Srečo DragošSocial distance - Pg. 309Keywords: social work, inequality, nystagmus, poverty, culture.
The paradox of social thought in Slovenia is that when we talk about social distance towards ethnic, migrant and religious groups, we all agree that this is a destructive phenomenon. However, consensus quickly disappears on social distance between stratification groups. Here we find completely opposite opinions, of course with a significant and unfortunate characteristic: among political and economic elites, those are prevailing who believe that the distance between rungs on the scale of inequality is too small, and very rare individuals think the opposite. The author therefore challenges the self-evident strengthening of (culture of) social distance. He thinks this is a higher risk for Slovenian society than, for example, stagnation of the economy, lack of values or corruption. When understatement of physiological metaphor for social distance – nystagmus disease, as it is understood by Orwell – is combined with rise of inequality and the risk of getting a decile and even percentile, instead of class struggle between social groups in the future, then we know that we are heading towards deterioration of our living conditions.
Jasna MagićSocial and psychological factors influencing reporting of homophobic hate crime - Pg. 321Keywords: antigay violence, police, victim support services, gay, lesbian, social work.
Existing research in Slovenia shows that more than two thirds of gay men and lesbian women have been a victim of antigay violence; the data also suggest this type of violence is significantly underreported. This is a global problem, and while the majority of research on homophobic hate crime focuses on the psychological impact of these incidents, little research exists addressing reporting behaviour and/or explaining why some people report homophobic hate crime, but most seem not to. With the key question in mind ‘What informs the decision to report homophobic violence?’ this study examined the willingness of lesbian, gay and bisexual people to report homophobic incidents and the role of the Slovene reporting (police) and support system (NGOs) in this process. The results clearly demonstrate different perceptions of violent incidents and crime significantly influence the willingness to report as well as the decision of which agency to report to. In its conclusion the study relates the findings to social work practice and suggests that more active involvement of social services might also contribute to building the trust of gay and lesbian communities in non-LGBT services and in long term result in improving reporting levels for this particular minority.
Gabrijela SimetingerMedical discourse on the imperative of the natural within contraception in the case of coitus interruptus - Pg. 335Keywords: gynaecologists, sexual culture, sexual medicine, reproductive health, medicalisation.
The aim of the study was to determine gynaecologists’ views and opinions on the imperative of the natural within contraception in the case of coitus interruptus. A qualitative study on contraception and coitus interruptus, which included 27 semi-structured in-depth interviews with gynaecologists from various geographical parts of Slovenia, was carried out between December 2010 and May 2011. Many gynaecologists believe in the imperative of the natural and trust natural methods of contraception, where they also place coitus interruptus. Due to their personal views and opinions, a significant number of gynaecologists, mainly female, still recommend natural methods of contraception despite the opposing medical doctrine. Thus, personal gynaecologists’ views and opinions dominate when it comes to choosing a contraceptive method. Female gynaecologists proved to be carriers of traditional sexual culture by promoting traditional methods of contraception.
Philipp Günther, Asja Hrvatin, Maja Ivačič, Alexander RehmBorders of social work: detention centre in the light of citizenship, criminalisation and state power - Pg. 347Keywords: human rights, exclusion, migration, control, triple mandate, transmigrant.
The article is a reflexion on a visit in a detention centre and on the EU policies of migration. It discusses the idea of establishing border from four different starting points: space, gender, social work and citizenship. It shows how borders extend beyond territorial ones and are internalised by state’s organisation. Foucault’s concepts of biopower and criminalisation are presented as a generator of the unmaking of citizenship. Authors point out how genderization of the Other moulds the differences in the perception of migrant bodies. Compatibility of social work practice and a detention centre is discussed. The concept of citizenship as resistance is suggested and a need for redefinition of citizenship is proposed.
Mateja Verdinek ŽigonSocial skills training in secondary school: an analysis of good practice - Pg. 361
Borut Petrović JesenovecUlla-Maija Takkunen: Outreach youth work - Pg. 373
Robert OraveczIn order to limit the murder-suicide to its minimum - Pg. 377
Bogdan LešnikEditorial note - Pg. 117
This number introduces a practice that will make the journal more accessible to foreign readers: some articles are published in English, which, whether you like it or not, has become a lingua franca of science. The editorial board of the journal believes this way we can better get involved in the international scene and join international discussions. Personally I think that the development of a professional language is still the most important task of our (actually of every scientific) journal. Yet it's not the only task. Our mission is also to present the achievements of domestic thought in the international arena, especially since some of the achievements, which would otherwise be uttered in international scientific journalism, are not negligible. At the same time, we get the opportunity to attract more foreign authors and along with them we will create a constructive discussion. I hope that domestic readers will welcome the decision, because they themselves know the limitations imposed by closure of the national space.
INTRODUCTION TO THEMATIC ISSUE
Darja ZaviršekTime for recognition: people with disabilities today - Pg. 123Keywords: disabled people, difference, Eastern Europe, post-socialism, Marrakesh treaty
People with disabilities are, in most parts of the world, still seen as an exception to the rule, and as a deviance from the “normal”. Nevertheless, certain recent global developments demonstrate positive changes in the ways people with disabilities are treated by professional helpers, including social workers, and the lay public. But the differences in the quality of life of persons with disabilities across the world remain huge.
Darja ZaviršekDefinition of handicap and development of disability studies in social work: international perspective - Pg. 133Keywords: discrimination, users\' movement, education, disability ethics, difference.
The disability studies which analyse theoretical concepts such as disability, embodied difference and the disability ethics have been developed in postsocialist countires with a great delay. The author shows how beside these concepts disabled people's involvement in research and teaching is of a crucial importance. The article shows how normality has been created and contructed in a society like Slovenia and shows the socially constructed responses towards bodily specificities which determine the quality of life of persons with impariments in different societies. The article reflects upon the above mentioned concepts from the perspective of the current situation in Slovenia.
Péter Kemény, Zsuzsa Kondor, Katalin TauszDisability studies in Hungary - Pg. 147Keywords: United Nations, rights, civil society, employment, independent living, deinstitutionalisation.
The paper, following the train of thought of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, is focusing on the development of disability studies in Hungary. Although Hungary was one of the first countries to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2007), the human rights’ based approach is still very weak, due to the weakness of the civil organisations, deficiencies of political democracy, and the party politics dominated permanent transition of the Hungarian welfare state. Disability studies, characterised internationally by the initiative of the disabled persons themselves, were in Hungary, however, a top-down process initiated by researchers and experts. This is reflected in the controversies and slowness of the deinstitutionalisation process, in the dominance of large institutions and in the exclusion of disabled adults from the labour market, instead of the implementation of community based solutions. Governmental approaches and policies are first and foremost targeting economic objectives, e.g. to decrease the budgetary deficit even at the expense of the living conditions of disabled people. The official rhetoric and the organisational solutions have not broken away from the medical model of disability yet.
Kristina Urbanc, Daniela Bratković, Natalija LisakCivil society organisations as a vital support for persons with disability in Croatia - Pg. 159Keywords: post-war community, agency activism, human rights, Croatian experiences.
The paper provides some information about the development of civil society associations for persons with disabilities in the post-war community in the process of social reconstruction. The Republic of Croatia, as a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities took over the role of improving the situation of persons with disabilities in society. However, the current crisis of Croatian society has particularly harmed people with disabilities and their families, as well as their position in society and their participation in everyday life. Beside the state's resources, which are more and more diminished, constant support for people with disabilities from NGOs is becoming a vital resource for their participation in everyday life. This paper presents the work of a few local NGOs engaged in disability activism in the context of a specific evolution of the civil society in Croatia.
Vjollca KrasniqiDisability, politics and culture in Kosovo - Pg. 169Keywords: body, identity, agency, representation, handicap.
The article focuses on social policy, politics and cultural representations of disability in post-war and post-independence (2008) Kosovo. It recounts the living conditions of people with disabilities that continue to be harsh as they face multiple levels of exclusion and oppression, stigmatisation, and violence. Seeking to understand agency, the article analyses the relationship between the state and disability movement. It also explores the ways in which disability, as an embodied condition and a form of social identity, functions in the cultural imagination and systems of representation. Three specific points will be made. First, the article seeks to show that the legislative instruments concerning disability ensure de jure but not de facto equality.The existing legal model of disability has not eased the social divisions and inequalities in the broader social structure in Kosovo. Second, it explains how participation of the disability movement in the political processes in general, and social policy formation in particular, has challenged the hierarchical ‘social geography’ and opposed the ideologies of ableism. Third, disability as an embodied condition and a form of social identity in the cultural imagination is predominantly that of an abject body. The categories of the body dominant in discursive representations are those of physically disabled and war-induced disabilities, rendering other types of disabilities invisible. The article will show how the body politic as well as social, economic, and cultural discourses and formations in Kosovo are premised on a binary matrix of the abled and disabled body and identities
Špela Humljan UrhCultural aspects of disability among the Roma - Pg. 183Keywords: handicap, culture, health, ethnicity, reasearch, social status.
The Roma are one of the largest ethnic minority groups in Slovenia. A lot of researchers point to a link between ill health, ethnic minority origin and poverty. Roma, throughout Europe, are often faced with poor health, which is not merely a consequence of aging, but also of social situation and situations of complex inequalities. They face lower life expectancy, diseases and infections resulting from poor housing and economic conditions, frequent pregnancies and miscarriages, chronic respiratory diseases of Roma children. In the first part the need for cultural sensitivity in social work is discussed. The second part presents ethnographical data gathered by anthropological approach exploring the Roma perspective of their interpretation of the “disabled” and “ill-health” body. The following topics are pointed out: terminology, the hierarchy between the various disabilities, cultural explanations why disability occurs (the cause of disability) and also the anticipated roles of an indivudal, family and Roma community in relation to the disability.
Andraž KapusPortrayal of people with disabilities in the media - Pg. 199Keywords: public discourse, language, stereotypes, discrimination, help, stigma.
The research presented in this paper explored the representation of people with disabilities in three most circulated Slovenian daily payable newspapers in 2012. The content and discourse analysis focused on language, headlines, visual data and content. The results indicate that the representations of people with disabilities are stereotyped and stigmatizing. People’s impairments are often in the function of symbolical representation of misfortune and bad social conditions. Impairments are also used to sensationalize the content of the articles. Results show that people with disabilities are most often seen as the object and not as the subject of help. Critical articles debate diverse topics concerning disability but rarely question the existing system of help which lacks individualization and opportunities.
Chu-Li LiuMental health problems in Taiwan from a gender and anti-oppressive perspective: a human rights issue - Pg. 207Keywords: Taiwanese women, gender, inequalities, Confucianism.
In the Taiwanese context, which is characterized by patriarchal values, mental health problems are considered to be different from physical illnesses. Therefore the ways of dealing with mental health problems are different across genders. This article illustrates how Taiwanese women who experience mental health problems are trapped in an oppressive system constituted by gender inequalities, economic difficulties and mentalism. It also shows how migration and transnational marriage had a profound impact on care work for people with mental health problems and disabilities in Taiwan. By analyzing the situations from the perspective of anti-oppression practice and human rights, it is anticipated to draw implications for future actions with the aim of enhancing the well-being of Taiwanese women.
Subhangi HerathNegotiation of self-identity and the contingency of self-actualization among the students with disabilities striving for higher education in Sri Lanka - Pg. 217Keywords: locality, reflexivity, capabilities, segregation.
The article argues that in the context of the highly competitive state higher educational sector in Sri Lanka the contingency of identity construction and actualization among students with disabilities differs considerably from that of students who are considered as “not disabled”. This is seen as due to highly contradictory social cues the former receive in the effort to reach higher educational goals in a locality where they experience significant socio-spatial discrimination and deprivation. The process of building self-identity is understood as occurring in three localities, namely, (1) the period prior to entering the higher educational institutions (home and schooling), (2) the period spent in the higher educational institution, and (3) the future world they attempt to actualize, all of which become transitional and reflexive during the process of identity construction. Self-actualization of the students with disabilities in this context is seen as a reflexive, locality specific, contingency which varies with the level of paradoxes they encounter in this process.
Mirjana UleGrowing up with disability: narrations of students with disabilities about their life course, transitions and significant others - Pg. 233Keywords: de-standardization, choice biographies, normalization of a handicap, gate-keepers, way-keepers.
The article discusses the features of growing up with disability, the crises and overcoming of these crises, the role of significant others, the educational transitions, and the experience with institutions and experts. It is based on the analysis of the results of qualitative research of students with disabilities. A biographical approach has been used. These are the narratives about how a vital life experience can strengthen the individual, provided that they have a supportive living environment and empathic responses of the institutional environment that is supported by appropriate systemic solutions. Judging from the statements of students, the reason for their successful biographies is that they have been accepted by their families and have received the proper level of incentives and requirements. That has strengthened them in the way that they were also able to cope with identity crises, the crises of the transitions to adulthood, and with occasional negative reactions of the institutions.
Gašper KrstulovićCare as a multidimensional process and responses to need for care work in Slovenia - Pg. 245Keywords: care work, disability, assistance, institutional care, respite care centres.
The paper considers the question how recent developments in theory of care affect the responses of social care providers in Slovenia. Care work is a multi-layered process and includes physical, cognitive and emotional work. The effects of market liberalization on care work and responses of social care providers are analysed. Concepts of domestic assistance, personal assistance, institutional care and respite care are discussed and compared with new theoretical developments and research on care. The conclusion of the article deliberates on the multi-layered care for children with disabilities. The concept of respite care as an example of care provision that intertwines both physical and emotional support in introduced. The absence of public discourse about care in Slovenia is worrisome since it affects quality of received care and quality of work life for people providing care.
Natalija LisakThe integrative analysis of social factors in the life course of families with disabilities: the Croatian society context and disability - Pg. 255Keywords: biography approach, life stories, quality of life, identity, human rights.
This integrative analysis contributes to the conceptualization of the social context that shapes the life course of families with children with disabilities and addresses the role of the Croatian society within that process. Development of community based support and human rights protection in Croatia are important societal changes that ensure access to desired family quality of life in the field of disability. For that reason, the analysis is based on respecting opinions and experiences of parents of disabled children in order to provide insight into the family life trajectories to discover the relevant factors of the social context. The narrative approach was used to collect life stories of families with children who had intellectual disabilities. The social context that shapes the family life course and their further opportunities includes: the underdevelopment of community based services; the legacy of institutional care; the great influence of religious beliefs and Catholic Church institutions; the parents’ initiative for rights implementation and system changes; the active role of mothers in everyday family life and supportive family relationships. The results emphasize important community development changes in Croatian society by focusing on the context that shapes the life course perspective of families with disabilities.
Ana M. SobočanChildren with special needs in the foster care system - Pg. 265Keywords: foster care, special needs children, special programme schools, adoption.
The paper presents the first phase of the research in the system of foster care and adoptions of children with disabilities or children with special needs in Slovenia: the perspective of social workers (the planned next phases of the research are: research with participation of individuals and families who are foster carers, individuals and families who adopted children with disabilities, and youth and adults with the experience of foster care and adoption). The research, conducted in Social Work Centers in Slovenia disclosed, what are the elements of foster care practice and professional work with foster families, biological families and children with special needs (and whether these are different from approaches and methods applied in work with children who are not labeled ‘special needs children’. In the context of disability ethics the author was especially interested in the values and beliefs of professional workers in this field, their understandings and conceptualizations of work in this field (including identifying the gaps and introducing innovations), their possible effort to implement additional services and support, education and guidance, their aims and motivations in working towards permanents placements (adoptions or returns to the biological family), etc. In the paper, the topic of foster care and special needs children is discussed also with the help of international research, insights and relevant literature (by Australian, Canadian, American and English authors).
Anja Pirec SansoniThe effect of housing exclusion and homelessness on health - Pg. 283Keywords: social factors, health inequality, poverty, services, disability.
Social factors have important effect on people’s health, since housing and living conditions greatly affect the physical and mental health of people. The number of homeless people is increasing in most European countries and living conditions are also getting worse. Experience of homeless people and professional workers in the field of homelessness and social exclusion suggests that health problems of homeless people are often overlooked and evolve into permanent disability. In Slovenia, we are facing a lack of specialized services for homeless people with disabilities or serious health problems. Professional and other staff working in the field of homelessness are not trained to perform medical care, although they are faced with obstacles in finding a way to accommodate service users.
Sanela BašićPeople with disabilities at the European semi-periphery: the case of Bosnia - Pg. 295Keywords: poverty, social exclusion, disabled people, Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The right to full participation in society shall theoretically apply to all citizens. However, segments of society, such as people with disabilities, are often denied full participatory citizenship through different mechanisms of social exclusion. The article will outline major sources and mechanisms of social exclusion of people with disabilities in a post-conflict, transitional post-socialist country at the Europe’s semi-periphery
Gašper KrstulovićMichael Rasell, Elena Iarskaia-Smirnova (2014), Disability in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union: History, Policy and Everyday Life - Pg. 303
Ana M. SobočanInternational Regional Symposium "Against Social Suffering: Social Work in Alliance with People with Disabilities in Time of Crisis" - Pg. 307
Srečo DragošThe mosque: catalyst of moral panic - Pg. 63Keywords: social work, culture, religion, Muslims, panic, intolerance
After 44 years of efforts for building the first and the only mosque in Slovenia made by Muslim part of Slovene inhabitants, in this year construction works began for building a religious-cultural centre (including a mosque). We have also got the first Slovene translation of the Koran. It is an extraordinary achievement for Slovenia and the Muslims but with a bad aftertaste – it lasted too long. Opposition and protests against cultural and civil rights were too extensive, to make us believe that they will not be repeated at the first opportunity. That is why the analysis is needed in terms of how and why the obstacles lasted for so long and were so persistent. The main theses of the article is that intolerance was provoked form the above – from political elites – and the common denominator that blocked the realisation of basic rights of Muslims in Slovenia was moral panic (concept developed in social sciences). Moral panic glued together key elements of this unpleasant story – from chronological history of “urban planning” and location problems, latent xenophobia to manifest islamophobia and typical Slovene problems with multiculturalism.
Uršula BizantFactors affecting teh identity of an adopted child - Pg. 85Keywords: adoptions, family, relationships, social work
The main object of the thesis was to evaluate the factors affecting the identity of an adopted child. Firstly, the perspective of an adopted child, of adoptive persons, the professional worker/social workers working in the field of adoption, the representative of the Family Affairs Directorate of the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities in Slovenia, and the perspective of the environment. Those who are involved in the adoption are crucial for the adoption process and, consequently, for the child’s identity. The thesis also includes the role of family and relationships, the period before the adoption, and finally the meaning of the ancestry and the importance of an honest discussion about the adoption among all parties. In the thesis, the impact of the culture, environment and social workers on the identity is also discussed. The thesis deals also with the problems of adopted adolescents. In the conclusion, the necessary modifications which would also indirectly influence the identity of an adopted child are stated
Nadja Djuričič, Janez StareSome aspects of employability and employment of older workers - Pg. 97Keywords: discrimination against older workers, older people, employment policy.
The article explores employment issue of the elderly, including discrimination against them. The authors state findings of the comparative analysis of the situation in selected countries (Slovenia, Germany, UK, France and Sweden). The analysis shows the diversity of approaches and effects of selected approaches. With the help of a comparative view of the situation, the evaluation of the adequacy of measures has been made to promote employment of older workers in Slovenia. Furthermore, the paper presents the results of a study which examined how Slovene older workers and their employers assess certain actions in this study field and possibilities for improvement. On one hand, some underline the importance of contribution of the state because that improvement is largely associated with the active employment policy measures for the elderly. Others highlight the importance of employers through the introduction of management for elderly.
Sanja Sitar SurićCo-custody: foster care for postmodern social work - Pg. 109Keywords: co-creation, language of social work, care, postmodernism, parentless children.
Modern social work has developed, alongside systemic and postmodern concepts, a framework for understanding foster care that differs from the traditional one. From the traditional concept, that understands foster care only as the full caretaking of basic children's needs, that the parents alone can not or will not provide, foster care has evolved into a co-creational joint planning of individual project groups or, in other words, a joint caretaking of children's needs by their parents, foster parents and professional social workers. Therefore there is also an evident need to find/invent a new verbal expression, which will, beside the basic caretaking, conceptually include all the new features of the new co-creational approach to taking care of children's needs during the period when their parents are unable to do so. “Co-custody” is the author's proposal for the appropriate naming of foster care for the postmodern time.
Asja HrvatinCommunity as a social work learning space: Erasmus experience in Madrid from the perspective of community self-organization - Pg. 115
Katja MatkoDark side of pregnancy: violence and abuses - Pg. 3Keywords: domestic violence, pregnant women, medicalization, social work
Motherhood starts with pregnancy, and women as mothers in patriarchal society are set to a private sphere, which can contain a set of violence and abuse from the male relatives. Rooted social values about happy families do not help women when they want to leave a violent relationship. Modern phenomenon of medicalization of pregnancy puts women into the role of sole carers of children. Women are trapped between the roles of wives, mothers and housewives. Research among women victims of domestic violence during pregnancy disclosed all sorts of different abuse they experienced during pregnancy. Almost all of them kept quiet about as they wanted to maintain the illusion of a happy family. The results reveal poor mental health of women and the consequences of violence reflected on children. The article ends with a review of the situation in Slovenia and the possibilities for improving the field.
Jasna MurgelSocial security of children with special needs in Slovenia: a view to a future - Pg. 15Keywords: children with disabilities, human rights, social rights
Firstly, the article deals with the term “a child with special needs” in Slovenian and international law. Secondly, it describes the basic instruments of international law relating to the rights of children with disabilities or children with special needs on the United Nations and the Council of Europe levels. Thirdly, the article contains presentation of social security regulation of children with special needs and their parents in Slovenia and organization of social security of the same subjects in the Federal Republic of Germany. The concluding part of the article contains an analysis of the necessary improvements of the system of social security of children with special needs, based on the recommendations of international bodies and the findings of the documents in Slovenia concerning children with special needs.
Anja AndrejčNegative effects of parental divorce on children and adolescents: risk and protective factors - Pg. 25Keywords: parental divorce, emotional problems, behavioural problems, parenting, parental conflict, resilience
The article reviews the findings from researchers in the field of the effect of parental divorce on children and adolescents. The first part includes the findings of foreign research about how divorce impacts different aspects of child adjustment. Children of divorced parents have in comparison to children of undivorced parents lower academic achievement, but greater emotional and social problems. Divorce increases the risk of adjustment problems of children, but the size of effects is small and short-term, it continues into adulthood only for the minority. The second part of the article includes review of risk and protective factors in children’s adjustment to parental divorce. Important protective factors are financial sources of family after divorce and educational level of parents, good quality and effective parenting and positive psychological adjustment of the custodial parent. The paper also explains some contradictions and points out some methodological disadvantages of the reviewed studies.
Ivan Erenda, Jana Suklan, Vasja Roblek, Maja MeškoIntergenerational cooperation in the Celje region: its importance and suggestions - Pg. 43Keywords: intergenerational relations, opinions, young people, old people, intergenerational harmony, aging of society
An overview of the current situation in the field of intergenerational cooperation and suggestions to exchange experiences and knowledge in intergenerational cooperation are presented. Survey was made on older as well as younger generation. As a young person, we have identified a person between 15 and 29 years, and as an elderly, we identified a person who is at least 60 years old. We found out that representatives of both generations see intergenerational cooperation as useful. They suggested activities for better cooperation between generations. All complementary knowledge acquired through research will be able to create a new level of quality in the field of intergenerational cooperation and enable the integration of isolated elderly and young people deprived of physical interpersonal contacts due to the impact of modern technology.