12 Jan

Facebook in Azerbaijan, January 2017

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It has been quite awhile since I last blogged about Facebook use in the Caucasus. Two interesting changes have happened: one, Facebook now also gives Instagram data and two, Facebook now reports on number of users in an average day. Thus numbers may seem lower. Again, here is a guide to how I get these data.

According to Facebook, around 980,000 Azerbaijanis are active on the site daily. That’s 10% of the total population. 14% of Azerbaijani men and 6.5% of Azerbaijani women use the site daily. As has been the trend in Azerbaijan, about twice as many men use the site as women do.

Looking at just youth, about 22% of Azerbaijanis ages 15-24 use Facebook daily. 46% of males that age and 12% of females that age. The male percentage has remained steady over the time that I’ve been looking at this, but it appears that the percentage of young women using the site has dropped. Currently, 4 times as many young men use the site than young women.

According to the same Facebook ad system, approximately 770,000 Azerbaijanis use Instagram daily – 470,000 men (10%) and 290,000 women (6%). These numbers are actually pretty close to the numbers that use Facebook.

24% of 15-24 year old Azerbaijanis use Instagram daily, 31% of young men and 17% of young women. While certainly there are likely overlaps, it does appear that Instagram is more popular than Facebook with young Azerbaijani women.

As always, these numbers are to be taken with a grain of salt.

14 Dec

Gender-based violence in Azerbaijan

A colleague asked about research on gender-based violence in Azerbaijan and I started to answer her e-mail with some results from the 2011 CRRC Social capital, media, and gender survey, but quickly realized I might as well write a blog post on this! I did an analysis on some of the gender items a number of years ago that may be of interest as well.

Gender-based violence is not my area of expertise. However, I do think that it is incredibly difficult to understand these issues through survey data. Nonetheless, the results are telling. Unfortunately I don’t have the means/SD on these, just frequencies, but if there is interest, I can report them at a later date.

I think that it would also be interesting to look at this by region (capitol, urban cities, villages) as well as by education and income level. But that is for another day. On with the results!

While over half of Azerbaijani adult respondents believed that there are not times where it is okay for a woman to be beaten…

Unsurprisingly, two-thirds of women are not keen on this, while less than half of men are.

Yet, despite the answers about there being times where a woman may deserve to be beaten, It seems that some (over a third) believe that a woman should tolerate violence in order to keep the family together.

Although it appears that women and men may slightly disagree on this point.

But when actually reporting on the practice, despite the mixed feelings about women deserving to be beaten and possibly reasons why they may deserve it, there is some evidence that people does believe that beatings are common. This graphic shows beliefs about how common both husband/partner beatings are, as well as mother-in-law beatings. The high “don’t knows” are important to acknowledge here.

When broken down by gender, many more men “don’t know” if husband beatings are occurring.

And it appears that men do not have as strong of a sense if mother-in-law beatings are occurring, which is logical. 

 

22 Oct

Black Mirror Season 3 is here

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The new season of the series Black Mirror is here. This dystopian British series is fantastic. It dealt so well with tensions related to technology in our lives that I organized my winter 2016 CommLead professional MA class around it. We watched episodes, did activities around the themes of the episode, read related pieces about the ethics of technology, and created multimedia projects creating new episodes of the show.

Here’s the syllabus.

29 Sep

Popular media on technology and society

Over the past few years I’ve moved away from assigning scholarly work in my undergraduate classes and now most of the outside of class materials are popular media on the topic. I’ve found that a very good journalistic article on technology and society is much more likely to be read and understood than a scholarly piece. I then work theory and scholarship into my lecture on the topic and students almost always have to find and incorporate empirical pieces into their output (a project, a written assignment, a presentation, etc.)
This works especially well for me because I love longform journalism and well done videos and podcasts.
In fact, I’ve been collecting such materials for years.

Recently I decided to make my list of such materials public. And more importantly, I categorized the materials to the best of my ability.

As of September 2016, there are over 5k links here!

Please enjoy and feel free to comment.

Google Sheets link

14 Mar

Facebook in Armenia – March 2016

I’ve written some blog posts in the past where I explain how I use Facebook ads to estimate how many Facebook users there are in a particular country. Here’s a March 2016 update for Armenia!

As of mid-March 2016, there are 930,000 Facebook users in Armenia, according to Facebook. That is 31% of the total population, and 28% of the population over age 14 (Facebook technically isn’t available to those under 13.) This is a leap of 120,000 users in one year.

Women and men are pretty much equally on Facebook. There are 470,000 Armenian males on Facebook, consisting of 31% of the total male population, or 40% of males over age 14. There are 460,000 female users in Armenia, 32% of the total female population, or 33% of the female 14+ population.

Age breakdowns are possible (although please see the original post for a description of some of the difficulties in determining this). There are 160,000 13-18 year old Armenians on the site, with slightly more boys than girls. However, we do have some population data for a different age category: 15-24 year olds that is quite interesting. With 360,000 Armenian youth (15-24) on the site, we see that 82% of this age group are Facebook users! In this age group, girls are dominating, with 87% of 15-24 year old girls using Facebook and 78% of 15-24 year old boys.

23 Nov

Facebook use in Azerbaijan, November 2015

I’ve written some blog posts in the past about using Facebook’s ad data to tell us how many people use Facebook in a particular location, comparing it with World Bank population data. Please see these older post for the methods that I use.

Here’s an update. I collected this information on November 23, 2015.

In November, there were 1,500,000 Facebook users in Azerbaijan. That’s about 16% of the total population of Azerbaijan. This has not changed much throughout 2015.

Gender differences abound. In November, Facebook says that there are about 1,000,000 male Facebook users, which is about 28% of the total Azerbaijani male population. In both April and July, Facebook says that there are 510,000 Azerbaijani women on the site, about 11% of the total female Azerbaijani population. That means there are nearly 2 men on Facebook for every 1 woman (1.96 to be exact). 67% of Azerbaijani Facebook users are men, 34% are women.

When we look specifically at young people, gender imbalance is similar, although more young women are on the site certainly than older women. Of the 250,000 Azerbaijani Facebook users ages 13-18 in November, 170,000 are male and 80,000 are female, so that means there are 2.1 boys for everyone 1 girl in the teenage age ranges. We don’t have population data on this age grouping, so it is hard to compare to the total population. Note that this gender imbalance is growing larger for the 13-18 year old age group – in April and July 2015, the number of male 13-18 year old Facebook users was roughly the same, but the number of 13-18 year old Azerbaijani women has dropped from 94,000 this summer to 80,000 now.

In another categorization of young people, we again see gender differences. Of those 15-24 year old Azerbaijanis on Facebook (there are 720,000 in November), we again see gender differences. 58% of the male population of that age are on the site and 31% of the female population are, a 2:1 ratio of males:females.

We do not see these gender differences at any age level in Armenia and Georgia. Georgia is always even and Armenia is fairly close to perfectly split.

Please feel free to ask any questions and I can also play around with data on request. There is so much demographic information to mine.

16 Jul

Facebook users in April and July 2015 in Azerbaijan, according to Facebook

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I’ve written some blog posts in the past about using Facebook’s ad data to tell us how many people use Facebook in a particular location, comparing it with World Bank population data.

Here’s an update. I collected this information on April 3, 2015 and July 16, 2015.

In April, there were 1,600,000 Facebook users in Azerbaijan and in July, Facebook says, there were 1,500,000. That’s about 16% of the total population of Azerbaijan.

Gender differences abound. In both April and July, Facebook says that there are about 1,000,000 male Facebook users, which is about 28% of the total Azerbaijani male population. In both April and July, Facebook says that there are 520,000 Azerbaijani women on the site, about 11% of the total female Azerbaijani population. That means there are nearly 2 men on Facebook for every 1 woman (1.92 to be exact). 67% of Azerbaijani Facebook users are men, 35% are women.

When we look specifically at young people, gender imbalance is similar, although more young women are on the site certainly than older women. Of the 280,000 (or 290,000 in April) Azerbaijani Facebook users ages 13-18, 180,000 are male and 94,000 are female, so that means there are 1.9 boys for everyone 1 girl in the teenage age ranges. We don’t have population data on this age grouping, so it is hard to compare to the total population.

However, we do have population data on 15-24 year olds. Facebook says there are 780,000 Azerbaijani Facebook users ages 15-24 as of July (810,000 in April though), which is 48% of the Azerbaijani population of that age. So almost half of all Azerbaijani youth are on the site. (For comparison though, 80% of Armenian and over 116% (double profiles surely) of Georgian 15-24 year olds are on the site, so that’s a huge difference.)

But of those 15-24 year old Azerbaijanis on Facebook, we again see gender differences. 62% of the male population of that age are on the site and 33% of the female population are, a perfect 2:1 ratio of males:females.

We do not see these gender differences at any age level in Armenia and Georgia. Georgia is always even and Armenia is fairly close to perfectly split.

Please feel free to ask any questions and I can also play around with data on request. There is so much demographic information to mine.

I’ll update with Armenia and Georgia in the coming days.

16 Feb

Qualities in a child update

I did an analysis a few years ago based on 2007 data on desirable qualities in children. The World Values Survey had a similar question, so here are the newer results. For what it is worth, I doubt that the translations are equivalent. So it is quite likely that a word for “thrift” or “obedience” that had a negative connotation was used.

This is the percent of respondents that said, yes that is an important quality in a child.

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16 Feb

I hate happiness ;)

Happiness or subjective wellbeing is one of the most difficult things to measure cross-culturally. Every time I see some happiness index I cringe.

Gallup results are floating around the Internet, but here are the more transparent results from the World Values Survey. (Here’s more on WVS in the Caucasus).

Taking that into consideration, I just wanted to point out World Values Survey’s mean results per country for happiness. 1 = very happy and 4 = not at all happy:

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And here are the frequencies for my two favorite countries:

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08 Feb

Just Imagine… Some more contextualization for the Armenia baby with Down Syndrome case

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I see how upset foreigners are about the Baby Leo story. Again, I wish to add some context. As I mentioned in my first post on the topic, I have spent a lot of time in Armenia and the region and I spent most of my pregnancy 6 years ago in Armenia, so I have some intimate knowledge of OBGYN care there.

While my research is broadly about technology and inequality in the region, I also spend a lot of time thinking about and writing about family life. Inequality and family are impossible to separate.

Again, here are some things that may help people contextualize the situation better: My first post covered the disability side of things. This post focuses on family and I am creating a hypothetical situation that is a blend of the experiences of my friends and what I’ve personally witnessed in my 17 years hanging out around here.

Importantly, many, if not most, Armenians live in multigenerational households. I did a quick analysis of the 2013 Caucasus Barometer and there are an average of 4.52 household members and 3.45 adult household members in Armenia (SD 1.93 for total, SD 1.35 for adults). Even in the capital city, there is a mean of 4.20 household members and 3.34 adult household members.
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Multigenerational households operate a bit differently from the stereotypical nuclear family. Grandma is sort of “in charge,” non-retired male members work and bring income to the household. Younger female members might work, depending on their skill set and presence of children. Household responsibilities are distributed in a way that may be unfamiliar to Americans. Just imagine what it would be like – both good and bad – to have that many adults under one roof? Personally I am often envious of the great support that this system provides – especially when I’m racing home to pick up my child to drive him to an activity. Oh how I wish that I had more adults around to help distribute the tasks. But let us also imagine that this involves more adults to be concerned about not cleaning their hair out of the drain and other annoyances. And you’re not in a romantic relationship with all these adults, so your ability to work these things out is quite different. And onto status differences…

When a couple weds, how this usually works is that the new bride moves into her husband’s parents house. There are varying norms when there are multiple brothers or if there are no sons, but this is the general rule.

There is a lot of pressure on a new bride to socialize into the family – she may have to do some of the unpleasant chores, for example. And there is pressure to have a child very soon in some families.

Relationships between men and women in Armenia are not like what relationships between men and women are in the United States. While there are certainly exceptions, for the most part, young Armenians do not “date” like Americans do. I’m happy to elaborate on this and I acknowledge that things have changed, but this is just how it is.  And premarital physical relationships are a big no-no. Armenians also marry much younger than Americans do on average. And, by and large, I would argue that most Armenian couples don’t know each other as well before getting married as most American couples do.

Baby Leo’s family story is a bit different because Dad is a foreigner and they were residing with her parents. But I want you to imagine that these are people that are living in a very different household management system from the one that you may be used to.

Baby Leo’s parents are different here because he is a foreigner, but again, imagine that this is the norm that exists in this society.

Fatherhood in Armenia is not like fatherhood in America. In part because of this system of household management and in part because of cultural norms, traditionally, fathers have not been very involved in the day-to-day childrearing. I haven’t seen any data from Armenia, but in the neighboring two countries, very few men had ever changed a diaper, for example. Of course there are exceptions, but again, this is the system in which this story unfolds.

So take this combination of a different style of household management with many more adults with status and the different ways that men and women relate to each other and let that sit in your brain for a bit.

Now, as far as pre-natal care in Armenia – for the most part, most women see a midwife regularly. Yet, as far as I have come to understand, the set of tests given is different. I had to request a number of tests that are standard in the U.S. and just are not in Armenia. Some of those tests may have shown indication of DS. Also it is important to know that in Armenia, like in much of that part of the world, abortion is used as a form of contraception. [link] [link] [link] Because there is less stigma against abortion, it can be assumed that many of those that know of a DS diagnosis would terminate a pregnancy.

I did not give birth in Armenia myself, but as I understand it, the father is usually not present. I cannot comment on the state of the delivery room, but I have heard things that makes me believe that it is not yoga-ball and soothing music-full. Babies don’t sleep in the rooms with the mother. Also, for the record, giving birth can be traumatic and scary and if you haven’t given birth before, it is an entirely new experience. And hormones are all over the place. I had to make some quick decisions immediately after giving birth and I was certainly not capable of doing so with a clear head.

Thus, try to push your own pre-natal and birth experience out of your mind for a bit.

So, let us also let our minds wander a bit. This is all hypothetical – a combination of experiences I’ve seen friends have. We might be assuming, based on our own experiences or otherwise, that everything was great between the mother and father. They were having so much fun picking out names! They had a fun baby shower!  Took photos of them with tiny baby shoes and posted it on social media! So imagine instead that, maybe, this was an unplanned pregnancy. (I have no evidence of this for Baby Leo’s parents, but this is a mental exercise.) And they said, well, it wasn’t planned, and money’s tight, but let’s go for it. Maybe she thought he was a little too mean and sometimes drank too much, but she was sure that after the baby came he would change. And hey, even if he didn’t change, at least there are a lot of people around to help and hey, he’s a provider.  And then, he loses his job. He tries to find other work, but it is not looking good. And the nature of his work means that he has no access to any sort of unemployment benefits. They try to keep it together as a couple, but things are getting scary. They were barely making ends meet before he was laid off, and now this? And as she spends more time with him she realizes that he is sort of a jerk. But it looks like she is tied to him now, so maybe she should just put up with it. It isn’t like she is going to be able to find a new guy very easily, now a non-virgin with a kid. She is prepared to make it work, although sometimes after a big fight she wonders if there are other options. Maybe he beats her. Maybe he is a drug addict.  (Again. no evidence of this for Baby Leo, although we have heard from the mother that the father was unemployed.)

The baby is coming! She goes to the hospital with her mom and sister. It is her first delivery and she is scared. Her mom is running interference with the nurses, sliding bits of money here and there. The baby arrives and everyone is happy! But then the doctor comes to her and says that there is something wrong with the baby. The doctors and nurses’ normal reaction is to send the child to an institution. The mother is hormonal, considering her economic situation, her husband’s attitude and behavior, and the fact that there is little support for special needs children. Her mom and sister give their opinion. Her mother-in-law gives her opinion. Maybe they let it be known that they are not willing to help her be the full-time caregiver for this child for his entire life. They had only committed to caring for the child for the first 5 years and after that only after school. Plus in “their day” “these kind” of children were sent away. And mom, as a younger person with some skills, is a primary income-bringer to the household and if she stopped working, the household would suffer. The mom needs to let this sit for a bit. Then an option is proposed – leave the country. She adds this to her list of things to consider. She’s trying to recover from giving birth. Then imagine that the child’s father appears and whisks him away – maybe another jerk move. But now she’s hormonal and there is more at stake. Maybe she figures that any man that would take a child from its mother should not be one to whom she is married. And then maybe he lies about her to others and this really confirms it. Maybe she planned to divorce him all along and the best chance for her child is to be with him abroad, but that she herself cannot be with him anymore.

Again, I am not trying to imply that any of this happened with Baby Leo’s parents, but that it could have.

There is no way that any of us can know what has happened between these two people. For the most part we’re getting one side of the story and there must be many. Again, I hope to contextualize a bit and additionally hope that people take a moment to fathom that there very well could be good reasons for what individuals have done in this case.