Volume 2, Issue 1 (2020)

Prof. Essam Fattouh - Professor of English Literature, Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Arts, University of Alexandria, Egypt.

The theme of social responsibility, in its intersection with the various disciplines of the humanities, permeates this volume of the BAU Journal Society, Culture and Human Behaviour. Thus, it reflects a crucial awareness of the current need to engage in a universal ongoing debate. At this historical moment, when all the countries of the world are threatened by a unique and dangerous virus, the efforts of intellectuals and academics the world over are required, if we are to survive – and defeat – this pandemic.

While each of the articles included addresses social responsibility from a highly advanced disciplinary approach, they all combine in a harmonious interdisciplinary engagement with the topic through a number of complementary and interconnected clusters, representing the full range of disciplines in the humanities.

The moral and ethical responsibility of the historian is essential in establishing facts when correcting and rewriting history as a reliable record of human memory. The realm of literature delves into more immediate issues of identity, belonging and the construction of the homeland. In the face of sweeping globalization forces, and recent immigration, the literary works addressed in the papers make an appeal for equity, social peace, and human compassion in general, as well as invoking the spirit of resistance and defiance characterizing the Palestinian people in particular.

The impact of new technologies on contemporary life is a rich topic tackled by a number of papers from various disciplinary backgrounds. Historically, it is interesting to trace how the concept of social responsibility has evolved, emphasizing the role of both the family and schooling in a rapidly changing world. From an educational perspective, schools and families play a key-role in teaching children how to sort through digital information. With this obvious significance of the family, it is curious to read that technology seems to have impacted family and social structures, affecting the coherence of the social fabric in significant ways.

Communication is an essential human activity, and is explored through two disciplines in this collection. Exploring satirical writing as a powerful means of combating censorship and repression in the media, it is deemed as a creative space of freedom through which critique and oppositional views can be “safely” expressed. In the field of linguistics, two researchers seek to establish new approaches to the study of language. One paper aims to enhance the Arabic language; while the second paper seeks to offer a framework towards a safer linguistic environment through forensic linguistics.

The collection also prides itself on two contributions from the field of psychology. Through the use of three independent samples, totaling at 2977 undergraduates from Kuwait University, one study aims to assess the reliability and validity of the psychometric properties of the Arabic Version of the Second Edition of the Big Five Inventory (BFI-2). With the aim of promoting mental health and attaining a healthy personality among university students, the second paper explores the gender differences in mental health, given the social circumstances in Lebanon.

There is no doubt that the 14 papers included in this volume present a rich tapestry of intellectually stimulating contributions that open new horizons for further research on aspects of social responsibility in the humanities.