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- Author or Editor: Peter Allen x
In this article, we offer an analysis of the gender gap in political ambition that takes personality and other canonical predictors of levels of ambition into account simultaneously. We use original large-N survey data from Britain. We find that the gender gap in nascent ambition is robust to the inclusion of measures of personality alongside traditional socio-economic predictors of political ambition. Second, we find that increased extraversion is related to higher levels of nascent ambition, but only for women. Third, we find that personality does not drive any move from intending to run for office to actually doing so.
One of the primary objectives of adult social work is to support and safeguard adults in order to promote individual autonomy, increase and maximise individual choice, and enhance people’s health and wellbeing while ensuring their safety and protection. Adults who access services are often challenged by complex needs and burdened by social stereotypes and stigma that aggravate their difficulties; these include individual vulnerability and human frailty, isolation, social exclusion, social stereotypes and stigma, and so on. These and other challenges may influence people’s identity or their ability to meet their own needs, maintain their independence, exercise control, achieve their goals and priorities, and lead healthy and rewarding lives with dignity and integrity. Social media present a host of opportunities to address these and other challenges and to support people in a powerful, transformative and person-centred manner.
This chapter presents a glimpse of some of the applications and transformational implications of digital and social media technologies. It begins by briefly examining adults’ use of social media and some of the misconceived assumptions and stereotypes about older adults’ use of digital and social media technologies. Challenging Prensky’s (2001) notion of digital natives and digital immigrants, it highlights the need for a more critical view and awareness of intersectionality within society (intersectionality refers to interconnected nature of social categorisations such as race, class, gender, ethnicity, religion, age and so on that create overlapping and interdependent experiences and systems of discrimination, oppression, exclusion and disadvantage within society). The chapter then considers the ‘social’ in health and social care, followed by a discussion of social media and its impact on social capital and relationships.
The relationship between social media and mental health is often dominated by a discourse of risk and negative outcomes. From the mental health consequences of ‘overuse’ of social media (Pantic et al, 2012), to the potential psychological and emotional consequences of ‘cyberbullying’ and ‘trolling’ of adults and children and young people, to the risks associated with online sites that promote self-harm or suicide (Guardian, 2014; Jenaro, 2018; Popovac, 2017) or other forms of abuse (Kloess et al, 2014), debates around the risks of harm associated with social media are widespread in popular culture and by politicians and often overlook its potential benefits.
Much academic research into online and social media activity has also tended to focus on the risks of negative impacts on mental wellbeing. This includes the suggestion that internet and social media communications reduce face-to-face interactions, causing isolation and vulnerability to online abuse and predators, and increasing levels of loneliness (Primack et al, 2017; Yao and Zhong, 2014).
However, as research in this field develops, more recent studies suggest that interactive social media and online resources have mixed effects (for a brief overview of research in respect of adolescents see Durbin et al, 2018), highlighting potential benefits as well as negative outcomes. Studies indicate that impact and experiences depend on many factors, including the nature and patterns of usage, specific online content, the pre-existing mental health and wellbeing of the individual, psychological factors and the meanings associated with online interactions, and the degree to which people can control their experience and communications with others.