Social Science Forum 94-95 (XXXVI)

Editorial: Notes on sociology in pandemic times

Marjan Hočevar

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When Political Regulations Crash into the Private Sphere: The Forced Nuclearisation of Everyday Life in the Context of Pandemic Isolation

Tanja Oblak Črnič, Alenka Švab

ABSTRACT: The article deals with an analysis of the changed intradynamics of everyday life as a result of the Covid-19 epidemic and the consequent quarantine in spring 2020. Based on data from a quantitative exploratory survey conducted online in April 2020 on a sample of 711 respondents regarding everyday life during the spring quarantine, we analysed changes in daily practices, attitudes, (mental and physical) health and well-being, perceptions of the quarantine period, and the quarantine’s impact on (social) inequalities (gender, age, education, income). The results show the reorganisation of everyday life during the quarantine in spring has led to certain changes in everyday practices, which, as we assumed, are embedded in previously existing structural inequalities; in the family context, mainly gender inequalities are seen in the division of family-related labour.

KEY WORDS:  families, households, everyday life, family practices, epidemic,

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Demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, health status and political orientation as predictors of covid-19 vaccine hesitancy among the slovenian public

Monika Lamot, Marina Tavčar Krajnc, Andrej Kirbiš

ABSTRACT:  The present study examined predictors of the intention to become vaccinated against Covid-19 among the Slovenian public. A cross-sectional, non-probabi- lity sample was collected through an online survey in March and April 2020 (N = 826; Mage=33.2 years). We tested four groups of predictors: demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, health status and political (left–right) orientation. Our ordinal regression model explained 44% of the variance in Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy. All six predictors had a significant impact on vaccine hesitancy, which was significantly higher among women, among 30–39-year-olds, the less educated, the self-employed and unemployed, those reporting excellent self-rated health and those with a centrist political orientation (followed by right-oriented respondents). Implications of the results are discussed.

KEY WORDS: Covid-19 vaccine, vaccine hesitancy, predictors of vaccine uptake, social inequalities, health status

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Should I Stay or Should I Go? – Experiences of International Students During the Covid-19 Epidemic

Marija Milavec Kapun, Monika Kavalir, Klavdija Kustec, Nace Pušnik

ABSTRACT: Slovenia has recognized student mobility as a key strategic goal of higher education development. This opens up opportunities for progress but also creates challenges that were highlighted during the Covid-19 epidemic. During this crisis, international students in Slovenia were faced with the decision whether to stay or return home. The reasons why they chose to remain/depart were determined by analysing the content of the answers to the open-ended question. Students mainly stayed for personal and health reasons, because of the epidemic, the accompanying measures and the pedagogical process. The reasons for leaving mainly featured psychosocial factors, the epidemic and related measures, personal reasons and access to healthcare. Due to psychosocial distress, international students experienced a great need during the epidemic for targeted support measures and especially for coordinated and accessible information.

KEY WORDS: Erasmus+, coronavirus, distress, study abroad, higher education

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Employees’ Preference for Work from Home in Slovenia

Tilen Jernej Blatnik, Marjan Hočevar

ABSTRACT: The Covid-19 pandemic has seen working from home become a growing trend. The key goal of this article is to check whether the inhabitants of Slovenia support the idea of working from home. Based on relevant literature, the consequences of working from home are first presented and classified by the areas where they occur (organisations, individuals and families; society and space). The attitude to the consequences is checked according to statistical data on value orientation derived from Slovenian public opinion polls. Since most of the impacts indicate that working from home brings personal benefits for individuals and their families it was expected that the value orientation data would reveal that the majority of Slovenians support this work arrangement and hence generally favour working from home.

KEY WORDS: work from home, value orientation, preference for work from home, Slovenia

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Sociality, Physical Distancing and Information-Communication Technologies in the Period of the Sars-Cov-2 Epidemic

Blaž Lenarčič, Rok Smrdelj

IZVLEČEK: The article deals with the understanding of sociality in the context of ICT use during the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic in Slovenia. Based on the relationship between ICT and sociality, we argue that physical proximity is no longer necessary to establish and maintain social dynamics in the modern social context. We find that most Slovenians supported the government’s measures to restrict gatherings and movements, and for the majority of the population these measures have had no negative impact on sociability. Further, the qualitative data obtained via observational netnography on Facebook show that various social dynamics took place in cyberspace. They are related to helping people overcome the hardships associated with restricting socialising in physical space, activities targeting specific social groups, and transferring pre-existing activities from physical space to cyberspace.

KEY WORDS: ICT, sociality, epidemic SARS-CoV-2, social distancing, physical distancing

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Distance learning in the time of the covid-19 pandemic and the reproduction of social inequality in the case of migrant children

Barbara Gornik, Lucija Dežan, Mateja Sedmak, Zorana Medarić

ABSTRACT: The article analyses the impact of schools being closed during the Covid-19 pandemic and the effects this has had on migrant learners in Slovenian schools regarding their integration process and the reproduction of social inequalities. The article argues that the closure of schools and distance learning in response has en- couraged the reproduction of social inequalities between migrant and non-migrant learners. The analysis is based on qualitative data collected within the MiCREATE project among teachers and migrant learners. The findings suggest that the closure of schools places learners with a migrant background at additional risk. The main obstacles arise from the language constraints and technical barriers (for example, underdeveloped digital literacy and inadequate technical equipment) migrant learn- ers face. In the conclusion, we present possible measures to address the specific needs of migrant learners, for example, the principles of intercultural education.

KEY WORDS: migrant learners, Covid-19, distance education, social inequalities, Slovenia

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Bourdieu’s hammer: on the relations between habitus and fields

Nina Perger

ABSTRACT: The article discusses Bourdieu’s conceptualisation of habitus–field relations. While describing their approaches, Bourdieu focuses on the relation between habitus and an individual field, chiefly stressing their harmonious character. By mainly concentrating on habitus with respect to an individual field, he neglects the social differentiation and autonomisation of fields that create and multiply the possibilities of habitus and fields being in a relationship of a conflict. Relying on Lenski’s concept of status decrystallisation and Leder’s concept of body dys-appearance, we argue that a habitus–fields mismatch may provide opportunities for a temporary suspension of a taken-for-granted attitude to the world and, by extension, for questioning the social objectified, i.e. fields, and their rules of the game.

KEY WORDS: Bourdieu, habitus, field, disposition, position, dys-position

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The Mundaneum as a Semiotic Condenser: Challenges of Interpreting Cultural Heritage in the Context of its Hybridisation

Natalija Majsova

ABSTRACT: The article discusses certain heritage interpretation challenges posed by both the hybridisation of heritage institutions (the blurred boundaries between libraries/museums/ archives) and the visitor’s increasingly mediatised experience of heritage. The Mundaneum – a Belgian archival, museum and exhibition centre – is used as a case study. It is analysed as a semiotic condenser – a heritage object that actively reinforces and develops its symbolic status as a ‘paper Google’, thereby emphasising its significance for the past, present and future. I offer narratological analysis of the genesis of this symbolism in scientific discussions and focus on heritage interpretation in the context of the Mundaneum’s archive of 30,000 optical lantern glass slides in order to highlight the challenges such symbolic and conceptual approaches to heritage bring to its responsible interpretation.

KEY WORDS: heritage interpretation, memory studies, semiotic condenser, Mundaneum,
optical lantern

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Meritocracy between Myth, Norm and Reality

Frane Adam, Maruša Gorišek

ABSTRACT: The concept of meritocracy has recently been gaining importance in the social sciences and media. Authors come to different conclusions on its importance for social (in)equality, mobility, education or the (re)production of knowledge, and the relationship between experts, politics and public opinion. While meritocracy means the ‘ruling’ of a special group possessing certain characteristics, it should also be considered as a regulatory principle of human resources
management that directs the selection of people for strategically important functions. The main question in this introductory and review article is: what is the significance, scope and limitation of the meritocratic allocation of human resources in an emerging knowledge-based society, and how does it affect professional credibility (meritoriousness), social mobility, social (in)equality and the wider socio-political context?

KEY WORDS: meritocracy, social mobility, education, knowledge, social capital, human capital

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A historical overview of research into gender and language: from the deficit model to the social constructivist model

Jasna Mikić

ABSTRACT: This paper presents an overview of early research into gender and language conducted in various developed Western countries and their languages. Different models were proposed to establish the properties of the language used by men and women. A major concept in early research was the ‘woman’s language’, re- garded as inferior, and subject to pejorative connotations. The presented models represent an important beginning of research on gender and language, although they are largely no longer considered current due to the many shortcomings of their theory and weak empirical support. The paper also reviews contemporary critical frameworks and offers suggestions for further research.

KEY WORDS: gender, language, woman’s language, historical overview, research models

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Healthy, happy teenagers: differences In health and life satisfaction among Slovenian, Czech and Italian high School students

Julius Janáček, Daniel Šťastný, Jindřich Jílek, Michaela Ulrichová

ABSTRACT: This article investigates the relationships among physical health, mental health, life satisfaction and other life aspects of high school students from the Czech Republic, Italy and Slovenia (n = 3,814). The research is based on a questionnaire-based survey. Subsequent analysis is performed using regression models. There is a positive relationship between physical health, mental health and life satisfaction. The mental health–life satisfaction relationship is stronger than that between physical health and life satisfaction. Our analysis elicits a number of fac- tors connected with students’ well-being: doing sports, use of addictive substances, contact with nature, personal relationships etc. While the factors of well-being in the Czech Republic and Slovenia are similar, the Italians are different. Student factors of well-being vary across the countries to a considerable extent.

KEY WORDS: life satisfaction, health, happiness, students, quality of life

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