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Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

QUALITY OF LIFE OF SOCIAL GROUPS

Periods
Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
5.03.00  Social sciences  Sociology   
5.01.00  Social sciences  Educational studies   
5.04.00  Social sciences  Administrative and organisational sciences   
5.07.00  Social sciences  Criminology and social work   

Code Science Field
S210  Social sciences  Sociology 

Code Science Field
5.04  Social Sciences  Sociology 
Keywords
Quality of life, social protection, cohesion, inclusion, empowerment, knowledge-based society, social welfare, indicators, evalvation, nongovernemtnal organisations, the elderly, housing and community, education, social networks, social support, public policies.
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (14)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  18349  PhD Barbara Domajnko  Sociology  Researcher  2009 - 2012  169 
2.  23425  PhD Maša Filipovič Hrast  Sociology  Researcher  2009 - 2013  379 
3.  15257  PhD Valentina Hlebec  Sociology  Researcher  2009 - 2013  625 
4.  32353  Jasna Jugovič    Technical associate  2010 - 2013 
5.  31826  Katja Kališek Hriberšek    Technical associate  2009 - 2011 
6.  28323  PhD Matic Kavčič  Sociology  Researcher  2009 - 2013  124 
7.  06966  PhD Zinka Kolarič  Sociology  Researcher  2009 - 2012  323 
8.  09975  PhD Srna Mandič  Sociology  Head  2009 - 2013  439 
9.  34363  PhD Anja Mohorko  Sociology  Junior researcher  2011 - 2013  13 
10.  32324  Maja Mrzel  Sociology  Technical associate  2009 - 2013  58 
11.  14757  PhD Majda Pahor  Sociology  Researcher  2009 - 2013  409 
12.  26113  PhD Tatjana Rakar  Sociology  Researcher  2009 - 2012  172 
13.  10888  PhD Zdenka Šadl  Sociology  Researcher  2009 - 2013  237 
14.  12775  PhD Milivoja Šircelj  Economics  Researcher  2009 - 2013  86 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0582  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences  Ljubljana  1626957  40,399 
Abstract
Quality of life is a topic with a rich research tradition. In social sciences it gained full recognition during the 60's, and as part of endeavours to recognise and appreciate 'the non-economic aspects' of social development; namely, the aim was to introduce social well being as a component of social development and of its monitoring. The concept was introduced in Slovenia in 1984, when we started the project Quality of Life in Slovenia; thus the exploration and measurement of quality of life started in selected domains and even reached other regions of former Yugoslavia. The changes in post modern societies and in their 'production of welfare' - the later being according to Beck also 'the manufacturing of uncertainties', have thoroughly altered the social context of quality of life and its generators. Moreover, the conceptual focus of the quality of life has significantly shifted. Firstly, the previously dominating paradigm of 'basic needs', normatively defined by experts, is being superseded by the new paradigm of 'social rights'; this implies active participation of users in the articulation of needs as well as in shaping, monitoring and evaluation of social services and policies (notions of 'civil dialogue', 'civic engagement' 'participative democracy'); this is supported by the new function of indicators, which are becoming an element of a more complex and democratic governance ('learning society', 'policy oriented learning', civil society as a medium for democratic learning). Secondly, the idea of the passive recipient of standardized welfare services is being replaced by individualisation (Culpit) and the 'culture of individual's opportunities'; thus in circumstances of declining collective provision of safety and welfare, an individual's ability to articulate needs and claims is gaining increasing importance, as well as his capacities to deliberate and make use of the multiple opportunities created by ever more complex societies. Thirdly, new actors are becoming increasingly significant and also the 'intermediary structures'(Berger and Nauhaus) that connect individuals and their private lives to the large institutions and mega-structures such as the state. These intermediary structures (neighbourhood, family, social networks and NGOs) as well as individual's inclusion in them are gaining a significant role in public institutionalised discursive processes (Rothstein), as well as the stabilizing and connecting roles of local communities (Duffy). These changes call for a new understanding of the quality of life and for new indicators. This is the challenge for our group and our aim is to develop additional indicators, where mostly traditional indicators of socio-economic security would be complemented by indicators for social cohesion, social inclusion and empowerment. This goal will be achieved partly in collaboration with the international network for social quality ENIQ, where Beck, van der Maesen and Walker started developing a new concept. However, our group will develop these indicators partly also independently from the ENIQ, as we aim at a more context-sensitive supplement of indicators that would detect some of the specific developments in a 'transitional' society; the indicators would allow for perception, monitoring and understanding of developments in the following domains of quality of life: social security, education (lifelong learning), health (promotion of health as a component of the social and the health policy), housing and neighbourhood, care for the elderly . For selected domains also the social networks and supports will be analysed as an element of quality of life and specific trends observed. The basic question to be answered is how people cope (coping strategies) in these life domains in circumstances of greater individualisation and erosion of collective welfare provisions. Also the impact of NGO's would be observed.
Significance for science
The program aims to contribute to a better founded and more comprehensive understanding of selected features of quality of life and welfare system performance under specific pressures of demographic and other structural changes of the contemporary Slovenian society, with a particular focus on older population and intergenerational relations. Our comprehensive analysis (Mandič and Fuilipovič Hrast, Eds, 2012) contributed to an insight into the impact of demographic ageing on quality of life on the macro, mezzo and the micro levels in selected quality of life domains. Analysis also had a cross-country comparative dimension , allowing Slovenian circumstances to be evaluated withibn a wider European context. Also an exploratory cross-national analyisis of selected welfare domains was performed, whereby a specific classification of post-socialist countries in three groups was presented as a addition to the classical typology of 'welfare regimes', developed for pre-enlargement EU member states. This classification, allowing comparisons among these three groups as well as with the established welfare regimes, was proved as usefull; it revealed a considerable variety between post-socialist groups of countries, contrary to the often taken for granted uniformity. The aalytical value of the classification was verified by a number of excellent international publication (Decisions to renovate : identifying key determinants in Central and Eastern European post-socialist countries ( Cirman, Mandič, Zorić 2013); Housing conditions and their structural determinants : comparisons within the enlarged EU (Mandič, Cirman 2012); The changing role of housing assets in post-socialist countries. (Mandič, 2010); Home ownership in post-socialist countries : between macro economy and micro structures of welfare provision (Mandič 2012); Social exclusion of elderly in Central and Eastern Europe ( Filipovič Hrast, Kopač, Rakar, 2013). Also, we proposed a new conceptual and methodological framework for analyzing intergenerational solidarity (Hlebec, Mrzel in Šircelj, 2010), which bridges classical approach based on parent adult child diad (Bengston in Roberts, 1991; SHARE) and social network analysis (Hlebec in Filipovič Hrast 2010). We analyzed intergenerational solidarity in Slovenia using quantitative and representative data about social support networks (Ferligoj 2002). Results of a number of experiments in the past 15 years, exploring the effects of measurement approaches for measuring ego-centered networks via survey were published in a meta analysis (Hlebec and Kogovšek 2013) that analyzed the effects of method, type of calculation, response format and limitation of support providers on network composition indicators. Another significant contribution of the program is verification of the explanatory power of the concept of 'social exclusion/inclusion' as a model for analysis of particular vulnerable groups in society (most notably the older people), allowing for a comprehensive understanding of vulnerability and exploration of relations between its particular dimensions and the 'spyral of exclusion'.
Significance for the country
The research during the past period has been related to the second priority point of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology, which is 'development of human resources and social cohesion'. This will be addressed in the context of demographic change, which have been acknowledged in Europe (along with social and economic stability) as one of the biggest challenges for the development of human resources and social cohesion. In relation to ageing society, with changing proportions between active and inactive population, and problem of sustainability of pension and health systems, European Commission has emphasized several key issues: stimulating demographic regeneration, better use of human resources of the elderly by longer employment and social inclusion (active ageing), promoting intergenerational solidarity and social cohesion (EC Communication: The Demographic Future of Europe – From Challenge to Opportunity, 2006). The research provided a more complete insight into various domains of quality of life and the welfare system in Slovenia under the pressures of demographic ageing. It contributed knowledge of potentials for constructive responses to demographic challenges and to reach economic and social sustainability. Analysis of the situation of various social groups helped identify their specific vulnerabilities and to formulate policy recommendations. The results were useful for public administration and for public debates , since our findings were widely disseminated through numerous scientific, expert and popular publications. The significance of the program is also indirect, as a means for accessing scientific knowledge abroad, for our inclusion into international cooperation and for professional development through university teaching. In addition, the program also had practical results. Thus, within the program »Intergenerational solidarity – Professional training of expert workers in education in the years 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 in he field of social and citizen competences« V. Hlebec coordinated the part of the programme in the 3rd thematic section on Intergenerational solidarity. The program of expert education additionally qualifies expert workers in education in the Republic of Slovenia for knowledge, understanding and transfer of knowledge on participants of the education processes. Participants of our training and education section are presented with findings on intergenerational solidarity and its nature in Slovenia (services for older people, connections between older and younger generations, the role of community and voluntary organizations, neighbours and family members.). We encourage the understanding of the role of older people in the society and present the prejudices about older people and different ways how to overcome them. Special attention is focused on individual responsibility for surmounting intergenerational conflicts and the lack of understanding between generations. Knowledge, acquired through research work in the program, were further upgraded and used in applied studies: DRP Effectiveness of the present mechanisms of securing social security to older farming population (Hlebec); DRP Poverty and material deprivation of the older population (Hlebec); Estimation of the size of homelessness in Slovenia (Filipovič Hrast); The Matrice of administrative measures in the field of youth policy (Filipovič Hrast); Measures to increase the supply of rented housing in the City of Ljubljana (Mandič).
Most important scientific results Annual report 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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