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A Comparative Perspective of Precarious Living Conditions: Subjective Determinants of Household Strategies in Four Countries

Applicant Budowski Monica
Number 116605
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution FB Soziologie, Sozialpolitik & Sozialarbeit Departement Sozialwissenschaften Universität Freiburg
Institution of higher education University of Fribourg - FR
Main discipline Sociology
Start/End 01.10.2007 - 30.09.2011
Approved amount 437'251.00
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Keywords (9)

precariousness; poverty; gender; vulnerability; household strategies; precarious prosperity; social inequality; comparative research; qualitative research

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
Recent research concludes that in Western countries more people than expected move into and out of poverty and constitute a fluctuating population group in precarious living conditions and vulnerable to poverty. These developments have commonalities with situations in 'less developed' countries, where social welfare is less institutionalized and its provision level lower. Research in Western countries suggests that some people deal better with this situation than others. It further suggests that a certain degree of 'stability' (temporal, social, financial, material, and personal) regarding structural opportunities perceived to plan life is important; furthermore personal and household assets are required to conceive household strategies and deal with risk.This research addresses the following questions: how do people in precarious living conditions deal with their situation? What objective and subjective factors influence their household strategies? Do these factors vary according to different levels of social security, the opportunities on the labour market and the household situations? The countries studied-Switzerland, Spain, Costa Rica and Chile-differ according to level of welfare, combinations of labour market structure (formal and informal economy) and the importance of family ties and social networks.The study builds on information about perceptions and interpretations of individuals of approx. 75 households in Switzerland and 25 households in the other three countries gathered by means of qualitative in-depth interviews in cooperation with the partner universities Universidad Pública de Navarra, Spain, Universidad Católica de Temuco, Chile and Universidad de Costa Rica, Costa Rica. The sampled households are in similar situations of financial precariousness around or just above the poverty line. Change on the households' perspectives of their situation is captured by the two-wave-design over a twelve to fifteen-month period of time.The project aims at obtaining a profound insight into theoretical elements important for conceiving individual and household strategies and identifying their influencing factors. The innovative aspects and originality of the study are: (i) the specific population group ('precarious prosperity'), (ii) the systematic assessment of subjective perceptions and interpretations of socio-structural situations, (iii) the role of informal social networks in dealing with detrimental events within different country-level opportunity structures, (iv) the gender and household perspective (v) the methodological approach (comparative, qualitative and two-waves).
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
„Ich rechnete beim Aufwachen und beim Einschlafen, (…) kalkulierte alle vorhandenen und nicht vorhandenen Möglichkeiten und Unmöglichkeiten in der Gegenwart, Zukunft und Vergangenheit
Amacker Michèle (2011), „Ich rechnete beim Aufwachen und beim Einschlafen, (…) kalkulierte alle vorhandenen und nicht vorhandenen Möglichkeiten und Unmöglichkeiten in der Gegenwart, Zukunft und Vergangenheit, in Newsletter Studienbereich Soziologie, Sozialpolitik und Sozialarbeit, 9(Oktober), 19-34.
Das Gesundheitsstuhlbein ist bei mir immer ein bisschen wacklig gewesen, aber jetzt sind fast alle ab…" Doing precarity: Handlungsstrategien von Haushalten in prekären Lebenslagen
Amacker Michèle (2011), Das Gesundheitsstuhlbein ist bei mir immer ein bisschen wacklig gewesen, aber jetzt sind fast alle ab…" Doing precarity: Handlungsstrategien von Haushalten in prekären Lebenslagen, in Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für Geschlechterforschung der Universität Bern (ed.), 9-10.
"Das Gesundheitsstuhlbein ist bei mir immer ein bisschen wacklig gewesen, aber jetzt sind fast alle ab…". Doing precarity: Handlungsstrategien von Haushalten in prekären Lebenslagen.
Amacker Michèle, "Das Gesundheitsstuhlbein ist bei mir immer ein bisschen wacklig gewesen, aber jetzt sind fast alle ab…". Doing precarity: Handlungsstrategien von Haushalten in prekären Lebenslagen., in Zeitschrift ‚Gender Studies’, Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für Geschlechterforschung IZFG, 18, 14-15.
„Da haben wir wenig Spielraum“ – Familienernährerinnen in prekären Lebenslagen
Amacker Michèle, „Da haben wir wenig Spielraum“ – Familienernährerinnen in prekären Lebenslagen, in WSI-Mitteilungen (Hans-Böckler-Stiftung), Schwerpunktheft: Prekarisierung der Arbeit – Preka(8), 409-415.
Conceptualizing ‘precarious prosperity’: Empirical and theoretical elements for debate
Budowski Monica, Tillmann Robin, Keim Wiebke, Amacker Michèle, Conceptualizing ‘precarious prosperity’: Empirical and theoretical elements for debate, in International Journal of Comparative Sociology, 51(4), 268-288.
Conceptualizing 'Precarious Prosperity' for Comparative Research
Budowski Monica, Tillmann Robin, Keim Wiebke, Amacker Michèle, Conceptualizing 'Precarious Prosperity' for Comparative Research, in Suter Christian (ed.), World Society Studies, Lit Verlag, Berlin, Wien, Zürich, 201-222.
Financial Crisis in Chile and Costa Rica: Perceptions of Households in Precarious Prosperity
Amacker Michèle, Budowski Monica, Schief Sebastian, Financial Crisis in Chile and Costa Rica: Perceptions of Households in Precarious Prosperity, in Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Soziologie, 37(2), 341-359.
Régimen de Bienestar en Chile: liberalismo, crecimiento y ciudadanía social fragmetada
Vera Rojas Daniel, Régimen de Bienestar en Chile: liberalismo, crecimiento y ciudadanía social fragmetada, in Cárcamo Landero Solange (ed.), Ediciones Universidad Católica de Temuco, Temuco, 81-100.

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Fachtagung und Workshop „Das Prekäre (be-)schreiben“ 28.09.2011 Heinrich-Heine-Universtität Düsseldorf, Germany
International Conference “Reframing Gender, Reframing Critique”, Panel 1: “Gender Arrangements in paid and unpaid work: articulations between discourse and practice” 16.09.2011 University of Basel, Switzerland
XVII ISA World Congress of Sociology. Sociology on the move. ISA - RC 55 Session 5 “Inequality, Insecurity and Well-Being - Indicators and Analyses” 11.07.2011 University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Vortragsreihe: Unsicherheiten im Lebensverlauf:Haushaltsstrategien im Umgang mit prekären Lebenslagen in der Schweiz 12.04.2011 University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Vortragsreihe Unsicherheiten im Lebensverlauf: Einführung 22.02.2011 University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Scientific Cooperation Workshop: Spain-Switzerland 16.11.2010 Department of Social Work, Universidad Pública de Navarra, Pamplona, España
II Congreso Estatal de la Red Española Política Social 2010: Crisis económica y políticas sociales: Panel no. 5: El trabajo de cuidados, políticas públicas y género 30.10.2010 CSIC (Centro Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas), Madrid
International Conference: The Global Economic Crisis: Perceptions and Impacts 10.09.2010 International Conference: The Global Economic Crisis: Perceptions and Impacts
SA - International Sociological Association, TG04: Sociology of Risk and Uncertainty 11.07.2010 University of Göthenburg, Sweden
XVII ISA World Congress of Sociology. Sociology on the move. ISA - RC 19, Session 15, Part 1: Poverty, Social Welfare and Social Policy 11.07.2010 University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Sociología del Trabajo of the X Congreso Español de Sociología 01.07.2010 University Pública de Navarra, Spain
Annual Meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE) 24.06.2010 Philadelphia, USA
Scientific Cooperation Workshop: Chile-Switzerland 13.01.2010 Department of Social Work, Catholic University of Temuco, Chile
Social Work Department, Catholic University of Valparaiso 12.11.2009 Valparaiso, Chile
Reihe Prekarität 18.02.2009 Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung, Hamburg, Deutschland.
ISA Research Committee on Poverty, Social Welfare and Social Policy, RC19 04.09.2008 The Future of Social Citizenship: Politics, Institutions and Outcomes
Midterm Conference of the International Sociological Association's Research Committee on Economy and Society: Inequality Beyond Globalization. Economic Changes and the Dynamics of Inequality 26.06.2008 University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Study Days 2008 of the Swiss Society of Americanists: Between Neoliberalism, Third Way and Neopolulisme: Diagnoses of the Political Shift in Latin America 14.03.2008 University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Swiss Society of Americanists: Between Neoliberalism, Third Way and Neopolulisme: Diagnoses of the Political Shift in Latin America 14.03.2008 University of Fribourg, Switzerland


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Nachdiplomstudiengang (CAS). Gender, Justice, Globalisation. Module E: Gender, Poverty and Rural Livelihoods 28.10.2011 Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für Geschlechterforschung (IZFG). Universität Bern
Vortragsreihe Unsicherheiten im Lebensverlauf:Haushaltsstrategien im Umgang mit prekären Lebenslagen in der Schweiz 12.04.2011 University of Fribourg
Vortragsreihe Unsicherheiten im Lebensverlauf: Einführung 22.02.2011 Lehrstuhl für Soziologie, Sozialpolitik und Sozialarbeit, Universität Fribourg
Master Lecture in Sociology: Micro-level Qualitative Comparative Research Across Countries in the North and South–Matter for Reflection 21.04.2010 Institut de sociology, Université de Neuchâtel


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions Vortragsreihe: Unsicherheiten im Lebensverlauf German-speaking Switzerland Western Switzerland 22.02.2011

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
141975 A comparative perspective on precarious prosperity and household strategies in Romania and Switzerland in times of economic strain 01.03.2013 Romanian-Swiss Research Programme (RSRP)
169498 Quality of Life: A Longitudinal Perspective on Households in Precarious Prosperity 01.01.2017 Project funding (Div. I-III)
127019 Gender: Prescripts and Transcripts 01.11.2009 ProDoc

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