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Družboslovne Razprave 22-23 (XII)
Quality of life research in Slovenia
Družboslovne Razprave 22-23, pages 7-14
Quality of working life
Družboslovne Razprave 22-23, pages 15-27
In this article the author defines the concept of the quality of working life, describes the situation in Slovenia and tests the relation between the quality of working life, on the one hand, and the shift towards more intellectual jobs, the service economy and flexible forms of employment, on the other hand. The quality of working life is defined, according to Allardt, as the possibility for workers to satisfy the following needs through their work: ‘having' or material needs, work security needs, ‘loving' or societal needs and ‘being' or personal needs. Using the analytical method, the author has created indicators and indexes, which demonstrate the ability to satisfy these needs in the work place. Application of these indicators and indexes on data collected in 1994 shows that there is a relatively low quality of working life in Slovenia. In particular, the study has revealed poor physical working conditions, a high level of technological control, a high rate of conflict and low autonomy in the work place. The analysis also shows that a shift towards intellectually more demanding work and towards the service economy are associated with enhanced possibilities for satisfying material, security and personal needs. However, opportunities for the satisfaction of societal needs tend to decrease with such a shift. The increased flexibility of employment has not, as least for the time being, caused any deterioration in the quality of working life.
The changing quality of life during "transition" - the housing component
Družboslovne Razprave 22-23, pages 28-40
The article deals with housing as a complex good which possesses many different properties which are subject to social change. Besides physical attributes, which are usually referred to as ‘housing conditions' or ‘quality of housing', there are many other charachteristics which can be embraced under the notion of housing tenure and can be referred to as housing tenure characteristics. It is argued that the first set of housing properties is, in general, overrepresented relative to the second set. Furthermore it is also argued that the analysis of empirical regarding changes in housing during the so-called ‘transitional' period in Slovenia indicates that the most significant changes occurred not in housing quality but in housing tenure characterstics. That is why the Scandinavian ‘level of living' housing indicators need to be extended. This need has already been recognised by both 'the Housing right' approach and ‘the Housing Indicators Program'.
Quality of life in the living environment of Slovenia
Družboslovne Razprave 22-23, pages 41-58
The trends of urbanisation are followed through analyses of urban standard in Slovenia and with the reference on the cyclical model of development. Theoretical model and pragmatic changes do not correspond to each other but rather enable to recognise the main streams of the urban process. According to data analyses, given by the project of the Quality of Life research over the last ten years, Slovenia is demonstrating a specific overlapping of traditional and modern development. The first concerns the role of the family and widely spreading population over the territory. The second discovers the extensive sub-urbanisation process, which is allowing the living in better environment and commuting to the nearest city for work or education. Suburbanisation was sustained by the lack of available housing in the cities. Slovenia therefore keeps the polycentric urban development, while suburbanisation might, with the trends of migrations and spreading the central role of the city, resuscitate the process of new metropolitanisation.
Security of life in Slovenia
Družboslovne Razprave 22-23, pages 59-71
Security is one of the basic human needs and as such an important dimension of the quality of life. Only individuals who feel safe can be creative and can contribute to the development of society as a whole. Unfortunately, many experts argue that people in contemporary society do not enjoy a high quality of life as far as security is concerned. In spite of higher living standards, the level of victimization remains the same, although the forms of victimization may change. In this paper the nature and characteristics of Slovenian crime victims are discussed. The goal of this paper is to explain the vulnerability and attractiveness of crime victims with factors known in victimology. The analysis is based on the "Quality of life in Slovenia" survey, which covered five forms of primary victimization: theft, willful damage, violence with evident consequences and injuries, violence without evident consequences and injuries and threat. We will utilize logistic regression to explain these forms of victimization. We found out that there is no universal deterministic characteristic, which explains the vulnerability and attractiveness of a crime victim. Specific forms of victimization have specific victims. Any final and unchangeable definition of typical characteristics of victims would be dangerous and unrealistic. People at different ages are exposed to different forms of victimization. The safety of an individual changes along with changes in his lifestyle and his property holdings.
Material quality of life in various life cycles
Družboslovne Razprave 22-23, pages 72-83
Theoretical background of this study is based on descriptive and the evaluative (Allardt, 1995; Campbell, Converse & Rodgers, 1976, Erikson & Aberg, 1987) quality of life approaches combined with the modern notion of life cycle. Six groups in different life cycles were studied from the perspective of the material resources (housing standard, financial resources and employment) available to them. Data had been obtained with the questionnaire "Quality of life in Slovenia 1994" on a representative sample. It was analysed with chi-square test, analysis of variance and multiple regression. The results indicated that the material resources vary to such an extent within the groups that we cannot speak about dominant characteristics of material standard in each life stage. The exception is the parents with preschool children that proved to be the most critical in terms of material deprivation. Groups having children at home have worse material living standard in all life cycles than groups who are not living with children.
Poverty: facts and feelings
Družboslovne Razprave 22-23, pages 84-98
The welfare state and related social policies brought significant novelties to the recognition and consideration of poverty. On the one hand, poverty was no longer considered the private matter of the poor but rather became subject to the generosity of the higher social classes. At the same time, research into poverty developed substantially. Such research began approximately a century ago with the investigation of poverty in absolute terms. From the nineteen-sixties onward, different concepts and methods were applied to poverty investigation. In particular, basic human needs in both the narrow and broad sense of the term as well as the subjective perception of poverty became the determining factors of these investigations. The notions of subsistence poverty and relative poverty expressed in terms of access to food, clothing and housing or in terms of money necessary to purchase such goods also frequently underlie poverty investigation. Poverty research in Slovenia cannot "compete" with poverty investigation standards elsewhere as regards either conceptualisation or applied measures. In this article, the author considers the objective and subjective aspects of poverty in Slovenia. She compares the social-structural characteristics of those who are objectively poor (using the average household income as a provisional poverty-line) and those who have a perception of themselves as poor reporting a lack of money to make ends meet. To perceive of one's risk of impoverishment subjectively, socialstructural factors have a statistically weak impact, which proves that the threat of poverty goes beyond social limits. By contrast, education and employment status significantly influence household income while gender and age have an insignificant impact on it. The author concludes that feelings about one’s actual living conditions bring a balance to merely measuring them by objective facts.
Social exclusion: the concept and data indicating exclusion in Slovenia
Družboslovne Razprave 22-23, pages 99-114
The content of the article is divided into two parts. In the first, the social exclusion concept is introduced, and different contexts of its use and some difficulties with its operationalisation and empirical observation are discussed. In the second, the relevance of the approach for Slovenia is argued for and data illustrating the current Slovenian social situation is presented. The term social exclusion is used to label the processes and situations of the exclusion of individuals and groups from the opportunities, benefits and rights that are commonly available in contemporary societies. One can actually talk of situations of social exclusion in its broad sense when there is an overlapping of exclusions on different dimensions (civic, economic, social, interpersonal) or in spheres within the dimensions. For the empirical presentation of the situation in Slovenia, disadvantages and exclusions were observed in six spheres of respondents' lives (education, employment/work, consumption, housing, access to services in the resident environment, and interpersonal integration). The emphasis was on the cumulation and overlapping of disadvantages and exclusions from different spheres and on the concentration of situations of multiple disadvantage and exclusion in some population groups. It was assumed that when individuals or groups suffer disadvantages and exclusions in many different spheres at the same time, this indicates that their economic and social participation is very low and that they run a high risk of social exclusion if this has not happened already. The picture of the concentration of situations of multiple disadvantages and exclusion, and consequentially the risk of social exclusion (if not established social exclusion), in Slovenia is rather traditional. Groups that are more often at a higher risk of social exclusion are older people, the poorly educated, people living in small places (villages), people living alone or in extended families, farmers (peasants), and the unemployed or people performing occasional jobs.
Determinants of self-reported health
Družboslovne Razprave 22-23, pages 115-125
The theoretical background of this article is based on the biopsychosocial model of health and the resource theory. The basic hypothesis is that socio-economic status has an impact on risk behaviour as well as on health status. The respondents have been asked about various aspect of their physical fitness, risk behaviour and the frequency of perceived symptoms of illness experienced during the last year Gender, age, education and average household income per capita have been used as indicators of socio-economic status. Data has been obtained with the questionnaire ‘Quality of Life in Slovenia - 1994' on a representative sample of the Slovenian population. The hypothesis has been tested on a sample of respondents aged from 18 to 75 years, using the chi-square test and multiple regression analysis. Results demonstrate that most women (87%) and men (85%) have at least one habit that can be considered harmful to the health. Men tend to have more health endangering habits than women. Gender, followed by age and education, has the highest explanatory power for engaging in high-risk behaviour as well as for the incidence of selfreported symptoms of illness. Average household income per capita has the lowest weight although, in most cases, it is statistical significant. The relations between socio-economic status and health indicators are greater for women than for men.
Social and material determinants of leisure
Družboslovne Razprave 22-23, pages 126-139
The purpose of the study is to discover the principal leisure activities of various groups defined by gender, education, age and family life cycle stage, how these groups evaluate their leisure time, what are the obstacles which prevent them from spending leisure time as they would like and if they would like to be engaged in any new activity/activities? The data has been obtained using the "Quality of life in Slovenia 1994" questionnaire on a representative sample of the adult population. The sample of 1717 persons aged from 18 to 75 years has been analysed with a variety of statistical methods, including the following: percentages, chi square, Cramer's V and multiple regression analysis. The way of spending leisure time tend to be highly correlated with socio-economic status and the same applies to obstacles to leisure activities and the aspiration for new activities. The higher the socioeconomic status of the respondent the more heterogeneous the pattern of activities appears and the more frequent the aspiration for new activities. Socio-economic determination of leisure activities is higher for women than for men. Leisure determinants are gender differentiated.
Satisfaction with life and work
Družboslovne Razprave 22-23, pages 140-150
In this article, we will present data on the level of satisfaction with life and work of the Slovenian adult population. We will then combine satisfaction levels with objective indicators of the quality of life. The assumption is that those people who have a high quality of life are those who have at their disposal relatively plentiful resources for the satisfaction of their needs and are subjectively satisfied with their lives. Those people who have a low quality of life are those who have neither resource nor are satisfied with their lives. People who have plentiful resources yet are not satisfied are considered to have a medium objective quality of life while those who have scarce resources yet are satisfied with their lives are considered to have a medium subjective quality of life. The data show that the satisfaction with work is generally higher than satisfaction with life and that both are quite low in Slovenia as compared to the result of data collected in EU countries. Satisfaction with life appears to be mostly a result of good personal and physical condition, good interpersonal relationships at home, opportunities to learn and utilize knowledge at work and living in an unpolluted environment. Satisfaction with work depends primarily on available opportunities to learn and utilize knowledge at work, work autonomy, good physical working conditions and relatively loose control by superiors. Combining subjective levels of satisfaction with objective indicators reveals that about onethird of Slovenians enjoy a high quality of life and that less than 10% have a low quality of life. On the other hand, rather few people in Slovenia appear to enjoy a high quality of working life. Indeed, they tend to have a medium subjective quality of working life, meaning that they are rather satisfied with their work in spite of its low objective quality.
Labor market dynamics in Slovenia: transitions from unemployment
Družboslovne Razprave 22-23, pages 151-168
The rate of transition out of unemployment in Slovenia in the 19741994 period is estimated, using retrospective longitudinal individuallevel data and event history methods. Unemployment episodes are on the average very long and - as a rule - terminate in (re)employment rather than inactivity. The model specification allows the hazard rate to vary with the duration; the baseline rate first tends to increase and then decrease over time. Schooling has a significant positive effect on the escape rate, whereas gender has no effect on unemployment duration. Also the previous incidence of unemployment has no effect on the hazard rate. Results indicate a considerable dynamics in the Slovenian labor market during the transition period.
Work career defined by autonomy in work
Družboslovne Razprave 22-23, pages 169-185
A work career can be defined as series of different working states. Since autonomy in work is one of the main characteristics that influence the quality of working life, we have defined the work career of an individual as a sequence of different states of work autonomy. Two jobs differ only when they differ in autonomy. In this paper, data collected retrospectively for the period 1974-1994 are examined. Event history analysis is used to describe the process of changing work autonomy. To determine how long autonomy episodes are and how they end, the Kaplan-Meier method for estimating survivor function was applied. Most of the autonomy episodes are of very long duration. During their work careers individuals generate only one episode, which ends in inactivity. Since episodes are long, we presume that these episodes indicate the leaving of the labour market and retirement. The probability of changing autonomy status is somehow higher in the first five years, after which changes are rare. Younger and more educated Individuals are more likely to achieve jobs, which afford more autonomy. It seems that quality of working life defined in terms of work autonomy doesn't improve during a career.
Investment in education and training and shifts between jobs in the slovenian labour market
Družboslovne Razprave 22-23, pages 186-208
Job mobility is commonly dealt with as a function of individual resources and characteristics as well as structural factors. Labour market structures determine mobility opportunities, whereas individual resources and characteristics enable individuals to make use of these opportunities. Educational attainment is regarded as an individual resource, which is likely to open firms' doors, while its impact on internal job mobility is less clear. Some people continue to invest in their human capital later on in their working lives, be it to improve their level of education or to obtain job/occupation specific qualifications. This article deals with the importance of educational attainment and the effects of completed education during employment, as well as participation in non-formal further training on job mobility processes in the Slovenian labour market. The overall job transition rate, intrafirm job transition rate and inter-firm job transition rate are taken into consideration. Retrospective data on job histories covering the period 1974-1994 are analysed, which enables us to point out differences caused by changes in labour market structures in the period of transition to a market economy. The findings show that people with higher levels of educational attainment are more likely to change jobs, but also that labour force experience and non formal further training seem to make up for missing educational certificates in overall job shifts and inter-firm job shift, whereas original occupation has the same function in intra-firm job shifts processes. Additionally the function of education completed during ones working life, as job mobility resource is much less clear than expected. Neither labour force experience nor further training function as a retention mechanisms i.e., they do not chain people to existing jobs; organised non formal training supports job shifts. The transition period significantly increases intra firm job shifts, however it does not seem to alter the significance of human capital variables and original occupations on job transition rates.