Vito FlakerVoluntary Work: Work for Others and for Oneself - Pg. 305Keywords: work in shadow, informal sector, wage, power.
Voluntary work is an invention of the 20th century and differs considerably from charity of previous times. It is no longer the activity of the ruling elites but the participation, particularly of the youth, at solving some social problems. In Slovenia it has developed mainly as a response to the contradictions of the professionalism and the bureaucratic operation of institutions in the field of social action. The activities called voluntary are manifold and have several dimensions. They may have formal or informal frame, they may be designed for actual persons or abstract receivers of help, they may be organised as repetitive or as single actions, and they may be performed for others or for oneself. One of the attractions of voluntary work is precisely that what is done for others may also be work for oneself. Voluntary work is still, despite being non-paid, non-professional and intended for the benefit of others, dominated by wage-labour. Yet, in spite of its instrumental and utilitarian dimensions, it also possesses an aesthetic and ethical one, if it mediates in power relations between experts and users.
Jože RamovšVoluntary Work With People and for the People - Pg. 313Keywords: voluntary work, solidarity, self-help, social immunity system, professional hygiene.
The paper is an attempt at a wholesome presentation of the modern voluntary social work. It draws from the author's insights on social immunity system of self-help and solidarity. In his view, voluntary work is a specific modern form of solidarity, and to a great extent of self-help as well. A discussion on the pertinent Slovenian terminology is followed by a presentation and definition of post-modern voluntary work. Several dilemmas of professional help for people in distress are extensively analysed, such as the pathology of working with people and for them and the protection against it. The specific voluntary organisational paradigm, as distinct from the professional one, is presented for all stages: in recruiting volunteers, in their training, in the performance of voluntary work and actions, and in concern for maintaining the condition of volunteers. The final part of the paper presents several insights from the rich experience with voluntary work in the field of social gerontagogy.
Charles A. ElmetInformal Caregivers of Older Adults: Caregiver Burden and the Benefits of Support Groups - Pg. 323Keywords: caregiver, burden, support groups, elderly.
Informal caregivers, such as spouses, daughters and daughters-in-law, provide the vast majority of care to impaired elderly persons. The demands of care giving can lead to various types of burden, including physical, psychological/emotional, social and financial. Support groups for informal caregivers have been shown to be effective in helping caregivers increase feelings of well-being, improve relationships with care receivers, decrease depression and anxiety and ultimately lower rates of institutionalisation. Support groups may be professionally or peer led and may focus on specific disease processes, i.e., Alzheimer's disease, or be designed for caregivers of older adults in general.
Bojana MesecThe Emerging Generation of Volunteers - Pg. 329Keywords: virtual volunteers, virtual identity, community, new technologies.
People and organisations are linked through new technology and new ways of communication. They are a means of obtaining new knowledge and adopting new, better, faster and more efficient techniques. But the change commits us to hard work. The use of new technology requests investment in equipment, people with knowledge, training, and last but not least, the will for progress. Not-for-profit organisations, public and private, are very modestly equipped for their work. The information media brought about by globalisation has changed the operation of both profit and not-for-profit organisations, but due to their lack of means not-for-profit organisations have been left behind. The only way for them therefore is to accept the technological challenge on the level achieved by the profit sphere. Not-for-profit actions must become entrepreneurial to the extent that it will be able to communicate its social and humane ideas to the profit-oriented society on an equal footing, and react to its needs.
Leonida Kobal'Gluing with People': An Assesment of Therapeutic Effects on Volunteers from the Point of View of Attachment Theory - Pg. 335Keywords: socio-therapeutic camp, volunteers, personal growth, attachment styles, implicit relational models.
The author presents some findings of the research on therapeutic effects in the volunteers who have attended the socio-therapeutic summer camp 2000, organised by the association for psycho-social help and voluntary work 'Odmev'. By getting involved in the camp that demanded intense participation in relational network individuals reveal implicit, unconscious models of establishing closer relations, which may be explained and distinguished from the point of view of Bowlby's attachment theory. The sources of attachment theory, the research of attachment in childhood as the model of attachment styles in adulthood, and the significance of attachment theory for helping professions are discussed. On the empirical level the author finds that the majority of volunteers, with respect to their dominating attachment style, showed positive or therapeutic shifts on and after the camp.
Nino Rode, Melita ŽontarVoluntary Work with Addictions: The Case of Kranj Centre of Social Work - Pg. 355Keywords: volunteers, family, friends, therapist, former addicts, courts of law, police.
The authors describe the work, position and the role of volunteers at Kranj Centre of Social Work. The Centre's approach to addictions is interdisciplinary, which also determines voluntary work. Volunteers have been included in the Centre's work with addictions since the very beginning. They have been sought mainly amongst the students of social sciences and the humanities. The procedures of selection, training and inclusion of volunteers at the Centre are described. The treatment of an addict involves the addict him/herself, his/her parents (family), friends and acquaintances, the therapist(s), former addicts, volunteers, the police, courts of law, and other actors. The intent of therapists and volunteers is to change the behaviour of the addict in the direction that leads away from addiction. The research conducted at the Centre tried to determine how volunteers and therapists define the role of individual actors in the process of getting off. It showed that due to the specific position of volunteers, there are differences between them and therapists, which can be noticed in the significance attributed by each group to individual actors.
Nika Cigoj KuzmaVoluntary Work of School of Social Work Students - Pg. 363Keywords: social work students, social work methods, voluntary work, practice placement.
The task of the School is to see to the constant development of the profession, to follow its trends in the world, and to transfer new concepts and methods into practice. This is carried out with the help of practice placements, practice tutors at the School, and counsellors on placements who are social workers. All the participants are interacting and work as a complex system for the joint attainment of the aim - a linking of theory and practice. The paper gives an estimate of the performance on placement in the academic year 2000-2001, based on a questionnaire distributed to all the participants: students, tutors, and counsellors.
Nešo Stojanović, Mojca PettauerSuicidal Behaviour of the Youth: Work with a Suicidal Client - Pg. 249Keywords: suicide, self-aggression, family psycho-dynamics.
For better understanding and recognition of suicidal behaviour, we must be familiar with the indications that point to suicidal thoughts, attempts or the act as such. Professional social workers often meet this kind of problems, but they always wonder whether they are qualified enough to offer professional help. Thinking about suicide in adolescence is an even greater problem, as this is the period in which sensitivity and vulnerability are at their height. While meeting a suicidal client, it is important to know that the person wishes to live as well and not only to die; it is a state of conflict in which the person simultaneously wants to live and die. Hence the importance of awareness and good information about the phenomenon, for the appropriate recognition and acting may considerably reduce the risk of suicide.
Tomo DadičSport as a Means of Enrichment and a Way of Life of Persons with Special Needs - Pg. 255Keywords: sports, normalisation, destigmatisation, self-exceeding, human multi-dimensionality.
The contribution describes the sporting activities practised at his institution, and their importance for the lives of users, with emphases on the local surroundings and on the impact of sports on the quality of users' lives, and based on ten years' experiences in the field. Users' activities in sports are divided into three major areas: participation in the Special Olympics movement, inclusion into Youth groups for healthy life and sound interpersonal relations, and judo training for persons with special needs, now in its seventh season. The results of the author's research show that sports positively influences user's lives. Social work thus possesses a tool that is used less than it might be. On the other hand, social work concepts have a legitimate place in the discussions on sports.
Urban Kordeš, Helena JeričekCommunication as Spiral Convergence - Pg. 275Keywords: communication, non-trivial systems, change.
Initially, the prevailing, so-called 'triad' model of scientific comprehension is presented: cause-(transfer function)-result, which proves to be insufficient in the domain of cognitive research. Established scientific method works for describing trivial systems, but it fails in the cases of nontrivial ones. The core of the paper is dedicated to the study of communication as a nontrivial system. Communication is viewed as a constant process of bringing forth the participants' worlds ('world' = the domain of one's experience). The neurophysiological aspects of communication are examined and compared with findings of cybernetics of the second order. Further on, two prevailing modes of human communication are discussed: one that leads to narrowing and solidifying the participant's world, and another that enables its expansion. The concluding part of the paper is dedicated to more detailed description of methods by which communication can be turned to a process of expanding one's experiential potential and a process of (self-)discovery. The authors call such endeavour "spiral convergence".
Rezka OsredkarDarja Zaviršek (2000), Hendikep kot kulturna travma. Ljubljana: Založba /* cf. - Pg. 289
Vito FlakerInterview as an Art of Getting to Know: Ethnometodological Notes on How the Professional Get Know Users - Pg. 77Keywords: interview, conversation, ethnomethodology, everyday life, critical psychology, intimacy.
On the assumption that the traditional matrix of getting to know people in the distress leads to the perception of the users of various services as helpless, stigmatised, morally wrong etc., an ethnomethodological experiment was devised. It has elicited the questions that are usually asked in the setting of social work. These questions establish a frame, which, although based on kindness, is of an institutional nature and, besides getting to know somebody, directed towards the individualisation of problems. When peers were asked the same questions in everyday settings (streets, bars, stations), they were felt inappropriate and rude. In observations of various attempts at re-establishing the ordinary context of civil interaction or at assuming the role of a client, the differences between the two modes of getting to know somebody have been analysed and compared. Professional matrix produces problems, seeks inadequacies, and elicits sad tales. The division of roles is asymmetrical from the start; the client is subordinated and dependent, while the professional's efforts include his/her own distinguishing and keeping away from him/her. The relation is based on the tinkering, personal services model, uses the institutional, formal spaces, people are encouraged to tell tales with predetermined object, thus reducing the experience by reinstating the theme in a rigid frame of the conversation, individualising the responsibility and intruding into intimacy, which is warranted professional secrecy. Ordinary conversation matrix constructs personal and social mappings, concentrates on virtues, and encourages happy and successful stories and entertainment. The roles are on principle symmetric, based on the assumption of equality and reciprocity and the feelings of trust and conspiracy. The model here is a peddlers' and rhapsods' conversation, which takes place in public or intimate spaces and is characterised by a net of diffused topics; it is open and may expand autopoetically, it is associative in nature and thematically peripatetic. Responsibility is collective, tone unofficial, intimacy achieved by seduction and protected by conspiracy and trust. In order to get to know people, the ordinary context seems superior, and it is recommended for use in professional settings as well. The author concludes with a possible synthesis of this model with pertinent professional skills, discipline and ethics.
Vera GrebencExpert Reports on the Basisi of Experience and the Forbidden Knowledge in the Narrative of Drug Users - Pg. 105Keywords: drug users, metaphors, practical knowledge, prohibited knowledge.
The article presents the drug users everyday conversations in the context of narrative characteristics and shows the content and language used in these stories, considering social background of social representations that are used to explain everyday life of drug users. Stories of drug users are analysed in the view of special and expert knowledge that is accumulated inside subcultures of drug users and is circulating as prohibited knowledge among them through storytelling.
Mojca UrekLife Stories and their Significance: Some Starting Points for an Examination of Storytelling in Social Work - Pg. 119Keywords: community mental health, narrative theory, storytelling, biographical method, documentation in social work.
The paper describes characteristics and significance of storytelling and indicates some theoretical starting-points and possible directions of researching storytelling in social work. Narratives include constructions and expressions of meaning, which is a crucial practice in human life. They are significant structures of the production of meaning; therefore, it seems necessary to maintain and respect the ways of the respondents' construction of meaning. Storytelling in social work, as well as in general, exhibits at least three features: the social construction of stories, the interpretability of processes, and the relations of power that dominate the stories. The author introduces a variety of theories and concepts (literary, sociological, social-psychological) that are relevant for the field of the narrative and, by way of divergent applications, for both the theory and the practice of social work.
Vera GrebencFailed Escapes by the Prisoners of Biographies - Pg. 151Keywords: autobiographic narrative, identity project, institutionalised biography.
The concept of individualisation of living situations presumes that biographies have become "self-reflective"; a socially prescribed biography is transformed into a self-created biography, and one that continues to be such. But the plenitude of stories supposedly at the individual's disposal turns out to be fictitious. As a story is placed amongst other biographical accounts, it usually shows that the course of events is by all means preconditioned and prescribed. They find support in the concepts of "high reality" from prescribed biographies, in which the points of career are determined with regard to the standardised life periods and the related institutional expectations.
Blaž Mesec, Sanja KaubeThe Experience of the Patients with Colostomy from the Perspective of Corbin and Strauss' Theory of Managing Chronic Illness at Home - Pg. 159Keywords: everyday life with a chronic disease, qualitative analysis, biography.
The qualitative analysis of seven interviews of patients with colostomy, based on Corbin and Strauss' theory about managing chronic illness at home, found the following characteristics of their experience. The first is the biographical perspective: the illness (cancer of colon) as well as the operation, with everything that happens before and after it, together with its consequence, the stoma, represent a critical intervention into the lives of these patients. The experience in the hospital can be traumatic for some people because of the contrast between the technicised everyday life in hospital and the existential threat the patients may feel. The difference between a fatal and a pragmatic experience of the trauma, or between inconsolable mourning of one's own fate and the practical regulation of life with the stoma, can be observed. It is precisely the need to care for the stoma and to introduce a regime of everyday life that lead to the pragmatic attitude and acceptance. With regard to their acceptance of life with the stoma, as well as to their material living conditions, great differences can be observed among patients. They stress as very important the support of their partners and families and of their self-help associations. In this case, categories proposed by Corbin and Strauss seem to be adequate for the description of their experiences.
Mateja SedmakAuto/Biographical Approach to Studying Ethnically Mixed Marriages - Pg. 181Keywords: auto/biographical method, qualitative research, ethnically mixed marriages, methodology, sociology.
The history of researching ethnically mixed marriages is dominated by the studies of the macro-level, with prevailing quantitative research techniques emphasising statistical and demographic incidence of "mixed marriage". Sociological studies on ethnic problems evidently lack qualitative research on inter-ethnic relations with an emphasis on the (inter)personal level, i.e., on the micro-level. This contribution presents methodological and epistemological advantages of auto/biographical approach in examining intimate, interpersonal relations and subtle family microclimate. Because of its basic features that distinguish this approach, collection of auto/biographical narratives proved as a particularly efficient tool in examining ethnically mixed marriages as a specific form of intercultural encounters on the interpersonal (micro-) level of partnership and family.
Christopher HallNarrative and Social Work: Some Implications for Theory, Analysis and Practice - Pg. 191Keywords: narrative analysis, performance, social interaction, storytelling in social work.
This paper reviews some recent theories of narrative - structuralism, postmodernism and social interaction. Concentrating on an approach that considers the performance of storytelling in everyday social interaction, key concepts of narrative analysis are discussed and illustrated using a variety of social work texts. It is assumed that storytelling is inevitable in the everyday interactions between social workers, clients and other professionals, and narrative analysis offers a powerful and sensitive analytic device. By studying the details of social work talk and writing, we can see how storytelling methods are deployed strategically and rhetorically to get the job done. Finally there is discussion of how narrative approaches inform the practice of social work.
Milko PoštrakAnthropological Point of View - Pg. 207Keywords: subject, culture, phenomenology, intersubjectivity, hermeneutics.
Anthropologists have been interested in various human cultural practices. The author gives a brief summary of the anthropological history, from "travelling stories" of the nineteenth century to "scientific conceptions" in the first half of the twentieth century and the "critical revaluation" in anthropology within the last decades of this century. The author is also interested to find any references to Husserl's phenomenological conceptions of the person in anthropology. He thinks that Geertz's demand to look "from the native's point of view" has something in common with Husserl's conception of the subject. Further links are made to hermeneutics, linguistics and communication studies.
Mojca UrekChristopher Hall (1997), Social Work as Narrative: Storytelling and Persuasion in Professional Texts. Aldershot: Ashgate (273 pgs.) - Pg. 237
Andreja Kavar VidmarSocial Security in the European Union - Pg. 3Keywords: social security, European Union, legislation in EU.
The contribution outlines the development and legal regulation of European Union since the Treaty of rome till the summit in Nice. The most important legal sources relating to social security in EU are presented, as well as their impact on the systems of socila security in the candidate states, in particular Slovenia. There is no legally binding super-national system of social security. The harmonization of social security originates primarily in the economical aims of EU.
Srečo DragošThe Politization of the Roman Catholic Church (Research Report) - Pg. 13Keywords: Christianity, religion, Roman Catholic church, clericalism, cultural struggle, politics, election.
Since Christianity, and amongst its variants in particular Catholicism, is the most proselytising religion, the question arises about the relationship between Catholic action and other kinds of action, those that are not based on creed. How does the Roman Catholic Church in Slovenia understand this problem and how does it respond to it? The presented research analysed the presence of the RCC in the biggest media in Slovenia during the campaign for parliamentary election at the end of 2000. Markedly outstanding turned out to be the following topics: the relationship between religion and politics, the issue of religious provision in the military, the issue of religious contents in public education, and the attitude of the RCC towards the press and electronic media. The conclusion of the paper resumes the main issues regarding the RCC's strategy, the proceedings of political parties and the political culture in Slovenia, which have been subjected to significant shifts with potentially damaging consequences for the RCC and the whole society.
Tanja LamovecUsers' Initiatives and the State - Pg. 29Keywords: advocacy, community mental health, legislation, psychiatry users\' training.
The author presents various forms of advocacy, as they were developed in Slovenia (peer and collective advocacy and self-advocacy), and her own activities in this field, particularly within a psychiatr}' users' association named Paradoks. She describes the commonest problems met by users and the forms of their solution in the framework of advocacy. She also points out the as yet unresolved problems in the relation between users and the state, which include, apart from financial issues, especially the issue of (in)adequate legislation.
Jasna CajnkoAre Social Workers Imperilled? - Pg. 37Keywords: social work, professional identity, professional boundaries, professional training.
The author presents her views on the necessary knowledge and professional orientation of the employees of centres of social work. She ponders over the question whether social workers loose their identity, if they continue their training in the fields of other, however similar and related professions, and what is the impact of such a decision on the development of social work.
Tanja CinkStress as a Cultural Function - Pg. 43Keywords: stress, stressors, organisation culture
Stress in the workplace is a factor that can also point to the quality of working life and of life in general. If it is not assured to employees, there is a great danger that they will not be capable to adapt to requirements and will develop a negative attitude towards their organisations. In this case, the cohesion or identification of the employees with their organisations (organisation culture) is shaken and the progress, even the existence of the organisation is imperilled. Consequently, the task of every organisation is to develop tools to preserve a climate that will not threaten employees but will rather be a source of contentment.
Natalija Jeseničnik, Urša SlatenšekEuropean Academy - International Workshop on Epilepsy Cocachade - Pg. 59
In the previous issue of Social Work (volume 39, number 6), in the research report »Analysis of the position of excluded social groups in Slovenia and proposals for reduction of their exclusion in the social security system " by Darja Zaviršek and Jelka Škerjanc, this explanation is missing: The task was carried out within the program of the Institute of Social Protection of the Republic of Slovenia for the year 1998. The publication was approved by the Ministry of Labor, Family and Social Affairs as the ultimate user results.