult him to fame and fortune, before plunging him into shame and accusations that he has, quite literally, destroyed people’s lives. High Country News recently spoke with Vara about drawing on his family history and experience as a journalist to create fiction, the implications of caste for his characters, and the importance of landscape in his writing.

    This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

    News from the High Country: Can you tell me about the inspiration for this story? Do you remember where you were when the idea was born?

    Vauhini Vara: I do, in fact. It was the winter of 2009. I was traveling with my dad and his wife in South America when I was in college. I remember we were on a train, and my dad was teasing me, “Why do you keep writing short stories? You should be working on a novel.

    I thought, just as teasingly, “OK, Dad, why don’t you give me a novel idea then?” He was like, “Well, you could write my family’s story about the coconut grove in India.”

    He was brought up there at a time when caste relations in the country were changing. And at that time, my father’s family became owners of this coconut grove where they were previously workers. It changed all those dynamics within his family in interesting and ultimately difficult ways. This was the starting point of the novel. At the same time, because I had worked as a technical journalist for the the wall street journalI had all these ideas floating around in my head about Silicon Valley and the rise of Big Tech.

    So the story of my father’s family farm and the story of the rise of Big Tech became the same novel through King Rao, this character who was born in this coconut grove in the 1950s.

    HCN: In the book, we see a coast of Washington that is plunged into a growing climate catastrophe – drought, wildfires, floods – while a group of aberrant individuals, the Exes, attempt to chart a different course. , which is essentially a return to life off the land. Why did you choose this region of the country to illustrate the threats and joys of man’s evolving relationship with nature?

    VV: My family moved to the Seattle area when I started eighth grade. Yet when I think of an ideal landscape, that’s what it is for me – mountains and water and greenery and beautiful vegetation. But now coastal locations like Seattle or India’s Godavari Delta, where part of the novel also takes place, are experiencing some of the most devastating impacts of climate change. So, I thought the coasts could show how people could have a close sense of communion with the land, but is also a place where the threat of climate change was very present.

    HCN: I found it remarkable to read this book at a time when there is so much talk of the importation of castes from India to America. Do you see this book as part of that conversation?

    VV: Growing up, I wasn’t particularly aware of my own caste identity. But to write about the coconut grove and the relationship of the family to the land, I almost had to write about caste and class. And then I imagined King Rao becoming the CEO of technology in the United States. From an American Indian to becoming a tech CEO was a little difficult when I started writing 10 years ago. I imagined that I was writing this alternate history.

    Now, an Indian-American CEO of a very powerful tech company doesn’t seem unusual. But the part that represents a future we haven’t reached yet is a Dalit becoming a tech CEO. King Rao is one of many Dalit characters in the book. He is aware of how caste has reduced his opportunities, but he does not have a broad sense of caste oppression like some of the other Dalit characters do. So, it is no coincidence that the character who becomes the head of a powerful world government that creates all kinds of social stratification is that character who is not engaged in issues of caste and caste oppression.

    HCN: What about the Ex and the alternative they offer to this techno-capitalist establishment? What were some of your inspirations in building their ideology, the individual characters, their community?

    VV: Anarchism is not a philosophy I consider myself well versed in, but I read a lot to understand it for the purposes of the novel. I read Emma Goldman’s autobiography. I also read Taoist philosophy. I tried that the Ex not be too didactic. I wanted their way of being to be informed both by these ancient texts and by more modern anarchist thoughts. At the same time, I didn’t want it to be portrayed as a perfect alternative. I think in our current post-capitalist society, a fringe group like the Ex would only exist as long as the most powerful forces tolerated them.

    HCN: I was wondering if the Ex were also inspired by events like the WTO protests that took place in Seattle while you were living there.

    VV: Yes definitely. I remember seeing pictures in the news of these protests just across the bridge from where I grew up and being captivated by them – by ordinary people taking a stand on something. thing. I found it very exciting and moving. It was also such a different time, pre-social media and, of course, cell phones. And the exes in the novel, they reject technology. These protests have informed my understanding of what a protest movement without technology might look like.

    I remember seeing pictures in the news of these protests just across the bridge from where I grew up and being captivated by them – by ordinary people taking a stand on something. thing.

    HCN: You grew up in Seattle, then you lived in the Bay Area. Now you live in Colorado. How have these parameters shaped your writing process?

    VV: In the early drafts of the book, a lot of things were happening on a fairly abstract level. So, Athena (Rao’s daughter) and her father lived somewhere offshore near the United States, but we weren’t sure where, and the exes also lived somewhere offshore. A friend of mine, Anna North, who is also a writer, read it and thought, “There must be an actual place on a map that we can visualize.

    I remember looking at Google Maps and wondering, “Where is the coastal place where these people might live? And then zooming closer and closer to Seattle and realizing, “Oh, okay. They could live here. I ended up focusing on Blake Island. You can take a boat and hike around the island, but people don’t live there. There are no services. So I decided to make Athena and her father live on this island. It opened up a lot for the book. I finally went to visit the island, surveyed the forest. This landscape was ultimately important to the book on a very visceral level.

    I finished the book in Colorado. My connection to the natural world has been stronger here than anywhere else I’ve lived. I also did a lot of editing two summers ago, when there were the very big forest fires. You would walk outside and there would be smoke in your eyes and in your throat. So I went back to some sections that specifically dealt with climate change, which I would describe as a pervasive backdrop to the book. I wrote these sections that summer because it felt very present and urgent.

    HCN: I remember a line from the book about how the sunsets were too beautiful. And I was like, “Oh, yeah, that’s exactly it. It’s beautiful in that almost obscene way.

    VV: I remember writing this during that strange summer, when you looked up at the sky and it was beautiful, but mistakenly beautiful. This coincided with a deeper sense of set-up in the book. Living in this place where I was more aware of my own life’s setting also helped me understand the importance of it to the book.

    Raksha Vasudevan is a Denver-based economist and writer. His work has appeared in LitHub, The Los Angeles Book Review, NYLON and more. We welcome letters from readers. E-mail High Country News to [email protected] or submit a letter to the editor. See our letters to editor policy.

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    David Cort Featured as Spotlight Scholar: UMass Amherst https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/david-cort-featured-as-spotlight-scholar-umass-amherst/ Fri, 29 Apr 2022 18:36:16 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/david-cort-featured-as-spotlight-scholar-umass-amherst/ David Cortassociate professor of sociology, was honored as a Spotlight Scholar this month. Picture David Cort Cort’s global perspective and grounded understanding of poverty and social stratification were inspired by his childhood spent living in developing countries and immigrant communities in the United States. He began teaching at UMass Amherst in 2007, with his research […]]]>

    David Cortassociate professor of sociology, was honored as a Spotlight Scholar this month.

    Picture

    David Cort

    Cort’s global perspective and grounded understanding of poverty and social stratification were inspired by his childhood spent living in developing countries and immigrant communities in the United States. He began teaching at UMass Amherst in 2007, with his research focusing on the residential stratification of black residents and undocumented immigrants in Los Angeles. He then refocused his attention on public health issues and conducted research in South Africa and Latin America on the relationship between HIV attitudes and sexual practices. Cort has also studied how family structure and birth order affect risky sexual behaviors. For his next project, he will return to his roots and study social stratification in South Africa.

    Court is Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. He hopes to foster and develop institutional ties between UMass Amherst and Walter Sisulu University in South Africa, where he taught as a Fulbright Scholar in 2018.

    Learn more about David Cort and other Spotlight Fellows.

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    Arine Collaborates with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to Address Health Equity https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/arine-collaborates-with-amazon-web-services-aws-to-address-health-equity/ Thu, 28 Apr 2022 10:45:00 +0000 https://www.sociologyesoscience.com/arine-collaborates-with-amazon-web-services-aws-to-address-health-equity/ AWS grant will enable Arine’s proprietary technology platform to develop solutions for vulnerable populations SAN FRANCISCO, April 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Arine, an intelligent drug optimization company, today announced that it has been selected for Amazon Web Services (AWS) $40 million global program supporting organizations that develop solutions to reduce health inequalities. Arine’s proprietary AI-powered […]]]>

    AWS grant will enable Arine’s proprietary technology platform to develop solutions for vulnerable populations

    SAN FRANCISCO, April 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Arine, an intelligent drug optimization company, today announced that it has been selected for Amazon Web Services (AWS) $40 million global program supporting organizations that develop solutions to reduce health inequalities. Arine’s proprietary AI-powered platform ensures safe and effective drug therapy by synthesizing multi-dimensional data to develop personalized medication recommendations for vulnerable patient populations, including elderly, low-income patients and underrepresented patients.

    Through the program, AWS provides credit and technical expertise to organizations around the world that leverage AWS to improve health outcomes and equity in any of the following areas: 1) improving access to health services for underserved communities; 2) addressing social determinants of health (SDoH) as a barrier to optimized care; and 3) leveraging data to promote more equitable and inclusive systems of care.

    “Medication issues have a disproportionate impact on older, low-income and underrepresented minorities,” said Yoona Kim, PhD, PharmD, Arine co-founder and CEO. “Arine’s platform proactively guides personalized interventions that overcome barriers to care, including language, economics and health literacy challenges. We see AWS as the ideal partner in our efforts to expand access to medicines and reduce healthcare inequities.

    Arine plans to use the AWS grant to continue evaluating the impact of SDoH on medication-taking behaviors to maximize the benefits of drug therapy and improve outcomes. Using the company’s technology platform, Arine will integrate data collected through the program into risk stratification models that assess clinical, behavioral and social risks to identify those in need.

    The program will also allow Arine to assess which therapeutic interventions will have the greatest impact on improving health and economic outcomes. “This information will help us identify disparities across different subgroups, giving further impetus to our efforts to improve outcomes in these vulnerable patient populations,” Dr. Kim commented.

    About Arina

    Arine optimizes drug therapy and treatment plans, saving one in every six dollars spent on healthcare. The Company’s Medication Optimization Platform aggregates and analyzes clinical, social and behavioral data to identify and address gaps in patient care on behalf of at-risk payers and providers. Arine uses predictive analytics to target care to at-risk health plan members, AI to generate personalized care plans for each patient, and machine learning to continuously optimize member drug therapy. Clients have seen a 15% reduction in total cost of care and a 40% reduction in hospital admissions, while improving care team efficiency five to ten times. For more information, visit www.arine.io or follow us on LinkedIn.

    SOURCEArine

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