Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Informal domestic work: trends in Slovenia and EU

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.03.02  Humanities  Anthropology  Social and cultural anthropology 

Code Science Field
S210  Social sciences  Sociology 
Informal work, reproductive work, employment, social economy, social inclusion
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (5)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  18944  PhD Majda Hrženjak  Anthropology  Head  2008 - 2010  375 
2.  28994  PhD Živa Humer  Social sciences  Researcher  2008 - 2010  254 
3.  03706  PhD Vlasta Jalušič  Political science  Researcher  2008 - 2010  395 
4.  21584  PhD Roman Kuhar  Culturology  Researcher  2008 - 2010  810 
5.  21687  PhD Mojca Pajnik  Political science  Researcher  2008 - 2010  621 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0366  Peace Institute  Ljubljana  5498295000  3,630 
Domestic work has a long history in the past and today it is at the crossroad of important themes for the European Union, such as informal work, unemployment, ageing of population, (feminisation of) migration, global and class inequalities, citizenship, gender (in)equality and work/family balance, the relationship between family and state etc.. Contemporary domestic work simultaneously exposes deep contradictions within the European societies while underscoring the invisibility of contemporary domestic workers, their limited access to basic workers’ and human rights and the European spirit of democracy and equality between people. The project proposal distinguishes itself from present researches that are dealing with contemporary paid domestic work in two ways: it focuses on informal paid domestic work in Slovenia, which, in comparison with other EU countries except Eastern ones, has not yet been systematically surveyed; the project intention is not to focus exclusively on migrant domestic workers; which is the case with majority of present studies, but to include in survey the indigenous domestic workers and their experiences as well. Three main aspects of the informal domestic work in the project proposal include child care, elderly care and housekeeping,. The main question in the project relates to both, the demand and the supply side: what explains the contemporary growing supply and demand in the field of informal paid domestic work in Slovenia and in EU in general? With quantitative and qualitative survey of supply and demand in domestic work in Slovenia; with conceptualization of contradictions in current social and policy developments; and with the critical assessment of the potentials and strategies for regulation the area of paid domestic work within the field of social economy, the project will bring about improving the research and policy state of the art in the field of contemporary informal paid domestic work as well as provide knowledge that will support employment, social inclusion, social cohesion and equality policies.
Significance for science
So far, the results of this research project fill in the gaps in existing state of the art presented in the studies of contemporary revival of paid care work in following points: 1. By new knowledge on social organization of care work in one of the (post)transitional countries that are otherwise, on account of the dominance of the »Western view« in science in this field, constructed and analyzed solely as the countries of origin of immigrant care workers; 2. The study represents a first empirical study of informal care market in Slovenia. 3. The innovative momentum is in addressing the supply of and the demand for paid care work simultaneously; present studies have been focusing mainly on critical analysis of the supply of illicit (migrant) care work and do not address the demand side to the same extent; 4. Instead of focusing on informal care work of (undocumented) migrants only, which has been already extensively documented in current research, our project includes also local actors on informal care market thus pointing to the peculiarities of local versus global care chains.
Significance for the country
Because of existing deficit in the field of care work and even more so because of expected increase of needs for care work and public costs connected to it, it is highly probable that project will contribute in socio-eonomic sense, especially with identifying needs of informal sphere of care work as this sphere appears to be the core carrier of current and future burden of care deficit. Slovenia will face extraordinary demographic changes in the next decades. Three basic tendencies may be highlighted in this respect: longer life expectancy; significant increase of elderly population; continuing low birth rates. Ageing population needs personalized services of high quality, families wish to see better solutions for care for children, elderly and disabled, women in particular wish to continue working and are in need for work/life balance. Social services as being part of a general social and family policies could bring about unique and modernized social model by investing in people (with creating more and of high quality jobs in service sector and responding to the growing needs for care work). The EU Employment strategy acknowledged that eradicating undeclared work and integrating informal worker in formal economy served to enhance the potential of European society for substantial economic growth and greater social cohesion. The same goes for gender equality at the labour market. As European Women’s Lobby stated in its campaign Who Cares?, care policies and the provision of care services are intrinsically related to the achievement of equality between women and men. The results of the research project contribute to the understanding of contemporary "care deficit" in its complexity. Results can contribute to the development of concepts and recommendations for policy makers how to address the contradicting social developments that are caused on the one hand by ageing of population, migration, social inequalities, the intensification of working conditions at the labor market, the relocation of care and care work from public to private sphere, and that are, on the other hand, accompanied by recent policy efforts, such as the more and better quality jobs, social inclusion and justice, gender equality and the reconciliation of work and family life.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2008, 2009, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2008, 2009, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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