Conference Agenda

RN36_04: Perception of Equality and Boundaries – Class, work, life
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
6:00pm - 7:30pm

Session Chair: Agnieszka Kolasa-Nowak, Marie Curie-Sklodowska University
Location: GM.304
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Geoffrey Manton, Third Floor 4 Rosamond Street West Off Oxford Road


Structural and Semiotic Contexts of Work Integration Social Enterprises in East-Central Europe (Based on CE 1223 INNO WISEs Interreg project)

Tea Golob1, Matej Makarovič2

1School of Advanced Social Studies, Slovenia; 2School of Advanced Social Studies, Slovenia

The paper addresses the structural and semiotic contexts of the selected post-communist societies of East-Central Europe (Croatia, Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Poland) affecting the historical development and contemporary situation of work integration social enterprises (WISEs),as an aspect of social economy focused on the integration of disadvantaged social groups. It is based on secondary data, surveys, semi-structured interviews and focus groups with the stakeholders obtained within the activities of the Interreg Central Europe project CE 1223 INNO WISEs. The authors apply the cultural political economy perspective, observing social transformations as a co-evolution of structures and semiosis based on variaton, selection, retention, material reinforcement and selective recruitment. In that regard, the research identifies both the communist and post-communist transformations as mostly unfavourable for WISE, while the crucial factor contributing to their selection as a viable option after 2004 has been the external impact of the European Union-related structures and discourses.

Secular Trends in the Human Wellbeing across Europe: a Comparison of Economic and Biological Standard of Life Viewpoints

Zenonas Norkus

Vilnius University, Faculty of Philosophy, Lithuania

The East-West divide or gradient across Europe is usually conceived in terms of economic divergence between rich Western and Nordic regions and less affluent parts of continent, going back to differences in timing of first industrial and subsequent technological revolutions, entailing lags in demographic, social, political and cultural development. Standard measure of cross-country economic disparities are differences in the gross domestic product per capita (GDPpc), which is now under hardening criticisms as the measure of human wellbeing. Alternative measures (like Human Development Index; HDI) is difficult to apply for detecting long run trends because of data gaps and methodological problems. This paper discusses contribution of anthropometric history to our knowledge of divergences and convergences in human wellbeing across Europe since early 20th century. It focuses on the secular changes in the biological standard of life, measured by human body stature and life expectancy. We do not disregard complications, related to impact of both genomic (biological) and environmental (social) factors on cross-country and and cross-time variation on values of these indicators. Although economic output and biological standard of life are related, this relation is non-linear, attenuating at the higher levels of GDPpc. Otherwise, humans would become giants and life expectancy would increase unlimitedly, as GDPpc grows. We close with actual patterns of relation between indicators of biological standard of life and economic output: how much does East-West divide or gradient transpire in the cross-country variation in the biological standard of life

This research was funded by the European Social Fund according to the activity ‘Improvement of researchers’ qualification by implementing world class R&D projects’ of Measure No. 09.3.3-LMT-K-712.

Strengthening of the Class Boundaries in the Eastern and Central Europe?

Gorana Djoric

Faculty of Philosophy University of Nis, Serbia

The paper addresses the issue of class formation in the region of Eastern and Central Europe. On the one hand, there is an expectation that class boundaries are weakening, due to the processes of postmodern social fragmentation and the increasing influence of non-class related social divides. On the other hand, one may also plausible expect the opposite - that in the region of East and Central Europe, the class boundaries would strengthen with the full establishment of the functional market economy. Which of the two expectations is better supported by the empirical evidence? We attempt to answer this question using the WVS/EVS data for a number of selected countries in the period which covers a span of transformation from socialist to market economy. By assumption, strong class boundaries are associated with homogeneous value systems, which, in turn may translate into collective action promoting class' interests. Thus, in this paper the class formation is measured by looking at the extent of in-class value consistency, and its change. In-class value consistency is high if: class members share common values, if the extent of acceptance of these values differs among social classes, and if the various values simultaneously accepted by the class members are compatible with each other within a unique value system. Class boundaries are strengthening relative to other lines of social divide in the region if in-class value consistency is higher than the value consistency within other groups with which individuals may be affiliated (such as ethnic, gender, religious or political).

Co-creating Stories About the Transformation of the Unpaid Work in Romania

Marian Badea1,2

1University of Bucharest, Romania; 2Romanian National Directorate of Probation

I believe it goes on to say, the story of the unpaid work for community, as a penal sanction, exclusively for adults, it starts in 2014 in Romania, when the new criminal code and criminal procedure code came into force. Unpaid work for community takes the form of serving the penalty by fine by performing community service, could be an obligation included in the penal decision for postponement of penalty enforcement, or an obligation always associated to suspension of service of a sentence under supervision. These are the three types of unpaid work for community, as a penal sanction coordinated by the Romanian probation service. In 2018, 60,000 Romanian probationers were obliged to perform unpaid work for community.

As an oblique way of introduce and understand the topic of unpaid work for community, in the frame of `Sociology of the Intermediary Institutions, in the Penal Area` course of study, every student is invited to present two complementary stories: a story of her/his personal experience as a volunteer and a story of her/his parents involved in voluntary-patriotic work in communism.

The theoretic ground of the research focused on the transformation of the unpaid work is provided by the distinction between civility and patriotism as a form of piety (Ph. Selznick), in conjunction with the distinction between organic and mechanical solidarities (E. Durkheim). There are important distinctions, taking into consideration the painful experience of the voluntary-patriotic work in communism and the actual endeavor to develop authentic voluntary involvement in communities, in Romania.

Gender Equality Attitudes Revisited: Men and Women in Croatia After the Post-socialist Transition

Željka Zdravković1, Inga Tomić-Koludrović2

1University of Zadar, Croatia; 2Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar, Split, Croatia

This paper presents and discusses the results of a two-step cluster analysis of data on gender equality attitudes from a 2018 nationally representative survey of Croatian adults, conducted within the Croatian Science Foundation funded project on gender modernisation (GENMOD – HRZZ 6010). The results were analysed separately for women and men and then compared, in accordance with the postulates of “gender and development" (GAD) approaches, as well as of the relational gender analyses carried out in the German-speaking context by Zulehner and his associates. The analysis

included attitudes on partnership, work egalitarianism, educational and professional emancipation, and the independence of women. The discussion of the resulting typologies of men and women reveals that men’s attitudes on gender equality modernise slower than those of women. However, a wider discussion – taking into account the results of comparable previous surveys– seems to confirm the findings and claims according to which – contrary to expectations – “gender conservatism” has on the whole decreased in the period of post-socialist transition. On the other hand, the constituents of the types of men and women resulting from the analysis also suggest a clear connection with the legacy of the socialist period, especially in the distribution of gender roles in the work sphere