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Discussing society trends in the 21st century

Globalization, equal opportunity and demographic change: the new coordinates?

This section of innovations-reports examines the latest scientific findings in the fields of social sciences as it relates to globalization, demographic change and equal opportunity. Controversially discussed and thoroughly researched, we track current discussions detailed in studies, publications and announcements from renowned organizations and institutes. We address unsolved issues within key topics such as globalization, equal opportunity and demographic change, which are of paramount interest regarding their impact to society and the individual.

How will globalization occupy us in the future?

Globalization, a meanwhile overused expression, refers to the worldwide integration of economies, politics, society, culture and environment . Globalization, equal opportunity and demographic change are phenomena that mean different things to different people the world over. Some scientists view globalization as a process that began with the first species of man. Others date globalization back to the 15th century as European conquerors fanned out across the world. Still others accept it as a tide that was initiated at the beginning of World War II.

The fact is, globalization has transformed the planets into a village affecting all parts of life. The far-reaching structural transformation of overall society triggered by globalization has positive as well as negative impacts. The world continues to be divided into industrial, emerging and developing countries as globalization spreads. Globalization also means mobility and the opening up of national identities. Globalization is the sharing of common global challenges as illustrated by demographic change and equal opportunity. While some welcome globalization as economic progress, others dismiss globalization as neoliberalism.

Are we overestimating or downplaying the significance of demographic change on society?

Demographic change is the new challenge facing society. The post-World War II baby boom generation is aging and a new one is not on the horizon. In Germany, demographic change is viewed as a social, economic and cultural threat. Experts predict that demographic change will shrink Germany's population by 7 million by the middle of the century. The impact of an aging population on society is illustrated by the limits of growth. Structural transformation, redistribution, economic collapse, job exodus: demographic change and the forthcoming population declines will force societies to drastically restructure and reshape. Demographic change will also give momentum to globalization and equal opportunity.

While all of the signs so far point to "big", will demographic change acquire a new modesty? Demographic change and globalization are tightly interleaved. Calls are being made for demographic change and its already entrenched realities to be resolved at the highest level of decision making and understood as a non-partisan challenge for the present and future.

Has the equal opportunity mandate really arrived in practice?

No one accepts discrimination. Regarding the gender question, equal opportunity for minorities and abolishing discrimination based on ethnic or ideological traits, equal opportunity and the equal opportunity legislation introduced in 2006 have established benchmarks. The question is, has this already led to a well-established mindset of equal opportunity among the population? And is equal opportunity actually being practiced in business, politics and society against the backdrop of globalization?

We are reminded that if the pursuance of equal opportunity is left to those who hold the power in society, then equal opportunity for women in the workplace will make hardly any progress worth mentioning. Equal opportunity and demographic change is not a generational question. The obligations that equal opportunity will impose on all societal forces, how individuals can contribute to equal opportunity and how equal opportunity can be realized within the context of globalization and demographic change - all of these issues will continue to keep us in suspense.

Social Sciences

This area deals with the latest developments in the field of empirical and theoretical research as it relates to the structure and function of institutes and systems, their social interdependence and how such systems interact with individual behavior processes.

innovations-report offers informative reports and articles related to the social sciences field including demographic developments, family and career issues, geriatric research, conflict research, generational studies and criminology research.

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Education is key to climate adaptation

According to new IIASA research, education makes people less vulnerable to natural disasters such as floods, landslides, and storms that are expected to intensify with climate change.

Given that some climate change is already unavoidable—as just confirmed by the new IPCC report—investing in empowerment through universal education should be...

28.11.2014 | nachricht Read more

Don't be an outsider!

Very young children imitate their peers to fit in, while great apes tend to stick to their own preferences

Children and chimpanzees often follow the group when they want to learn something new. But do they actually forego their own preferences in order to fit in...

04.11.2014 | nachricht Read more

Distinguished for embracing equal opportunity

Fraunhofer IAO and the University of Stuttgart IAT receive “Total E-Quality” award: For the fifth time in a row, Fraunhofer IAO and its partner IAT of the University of Stuttgart received the Total E-Quality award for equal opportunity on October 24, 2014. With this title, Total E-Quality Deutschland e.V. honors companies and organizations that foster equal opportunities and practice sustainable personnel policies. The distinction is valid for three years.

High-quality services are possible only when all employees are on an equal footing. Fraunhofer IAO and its close partner the Institute for Human Factors and...

04.11.2014 | nachricht Read more

World population likely to peak by 2070

New population projections from IIASA researchers provide a fundamentally improved view of future population, structured by age, sex, and level of education, which differ from recent projections by the United Nations.

World population will likely peak at around 9.4 billion around 2070 and then decline to around 9 billion by 2100, according to new population projections from...

23.10.2014 | nachricht Read more

EU cooperation project coordinated by Mainz Univ. to develop international Medieval Studies Program

Focus on providing students with skills and professional orientation to improve their future career prospects

At first glance, it would appear that studies on the culture and literature of the Middle Ages have no immediate link to the modern working world. For this...

09.10.2014 | nachricht Read more

The plus side of population aging

An aging society will have numerous benefits, according to new research from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and researchers in Germany and the United States.

Around the world, people are living longer and having fewer children, leading to a population that is older, on average, than in the past. On average, life...

25.09.2014 | nachricht Read more

Exploring the Future of Suburban Neighbourhoods under Conditions of Declining Growth

Declining growth as an evolutional phenomenon of cities in old-industrialized countries has been object of a large body of research and led to manifold strategies for planners, administration and owners.

At the same time suburban areas prospered, provoking the ´donut effect`, so that suburbanization was often blamed to be a push factor for the urban decay....

04.09.2014 | nachricht Read more

Forming consensus in social networks

Researchers at the University of Miami and the University of Notre Dame have developed a computational model that attempts to capture the process that individuals use within social networks to reach consensus

Social networks have become a dominant force in society. Family, friends, peers, community leaders and media communicators are all part of people's social...

04.09.2014 | nachricht Read more

Computer games give a boost to English

If you want to make a mark in the world of computer games you had better have a good English vocabulary. It has now also been scientifically proven that someone who is good at computer games has a larger English vocabulary. This is revealed by a study at the University of Gothenburg and Karlstad University, Sweden.

The study confirms what many parents and teachers already suspected: young people who play a lot of interactive English computer games gain an advantage in...

29.08.2014 | nachricht Read more

Crime Victims' Institute tracks the state of stalking in Texas

According to a 2010 survey by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 1.4 million women in Texas experience stalking during their lifetimes. Despite recent laws adopted in the state to protect stalking victims, little information is available about the crime or policies and procedures to aid the criminal justice system, according to a report from the Crime Victims' Institute (CVI).

According to CDC estimates, 15.6 percent of the female population in Texas will experience stalking, slightly less than the 16.2 percent national average of...

06.08.2014 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Yellowstone's Thermal Springs -- Their Colors Unveiled

Scientists from Montana and Germany develop simple new model that explains the brilliant deep hues of Yellowstone National Park’s most beautiful thermal springs

Researchers at Montana State University and Brandenburg University of Applied Sciences in Germany have created a simple mathematical model based on optical...

Im Focus: Intelligent façades generating electricity, heat and algae biomass

Materials scientists of Jena University (Germany) coordinate new EU-project on intelligent façades

Windows that change their light permeability at the touch of a button, façades, whose color can be changed according to the sunlight, façades and window parts...

Im Focus: Quantum physics just got less complicated

Here's a nice surprise: quantum physics is less complicated than we thought. An international team of researchers has proved that two peculiar features of the quantum world previously considered distinct are different manifestations of the same thing. The result is published 19 December in Nature Communications.

Patrick Coles, Jedrzej Kaniewski, and Stephanie Wehner made the breakthrough while at the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of...

Im Focus: First series production vehicle with software control

Siemens has unveiled the first electric series production vehicle with the central elec­tronics and software architecture RACE.

This technology, developed in the research project of the same name, replaces the entire control system with standard hardware and a kind of "operating system...

Im Focus: Trigger mechanism for recovery after spinal cord injury revealed

After an incomplete spinal cord injury, the body can partially recover basic motor function. So-called muscle spindles and associated sensory circuits back to the spinal cord promote the establishment of novel neuronal connections after injury.

This circuit-level mechanism behind the process of motor recovery was elucidated by Prof. Silvia Arber's research group at the Biozentrum, University of Basel...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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