INTRODUCTION TO THEMATIC ISSUE
Ines Kvaternik, Liljana RihterBetween National Guidelines and Practice: Drug Demand Reduction in the field of Licit and Illicit Drugs - Pg. 263Keywords: department politics, inter-department co-operation, cost-effectives, urgent measures.
The article is based on the analysis of the performance of Slovenian policy in the field of Drug and Alcohol Demand Reduction. Analysis of the key contents was developed on the bases of the analysis of interviews made by representatives of different departments in the field of Drug and Alcohol Demand Reduction. Key contents – the visibility of drugs and alcohol problems in the society, department contribution to problem solving, cooperation with others actors and future planned activities – has showed that departments in the field of Drug Demand Reduction, in the process of forming and performing politics, take into account the Resolution on national programme in drug field. Deficiencies appear on the level of data collection and exchange, on the level of sharing similar tasks among different actors, and on the level of co-ordination and inter-department co-operation.
Nino Rode, Liljana Rihter, Vera Grebenc, Amra Šabić, Tamara Rape Žiberna, Ines KvaternikDrug-related Issues as Seen by Students of the Faculty of Social Work - Pg. 275Keywords: drug policy; social work that accepts drugs; harm reduction; BA graduation thesis; illicit drug users.
Knowledge of drug related problems is important for successful social work. The data about were collected through the study of BA graduation theses of students at the Faculty of social work, Ljubljana. Paper focuses on basic concepts and the development of Slovenian policy against drugs. Analysis shows that themes from Resolution of national program on drug area 2004–2009 are insufficient framework for classification of the theses. The differences in approaches, sensitivity to the situation, methodology of gathering and analyzing data in BA theses are also important. Views of the students are described trough classification of the themes dealt with. The majority of theses deals with drug related problem situations concerning the drug user or their close relatives. Only a few theses study nongovernmental organizations. Some other organizations that deal with drug users are also presented in the theses. There are also some studies about the frequency of drug use among young people and rapid assessment of situation in some regions of Slovenia. It is shown that the programme at Faculty of social work produces experts well equipped for social work with drug users, nevertheless some suggestions for improvement of program for this area are proposed.
Ines Kvaternik, Vera GrebencSafer Injection Room as a Reasonable Response to Needs of Injection Drug Users and Community - Pg. 287Keywords: harm reduction, drug injecting, safe injecting room, policies, needs of drug users.
For several years, harm reduction programmes have been expressing the need to establish a safe-injection room, i.e. a place where a drug user has a possibility to inject illicit drugs, with reduced risk and better hygiene. The question of the importance of safe rooms is placed in a broader context; not only in terms of preventing health damage but also in terms of reducing harmful social consequences of drug use on individual and local community. Our experience in the research shows that the place of use has a very significant influence on the performance of the different social roles played by drug users. The analysis of relevant literature, research, ethnographic material and experiences of experts in the field of harm reduction shows that the time is ripe to shift focus from responses which are directed to individual drug user (in order to change individual behaviour) to responses which will be directed to the community harm reduction. Safer injecting room could have a significant affect on a drug user’s quality of life. However, on the other hand, it could contribute to further stigmatisation and exclusion, especially if such a programme takes place under the public eye and without the support of local community.
Matej SandeAlcohol Use Among Those Participating in Trips at the End of High School - Pg. 297Keywords: harm reduction, adolescents, prevention.
The paper presents the results of a research project investigating the use of alcohol and other drugs on trips made at the end of high school, following completion of the final matriculation exams. The main purpose of the research project is to identify the prevalence and rules governing alcohol use among those participating in these end-of-school trips. The author focuses on the special characteristics of alcohol use during the so called matriculation trip and what types of risks young people face due to alcohol use. The results show that the existing high level of alcohol use seen during the school year does not increase during the trip. The number of drunk students on the trip is higher with one-third of the interviewed participants being drunk every day. In total, more than three-quarters of the interviewed participants on the trip had been drunk. The research results point to possibilities and limitations in prevention work on the reduction of harm due to alcohol use among young people.
Torsten Kolind, Karen ElmelandPrevention or Pleasure: Divergent Discourses of Alcohol Intoxication - Pg. 307Keywords: youth, alcohol, everyday practices, qualitative research, Denmark.
The article compares and discusses two different discourses of youngsters’ alcohol consumption in Denmark. On the one hand, there’s the authoritative medical health preventive discourse with formulated politics as for instance articulated by the National board of Health. On the other hand, there’s the discourse routed in everyday practices of parents organising parties for teenagers. The two discourses are seemingly rather different, however parents have no difficulties navigating to and fro these alternative worldviews. When asked in surveys about attitudes towards teenage alcohol consumption, the answers of Danish adults resembles official preventive guidelines as for instance delaying alcohol debut, separating youth gatherings and alcohol, etc. But when relating to the actual social lives and problems of their youngsters, divergent practices are sought by the parents, characterised by harm reducing and pragmatic initiatives.
Betsy ThomWorking With Communities: A Feature of Multi-component Programmes to Tackle Alcohol And Drug-related Harm - Pg. 315Keywords: power, risk, trust, unwanted effects.
This paper describes a »multi-component« approach to providing a local response to alcohol and drugrelated harm and highlights the role of community »mobilisation« as an important component of such programmes. Conceptual difficulties in defining »community« are recognised and the importance of understanding the heterogeneous nature of communities is discussed. Working with communities is seen as presenting a number of challenges, not least the challenge of addressing the balance of power between professional groups and citizens and the need to take account of potentially conflicting interests between different social groups in the community. Linked to issues of re-distribution of power, are questions of risk – to individuals and to the community as a whole, the danger of unwanted effects of intervention and the possible disruption of existing structures, networks and alliances within the community. The paper provides some examples of multi-component programmes and examples of different ways of interacting with communities to foster their collaboration in intervention programmes.
Zsuzsanna ElekesOld and New Habits of Drug Use Among High School Students in the Capital of Hungary: Preliminary Results of the Research Conducted Among the School Population in Budapest - Pg. 327
Franca Beccaria, Allaman Allamani, Francesco Cipriani, Franco PrinaWhy the Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages in Italy Decreased Between 1970 and 2005 - Pg. 337
Dare KocmurInes Kvaternik Jenko (2006), Politika drog: Pogledi uporabnikov in uporabnic - Pg. 349
Borut Petrović JesenovecUmberto Galimberti (2009), Grozljivi gost: Nihilizem in mladi - Pg. 353
REPORT FROM PRACTICE
Klavdija StergulcSelf-help Group within the Center for Social Work Tolmin: How the Parents of Juvenile Drug Users Organized Themselves - Pg. 355
REPORTS FROM ABROAD
Ines KvaternikConference Report: Social Inclusion and Health: Crossing the Borders - Correlation Conference in Sofia - Pg. 359
Ines KvaternikReport on the 17th International Harm Reduction Conference - Pg. 361
Simona SmolejThe Negative Side of Flexible Employment: Fixed-term Employment in Service Sector and the Occurrence of Poverty within the Employed Population - Pg. 199Keywords: flexibility of labour, precariousness, the working poor, flexicurity, shop assistants.
The process of flexibilisation of labour market creates new risks for employment as well as new forms of poverty. With flexible employment new forms and practices of employment develop, which decreases unemployment rate, but on the other hand diminishes the quality of employment. Very low on the qualitative scale is the precarious employment as exemplified by shop assistants, employed for a fixed term. Many employments in the services that are mostly done by women (e. g. household assistance) are classifiable as risky employments. The most important question, in this context is how to preserve or improve quality of employments and enhance the security of labour. Also very important is to identify the forms of employments that assure harmonious economic and social progress. When dealing with integration of flexibility and security of employment, the concept that hold great currency in Europe is “flexicurity”. It is also mentioned in Slovenian reforms.
Vesna LeskošekEmployment Possibilities of Young People - Pg. 207Keywords: youth, unemployment, inclusion, equal opportunities, risks.
Young people in Slovenia are one of the groups that are most exposed to the changes in labour market. Together with over 50 years old people, long-term unemployed and physically or mentally handicapped, they have the highest rate of registered unemployment. Unemployment is particularly high among those that enter labour market for the first time. It is a broad and lasting problem and is recognised as such by the EU and by the state. Despite the fact that the state wants to reduce the problem mostly with an “active employment policy”, analyses show that the policy is not efficient enough because it neglects the complexity of the problem. Also overlooked are the changing natures of both youth and labour – both have been subjected to extended and fundamental changes in recent decades. The consequences are especially dramatic for young people with low level of education, no support networks and weak access to resources. They can easily become excluded from the labour market (and consequently form participation in the society) for a considerable time. In the article we explore changes in the area of youth, the meanings of exclusion, and changes in labour market. We compare the “active employment policy” measures with our findings.
Tjaša Žakelj, Alenka ŠvabReconciliation of Family and Work: Between Legislation Support and Everyday Life - Pg. 215Keywords: family life, work, family policy, family work.
The article analyses the main characteristics of Slovenian legislation in the field of family policy and the equal opportunities policy that encompass the problem of reconciliation of the demands of family life and workplace, and the everyday strategies that are used by parents with small children to negotiate between them. Analysis reveals that the reconciliation in question is conceptualized as a problem of “the use of time” and its allocation, as a problem of inequality between men and women, and also as a problem of recognizing family needs on the part of employers. The participation of women with small children in labour, which indicates the double work of mothers, is higher in Slovenia than in other states of the European Union. Young fathers have indeed taken a greater share in domestic labour and care, but there are still gender differences in reconciliation strategies. While fathers do not submit their work to family demands, the organization and coordination of both spheres remains a woman’s everyday task. Although mothers consider part time job an ideal opportunity for combining family and work, they avoid it under the assumption that they are, with a help of relatives (mainly grandparents), still able to negotiate between the needs of their families and the demands of their workplace.
Jelena JuvanReconciliation of Work and Family Demands in the Military - Pg. 227Keywords: gender division of labour, greedy institutions, military profession, military family.
The reconciliation of work and family demands is not a novel concept and has been present since people started being employed outside their homes. It became more acute in the second half of the twentieth century, when women first entered labour market. In spite of all the changes, the family is still believed to be an exclusively female domain, and women’s engagements in the family have a primacy. Women are still expected to be faithful to their families in the first place; men are expected the opposite. Military organization is a traditional “male” organization. The gender dimension of the discussed topic is thus very strong and should not be ignored. It becomes even more apparent when reconciliation of demands from “male” military organization and “female” family is an issue. Both institutions must find a way of cohabitation in order to avoid a conflict that can be useful to neither of them.
Andreja Kavar VidmarGrega Strban (2005), Temelji obveznega zdravstvenega zavarovanja - Pg. 241
REPORTS FROM ABROAD
Rihter LiljanaEuropean Societies in Transition: Social Development and Social Work - Pg. 243
Barbara KresalThe Impact of the Amended Employment Relationship Act (ZDR-A) on Employment Relations - Pg. 245
Barbara KresalEuropean Economic Integration and National Social Security Systems - Pg. 247
INTRODUCTION TO THEMATIC ISSUE
Darja ZaviršekBeetween Blood and Care: Social Parenthood as an Expansion of the Concept of Parenthood in Current Societies - Pg. 3Keywords: social kinship, consanguine relations, non-blood relations, human rights, family law.
Social parenthood is a social relation, social category, and a concept which due to changes in people’s everyday life has gained growing scientific attention. The concept of social parenthood stands in opposition to the biological parenthood and challenges the assumption that parenthood refers to kinship. Parenthood has never been exclusively based on biological relations. Social parenthood refers to children and adults that are not related by blood. In Slovenia, parenthood is taken to equal consanguine relations. Conversely, adults and children that are not biologically related are usually not considered to be in the parents-children relationship. However, there is a growing number of families with a mixture of biological and social parenthood, often named »blended families«, »adoptive families«, »samesex families«, and families that use reproductive technology for reproduction. Social parenthood is a permanent, intimate relation between an adult and a child that is not based on blood ties but on socialemotional ones and includes the adult’s economic responsibility for the child. For the child, parents are »important others« regardless of whether they are defined as such in legislation. Using an historical and ethnographic perspective, the author shows how consanguine relations in Europe gained such an important status in comparison to social ties between children and adults, and points out a continuous demonising of non-blood parental ties that is still reflected in Slovenian family law.
Lilijana BurcarSocialisation of Young People through Literary Fairy Tales: A Case of the Construction of Biological and Social Parenthood - Pg. 17Keywords: Charles Perrault, Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm, Francesca Lia Block, Emma Donoghue, mothers, fathers.
Literary fairy-tales have functioned as an important tool in the ideological reproduction of gendered schemes and the naturalisation of patriarchal nuclear family. A survey of Charles Perrault’s and the Grimm brothers’ collections shows that the role of the evil step-parent is always assigned to the second wife and surrogate mother, while the biological mother comes to figure as a good mother only with her obligatory passage into death. Classic literary fairytales thus establish a narrative frame that requires biological mothers to be silenced, and surrogate mothers punished and destroyed, for the father to emerge as the nucleus of the heteronormative family unit. The father is established as a benevolent authority figure and absolved from the responsibility for his incestuous acts or the cruelty he originally displayed in some folk tales. Most of the modern adaptations of classic literary fairy-tales continue to perpetuate this nuclear family pattern with the father figure functioning as the embodiment of indisputable authority and benevolence. With fairy-tales being one of the most ubiquitous genres for the young, this in turn has specific socialisation effects on young readers’ perception and understanding of family units and kinship patterns.
Maja KlunAdoptions in Slovenia as a Form of Social Parenthood - Pg. 35Keywords: adoptive parent(s), adopted child, biological parents, social parents, discrimination.
The paper draws attention to the problem of adoptions at the national level. In Slovenia, people facing infertility decide to adopt children when they lose hope of having their own. However, excessively long periods of foster care and long waiting lists (three to five years) result in a big discrepancy between the number of adopted children and the number of applications registered by the centres of social work. Although adoptions are the oldest form of social parenthood and are legally recognised, research shows that the responses of the environment to adoptive families are diverse. The adoptive family is viewed as different from the biological one, because adoptive parents do not share the same genetic material with their children. Apart from the usual problems occurring also in the biologically constructed family, adoptive families also face the problems brought about by the specificity of adoption which allows for no predictability of what it will bring, and does not guarantee success. As adoptive families are influenced by the circumstances and the attitudes of people involved in the adoption process, it is important for the adoptive parents to keep educating themselves about the potential problems of adoption.
Irena RezarInternational Adoptions as a Form of Social Parenthood: Experiences of People who Adopted a Child Abroad - Pg. 51Keywords: adopted child, social parents, adoptive-social parent, the Hague Convention, social work centres.
Adoption is one of the best-known forms of social parenthood. In contrast with neighbouring Austria where international adoptions are almost a daily practice, the number of internationally adopted children is very small in Slovenia. However, the growing number of couples who cannot have children despite the progress of medicine, the five-year average waiting period for national adoption, and the emergence of new family forms are good arguments for international adoptions as a possibility for creating a family. The increase in international adoptions requires professional attention, social legitimacy and better conditions of the adoption process. This is also the view of those who already have the experience of international adoption. Their experience with the procedure as well as later when they already obtained the child shows that changes are necessary, as for most the adoption procedure depended on their own resourcefulness and they missed professional support. The research, aiming at revealing everyday experiences of those who wish to adopt or have adopted a child abroad, focused on the adoptive-social parents’ perspective. It showed a relatively inactive role of the Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs and the absence of knowledge and good practice of social work centres, which are only beginning to work in this field.
Ana M. SobočanSame-Sex Families in Slovenia - Pg. 65Keywords: discrimination, social parenthood, family, same-sex parenthood.
Internationally, numerous researches on samesex families exist. Their value lies in breaking the invisibility of non-heteronormative family forms and in disclosing the issues, hindrances and needs connected with deficient and inadequate rights and regulations implemented by the systems of family law. These issues are important for family policies and for social work, as the number of same-sex families (also in Slovenia) is growing, and the needs and situations with which the children and parents in same-sex families are confronted due to their non-normativeness will have to be answered. The article identifies some of these issues and presents the first research on same-sex families in Slovenia, which includes interviews with 10 parents in samesex families. It describes family life through issues that were demonstrated as important in interviews with the parents: equality, honesty, love, (non-)anonymity, identity, invisibility, parental competences, community, inclusion, normality, coming out.
Adital Ben-Ari, Tali LivniThe Social Construction of Motherhood in Same-Sex Families: Biological and social mothers’ perspectives - Pg. 87Keywords: lesbian couples, biological and social mothers, phenomenological analysis.
This study was designed to examine the experiences of Israeli mothers living in same-sex relationships. Eight women’s couples who were parenting together and who had one, two or three children were interviewed. The data suggest that the birth of the first child to a same-sex couple marks a turning point in the lives of each partner as well as in the life of the couple, creating for the first time a significant distinction between the partners. It was found that lesbian mothers tend to organize their experiences into three circles of »being«: personal, couple-related, and communal (e. g. familial and social). Three themes contribute to the theoretical understanding of same-sex motherhood. First, although lesbian couples are known to value the sense of equality in their relationships, the birth of a child by one of the partners is an event that creates two different statuses of motherhood: a biological mother and a social mother. Second, the legal aspects of same-sex motherhood become a part of everyday life for the same-sex family and shape the partners’ relationship. Third, being both a woman, living with a woman, and a mother highlights the fundamental dialectic between marginality and mainstream conformity in life experiences of these mothers in Israeli society.
Jana S. RoškerThe Golden Orchid Relationships: Female Marriages and Same-sex Families in the Chinese Province of Guangdong During the 19th Century - Pg. 99
The article presents the communities of female silk spinners in the Guangdong province from the early 19th to the early 20th century and their remarkable practice of same-sex marriage, by which two women formally started a lifelong partnership, established a household, and at times also created their own family with (mostly adopted) daughters. From today’s perspective, the latter was a form of social parenthood, based neither on biological ties nor on heterosexual marriage. Living in same-sex partnerships and families made the female silk spinners in the Guangdong province important and radical rebels against the two pillars of Confucian social doctrine, namely the institution of patriarchal matrimony and the tradition of patrilineal succession. Investigations in this topic also significantly contribute to the uncovering of pre-modern forms of same-sex unions.
Špela UrhNew Technologies – Old Ideologies: Artificial Reproduction - Pg. 111Keywords: same-sex couples, single women, gestational motherhood.
Despite the increasing pluralisation of family forms, the politics of reproduction in Slovenia prioritize traditional, i.e. biological forms of parenthood. The law on artificial reproduction underlines the biological aspect in families by granting biomedical assistance only to heterosexual married or cohabiting couples with fertility problems. Same-sex couples and single women who want to have children are usually categorized as untraditional and a deviation from the »normal«. Slovenian legislation does not consent to artificial insemination in cases of same-sex couples and single women, which therefore have to find other ways to experience parenthood (e.g. insemination in foreign clinics, contractual relationships with surrogate mothers abroad, etc.). The glorification of biological relations is perpetuated even as regards donated reproductive material: a woman undergoing the process of artificial reproduction can only receive either female or male reproductive material but not both at the same time, to ensure that the child is biologically related to at least one of the parents. It clearly demonstrates that the biological parenthood is considered to be the only »true« parenthood.
Barbara GoričanIndividualisation, Pluralisation of Family Life and Family Policies - Pg. 123Keywords: patchwork families, social parents.
The process of individualisation has influenced marital and family life throughout Western Europe. Traditional family forms are altering and a growing pluralisation of family life can be observed. The narrow definitions of the family that have been valid until now are becoming unsuitable and discriminatory. Reorganised or patchwork-families are not new forms of family – they have been present in practically all cultures throughout history. Today, they are growing in number and according to some estimates represent 30 percent of families in Slovenia. Individuals in reorganised families take on the role of social parents and with that also the emotional, economic and educational parental functions. Nevertheless, despite their growing number social parents are confronted with biological determinism. The prevailing public opinion still holds biological parenthood to be superior to social parenthood. Social parents face the prejudice that the biological parenthood is the only »proper« parenthood. Family policies have to find new ways of conceptualising the family to surpass biological determinism and offer new paradigms for social parenthood.
Dorijan KeržanNatural Parenthood? - Pg. 131Keywords: kinships, family, biology, genetics.
There are two ways of interpreting parenthood: by using the concepts based on the notion of nature, applying them to human species, and taking them as the basis for forming the necessary definitions; or by completely rejecting the concepts based on the notion of nature and creating new ones, based on social relationships. In an attempt to evaluate them, the author first defines natural parenthood through socio-biology and evolutionary psychology and then checks the adequacy of the concepts offered by these two disciplines through the interpretation of some facts brought to light with by the new reproductive technologies. On this basis, the relationship between natural and social parenthood is defined.
Darja ZaviršekThe Narrative of Social and Biological Mother about the First Months of Experience of Parenthood - Pg. 157
Ana M. SobočanReflections of Social Work Students on Social Parenthood - Pg. 161
Špela UrhČasopis za kritiko znanosti, XXX (2002), 207–208, New Families - New Old Ideologies - Pg. 163
Ana M. SobočanUte gerhardt, Trudie Knijn, Anja Weckwert (ed.) (2005), Working Mothers in Europe: A Comparison of Policies and Practices - Pg. 167
Ana M. SobočanRachel Cook, Shelly Day Sclater, Felicity Kaganas (ed.) (2003), Surrogate Motherhood: International Perspectives - Pg. 171
Ana M. Sobočan, Darja Zaviršek, Špela Urh, Mojca Urek, Barbara Goričan, Maja Klun, Irena Rezar, Tanja MastnakRecommended Literature to Understand the Topic of Social Parenthood - Pg. 175
In the article The Role of Doctoral Studies in Social Work’s Development as a Profession: Experience In Croatia, in the previous issue of Socialno Delo (47, 3-6) only the first author Marina Ajdukovic is listed, the names of other two co-authors Kristina Urbanc and Vanja Branica dropped out by mistake (also in the index, but not in abstracts). We sincerely apologize to authors and readers.