English

Workfare with a human face?

Ildikó Asztalos Morell

Public work is currently the major national tool for the reintegration of the long-term unemployed into the world of labour in Hungary. As a result of the expansion of resources the government allotted to facilitate public work employment, labour statistics improved substantially. Nonetheless, public labour as an institution is objected to intense criticism. Since employment as public worker is not bound to citizenship rights, local municipalities have a large degree of discretion about selecting whom they hire. Criticism most often focuses on employment discrimination. In contrast, this research takes a progressive municipality, with anti-discriminatory profile as an example, where public work was adapted as a welfare, rather than purely workfare praxis. Uszka, a rural small-sized municipality, is characterized by high ethnified unemployment. Its politicians and administrators adapted varied strategies to help combat poverty and unemployment. The paper explores the place of public work in the context of social policy instruments and poverty reduction strategies applied and the degrees of freedom and limitations municipalities have in adapting state instruments.

Social Action and the Power of the Irrational

ÁGNES HORVÁTH

At the intersection point of social and cultural anthropology, comparative politics and classical political philosophy we can situate a particularly important aspect of political modernism, the inspiration behind and effect mechanism of a certain irrationalism that is extended into the heart of the modern idea of political action and power. This modern reappearance of irrationality is not without precedents and historical background, but it only became a dominant feature of the modern condition. Modernity, on the one hand, is a pure fantasy world, with no connection to reality; even more, it is based on a deliberate escape from and rejection of reality that nevertheless is projected as being ‘more real’ than reality itself. However, on the other hand, alternating with utopian delusions it always manifested a very subtle receptivity, a keen apprehension of rational thinking; so much so that actual according to the modern phantasy world also pretends to be rational action itself. The apparent contradiction can be resolved by pointing out that both these are rooted in irrationality, in the alienation from existing bonds or the real, expressed by the incommensurable. 

Autonomy and Marginality

GERGŐ PRAZSÁK

We have conducted several researches on values among different deviant groups with the students of Interdisciplinary Social Research Doctoral Program Faculty of Social Sciences of Eötvös Loránd University. Zsolt Nagy works with convalescent alcoholics, Marcell Miletics with homeless people, and Enikő Bódis with prostitutes. In this thesis we focus on the research we have conducted among prostitutes and homeless people. We compare their values to the value system of homeless people. We consider it important, because according to our analysis the value ofself-direction (autonomy) isesteemed highly in both of these groups.

We used Schwartz’s value test as a quantitative method. With the help of the test we compare the value systems – or as Schwartz puts it: the ‘culture’ – of different deviant (marginal) and non-deviant groups. First, we would like to interpret our hypothesis, the applied theories and methods, then, we will explain the results of the quantitative research.

Experiences of service and care planning in the child protection system

Andrea Gyarmati – Andrea Rácz

Basically, the personal needs of the children determine what kinds of services are needed and how these services can provide adequate answers to the child’s problems. As for the local operation, it is based on less established professional principles; the service planning and provision has an ad hoc nature and there is no conscious planning in the child protection. It is also unknown exactly how the needs of the service recipient determine the type of the services that they are accessed to. However it is well known that indentifying different children target groups, and then determining adequate answers in these cases are the only effective way to reduce the extremely high rate of primary and secondary errors in social policy which is currently presenting in the domestic system.

In the case of child protection system it includes how professionally established the proposal for the placement is; whether the utilization of the child protection service is the adequate answer to the children’s need or the children get removed from the family only because there is not available service locally which can meet their specific needs.

Gender Differences in Work Attitudes and Work Experience in a Student Sample

Hajnalka Fényes

Status inconsistency can be found between women's education level and labor market position. Concerning participation rates in formal education the advantage of women can be observed as early as the 1980s (Forray 1986), whereas even recently women in the labor market seem to be in a disadvantages position compared to men. However women's advantage cannot be said to be complete even in the education system. Boys' and girls' schools go in different directions; horizontal segregation is taking place according to gender. A “neosegregation” of boys' and girls' schools is gaining ground as coeducation is driven back, which may put the girls in a disadvantaged position. “In the vertical structure of the education system girls have gained advantage over the boys, but in the horizontal structure the traditional choices have proved to be overwhelming.” (Forray, Hegedűs 1987: 234). In the grammar schools of minor settlements and in the outskirts of cities girls are in majority, whereas in schools of higher prestige in cities the gender rates seem to be balanced. Also in vocational secondary schools segregation by traditional male and female professions is prevalent (Forray 1986). Besides, segregation by gender can also be found in higher education (see Fényes 2009b).

The sociological context of poverty

Ibolya Czibere

„Poverty and exclusion can be not on any account
tolerated in a well-off continent like Europe.”

A sociological approach to poverty: opposing paradigms

The sociological research on poverty, the theoretical and empirical knowledge accumulated contributes to identifying and interpreting poverty phenomena and - as a server of social policy – it takes an active role in actions implemented for the moderation of destitution, also in the elaboration, introduction of diverse social, social policy projects, and impact studies. In these fields the science of sociology mostly exploits functionalist and conflict-paradigms. Hereunder, the focus falls on these paradigms, the relevant theory of „poverty culture” by Lewis, the category of underclass, the mechanisms of social seclusion and the model of life cycle are also mentioned.  

Oldalak