The rapid changes in multi-ethnic and transnational societies of the Pacific require that USP students and its research activities focus on improving governance and public policy formulation, so that emerging cultural, social, environmental, economic, and political issues are addressed in a timely and efficient way. This will contribute to maintaining, enhancing and nurturing social cohesion and political stability. The critical areas of leadership, governance, human rights, politics and policy making, together with the promotion of ethical governance, will be ongoing priority areas for the University.
This SRT deals with a quintessential inter-disciplinary field of research, combining sociology, politics, law, public administration and development economics.
The role of sports social cohesion, peace and nation building in the Solomon Islands
Project Leader: Mr Jeremy Dorovolomo
Team Members: Dr Gordon Nanau, FBE
Dr Billy Fito’o, FALE,
Dr Jack Maebuta (Institute of Education-Honiara Campus),
Mr Patrick Minti (SOE-Solomon Islands National University)
Duration: 6 months (Aug 2016 to Feb 2017)
Overview of Project
This study will use the Nominal Group Technique (NGT), which is a priority and consensus forming research tool, on what is being done so far in the area of Sports for Development and Peace (SDP) and strategize with participants the use of sports to building ongoing peace and co-existence. A one-day workshop will take place for the NGT process, across sectors, and recommendations will be made to the Government and three articles will be written as academic papers for ranked outlets.
Fijian Interpersonal Perception and Attitudes Survey
Project Leader: Dr James Johnson
Team Members: Marcus Stephenson, FBE
Yoko Kanemasu, FALE
Sara Amin, FALE
Asenati Chan-Tung, FALE,
Overview of Project
Social distance focuses on the psychological and emotional distance between groups in society. Social distance research has a long history in the social sciences. Emory Bogardus developed a scaling technique for the measurement of social distance. Subsequently, a number of researchers have employed the Bogardus social distance measure, especially in the US and Western societies, to examine intergroup relations and stigmatization and prejudice towards minority social groups. Further, the Bogardus scale has been translated into several languages and employed in various societal and cultural contexts. Unfortunately, there has been no assessment of social distance in the Pacific Region. In addition to social distance, greater attention should also be given to other variables that might influence intergroup processes in the Fiji (i.e., prejudicial attitudes, interpersonal violence-related attitudes). Simply put, there is very little information on the general intergroup attitudes and perceptions of the people in the Fiji Most importantly, government polices to facilitate social cohesion (e.g., interethnic, cross-gender social cohesion) in Pacific cultures would certainly be informed by the findings of the present examination. Indeed, the data from similar examinations are commonly used to establish social policies in other countries.
A number of national studies have examined the incidence and nature of social distance, gender-based prejudicial attitudes, and violence-related attitudes, separately. However, there has been no national and/or regional study that has explored the incidence and nature of all of these factors in one investigation. Further, there has been no assessment of the extent that these factors might be related and/or influence each other. Finally, there has been no research that examined the role of moderating factors such as cultural identity and interpersonal contact on social distance, prejudice, or violence perceptions in the Fiji (or any other Pacific region).
Thus, the present research will have both practical and theoretical implications. Specifically, the proposed study will extend the Interpersonal Relations research by: a) providing one of the first comprehensive national examinations of interpersonal attitudes and perceptions in the Fiji (which could certainly inform social policy issues associated with intergroup relations and social cohesion in Pacific Islands/Cultures) ; b) provide one of the first Fiji examination of attitudes and perceptions that include social distance perceptions, gender-based prejudice perceptions, and violence-related perceptions (and how they related to each other); and c) provide one of the first examinations of the moderating role of factors such as cultural identity , interpersonal contact, and religiosity on social distance and other interpersonal attitudes and perceptions; and d) provide further examination of the moderating role of ethnicity, education, age, and socio-economic status on social distance and other interpersonal attitudes and perceptions.
Moreover, a project of this scope would certainly lead to a number of publications in high ranked journals Sociology, Psychology, and Tourism journals. The research team has an extremely strong record of both extramural funding (i.e., the principle investigator has secured over USD4 million in external grant funding) and publishing in high impact research journals. Consequently, there is a very high likelihood of publications of the findings and subsequent external grant funding to extend the research.