Conference Agenda

RN26_09: Poverty and inequality
Friday, 23/Aug/2019:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Hannu Turba, University of Kassel
Location: GM.304
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Geoffrey Manton, Third Floor 4 Rosamond Street West Off Oxford Road


Is Hungarian Society a Class Society? The Changing of the Hungarian Class Structure in European Comparison

Ákos Huszár

Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary

The main question of my paper is to what extent Hungarian society can be regarded as class society? By analysing the strength and nature of the relationship between social class and different indicators of living conditions this paper follows the Weberian way of class analysis. Has the explanatory power of class strengthened or decreased in the last decades in Hungary? And how significant is the role of social class in Hungary compared to other European countries?

The analysis is based on the 1-8 waves of the European Social Survey (ESS) that was conducted biannually between 2002 and 2016 in Hungary and in several other European countries. Thus, the database makes it possible to examine the changes of Hungarian society in a quite long period and in international comparison. The class position of the members of society is measured here according to the tradition of occupational class analysis on the basis of the occupation and other labour market characteristics of the individuals. Living conditions is represented by two indicators that provide information on two different aspects of material difficulties. On the one hand the paper analyzes how the experience of unemployment is shaped by class and on the other how difficulties in meeting basic needs are arising in the different levels of class structure.

By analyzing the role of social class on the terrain of material living conditions in the long run the paper contributes to the debate on the significance of social class.

Understanding the nature of Agricultural work as a Survival Strategy of Rural Poor

Kezban Çelik1, Sibel Kalaycıoğlu2

1TED University, Turkey; 2METU,Turkey

From the 1980s and especially after 2000 neo-liberal policies were applied to agriculture in Turkey. Agricultural production has slowed down, and the rural employment opportunities have decreased accordingly. Especially in the production of certain cash crops like cotton, tea and sugar beet as well as in subsistence crops like wheat, cereals, potatoes, onion and the like employment opportunities exist on a seasonal basis. In this presentation we will first try to describe the dynamics of agricultural work as the seasonal nature, high rates of mobility between different regions, low earnings and profitability, lack of social security, lack of access to social services and the informal work schedules. In the second part of the presentation we will try to discuss how these dynamics lead to poverty for all groups in the rural areas irrespective of whether they are property owners and settled or landless and mobile, including the Syrian and non-Syrian refugees. Hence dynamics of agricultural work does not create a sustainable livelihood for the rural groups. On the other hand, competition for limited jobs requires development of different strategies and practices to combat poverty which then creates competition and hostility between groups. The presentation will be based on research with the rural poor households, Syrian refugees and seasonal agricultural workers in different regions of Turkey. For all those groups the livelihood strategies and challenges are different but a common point among them is that they are all involved in an endless struggle to combat poverty through agricultural work which is not considered as a “real work”. Finally, the presentation will discuss possible social policy recommendations about how to handle these conflict and competition among these three groups.