Using the Labour Force Survey 2013, this paper examines gender differences in holding supervisory positions in 26 European countries and relates these differences to horizontal gender segregation, i.e. women and men working in different jobs. First, we confirm the findings of previous studies that women are still disadvantaged in holding supervisory positions in almost all countries. Second, by examining how women’s disadvantage varies when working in male-dominated, gender-mixed, and female-dominated occupations, we observe women’s lowest disadvantage in male-dominated occupations in most countries. Third, applying a two-stage multilevel analysis, we explore at the macro level how the country variation in women’s disadvantage in holding supervisory positions is related to horizontal gender segregation, selection of women in the labour market, and conditions facilitating the combination of work and family, and whether women’s disadvantage significantly differs among welfare regimes. We provide evidence that differences among welfare regimes capture much better country variation than single macro indicators.
Foucault’s work has inspired studies examining how subject positions are constructed for citizens of the welfare state that encourage them to adopt the subject position of active and responsible people or consumers. Yet these studies are often criticised for analysing these subject positions as coherent constructions without considering how their construction varies from one situation to another. This paper develops the concept of subject position in relation to the theory of justification and the concept of modality in order to achieve a more sensitive and nuanced analysis of the politics of welfare in public debates. The theory of justification places greater weight on actors’ competence in social situations. It helps to reveal how justifications and critiques of welfare policies are based on the skilful contextual combination of diverse normative bases. The concept of modality, in turn, makes it possible to elaborate how subject positions in justifications and critiques of welfare policies become associated with specific kinds of values. We demonstrate the approach by using public debates on children’s day care in Finland. The analysis illustrates how subject positions are justified in relation to different kinds of worlds and made persuasive by connecting them to commonly desirable rights, responsibilities, competences or abilities.
Research suggests that doctor–patient relations have evolved from a doctor-centered, paternalistic approach towards a more patient-centered, egalitarian model of interactions between physicians and their patients. Given the long-running debate on the positive relationship between education and health, the question arises how this development in doctor–patient relations affects social inequalities in health. First, we test to what extent egalitarian (e.g. discussing treatment decisions with patients) doctor–patient relations are underlying the education–self-reported health association. Second, we test whether egalitarian and paternalistic (e.g. withholding some information from patients) doctor–patient relations show differential effects on self-reported health across educational groups. Analyses of the European Social Survey (ESS) 2004/2005 for 24 countries demonstrate that a more egalitarian doctor–patient relationship does not substantially reduce educational inequalities in self-reported health. However, some direct positive effects of egalitarian and direct negative effects of paternalistic doctor–patient relations on health ratings can be found. Finally, results show how the health status of the lower educated can improve with a more egalitarian and less paternalistic doctor–patient relationship.
In current research, the extensive family policies of the Scandinavian countries have been problematized and described as hampering women’s careers. However, mechanisms have been little investigated and the Scandinavian countries are often regarded as a single policy model. Based on an account of institutional variety we study gender gaps in hourly wages and access to authority positions in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden and explore the importance of segregation, skills and work interruptions. The analysis uses pooled cross-sectional data from the European Social Survey (ESS) for 2004 and 2010. The results show that gender gaps vary both in size and regarding the mechanisms producing them. In particular, we find that gender segregation has a radically different impact in the four countries. The analysis suggests that the mechanisms linking family policies to labour market outcomes are more complex than envisaged in the current debate and point to the importance of comparing seemingly similar countries.
The paper seeks to promote a sociological understanding of the current wave of nostalgic expressions haunting late-modern Western culture and to re-evaluate the predominantly negative assessment of nostalgia. Filling two gaps in the existing research on nostalgia, the authors wish (1) to reintegrate into the phenomenon its experiential and collective dimensions and (2) to propose a theoretical sociological framework capable of analysing nostalgic ritual. In the first part of the paper, we discuss different approaches to the phenomenon of nostalgia. Second, we delve into the complex emotional and experiential aspects of the phenomenon and distil three different types of nostalgia. Third, seeking inspiration from Emile Durkheim and Randall Collins, we scrutinise the common collective characteristics of these different types of nostalgia. Arguing that Collins remains too interactionist in his approach to ritual, we seek to erect a theoretical framework apt for articulating mediated forms of nostalgic ritual. Fourth, we use our theoretical framework to analyse a well-known instance of nostalgic ritual in Scandinavia: The Disney Christmas Show.
Recent literature has pointed to occupational closure in order to explain wage inequality between occupations. The basic argument of occupational closure is that average occupational wages are higher in closed occupations because these occupations are better able to establish and maintain institutional barriers to access. In this study we analyse occupational closure and its wage effects in Norway by matching newly gathered occupational data on four different closure institutions (licensure, certifications, unionization, and educational credentials) to register data. The results show strong wage effects of licensure and unionization, net of occupational skill requirements. Our analyses furthermore show substantial differences in the returns to occupational closure across social classes: licensure is especially beneficial for higher classes, whereas unionization generates rents for lower classes, implying that occupational closure affects social inequality in Norway.
Proposed theories to explain gender inequality in the labor market and family, such as gender specialization within families and gender segregation in the labor markets, lack consideration for individual preferences. Preference theory accounts for individual choice and gendered preferences but has been substantially criticized, indicating a need for further research. This study uses Swedish longitudinal data to explore how preferences for work and family relate to behavior. We explore three critical issues raised in previous research: gender differences in preferences; the relationship between work and family changes and subsequent preferences; how preferences relate to work and family behaviors. Our results showed small general gender differences in preferences, although women had a stronger preference for both children and work than men. Changes in work status were further related to changes in work preferences, while changes in family status were related to changes in family preferences. Moreover, preferences had poor predictive power in relation to work and family behaviors. Our results indicate that preferences do not explain gender inequality in Sweden. The relationship between preferences and behaviors seems bidirectional and preferences and behavior within the family sphere has little to do with preferences and behavior within the work sphere.
Motivations for migrating within the European Union have mainly been attributed to economic, career and lifestyle choices. This article suggests that political dissatisfaction is also an important motivator of recent intra-European migration. In our analysis of in-depth interviews with Romanian migrants in Spain and with Spanish migrants in Norway, we found a common emphasis on the political dimensions of their decision to migrate. In the interviews, the economic component of migration was often related to bad governance and negative perceptions of the state. The similarities of Spanish and Romanian migration narratives are especially striking because Spain and Romania represent substantially different migratory, political and economic contexts. However, migration is more obviously intertwined with conventional acts of political protest in the Spanish case. We suggest that differences in democratic contexts are pivotal in people’s reactions to and framing of their deep dissatisfaction with domestic politics, as found in many European countries today.
Contemporary research on trust has come to assume that education has a universal positive effect on trust. Using the survey item that has dominated the trust literature –‘whether one believes most people can be trusted or one can never be too careful’ – education is often found to be one of the strongest predictors of trust, more important than age, income, wealth, health or any another individual characteristic. Thus there are indeed reasons to believe that education sometimes increases the propensity to trust other people. However, this article argues that there are limits to the positive effect derived from education. Using the fifth wave of the World Values Survey, it is demonstrated that there is no positive effect from education on trust within the family, among friends or among persons living in one’s neighbourhood. In the latter case, a negative effect is found. It is also demonstrated that the positive effect on ‘generalized trust’ is largely a phenomenon found in low-corruption countries. The article demonstrates that in high-corruption countries, education decreases trust in other people – both generalized trust and trust in more proximate relationships.
To provide a better understanding of mobile phones as a recruitment tool in collective actions, this study explores the use of mobile phones for mobilizing protest in China. Using in-depth interviews and investigating four cases in which Chinese people employed mobile devices to recruit participants for protests, this study observes that mobile communication in China embodies guanxi, the indigenous social tie in Chinese society that introduces reciprocity as an influential facilitator of collective actions. The embedment of reciprocity facilitates the proliferation of mobilizing calls, legitimizes mobilizing appeals, generates obligations and consolidates solidarity for collective actions. The study concludes with a consideration of the relevance of mobile phones for the embedment of reciprocity in social ties in the mobilization of collective action in authoritarian regimes such as China.
Globalization with its many side-effects on working life is seen to pose accentuated risks especially for women and low skilled workers – resulting in increasing polarization of job quality. In contrast to "universal theories", institutional theories claim changes in work life might vary according to the institutional and cultural frameworks which mediate the global pressures of change. This study analyses job quality trends in Finland at the intersection of class and gender. The results, based on the Finnish Quality of Work Life survey (1977–2013), find no clear evidence of polarization. In line with the institutional theory’s prediction of a low risk of polarization in coordinated and inclusive Nordic countries, improvements have occurred for blue-collar workers in terms of autonomy and opportunities for development at work, reducing the gap between social classes. Furthermore, the negative sides of work life, such as insecurity and time pressures have become common experiences regardless of social class. The ‘welfare state paradox’ hypothesis on the comparative disadvantage of women in higher positions in the labour market does not gain support in 2013: the upper-white collar women have attained roughly similar levels of job quality to their male counterparts.
Using the example of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe, this article analyses a unique mechanism regarding the transformation of ontological security into ontological insecurity and then cultural trauma. It demonstrates how, from ontological security constructed by the Soviet ideology, Chernobyl moved to ontological insecurity understood as a breakdown in the established beliefs. By blaming the Soviet system in a public sphere, ontological insecurity was transformed into a cultural trauma. The article then presents a comparative analysis of Belarus and Ukraine in their construction of two types of cultural traumas: continuous; and retrospective. In the years 1986–1991, a continuous trauma took place in the form of protests against the established political system. After the directly affected countries received their independence in 1991, a retrospective trauma occurred in the form of recollection of what happened in Chernobyl. The official Belarus media understood the Soviet Union as its golden age and controlled most of the media space; fewer attempts were made to construct the Soviet state as a Chernobyl perpetrator. The official Ukraine media did not consider the Soviet past as its golden age and had a more pluralistic media; there were more instances in which it criticised the Soviet state for irresponsibility.
This paper reports on a study of how economists engaged in energy policymaking and household consumers frame the electricity market, based on interviews with prominent energy economists and focus group interviews with household consumers. Drawing on economic sociology, and above all the contribution of Michel Callon, we analyse framing processes involved in the sense-making with regard to the electricity market, including electricity consumption and the understanding of how households act with respect to the market. It was found that the economists drew predominantly on a framing of the electricity market according to their theoretical understanding of markets, considering consumers as calculative agents in a strict sense. In contrast, the consumers argued a more inclusive and complex framing of the electricity market by also emphasising moral, social and political issues. Thus, the consumers appeared to be qualculative rather than just calculative agents. This different framing did not emerge from consumers’ misunderstandings or their being misinformed about market mechanisms. Rather, we observed a mismatch between the energy economists and the household consumers regarding the underlying rationality of their framings, how they perceived consumption of electricity, and what they included and excluded in the framing of the market.
In this paper I borrow from both the transition and cultural perspectives in the sociology of youth to define a new conceptual and empirical framework to analyze independence among young people, accounting for its multifaceted character within the current context of the transition to adulthood in the United States. Applying latent class analysis to data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, I investigate how objective and subjective indicators of independence relate to one another, and do so differently for different youth. In this way, I empirically extend the understanding of transitions to independence and offer a more nuanced picture than a one-dimensional perspective could do. Accounting for respondents’ age and role transitions marking relevant developmental stages, I identify four groups of youth with different forms of independence. While one group exhibits independence in all the domains considered, most inhabit states of partial independence, with mismatches across indicators. Future research may use this framework to investigate independence, both as an outcome or as an explanatory variable, and to explore differences across subgroups.
This article shows that women’s rising earnings contributed to reducing inequality in household earnings, with respect to couples. We use data from the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) on 1,148,762 coupled households, covering 18 OECD countries and the period from 1973 to 2013. In this period, women’s share of household earnings grew, spouses’ earnings became more strongly and positively correlated in various countries, and inequality in women’s earnings was reduced. Inequality in household earnings increased due to the rising correlation between spouses’ earnings, but was reduced more by the decline of inequality in women’s earnings. Had women’s earnings remained unchanged since the 1970s and 1980s, inequality in household earnings would have been higher around 2010 in all observed OECD countries. Household inequality was reduced least by trends in women’s earnings in countries with a long history of high female labor-force participation, such as Finland (3% reduction) and Sweden (5%), and most in countries that observed a stronger increase in female labor-force participation in recent decades such as Spain (31%) and the Netherlands (41%). As more countries are reaching a plateau in the growth of women’s employment and earnings, the potential for further stimulating women’s employment and earnings to counter both women’s and household inequality seems to be increasingly limited.
In this study we examine the extent to which preschool education can reduce social background differentials in learning outcomes across countries; our focus is on whether the benefits of preschool attendance for children depend on other family inputs such as parents’ education and their pedagogical involvement during early childhood. We use the 2011 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study, which provides a standardized measure of reading literacy among students in 4th grade. Our sample contains data on 119,008 individuals from 28 developed countries. The presented evidence confirms that preschool is visibly beneficial in most cases, but also that benefits are lower for children who have more involved or more educated parents. Rather than complements to, parental involvement and parental education seem to be substitutes for preschool attendance in children’s skill production function. As such, preschool education reduces social inequalities in educational achievement. Yet, its equalizing potential could have been overstated in previous debates.
Sympathy is an emotion that connects people in trouble with those around them. This paper uses Candace Clark’s sociological theory on sympathy-giving to explore the emotional relationships between adult children of alcoholics (ACOAs) and their parents. Three dimensions are singled out as being central to sympathy-giving. We show, first, that the ‘sympathy accounts’ of alcoholic parents are related to the degree to which they live up to standardized parental obligations. Second, ACOAs’ sympathy investment in their parents is associated with the parents’ reciprocation – in terms of returning the sympathy, showing gratitude and/or acknowledging their problems and trying to solve them. Third, the interviewees’ sympathy-giving is related to the moral status they ascribe to problem drinkers, and especially their conceptions of alcohol problems as being self-inflicted or caused by circumstances the drinker cannot control. The paper is based on qualitative interviews with 25 ACOAs recruited through a survey in Denmark.
Sibling correlations have gained increasing prominence in inequality studies as a measurement of the total impact of family background on individual outcomes. Whilst previous studies have tended to use traditional socio-economic measures such as parent’s income or education, this paper introduces an analytical class approach to sibling studies by analysing how much of the influence that siblings share in their long-term income results from class origin. Data are from Statistics Denmark and consist of 290,399 individuals born between 1963 and 1973. Models are estimated which – in addition to parents’ education and income – include modifications of the Erikson–Goldthorpe–Portocarero schemes ranging from 3 to 15 classes and Grusky’s micro-class scheme of 72 classes. The results show that although class adds to explanations of the family influence on children’s income, most of the sibling similarities are not explained by parental education, income or class. Depending on gender, the class schemes explain between 8 and 13 per cent of the sibling similarities and 15 to 20 per cent when parents’ income and educations are also included. Models with different class schemes demonstrate that elaborated versions of the EGP class scheme add little to the explanation of similarities between brothers, sisters and mixed siblings.
Major social changes such as occupational restructuring, educational expansion and increasing income inequality are likely to significantly influence the intergenerational transmission of income. The aim in this article is to investigate this question in an analysis of the transmission of low and high income in Finland in five birth cohorts born between 1956 and 1978. The focus is on the contribution of parental social class and personal educational level to this association. The analyses are based on a longitudinal register-based data set that is a representative 11-per-cent sample of the Finnish population. The level of intergenerational income transmission among those with a low- and a high-income parental background is stable among men, and is increasing slightly among women. Simultaneously, the role of achieved education as a mechanism strengthens slightly upon entry to the lowest income level, and declines upon entry to the highest level. These results indicate that despite the increasing income inequality, intergenerational transmission remains rather stable, but the mediating role of educational qualifications may have changed. Occupational restructuring seems to have no clear influence on the process.
The intersection of group dynamics and socioeconomic status theories is applied as a framework for the puzzling relationship of immigration and support for the welfare state in Western Europe. Group dynamics theories suggest that how individuals define their group boundaries moderates the impact of immigration on support for the welfare state. Immigrant presence should have the strongest effects for those with exclusive national group boundaries; weaker for those with conditionally inclusive boundaries based on reciprocity; and weakest or non-existent for those with inclusive group boundaries. Group boundaries should interact with material self-interest, leading individuals with less material security who are more likely to face social risks to be more supportive of the welfare state. Using data from the 4th European Social Survey linked to regional and national data, we find that group boundary salience plays a large moderating role in the relationship between immigration and native support for the welfare state, and that this role is intricately linked to material self-interest. Group dynamics should therefore be viewed in conjunction with existing structural welfare state theories as opposed to an alternative or isolated mechanism.
Most European countries, including Sweden, have witnessed considerable postponement of first births over the past several decades, and societal gender equality has been mentioned among the central reasons for the delay in childbearing. Continued postponement of parenthood over the life course can result in "final childlessness," i.e. the individual will reach the end of his/her reproductive period without having become a parent. As levels of final childlessness have been increasing in most European countries, studies of childlessness have become more common. However, most of these studies deal exclusively with women, and the theorizing regarding what leads to final childlessness, particularly among men, is clearly underdeveloped. In this paper we will contribute to this research area by investigating the long-term relationships between attitudes toward domestic gender equality and men’s transition to parenthood in Sweden. Our dependent variable is a close approximation of "final childlessness." We use Swedish panel survey data on attitudes to the gender division of labor among still childless young adults aged 22–30 in 1999, combined with register data on births in the period 1999–2012. The article shows that the initial delay in becoming fathers evidenced by more egalitarian men is not made up in the long term.
In this paper, we ask whether the time spent in the parental home promotes the frequency of contacts between generations, and whether violating social norms regarding the socially accepted time for leaving home is related to less frequent interactions with parents in later life. We also devote particular attention to union dissolution and family conflict during childhood and adolescence as possible mechanisms behind this relationship. Employing multilevel linear probability models, data from two waves of the Swedish Level of Living Survey (2000 and 2010) are used to analyze earlier family history and face-to-face contacts between parents and their adult children. The findings reveal that the duration of co-residence is likely to foster family interactions in later life, and this positive relationship is only marginally explained by childhood family experiences. However, late home leavers tend to maintain frequent contacts with parents in part owing to having moved shorter geographical distances, and this is more evident for adult daughters than for sons. In addition, adult daughters who stay at home for longer have more opportunities to form binding relationships with mothers than with fathers.
In Belgium, students of Turkish and North African descent express optimistic attitudes toward education. However, these attitudes conflict with their achievement results, as many underachieve compared to their peers of Belgian descent. Mickelson’s work discusses this attitude–achievement paradox in the United States. In the current study, we use Mickelson’s framework to investigate the attitude–achievement paradox in Belgium. Using quantitative and qualitative research methods, we find that students of Turkish, North African and Belgian descent believe in the importance of education to get ahead in society, holding optimistic abstract attitudes. Students of Turkish and North African descent hold more optimistic attitudes than students of Belgian descent. However, these abstract attitudes toward education do not translate into ethnic minority students’ concrete attitudes toward education, which depend mainly on the socioeconomic background of the student. Students with a low socioeconomic background are much more pessimistic than students with a high socioeconomic background. Concrete attitudes influence the achievement of students of Belgian descent; this is not the case for students of Turkish and North African descent. Qualitative research shows that to understand the interpretation of concrete school attitudes and its relationship with achievement results, we need to consider students’ definitions of success, frames of reference and perceived constraints and opportunities.
Studies framing "belonging" as a key focus and a central concept of research have increased significantly in the 2000s. This article explores the dimensions of belonging as a scholarly concept. The investigation is based on a qualitative content analysis of articles published in academic journals covering a large number of different disciplines. The article poses and answers the following research questions: How is belonging understood and used in contemporary research? What added value does the concept bring to scholarly discussions? In the analysis, five topoi of conceptualizing belonging – spatiality, intersectionality, multiplicity, materiality, and non-belonging – were identified. After introducing the topoi, the article explores their cross-cutting dimensions, such as the emphasis on the political, emotional, and affective dimensions of belonging, and discusses key observations made from the data, such as the substantial proportion of research on minorities and "vulnerable" people. The analysis of the data suggests that by choosing to use the concept of belonging, scholars seek to emphasize the fluid, unfixed, and processual nature of diverse social and spatial attachments.
Solidarity refers to a willingness to contribute to the welfare of other people. This study builds on the idea that not only the value of solidarity (i.e. whether people find solidarity important) but also the function of solidarity (i.e. whether solidarity results in reputational gains) can differ across societies. According to the literature, egalitarian contexts can either have a normative effect by promoting the value of solidarity and increasing the reputational gains of solidarity, or they can have a crowding-out effect by diminishing the value of solidarity and weakening the reputational gains resulting from solidarity. The current study investigates these conflicting ideas using individual-level data (N = 195,024) from the European Social Survey (ESS), which combines six waves of cross-sectional studies collected in 28 countries from 2002 to 2012. The results show that both the value of solidarity and the function of solidarity are weaker in egalitarian contexts, supporting the crowding-out hypothesis. In inegalitarian contexts individual solidarity is more valued and it serves more as a function for promoting higher reputational gains as compared to egalitarian contexts. The combination of between- and within-country over-time empirical evidence adds to the strength of these findings.
Revenge is a well-recognised motive for crime and violence. In sociological research, this topic has been pursued primarily in ethnographic studies of street offenders or gang conflicts. Psychologists have studied revenge behaviour experimentally in laboratory settings and revenge ideation with community samples. Despite these contributions, we know very little about the prevalence and correlates of revenge-motivated offending in representative normal populations. Most studies focus on violence, ignoring the role revenge may play in non-violent offending. Drawing on a Finnish youth crime survey (n = 5373), this research describes the prevalence of the revenge motive in delinquent behaviour and explores correlates of revenge-motivated delinquency (RMD). The findings indicate that approximately one-half of interpersonal assaults are motivated by revenge and that a significant proportion (10–20%) of running away from home and vandalism is also related to revenge. Narrative evidence from incident descriptions suggests that roughly one in four RMD incidents reflect social/altruistic offending on behalf of a friend or a relative. In correlational analysis, girls, victims of school bullying and those expressing pro-revenge attitudes were more likely to be motivated by revenge when engaging in delinquency. The findings suggest that social learning, situational strain and deterrence theories are promising directions for further research in this area.
This paper looks at how financial problems may occur among households even under favourable economic conditions. Norway is a good case for studying such processes because of its exceptionally stable economy. Based on data on debt settlements in Oslo in 1999, 2004 and 2011 the composition of debt portfolios is investigated as instances of how risk mechanisms operate and change over time. It is demonstrated that the most dangerous and expensive forms of loans and credit are allocated to the most exposed households. The analysis also suggests that during economic upturns, the potentials for a much larger and deeper problem accumulate as households borrow to invest in asset-based welfare. This raises important questions about the market, and challenges the welfare state.
In this article we study some of the overlooked mechanisms of how social origin affects an individual’s occupational success at labour market entry. The empirical analysis draws on four Dutch retrospective life-course surveys. The analytical sample consists of 6,416 respondents born in the period 1931–80. The results show intergenerational transmission of occupational status, but the effect of father’s occupation on his child’s first job has declined over time. Part of the decreased impact of social origin is related to the increased age at first job. Educational expansion prolonged the school career of individuals and increased the age at which they first enter the labour market, when parental control and influence matter less. The effect of level of education has decreased over time too, at an even faster rate. Because of that, a trend from ascription to achievement cannot be confirmed. Furthermore, we found evidence of a weaker impact of social origin on occupational status attainment for the higher educated. The labour market for higher levels of education is more meritocratic, as employers use the degree to which various educational programmes at these levels provide occupation-specific skills to evaluate the labour productivity of potential workers.
Although social movement organizations (SMOs) are often depicted as mobilizing intensive resources from their individual members, we lack a systematic assessment of this issue. Based on the notion of ‘modern social movements’ I argue that SMOs mobilize fewer human and monetary resources from their members than other voluntary organizations do. A regression model using a survey representative of American adults shows that, when compared to other organization members, SMO members generally contribute significantly lower amounts of money and time. They are also less likely to attend, plan or chair meetings, and give speeches on behalf of the organization. The only exception to this pattern is that SMO members are more likely to write letters for the organization than other members do.
This article sets out the argument that ‘family’ relations constitute so many small-scale ‘fields’ in Pierre Bourdieu’s sense. It does so primarily to put on firmer conceptual ground a valuable means of making sense of how broader structures of social and cultural domination are lived, reproduced and transformed in everyday life, though in so doing it also intends to challenge those who believe Bourdieu has little to offer scholars of familial life. Using Bourdieu’s own brief reflections as a point of departure, it proceeds by putting substantive flesh on the foundational notion that ‘family’ constitutes a contested yet ‘realized’ category of thought before then sketching the constituent elements of family fields, namely internal doxa, struggles over capital, the existence of boundaries and embeddeness in broader ‘universes’ of family fields.
The article proposes a systems-theoretical approach to political clientelism. It places political clientelism in the theoretical framework of a democratic political system characterized by internal differentiation in government and bureaucracy, party politics and a politically relevant public. Against the background of existing research on the link between democracy and political clientelism, it uses Luhmann’s concept of power and more specifically his model of the formal and the informal power cycle to point out parallels and differences between a political system based on expectations with regard to policies and a political system in which clientelistic expectations prevail. Democratic political systems are based on formal, legally codified power and informal power. Clientelistic power is a special form of informal power affecting this interplay, as the example of democratization in Mexico shows. Political systems with clientelistic expectations differ from those with a policy orientation with regard to the complexity of policies, the generalization of political support, the bases for personalization, the pattern of interest articulation and the most prominent external influences on the system.
We have examined the extent to which ethnic diversity in neighbourhoods and municipalities in The Netherlands is related to personal contact with neighbours from ethnic in-groups and out-groups among the native majority as well as among ethnic minorities. The results indicate that ethnic diversity is negatively related to personal contacts with native neighbours, but positively to personal contacts with neighbours from other ethnic groups. This applies equally to native respondents and Turks and Moroccans, rejecting Putnam’s hunkering-down hypothesis and ethnic competition theory. Instead, ethnic diversity increases meeting opportunities with ethnic minorities while decreasing meeting opportunities with the native majority.
As European governments have embraced the credo of austerity, the perennial discussion whether welfare states erode the quality of social networks has taken on a more prominent position on political and social science research agendas. While non-believers of this so-called ‘crowding out’ thesis argue that social networks flourish well in welfare states, believers argue that welfare provisions render social networks irrelevant in mobilizing resources. Using the 2010 wave of the European Social Survey, we analyse the extent to which both the welfare state and social networks have prevented deprivation, as well as the extent to which the functional quality of social networks in inhibiting impoverishment differs as a function of welfare state generosity. Both the ‘crowding out’ and the ‘crowding in’ theses are supported: resources are less mobilized through networks in more generous welfare states precisely because encompassing welfare provisions reduce deprivation significantly, lowering the functional quality of social networks.
In this study we examine how employment insecurity affects social exclusion using data from the German panel study PASS. Assuming that secure employment is an important condition for the subjective feeling of social affiliation, we compare unemployed individuals and those in fixed-term, temporary agency or permanent employment. Applying hybrid random effects regression models we find that temporary workers feel less affiliated to society than permanent workers. This finding cannot be fully explained by economic and social resources or job status. We discuss alternative mechanisms, such as reduced life-course predictability and processes of social exclusion at the workplace.
The article deals with the cultural significance of a new figure in late-modern Western culture: the hipster. The current hipster culture, so I argue, can be used as a magnifying glass that makes impending changes to our conception of culture and of cultural development visible. It ushers in broader cultural and social changes: different relations among generations, new ways of relating to technology and media, new ways of being together, and new phenomenologies and sensibilities. After a first outline of the figure of the hipster, I mark out two salient traits to hipster culture: its redemptive gesture toward the objects of the recent past and its predilection for irony. The article seeks to unfold hipster culture and sociality in an ongoing dialogue with sociological theory in general and conventional ways of thinking subculture in particular.
This article investigates whether the cultural practices of socially mobile individuals are predominantly associated with social position of origin or with social position of destination. Using data representative of the Flemish population of Belgium (n = 2,849), we find evidence of a substantial association with the social position of destination, which we argue to be both profound and superficial. By contrasting private and public practices, we find that (1) both private and public practices are predominantly related to social position of destination and (2) that public practices are more strongly correlated with social position of destination than private practices. This suggests that underlying cultural preferences are mainly associated with the secondary socialization context and, moreover, that in the public sphere socially mobile individuals overstress their conformity – probably to fit in – and in a way become cultural chameleons.
In this study, I compare the labour market outcomes of school completers and school dropouts 10 years after they have entered upper secondary education. I compare second-generation immigrant youth from Turkey, Morocco, Pakistan, Vietnam, India and Chile with native majority youth in terms of economic inactivity, employment probability and educational enrolment. I use register data from Statistics Norway, which contain information on all students who entered upper secondary school between 1994 and 1998. The results show that youths who drop out of school have a lower probability of being employed than school completers. However, the labour market penalty of dropping out is not more excessive among second-generation immigrant youth than among native majority youth.
Using unique Swedish register data on all employees in large private companies, we study trends in the gender composition of top wage employees from 1993 to 2007. The analyses reveal that the likelihood of women holding top wage positions has more than doubled since the early 1990s, but men are still markedly over-represented in this group of employees. We focus on educational choices, considering level and field of study as well as university attended. One important conclusion is that, although education is important in reaching a top wage position, field of education and university attended only marginally explain the gender gap. However, relative to other women, having a career signalling degree (i.e. economics, law or engineering) from a more prestigious university helps women. Dividing the sample into different cohorts indicates that the gender gap is partly a cohort effect, i.e. it is smaller among those born in the 1960s compared to cohorts born in the 1940s and 1950s. It should be noted that there is still a gender gap among employees born in the 1960s and that the gap widens after age 30. Future studies should focus more deeply on this family-related ‘period of divergence’.
In occupational health research, the demand–control–support (DCS) model has attracted a great deal of attention. Although this model emphasizes the interaction between workers and their work environment, the DCS framework has mainly been tested at the micro-level. The present study shows that combining the DCS model with insights from organizational climate studies offers a fruitful theoretical framework by which to address variation in psychological distress in team workers. Hierarchical logistic regression using data on 1,098 workers from 97 teams in a car factory in Belgium reveals that a positive perception of the affective climate in one’s team lowers levels of psychological distress. In addition, the team’s affective climate, emerging from and reproduced within everyday social interaction between team members, plays a significant role of its own in the well-being of team members. When the affective team climate is positive, all team members benefit in terms of distress levels, even those workers who hold a negative perception of their emotional work environment. Part of the health effects of a positive climate runs through moderating the health-damaging effects of high job demands.
We study the determinants of educational participation and gender differences in education for young children in six Arab countries: Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen. Although these countries have made much progress in getting young children into school, school dropout after age 11 was still very high, and in the rural areas there were major gender differences in participation. In cities of most of these countries (except Yemen) gender differences have almost disappeared. Multivariate analyses show that similar household-level factors (e.g. wealth, education, number of siblings) as those in the West play a role, but that their importance relative to context factors is much less. For young rural girls, only 33 per cent of the variation in participation is explained by household-level factors. For older and urban girls and for boys this is more, but still substantially less than in the West. Strengthening the position of rural mothers and improving the educational infrastructure seem particularly important for reducing gender differences.
In this article I analyse longitudinal patterns of relative poverty among the foreign-born in Sweden, with data drawn from the register-based LINDA dataset. The descriptive statistics suggest that immigrants stay in poverty longer than poor natives do, just as they more often fall back into poverty. Poverty transitions are more frequently associated with employment transition among immigrants than among natives, while other trigger events are more prevalent among natives who experience poverty transition. Conditional transition rates of all the events associated with poverty exits and entries are more favourable for natives. The multivariate analysis shows that poverty is stickier among immigrants even after controlling for the observable characteristics, but the degree of disadvantage relative to natives varies greatly by immigrant group. Longer duration of stay and living with a Swedish-born adult are both beneficial in the context of poverty dynamics.
Utilizing longitudinal population register data from Finland, this study examines the influence of exogamy on transitions within and from first unions. The aim is to assess how ethno-linguistically mixed unions, consisting of Swedish speakers and Finnish speakers, differ from endogamous unions with respect to various transitions in the family formation process subsequent to entry into childless cohabitation. We find evidence of notable selection. The proportion of endogamous relationships increases during the course of the courtship process, and this selection is primarily driven by a higher separation risk of ethno-linguistically mixed unions. The stages in family formation consequently seem to work as a social filter, where the exogamy effect on the dissolution risk is particularly strong for couples who have come a long way in the process.
This article examines men’s attitudes towards women in the Norwegian and US armed forces. The military is one of society’s most gendered institutions, and this study investigates how men in the armed forces feel about serving alongside women. Building on interviews with 34 men in the Norwegian and US air forces, the article finds that men in both countries have a positive attitude towards female service members, and that the majority prefer to serve in gender-mixed units. When discussing their attitudes on more concrete topics, however, the participants employed two different concepts of equality. The Norwegian men argued for the importance of equal treatment of men and women, while the American men thought it was more important to create equal opportunities for women in the armed forces. These different understandings are embedded in the two national cultures, which provide the men with the different cultural resources they relied on to frame their opinions.