Social Science Forum 96-97 (XXXVII)

A View on the Covid-19 Epidemic from the Perspective of Intersectoral Differences in Destandardisation and Employment Instability in Slovenia

Jožica Čehovin Zajc, Branko Bembič

ABSTRACT: In this paper, we analyse effects of the first wave of the COVID-19 epidemic on employment in Slovenia in the light of some theories on the destandardisation and segmentation of employment. We consider statistical databases, state measures and policies, along with union strategies before and during the epidemic. The epidemic has caused a sharp decline in employment and hit hardest those workers holding non-standard forms of employment (especially students and temporary workers). Given the decline in service turnover/production volume, particular service industries (e.g. retail, exports) have been more affected by export-oriented manufacturing that has invested less in employee skills and shifted the effects of the shock to labour and the state. We also note the trade unions have not deepened the splits in labour market divisions, while segmentation has been strengthened by both pre- and post-epidemic state policies.

KEY WORDS: destandardisation, segmentation, employment instability, Covid-19 epidemic, Slovenia

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Time Does Not Pass the Same for Everyone: Solo-Living Women, Their Experiences of and Strategies for Coping with the COVID-19 Epidemic

Nina Perger, Blanka Tivadar, Tanja Kamin

ABSTRACT: In the article, we discuss the COVID-19 epidemic-related lockdown in Slovenia during March and May 2020. We focus on a specific social group: solo-living women. We aim to answer two research questions: how did different age groups of solo-living women experience the pandemic and the pertaining protective measures, and which resources and coping strategies did they report? A practical implication of our study is the evidence-based recommendation that the planning
and implementation of protective measures should pay close attention to youth and young adults since they are exposed to a particular socio-psychological vulnerability, amplified by certain circumstances and social expectations interrelated with their phase in their life trajectory.

KEY WORDS: COVID-19, solo-living women, lockdown, affective experiences, resources and coping strategies

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The Pandemic and Challenges to Social Work Practice in Slovenia and Worldwide

Ana M. Sobočan

ABSTRACT: The Covid-19 pandemic has induced radical changes in the lives of people across the globe. To better understand the scope and characteristics of the pandemic’s impact on the ethics of social work practice, an international group of researchers, in collaboration with the International Federation of Social Workers, conducted an online survey in May 2020. Social workers from 55 countries responded, contributing 607 responses in seven languages. The present article presents the results of the Slovenian part of the research, in the context of broader, global findings of the research. The analysis of the responses to the survey provided six central themes that emerged worldwide and in Slovenia (n = 14), in varied contexts of socio-work practices, social policies, socio-economic and epidemiological conditions.

KEY WORDS:  social work, ethical challenges, ethics, Covid-19, online survey

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The Process of Developing a New Safe “Normal” in (Dental) Healthcare in Terms of an Integrated (Individual and Systemic) Response to the Covid-19 Epidemic: A Case Study

Vesna Zupančič

ABSTRACT: The COVID-19 pandemic rapidly affected every aspect of our day-to-day lives and soon also became a global challenge for healthcare systems. The key issues concern the health system’s readiness for the “shock”, the speed at which the outbreak of the “shock” was detected and responded to, how to cope with the “shock effect“, and how to restore the system and learn. It is about what is known as system resistance. The aim of the research was to demonstrate the importance of collective and individual responsibility in the response to the pandemic “shock” in the chosen field of medicine: dentistry. A qualitative study of the case of the Slovenian healthcare system’s resistance to the COVID-19 epidemic in terms of dental care in Slovenia was carried out.

KEY WORDS: resilience of the healthcare system, COVID-19, dentistry, quality
and safety, networking, individual and collective responsibility

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Sociology of Disasters and COVID-19

Maruša Špitalar, Marjan Hočevar

ABSTRACT: Natural disasters (predominantly those linked to meteorological and geophysical changes) prevail among studies performed in the field of the sociology of disasters, therefore the same parameters may be used while analysing social dynamics due to COVID-19. The specificity of its nature might cause an even higher level of fear and damage (non-material) than other types of disaster. The article will address deviances in society due to the disruption brought by epidemic through
the lens of the sociology of disasters and Enrico Quarantelli’s concepts of social phenomena and social construction. The main parameters used in the analysis of natural disasters are described (vulnerability, exposure, response) and how
the latter can be insightful while addressing social dynamics.

KEY WORDS: sociology of disasters, social construction, COVID-19, vulnerability,

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“To each according to his contribution?”: Rethinking the wage–productivity decoupling thesis

Minea Rutar

ABSTRACT: Despite since the 1970s many economists having emphasised a concerning economic trend known as the decoupling of workers’ wages from overall economic productivity, there is still no agreement on the causes of this phenomenon. The aim of this article is thus to systematically present two supposedly alternative accounts of such decoupling: the theory of ever greater imbalance in the shares held by capital and labour in the national income and the theory of the growing wage disparity between differently qualified groups of workers. The main finding is that these two accounts in fact do not provide alternative explanations of the decoupling of wages from productivity and instead explain two different processes altogether. The political division between the proponents of each theory is
therefore unproductive and might at least partly be overcome upon consideration of this finding.

KEY WORDS:  economic growth, median wage, average wage, skill-biased technological change, wage-productivity decoupling

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Towards an Understanding of the Internal Conversation and Metareflexivity of Slovenian Youth

Tea Golob, Matej Makarovič

ABSTRACT: The article contributes to the understanding of the reflexivity of Slovenian youth. It focuses on meta-reflexivity as an active critical evaluation of both one’s internal conversations and the social environment. The text draws upon the theoretical framework of critical realism, as represented by Margaret Archer. The research involves a combination of a web-based survey and in-depth interviews with young people recognised as meta-reflexive. High meta-reflexivity is typically combined with either autonomous reflexivity, enabling the individual’s adaptation to the demands of individualistic competitiveness, or fractured reflexivity, demonstrating problems in these adaptations, with young women being more frequently found in the latter group. The semantic analysis of the biographical interviews shows how young people face structural challenges and establish their life paths and identities.

KEY WORDS: reflexivity, meta-reflexivity, youth, morphogenesis, Margaret Archer

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The specificis and complexit of EU public diplomacy

Hasan Saliu

ABSTRACT: The European Union (EU) is responsible for important public diplomacy programmes, including Erasmus+. Most European countries engage in activities to enhance their international image parallel to the efforts of the EU itself. By comparing the public diplomacy activities of the USA, as the founder of public diplomacy, and those of the EU, this paper aims to identify the EU’s distinctive features in its image-enhancing endeavours. The paper concludes that the EU and the USA often show that they hold different values, ones that make them more attractive to foreign publics. The paper also notes the soft power held by EU member states continues to be much stronger than the effects of the EU’s public diplomacy activities in boosting their image.

KEY WORDS: Public diplomacy, soft power, international image, EU, USA

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Lying like Trump: Really Telling the Spontaneous Truth?

Vlado Kotnik

ABSTRACT: Although it has long been known that politicians lie, Donald Trump’s entry to the political arena has seen lying been turned not just into an augmented political strategy unparalleled in the recent history of political falsehoods and manipulation, but one that has rapidly spread through the media and, helped by information and communication technologies, across public spaces to reach every domain of society. This example reveals the social dimension of new initiatives in organised lying (i.e. open lying) and upgraded versions of systemic deep manipulation (i.e. transparent manipulation). In the article, we reflect on what has recently happened to the social status of truth, and also to lying and manipulation, in this post-truth world. By conceptualising open lying and transparent manipulation, we try to answer what it means to “lie like Trump”.

KEY WORDS: Donald Trump, truth telling, lying, open lie, transparent manipulation

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Book reviews

  • Darja Tadič: Erving Goffman: Azili: eseji o socialni situaciji duševnih bolnikov in drugih zaprtih varovancev. Ljubljana: Založba /*cf., 2019. 410 strani (ISBN 978-961-257-102-3), 28 EUR
  • Marjan Hočevar: Matjaž Uršič in Heide Imai: Creativity in Tokyo, Revitalizing a mature City. London: Palgrave Macmilan, 2020. 248 strani (ISBN 978-15-6687-5), 106,99 EUR
  • Marko Hočevar: Tomaž Mastnak: Črna internacionala:  Vojna, veliki biznis in vpeljava neoliberalizma, I. zvezek. Ljubljana: Založba */cf, 2019.
    261 strani (ISBN: 978-961-257-117-7), 24 EUR; Tomaž Mastnak: Črna internacionala: Vojna, veliki biznis in vpeljava neoliberalizma, II. zvezek. Ljubljana: Založba */cf, 2019. 249 strani (ISBN: 978-961-257-118-4), 22 EUR.
  • Primož Medved: Raymond Williams: Dežela in mesto. Ljubljana: Studia humanitatis, 2019. 556 strani (ISBN: 978-961-6798-91-4), 35 EUR
  • Jasmina Šepetavc: Clara Bradbury-Rance: Lesbian Cinema after Queer Theory. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2019. 194 strani (ISBN 978-1-4744-3536-9), 87,16 EUR
  • Nejc Slukan: Patrick Schreiner:  Podreditev kot svoboda. Življenje v neoliberalizmu. Ljubljana: Krtina, 2019. 130 strani (ISBN:978-961-260-121-8), 17 EUR.
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