http://www.journals.vu.lt/STEPP/issue/feed Socialinė teorija, empirija, politika ir praktika 2019-04-03T20:49:17+03:00 Eugenijus Dunajevas eugenijus.dunajevas@fsf.vu.lt Open Journal Systems <p>Founded in 2001. Publishes articles on social work and social policy.</p> http://www.journals.vu.lt/STEPP/article/view/12556 Editorial Board and Table of Contents 2019-04-03T20:48:40+03:00 Žurnalas STEPP vigintas.stancelis@kf.vu.lt <p>[text in Lithuanian]</p> 2019-03-04T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://www.journals.vu.lt/STEPP/article/view/12557 Legal Presumptions of Reconciling Family Life and Work in the Baltic Countries 2019-04-03T20:48:37+03:00 Snieguolė Grigužauskaitė snieguole.griguzauskaite@gmail.com Daiva Skučienė daiva.skuciene@lstc.lt <p>[full article and abstract in Lithuanian; abstract in English]</p> <p>One of the main institutions for the welfare of citizens is the family, which acts as a social unit under certain informal and formal rules. In a society, the functioning of a family is best described using institutional theory, which is defined by such terms as organization, behaviour, order, rules. The rules and order are based on the laws that help family members make decisions and function in society while maintaining the integrity of their institution. During the recent decades, the family, as a social unit, has undergone a relatively strong process of deinstitutionalization, which leads to new, major challenges across the European Union. One of the key challenges is the reconciliation of family life and work, which is crucial. In order to manage setbacks, a legal framework is being improved, the content of which varies according to many different aspects in each EU country, while the EU’s objectives and recommendations are the same for all countries. Therefore, there is a need to assess whether different legal instruments create equal or at least similar conditions for family life and work harmonisation. On this basis, the purpose of the study is to compare the favorable work conditions for parents of children under the age of 3 that are provided in the legislation of the Baltic States. To achieve the purpose of the research, the study focuses on these objectives: the analysis of scientific literature based on institutional theory, the analysis of legal acts regulating employment relationship in the Baltic countries,&nbsp;and the laws and data taken from the 2017 MISSOC (Mutual Information System on Social Protection) database. A&nbsp;thematic analysis of the legislation of working conditions, relevant from September to October 2018, was chosen&nbsp;for the purposes of this study. The topics of the legal acts analysis have been formulated on the basis of law groups.&nbsp;The results of the study show that the Baltic countries mainly focus on business trips, breastfeeding breaks, guaranteed&nbsp;paid, free and extra annual leave, protection against harmful working conditions and the termination of contracts for&nbsp;legal regulation. Topics that regulate the least exceptional conditions in the Baltic countries are recruitment, work&nbsp;during weekends and public holidays, work schedule flexibility, remote working.</p> 2019-03-04T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://www.journals.vu.lt/STEPP/article/view/12558 The impact of cash social benefits for reducing poverty in the European Union 2019-04-03T20:48:34+03:00 Rasa Balvočiūtė rasa.balvociute@gmail.com <p>[full article and abstract in Lithuanian; abstract in English]</p> <p>This article presents an analysis of the impact of cash social benefits on poverty reduction in two groups of EU countries (The “Old,” Western Europe and the “New,” Eastern Europe ). Models of a regression analysis of panel data were compiled to assess the changes in the most deprived part of the population, which included factors such as population income, social assistance payments, labor market activity, population indebtedness, long-term unemployment and education levels of the population. The results of the survey revealed the essential differences in the impact of social assistance on poverty: in the old EU countries, means-tested social benefits reduce the growth of poverty and material deprivation; in the Eastern European countries, which are characterized by a more liberal or “residual” welfare model, the poorest part of the population changes due to cyclical fluctuations in economic deve­lopment and changes in long-term unemployment. Therefore, the key for reducing poverty is to reduce long-term unemployment. Means-tested social benefits in them are as effective as in the old EU countries.</p> 2019-03-04T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://www.journals.vu.lt/STEPP/article/view/12559 The constructions of everyday ethics in Lithuanian family social work practices 2019-04-03T20:48:30+03:00 Roberta Motieciene roberta.motieciene@vdu.lt Merja Laitinen merja.laitinen@ulapland.fi Pia Skaffari pia.skaffari@ulapland.fi <p>[full article and abstract in English]</p> <p>The aim of this study was to shed light on family social work through analyzing the insights of Lithuanian social workers about the ethical questions that emerge during their daily practices. Social workers’ ethical consider­ations are analyzed in the framework of “doing ethics.” Ethics work also pays attention to the broader political and social contexts behind the processes that happen within families. Our qualitative research was carried out in three of the largest Lithuanian cities: Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipėda. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 25 family social workers. The research findings showed that family social workers construct ethical questions through discursive themes, such as the dignity of the client and societal inequalities – especially poverty issues and social control and support. Ethical dilemmas arise in the settings where social workers do evaluations and make decisions, and where actions require professional knowledge.</p> 2019-03-04T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://www.journals.vu.lt/STEPP/article/view/12560 Alcohol consumption habits, environments and consequences in Lithuania 2019-04-03T20:48:27+03:00 Vita Karpuškienė vita.karpuskiene@evaf.vu.lt Aušrytė Rastenienė ausryte.rasteniene@evaf.vu.lt Arvydas Liepuonius arvydas.liepuonius@evaf.vu.lt <p>[full article and abstract in Lithuanian; abstract in English]</p> <p>Excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages is a very sensitive issue for the Lithuanian society. The World Health Organization and the European Union Commission are reporting data of high concern – Lithuania is predominantly the country with the highest rates of alcoholism. The government has adopted amendments to the law from 2018 to 2020 which restrict trade time, legal age of purchasing and drinking alcohol, and alcohol advertising. This regulation applies to all people, regardless of consumer behavior. For long-term results, it is expedient to supplement these restrictive provisions with policy measures that motivate a reduction in alcohol consumption. Therefore, it is necessary to study the habits, the environment and the causes of alcohol consumption.</p> <p>This article presents the results of a study conducted by scientists from the Faculty of Economics of Vilnius University (VU) and representatives of the Lithuanian Confederation of Business (LVK) in December 2016. The purpose of the study is to identify the groups of alcohol beverage users and investigate their consumption behavior. The presented insights delve into three aspects of alcohol consumption: 1) Alcohol consumption and frequency; 2) Consumption habits and conditions; 3) Consequences of consumption.</p> <p>The findings of the survey are compared with the published data of other institutions. The survey analysis revealed that a half of all moderate alcohol consumers drink less than one quarter (23%) of the total one week alcohol volume, while 10% of the most consuming respondents drink more than one third (37%). The patterns and environments of the excluded groups vary, but alcohol is mostly used in a closed home environment with friends, relatives and collaborators.</p> 2019-03-04T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://www.journals.vu.lt/STEPP/article/view/12561 Long-Term Care of Older Persons in Lithuania: Public Perceptions and the Attitudes of Social Service Providers 2019-04-03T20:48:24+03:00 Irmina Matonytė irmina.matonyte@ism.lt Rūta Kazlauskaitė ruta.kazlauskaite@ism.lt Virginija Poškutė virginija.poskute@ism.lt <p>[full article and abstract in Lithuanian; abstract in English]</p> <p>In this paper, building on the welfare culture and public value management theories, we analyze the situation of long-term care (LTC) of older persons in Lithuania. As the normative vantage point of the study, we hold that the objective of developing and maintaining a harmonious and sustainable LTC system requires developing a system that is not only economically efficient but ensures that LTC services are of the right quality, are accessible and conform to public expectations as well as to the stakeholders’ and service providers’ attitudes. The review of prior research on social policy and LTC conducted in Lithuania shows that the attitudes of LTC providers as a community, as well as those of different stakeholders, toward the role of the state, family and other institutions in the provision of LTC vary to a considerable extent, between the social work and health care systems in particular. However, this strand of research is lacking a broader conceptualization, i.e., a situation analysis in relation to the macro level of LTC developments, public values and stakeholder attitudes to LTC as a distinct field of social policy. Next, we outline the LTC situation in Lithuania. Then, we interpret public attitudes and the attitudes of social service providers toward the responsibility for the LTC as a complex reaction to the current unsatisfactory LTC situation in the country. Surveys show that an expectation still prevails in the society that LTC should be provided by family members and other close persons, which emphasizes a need for an active discussion of LTC responsibilities and the actual situation among the politicians and society at large. The findings of our LTC stakeholder survey (n=260) show that LTC providers also believe families to be the most important pillar supporting LTC. On the other hand, a more or less equal distribution of LTC providers into two groups regarding the increase or reduction of taxes and investment into social protection indicates a need for a wider discussion of this issue among LTC providers, as the current situation points to an ab­sence of an interest group in the field of LTC that would hold a clear position about service demand and the possible means for meeting it. We conclude with recommendations on the enhancement of democratic deliberations and other instruments proposed by public value management, which would in turn allow to better conform to the attitudes and expectations of all the stakeholders and match their interests in the LTC domain.</p> 2019-03-04T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://www.journals.vu.lt/STEPP/article/view/12562 Childlessness in Lithuania: Trends, Norms and Spatial Differentiation 2019-04-03T20:48:21+03:00 Margarita Gedvilaitė-Kordušienė mgedvilaite@gmail.com Vaida Tretjakova vaida.tretjakova@gmail.com Rūta Ubarevičienė ruta.ubareviciene@gmail.com <p>[full article and abstract in Lithuanian; abstract in English]</p> <p>During the last decades, the share of childless women has been on the rise in the majority of European countries. Consequently, the phenomenon of childlessness has been receiving more attention in the scientific discourse. Usually, it is investigated as one of the manifestations of family transformation occurring in modern societies that is related to changing family models and gender roles.</p> <p>Even though, when compared to other European countries, the share of childless women in Lithuania remains low, it has recently increased both in terms of permanent (among women above reproductive age) and temporary (among women of reproductive age) childlessness. However, so far this subject has been underresearched. In this paper, we aim to examine the trends in women’s permanent childlessness, reveal the sociodemographic characteristics of childless women born in 1920–1969 and explore the spatial differentiation of childlessness in Lithuania. The empirical basis of our analysis consists of a couple of secondary data sources: the third wave of the European Values Study (2008), the Lithuanian Population Census (2011).</p> <p>An analysis of cultural norms regarding childlessness has revealed an ambivalence in attitudes. On the one hand, respondents have expressed support for individualistic attitudes, stating that an individual has the right to decide whether to have a child or not. On the other hand, there was substantial support for the familialistic norm that children give meaning to life, especially for women.</p> <p>In terms of the sociodemographic characteristics, the biggest differences between childless women and mothers occur in relation to marital status and education. Throughout all generations, a significantly higher proportion of childless women in comparison to mothers remain unmarried. Since marriage was the primary pathway to family formation in earlier times, it is plausible that the majority of women in older cohorts have become childless due to certain circumstances – failure to find a (suitable) partner. On the other hand, younger generations have been influenced by the family transformation, which in Lithuania started around 1990 and brought changes in family formation and procreative behavior. Therefore, it is likely that voluntary childlessness is more common among childless women in younger generations.</p> <p>A spatial analysis of childlessness has revealed that this demographic process in Lithuania has a high degree of regional differentiation, especially from the 1940–1949 cohort and onwards. With the exception of the oldest cohort, throughout all generations, the highest share of childless women – higher than 10 percent – is observed in Vilnius and other major city municipalities. Additionally, we observe higher degrees of childlessness in certain areas of north and northeast Lithuania. The majority of the municipalities in this region have the status of “sparsely populated territories” and are considered “problematic” in terms of other demographic, social and economic indicators in the scientific discourse of human geography in Lithuania. The results of the analysis of the spatial differentiation of childlessness might be useful for forecasting the development trends of childlessness in the future across the different regions of the country. However, more in-depth research is needed in order to identify the specific factors affecting the regional differentiation of childlessness in Lithuania.</p> 2019-03-04T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://www.journals.vu.lt/STEPP/article/view/12563 Reducing prejudice through biased group contact? 2019-04-03T20:48:18+03:00 Karolis Dambrauskas institutas@lstc.lt <p>[full article and abstract in English]</p> <p>Using the methods of critical discourse analysis, this article analyzes the TV program Mission: Vilnija as an example designed to fight stereotypes about Lithuanian national minorities. The article shows how instead of improving inter-group relations, the program helps to ensure the status quo of unequal intergroup relations between the Lithuanian majority and the country’s national minorities. The case analysis supports the argument that if the idea of parasocial contact and prejudice reduction is built upon non-reflected, biased premises, it will not eliminate these forms of prejudice but will only preserve and/or reinforce them.</p> 2019-03-04T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://www.journals.vu.lt/STEPP/article/view/12564 Author Guidelines and Bibliographic Data 2019-04-03T20:48:15+03:00 Žurnalas STEPP vigintas.stancelis@kf.vu.lt <p>[text in English]</p> 2019-03-04T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://www.journals.vu.lt/STEPP/article/view/11895 Front Matter and Editorial Board 2019-04-03T20:49:17+03:00 STEPP 2018 Nr. 17 vigintas.stancelis@kf.vu.lt <p>[text in Lithuanian]</p> 2018-10-15T00:00:00+03:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement##