Home » Issue 32-33
Družboslovne Razprave 32-33 (XVI)
The parental effect on educational and accupational attainment in Slovenia during the 20th century
Družboslovne Razprave 32-33, pages 9-54
This paper empirically addresses social change and stability in Slovenia in the 20th century. After describing historical determinants and examining stratification research in Slovenia, it brings together information on long-term trends in intergenerational mobility, using the core of the Blau-Duncan model for estimating basic parental effect within occupational and educational attainment. The data, collected in a pooled data set, is representative of adults, aged from 21 to 64 years. They come from two different sources: firstly, from five (two-stage stratified) random samples of regular cross-section surveys, completed in 1968, 1973, 1980, 1989, and 1998(Slovenian Public Opinion Poll, i.e. SPOP), and, secondly, from three other random sample surveys, namely, from the Time Use Survey (1967), the Social Justice Project (1991), and the ISSP Survey (1992). The research designallows for cohort analysis, embracing labour market entry years of respondents from around 1920 to 1998. By using standard scales and methods the issues tend to be internationally comparable. The findings support the IMS hypothesis, namely, the existence of a significant negative linear trend in the parental effect over time. Surprisingly, the findings of a more detailed time analysis also expose a rather drastic decrease of parental effect during socialism in comparison to other CEE countries, followed by a sudden increase after the end of socialism (1990). The significant variations in parental effect over time are mainly the results of structural mobility factors, especially of a stronger political intervention on the educational system (to a higher extent) and labour markets (to a lesser extent) during socialism. The return of a higher parental effect after the end of socialism, characterised by a more open economy, suggests that the former destratification policy could have been rather just (with more equal access to public services like education and employment), but economically less-efficient.
The education system in Slovenia in the 20th century
Družboslovne Razprave 32-33, pages 55-71
The establishement of public schools in Austria, after the Law on Primary School Education was enacted in 1869 has accelerated the cultural development of Slovenians. But the school continuation possibilities in Austria were provided for boys mainly, especially within the elite middle schools called gymnasiums. Soon after the establishment of Yugoslavia in 1918 the process of Slovenisation of the education system was performed and the first Slovenian University was established. The old Austrian education system, which helped the cultural (literacy) level of Slovenians to be far above the Yugoslav average at that time basically did not change a lot for a longer period, until the Education Law in 1958. In contrast to the old system, which offered a variety of choices only during the compulsory schooling, the new system shifted the time of crucial differentiation from the pupils' age of eleventh years to the age of fifteenth years. Also, it offered majority of youth more opportunities, i.e., to reach at least a medium education level, especially with several newly established medium-level (vocational) schools. So, the once prevailed problems with hard transition within the education system were removed and replaced by an easier access to and with a higher transibility through the education system, which all helped to increase the share of youth within middle schools and in higher education.
The slovenian approach to talent identification and social inequality
Družboslovne Razprave 32-33, pages 72-83
In his theory of elites' circulation, Pareto examined the relationship between the social and psychological inequality. During the rise to power of a new elite (understood as a group of especially talented individuals) these two inequalities become more congruent. On the other hand, when a new elite is well established, it often becomes opposed to the influx of new talent, so, the opposite tendency in the above relationship prevails. It goes without saying that social development is stimulated in the first case, and blocked in the second. The vicissitudes of the Slovenian system of identifying and stimulating talent that has developed since the late sixties are discussed in the light of this theory.
Slovenian trade unions - the birth of labor organizations in post-communism
Družboslovne Razprave 32-33, pages 87-100
This article examines changes that have occurred within organized labor over past decade (1989-1999). The analysis shows that in Slovenian post-communism the theory that crisis causes deunionization also holds up. Worker under severe pressure from unemployment do in fact leave their trade unions. The post-communist peculiarity in the process of deunionization was in the non-worker social groups leaving the unions more intensively. In the last ten years the uneven reduction in union membership meant a change in membership structure. At the end of the 1990s clearly defined labor organizations appeared in Slovenia.
Managerial elite and market transition - the case of Slovenia
Družboslovne Razprave 32-33, pages 101-125
Managers are the most critical resource of corporate restructuring. Given the scarcity of managerial talent in Eastern Europe, the managers became the bottleneck of the continuation of economic reforms and market adjustment. This article looks at the cultural, human, and social capital of the incumbent managerial elite in Slovenia to examine its managerial potential. The survey of transition managers in 160 companies showed that many of the common assumptions do not hold. Human capital of transition managers is higher than assumed. However, education is too often considered the goal by itself and not the means for getting business results. Credentialism is evident from the high priority of formal education and the neglect of management training. Cultural capital is as weak as expected. The incumbent management elite was recruited largely from lower parts of social hierarchy, which makes intergenerational skills transfer an unsuitable substitute for management training. Social capital of transition managers was to a large extent untouched by transition. Managers remained highly involved in business associations. The pattern that has its origin in the socialist system is most likely the result of attempts by managers to stay abreast of changes by networking and lobbying outside of their firms rather than by strategizing and mobilizing within them. All forms of capital contributed to the willingness of the mangers to restructure their firms. However, the attitudes of managers regarding privatization and transition issues had no effect whatsoever on their corporate strategy.
Some characteristics of European (flexible) labour markets
Družboslovne Razprave 32-33, pages 126-140
In this article, the author analyses the structure of the European labor market(s) and the correlation between the welfare state regimes and the types of labor markets in Europe. Using the data from the Labor Force Surveys and cluster analysis as a statistical tool, the author gets slightly different picture of European labor markets from those proposed by some other authors. The cluster analysis revealed 4 distinctive, regionally structured and coherent clusters (groups) of labor markets, which could be ranked from a more traditional, industrial type to the modern, flexible type of the labor market. Similar structure, with even greater regional coherence, is found regarding the characteristics of the labor market flexibility. It is argued that for such results cultural as well as economic factors, that are hidden behind the notion of welfare state regimes, are responsible.
Regime change and elite dynamics in Slovenia during the 1990s: what can the elite reproduction rates tell us?
Družboslovne Razprave 32-33, pages 143-180
This paper deals with elite-reproduction and elite-circulation concepts and their connection to the 'elite-continuity' discussion, which appeared frequently during the last decade in transition countries. It uncovers certain ambiguities of the elite-circulation thesis, which then cause several problems in an empirical investigation of elite dynamics. A methodological framework, according to the manpower planning approach, is developed to meaningfully calculate elite reproduction rates. The rates for Slovenia are then calculated, based on the Elite Study Survey (1995), which collected information on elite composition in 1988 and in 1995, and on elite mobility during that time. These short-term rates of elite reproduction are compared against the long-term (1976-1992) rates of leaders' reproduction, based on the retrospective Quality of Life in Slovenia study (1994). Elite reproduction rates during the first years of transition (the regime change 1988-1995) were significantly above a long-term average only in the segment of politics. However, the findings also indicate a controversial origin of political (in)stability in Slovenia. Namely, the (positional) replacement and renewal of Slovenian (positional) elites in the past always happened at a higher level than the (positional) reproduction of the general population; which is a surprising fact. At the least, a frequent elite replacement brought a lot of 'disappointment' with the politics to both 'overly mobile' public servants and ordinary people. On the other side, it might have relaxed and reconciled political tensions, too. An illustrative example of an 'honest and brave' diagnosis of malfunctions in the field of public tenders but misguided remedy of how to find a way out of this complex policy problem is given at the end of the paper.
From elite reproduction to elite adaptation: the dynamics of change in personal networks of Slovenian elites
Družboslovne Razprave 32-33, pages 181-197
This article deals with the process of elite adaptation in Slovenia in the period between 1988 and 1995. While negotiated settlement between the old and new elites in Slovenia contributed to high reproduction rates of Slovenian old elites, there was significant change going on within the new and old elites. By looking at their ego networks, we show that the debate on elite reproduction is overlooking an important aspect of change, i.e. the adaptation of elites. We analyze changes in the composition of elites' networks and find that in spite of high reproduction rates, there was extensive fluctuation in the old elites' networks. We also find that changes in the composition of networks were the result of strategic choice by the members of the new and old elites. These results indicate that Slovenian elites underwent significant changes that simple measures of elite reproduction fail to uncover and that they were a result of conscious elite adaptation rather than induced elite accommodation to regime change. We argue that because it shifts emphasis from elite reproduction to the actual social processes elite adaptation theory provides superior tools for the analysis of transition in those societies that experienced negotiated settlement of old and new elites.
Democratic transition and elite integration in Slovenia from 1988 to 1995
Družboslovne Razprave 32-33, pages 198-222
Integrated elite structure is the key for regime stability because 'consensually integrated' elites are more inclusive of different elite circles and opposing elite factions, thus reducing the possibility of democratic breakdowns. Integration of elites in the national arena, and consequently the consolidation of democracy, depends largely on ability of elite actors to form ties with people in different social and policy circles. Elite integration is thus defined as crosscutting elite circles. In the study of ego-networks of elite actors in Slovenia before and after the transition we found systematic changes in elite structure that confirm the general trend toward elite integration. We found that post-transition networks were larger, more inclusive of weak ties and contacts with dissimilar point of view or sectoral affiliation. This trend of opening-up, and reaching-out of post-transition elite actors is consistent with the increasing elite integration. While these findings indicate the trend toward elite integration in Slovenia, the path to consensual unity of elites is still long and uncertain.
Transition elites: catalysts of social innovation or rent-seekers?
Družboslovne Razprave 32-33, pages 223-245
Proceeding from a synthetic overview of findings related to elite research in almost all the countries in Eastern and Central Europe, the authors try to discern the patterns of elite reproduction and /or circulation. They are especially interested in the impact of these patterns on the type and quality of democracy as well as on socio-economic modernisation. Taking Slovenia as a case study, they begin with an analysis of the multifaceted phenomenon of retention elite and draw attention to the importance of the differentiation of (political) elite and an emergent balance between dominant (retention) and new elite. As far as future process of elite formation is concerned, they argue – also polemically with authors such as Higley - that at least in the case of small social (national) systems, the model of cognitive oriented elite (or elite with high learning capacity) is more functional than the model of (pure) power and acquisitive elite.
Growing-up Slovenia in the nineties
Družboslovne Razprave 32-33, pages 261-275
It is difficult to determine the nature of young people in the 1990s in Slovenia, since this population seems to be socially, culturally and stylistically unformed. The 1960s and the 1970s were years of rapid ascent and qualitative growth for youth movements in Slovenia, along side a higher level of youth emancipation and self-confidence. The 1980s were years of expansion and the breaking up of youth subcultures into the various alternative scenes. The 1990s, in contrast, have been marked by the regression of youth movements, the increased social anomie of youth, and the destruction of alternative youth cultures. The redirection of dealing with society to dealing with oneself is characteristic of the young in Slovenia in the 1990s. Young people deal mostly with themselves now and try to achieve as painless and risk free a path to the future as possible. The problems, which they encounter, they do not displace onto society, but deal with them alone.
Inequality from the perspective of cognitive science
Družboslovne Razprave 32-33, pages 276-288
Social inequality incorporates those differences which are emphatically experienced and morally valued by the members of a community. This is true of differences, which are perceived as strategic by them. Moral ranking is needed to translate biological differences of a gregarious nature into inequality of a social kind. But once cultural contents in the mind are established, it functions as an emergent, contributing on its own to various social extensions (for example profession or residential status). A significant difference exists between the two ideal-type forms of inequality. Inequalities embedded in biology are more likely to be evaluated as self-evident and non-problematic, as they represent an integral part of our experiencing of ourselves. We experience our gender and age (that is sensate, feel and think it) directly, and as a result tend to take it for granted. It is an altogether different matter when it comes to inequalities of a predominantly sociocultural kind. These are more likely to be perceived as arbitrary and as a result subject to constant contention.
Old social risk in a new light - the old age
Družboslovne Razprave 32-33, pages 289-302
Increasing gap between the working cohort and the retired one gave rise to substantial social and economic problems in the last decades. Reconsideration of the present retirement schemes revealed them as becoming incompatible with current structural changes, which calls for changing particularly the work contract and the welfare contract in operation. Many students of the old age issue advocate the idea that the old age and retirement per se stopped to be the principal risk for this cohort. While testing this assumption by employing the Slovene empirical evidence, the author concludes as follows: 1. The acquired education and occupation primarily determines the household's income while gender and age show no significant influence in this respect; 2. In comparison to the employed, retired might live in worse living conditions, but the relation of the latter with retirement is either weak or absent; 3. Living conditions satisfaction lacks any relation to living conditions themselves. Summing up, the old age and retirement fail to increase the risk of impoverishment, which fits to findings of certain other scholars, too.