Socialinė teorija, empirija, politika ir praktika
ISSN / EISSN : 1648-2425 / 2345-0266
Current Publisher: Vilnius University Press (10.15388)
Total articles ≅ 239
Latest articles in this journal
Published: 26 May 2021
Socialinė teorija, empirija, politika ir praktika, Volume 22, pp 44-58; doi:10.15388/stepp.2021.28
This paper focuses on women who have left the industry of prostitution and is based on ethnographic field studies conducted in several cities in Lithuania. Four women have agreed to share their stories of entering and leaving the industry of prostitution and in all their narratives the core accent was the experience of shame. During the interviews, each of these women had an urge to express the importance of moral virtues in their lives and, as all of them claimed, they felt ashamed because “they have lost their femininity.” It was very important for these women to emphasize that they are not “easy going” or “loose women,” but women who have high moral standards and that entering the industry of prostitution was never the idea of their own, it was rather the consequence of several different factors varying from manipulations of their pimps to their poor social and financial circumstances. It is evident that these 4 women understand femininity as opposed to the work which women in prostitution do (providing sexual service). According to their narratives, women in prostitution, due to the aspect of providing sexual service to many male clients, lose the virtue of femininity, and that is the main factor generating the experience of shame. Due to experience of shame, all these women could not share their traumatic experiences with their families or even close friends. The construction of femininity in Lithuania is heavily influenced by the cult of Mother Mary and the doctrine of innocence. Therefore, the division of women into the categories of the Madonna and the Whore is still very much prominent in the Lithuanian society today. According to the Code of Administrative Offenses, prostitution in Lithuania is categorised as a crime against morality, and both the client and the sexual service provider must be fined. Nevertheless, the data shows that disproportionately very few clients get punished compared to the sexual service providers, mainly women. While non-governmental organisations are putting their efforts to focus the attention of society and the law institutions onto the client and in that way to put an end to the stigmatisation of women in the industry of prostitution, since both the client and the provider of sexual services are needed for the act of prostitution, in reality no social rehabilitation programs in social politics exist for these women in Lithuania today, apart from the help they receive from non-governmental organisations. Therefore, they are left to cope with the traumatic experience on their own, while the stigmatisation of women in prostitutions persists. Empirical material confirms the hypothesis that the experience of shame, which is based on the construction of femininity and the system of moral virtues in the society, reflected in the law defining prostitution in Lithuania, creates certain psychological and social configuration. Due to this configuration, these particular women experience social isolation. Therefore, their rehabilitation from the trauma period is prolonged and new obstacles in achieving well-being in their lives emerge.
Published: 21 May 2021
Socialinė teorija, empirija, politika ir praktika, Volume 22, pp 28-43; doi:10.15388/stepp.2021.27
The deinstitutionalization of social care in Lithuania started in 2012 after the adoption of the strategic guidelines by the Ministry of Social Security and Labour. The goal of this reform was to improve the care conditions and introduce new community-based services for persons with disabilities. Almost ten years of the reform resulted in only five percent of persons with disabilities who moved to community settings, mainly group-living homes. The slow-motion of the reform, as well as the tensions in the communities, suggests the need for a thorough analysis of the process of deinstitutionalization and its improvement. Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory is applied as a conceptual and methodological tool for understanding the roles of deinstitutionalization agents at different levels, including the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, municipalities, non-governmental organizations, social care institutions, and local communities. All of these agents are involved and diversely interact among themselves during the transformation process of the social care system. The ecological theory provides the necessary integrated approach to the analysis of the process of deinstitutionalization of the social care system at the micro-, meso-, exo-, and macro levels. Deinstitutionalization and the trajectories of its participants reveal resilient connections with different fields of the ecological system and show that different system components not only represent different systems but become microsystems themselves that affect all elements in the ecological system. The complexity of environmental systems constitutes the basis of ecological systems theory. It serves as a lens to guide the analysis of the transformation of a particular person’s life in the context of deinstitutionalization. Herewith, it is an appropriate tool for understanding the impact of deinstitutionalization on specific local communities.
Published: 8 March 2021
Socialinė teorija, empirija, politika ir praktika, Volume 22, pp 8-27; doi:10.15388/stepp.2021.26
Clients of social workers have elevated suicide risks. One of those types of clients are people with eating disorders. Suicidality is associated with attitudes towards suicide. Although the suicidality of people with eating disorders is well-studied, their attitudes towards suicide have received less attention. The object of this research is to study the attitudes among people with eating disorders – 126 participants took place in this research: 63 people with eating disorders (anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, other eating disorders) and 63 people without eating disorders. All the participants with eating disorders at the time of the research were receiving treatment at the Center for Eating Disorders (VšĮ Vilnius Mental Health center). The majority of participants were women (92%), with an average age of 25 years. All the respondents filled in an Attitudes towards suicide questionnaire (ATTS) and its supplement. The results showed that participants with eating disorders perceived suicide as less predictable and associated it with loneliness more than participants without eating disorders. Attitudes of people with anorexia nervosa and with bulimia nervosa towards suicide did not differ significantly. Participants with anorexia nervosa perceived suicide as less predictable, showed more nonintrusive attitudes towards suicide and associated it with loneliness more than participants without eating disorders. Attitudes towards suicide among people with bulimia nervosa and people without eating disorders did not differ significantly. The results could be explained by considering the characteristics of people with eating disorders and the methodology of this research. Recommendations for social work practice were formed based on the findings.
Published: 28 December 2020
Socialinė teorija, empirija, politika ir praktika, Volume 21, pp 66-85; doi:10.15388/stepp.20.23
There have been a lot of interest in social economics development in Europe, and social business has stood out for its social impact, having a potential approach to such societal problems as social exclusion, poverty, unemployment. The creation of social capital and social entrepreneurship are related by positive social change and economic benefits, which are achieved through personal and community bonding, innovation, and social initiatives. Social business has stood out for its social impact, having a potential approach to such societal problems as social exclusion, poverty, unemployment. The aim of the present article is to reveal social entrepreneurship impact on building social capital in Lithuanian communities. For this reason, a qualitative study was conducted based on social business activities related to community change, as well as identifying the interrelations between social business and social capital. This article introduces the theoretical approach of concepts social capital and community, followed by discussion of social business benefits and impact on the growth of community’s social capital. The results of the analysis of the research data were analytically coded based on grounded theory methodology and reveals the potential and perspective of social business in creating social change in the community following by building new relationships, trust and values, and new norms for community development. The positive changes initiated by social business are relevant to the goals of social work and reveal the need of further research in this field.
Published: 28 December 2020
Socialinė teorija, empirija, politika ir praktika, Volume 21, pp 37-65; doi:10.15388/stepp.2020.22
In this article we analyse the quality of social services from the perspective of people with disabilities and we analyse other social services quality studies that use the EQUASS system or the SERVQUAL model. We show the contrast between the high quality ratings reported by social workers and unmet expectations of the services’ recipients. It is argued that the difference may be due to methodological errors in choosing one or another research method, and the phenomenon of social workers’ conformism, which can be supported also by the peculiarities of Lithuania’s long-term social policy. It is proposed that the SERWQUAL model be used for the study of the quality of social services, which is flexible with regards to the needs of service users. Triangulation of research methods was used to analyse the data. We show evaluation of the quality of social services according to the 5 dimensions of the SERWQUAL model: tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance (certainty) and sensitivity (empathy).
Published: 28 December 2020
Socialinė teorija, empirija, politika ir praktika, Volume 21, pp 96-121; doi:10.15388/stepp.2020.25
The purpose of this article is to present the results of cash social assistance (CSA) benefit non-take-up in the context of the CSA system reform in Lithuania. The right to adequate minimum income benefits is one of the 20 key principles under the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR). Using the tax-benefit microsimulation model EUROMOD we seek to identify all those eligible to CSA benefit and to analyse its non-take-up rates in Lithuania. The analysis for 2016 showed that CSA benefit non-take-up in Lithuania was around 22%. This means that around one fifth of those who are entitled to this benefit do not get it for various reasons. The results show that there are two types of households, with a non-take-up rate exceeding 30%: single person and lone parent households. The dynamics of CSA benefit non-take-up between 2007-2016 were strongly negatively correlated to the annual average number of recipients of the CSA benefit. This makes for a counter-cyclical dynamic of the CSA non-take-up relative to the economic growth cycle. We find some evidence of an increase in the CSA non-take-up rate following the recent CSA reform in Lithuania. Further analysis is needed to distinguish between the effects of the economic cycle and the CSA reform.
Published: 28 December 2020
Socialinė teorija, empirija, politika ir praktika, Volume 21, pp 86-95; doi:10.15388/stepp.2020.24
This article analyzes the development of personal social services (PSS) after the restoration of the independent state of Lithuania in 1990, looking through the lens of organizational peculiarities. The development of services in Lithuania occurred not only by introducing the principles of the welfare state but was also influenced by the marketization trends in the area, passing through the experience of the Western countries. Therefore, in Lithuania, the origination of PSS as a separate welfare sector and its marketization occurred almost in parallel.
Published: 16 September 2020
Socialinė teorija, empirija, politika ir praktika, Volume 21, pp 26-36; doi:10.15388/stepp.2020.21
The global coronovirus (Covid-19) pandemic has been revealed what about half of the world’s deaths are recorded in large institutions of the elderly and people with disabilities, and these are later thought to be incentives for states to take active deinstitutionalisation efforts. In order for deinstitutionalisation actions to respond to its ideological origins, which lie in the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in the necessary legal instruments and in clarifying that Member States are responsible. The article reveals how the deinstitutionalisation processes that have already started are implemented and evaluated in Central and Eastern Europe and discusses their problems. Content analysis was used to investigate the Soviet regime, leading to the implementation of official and alternative (shadow) reports on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Published: 8 June 2020
Socialinė teorija, empirija, politika ir praktika, Volume 21, pp 8-25; doi:10.15388/stepp.2020.20
The phenomenon of social entrepreneurship is sufficiently well-researched abroad since the end of the 20th century. Nevertheless, it is quite a new and under-researched subject in Lithuanian academic discourse. The goal of this article is to explore the experiences of pioneers of social entrepreneurship in Lithuania, the way they create and develop the model of social entrepreneurship. The first half of the article discusses various concepts of social entrepreneurship, its historical development, connections with corporate social responsibility and its purpose in contemporary societies. The second part describes the authentic experiences of being the icebreakers of social business practices in bureaucratic system. Results are based on semi-structured qualitative interviews, conducted in autumn 2018 - spring 2019, with 14 social entrepreneurs in Lithuania. The analysis was done following the approach of grounded theory. The research shows, that social entrepreneurs experience various challenges while cooperating with governmental institutions or municipalities while searching for suitable funding models and experiencing ignorance from society in general. Nevertheless, they still engage in these activities with the help and support of an emerging community of active like-minded social entrepreneurs, whose support is essential for the existence and development of social entrepreneurship in Lithuania.
Published: 12 May 2020
Socialinė teorija, empirija, politika ir praktika, Volume 20, pp 53-66; doi:10.15388/10.15388/stepp.20.18
The reorganization of social welfare due to the decentralization reform implemented in Ukraine calls for the development and implementation of new practice models of service delivery best suited for community social work. The research is dedicated to discussion of the development of new models of community social work from a Ukrainian perspective, taking into consideration the community social work and community social service delivery concepts given in the literature and community-based practice models implemented abroad. The article reviews the major competencies social workers need to provide services within the local communities. Implications for future research in the field of community social work are addressed in the concluding part of the paper.