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Fen-ling Chen and Shih-Jiunn Shi

Since the late 1990s, the dynamics of welfare reform in Taiwan have gradually shifted to tackling new social risks emerging from economic globalization and labor market changes. This article analyzes these structural changes and the relevant institutional features of the labor market. The rise of atypical work has generated wide concern regarding its low wage income and insufficient social protection, triggering debates about which policy measures can effectively tackle the problem of the working poor. Drawing on the quantitative data from a social quality survey conducted by the Social Policy Research Center in National Taiwan University (NTUSPRC) in 2009, our analysis explores the social exclusion differences between regular and atypical workers for their objective and subjective experiences. The objective experiences include current financial situations, negative events, living conditions and political activities of the workers, whereas the subjective experiences refer to their feelings in family position, welfare assessment, discrimination, and autonomy. Our analysis helps explain the effects of work status on the degrees of social exclusion, both in the private and public spheres. The social exclusion experiences of working conditions shed light on social quality in Asia.

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“Stop it, f*ggot!”

Producing East European Geosexual Backwardness in the Drop-In Centre for Male Sex Workers in Berlin

Victor Trofimov

In this article I examine the negotiations of national and sexual belonging of a Romanian gay sex worker in Berlin in the contemporary geosexual context defined by binarism between ‘modern’, ‘liberal’ and ‘tolerant’ Western Europe and its ‘traditionalist’ and ‘homophobic’ East European Other. I analyse how, by means of an overt display of his own homosexuality, the sex worker symbolically distances himself from his native country. By extension, this reinforces the image of the East and its inhabitants as inherently homophobic and, therefore, backwards. The article is based on ethnographic research in the drop-in centre for male sex workers in Berlin, an environment that reveals how deeply contemporary geosexual differences are anchored in the cultural logic of everyday life.

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Patrik Vesan

This chapter analyzes some of the major labor reforms implemented by the Renzi government in 2015 in relation to youth employment, with reference to the Jobs Act. The strategy pursued by the executive has been to concentrate on combating the segmentation of the labor market by liberalizing individual and collective dismissals and by introducing a new type of contract, which offers a generous incentive for new permanent hires. The main goal of this strategy is to decrease the divisions between insiders and outsiders in the hope that this measure will encourage employers to stabilize workers, especially the younger ones, and invest in the development of human capital. Such a strategy, however, rests on weak foundations, which might call into question its effectiveness and with it the stability of Renzi’s leadership.

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Writing for different audiences

Social workers, irregular migrants and fragmented statehood in Belgian welfare bureaucracies

Sophie Andreetta

In Belgium, depending on their immigration status, foreigners may be entitled to different forms of social assistance, ranging from emergency medical care to financial benefits. In a context where residence permits are constantly updated, re-examined or withdrawn by the administration, this article explores the ways in which welfare bureaucrats deal with irregular migrants. Based on ethnographic fieldwork at welfare offices in French-speaking Belgium, this article shows that documentary practices in welfare bureaucracies have the effect of both restricting access to social assistance and aiding irregular migrants in bringing cases against the administration. This article thus also delves into the double-edged relationship of the social workers to the state by focusing on the competing norms and interpretations of law they encounter on a daily basis.

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Constructing the Socialist Worker

Gender, Identity and Work under State Socialism in Braşov, Romania

Jill Massino

Utilising socialist legislation, propaganda and oral history interviews, this article analyses how women’s identities and roles – as well as gender relations – were reformulated as a result of women’s participation in paid labour in socialist Romania. Although some women regarded work as burdensome and unsatisfying, others found it intellectually fulfilling, personally rewarding and, in certain respects, empowering. For example, work improved women’s economic position and offered them an array of social services, which, although inadequate in a number of ways, were welcomed by many women. Moreover, work increased women’s physical and social mobility, which in turn provided them with greater freedom in directing their own lives and in choosing a partner. Finally, the experience of being harassed by male co-workers and of combining work outside the home with domestic responsibilities motivated some women to rethink their status both within the workplace and the family, and to renegotiate their relationships with male colleagues and partners. Although women never achieved full equality in socialist Romania, by creating the conditions for women’s full-time engagement in the workforce, state socialism decisively shaped the course of women’s lives, their self-identities and their conceptions of gender roles, often in positive ways.

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Mats Lindqvist

This article will explore the prospects of and obstacles to the development of a transnational workers' solidarity movement in the Baltic Sea region in order to meet the challenges posed by transnational capital. The question is examined through a situational analysis of events taking place during a few hours at the Hotel Hafen in Hamburg on 10 November 2010. The subject of the analysis, which is based on personal observation and sound recordings, is the tripartite Steering Committee meeting of the Baltic Sea Labour Network (BSLN). The meeting's primary task was to formulate a statement about transnational strategies and tactics on which the parties—politicians, representatives of the employers and workers' delegations—could agree. The analysis explores the different parties' power resources in the negotiation process, and especially the workers' delegates' ability to pursue a course based on class solidarity. At each stage, we can observe how statements are formulated in an area of tension characterized by unequal power relationships and conflicting discourses in the form of neocolonial, national, transnational (class/region), and the EU's neoliberal and consensus-governed partnership discourses.

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Annabel Erulkar and Girmay Medhin

( Population Council 2016 ). The aim of this study 1 was to analyze the educational and health impacts of a program for girls, including child domestic workers and rural-urban migrants residing in poor urban areas or informal settlements. Biruh Tesfa Ethiopia

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Fashioning Masculinities through Migration

Narratives of Romanian Construction Workers in London

Alexandra Urdea

in Singapore, I follow the “social reproduction of … workers as men, conditioned through their position in the division of labour” (2014: 1015), generating new forms of hegemonic masculinities. R.W Connell and James W Messerschmidt's notion of

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Eliana Elisabeth Diehl and Esther Jean Langdon

inclusion of Indigenous workers on primary care teams. NGOs and universities providing health services started training Indigenous health agents in selective locations in the 1980s (see Langdon et al., 2014 , for a more exhaustive review). Their

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Female Agrarian Workers in Early Twentieth-Century Hungary

The Making of Class- and Gender-Based Solidarities

Susan Zimmermann and Nagy Piroska

, Feminist Association, 1904–1959, batch 5, no. 40, handwritten. 1 The letter, published here in English translation, is one of a few existing sources in which a poor woman peasant worker living in Hungary during the Habsburg Monarchy speaks about the