PSR 1(169)/2010

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Table of contents:

Krzysztof Zagórski, Jonathan Kelley, Mariah D.R. Evans, Economic Development and Happiness: Evidence from 32 Nations;
Luca Guizzardi, Once Upon a Time-and They Lived Happily ever after? The Pure Relationship and Relationships in the Italian Context;
Adriana Mica, Moral Panic, Risk or Hazard Society-the Relevance of a Theoretical Model and Framings of Maidan Dogs in Chisinau and Bucharest;
Joanna Fomina, Immigration Policy Debates and their Significance for Multiculturalism in Britain;
Jacek Nowak, Reorganisation of Ethnic Space in the Context of the Challenges of Globalisation.
TREND REPORT – Vladislav Volkov, The Evolution of the Concept of „Ethnic Minority” in Latvian Sociology in the Period 1991-2009;

More information:

  • Krzysztof Zagórski, Jonathan Kelley, Mariah D.R. Evans, Economic Development and Happiness: Evidence from 32 Nations;
    Drawing on reference group, relative deprivation, conspicuous consumption and hierarchy of needs theories, this paper tests the hypothesis that goods (material and other) bring more satisfaction if few other people have them. We test this hypothesis by estimating the effect of education and income on happiness in large representative national samples from 32 nations at various levels of economic development. The results indicate that, net of individuals’ socio-demographic characteristics and country’s level of development, the higher the average education in a given society, the smaller the gain from advanced education on individuals’ happiness. Similarly, the richer the society, the less do gains in family income confer gains in individuals’ happiness. Thus, the more that goods such as education and income diffuse through a society, the less they enhance people’s subjective well-being. However, the nation’s level of economic development has a strong, independent positive effect on well-being. Taken together, the quantitative implication of these patterns is that economic growth enhances well-being, especially for poor people, and more so in poor nations than in rich nations.
  • Luca Guizzardi, Once Upon a Time-and They Lived Happily ever after? The Pure Relationship and Relationships in the Italian Context;
    The purpose of this essay is to examine whether the theory of the pure relationship advanced by Anthony Giddens can be used to explain love relationships in Italy.
    The essay is structured as follows: we start with a presentation of the pure relationship (§ 1) and why I hold that to remain as faithful as possible to the essential presuppositions of this model we need to study the phenomenon of the free union between two people (§ 2). In the third section I present statistics from the 2003 ISTAT study Multifunctional analysis of the family and move on in the fourth section to draw conclusions taking this data into account.
  • Adriana Mica, Moral Panic, Risk or Hazard Society-the Relevance of a Theoretical Model and Framings of Maidan Dogs in Chisinau and Bucharest;
    The study analyses the dynamics of public debate surrounding the issue of maidan [stray] dog population control strategies in Moldavia and Romania. The comparison takes as its point of reference two episodes of moral panic and discusses the applicability of the theoretical models of moral panic, risk and hazard society. Following the work of Bruno Latour, Mary Douglas, Phil Macnaghten and John Urry, the study distinguishes between the conceptualization of strays dogs (as hybrids) in terms of nature, and their conceptualization in terms of culture. It argues that the stabilization in terms of nature is more suitable to be addressed by the theoretical models of risk and hazard society, whilst the stabilization in terms of culture pertains to the theoretical model of moral panic instead.
  • Joanna Fomina, Immigration Policy Debates and their Significance for Multiculturalism in Britain;
    Much attention has been paid to British multiculturalism as a good policy response to cultural diversity. However, multiculturalist policies did not develop in a vacuum, and so their formulation and development and ambiguities that accompany them cannot be understood without an excursion into history of decolonisation and immigration policy in Britain. The aim of this article is to provide such a historical background. I will focus on four debates related to immigration: the passage from an empire to a nation state; citizenship and belonging; racialisation of the immigration debate; and the impact of EU integration. Britain’s farewell to its empire was never a single, decided move, but rather a gradual, often unwelcome process. For decades the issues of citizenship and belonging were unresolved, as a result, a coherent and fair immigration policy could not be formulated. The fact that political, economic and social rights were bound to subjecthood and not to national citizenship put the Commonwealth immigrants in a special position. On the one hand, it empowered them, in comparison to immigrants in other countries, Commonwealth immigrants were already granted these rights, at least formally, and the struggle for equality was focused on the execution of already existing rights. Despite the fact that all Commonwealth citizens had an equal status, not all of them were equally desired as immigrants. The debates on immigration became de facto debates on whether Britain had to be a land of white people only or it not. As a consequence, the main challenge of immigrant incorporation became understood as establishing good „race relations.” Euroscepticism and self-righteousness in the area of immigrant incorporation have mutually reinforced themselves in Britain. The academia helped to create a specific language to frame the discussions and policy solutions, making the British approach even more idiosyncratic, different from other modes of incorporation of immigrants. At the same time, this sense of being different does not prevent British politicians, policy-makers, activists and scientists from promoting the British multiculturalist approach as „the best practice” in managing diversity.
  • Jacek Nowak, Reorganisation of Ethnic Space in the Context of the Challenges of Globalisation.
    In this essay I will analyse selected aspects of the process of arranging traditional space in the face of the challenges of modernity. Progressive globalisation, cultural changes, social transformations-all these processes have influenced the ways local communities manage their territory. I will mainly deal with the phenomenon of reterritorialisation, focus on how identification with territory is reinforced in local communities. I will show how cultural legacy, characteristic of a given region, shapes particular versions of locality and globalisation.The role of ethnicity in these processes is of special interest. Is ethnic identification still taken into account in social strategies embedded in the processes of globalisation? In the first part I argue that modernity introduces irreversible changes to the character of existing and ethnically defined space. The second part includes arguments supporting the thesis about the necessity of adjusting to modern strategies of region management, which must entail partially giving up territorial identity protection. In spite of this, in the process of ethnic construction of a region, space seems to constitute a social framework which determines points of reference for collective action and conceptualisation of new reality.
  • TREND REPORT – Vladislav Volkov, The Evolution of the Concept of „Ethnic Minority” in Latvian Sociology in the Period 1991-2009;
    The article reveals the evolution of the concept of „ethnic minority” in Latvian sociology. Sociologists’ research carried out in the first half of the 1990s showed the impossibility of applying the concept of „ethnic minority” to all ethnic groups in Latvia. During the 2000s, multicultural ideas of Latvian sociologists about a multi-ethnic Latvian society are taking on more special significance. The concept of „ethnic minority” also is important for the clarification of a concrete issue: in what way is the Russian ethnic group, as the largest ethnic minority, „built in” to the civil community and the Latvian national state.
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Much attention has been paid to British multiculturalism as a good policy response to cultural diversity. However, multiculturalist policies did not develop in a vacuum, and so their formulation and development and ambiguities that accompany them cannot be understood without an excursion into history of decolonisation and immigration policy in Britain. The aim of this article is to provide such a historical background. I will focus on four debates related to immigration: the passage from an empire to a nation state; citizenship and belonging; racialisation of the immigration debate; and the impact of EU integration. Britain’s farewell to its empire was never a single, decided move, but rather a gradual, often unwelcome process. For decades the issues of citizenship and belonging were unresolved, as a result, a coherent and fair immigration policy could not be formulated. The fact that political, economic and social rights were bound to subjecthood and not to national citizenship put the Commonwealth immigrants in a special position. On the one hand, it empowered them, in comparison to immigrants in other countries, Commonwealth immigrants were already granted these rights, at least formally, and the struggle for equality was focused on the execution of already existing rights. Despite the fact that all Commonwealth citizens had an equal status, not all of them were equally desired as immigrants. The debates on immigration became de facto debates on whether Britain had to be a land of white people only or it not. As a consequence, the main challenge of immigrant incorporation became understood as establishing good „race relations.” Euroscepticism and self-righteousness in the area of immigrant incorporation have mutually reinforced themselves in Britain. The academia helped to create a specific language to frame the discussions and policy solutions, making the British approach even more idiosyncratic, different from other modes of incorporation of immigrants. At the same time, this sense of being different does not prevent British politicians, policy-makers, activists and scientists from promoting the British multiculturalist approach as „the best practice” in managing diversity.