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"Veteran care"

Shifting provision, needs, and meanings of enterprise-centered pensioner care in eastern Germany

Tatjana Thelen

This article examines the ways in which different actors in eastern Germany incorporate socialist veteran care into the new economic and organizational framework of the trade union, the housing cooperative, and the reformed state enterprise itself. The complexities of the different meanings of this care are linked to the rapid socioeconomic changes in eastern Germany, which have challenged both expectations of the future as well as personal identities. The analysis describes the complex shifts in the source of provision and its regulation, which go beyond simple state/nonstate or formal/informal dichotomies. With unification social security practices have lost their previous material significance for former employees, but simultaneously have gained emotional value because they help to assure biographical continuity. These processes (re)create familiarity and community amid the profound economic restructuring after socialism.

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Caring for men in contemporary Russia

Gendered constructions of need and hybrid forms of social security

Rebecca Kay

This article explores gendered constructions of care and need and the ways in which these affect men's social security in contemporary Russia. It is suggested that gendered caring practices, besides overburdening women and devaluing their labor, also contribute to a trivialization of men's needs and their marginalization in, and/or exclusion from, complex forms of social security. Social security is understood to encompass both material and emotional support structures and networks, involving both state and nonstate actors. It is argued that hybrid forms of provision are emerging, with new actors challenging and blurring strict categorizations of state/nonstate, formal/informal, and material/ emotional in their contribution to social security. The article draws on a study of the Altai Regional Crisis Center for Men and its attempts to identify men's needs for social support, to provide appropriate forms of care, and to enhance the social security of men in the Altai Region of Western Siberia.

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The Role of Small-Scale Farming in Familial Care

Reducing Work Risks Stemming from the Market Economy in Northeast Thailand

Shinsuke Tomita, Mario Ivan Lopez and Yasuyuki Kono

At present, Thailand’s market economy is placing pressure on familial care within rural households. An increasing amount of people are making their living in the current market economy and moving to urban areas in search of employment. The provisioning of care has come under greater risk, especially for women and couples of working age who are exposed to the possibilities of losing employment opportunities. While caregiving has been a responsibility of the household, shifts in working patterns have weakened its ability to care for children and the elderly. However, the capacity to care in northeast Thailand is still higher than in other regions of the country. This article discusses the balancing act that takes place between a progressive market economy and familial care as provided within households in northeast Thailand to demonstrate the importance that rice farming plays in familial care even if income from farming is limited.

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Joint Report Team

This paper combines two documents on employment flexibility and security prepared in the context of the research project ‘Social Quality and the Policy Domain of Employment,’ undertaken by the European Foundation on Social Quality. The first document relates to work time in Europe, its social distribution and its evolution – the crucial importance of work time for the approach of flexibility is not to be demonstrated, as it is one of the main factors, alongside other characteristics, such as skills and working conditions, that have been promoted under the general umbrella of ‘employment flexibility ’as a panacea for bringing the ‘Old Europe ’back in line with the successfully job-creating U.S. economy. At the same time, people at work themselves increasingly recognise work-time flexibility as a fundamental instrument of quality of life. To achieve such flexibility will require significant social investment, such as support from the Welfare State and a full regulation framework.

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Piet P. J. Houben

International comparative research and discussions on the social quality of policies for frail older adults are in need of a common conceptual framework. Such a framework is also needed because, due to the many innovations and the increasing professional differentiation and specialisation in the area of housing and care, more and more specialised professionals and organisations are operating in this area. The resulting differentiation in providers demands extra efforts to meet the multiple needs of frail older adults with a balanced package of products and services. As a result of decentralisation and privatisation, the co-operation between disciplines and organisations needed to achieve this has to be realised on increasingly lower levels. To facilitate co-operation and fine-tuning on regional and local levels, it is useful to develop a common language. Innovation and specialisation lead to an increasing differentiation in the allocation of products and services, which – in combination with the new information technology –creates a growing demand for an adequate ‘Main Menu’ that will facilitate the decision-making processes concerning the allocation of funds on all relevant levels. From a social quality perspective, it is important to ask the question what could be legitimate core concepts in such a ‘Main Menu’.

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Migrant Care Workers in Israel

Between Family, Market, and State

Hila Shamir

In the early 1990s, Israel opened its gates to migrant guest workers who were invited to work, on a temporary basis, in the agriculture, construction, and in-home care sectors. The in-home care sector developed quickly during those years due to the introduction of migrant workers coupled with the creation of a new welfare state benefit: a longterm care benefit that subsidized the employment of in-home care workers to assist dependent elderly and disabled Israelis. This article examines the legal and public policy ramifications of the transformation of Israeli families caused by the influx of migrant care workers into Israeli homes. Exploring the relationship between welfare, immigration, and employment laws, on the one hand, and marketized and non-marketized care relationships, on the other, it reveals the intimate links between public policy, 'private' families, and defamilialization processes.

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Welfare and Self Care

Institutionalized Visions for a Good Life in Danish Day-care Centres

Eva Gulløv

Using the case of early childcare institutions in contemporary Denmark, the aim of the article is to show that welfare entails visions of living that are made manifest through the requirements of everyday institutional practices. The main argument is that welfare institutions are designed not only to take care of people's basic needs but also to enable them to fare well in accordance with the dominant norms of society. This is particularly evident in the case of children. Children are objects of intense normative attention and are invested in as no other social group in order to ensure their enculturation. Therefore, studying the collective investments in children, for example by paying attention to the institutional arrangements set up for them, offers insight into dominant cultural priorities and hoped-for outcomes.

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The Penis-Care Information Gap

Preventing Improper Care of Intact Boys

Dan Bollinger

A penis-care information gap exists in North America where most physicians and parents do not know how to care for an intact boy’s penis, especially his foreskin. They lack basic knowledge and personal experience, which would allow them to advise or provide proper care for boys. Unless this gap is filled with reliable information, many boys are at risk for penile problems and perhaps even circumcision—something that the parents and the boy would like to avoid. The causes and problems resulting from this clear case of remediable medical ignorance are discussed, and solutions offered.

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Wendy Luttrell

This paper is based on longitudinal, ethnographic research with young people from ages 10-18 growing up in urban, low-income, immigrant communities of color and how they represented their everyday lives and family-school relationships through photography and video. The author analyzes the similarities and differences between the boys’ and girls’ perceptions, participation in, and representations of their care worlds and how this shapes their identities. The article features the themes of love, care and solidarity that were central to the boys’ understandings and identities, re-casting widely held assumptions about the crisis of Black boyhood that preoccupy current educational discourse.

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Julie Pluies

This article, based on my PhD research conducted in a Moroccan psychiatric unit dedicated to children, focuses on the medical settings implemented to acknowledge and treat parents’ and professionals’ concerns regarding children’s health. Institutional, political and clinical responses are discussed. This article also considers the concerns of children and of the researcher which are often disregarded, even though these concerns are omnipresent and co-construct the care settings and how they are studied. An ethnography at hospital and at home offers a more detailed understanding of these forgotten concerns. To conclude, there is a hiatus between the different recorded responses, which testifies to the lack of consideration towards the reciprocal and symmetric attention existing between children and adults. I propose to carefully watch over children’s concerns to support their recovery.