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Books 2008

Handbook of Quality of Life in the Enlarged European Union

Author
Jens Alber, Tony Fahey, Chiara Saraceno (Eds.)
Publisher
London/New York: Routledge
ISBN 978-0-415-42467-7
430 pages, £ 95.00
Recent enlargement to the east made the European Union a more diverse social space and brought it into more direct contact with the social and cultural aftermath of communism. Sound empirical knowledge on heterogeneity and homogeneity in European societies after the EU enlargement is lacking. By bringing together a collection of informative analyses of key domains of social life in the new member states and candidate countries, viewed in comparison both to each other and to the "old" EU-15, this handbook will help social scientists, policy-makers and other observers cope with the unfamiliarity of this new world. In particular, it examines the implications of the new member states' membership for the future course of EU integration. This substantial text contains 17 chapters with a focus on social conditions, such as: poverty and living conditions; social inclusion and life satisfaction; work and labour markets; family and housing.

Generationenbeziehungen im Wohlfahrtsstaat

Lebensbedingungen und Einstellungen von Altersgruppen im internationalen Vergleich
Author
Agnes Blome, Wolfgang Keck, Jens Alber
Publisher
Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften
ISBN 978-3-531-15660-6
419 pages, € 39,90
Both the aging of society and changing family constellations are lines of development in today's welfare states. These processes jeopardize the government's provision of welfare services, leading some authors to infer that there are distributional conflicts between generations. This study focuses on the questions of how government and the family shape generational conditions of life and how this interaction affects the sociopolitical attitudes of age groups in four strategically selected countries - Germany, France, Italy, and Sweden. In particular, the authors inquire into the retirement benefits and material situation of life among seniors, the care of older people, family policy and its benefits, and the participation of mothers in the labor market. Comparison of the countries is intended to explain how differently generational coexistence can be organized and which strategies are proving viable in the light of aging societies. The analyses show the variety of ways in which distributional conflicts can be regulated through the interplay of generational conditions in the welfare state and generational relations within the family.

Arbeitszeitpolitik im Lebensverlauf

Edition der Hans-Böckler-Stiftung, Bd. 212
Author
Sebastian Brandl, Eckart Hildebrandt, Philip Wotschack (Hg.)
Publisher
Düsseldorf: Hans-Böckler-Stiftung
ISBN 978-3-86593-093-4
174 pages, € 20,00
Life courses are diversifying more and more, with society witnessing the emergence of new combinations and a host of different transitions between phases of employment and unemployment, qualification, and child care. Uncertainties and risks in occupational biographies have multiplied, too. The course of people's lives is marked by distinctly "imbalanced" distributions of time and money in the form of cumulative time stress, as is the case, for example, in the phase of middle age. The authors ask what new demands, opportunities, and ambiguities are arising from these developments when it comes to scheduling work time with a person's entire working life in mind rather than only days, weeks, or months. New instruments for work scheduling are presented (e.g., models based on the life course). The authors evaluate them, drawing on initial experience with them in business and industry. Practice in other countries is examined as well, especially that in The Netherlands, a pioneer in "life-course policy." The volume identifies practical issues, current arenas of action, and unresolved research questions about this young topic area. It contributes to the debate on demographic change, a discourse in which promoting employability and improving compatibility between different spheres of life depend crucially on reorganizing work time in the life course.

Wirtschaftliche und soziale Risiken auf den Arbeitsmärkten von Künstlern

Author
Carroll Haak
Publisher
Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften
ISBN 978-3-531-16142-6
259 pages, € 34,90
Few labor markets have a thinner line between success and failure than those for artists. Although some professionals in music and the performing or fine arts regularly earn top incomes, most of their colleagues constantly face an uncertain economic existence. Rather than losing appeal, however, the artistic professions have attracted increasing numbers of people since the 1970s. Given this trend, the author explores the economic and social situation of artists in Germany, beginning with a description of the labor markets for musicians, actors, and artists. The analysis describes the specific structural features of employment in the arts (dependent and self-employment, hybrid employment relations, temporary contracts, part-time work, multiple jobs, employment with or without mandatory social security coverage, and variable volume of work) and elaborates on changes in the job supply. The focus then turns to the income situation, unemployment risk, and old-age benefits of people engaged in these three occupational groups. The author also inquires about the degree to which institutional arrangements such as the Social Security for Self-employed Artists Act, the Unemployment Insurance Act, copyright law, and collective institutions like unions and professional associations help prevent and overcome economic and social risks. The individual strategies that artists themselves use to cope with such risks receive attention as well.

Childhood: Changing Contexts

Comparative Social Research, Vol. 25
Author
Arnlaug Leira, Chiara Saraceno (Eds.)
Publisher
Biggleswade, UK: Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN 978-0-7623-1419-5
430 pages, £ 57.99
Demographic and societal changes are strongly affecting the contexts of childhood and the experience of being a child. At the same time, across social groups and across societies, diversities and inequalities in childhood are taking new forms. In the developed world in particular, children's welfare, their education, the division of power and responsibilities of different social actors have entered the public agenda, at a national and supranational level. Public concern over issues such as fertility rates, working mothers, early childhood education and care as well as solemn international declarations of children's rights are examples of the ongoing politicization of childhood. Drawing both on micro and macro, national and comparative studies, this volume of "Comparative Social Research" traces some of the trends and analyzes in comparative perspective - how these trends affect images and practices of childhood and transform responsibilities for children. The volume's focus is mainly on children in developed countries, but attention is also paid to transnational diversities and to the impact of globalization through the experiences of migrant children and of children living through the processes of modernization in the developing world.

Skill Formation

Interdisciplinary and Cross-National Perspectives
Author
Karl Ulrich Mayer, Heike Solga (Eds.)
Publisher
New York u.a.: Cambridge University Press
ISBN 978-0-521-86752-8
258 pages, £ 40.00
This book is the first of its kind to provide an up-to-date review of theories and research on skill formation in psychology, economics, political science, and sociology. It addresses issues of skill learning and measurement, institutional and policy differences among countries, and the issue of skill formation across the life course and disparities among socioeconomic groups. Today, marked changes in skill requirements in modern societies seem to be common sense, yet major questions about the processes of skill formation remain puzzlingly unresolved. Among them are, first, basic questions about what we mean when we talk about skills, qualifications, and competencies. Second, the book deals with questions concerning the institutions in which skills are trained and learned, such as "Are market economies and firms systematically underinvesting in skills?" Finally, the book advances our knowledge on issues of provision, access, and returns to training.

Families, Ageing and Social Policy

Intergenerational Solidarity in European Welfare States Series "Globalization and Welfare"
Author
Chiara Saraceno (Ed.)
Publisher
Cheltenham, UK/Northamptom, MA, USA: Edward Elgar
ISBN 978-1-84720-648-0
336 pages, £ 75,00
Demographic development in Europe has far-reaching impacts on intergenerational relations. Increased average life span means that the share of people caring for both and parents is steadily growing. The number of childless couples is rising, and more and more children are growing up without siblings. The authors offer the first comprehensive picture of Europe's changing constellations of generations. Nursing care, financial support, and attending behavior in the family is analyzed in terms of the giving and the receiving generations alike. An important question concerns the role of the welfare state, whose financial and infrastructural assistance varies in scope and form in Europe. The analysis takes developments in many European states into consideration. The authors devote particular attention to the special characteristics of generational relations in migrant communities, for which there arise specific issues such as the family ties that continue to exist in the country of origin.

Full Employment in Europe

Managing Labour Marktet Transitions and Risks
Author
Günther Schmid
Publisher
Cheltenham, UK/Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar
ISBN 978-1-84720-520-9
ISBN 978-1-84844-147-7)
385 pages, £ 85,00 / on-line discount £ 76.50
Transitional Labour Markets (TLM) - defined as legitimate, negotiated and politically supported sets of various employment options in critical events over the life course - are an essential ingredient of modern full employment strategies. After assessing the European Employment Strategy, this book offers a detailed comparative analysis of employment performance for selected European member states and the United States. It suggests that successful employment systems arise from a new paradigm of flexibility and security ('flexicurity') the balance of which varies according to countries' institutional paths. Whilst there is no 'best practice', TLM theory does provide normative and analytical principles that can be generalised for various institutional settings. This book also provides good practice examples for managing critical transitions over the life course - from education to employment, from one job to another, from unemployment to employment, from private activities to gainful work and from employment to retirement - and develops the contours for extending unemployment insurance to work-life insurance.

Reform der Arbeitsvermittlung

Uniformierungsdruck in der Bundesagentur für Arbeit
Author
Holger Schütz
Publisher
Opladen/Farmington Hills: Budrich UniPress Ltd.
ISBN 978-3-940755-03-2
265 pages, € 26,90
This study shows that the strategies and practice of the public employment service in Germany are converging more and more. In the wake of the centralist Hartz reforms, the diversity of the implementation models used by local job placement agencies is declining, as is the creative potential of the Federal Employment Agency. Biases of the adopted reform strategy, such as the increasing standardization of placement models, are facilitating the spread of unintended side effects and contradictory effects of reform. The restructuring of the Federal Employment Agency, for example, has led to paradoxes affecting internal organizational governance, operational job placement, and legitimation. The author shows that these reforms are not about politically neutral administrative modernization, as professed. Instead, he sees institutional governance undergoing changes with which the normative principles and practice of Germany's public employment service are being significantly altered.

Findigkeit in unsicheren Zeiten

Ergebnisse des Expertisenwettbewerbs "Arts and Figures - GeisteswissenschaftlerInnen im Beruf", Bd. 1
Author
Heike Solga, Denis Huschka, Patricia Eilsberger, Gert G. Wagner (Hg.)
Publisher
Opladen/Farmington Hills: Budrich UniPress
ISBN 978-3-940755-12-4
DOI 10.3224/94075512
205 pages, Printing on Demand € 39,90
Following up a competition for young academics in the 2007 "Year of the Humanities", this volume deals with the situation of scholars in the liberal arts. The contributions explore the disadvantages encountered by liberal arts univer