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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2004

Krishna S. Vatsa

Households are exposed to a wide array of risks, characterized by a known or unknown probability distribution of events. Disasters are one of these risks at the extreme…

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Abstract

Households are exposed to a wide array of risks, characterized by a known or unknown probability distribution of events. Disasters are one of these risks at the extreme end. Understanding the nature of these risks is critical to recommending appropriate mitigation measures. A household’s resilience in resisting the negative outcomes of these risky events is indicative of its level of vulnerability. Vulnerability has emerged as the most critical concept in disaster studies, with several attempts at defining, measuring, indexing and modeling it. The paper presents the concept and meanings of risk and vulnerability as they have evolved in different disciplines. Building on these basic concepts, the paper suggests that assets are the key to reducing risk and vulnerability. Households resist and cope with adverse consequences of disasters and other risks through the assets that they can mobilize in face of shocks. Asustainable strategy for disaster reduction must therefore focus on asset‐building. There could be different types of assets, and their selection and application for disaster risk management is necessarily a contextual exercise. The mix of asset‐building strategies could vary from one community to another, depending upon households’ asset profile. The paper addresses the dynamics of assets‐risk interaction, thus focusing on the role of assets in risk management.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 24 no. 10/11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 1991

Michael Sherraden and Margaret Sherrard Sherraden

Non‐military service, sometimes called national service, refers to organised programmes in which young people engage in a period of service to the community or to the…

Abstract

Non‐military service, sometimes called national service, refers to organised programmes in which young people engage in a period of service to the community or to the nation. Over the past twenty‐five years, there have been a number of major studies in the United States which have recommended large‐scale voluntary non‐military service (Eberly, 1966; Carnegie Council on Policy Studies in Higher Education, 1979; Committee for the Study of National Service, 1979; Sherraden and Eberly, 1982; Danzig and Szanton, 1986; Moskos, 1988; Eberly and Sherraden, 1990).

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 11 no. 1/2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Article
Publication date: 1 January 1991

Michael Sherraden

With the ups and downs of the economy, unemployment comes and goes as a public policy issue. As of November 1990, the official US unemployment rate stood at 5.9 percent…

Abstract

With the ups and downs of the economy, unemployment comes and goes as a public policy issue. As of November 1990, the official US unemployment rate stood at 5.9 percent, above the 16 year low of 5.0 percent that had been reached earlier in the year. Around the 5 percent level of unemployment, a majority of economists say that the labour market is near the “natural rate of unemployment”, the rate at which labour shortages lead to wage increases, pushing inflation higher. At this level, few people talk about unemployment as an economic or a political problem. Unemployment has not been a major issue in recent US election campaigns. Indeed, there has been far more public discussion about the possibility of labour shortages in the United States during the coming years. Although a US recession has probably arrived, the Federal Reserve Board and most economists are more worried about inflation than about unemployment. Assuredly, however, as the recession deepens, unemployment will rise and will again be in the spotlight. Politicans will give speeches. Makeshift legislation will be enacted. And then, just as assuredly, with the next economic recovery, unemployment will fade once again from the political agenda.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 11 no. 1/2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Article
Publication date: 28 March 2019

Habiba Ibrahim

Guided by the institutional theory of savings, the purpose of this study is to assess the institutional elements of rotating, savings and credit associations (ROSCAs) that…

Abstract

Purpose

Guided by the institutional theory of savings, the purpose of this study is to assess the institutional elements of rotating, savings and credit associations (ROSCAs) that enable participants to save.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used data from in-depth qualitative interviews (N = 10) conducted among the ROSCA group leaders from African immigrant communities in the USA.

Findings

The primary goal for joining the ROSCA group among participants is to achieve economic stability. The results of the study postulate that, through institutional mechanisms and social networks, ROSCAs create an environment for families to save and invest. The emphasis on the concept of “you cannot save alone” underscores the importance of supportive structures to enable low-income households to save. Although “alternative savings programs” such as ROSCAs are imagined as something that less well-to-do persons use, the findings from this study demonstrate that such strategies also appeal to some people with higher socioeconomic status. This appeal and utility speaks to the importance of ROSCAs as an institutional response, rather than just an informal arrangement among persons known to each other.

Research limitations/implications

It is prudent to bear in mind that the study sample is not nationally representative, and therefore, the results presented cannot be generalized to immigrants across the country. However, as one of the few ROSCA studies in the USA, the findings from this study make generous contributions to the immigrants’ savings and ROSCA practices literature.

Practical implications

ROSCAs could be used as a bridge to the formal financial institutions. Non-profit agencies working with these communities could work with these groups to report ROSCA payments to the major credit bureaus, to help them build a credit line in their new country.

Originality/value

Previous studies of ROSCAs have assessed ROSCAs as community support systems and social networks. The current study has analyzed ROSCAs from an institutional perspective by examining the institutional characteristics of ROSCAs comparable to the institutional determinants of savings that enable savings among the participants.

Details

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6204

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 1991

Hans Berglind

This article has several purposes. One is to give some rather elementary facts about both the concept and scope of unemployment for those readers that are not specialists…

Abstract

This article has several purposes. One is to give some rather elementary facts about both the concept and scope of unemployment for those readers that are not specialists in the field. Another purpose is to discuss some related concepts that could be of use in understanding the development and trends of the labour market. Finally, I will discuss the meaning of the “right to work”, and some possible scenarios for the future. My main focus will be the industrialised nations, while the problems of the so‐called developing countries will be touched upon only very briefly.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 11 no. 1/2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2003

Sohail Inayatullah

Ageing is a fundamental issue for the future of the planet. An ageing society challenges basic assumptions of modern culture and political economy. This paper explores…

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Abstract

Ageing is a fundamental issue for the future of the planet. An ageing society challenges basic assumptions of modern culture and political economy. This paper explores alternative futures of ageing in Queensland, understanding that certain assumptions about Queensland’s future are given. It is also focused on probable futures, and not on every possible future. Based on this map of the future‐developed through causal layered analysis and scenario planning – policy recommendations are developed for the Queensland Government.

Details

Foresight, vol. 5 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 June 2002

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Abstract

Details

Foresight, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Article
Publication date: 15 February 2013

Nick Williams and Robert Huggins

Government intervention has increasingly identified deprived communities as a key focus for enterprise support. The purpose of this paper is to examine attitudes and…

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Abstract

Purpose

Government intervention has increasingly identified deprived communities as a key focus for enterprise support. The purpose of this paper is to examine attitudes and perceptions to enterprise support in a deprived community in the UK city of Leeds.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey of 142 entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs, and 18 follow‐up in‐depth interviews with entrepreneurs, were conducted with people living in the study area. The survey examined the entrepreneurial activity of members of the community, and usage of enterprise support.

Findings

The paper finds that certain forms of enterprise support in deprived communities may actually discourage entrepreneurship. Also, where entrepreneurial ventures are supported they tend to operate in activities relating to generic trades with low entry barriers, with many enterprises having little actual or perceived requirement for external support, with it being likely that these would have been established with or without support.

Research limitations/implications

A potential limitation of the study is that it is restricted to a case study of deprived communities in one particular city.

Practical implications

Increased investment in the supply of enterprise support may not lead to increased levels of entrepreneurship, with support that aims to engage with people who have never considered starting a business, or do not have the skills required to launch and grow a venture, is unlikely to be cost‐effective given their low growth potential.

Originality/value

The results of the research are potentially applicable to other deprived communities, and provide lessons for policy relating to the promotion of entrepreneurship.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

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