Table ronde du Colloque "Innovation et intervention sociale," 21.11.18, Haute école de travail social de Genève, ©NCCR LIVES

Discussions encourageantes pour la création d’un laboratoire d’innovation sociale au sein de LIVES

Près de 100 personnes ont participé le 21 novembre dernier au Colloque international « Innovation et intervention sociales : une recherche d’impact dans les domaines du travail social et de la santé ». Organisé à la Haute école de travail social de Genève, cet événement proposait des conférences et ateliers sur le thème de l’innovation sociale et, surtout, une plateforme d’échanges entre professionnel·le·s engagé·e·s dans diverses formes d’action et chercheur·e·s travaillant dans les domaines du travail social et de la santé.

Organisé par la mission de transfert des connaissances du Pôle de recherche national LIVES, avec le soutien de la Haute école spécialisée de Suisse occidentale (HES-S0), ce colloque a approfondi le thème de l’innovation sociale avec des expert·e·s provenant de Suisse et du Canada.

Anne Parpan-Blaser, professeure à la Haute école spécialisée du Nord-ouest de la Suisse (FHNW), a présenté l’innovation sociale comme un concept-pont entre production et utilisation des connaissances scientifiques et pratiques, tout en relevant les défis et les conditions qui se posent à la construction de cette passerelle. Elle a notamment aussi renvoyé à la problématique qui se pose à l’innovation sociale face à la population à laquelle elle s’adresse: personnes vulnérables dont les besoins sont pris en compte par la recherche, toutefois sans garantie d’une amélioration de leur situation malgré cet investissement scientifique.

Appel à une innovation sociale innovatrice et solidaire

Cette problématique a d’ailleurs été relevée d’emblée lors de l’ouverture du colloque par le directeur du PRN LIVES, Dario Spini, la vice-rectrice de la HES-SO, Christine Pirinoli, et la directrice de la Haute école de travail social de Genève, Joëlle Libois, qui, elle, a appelé à soutenir de l’innovation sociale qui soit à la fois innovatrice et solidaire.

Au cours des ateliers et conférences du colloque, cette problématique est restée au centre des débats. Pour les trois expert-e-s québécois-e-s de l’innovation sociale, les professeur-e-s Mélanie Bourque, Christian Jetté et Jacques Caillouette, membres du Centre de recherche sur l’innovation sociale (CRISES), ce sont les mouvements sociaux qui déclenchent le processus de l’innovation sociale et amènent ainsi des résultats tangibles pour les populations ciblées par la recherche. Ce modèle dit bottom-up a été partagé par certain-e-s intervenant-e-s des ateliers qui y voyaient aussi une manière de respecter les droits sociaux des récipiendaires de prestations sociales.

Impliquer les personnes vulnérables

Un avis partagé par les participant-e-s de la table ronde, dont le Conseiller d’Etat genevois Thierry Apothéloz, Philippe Cotting de l’Association REPER à Fribourg, Corinne Hutmacher-Perret de la Conférence suisse des institutions d'action sociale (CSIAS), Jacques Laurent du Service d'accompagnement et d'hébergement de l'adulte du Canton de Neuchâtel, ainsi que Véréna Keller d’Avenir Social. En fin de compte, comme l’a d’ailleurs noté Thierry Apothéloz, l’innovation sociale ouvre également la voie à la participation de segments et groupes de la population usuellement en marge de la société. En œuvrant avec ce type de population, la recherche et l’innovation accroissent non seulement les connaissances pour améliorer l’accompagnement social, mais soutiennent également la cohésion sociale. Cela en impliquant les personnes vulnérables dans un travail qui à priori leur semble très lointain de leurs soucis au quotidien.

"Understanding Social Dynamics: 20 Years of the Swiss Household Panel", Special issue 2020, Swiss Journal of Sociology - delay: 20th December 2018

To celebrate 20 Years of the Swiss Household Panel, the Swiss Journal of Sociology publishes a special issue on the topic "Understanding Social Dynamics: 20 Years of the Swiss Household Panel". The deadline to submit an abstract (proposing an idea for an article) has now been extened until the 20th December 2018.

In 2019, the Swiss Household Panel celebrates its 20th Birthday. On this occasion, we invite for contributions to an anniversary issue of the Swiss Journal of Sociology. The contributions should focus on social dynamics and make use of the longitudinal character of the panel data.

Panel studies have unique analytical advantages. They are essential to understand processes of mobility and inertia. In particular they make it possible to: (a) measure and analyse social change; (b) distinguish between permanent and transitory characteristics of a given phenomenon; and (c) study both intergenerational and intragenerational patterns of phenomena such as poverty, income dynamics, health conditions and practices or political positioning. In addition, they allow researchers to establish (robust) causal relationships between social phenomena. Household panels also allow for intra-household studies, such as the study of mutual influence of household members’ attitudes and behaviours over time. Panel data are therefore important for both academic research and for monitoring and evaluating policies.
For the special issue “Understanding Social Dynamics” of the Swiss Journal of Sociology, we welcome substantive contributions from different conceptual and theoretical horizons, addressing topics such as education, employment, material reward, health, social networks, integration, political behaviour, or attitudes and values. Comparative analyses based on the Cross-National Equivalent File (CNEF) are particularly welcome.
Please submit your proposal for a contribution to Robin Tillmann (robin.tillmann@fors.unil.ch) by 20 December 2018. 
Refugee Routes - Somalia, 29.11.2018, Bern

REFUGEE ROUTES: INFORMATION ABOUT SOMALIA

On Novembre 29TH, 2018 the NCCR LIVES will stand alongside the Swiss Refugee Council (SRC), for the first time in Bern, for an event offering several presentations about the situation of Somalian refugees and asylum seekers, in order to better understand the context in their country and the procedures that they face in Switzerland. This formula will be repeated later on to address other migration contexts from countries like Afghanistan, etc.

This event will take place in German. Please look at the german version of this news for further informations.
>>> Subscription required (until 23.11.2018)

Cover Vol. 10 : Sequence Analysis and Related Approaches (Ed. Springer, 2018)

New volume of the Springer book series: “Sequence Analysis and Related Approaches, Innovative Methods and Applications”

The 10th volume of the Life Course Research and Social Policies Springer book series edited by NCCR LIVES “Sequence Analysis and Related Approaches, Innovative Methods and Applications,” edited by Gilbert Ritschard and Matthias Studer, both affiliated to NCCR LIVES and Geneva School of Social Sciences University of Geneva, Switzerland, is now available in Open Access. A wealth of information for social scientists interested in quantitative life course analysis and other researchers.

This new volume provides innovative methods and original applications of sequence analysis (SA) and related methods for analyzing longitudinal data describing life trajectories such as professional careers, family paths, the succession of health statuses, or the time use. It pays special attention to the combined use of SA and other methods for longitudinal data as well as to alternatives to classical SA that consists in building typologies of sequences from their pairwise dissimilarities.

The benefit of combining SA with other methods

Alongside the two general papers (Courgeau; Eerola) in Part I, five papers demonstrate the benefit of combining SA with other methods to grasp the dynamics that drive the trajectories. SA is combined with survival models (Malin and Wise; Lundevaller et al.; Rossignon et al.), with qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) (Borgna and Struffolino), and with hidden Markov models (Helske et al.). Among the other methodological contributions, three concern the classical SA framework. Two of them propose novel ways for computing dissimilarities between sequences (Collas; Bison and Scalcon) and one feature-based and fuzzy clustering of sequences (Studer). The other methodological papers address alternative non-dissimilarity-based approaches, namely sequence networks (Cornwell; Hamberger), Markov-based clustering (Taushanov and Berchtold), and the measure of the quality or precarity of individual sequences (Manzoni and Mooi-Reci; Ritschard et al.).

Usefulness of SA

The usefulness of SA and the proposed methodological developments are illustrated through the study of several life-course issues such as gendered occupational trajectories (Malin and Wise), labor market participation of women in Germany (Borgna and Struffolino), relationship between labor market participation and other life domains (Helske et al.), how past trajectories affect chances of parental leave in Switzerland (Rossignon et al.), mortality of disabled in 19th century Sweden (Lundevaller et al.), time use during a typical day of dual-earner couples in Italy (Bison and Scalcon), mobility patterns in Togo (Hamberger), internet addiction in Switzerland (Taushanov and Berchtold), quality of employment career after a first unemployment spell (Manzoni and Mooi-Reci), transition from school to work (Studer; Ritschard et al.).

As such this book provides a wealth of information for social scientists interested in quantitative life course analysis, and all those working in sociology, demography, economics, health, psychology, social policy, and statistics.

Five chapters from LIVES reserachers

The Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research LIVES is happy that the publication includes five chapters with contributions from LIVES researchers:

Springer series on "Life Course Research and Social Policies" in open access

This Series invites academic scholars to present theoretical, methodological, and empirical advances in the analysis of the life course, and to elaborate on possible implications for society and social policies applications. Thanks to the NCCR LIVES funding, all those books are published in open access. The Series editors are Laura Bernardi, Dario Spini and Jean-Michel Bonvin.

Submit your book proposals!

Ideas and proposals for additional contributions to the Series should be sent to laura.bernardi@unil.ch.

>> Already published

>> Ritschard, G; Studer, M. (eds) (2018). Sequence Analysis and Related Approaches Innovative Methods and Applications. Cham, Switzerland:, Springer, Life Course Research and Social Policies, Vol. 10
>> Download the book (pdf)

April 1 - 5, 2019 - LIVES WINTER SCHOOL, VENICE (I)

5th LIVES WINTER SCHOOL ON LIFE COURSE - FINAL DEADLINE DECEMBER 14!

The fifth edition of the LIVES Winter School (April 1 - 5, 2019) is the first organized in collaboration with Venice International University (on its campus of Isola di San Servolo) and led by the two VIU member universities: the University of Lausanne and the University of Padua. In particular, the Winter School 2019 will focus on training the participants in the production of journal articles as a fundamental aspect of the academic career they are approaching: with a “learning by doing” approach, they will prepare collaborative articles going through all stages of the research process, heading towards a joint publication as a medium-term follow-up. Register now, last places available! Final deadline: December 14, 2018

During an intensive one-week program, doctoral students and young researchers will work on various fields of Life Course research through a multidisciplinary approach (Sociology, Psychology, Social Psychology, Life-span Psychology, Social Demography and Social Policies) on vulnerability across the life course. The School first targets PhD students, but Post-doc researchers are also eligible.

Affiliated institutions
  • Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS), University of Bremen & Jacobs University (D)
  • Hallie Ford Center for Healthy Children & Families, Oregon State University (USA)
  • Centre for Population, Aging and Health, Western University (CA)
  • Ageing and Living Conditions Programme (ALC)
  • Faculty of Social Sciences, KU Leuven (BE)

On-line application

Final deadline: December 14, 2018 on the VIU website
>> Apply
>> Program and practical informations

Venice International University
Isola di San Servolo
30100 Venice - Italy
Tel. +39 041 2719 511
Fax +39 041 2719 510
e-mail: summerschools@univiu.org 

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Innovation et intervention sociales : une recherche d’impact dans les domaines du travail social et de la santé

Colloque international le 21 novembre 2018 à la Haute école de travail social (HES-SO) de Genève, avec des conférences de Anne Parpan Blaser (FHNW) et de Jacques Caillouette (Université de Sherbrooke), Mélanie Bourque (Université du Québec en Outaouais) et Christian Jetté (Université de Montréal), ainsi que deux ateliers de réflexion et une table ronde réunissant des intervenants de divers horizons.

>> Flyer

L’intervention sociale et sanitaire s’effectue à la croisée des accompagnements individuels et collectifs. Elle s’articule en outre à l’échelle institutionnelle et territoriale. De ce fait, elle réunit une grande variété d’acteurs·trices professionnel·le·s (personnel de premier recours, de formation, de recherche, etc.), des récipiendaires confronté·e·s à toutes sortes de questions sociales et de santé, et dépend également de décisions du législateur, des moyens financiers à disposition et des modes de gestion.

Si l’on considère que l’innovation sociale « peut être définie comme le développement et la mise en œuvre de nouvelles idées (produits, services et modèles) pour répondre à des besoins sociaux et créer de nouvelles relations ou collaborations sociales » (Guide de l’innovation sociale, Commission européenne, 2013), l’intervention sociale et sanitaire peut être considérée comme un champ d’expertise indispensable à la production de nouvelles réponses aux défis sociaux contemporains qui concernent les personnes vulnérables tout au long de leurs parcours de vie : le care, les coûts de la santé, les inégalités sociales et le cumul des désavantages, l’emploi précaire ou atypique, le burnout et la santé au travail, le vieillissement, l’éclatement familial, etc. Ce colloque international questionne dès lors l’apport de l’intervention sociale et sanitaire à l’innovation sociale à travers trois volets:

1. Contours

Le premier volet consistera à donner un éclairage conceptuel pour tenter de définir les contours de l’innovation sociale. Nous le ferons en mettant l’accent sur les processus de l’innovation sociale, notamment en matière de participation des professionnel·le·s, mais aussi des récipiendaires dans des institutions et des territoires circonscrits. Ces personnes se situent à différents points de l’espace social qu’il s’agit de saisir collectivement pour que de nouvelles solutions concrètes puissent émerger. En matière d’innovation sociale, il est en effet tout aussi important de valoriser les processus que les résultats, car les modalités de mise en œuvre doivent permettre de développer le pouvoir d’agir des individus et de renforcer les liens sociaux des collectifs mobilisés. Faut-il comprendre ces processus comme des vecteurs de démocratisation transformative pour le bien commun ? Ces enjeux seront développés par des spécialistes de l’innovation sociale.

2. Processus

Le deuxième volet apportera un regard réflexif sur les processus vécus par les différent·e·s acteurs·trices. Comment fonctionne le collectif d’innovation sociale ? Quelle entente entre les multiples acteurs et actrices ? Comment les différentes expertises (scientifiques, professionnelles et usagères) se combinent-elles ? Du point de vue de la recherche en sciences humaines et sociales, la perspective du parcours de vie permet-elle d’obtenir des résultats novateurs significatifs sans péjorer les droits fondamentaux de personnes vulnérables ? Comment l’intervention sociale se nourrit-elle de cette approche qui met en relief l’interdépendance des domaines de vie et des normes qui gouvernent les ressources sociales, économiques, psychologiques et physiologiques ? Comment peut-elle intégrer des méthodes longitudinales attentives aux temporalités des vulnérabilités ? Quel peut être l’apport des Living Labs pour reconnaître et formaliser la réalisation d’un projet innovant ? Ces questions, et bien d’autres, seront discutées par des spécialistes.

3. Enjeux

Enfin, le colloque entend interroger les enjeux des processus d’innovation sociale, leurs financements et leurs évaluations. A qui incombe la tâche de valider une innovation sociale ? Selon quels critères et dans quelle temporalité ? Ce type de questionnements interroge la légitimité de l’intervention sociale et sanitaire, mais également le soutien financier et l’institutionnalisation de l’innovation sociale. Le besoin d’intervention dépend en effet fortement de la perception du problème social et de son cadre institutionnel. En Suisse, outre les trois niveaux de compétence étatique et les règles du marché liées à l’économie capitaliste, ce processus est ancré dans un débat idéologique dont les termes doivent être objectivés. C’est en favorisant le dialogue entre les différents acteurs et actrices concerné·e·s que ce troisième volet du colloque sera développé à travers une table ronde.

Programme

Accueil
  • 09h00-09h30 Réception des participant·e·s
  • 09h30-09h35 Ouverture du colloque
  • 09h35-09h50 Mots de bienvenue
  • Joëlle Libois, Directrice de la Haute école de travail social Genève (HETS-GE)
  • Christine Pirinoli, Vice-rectrice Recherche & Innovation, Haute école spécialisée de Suisse occidentale (HES-SO)
  • Dario Spini, Directeur du Pôle de recherche national LIVES
Conférence
  • 09h50-10h35
  • Anne Parpan-Blaser, Haute école spécialisée du Nord-ouest de la Suisse (FHNW)
    L’innovation sociale – Un concept-pont entre production et utilisation des connaissances
  • 10h35-11h00 Pause
Atelier de réflexion
  • 11h00-12h30 L’innovation sociale en action I : le défi de la collaboration

    (présentation en tandem équipe de recherche/partenaire du terrain ou récipiendaires) 

Modération : Olivier Grand, HES-SO

  • Les situations dites complexes des personnes en situation de handicap : plaisir et souffrance dans le travail éducatif
    Toni Cerrone, HETS & Sa | EESP | Lausanne & Pascal Devaux, Fondation Perceval, St-Prex

  • Roms en cité : témoignages, participation et politiques publiques
    Monica Battaglini, HETS-GE & Cera Moaca, Pôle Médiation Intercommunautaire à CARITAS

  • La recherche participative comme méthode pour travailler avec des populations vulnérables et d’impact social à partir des exemples des projets « Encore ! Des histoires ! Évaluation participative du projet pilote de « LivrEchange » et « La parentalité en situation de toxicodépendance dans le canton de Vaud »
    Annamaria Colombo, HETS-FR & Cynthia Pedrazzini, Café des Mamans

  • 12h30-13h30 Pause de midi – repas
Atelier de réflexion
  • 13h30-15h00 L’innovation sociale en action II : le défi du développement
    (présentations en tandem équipe de recherche/partenaire du terrain ou récipiendaires)
  • Le non-recours aux prestations sociales à Genève
    Alain Bolle, CSP Genève/Dominique Froidevaux, Caritas Genève & Barbara Lucas, HETS-GE

  • Cause Commune : Méthodologie de politique d’action sociale communale de Chavannes-près-Renens
    Dario Spini / Emmanuelle Anex, PRN LIVES & Alain Plattet, Commune de Chavannes-près-Renens

  • IncuPA, étude de faisabilité d’un incubateur de projets en faveur du soutien aux proches aidant∙e∙s
    Sandrine Pihet/Noémie Pasquier, HEdS-FR & Jean-Jacques Monachon, Service de la santé publique de canton de Neuchâtel

  • 15h00-15h30 Pause
Conférence
  • 15h30-16h30
  • L'expérience du Centre de recherche sur les innovations sociales (CRISES) au Québec: apports pratiques et théoriques d’un concept heuristique
    Jacques Caillouette, Université de Sherbrooke, responsable au CRISES de l’axe sur les innovations sociales dans les politiques et pratiques sociales; Mélanie Bourque, Université du Québec en Outaouais, membre du CRISES; Christian Jetté, Université de Montréal, membre du CRISES

Table ronde
  • 16h30-17h45
        • « Centre d’innovation sociale » de LIVES, défis et perspectives
          Modération : Jean-Pierre Tabin (HETS&Sa | EESP)

Participant·e·s (entre autres):

  • Thierry Apothéloz, Conseiller d’Etat, Genève
  • Philippe Cotting, Association REPER, Fribourg
  • Corinne Hutmacher-Perret, Conférence suisse des institutions d'action sociale (CSIAS), Berne
  • Jacques Laurent, Service d'accompagnement et d'hébergement de l'adulte (SAHA), Canton de Neuchâtel
  • Véréna Keller, AvenirSocial, Berne

Informations pratiques

Lieu

Haute école de travail social (HES-SO) de Genève, auditoire E007 (Bâtiment E), Rue Pré-Jérôme 16, 1205 Genève
Plan du quartier : https://www.hesge.ch/hets/contact-0

Inscriptions - il n'est plus possible de s'inscrire

Frais d’inscription: 10 francs payables sur place

Comité d'organisation

  • Milena Chimienti
  • Pascal Maeder (contact)
  • Christian Maggiori
  • Stéphane Rullac
Augmentation spectaculaire de la main d'oeuvre étrangère hautement qualifiée en Suisse

The number of highly-qualified immigrant workers in Switzerland has more than doubled in 25 years

In an article for the journal Social Change in Switzerland, Philippe Wanner and Ilka Steiner show how migrant flows into Switzerland have changed over the last 25 years. In particular, the increase in immigration involving workers with high-level qualifications has been spectacular. The two researchers based their analysis on several original databases and demonstrate the predominant role played by the developing labour market in these changes.

Since the beginning of the 21st century Switzerland has experienced a significant increase in net migration. At the same time, the profile of migrant flows has changed dramatically, with the number of highly-qualified migrants more than doubling between 1991 and 2014. Using new data, Philippe Wanner and Ilka Steiner show that the number of new migrants with a tertiary education has increased from 30,000 in 1991 to 40,000 in 2000 and reaches more than 60,000 after 2007. Today migrants with high-level qualifications represent half of the total annual influx.

Immigration levels involving highly-qualified people vary across different nationalities. On the basis of a new survey, the authors show that the proportion of highly-qualified migrants exceeds 80% for French and UK nationals. It reaches two thirds for German and Austrian migrants, but is only 24% for new migrants from Portugal. In recent years, Spanish and Italian migrant flows in particular have undergone significant changes in their profile. Today over 50% are highly-qualified people, whereas historically these flows consisted of people with fairly basic qualifications.

The increase in highly-qualified migration can be explained by the demands of the Swiss labour market. New data show that over half of highly-qualified European immigrants had an employment contract in Switzerland before they arrived in the country. Nonetheless, the authors point out that international migration has only played a secondary role in response to the labour market's needs. Between 2010 and 2013 it was responsible for meeting less than 30% of the demand for workers with a tertiary education. New generations of young native Swiss, better qualified than their elders, have played the biggest role in this respect.

>> Wanner, Philippe et Steiner, Ilka (2018). Une augmentation spectaculaire de la migration hautement qualifiée en Suisse. Social Change in Switzerland No 16. Retrieved from www.socialchangeswitzerland.ch

Contact : Ilka Steiner, 078 610 36 31, Ilka.Steiner@unige.ch

Prof. Marieke van den Brink, Radboud Univer­sity Nijmegen (NL)

LECTURE: GENDER PRACTICES IN RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION IN ACADEMIA, Prof. Marieke Van den Brink

On November 5th, the Equality Programme of the NCCR LIVES and the Equality Office of the University of Lausanne will welcome a lecture by Prof. Marieke van den Brink from Radboud University Nijmegen, in the Netherlands. She will unmask some persistent myths related to recruitment and selection which are often used to explain away the under-representation of women in senior academic positions.

Marieke van den Brink is Professor of Gender & Diversity at the Institute for Social and Cultural Research at Radboud University Nijmegen, in the Netherlands. Her main research interests are gender and diversity in organisations, organisational learning and processes of power and resistance. She is an elected member of the prestigious Young Academy of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her work has been published in many journals, including Journal of Management Studies, Organization Studies, Organization, Human Relations, Gender, Work & Organization, Social Science & Medicine, Employee Relations.

Programme:
  • 12:15-12:25: Welcome address by Stefanie Brander (Equality Office, UNIL) & Eva Green (Vice-dean for Equality and Careers, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences)
  • 12:25-13:30: Lecture by Marieke van den Brink & discussion
  • 13:30-14:00: Standing lunch

Venue: University of Lausanne, Geopolis building, room 1620

>> REGISTRATION

Contacts & informations: equality@lives-nccr.ch 
 
This event is organised in partnership with:
- Equal Opportunities Office of EPFL
- College of Humanities of EPFL
- Faculty of Social and Political Sciences of the University of Lausanne
- Interfaculty Platform for Gender Studies (PlaGe) of the University of Lausanne
The same lecture will take place at the University of Bern, Main building, Hochschulstrasse 4, Room 114, on Monday 5 November from 18:15 to 19:30.
Refugee Routes  - Osar - Eritrea

Refugee routes: Information about Eritrea (sold-out)

On Novembre 1st, 2018 the NCCR LIVES will stand alongside the Swiss Refugee Council (SRC) for an event offering several presentations about the situation of Eritrean refugees and asylum seekers, in order to better understand the context in their country and the procedures that they face in Switzerland. This formula will be repeated later on to address other migration contexts from countries like Afghanistan, etc.

This event will take place in French. Please look at the French version of this news for more information.

>> Subscription required (sold-out)

 istock_baona

Foyers monoparentaux à l’aide sociale: présentation de l'étude aux services sociaux neuchâtelois

Sur invitation de l’Office de la politique familiale et de l’égalité du Canton de Neuchâtel, Ornella Larenza va présenter demain aux responsables des services sociaux son étude LIVES sur les foyers monoparentaux à l’aide sociale. Une belle reconnaissance de sa compétence en la matière et un bel exemple de la manière dont des projets de recherche peuvent être liés aux réflexions sur les politiques sociales.

Demain, sur invitation de Nicole Baur, Ornella Larenza, doctorante FNS de l’Université de Lausanne, va présenter les premiers résultats de son étude LIVES* sur les foyers monoparentaux à l’aide sociale. La directrice de l’Office de la politique familiale et de l’égalité du Canton de Neuchâtel a réuni à cette fin un parquet de responsables des services sociaux communaux et intercommunaux, ainsi que des assistant·e·s sociaux/ales.

Bel exemple d'échange avec les institutions

La « Journée au vert » de demain est destinée à la présentation des premiers résultats de la recherche d'Ornella Larenza, réalisée sur mandat du canton de Neuchâtel. Ce sera aussi l’occasion d’un «focus group», destiné à échanger sur l’interprétation de ces premiers résultats, ainsi que sur les pratiques des professionnels des services sociaux du canton.

Ornella Larenza travaille depuis plus de quatre ans dans le projet LIVES consacré à la monoparentalité, dirigé par la Prof. Laura Bernardi. « C’est un bel exemple de la manière dont ce projet de recherche LIVES est lié aux réflexions sur les politiques sociales et à l’échange avec les institutions », souligne la Prof. Bernardi. « Et cela valorise également notre expertise dans le domaine des parcours de vie et de la vulnérabilité », ajoute Ornella Larenza. Et de se réjouir encore de cette reconnaissance de sa propre compétence dans le domaine des politiques sociales et la vulnérabilité des familles monoparentales en Suisse. Ce d’autant qu’il s’agit de son sujet de thèse.

Travail de réseaux efficace

L’étude sur les foyers monoparentaux à l’aide sociale a débuté ce printemps. Elle comporte deux volets: une analyse quantitative des caractéristiques des bénéficiaires de l’aide sociale économique vivant dans un foyer monoparental d’une part et une enquête qualitative avec une quinzaine d’entretiens individuels.

«Ce mandat pour le canton de Neuchâtel est le fruit du travail de réseaux effectué depuis le début de ce projet avec les institutions et professionnels en Suisse romande», se réjouit encore la Prof. Laura Bernardi.

Job Insecurity: a challenge or hindrance stressor? by Prof. Hans De Witte

Prof. dr. Hans De Witte, from Research Group Work, Organisational & Personnel Psychology, Faculty of Psychology & Educational Sciences, KU Leuven, Belgium, will give this conference about job insecurity, organized by LIVES. Job insecurity refers to subjective concerns about the continued existence of the actual job, alternatively defined as the perceived threat of job loss and the worries related to that threat. In this lecture, a short overview of job insecurity research will be presented, focussed on some of the ‘popular assumptions’ in media and consultancy nowadays: that job insecurity motivates employees (e.g. it constitutes a challenge) rather than being a factor that demotivates (e.g. a ‘hindrance’).

  • Where: Université de Lausanne, Géopolis, salle 5799, CH-1015 Lausanne
  • When: 12 October 2018, from 16h00 to 17h15
  • Organisation : Dr. Ieva Urbanaviciute and Prof. Jérôme Rossier
  • Contact for more information: ieva.urbanaviciute@unil.ch
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Experiencing burn-out or depression can also bring personal growth in the long run

A thesis in psychology presented by Hannah Klaas at the University of Lausanne on 24 September 2018 shows that many people who have suffered from mental illness have also found that aspects of their experience have been positive for their personal development and their relationships with others. This takes time, and stigmatisation certainly doesn’t help. But do not we say that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger?

Research in psychology rarely deals with large samples of "normal" populations. However, Hannah Klaas had this opportunity at the National Centre of Competence in Research LIVES. Using data from the Swiss Household Panel, which tracks thousands of households longitudinally right across Switzerland year after year, she was able to extract a sub-sample of 682 people who have had a serious health problem during their lifetimes, half of whom suffered from a physical ailment, while the other half was made up of people who have suffered from a mental health problem: mainly depression, burn-out or anxiety.

In writing her thesis she had several objectives: to determine the place that the illness had taken in the identity of these people, to observe how social context, social support and stigmatisation influence recovery and development, and finally to compare the lived experiences depending on whether the ailment had affected the body or the mind. Indeed, it has been known for around thirty years that traumatic experiences such as disasters, interpersonal violence or physical health problems can ultimately have a positive impact on personal development. However, apart from a few poorly disseminated, mainly qualitative, studies, the consequences of mental illness on what is called adversarial growth has never been observed quantitatively.

Personal growth and relationships with others

The thesis by Hannah Klaas clearly demonstrates that various positive aspects can come from mental health problems such as depression, burn-out or anxiety, both in terms of personal fulfilment and in changes in relationships with other people. 60% of those taking part in the study reported a significant or moderate degree of personal growth, and 35% had experienced some positive changes since the illness.

Those for whom the disease has become an inherent part of their identity exhibit more signs of adversarial growth. They consider that they have become more understanding, more tolerant and stronger after having gone through this hardship, and claim to have a greater appreciation of life. Many remark that the situation has allowed them to arrange their lives better, for example by ending relationships seen as unhealthy, or by becoming more aware of problem areas in their lives.

“This effect is most evident in people who have had psychotherapy,” notes Hannah Klaas. On the other hand, whether or not an individual has received drug medication has no connection, either positive or negative, with this personal development. In this study, those people who state that they have grown through the adversity that they have experienced are in no way differentiated by their socio-demographic characteristics. "We are talking about the development of intra-personal and social skills, which has no connection with the level of education", the researcher notes in order to explain this broad representation of different social backgrounds.

Over time...

Is it a question of resilience? "It's not a question of going back to a pre-illness state, but rather of a personal development which goes far beyond that," explains Hannah Klaas. Moreover, her thesis indicates that the link between centrality of identity and personal growth is becoming increasingly apparent over time, particularly when the symptoms and the direct impacts of the illness have ceased.

The age at which the psychological problems started also counts, but only to a moderate extent. For certain aspects, adversarial growth seems to be more prevalent among people aged 40 or older. “For some also earlier, but when you're in the middle of your life and you have more experience, it might be easier to find meaning or a reason for your illness, to accept it and to take positive aspects from it for your relationships with others. Or perhaps at this stage you are more ready to make changes in your life?”, suggests the doctoral student.

Discrimination and recovery

Her thesis also shows that people who have suffered severe discrimination because of their state of health find it harder to see themselves as cured. However, and very interestingly, adversarial growth helps people to cope with stigmatisation. People who have experienced some form of stigmatisation benefit more from their personal fulfilment: when they have managed to transcend these problems and have “grown” as a result, they show high levels of subjective recovery. This personal development therefore contributes more to the recovery of persons discriminated against for a mental illness, compared to victims of physical illnesses discriminated against or to other patients who have not been stigmatised. However, it is not essential to have experienced personal development in the face of adversity to feel cured, because 25% of the people questioned felt that they had recovered without noticing any significant progress in their personal development.

Social support

Social support is crucial. Joining a support group, being part of an association or joining a club all encourage adversarial growth. On the other hand, people who suffer from loneliness and isolation find it harder to make sense of their difficulties, even if they lie in the past.

It should be noted that the sample consisted mainly of people who have already had their health problem for at least two years, for whom the direct impacts of the condition have ceased or who have become used to managing the problem, and who have come to accept their illness and are willing to talk about it. In addition, these people have a higher than average level of trust in others. Swiss nationals and academics are also over-represented in the sample, although their rating of adversarial growth  is no higher than in other social categories.

There is hence a high probability that the most vulnerable individuals have not been adequately represented in the study, either because they hide their illness or because they have not been diagnosed. Moreover, the analysis of a sub-group showing low cure rates shows that these people (10%) are more afraid of talking about their illness and report a lower level of adversarial growth. These are also people who indicate more instances of being stigmatised, who receive less social support, and less often belong to groups.

Recommendations

For Hannah Klaas, the most important message of her thesis is that mental illness should not be a taboo, and that "positive things can even come out of it, such as gaining a better understanding of one's strengths or being able to put an end to a toxic relationship." She recommends that the creation of support groups be encouraged, with the particular aim of developing a positive identity in people with illnesses, and of fighting stigma even more, because “people are more than their health problem.”

According to the researcher, more on-line information is needed on recovery and the opportunities for adversarial growth aimed at those affected and their close ones, and even campaigns in schools to gain a better understanding of these phenomena: “We learn what cancer is, but never depression. For example, it is a little known fact that half of the people who suffer from depression experience only one episode during their lifetimes.”

>> Hannah Klaas(2018). Identity, adversarial growth and recovery from mental and physical health problems. Under the supervision of Dario Spini. Université de Lausanne

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"Why the brain struggles to get off the sofa"

Researchers at UNIGE have observed that the brain has a natural tendency to make as little effort as possible, and that it has to summon numerous resources to counter this affinity for the sedentary lifestyle.

About 30% of adults and 80% of teenagers today do not meet the minimum levels of daily physical activity for staying healthy, as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Previous studies have already demonstrated that there is a gap between the intentionto play sport and actually playing it among individuals with a leaning towards a sedentary lifestyle. But what happens in the brain to prevent intention being followed by action?

Researchers at the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG), Switzerland, have studied the neuronal activity of people faced withmaking the choice between physical activity and doing nothing.They noted that the brain requires far greater resources to escape ageneral attraction to minimising effort. A struggle then breaks out between the desire to do nothing and the physical activity. The results, published in the journal Neuropsychologia, are consistent with the idea that our ancestors had to avoid unnecessary physical effort to increase their chances of survival – which, of course, is no longer necessary in our modern societies.

Many people take out membership of a fitness club or gym but never set foot inside. This type of behaviour, which the researchers termed the “physical activity paradox”, has been demonstrated by earlier studies that contrasted the controlled system based on reason – I have to play sport to be healthy – with the automatic system based on affect – the discomfort and fatigue experienced during physical activity. When there is conflict between reason and affect, the physical activity behaviour is not implemented, and the individual tends to remain sedentary. But what happens at the neuronal level? The research team headed by Boris Cheval, (a researcher at NCCR LIVES at the Faculty of Medicine at UNIGE and HUG), and Matthieu Boisgontier (a researcher at Leuven University, Belgium, and University of British Columbia, Canada), studied the neuronal activity of 29 people, all of whom wanted to be active in their daily lives without necessarily being so. The participants had to choose between physical activity and inactivity while the researchers probed their brain activity using an electroencephalograph equipped with 64 electrodes.

Less time but more resources

“We made participants play the “manikin task” which involved steering a dummy towards images representing a physical activity, and subsequently moving it away from images portraying sedentary behaviour. They were then asked to perform the reverse action,” explains Boris Cheval. The researchers compared the differences in the time. We found that participants took 32 milliseconds less to move away from the sedentary image, which is considerable for a task like this,” continues Boris Cheval. It was an outcome that went against the theory and the physical activity paradox. So, how can it be explained? The answer lies in the power of reasoning. The participants shunned the sedentary image faster than they approached it for two reasons: first, because this action was consistent with the instructions given by the researchers; and, more importantly, because it was in keeping with their intention to be physically active. Accordingly, they called on the resources needed to break free from their natural inclination, which drives them to minimise their efforts and react quickly to counter this “instinct”.

“On the other hand,” points out Boris Cheval, “we observed that the electrical activity associated with two brain zones in particular, the fronto-medial cortex and the fronto-central cortex, was much higher when the participant had to choose the sedentary option.” These two areas represent the struggle that takes place between reason and the affects, and the capacity to inhibit natural tendencies, respectively.“ This means the brain has to use much more resources to move away from sedentary behaviour, rather than follow its natural penchant for minimising effort.”

Fighting the legacy of evolution

Where does this inclination for sedentary behaviour come from? “Making as little effort as possible was crucial for the human species during evolution”, says the researcher. “This orientation towards saving and conserving resources increased the chances of survival and reproduction.” Today, however, our modern society renders this energy optimisation obsolete. “On the contrary, physical activity should be encouraged instead of putting temptations in the way to do less, such as escalators or elevators. For instance, we could modify the waypublic spaces are designed to reduce the opportunities for individuals to engage spontaneously in behaviour associated with minimising effort.”

>> Contact: Boris.Cheval@unige.ch+41 22 379 89 42

Source: press release UNIGE (18/09/18)

New video : "Misleading norms - The Everyday Story of Louise"

The Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research LIVES produced a short 6-minute animated movie about the life course of a woman in Switzerland. It shows the different steps which may lead from a worry-free childhood to vulnerability at old age. The story is inspired by different research results that LIVES members published about gender inequalities.

Making : y-en-a·com sàrl

All LIVES videos are on Viméo

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The working poor makes up 8% of Swiss population. Without social benefits, this would be doubled

In an article for the Social Change in Switzerland series, Eric Crettaz describes the four mechanisms which lead to such a high number of working poor in Switzerland. Both income poverty and material deprivation are analysed with new data to demonstrate which social categories suffer the most. Distribution of benefits by the social welfare system halves the number of working poor.

Working poverty is a reality in Switzerland. Approximately 8% of households where at least one person works earn less than 60% of the average income. Without the range of existing social benefits, the rate of working poor in Switzerland would be 15%.

Eric Crettaz used the data from the 2015 SILC (Survey on Income and Living Conditions) to measure both income poverty and material deprivation. The rate of material deprivation is defined by households forgoing at least three commodities, such as taking holidays, being able to cover an unexpected expense, adequately heating the home, or owning a range of appliances.

The rate of material deprivation indicates an enduring difficult financial situation. In Switzerland, this is the case for 3% of households with members in gainful activity. This includes mainly people under 40, people with few qualifications, immigrants from outside Europe, and single-parent households. Couples with more than three children and independent workers represent a significant part of the population of working poor, but suffer less from material deprivation.

According to Eric Crettaz, this difference is explained by the four mechanisms which lead to working poverty: less work than the average household, low pay, a higher than average number of children per adult, and insufficient or no social benefits, particularly for ineligible households. As a result, single-parent families and migrants are more likely to suffer both income poverty and material deprivation because their vulnerability is due to an accumulation of factors.

>> Crettaz, E. (2018). La pauvreté laborieuse en Suisse : étendue et mécanismes / Working Poor in der Schweiz: Ausmass und Mechanismen. Social Change in Switzerland No 15. Retrieved from https://www.socialchangeswitzerland.ch

Contact:  Eric Crettaz, +41 22 388 95 32, eric.crettaz@hesge.ch

The series Social Change in Switzerland documents the evolution of Switzerland’s social structure. It is edited by the Swiss Centre of Expertise in the Social Sciences FORS, the Life Course and Inequalities Research Centre of the University of Lausanne LINES , and the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research LIVES – Overcoming Vulnerability: Life Course Perspectives (NCCR LIVES). The aim is to monitor change in employment, family, income, mobility, voting, or gender in Switzerland. Based on cutting edge empirical research, the series targets a wider audience than just academic experts.

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"Online psychology to help people cope with loss is gaining ground in the French-speaking world"

A team of psychology researchers at the University of Lausanne are about to repeat a highly successful Swiss-German experiment, involving online support for people suffering from bereavement or divorce. The first French version of this online therapy will be followed by a second one, aimed at reaching a greater number of users throughout the world. The project especially wants to find out if the method works just as well without guidance.

The death of a spouse or a life partner, together with divorce and separation, are among the most stressful life course events, and some people struggle to recover from them. There are many similarities between the two situations, such as experiencing an unbearable tension between objective reality and how things should be in the eyes of the person left behind.

While most people manage to regain a feeling of purpose in their lives after a few months, 10 to 15% of those affected by the two different types of loss experience complex symptoms of grief, which particularly manifest themselves through intense, persistent suffering for more than six months, permanent preoccupation, an undisputed difficulty in accepting the departure, feelings of identity loss, an inability to imagine the future without the other person, among many others.

A recognised disorder

The American Psychiatric Association entered persistent complex bereavement disorder into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 2013, and in 2018 the World Health Organisation (WHO) plans to include the diagnosis of prolonged grief disorder in the eleventh International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11).

In this regard, computer-supported therapy may be an effective method to help people overcome pathological grief, as was demonstrated by a successful study conducted by a team from the University of Bern from 2016 to 2017, in association with the National Centre of Competence in Research LIVES, also linked to a series of online self-healing programmes popularised by Prof. Thomas Berger.

Thanks to the involvement of two members of NCCR LIVES IP212, Prof. Valentino Pomini and Dr. Anik Debrot, a lecturer at the University of Lausanne's Institute of Psychology, the online grief support project, known as LIVIA, has been extended to French-speaking Switzerland and France. A PhD candidate and several Masters' students are also involved in this research.

Results 'exceed expectations'

The Lausanne team emphasises that the results of the experiment conducted in Bern by Prof. Hansjörg Znoj and Dr Jeannette Brodbeck, in collaboration with Professor Berger, 'exceeded expectations'. Conducted on 110 people suffering from complicated grief, the LIVIA study compared the progress of participants who had undergone the treatment with a control group of people on the waiting list.

After ten weeks, the patients' levels of psychological distress, depression, embitterment and loneliness had diminished when compared to those of the control group, which still remained extremely high, and their degree of life satisfaction improved significantly.

Advice and exercises

The treatment starts with a range of information about the grieving process. This is followed by advice and exercises aimed at accepting reality of the loss, processing the pain of grief, adjusting to a world without the person who is no longer there, and relocating the connection with the lost person. In the Bern experiment, participants also received encouraging messages, reminders and questions in order to keep patients highly motivated or help them overcome possible difficulties in completing programme tasks.

The researchers emphasise that there are many advantages to online therapy: the process is anonymous, easy to access, inexpensive and does not depend on the quality or availability of a clinician. Patients can go at their own pace, a feature that will be augmented in the future French version where it will also be possible to decide on the order of the sequences.

Without email guidance

There will be two phases to the Lausanne project: the first pilot phase will offer the LIVIA programme in French along the same lines as the German version, but without the supportive messaging. The argument is that results could be equally as good without email guidance.

The second phase will test the new French version of LIVIA, which has shorter, more standardised modules, and includes videos and a discussion forum for participants. The information and tasks provided will be strongly influenced by the latest advances in positive psychology to ensure they meet the four basic psychological needs, namely orientation and control, attachment, pleasure and self-worth.

300 million French speakers

According to Anik Debrot, "there is a boom in online therapies, but very few have been scientifically tested in French, and no validated study in this language yet exists on the issue of grief."

Yet the potential pool of patients is enormous, with 300 million French speakers throughout the world. If a more standardised online therapy without guidance and offering greater flexibility works as well as the guided process, it could reach a far greater number of people.

Little space for grief

In an age when death is no longer accompanied by as many religious and social rites as in the past, and now that divorce is generally widespread, anybody may be affected by complicated grief without necessarily finding a suitable space in which they can try to overcome it.

The LIVIA project, approved by the Ethics Committee on research involving humans of the Canton of Vaud, could therefore provide a welcome helping hand to those suffering the loss of a loved one in silence, and who haven't yet found a path to recovery. People who are interested in taking part in the pilot study can get in touch with the team.

>> Contact: Anik Debrot, anik.debrot@unil.ch, 021 692 32 88

>> Register online (in French)

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Sexual behaviour of young people in Switzerland: A lot has changed in 20 years

Overall, youth in Switzerland report a healthy sexuality. This is the main conclusion of a national survey on health and sexual behavior of adolescents and young adults carried out by the Lausanne University Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (IUMSP / CHUV), the University Hospital of Zurich and the NCCR LIVES. Other findings show that online sex is increasing, and women continue to be overrepresented in the cases of unwanted sexual experiences and sexual abuse.

A team of researchers from the IUMSP/CHUV, Zurich University Hospital and the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research LIVES at the University of Lausanne conducted a survey on sexual and reproductive health of young adults during the second semester of 2017. 7142 people aged between 24 and 26 years and living in Switzerland participated in the study. The last survey centered on the sexual and reproductive health young adults in Switzerland was carried out in 1995. A fair amount of new developments have appeared in these last twenty years.

Results show that overall 94% of females and 89% of males had ever been in a steady relationship. Around three out of every four participants were currently in one such relationship. The great majority (95%) of respondents had ever had sexual partners, most of them between 2 and 7. About 5% had never had a sexual partner. Most (94%) had also had had sexual partners in the past 12 months, but in this case it was mainly only one. Over 70% of males and females had ever had casual sexual partners, but the percentage decreased to around only one quarter in the last 30 days.

Sexual practices

The majority of respondents (86%) had only had heterosexual contacts, however 15% of females and 13% of males had either homosexual or bisexual experiences. The mean age at first sexual contact was just under 17 years. Almost all respondents (96%) had ever had oral sex, most of them with an opposite-sex partner. The vast majority (95%) had had vaginal sex and half of respondents had it at least weekly. The same percentage of females and males (49%) reported ever having had anal intercourse. Participants reporting having had sex with multiple partners at the same time, using medication to enhance sexual performance, or being blackmailed were a small minority. Those having ever had intercourse with someone met on the Internet accounted for 22% of females and 35% of males.

Around 90% of both males and females reported being only or strongly attracted to people of the opposite sex, and males (4.6%) outnumbered females (1.8%) in reporting same sex attraction. It is worth noting that 0.6% of females and 0.4% of males declared not feeling attracted to anyone. The vast majority of participants (92%) described themselves as heterosexuals, around 6% homosexuals or bisexuals, slightly under 2% did not know and 0.6% indicated the option other.

More than half of males (56%) and 46% of females had ever had intercourse while intoxicated. An important percentage (45%) of youths had ever had HIV testing, with females slightly outnumbering males. Almost all reported a negative result. Close to one youth in 10 reported ever having had a diagnosed sexually transmitted infection. Chlamydia was the most commonly reported among females and males.

Contraception

The vast majority (93%) of respondents had used some kind of contraception / protection at their first intercourse, mainly male condoms. However, at last intercourse contraception / protection methods were more equally distributed between male condom and contraceptive pill. All other contraception methods represented less than 5%, with the exception of intrauterine device (IUD) and vaginal ring. Almost half of females had ever used emergency contraception and close to two-fifths of males reported their partner having ever used it. Respondents indicating that they (or their partner) used emergency contraception as their main contraception method were very few.

Online sex

Males outnumbered females in online sexual activity. Almost 3 out of 4 reported having already sent a sexy text-only message without photo, a sexy photo and / or a video of themselves. On the other end, almost 80% of participants had already received such messages. There were no gender differences for these two actions. However, 22% reported having already forwarded such messages to other persons without consent. In this case, males were overrepresented.

Males were slightly more likely than females to have received something or obtained an advantage in exchange of sexual intercourse, but it remained a small minority. On the contrary, males clearly outnumbered females in ever giving something or offering an advantage in exchange of sexual intercourse. There was an important difference in lifetime unwanted sexual experiences and in having ever been victim of sexual assault or abuse between females and males, with females largely outnumbering males.

Contacts :

  • Prof Joan-Carles Suris, CHUV, Institut universitaire de médecine sociale et préventive, 021 314 73 75 / 079 556 84 29 joan-carles.suris@chuv.ch
  • Prof Brigitte Leeners, Universitätsspital Zürich, Klinik für Reproduktions-Endokrinologie, 044 255 50 09 Brigitte.Leeners@usz.ch
>> Barrense-Dias, Y., Akre, C., Berchtold, A., Leeners, B., Morselli, D., Suris, J-C. (2018). Sexual health and behavior of young people in Switzerland. Lausanne, Institut universitaire de médecine sociale et préventive.
Social work and the life course in times of acceleration

Social work and the life course in times of acceleration

The 4th International Congress of the Swiss Social Work Society (SSTS) focuses on the transformations of social work in a society characterised by the acceleration of social and technological changes due to the unfettered competition typical of contemporary capitalism. It will take place at the School of Social Work and Health Sciences | EESP Lausanne (Switzerland) on September 12-13, 2018.

Uncertainties affecting social and political institutions, family relationships and employment status increase vulnerabilities in the life course, whereas the rise in inequality increase not only the pace of daily life for people in employment but also the apparent lack of activity of those who are excluded from the labour market. Against this background, the multiplication of transitions, choices and critical life events and situations that appear to be lived in ever tighter time spans clearly have an impact on both institutions and individuals. How does social work evolve in the face of such changes? How do social problems change? How do the techniques (or technologies) implemented to respond to social issues develop and with what impact on social work clients?

The SSTS Congress will approach these questions on the theme of acceleration along three axes. The first axis questions the connections between acceleration and social policies; the second seeks to look at the life courses of populations reached through social work, while the third examines the transformations of social work that lead to a marked increase in the number of actors involved in social interventions.

Acceleration and social policies

Social acceleration has consequences on the political functioning of liberal Western democracies as well as on their modes and modalities for decision making and policy implementation which tend to replace legislation with less rigid procedural directives (Scheuerman, 2004). Such processes also impact on social policies. Papers that pertain to this first axis will focus on questioning and conceptualising the transformations of social policies within the context of contemporary capitalism. They will deal with the following issues: how should these transformations be analysed with regard to social and technological acceleration? To what extent do they result in changes in the social representations and practices of social work? How should we think of the timeframe in which social intervention takes place? Which interventions or social innovations support social and technological acceleration? In what ways does acceleration impact on the modes of management, governance, bureaucracy and the demands placed on social policies in terms of efficacy and efficiency? How, and in what spheres does the financial onus of social policies shift between the public and the private sector as well as between the state, the philanthropic sector and the family?

Conceptualising social work in terms of the life course

The second axis is focused on the life courses of the target populations of social work. These life courses are the result of a complex set of more or less formal norms, procedures and rules and are framed by administrative and institutional processes. Within this context, age is prominent as a naturalised classification criterion (among others, such as gender) (Perriard & Tabin, 2017). Papers that will be included in this second axis will concentrate on the following questions: how do the life courses of social work clients unfold since these are now asked to assume personal responsibility, become active and invent or reinvent themselves in a shorter and shorter timeframe? (Ravon & Laval, 2015). How do social workers intervene using routinized processes, when life courses have become more uncertain and de-standardised and when statuses have become increasingly fragile and are subject to change? How do social workers adjust – or fail to adjust – to critical events, biographical transitions or bifurcations? How does the concept of the life course translate into the practice of social work and its professional development? Does it take into account social relations in terms of age, gender, ethnic origin and social class? Finally, what are the challenges for social work education and research when drawing on the individual and social policy dimensions of the life course approach?

Multiplication of actors and reconfigurations of social interventions

The transformations of contemporary capitalism force populations to leave the regions in which they live; these processes call into question the borders of the nation-state. This process also increases the complexity of social work as social workers have to respond – generally at the local level – to challenging issues arising from the internationalisation of social problems, the consequences of (de-)colonisation and the impact of so- called natural disasters. They find themselves in a paradoxical situation as they are simultaneously meant to promote the quality of life of social work users at the individual level and to respond to demands aimed at rationalisation, efficiency and efficacy dictated by the neo-liberal focus on management and on the bureaucratisation of practices (Dominelli, 2010).

Some countries regulate the conditions of practice of social work more strictly than others and tend to reinforce and legitimate its existence as a profession, while others subscribe to an approach that tends to broadly question the legitimacy of all professions. The latter trend weakens the position of social workers (Vrancken, 2012), reinforces modes of de-professionalization and generates the multiplication of actors in the field of social intervention. In either case, reconfigurations of practices, adjustments to existing intervention methodologies and/or the elaboration of new methods are required.

>> Programme

Organizing Committee:

Isabelle Csupor, Valérie Hugentobler, Pascal-Eric Gaberel, Morgane Kuehni, Mauro Mercolli, Jean-Pierre Tabin (HES-SO // HETS&Sa | EESP | Lausanne)
Laurence Bachmann, Francis Loser (HES-SO // HETS-Genève)
Jean-François Bickel (HES-SO // HETS-Fribourg)
Barbara Waldis (HES-SO // Valais)
Spartaco Greppi (SUPSI)
Jean-Michel Bonvin, Pascal Maeder, Dario Spini (LIVES)

Contact: Khadija Hemma, Project Coordinator (HES-SO // HETS&Sa | EESP | Lausanne)

Call for papers regarding the 9th Alpine Population Conference

Call for papers regarding the 9th Alpine Population Conference

The next Alp-Pop conference will take place on January 27-30, 2019 in La Thuile, Aosta Valley, Italy. It brings together scholars interested in population issues across several disciplines, including demography, economics, epidemiology, political science, sociology and psychology. Submissions of original papers or extended abstracts are invited by September 23, 2018.

The Alp-Pop conference emphasizes empirical rigor and innovation over a given topic or geographical area, and meets the challenges of interdisciplinary and international audiences.

We welcome submissions on all population issues (e.g. population and health, migration, families and the welfare state; population and economic development/institutions, well-being, etc.). Submissions of original papers or extended abstracts are invited by September 23, 2018. Authors will be notified of acceptance by Mid-October 2018.

Please submit your paper here. You will be requested to create a free account. Please follow the instructions at the link above. Inquiries can be addressed via email to: alp.pop@unibocconi.it.

The confirmed key-note speakers for the 2019 Conference are:

  • Melissa KEARNEY (University of Maryland)
  • Wendy MANNING (Bowling Green State University)
  • Michael SHANAHAN (University of Zurich)

Alp-Pop scholars confer both formally and informally. A traditional conference program (paper and poster presentations) mixes with group activities in a world-class winter resort. The conference location, the Hotel Planibel in La Thuile (Aosta Valley), is next to the ski-slopes, and is in close proximity to the airports of Geneva and Torino/Milano.

Participants are expected to seek their own funding. Special-rate rooms have been reserved at the conference hotel with arrival on January 27 (conference starts in the afternoon) and departure on January 30 (the conference will end in the late morning). Participants will receive information on how to reach La Thuile and regular updates on the conference organization.

Organizing committee: 

  • Massimo Anelli (Dondena Center for Research on Social Dynamics and Public Policy, Bocconi University)
  • Arnstein Aassve (Dondena Center for Research on Social Dynamics and Public Policy, Bocconi University)
  • Nicoletta Balbo (Dondena Center for Research on Social Dynamics and Public Policy, Bocconi University)
  • Laura Bernardi (Swiss National Center for Competence in Research LIVES, University of Lausanne)
  • Francesco Billari (Dondena Center for Research on Social Dynamics and Public Policy, Bocconi University)
Image from a video of the UNIL's Equality Office

Questioning Excellence: Study and training days on women’s and men’s careers in academia

Why are there still so few women in professorial and senior managerial positions in our universities? On this question, the Equality Programme of the NCCR LIVES and the Equality Office of the University of Lausanne invite you to take part in the event “Questioning Excellence” during two half-days of reflection and training on September 11 and 12, 2018, inaugurating a series of lectures during the academic year 2018-2019.

During the first half-day, which will be held in English on September 11 from 9:30 am, researchers specialising in questions of academic careers will present research findings in a European context. We shall welcome:

  • Andreas Schneck (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich) who will talk about a study led by Katrin Auspurg (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich) and Prof. Thomas Hinz (University of Konstanz) on gender-specific chances of being appointed to professorships
  • Angela Wroblewski (Institute for Advanced studies, Vienna) will present an analysis of the effects of gender equality policy measures in science, academia and research applied in Austria during the last decades.
  • Mona Mannevuo (University of Turku) will show how the affective investments and attachments of people working in the academic world influence their vision of research and careers.

Another half-day on September 12 from 9:30 am to 12 am – in French –  will be an opportunity to explore the Swiss situation in greater depth, with papers by equality researchers and practitioners who will examine the particularities of the national context and that of the Lemanic Arc. They include people from the Equality Office of UNIL (Stefanie Brander, Carine Carvalho, Pierre Simon-Vermot), the Equal Opportunities Office of the EPFL (Helene Füger) and the research project GARCIA – Gendering the Academy and Research: Combating career Inequalities and Asymmetries (Sabine Kradolfer).

>> Registration until September 3rd, 2018

Registration is open until the 10th of September, but after the 3rd of September, the risk is that you will not be able to get a name badge.

>> Venue: University of Lausanne, Geopolis building, room 2121

This event is organised in partnership with:

>>> Programme

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