CIES-IUL represented at the 14th Conference of the European Sociological Association
With the theme "Europe and Beyond", it is taking place in Manchester/UK from 20 to 23 August 2019 and has a strong participation of CIES-IUL researchers.
Find the full programme on the official conference website and follow the conference on twitter with the hashtag: #esa2019.
See below the abstracts of the papers presented by members of the CIES team:
RN03_01: Biographical Methods in the Qualitative Research
Connecting The Dots: Mapping The Field Of Biographical Research In Europe
João Baía, Ana Caetano, Magda Nico
ISCTE - University Institute of Lisbon, Portugal
The long and established roots of biographical research have been documented throughout the years in a rich body of reflections directed at the main trends and traditions of its evolution within social sciences. However, many of the texts mapping its key approaches and methods tend to be exclusively qualitatively driven, cross-disciplinary, and focused on particular approaches and national traditions, zooming in the context of specific research designs or issues. In this presentation we aim to contribute to this mapping of biographical research by narrowing down the disciplinary focus to sociology and the scope to the European academic context, while simultaneously broadening the analytical approach to include both a qualitative and quantitative outlook on the field. The main results of a bibliometric analysis and literature review are discussed, taking into consideration elements such as year and type of publication, geographical scope, type of concepts used, main focus (theoretical, methodological, mixed), methodology, type of approach, use of content analysis software, among others. With these approaches (content and statistical analysis) we are able to identify and characterise the major trends, debates and stages in the development of biographical research in the European sociological literature. This analysis is part of a research project entitled “Biographical echoes: triangulation in the study of life histories” whose main goal is to reconstitute a person’s life history by means of autobiographical accounts, but also using the testimonies that significant others (family, friends) share about that biography.
RN30_01b: Participation I: Political engagement
Political Engagement Through Life Course And Youth Transitions
Nuno de Almeida Alves
Life course and protracted transitions into adulthood have a significant explicative power in respect to young people’s relation to politics and civic engagement. Life cycles, better than age, may explain a progressive interest in politics and a growing engagement in political issues along the successive steps and transitional processes of individuals: from high school to university; from education to work; from initial sentimental relationships to stable partnerships and new household formations. The protracted transitions perspective helps the understanding the contemporary average delay of each of this transitional processes and respective implications in young people’s autonomy and completion of citizenship rights and duties.
However, these two perspectives will have a different contribution in the present abstract proposal. It will help to build the understanding of a specific group of young people, and more specifically of the individual trajectories or careers (Fillieule 2001) of their members into deeply involved activists, through a process started in secondary education, changed though their enrolment in tertiary education and finally transformed by their difficult and precarious integration in the labour market.
This proposal is based on a set of interviews and ethnographic research undertaken with Precarious Inflexible, part of the qualitative work done between 2012 and 2013 for the international project MYPLACE, financed by the 7th Framework Program of the European Commission.
RN34_01: Muslims and social cohesion I
Media coverage of Islam: Commonalities and Specificities of the Portuguese case
Francisco Santos Silva
CIES ISCTE-IUL, Portugal
Portugal is an interesting case when it comes to how the media cover Islam and stories related to Muslims and Islamic issues. Firstly, it is a European country which has not experienced Islamic fundamentalist terrorism first-hand, it has also had a comparatively low rate of Muslim immigrants in the last few years. Another interesting factor is the absence of a strong far-right political force or far-right discourse in the public sphere. This is compounded with a historical and romanticised memory of an Islamic past in the country, from which derives a not-necessarily negative view of Islam, but what might be considered a more Orientalist view of an exotic past. Portugal is also a very homogeneously Catholic country, with little experience or tradition in studying other religions or even being concerned about them, unlike much of Europe.
This paper, focusing on the years between 2014 and 2016, seeks to examine how these factors change the discourse on Islam present in the media landscape in Portugal and particularly how stories generated in Portugal, about the Portuguese Islamic community or events in the country, differ from news imported from elsewhere in Europe and North America. This search for common aspects in media coverage and the specificities of the Portuguese case aims to examine how the cultural, political and historical specificity of Portugal has an effect on media coverage and if this is translated into public opinion.
RS18_01: Urban Futures: Visions, imaginaries and narratives (1)
Migration and Diversity in the Entrepreneurial City: Setting the scene for the new urban imaginaries.
Nuno Filipe Oliveira
CIES-IUL ISCTE Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, Portugal
Drawing from field work in Lisbon and Buenos Aires, the paper examines how processes of revitalization of the inner-city have been consistently linked to cultural diversity mobilization. Ethnographic and qualitative research was carried out in specific urban spaces where culture-led regeneration is underway. The selection of such spaces was premised on the idea of avoiding the usual suspects in urban studies such as the big capitals of the northern hemisphere. We argue that migration cultural traits are brought into such processes through cultural mediatory mechanisms that are specific to entrepreneurial citiy model. We integrate in our analysis a wide range of actors involved in urban governance, from municipal authorities, through immigrant organizations, to migrant entrepreneurs and gentrifiers, in order to provide a comprehensive interpretation of such mechanisms. Findings show that cities pursue similar strategies of coping with migrant-driven cultural diversity implying three main dimensions: aestheticization, place marketing and “ethnic showcasing”. We raise some conceptual and policy related questions about new regimes of visibility and forms of social organization of difference specific to the entrepreneurial city.
RN13_02c: Intergenerational relationships and kinship networks I
Where are Lives Linked? A Bibliometrical Analysis of the Linked Lives Principle in the Social Sciences Literature
Diana Carvalho, Magda Nico, Helena Carvalho
CIES-IUL /ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon, Portugal
Linked Lives is one of the most appraised but underexplored life course principles. It argues that “each generation is bound to fateful decisions and events in the other's life course”. It gives centrality to social relations and networks, including kin, and so it concerns, the complexity of the relationships within families and households by referring how the lives of their members are linked through events (turning, critical, demographic), trajectories (in the various spheres of life) or social characteristics (education, occupation, class, etc.). This concept has reached the status of theoretical principle (particularly true in the scope of the Life Course Literature) or of a scientific self-evident premise (implicit, for instance, in models that tackle the effects of life events and statuses). It is thus used as a general premise but not as a research hypothesis.
We take a step back, by providing a big picture on how the links of lives within families have been studied in social research. For that purpose, the team of the Project “Linked Lives: a mixed multilevel longitudinal approach to family life course” carried out a bibliometric analysis. An effort towards the census of the publications concerning “linked lives” was made through various bibliographical sources. These were coded (by type of publication, author's institutional nationality, geographic scope, type of events, generational direction of the link, spheres of life, methodology, etc.) and organized in statistical software, where univariate, bivariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify and characterize the stages and variations of this concept in the sociological and life course literature. We additionally reflect on how it has been contributing to understanding family and intergenerational relations and interdependence.
RN30_03a: Work and employment II: Precarity
Exploring the Concept of "Long Term Precariousness": Towards a New Indicator
Magda Nico, Nuno de Almeida Alves, Helena Carvalho, Diana Carvalho
Precariousness’ increasingly academic and political popularity and its undeniable presence in the contemporary labour market call for a more critical and thorough analysis and measurement of the process, especially when arguments of it being “the new normal” for the younger generations are so current. The team of the Project “Linked Lives: a mixed multilevel longitudinal approach to family life course” develops a two-folded argument in this presentation.
1) The conceptual confusion and ambiguity of the term “precarity” is tackled, even if recognized as consequence of the complexity and variation of the phenomenon over historical time and across generations. Labour market precarity has varying definitions, ranging from aspects of salary to dignifying work, to stability or existence of contract, to relative inequality towards other professional classes, genders or qualifications, to moral or sexual harassment, or failure to fulfil promises concerning social mobility. An alternative, but more comparable – namely generationally -, definition is proposed.
2) On the other hand, albeit the conceptual vagueness of “precarity”, longitudinal qualitative evidence has shown that the effects of precarity, such as what happens with unemployment, are not immune to the influence of the duration of the experience, nor are they equal across generations. Therefore, just as long term unemployment produces more serious and scarring effects than isolated or short episodes of unemployment, so does the experience and effects of precarity vary in intensity, content, and duration. We argue for the need to create a “long term” precarity indicator, and explore some of the existing longitudinal variables and data sets to do so.
RN01_03a: Work and Retirement
Ageing Migrants, Gender and Retirement: The Case of Portuguese in Switzerland
ISCTE-IUL, Portugal; NCCR - ON THE MOVE, Switzerland
Switzerland became a major destination for Portuguese migrants in the 1980’s. A significant number lived their entire professional life there and are now reaching retirement age. According to official records, most of them returned to their home country, and only a small proportion grow old in place after retirement. Their pensions are generally not very high, due to their position in the Swiss labor market and to partial contributory careers. Consequently, ageing in place means material insecurity for a large number. On the other hand, the return migration might mean poor access to healthcare and other facilities, especially at a more vulnerable and needy age.
In this communication, I will present some data from the cross-national empirical on-going research on Portuguese migrants in Switzerland that are retired or will be retired soon. Based on in-depth interviews conducted up to now both in Switzerland (with migrants settled there) and in Portugal (with migrants that returned), I will focus on the gender differences along migrants’ life course (i.e. professional insertion, language possession) and in the return decision, but also on gender asymmetries in the transition to retirement and in post-retirement (i.e. pensions, occupation, health issues). I will conclude pointing out some challenges that this ageing population represents to both countries.
RN15_03: General Session (2)
A Global Sociological Approach To The Problem Of A Devaluation Of The Humanities Within The University
Rosário Couto Costa
University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL), CIES-IUL, Lisbon, Portugal
The devaluation of the humanities is a social phenomenon that has been gradually spreading around the world in the last forty years. This paper constitutes an analysis of a finalized sociological research project which focused on this devaluation, and its main goal is to share some solutions that were found to handle the inherent complexity of a global sociological approach.
Two main topics are covered – the authors that were selected to lay out the fundamentals behind the research, and the combination of methodologies that were used to make it possible. These choices facilitated an analysis and synthesis that are multidimensional in nature, allowing for the identification of ideas and actors that have been at the roots of this devaluation.
The paper also seeks to demonstrate how a global sociological approach enables us to later conduct better local research. The case of The School of Arts and Humanities of the University of Lisbon is the current object of study due to its contrast with current trends of the devaluation of the humanities. In spite of the political guidelines that were identified as potentially problematic in the global study, a recent initiative can be clearly observed in this institution to promote and transmit the humanities and other non-specialized knowledge, to a great degree of student engagement and success.
Finally, these two studies look to explore the potential influence of sociology in the public sphere, with the hope that they contribute in some way to a recognition of the value of studying the humanities.
RN02_04b: Culture and Public Memory
Reimagining African Ccultural Heritage in Lisboa Through Collaborative Projects
Rui Telmo Gomes
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), Centro de Investigação e Estudos de Sociologia (CIES-IUL), Portugal
As part of an ongoing ethnographic research on community art, a case study will be presented of a local association on the periphery of Lisbon and two of its recent projects to promote African cultural heritage.
"Danced fado" involve dance workshops and public performances of a historical variant of the musical genre, now less known or even forgotten, quite different from the Lisbon urban song identified with the renowned 'fado' tradition. This project originates from a collective journey of researching and reinventing African cultural references, involving professional and amateur artists, while crossing different cultural repertoires associated with the origins of 'fado' (in particular Arab and Brazilian influences). The work process includes research of historical documentary sources, as well as the mix of traditional and contemporary artistic languages.
" African Lisbon - Guided Tour" maps relevant cultural monuments and symbolic places from oral tradition, highlighting spaces of remembrance of African presence in Lisbon. The project is based on academic research and represents different partnerships and new challenges for the association, including a greater public awareness for its cultural and social work.
Both projects entail partnerships that may open new horizons in the future. Crucial to this is the ability to establish collaborative networks with artists and academics, as well as public and private institutions. In short, these projects are part of the strategy of sustainability and activism in the urban space that the association has been looking for.
RS12_04: Strangers, Barriers and Bridges as Social Forms of Collective Life
Roma/Gypsies in Portugal and the Condition of Internal Strange: Distance vs. Proximity
Maria Manuela Mendes1,2, Olga Maria Magano1,3
1ISCTE-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa; 2FAUL, University of Lisbon, Portugal; 3Open University, Portugal
In Portugal, since 1526, Gypsies have been subjected to state measures of repression, expulsion, punishment and condemnation. Since his arrival in Europe, they have always been treated with suspicion and a target of rejection. In Portugal, Spain, Germany, Austria, Hungary, France and Britain discriminatory measures were implemented, from the death penalty, deportation to the colonies to the obligation to move from place to place, city to city, and from country to country. Even today in Portugal and other European countries, Romaphobia is a well-established phenomenon in institutions and daily life. They are the "Intern Strange", although they have no other homeland of reference. Simmel (1908), addresses the tense relation of repulsion, distance, but also of approximation between the strange and the non-strange, a situation that contains important dualisms to be unveiled, such as identity vs. alterity and distance vs. proximity. In fact, there is a tendency to emphasize the general qualities we have in common with the foreigner and to accentuate the particularities, but we can also deny the factors of similarity, as is often the case with Gypsies. Through the case studies carried out by the authors, it is intended to explain how Gypsies embody this metaphorical figure and as such indicates a constant relationship of strangeness and tension that marks the history of the interaction between the majority and the Gypsies..
RS11_07: Young workers under precarious conditions
Portraits of Young Workers: for a Sociological Understanding of Precariousness
Renato Miguel Carmo1, Ana Rita Matias2
1Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), Portugal; 2Instituto de Ciências Sociais, Universidade Lisboa, Portugal
The European labour market has undergone significant changes in recent years. One of the most recent trends has been the significant growth of precarious contracts among young people. The low demand for labour and the reduced household income have meant that individuals in the 18-30 age bracket become particularly vulnerable to precarious working conditions. With this presentation the authors aim to discuss the results of a qualitative research analysis based on in-depth interviews conducted to Portuguese young workers with degrees in different scientific areas, living in Lisbon (aged until 32 years old), which found themselves in professional and contractual uncertainty. We will present seven sociological portraits of young workers interviewed within 2016 and 2018. The sociological portraits were able to characterize the evolution of the professional and personal trajectory of the interviewees, within a time interval of two years. With this methodological approach, inspired by the work of Bernard Lahire in Portraits sociologiques (2014 ), we sought to understand the social and individual impacts of precariousness on the way of life of young people. Based on the analysis of a varied set of objective and subjective dimensions that reflect the individuals' perceptions about their life paths in the present and the future, it was important to comprehend if precariousness continued to characterize professional trajectories identified in the first interviews, and what their implications in everyday life and the future expectations of young people.
RN20_09b: Relating to Research Participants: The Self and its Boundaries in Qualitative Research
On the Issues of Being a Stranger and a Confident: Researching Biographical Crises
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), Centro de Investigação e Estudos de Sociologia (CIES-IUL), Portugal
Interviewing a person who has experienced a difficult or even traumatic event in her/his life can be considered a privilege, in the sense that we access a private and intimate domain of that individual. But it also raises a number of issues that need to be addressed to ensure the protection of both participant and researcher, as well as the validity and objectivity of the study. There is a difficult balance to be made between the need to collect data to meet the research goals and the need to empathise with the respondent’s experiences and perceptions, especially considering the sensitive nature of the inquiry topic and the interviewee’s vulnerability. This presentation is focused precisely on the different challenges encountered in a sociological study focused on biographical crises – i.e., stages of life marked by the disruption of habitual frameworks of action and thought, which have a substantial impact in the lives of individuals – and the strategies developed to cope with such issues. It is argued that the problems faced (i) begin before meeting the participants with the procedures of accessing the studied population, (ii) are particularly visible during the interaction between interviewer and respondent, and (iii) also manifest themselves after the interview ends, since the researcher has herself to cope with the crises narrated during the interviews. The role of emotions of both researcher and participant in this three-folded process, as well as the reciprocal character of the interaction situation are key to this discussion.
RN06_09b: Lumpenproletariat, Artistic Precariat and the Radical Left
The Artistic Precariat: Commodification and Counter-Movements
Joana S. Marques1,3, Luísa Veloso1,2,3
1Centro de Investigação e Estudos de Sociologia (CIES-IUL); 2Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL); 3A3S, Portugal
The paper investigates the formation of an ‘artistic precariat’ in Portugal and Brazil, through the analysis of the double movement of work commodification in the artistic sector and the struggles for decommodification through different dynamics of collective organization and action, inspired by Polanyi’s seminal work (1944) and by Wright’s emancipatory social science (2010). The research design involved the comparative analysis of theatre collectives in Portugal and Brazil based on historical, statistical and documentary sources in order to contextualize the artistic work in both countries; conducting a survey of theatre collectives in order to map their working conditions, organizational structure and collective action dynamics; interviews and participant observation to deepen two empirical cases. The research results corroborate the literature that highlights the artistic work as precursor of contemporary forms of work hyper-flexibilization. However, despite their strong precariousness and lack of representation in traditional forms of workers’ collective organization (unions), the research has also identified multiple resistances among artist-workers who envisage other forms of collective action and utopian visions for making a better world. On the one hand, the counter-movements of the artistic precariat are restrained by the submission of national regimes to the constraints of global capitalism. On the other hand, it is possible to observe experiences where they join forces in their social struggles that perhaps are not enough to make a new ‘great transformation’, but contain elements of resistance with a transformative potential.
RN21_09: New Directions in the cross-national measurement of quality of life
Well-Being Global Index: Assays of multivariate statistical approaches
Maria do Carmo Botelho1, Rosário Mauritti1, Nuno Nunes1, Daniela Craveiro2,3
1CIES-IUL, ISCTE-IUL, Portugal; 2CIS-IUL, ISCTE-IUL, Portugal; 3SOCIUS-UL, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal
All over the world, populations with fewer resources have worse life chances, health and well-being. The unequal distribution of resources and their consequences in well-being is a current discussion, with growing importance (UN, 2015, OECD, 2015, Stiglitz et al, 2018a and 2018b), as well as the search for informative and analytical elements for greater reflexivity and social intervention capacity (Mauritti et al., 2016, Botelho et al., 2018, Wilkinson and Pickett, 2018). In Europe and particularly in Portugal, where there are great disparities, the construction and improvement of tools for analysing the relationship between social inequalities and well-being is essential. This presentation is part of an ongoing research project on the relationship between welfare and social inequalities in Europe that have two main objectives: (i) to present dimensions and indicators of well-being perceptions; (ii) and discuss different quantitative methodologies for the construction of a global and integrated well-being index. The well-being approach is based on the multidimensional concept developed by the OECD through the Better Life Initiative (OECD 2013, 2015, 2017). This model is starting to have an impact on how states and reference entities assess the progress of societies. This guidance also includes the work of EUROSTAT (Eurostat, 2017) or other more recent approaches, focusing on the perspective of justice and social progress (Stiglitz et al, 2018a and 2018b). Our quantitative methods support an innovative research line because it analyses the microdata of the European Social Survey (year 2016), aiming to portray the global perceptions of well-being of the Europeans.
RS11_10: Who is at risk of precariousness and where?
Understanding Precariousness in the Journalistic Sphere
Pedro Pais1,2, Miguel Paisana1,2, Miguel Crespo1,2, Caterina Foa1,2, Ana Pinto-Martinho1,2
1ISCTE-IUL Lisbon University Institute, Portugal; 2CIES-IUL Centro de Investigação e Estudos de Sociologia
This communication regards the ambiguity related to the definition of labour precariousness at two different levels: a) the complexity of its theoretical definition and b) the existence and impact of different kinds of precariousness in the journalistic sphere.
Quantitative data collected by CIES and OberCom over the course of two years, shows that theoretical difficulties behind the definition of precariousness are mirrored by the reality of the news sector where precarious labour relations are still the reality for many professionals. Collected data also suggests that there are many forms of precariousness: while the vast majority of surveyed journalists are currently working, the overall situation of the sector is very diverse in terms of contractual. Other factors, such as unpaid extra hours and working for several employers are also influential in building a wider conceptual chart about what precariousness in journalism is about.
Analysed data supports the idea of the current state of labour precariousness in journalism being an echo of a much wider discussion going on in contemporary economic systems: the wide range of concepts, not all emanating from the academy but also from the private and public / political sphere is a symptom not only of uncertain personal and professional prospects but also of our underlying inability to mitigate labour precariousness through effective and reflected governance. We believe that this uncertainty is particularly nefarious in the journalistic sphere, given the close and historial dependance of democratic societies on a strong, stable and prosperous news sector.