Academic journal article Journal of Education and Learning

Analysis of Social Cohesion in Health Data by Factor Analysis Method: The Ghanaian Perspective

Academic journal article Journal of Education and Learning

Analysis of Social Cohesion in Health Data by Factor Analysis Method: The Ghanaian Perspective

Article excerpt


We investigated the study of the overall social cohesion of Ghanaians. In this study, we considered the paramount interest of the involvement of Ghanaians in their communities, their views of other people and institutions, and their level of interest in both local and national politics. The factor analysis method was employed for analysis using R software. The incontrovertible evidence from the results showed the factors that were measured to enhance and promote social cohesion among Ghanaians were community, political, neighborliness, socio-cultural, confidence and security. Our results perfectectly fit our expectation in terms of knowledge in our socio-political arena.

Keywords: social cohesion, community, health data, factor analysis method, Ghana

1. Introduction

The term social cohesion has been increasingly invoked amongst policy-makers, both nationally and internationally, since the late 1980s. Its frequent usage reflects widespread and diverse concerns about the effects of social change on the social fabric - not least those that may arise from the increasing inequality and social diversity that accompanies globalization. With the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent global recession comes mounting unemployment, and such concerns are now necessarily intensified. At the same time the concept of social cohesion has seen a revival in social theory (Chan, To & Chan, 2006; Green, Preston & Janmaat, 2006; Osberg, 2003).

Other revered researchers have established positive (Marschall & Stolle 2004), or insignificant (Aizlewood & Pendakur 2005; Leigh 2006; Soroka, Johnston & Banting, 2007; Sturgis & Allum 2001) diversity effects on absolute trust, much more lot of studies have established notably important inverse association between diversity and measures of social cohesion (Becares, Stafford, Laurence, & Nazroo, 2011; Fieldhouse & Cutts 2010; Letki 2008; Pennant 2005; Putnam 2007), albeit that the magnitude of the underlying effects has been trivial in some cases, particularly in comparison to measures of socio-economic disadvantage (Letki, 2008; Sturgis, Brunton-Smith, Read, & Allum, 2011; Taylor, Twigg, & Mohan, 2010). And, although, the magnitude of the relationship appears to vary across ethnic groups, the basic patterns of negative association between diversity and social capital is broadly consistent across North America and the European contexts in which it has been examined (Fieldhouse & Cutts, 2010; Lancee & Dronkers, 2011).

Paul, Marie & Monique (2010) argued that the existence of the multifaceted constructs of social cohesion suggested by theory has been corroborated by empirical analysis of the EVS data (i.e., Social cohesion consists of components of formal and substantial relationships and political and social-cultural domains). Cassiers & Kesteloot (2012) addressed the increasing social-spatial inequalities in European cities and their impact on the possibilities for fostering social cohesion. Hickman, Crowley & Mai (2008) observed in their book that social cohesion is achieved through people (new arrivals as well as the long-term settled) being able to resolve the conflicts and tensions within their day-to-day lives in ways that they find positive and viable. Andrews (2011) suggested that mainline Protestant communities enhance social cohesion in rural England, while Evangelical communities do not. Meanwhile, rural dwellers are significantly less likely than residents of urban areas to report their health as being fair or poor and to report common mental disorders, independent of their social-demographic characteristics (Riva, Curtis, Gauvin & Fagg, 2009).

A useful model of social capital recognizes two components, structural and cognitive (Harpham, Grant & Thomas, 2002). The cognitive component, labeled 'social cohesion', is conceptualized as a collective community level characteristic measured by the levels of trust, norms of reciprocity and the formation of strong social bonds within the local social structure (Kawachi & Berkman, 2000; Subramanian, Lochner & Kawachi, 2003; Stafford, Bartley, Sacker & Marmot, 2003). …

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