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The familiar reader of Amsterdam Social Science would know that in each issue we seek to encourage interdisciplinarity and provide a stage for young and devoted researchers. In this issue, we invite our old and new curious readers to join in and follow us on a journey through four articles investigating questions all connected to a concept which has become indispensable in today’s society: globalization. (….)
In recent decades, ‘the Holocaust’ has become a freefloating symbolic signifier that can be applied to a variety of subjects regardless of their (dis)similarity to the Nazi persecution of European Jewry. This means that, while the ostensible purpose of Holocaust commemoration is to honour the dead, a community’s decision to remember the Holocaust is compelled by a variety of interests. In 2011, the federal government of Canada announced that it would construct its own national memorial to the Holocaust – the National Holocaust Monument (NHM) – thereby raising the question of what interests have provoked this memorial. In the present study, I analyse the discourse surrounding this memorial to understand some of the primary motivations underlying the NHM. After establishing a theoretical framework for the study of Holocaust memorials, I discuss two major themes that have emerged from the discourse: the ethical and the global. Both themes frame the monument as an embodiment of ‘Canadian’ values, but each does so for a different audience; in one instance the NHM acts as a mirror that reflects Canadian values towards Canadians, while the other is a beacon that projects these values to global society. Based on these related functions, I argue that Holocaust memory and the NHM are being used to broadcast Canadian values in multiple directions in an attempt to shape the nation’s domestic and international identities.
Participative web and user-generated content as research fields are central topics within the contemporary internet debate. In this paper, I describe an action-research on low-digital-literate members of a voluntary association engaged in a collaborative storytelling project to support the Paediatric Oncology Department of the GB Rossi Hospital in Verona, Italy. The association members were facilitated by the researcher in adopting participative web technologies in order to construct a new communication strategy with the purpose of replacing the previous annual paper journal, phone calls and word of mouth based strategy. Furthermore, I try to identify the practices and processes through which neophytes of social media can be assisted to adopt collaborative web-based tools to support their initiatives. In the conclusion, I discuss how the alignment between users’ skills and technologies’ features is key in supporting both the adoption of ICT and social utility initiatives like this.
This is an exploratory study which looks at the increasing number of couples consisting of Mexican women and Dutch men. First, it explores the reasons that encouraged both parties: in the case of Dutch men, to marry a Mexican; in the case of the women, to marry a Dutch man. Second, it studies their choice to settle in the Netherlands and the way in which the relationship develops. Third, the study seeks to present the parties’ experiences and perspectives, the interactions between them, the roles each has within the relationship, and their feelings for each other. Finally, it explores the living outcomes of Mexican immigrant women who decided to move to the Netherlands in order to join their partners. After a qualitative analysis, the main findings portray the perspectives of the selected participant couples regarding key questions such as: What are the characteristics of this kind of relationship? How do they cope with what they perceive as cultural differences? Are these Mexican women better off living in the Netherlands? All the while, raising a fundamental question: Are these relationships about love? Or is there much more to be discovered?
This article explores socio-cultural realities of the Canadian labor market and the many ambiguous requirements placed on racialized migrant jobseekers in Canada. The article reviews current perceptions among these migrants and shows that having a Canadian education may reduce prejudices when competing for jobs against white Canadians job seekers that have the same qualifications and experience. During extensive interviews with these migrants, they persistently tell stories of longterm struggles to find jobs, while retraining to gain new skills and not utilizing skills acquired in their countries of origin. These migrants also stressed difficulties with finding and keeping jobs even with skills attained in Canada. The interviews – conducted in March 2010 through June 2010– revealed strategies for navigating through socio-cultural and bureaucratic barriers to the Canadian labor market. These labor market barriers have forced racialized migrants to accept entry-level jobs, seek new training and seek work overseas.