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A Comparative Perspective on Precarious Prosperity and Household Strategies in Romania and Switzerland in Times of Economic Strain

Founding Sources: Swiss National Science Foundation (IZERZO 141975), Unitatea Executiva pentru finantarea invatamantului superior, a cercetarii dezvoltarii si inovarii (UEFISCDI)

Duration: 03/01/ 2013- 07/31/2016

Project
This study continued and deepend the longitudinal qualitative analysis on precarity in three Swiss cities (see project SNF 100017-116605). During an era of economic crisis, this socio-economic category is supposed to become even more meaningful in understanding the dynamic process of social structuring.
In the transition society Romania the study is the first to address the questions of which households are in precarious and to identify the opportunity structures to overcome insecurity of living conditions they have at their disposal.


Objectives
The first objective of the project was to explore “precarious prosperity” in Romania and Switzerland in a comparative perspective. Second, the project examined strategies of households dealing with “precarious prosperity” in the two countries through the means of quantitative and qualitative data. Third, it explored the policy implications of precarious prosperity, in particular for Romania.

Methods
In fulfilling these objectives quantitative and qualitative methodology were combined. The quantitative part delineated the social category situated in between poverty and secure prosperity and assessed how this category experienced recent economic crisis by monitoring changes in objective and subjective indicators of quality of life in both countries.
The qualitative part consists of in-depth interviews with households situated in “precarious prosperity”. For Switzerland, the qualitative survey built on data of the first two waves of the study presented above. In the context of the Swiss-Romanian JRP a 3rd (qualitative) survey was carried out with 50 household. It provides a unique and longitudinal picture of the trajectories and of how these households in three Swiss cities perceive, assess and deal with the dynamics of low income and deprivations over a time lapse of five years (2008–13); it further casts light on the role social policy measures have in addressing social inequalities as experienced by households in their everyday life. In Romania approximately 100 interviews were conducted in two waves (2013 and 2014). For this purpose two towns/communities situated in different Romanian regions of development were chosen.


Deprivations for defining precarious prosperity in Switzerland and Romania


Contact: sopa@unifr.ch



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Links

University of Neuchâtel
Research Institute for Qualitiy of Life, Romanian Academy
Swiss-Romanian Cooperation Program
SDC Romania

Publications

Preoteasa, Ana Maria, Rebekka Sieber, Monica Budowski and Christian Suter (2016). Household Role in Coping with Precarious Work. Evidence from Qualitative Research in Urban Romania and Switzerland, Social Change Review, 2, 177-201.

Sieber, Rebekka and Ionela Vlase (2016). Amélioration dela qualité de vie à partir de la prospérité précaire. Analyse du rôle des liens sociaux et des stratégies d’adaptation des ménages en Roumanie et en Suisse, Romanian Sociology, vol. XIV (1/2016).

Budowski, Monica, Sebastian Schief and Rebekka Sieber  (2016). Precariousness and Quality of Life—a Qualitative Perspective on Quality of Life of Households in Precarious Prosperity in Switzerland and Spain, Applied Research in Quality of Life, Applied Research in Quality of Life, 11(4), 1035-1058.

Precupetu, Iuliana, Ana Maria Preoteasa and Ionela Vlase (2015). Beyond Poverty in Romania: An Analysis of Household-level Factors of Poverty and Precarious Prosperity, Sociológia/Slovak Sociological Review, 47(3), 253-271. Access rero: http://doc.rero.ch/record/277215?ln=fr

Preoteasa, Ana Maria (2015). Munca precară, soluție pentru populația vulnerabilă din mediul rural. Rezultate dintr-o cercetare calitativă (Precarious work, a strategy for vulnerable population in a rural community. Evidence from qualitative research), Calitatea Vietii, 26(1), 36-59.

Suter, Christian, Katia Iglesias and Jehane Moussa (2015). “From Dissonance to Well-Being and Adaption? Quality of Life in Switzerland Over the Past Decades”, In Glatzer, Wolfgang, Laura Camfield, Valerie Møller and Mariano Rojas (Ed.), Global handbook of quality of life, Springer: New York, 685-714.


Vlase, Ionela (2015). Romanian households dealing with precariousness. A life course approach, European Societies, 17(4), 513-534. Access rero: http://doc.rero.ch/record/261536?ln=fr


Vlase, Ionela and Rebekka Sieber (2016). Narrating well-being in the context of precarious prosperity: An account of agency framed by culturally embedded happiness and gender beliefs, European Journal of Women's Studies, 23(2) 185-199.Access rero: http://doc.rero.ch/record/261539?ln=fr

Working Papers

Precupetu, Iuliana, Jehane Simona Moussa and Christian Suter (2016). Precarious prosperity in Romania and Switzerland and its impact on subjective well-being. Institute of Sociology, University of Neuchâtel: Working Paper 1.

Simona, Jehane (2016). The Subjective Wellbeing of those In-Between: A Comparison of four Measurements of Vulnerability to Poverty. Institute of Sociology, University of Neuchâtel: Working Paper 2.


Presentations at national and international scientific conferences and workshop

2013
Precupetu, Iuliana, Ana Maria Preoteasa and Ionela Vlase (2013). Theoretical, methodological and data issues in researching precarious prosperity in Romania. Presentation at the International conference of the Romanian Sociological Association "Towards the Good Society - European Perspectives", 24-26.10.2013, Bucharest (RO).

Schief, Sebastian, Monica Budowski and Rebekka Sieber (2013). Precariousness in Times of Crisis. Contrasting Switzerland and Spain. Presentation at the Conference of the Swiss Sociological Association, 24.06.2013, Bern (CH).

Sieber, Rebekka, Monica Budowski and Sebastian Schief (2013). Precariousness and Quality of Life in Times of Crisis. A longitudinal qualitative perspective on Switzerland and Spain. Presentation at the ISA-RC55 Mid-term conference on Long-term trends in Quality of Life, 12.09.2013, The Hague (NL).

2014
Precupetu, Iuliana and Ana Maria Preoteasa (2014). Poverty and precarious prosperity: A Quality of Life approach. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Sociology department of the “Lucian Blaga” University of Sibiu, 17-18.10.2014, Sibiu (RO).

Preoteasa, Ana Maria (2014). Atypical work in Romania, the last solution for vulnerable population. Evidence from quantitative and qualitative inquiries. Presentation at the International Conference "Social boundaries of work. Changes in the sphere of work in the 21st century capitalism", 14-15.11.2014, Wroclaw (PL).

Preoteasa, Ana Maria and Ionela Vlase (2014). Romanian Family between Tradition and Economic Challenges. An Illustration from Households Situated in Precarious Prosperity. Paper presented at the International Conference of the Centre for International Policy Exchanges “The Decline of the Middle Classes Around the World?”, 28-30.09.2014, Segovia (ES).

Ravazzini, Laura, Jehane Simona and Christian Suter (2014). A longitudinal perspective on quality of life in times of crisis: Switzerland from the 1990s to nowadays. Paper presented at the XVIII World Congress of Sociology, 13-19.07.2014, Yokohama (JP).

Schief, Sebastian, Monica Budowski and Rebekka Sieber (2014). Precariousness and Quality of Life. A Qualitative Perspective on Determinants of Quality of Life of Households in Precarious Prosperity in Switzerland and Spain. Presentation at the ISQOLS Conference 2014 "Sustaining Quality of Life across the Globe", Special Session "Mind the gap - (growing) inequalities in well-being", 15-18.09.2014, Berlin (DE).

Simona, Jehane (2014). Neither Prosperous Nor Poor, the Subjective Wellbeing of those in between. Presentation at the "Conference of the Evolution of Economic and Social Inequalities in Switzerland", 25.10.2014, Neuchâtel (CH).

Simona, Jehane (2014). Precarious prosperity and subjective wellbeing: the case of Switzerland, Presentation at the Indo-Swiss joint seminar, 09.09.2014, Bengaluru (IN).

Suter, Christian (2014). Societal and individual well-being in Switzerland and its evolution over the past decades. Presentation at the Indo-Swiss conference on «Social Dynamics and 
Well-being: Indian and Swiss Approaches», 08-10.09.2014, Bangalore (IN).

Vlase, Ionela (2014). Experiences and strategies of Romanian households situated in precarious prosperity. Paper presented at the annual conference of the Sociology department of the “Lucian Blaga” University of Sibiu, 17-18.10.2014, Sibiu (RO).

Vlase, Ionela and Rebekka Sieber (2014). Examining wellbeing in embedded narrative. The use of agential flourishing approach. Presentation at the 4th Global Studies International Conference, Goethe University, 06-09.08.2014, Frankfurt (DE).

2015
Precupetu, Iuliana and Cosmina Pop (2015). Health inequalities in Romania. Presentation at the international conference “Quality of life, a challenge for social policy”, 23-25.04.2015, Research Institute for Quality of Life, Bucharest (RO).

Precupetu, Iuliana (2015). In poverty in Romania. What kind of quality of life? Presentation at the international conference “Quality of life, a challenge for social policy”, 23-25.04.2015, Research Institute for Quality of Life, Bucharest (RO).

Precupetu, Iuliana and Cosmina Pop (2015). Health Inequalities in Romania. The key role of access to health services in self-rated health, Presentation at the 12th Conference of the European Sociological Association 2015 “Differences, Inequalities and Sociological Imagination”, 25-28.08.2015, Prague (CZ).

Preoteasa, Ana Maria (2015). Typical or atypical work? Evidence from qualitative research in a rural community in Romania. Presentation at the international conference “Quality of life, a challenge for social policy”, 23-25.04.2015, Research Institute for Quality of Life, Bucharest (RO).

Preoteasa, Ana Maria and Ionela Vlase (2015). Work trajectories – challenges in approaching the structural and individual changes. Evidence from a qualitative research. Presentation at the, 19-21.08.2015, Turku (FI). Second International Interdisciplinary Conference on Research on Work “WORK2015 - New Meanings of Work”

Preoteasa, Ana Maria and Laura A. Tufa (2015). Intergenerational ambivalence in households living in precarious prosperity. A critical approach on how transfers sustain intergenerational solidarity. Presentation in the International Conference of the Romanian Sociological Society, 19-21.11.2015, Brasov (RO).

Preoteasa, Ana Maria and Laura A. Tufa (2015). The intergenerational solidarity in Romanian family. An analysis from qualitative perspective on households living in economic precarity. Presentation at the 12th Conference of the European Sociological Association 2015 “Differences, Inequalities and Sociological Imagination”, 25-28.08.2015, Prague (CZ).

Precupețu, Iuliana and Cosmina Elena Pop (2015). “If you have your health...” The role of health status in social selection when living in precarious prosperity. Presentation in the International Conference of the Romanian Sociological Society, 19-21.11.2015, Brasov (RO).

Preoteasa, Ana Maria and Bianca Buligescu (2015). Determinants of poverty and in-work poverty in Romania. Presentation in the International Conference of the Romanian Sociological Society, 19-21.11.2015, Brasov (RO).

Preoteasa, Ana Maria, Monica Budowski, Rebekka Sieber and Christian Suter (2015). Work patterns – individual and structural elements in explaining instability. Evidence from qualitative research in urban Romania and Switzerland. Presentation in the International Conference of the Romanian Sociological Society, 19-21.11.2015, Brasov (RO).

Sieber, Rebekka, Monica Budowski and Sebastian Schief (2015). A Qualitative Perspective on Determinants of Quality of Life of Households in Precarious Prosperity in Switzerland and Spain. Presentation at the international conference “Quality of life, a challenge for social policy”, 23-25.04.2015, Research Institute for Quality of Life, Bucharest (RO).

Sieber, Rebekka and Jehane Simona (2015). Précarité et qualité de vie. Utilisation d'une méthode mixte pour analyser les effets de la santé. Presentation at the congress of the Swiss sociological association: "Collective Dynamics, Social (De-)Regulation and Public Spheres", 03-05.06.2015, Lausanne (CH).

Sieber, Rebekka and Ionela Vlase (2015). Precarious prosperity in Romania and Switzerland: A longitudinal qualitative analysis of strategies improving the quality of life of households. Presentation at the 12th Conference of the European Sociological Association 2015 “Differences, Inequalities and Sociological Imagination”, 25-28.08.2015, Prague (CZ).

Suter, Christian (2015). Quality of life and well-being in Switzerland and its evolution over the past decades. Keynote speech at the international conference “Quality of life, a challenge for social policy”, 23-25.04.2015, Research Institute for Quality of Life, Bucharest (RO).

Vlase, Ionela (2015). Main routes into precarious prosperity in Romania from a life course perspective. Presentation at the international conference “Quality of life, a challenge for social policy”, 23-25.04.2015, Research Institute for Quality of Life, Bucharest (RO).

Vlase, Ionela and Rebekka Sieber (2015). Narrating well-being in the context of precarious prosperity. An account of agency framed by culturally embedded happiness and gender beliefs. Presentation at the international conference “Narratives of Crisis”, 24-26.06.2015, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki (GR).

2016
Pop Cosmina (2016). Health and health choices of people living in precarious prosperity in Romania. Presentation at the Third ISA Forum of Sociology “The Futures We Want: Global Sociology and the Struggles for a Better World”, 10-14.07.2016, Vienna (AT).

Precupetu Iuliana and Cosmina Pop (2016). Health status and health selection processes in intra-generational mobility when living in precarious prosperity. Presentation at the Third ISA Forum of Sociology “The Futures We Want: Global Sociology and the Struggles for a Better World”, 10-14.07.2016, Vienna (AT).

Precupetu Iuliana and Cosmina Pop (2016). Structural and Individual Constraints in Health Choices when Living in Precarious Prosperity in Romania. Presentation at the international conference "Social sciences and the contemporary challenges. 20 years of teaching sociology at the University of Oradea", 09-10.06.2016, Oradea (RO).

Preoteasa Ana Maria, Rebekka Sieber, Monica Budowski and Christian Suter (2016). Perception of precarious pork by households living in precarious prosperity. Evidence from qualitative research in urban Romania and Switzerland. Presentation at the Third ISA Forum of Sociology “The Futures We Want: Global Sociology and the Struggles for a Better World”, 10-14.07.2016, Vienna (AT).

Sieber, Rebekka (2016). Dealing with uncertainty in precarious prosperity: Adaption as a strategy to improve the quality of life of households. Presentation at the Third ISA Forum of Sociology “The Futures We Want: Global Sociology and the Struggles for a Better World”, 10-14.07.2016, Vienna (AT).

Tufa, Laura and George Zamfir (2016). Housing Strategies in Multigenerational Rural Households Living in Precarious Prosperity in Romania. Presentation at the Third ISA Forum of Sociology “The Futures We Want: Global Sociology and the Struggles for a Better World”, 10-14.07.2016, Vienna (AT).

Vlase, Ionela and Ana Maria Preoteasa (2016). Quality of Life As Outcome of Interlocking Family and Work Trajectories. an Overview of Romanian Households in Precarious Prosperity. Presentation at the Third ISA Forum of Sociology “The Futures We Want: Global Sociology and the Struggles for a Better World”, 10-14.07.2016, Vienna (AT).



Organization of scientific workshops at national and international conferences

2013
Suter, Christian (2013). Inequality and Precariousness in Times of Crisis: Dynamics and Comparative Perspectives. Plenary session organized at the Congress of the Swiss Sociological Association “Inequality and Integration in Times of Crisis”, 26 – 28.06.2013, University of Bern (CH).

2014
Sieber, Rebekka and Christian Suter (2014). Organisation of the international workshop “A comparative perspective on precarious prosperity and household strategies in times of economic strain”, 02.-03.05.2014, University of Neuchâtel (CH) – financed by the institute of sociology, university of Neuchâtel.
Participants: Giuliano Bonoli and Nicolas Turtschi (IDHEAP, University of Lausanne), Felix Bühlmann (Faculty of social sciences and politics, University of Lausanne), Tenzin Sherab (Department of Sociology, Social Politics and Social Work, University of Fribourg), Christian Suter, Iuliana Precupetu, Ana Maria Preoteasa, Ionela Vlase, Monica Budowski, Jehane Moussa, Rebekka Sieber

2015
Budowski, Monica (2015). Precarious Prosperity and Quality of Life. Session organized at the international conference “Quality of life, a challenge for social policy”, 23-25.04.2015, Research Institute for Quality of Life, Bucharest (RO).

Preoteasa, Ana Maria (with Simona Stanescu) (2015). Social policy of our times: is the quality of life still an envisaged goal? Section organized at the International Conference of the Romanian Sociological Society, 19-21.11.2015, Brasov (RO).

Suter, Christian and Eric Crettaz (2015). Vulnérabilité, inégalités et dérégulation sociale : quels impacts sur la qualité de vie. Workshop organized at the congress of the Swiss sociological association: "Collective Dynamics, Social (De-)Regulation and Public Spheres", 03-05.06.2015, Lausanne (CH).

2016
Precupetu, Iuliana and Christian Suter (2016). Quality of Life, Inequality and Vulnerability. Lessons of the Crisis. Section organized at the Third ISA Forum of Sociology “The Futures We Want: Global Sociology and the Struggles for a Better World”, 10-14.07.2016, Vienna (AT).

Precupetu, Iuliana and Christian Suter (2016). New Challenges in Measuring Quality of Life Domains and Indicators. Section organized at the Third ISA Forum of Sociology “The Futures We Want: Global Sociology and the Struggles for a Better World”, 10-14.07.2016, Vienna (AT).


Reports

Scientific Report 2014 (excerpt)

Scientific Report 2015 (excerpt)

Project co-financed by a grant from Switzerland through the Swiss Contribution to the enlarged European Union