Issue March, 2009
Tatjana Shipunova, St. Petersburg (Russia)
The majority of social workers and academic scientists imagine well the difficulties connected with developing a system of preventive social work. These difficulties are seen differently in different discourses. Thus, social workers see the main difficulties in shortcomings of legislation having a declarative character in many respects; in the autonomy of departmental resources of the subjects in the social work system; in an incoherent process of individual help to persons with ‘substandard behaviour’; in the lack of consistency and coordinating actions of various departments and organizations; in the deficiency of skilled personnel necessary for ensuring of given social structural activities.
This point of view is shared also by researchers who are engaged in the studying of social work practices. Besides, they speak about the necessity of research on the efficiency of preventive social work in connection with present serious shortcomings. The absence of such complex long-term and independent research itself is a shortcoming in organizing preventive social work. Meanwhile, research is absolutely necessary to give the possibility of timely amending in preventive social work and redistributing resources, directing them to a decision on the most pressing questions. By the way, such research in other countries is made and frequently indicates unexpected and negative results which spur reflection on the concept of preventing deviating social phenomena (1).
The analysis of the aforementioned shortcomings is important in itself, and especially in the modern Russian context, but it is insufficient for understanding of low social return of preventive work. We will allocate some theoretical and practical contradictions that simultaneously create some interval of possibilities for the analysis of preventive social work in Russia.
The First Contradiction
Some sociologists and specialists of deviations speak about the internal contradiction, which is present in social work with deviants. Its essence consists of the fact that preventive social work (first of all, the work of state social institutions) does not aspire to realize the mission of increasing the level of integration and solidarity of the members of a society at all. It represents more or less acceptable variants of state violence and compulsion first of all to exhibit the behaviour that by means of maintaining convenient norms for the state is considered correct, good or admissible.
We can prove evidence by the following, first of all, the customer, the developer and the executor is the same person (in state formations) or the subordinated organization in almost every social program. Thus, the programs are developed under already available resources and structures, from the point of view of specific politicized and sometimes mythologized discourse of government officials without paying attention to other opinions that limits essentially the application of new technologies and methods in preventive social work with persons showing deviating behaviour. It resulted in a low efficiency of almost all social programs. That is why none of them reach the main goal – a reduction of the level of deviating phenomena in society (except for, perhaps, youth criminality). There are also different interpretations of an insignificant fall of crime rates at the simultaneous growth of grave crimes. At the same time necessary social work programs for practice are not accepted, or they plan such a quantity of social services that cannot solve the problem of preventing deviating phenomena at all. For example, in state institutions engaged in drugs addiction therapy, disintoxication is practised, but it is not provided with appropriate free psychological consultation so that it does not lead to illness treatment; till now the use of replaceable therapy at drug addiction treatment is under a ban, so methadone or buprenorphine cannot be used.
Secondly, social phenomena such as criminality, drug addiction, prostitution, alcoholism, addiction to gambling, tobacco addiction, computer escapism etc., are known to happen and can be explained not by the set of the factors causing separate deviations, but by social processes occurring in a society. Consequently, it is necessary to change the social conditions of people`s living to organise effective preventive social work: a standard of well-being, social involvement, protection of rights and freedom, quality of a life and so on. In other words, it is necessary to pay steadfast attention to primary prevention through the creation of possibilities for normal socialisation and integration into legitimate social space. Everyone knows how small such work is in Russia, so as preventive work on societal level is realised poorly, experts predict growth of all forms and kinds of deviating behaviour in the nearest future.
Thirdly, there is no competently developed social program for the prevention of deviating phenomena in Russia now, in addition a reduction of financial resources for social programs can be observed whereas financial support was not quite good even before. Thus, the state social policy in the field of prevention and at the same time the state system of preventive social work to a great extent work only on the retention of deviant behavior at a certain level under state control, without addressing issues of the constant reproduction of problematic social phenomena in Russian society.
The Second Contradiction
continues the first one logically by relying on a sociological discourse which includes discourses of human rights` defenders, representatives of a sociological paradigm in criminology and deviating science which proves the inefficiency of the state preventive system in maintaining a social order. A discourse problem is the analysis of punishment activities by an official institute from the point of view of their functionality for the existence of the social system as a whole, and also the analysis of activities of other social control institutes which are engaged in preventing negative social phenomena. The representatives of this discourse come to not very comforting conclusions: both the state system of punishment and correction, and the state system of preventive social work pursue, finally, own aims – the reproduction and maintaining of their own existence, based on a convenience principle for professional employees. Examples can be different here: an inconvenient office hours of public social services for citizens (they work in those hours, as all citizens work, therefore to get there is difficult); absence in the arsenal of state social services such as effective and urgent forms as outreach social work, etc.
The hypothesis that after the organization arises it often starts to live under its own laws and “works” only on its self-preservation, has received substantiation in N. Luhmann’s concept about autopoietic systems. Despite a sufficient theoretical study of this theme, the system of preventing problemativ social phenomena needs more founded analysis. In this article we will discuss only the problem of preventive social work, without considering punishment and the system of correction (although social workers and psychologists who are engaged in the resocialization of criminals also work in this sphere). I will speak only about the organizational side of the question that concerns a consideration of the state system of preventive social work viewing the special proceeding, so called «illness of the budgetary organization”. “The illness clinic” is known as (2):
- Taking into account the absence of the criterion of profitability; to become a successful organization means to receive more budgetary appropriations.
- A budgetary organization can increase its financing through expanding the sphere of its activity and increasing its size; therefore growing in size turns to an end in itself.
- A budgetary organization cannot liquidate any area that it effects and cannot reduce any subsystem which has already become unnecessary, because this will automatically lead to a reduction of staff and budget, to a reduction of its sizes, status and prestige of its executives.
- A budgetary organization depends on the higher organizations very much, that is why it cannot be flexible in developing the tactics of behaviour in the social services market (loss of adaptive flexibility).
- «A phenomenon of displacement in intention» often emerges in a bureaucratic organization: officially accepted and declared industrial-labor purposes are substituted for the immanent purpose of managing top-self-preservation at any cost. This “displacement” arises as the illness of ‘overbureaucratization’. Excessive bureaucratization of managements generates bureaucratism and bribery, when a management apparatus ceases to serve the social system (which it operates) and the society as a whole, and pursues its own aims of survival and enrichment.
The state system of preventive social work declares the purposes of rehabilitation, adaptation and integration of its clients into the society. Has the level of deviant activities such as drug addiction, alcohol addiction, prostitution, tobacco smoking, aggression and violence declined? On the contrary, it grows all the time.
It is possible to make the following conclusions. First of all, the autopoieisis (self-preservation through reproduction) of the state system of preventive social work dictates game rules, which do not contribute to accomplish the mission defined to it by the society. Secondly, this system produces increasing recurrent and more dangerous deviant activities, estrangement from the society, and also a maintaining of the ideology of the imperious elite, aspiring to keep the status quo only.
It is necessary to notice that the second contradiction submits to a certain rule: the higher position the system (body, establishment, committee, the ministry) occupies in the administrative vertical the bigger this contradiction is. Accordingly, the lower position in hierarchy the less the display of contradiction is.
The Third Contradiction
On the one hand, the worldwide practice of preventive social work has proved a low efficiency of bureaucratic state organizations and recognized the necessity of developing non-governmental organizations with preventive orientation. On the other hand, in spite of a wide penetration of these ideas, in Russia non-governmental organizations have more likely to survive than to work for the benefit of their clients and the whole society with full return.
Non-governmental organizations express the idea of self-development and spontaneous creativity of citizens, the idea of solidarity and mutual aid, the idea of democratization of social management. However the State aspires to spread the same bureaucratic forms of activity in them as in governmental organizations. The State wants to standardize the non-governmental organizations, to make them as controllable as possible and, therefore, operated.
Thus, non-governmental organizations for preventive social work are laid down in unequal (discriminatory) conditions in comparison with government facilities. For example, they have to pay in double for the rent of premises and utilities like commercial organizations. They have to report regularly to state fiscal services (tax, bank, registration) about their activities and financial resources. And such practice extends not only to the governmentally financed projects, but also to projects which are supported by different Russian and foreign funds. This leads to the following: First of all, non-governmental social organizations lose their possibility to manoeuvre within the given resources in case to react quickly to changing conditions and to redirect money flows for the solution of the most important questions. Thereby, the State makes public organizations work under the wrong system of the budgetary organizations. Secondly, they have to spend more time on reporting instead of working.
It seems that the passed law on social standards, which is useful in many aspects for the governmental social work system can harm non-governmental organizations because it will force them to work in a bureaucratic mode.
The Fourth Contradiction
The preventive social work system urges to help socially excluded people. Thus, it often addresses theoretical positions of stigmatization: in describing the process of the reproduction of criminality, in passing the deviant career, in the formation of socially inadequate norms and their influence on the level of deviant activities in the society, on the “system of violence”, etc. However some of the processes, that are organized by the social work system (that deals with deviant people), distribute an unreasonable stigmatization of clients by themselves and strengthen their position as socially excluded (3). What are these processes?
First of all this is the phenomenon which has received the name «coverage expansion». It is connected with an increasing number of people who have come into the view of special social services. A person, more often a child, becomes an object of such system which aims at correcting the norm-disturber by all means. But the establishment of control that among other things lets the act be known to a wide environment (relatives, friends, neighbours, school) promotes the fastening of a stigma. And stigma causes the further development of deviant career. Thus, the system, aimed to correct, only accelerates the formation of delinquent. The other consequence is the automatic exception of stigmatized persons from many socially approved processes (4).
These two moments have a great value for Russian practice. We know that only the fact of being registered by the police or the DMA (the Department of minors affairs) in connection with any insignificant offence can influence negatively the destiny of a young man. The same is about the practice of dispensary account of people who have voluntarily signed in for treatment from drug addiction. The stigma “drug addict”, “offender”, “homosexual”, “prostitute” etc. can have an effect a young man in terms of having access to high school, at transferring in certain armies at conscription, at receiving recommendations for access to postgraduate studies etc. Such social exceptions are pursuing the person for one’s whole life, it also promotes estrangement which can lead to deviant acts: from alcohol or drug addiction to committing grave crimes. Moreover, we should not forget about an awful practice of cruel treatment of policemen with arrested people (5).
The problem of the status definition of a person who has come into the view of special social services arises here. The term «person who has committed a small criminal or civil offence» has been replaced in the United States by the term «a person requiring supervision», «the child with wrong behaviour», «the child with problems in emotional sphere». The term «a teenager having problems with the law» was extended in Great Britain. All these terms will support a child’s behaviour to change for the best. Besides, they suggest the justification for the child requiring the help because they focus on his reason of being «not like others» in comparison with so-called ‘normal’ children. It seems that there are not any attempts to lighten this stigma in Russian practice. For example, changing the well-known term «prostitute» to the more permissive “sex worker” or «the commercial sex worker» (SW or CSW) causes resistance of some academics and experts of preventive social work (if they do not work with this special client group). Labels like “addict”, “alcoholic”, «asocial person» are still used everywhere in Russia.
Another problem is some arbitrariness in the selection of teenagers who should be put on the account for correction in a place of residence. The decision is based less often on the child’s subjective perspective and more on the judgement of third parties (neighbours, administration of school, relatives). The unfair stigmatization can also happen. It is often based on the non-admission of some child traits by adults, and caused by absence of socially adequate criteria in selecting people really requiring attraction of efforts by official instances.
The Fifth Contradiction
This contradiction concerns clients of preventive social services and methods of preventive social work.
There are two types of clients in social work with people who are engaged in prostitution: children who are under 18 years and adults, i.e. people who are already 18 years old. The first type is considered to be a victim so rehabilitation methods are being applied, they are withdrawn from their subculture and favorable living conditions (when possible) are given to them. Other methods are applied to the second client group such as informing, treatment of accompanying diseases and psychological help. Which way is however justified? Many of the sex-workers are not more ‘socially developed’ than children are. So why are the methods so different? Besides there is one more question that comes up: if the age of majority is rising why are the methods of work with these people different? How will the intervention open up possibilities for them to get vocational education? Will assistance in finding socially accepted work be rendered? Will they get such social support that it would let them not to be engaged in prostitution?
One more category of deviant people are people with dependent behaviour: alcoholics, addicts, compulsive gamblers and people who depend on the Internet. How to qualify these people? Are they deviant people or sick? If they are sick people, and their quantity catastrophically grows, why are these sick people (addicts) put in prison (approximately 96 % of all affairs concerning illegal drug dealing ends with sentence of drug-addict people, i.e. sick people). And why are there no special clinics in the preventive system or in such a quantity that they could accept all who require a high-grade and – the main thing - free treatment? Why not to use the well-known world experience when drug addicts could change between jail placement and treatment?
The Sixth Contradiction
Everyone who is engaged in preventive social work, realizes that internal control is the most effective among all kinds of control. For this purpose it is necessary to develop in a person the responsibility for his life, his behaviour in the course of rehabilitation work. And what happens in practice? The majority of rehabilitation programs include actions that have to develop this responsibility. However it is possible to say that these programs fail to generate the client’s responsibility. Because the majority of clients in social services who has passed rehabilitation programs, come back to their usual practice of unscrupulousness and unreflective attitude to themselves, their family and relatives and to other people. What can be connected with that? To answer this question, it is necessary to check the meaning of the term “responsibility”.
Responsibility is an internal acceptance by the person of moral obligations to other people, before himself and his life. Responsibility is connected with a concept of a debt. The concept of a debt makes it a duty to look ahead the consequences of the activity, especially negative consequences, to consider and observe the rights of other people. And this demands from the person some restrictions on his own claims and having to establish constant control over his behaviour. Responsibility means that the person acts freely, meaningly and voluntary and that he himself establishes the borders of acts. Responsibility can be developed in the presence of, at least, a generated base of moral values by which the person can guide estimating his own behaviour, the situation, acts of other people.
But do the clients of social services have these generated base values? And if it is possible to generate these values in six months (three in a hospital of the rehabilitation centre and three as an external patient in the form of social support)? Moreover the previous experience of clients and what they will see, leaving the rehabilitation centre will contradict these values. The social circumstances, mass-media, school, their family will not support responsible behaviour at all.
Perhaps, there is only one program in which the formation of responsible behaviour stands out. It is the program of «12 steps» for alcoholics, drug addicts, gamblers and for their parents and relatives. But this program is not wide spread in our country yet. One of the reasons concerns the religious elements of this program (though there are many religious people in our country now). Another reason – is the difficulty of education, “cultivation” of responsibility in ourselves. This process lasts for years, with failures and backlashes in the program again, with a permanent job to care for your self-improvement (but social services are expected to show the “turn-over”, the constant increase in number of the peoples who have received “help”). The third reason is that working in this program demands involving good experts (psychologists, psychotherapists, therapist for alcoholics or drug addicts , lawyers, therapists, social workers) who are not indifferent to client’s problems, who are capable to sustain big emotional and physical activities. Accordingly, their work should be paid well. But neither the state, nor the society are ready to put up money in developing these centres. They are not ready even to support the public organisations, working on this program (to create favorable living conditions for them). Therefore the program of “12 steps» will not work in the budgetary (governmental) social organisations, and, apparently, it will remain being a means of rescue for drug addict people and their relatives who are ready to give their last money for the fee of experts.
Here come other facts proving that the system of preventive social work is not focused on developing responsibility:
- Human rights organisations are not supported.
- The system of social work (in conformity with the principle of autopoiesis) in the work with children takes upon itself all main functions of a family: educational, protective, supporting, organizing leisure activities, etc. (except the reproductive function). Thereby gradually for many and many children a substitute family is created. But that would be an unimportant substitute without emotional affinity, without warm relations, without feeling an attachment to your family.
Certainly, each contradiction calls for change. The question is how much time it needs to realise these contradictions and how long the steps on their elimination will be taken for. Probably, it will be connected with revision of the general concept, principles and reorganization of all system of preventive social work.
(1) See, e.g.: Berkovitz L. Agression: the reasons, consequences and control. – SPb.: a prime-eurosign, 2001., p. 200; Graham J., Bennett T. Strategy of preventing criminality in Europe and the North America. – Helsinki, 1995
(2) More in detail see: Aydinyan R.M. Reasons of bureaucratism in the organisation and the way of their overcoming // Management. Science.Education. Culture: The Collection of proceedings.– SPb., 2003. P. 25-32.
(3) See also: Shipunova T.V. Juvenile justice in the sociological aspect // News of higher educational institutions. Jurisprudence. – SPb., 2001. № 3 (236).
(4) The encyclopaedia of social work. In 3 volume Т.2.: Translation from English – М: the Center of universal values. 1994., p. 138-145
(5) Problems of juvenile justices: the comparative analysis of a situation in Russia, Great Britain and Sweden / materials of the international conference. – St.-Petersburg, 1998., p. 90-97.
Tatjana Shipunova works as professor at the Department of Social Work at the Faculty of Sociology at St.Petersburg State University (Russia).
Picture: www.pixelio.de (Photographer: Jerzy)
March 28th, 2009
Gabriel Eichsteller, Anglesey (Great Britain)
There are few terms in social work jargon that capture the British curiosity more, lead to more frowns and inspire more fantasy than ‘social pedagogy’ – the responses range from ‘I’ve never heard of it but want to know all about it’ to ‘that’s like teaching, isn’t it?’ and occasionally the more creative ‘pedagogy? Does that have anything to do with feet, like pedicures?’ And although the usual attempts to explain social pedagogy in passing paint a very sketchy picture of the wide-ranging academic field that has developed across continental Europe over the last centuries, many people remain curious or even intrigued by a holistic humanistic approach to working with children and young people (as well as other groups within society) that resonates strongly with their personal attitude and values. Social pedagogy, it seems, is not offering an entirely new approach but rather comes as an enhancement, an overarching framework that brings into coherence existing approaches in practice, providing a clear direction and aim.
From conversations with longstanding practitioners and academics it appears that social pedagogy has already been ‘floating’ around in British discussions around the children’s and young people’s workforce for several decades , often with reference to the ‘social educator’. The first two fundamental steps which put social pedagogy on the fast-track in terms of a structured introduction into the British residential child care sector were the research activities of the Thomas Coram Research Unit (TCRU) at the Institute of Education, University of London, and activities at the government-funded National Centre for Excellence in Residential Child Care (NCERCC).
Over the last decade, TCRU has conducted various comparative research studies detailing the differences in residential care practice across Europe and particularly in Germany and Denmark. Their extensive research demonstrates the benefits of working with a pedagogic approach for looked-after children’s positive care experience and outcomes (for an overview see Petrie et al., 2006 ). Based on the findings from these studies, NCERCC initiated in early 2007 a pilot project to introduce social pedagogy into residential homes. This project provided opportunities for residential child care professionals to explore social pedagogy in relation to their practice by participating in a six-day training or by having a social pedagogue work alongside staff in a children’s home .
At around the same time, the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) announced in its White Paper Care Matters: Time for Change (2007): ‘In order to explore ways to improve the quality of care on offer, we will fund a pilot programme to evaluate the effectiveness of social pedagogy in residential care.’
Since then there has been increasing discourse and activity in exploring how social pedagogy could contribute to the British government’s agenda of improving the quality of life for children in care. And whilst all eyes are on children’s homes in Germany and Denmark and why social pedagogically cared-for children are doing so much better in education and future life, one important factor is often overlooked: the social construction of childhood in care. The way the care system works, who is admitted into care and how; the use of foster as opposed to residential care; the amount of investment into children in care, into their education and into the professionals working and living with them – all these are constructed in a way that reflects how society thinks about and perceives children in care.
In this sense, the fact that a country like Denmark achieves better outcomes for children in care is not purely down to social pedagogy. Rather, social pedagogy is symbolic for Danish societal thinking about children: Denmark is often cited as one of the countries where children are the happiest and enjoy high levels of well-being (see Bradshaw et. al, 2007). This is reflected in its residential child care system, too. Hegstrup (2007) explains that those working in a children’s home in Denmark are highly qualified and very experienced professionals at the peak of their careers, as only those are considered good enough to work with the most disadvantaged children in society.
This shows that what is important for practice is not only the individual professional working with a child but also the context: the institution or organisation that looks after children and issues particular guidelines or ways of working for its professionals, and the societal-political framework that has a wider impact on the way the public care system works (for example the referral process or the preference of fostering over residential homes) and on national policies and spending. In order to make sustainable improvements for children in care, these three levels (the pedagogic practice of each professional, the institutional framework and the societal-political context) have to be reviewed and addressed. Social pedagogy, therefore, is not merely how individual practitioners should work, it is also how the team, the organisation and the wider system need to function as an interlinked system, based on similar principles, philosophies and visions.
Constructing a British Social Pedagogic Approach
As an academic discipline, social pedagogy has evolved in close relationship with society, depending on how a given society thinks about children, their upbringing and education. Mollenhauer (1964) therefore described social pedagogy as a ‘function of society’. With this in mind, it is impossible to simply transfer social pedagogy from one society to another. Rather social pedagogy in Britain needs to be constructed in dialogue with professionals, building on their existing practice, inspiring them with different ideas, and underpinning their practice with pedagogic thinking, theories and concepts.
Constructing social pedagogy in this understanding is not about changing current practice – or even claiming that it is inadequate and needs to be demolished. It is about improving what works, adding to it, and giving recognition to what is often undervalued. After all, social pedagogic thinking is not entirely new to the UK. Many approaches such as life-space, restorative justice, or therapeutic care build on similar notions about learning and well-being. In consequence, social pedagogy resonates with many professionals and makes much sense to them.
In a sense, the above mentioned social pedagogy pilot project by NCERCC was the first endeavour to explore what a British approach to social pedagogy could look like. As part of this project my colleague Sylvia Holthoff and I developed a six-day training course for 12 professionals in the North-West of England. The training was designed to initiate a dialogue with them and explore together several key areas of social pedagogy in theory and practice: reflective practice, using personality – the pedagogue’s role and values, communication, building positive relationships, holistic education, group dynamics and group work, children’s rights and concepts of children, as well as participation, empowerment and ownership. The emphasis was on creating learning opportunities for participants that enabled them to grasp social pedagogy with head, heart and hands, so in exploring the themes we used many creative and practical activities that were then reflected and linked back to participants’ practice. This meant that participants were seen as the ‘translators’ of social pedagogy and their experience of how to apply pedagogic concepts into their own residential practice, how to make sense of social pedagogic thinking in their context was a crucial indicator of how social pedagogy can be adapted to British conditions.
To assess how social pedagogy has influenced participants, we met with them a year after the training and asked them to write a short statement about social pedagogy and their practice. Participants noted several benefits that they could see in social pedagogy, primarily around feeling reaffirmed in their beliefs and philosophies whilst recognising that social pedagogy can aid them in improving their practice even further:
“Social Pedagogy has reaffirmed and also reassured [our children’s home] that we are heading in the right direction in terms of the pedagogic practices that we undertake on a daily basis. It has allowed our staff team to continue to work in driving home the methods we use to deliver quality childcare, and this is reflected in the attitudes of the workers and young people alike. Although we have some way to go, Social Pedagogy has allowed us to identify areas of improvement, and empowered us with skills and knowledge to attain our long term goals.” (assistant homes manager)
Throughout the training it became clear that raising participants’ self-confidence by valuing their practice is central to the quality of their work:
“The training in Social Pedagogy has given me new tools within my practice but more importantly reaffirmed what I already believed in. Social Pedagogy to me is a way of working alongside the young person to achieve positive outcomes with the young person being far more responsible for that outcome. The worker becomes a tool to be used to empower the child, to walk alongside rather than lead the way. In East Lancashire those who attended the training have been able to return with the holistic approach Social Pedagogy has given us and build on already good foundations, also to begin a conversation throughout locality children’s homes talking about the ideas behind Social Pedagogy.” (assistant homes manager)
The training also showed that participants often had a good practical understanding of many pedagogic key areas, but were inspired by concepts and theories behind them, which revived their dedication and gave them opportunities to bring in more their own personality and creativity:
“Social Pedagogy, for me, is a holistic way of looking at the care that we provide for the young people that we look after. The areas of it that stood out for me were participation, the 3 P’s and the Common Third . I feel that participation is already a high priority for me, as I believe the young people I look after have a right to take part in the decision making process about their lives. The training on Social Pedagogy confirmed this for me.
I found the concept of the 3 P’s very interesting as I feel that this is an area which is sometimes hard to balance. Through learning about this, I have been able to think about myself in terms of the professional, personal and private and how aspects of these can help form a learning relationship with the young people as well as carry out all the other aspects of my job.
The Common Third is an area of Social Pedagogy that I have developed further where I work. We have spent more time together as a group as a result and this has helped the young people and the staff to bond and work more closely.” (homes manager)
There was also consensus within the group that although social pedagogy is very complex it is also so simple. In a way it does not need much:
“The realisation that having a ’sense of community’ within the home, where each of us (staff and young people) have the same goals, works so well and everyone seems happier.
Much of this has been brought about by using the ‘common third’. Although we have always undertaken activities with the young people, staff have become more involved in these and are sharing the fun.
The learning style that was used throughout the training was excellent. It enabled a group of strangers to build good positive relationships very quickly. The exercises were not only fun to do, everyone joined in and felt safe and there was a purpose behind them. This kind of learning should be brought into residential training along with the theoretical material that was shared throughout the training.
Most of all I think the experience gave me a chance to look at myself as a residential worker and review and reflect on my own practice and how I interact with others.
I believe that in all aspects of your work if you keep the concept of ‘head, heart and hands’ uppermost in your thoughts you will have the comprehensive skills needed to be an effective residential worker.” (homes manager)
It must also be highlighted that participants unanimously thought that social pedagogy is compatible with their practice, that they can make use of it without having to change the system – but that wider changes could make their practice even more successful:
“I feel that one of the big advantages of pedagogy in my unit has been how it has allowed us to develop the staff team. It has aided us in changing the culture of the team and develop people’s strengths. This has been done mainly using ‘challenge by choice’, the use of comfort zones [in the learning zone model] and the Common Third; all these have created fantastic dynamics within the group and have in certain ways transpired onto our group of young people, who in turn have responded with amazing positive outcomes for themselves. All I can say is that pedagogy is an amazing tool for staff and young people and bridges the divide (which is sometimes there) and can run along current policies and procedures and surpass some of them.” (assistant homes manager)
Convinced by the benefits of social pedagogy and encouraged in their work, many participants also decided not only to improve their own practice but to promote social pedagogy further, amongst their colleagues, within the organisation and their region:
“Having the opportunity to undertake the social pedagogy pilot scheme has been an enlightening experience. Encompassing a sound theoretical context, alongside a very hands-on experiential training experience has, I believe, given me a greater insight into the benefits of a pedagogic approach. As a senior manager I feel resourced with new tools and an enthusiasm to see a positive change in how residential service provision will be viewed as a service of choice with trained and respected staff. I will continue to disseminate this approach within my organisation through training and information sharing and hope that on a national level social pedagogy will remain high on the agenda.” (senior manager)
The experiences of practitioners participating in the NCERCC pilot demonstrate that social pedagogy complements practice in many respects and finds much to build on. Importantly, many residential practitioners share the same philosophy, the same motivation of making a difference for children in care, and often core aspects of a social pedagogic approach are already in place, e.g. participation. The opportunities that social pedagogy brings for residential child care should therefore not be seen as devaluing current practice. Instead, social pedagogy offers ‘freshness’ – a critical reflection of one’s own practice strengthened with grounded theory, a new language that conveys a positive concept of children, and a new perspective in re-defining residential child care.
Implications for the Further Delevelopment of Social Pedagogy
The experiences from the NCERCC pilot project as well as from training professionals in other organisations suggest that at least four aspects are central in order to successfully construct a social pedagogic approach within organisations:
One of the main conclusions from the NCERCC pilot is that a mixture of intensive training, followed by direct practice support within the children’s homes seems most beneficial for social pedagogy to be taken on board. The training provides positive learning experiences, giving participants ownership and responsibility for making sense of social pedagogy within their unique working context and taking on board enriching new concepts or perspectives. This provides an ideal basis to support them further in implementing changes within their homes, thus maintaining the momentum and enthusiasm they have developed during the training and helping them in the process of including their colleagues in understanding social pedagogy.
If social pedagogy is to make a real difference it requires the support of everyone within a team and an organisation. This is why a critical mass of the workforce needs to gain a thorough understanding of social pedagogy if we want to create sustainability and empower those who are keen on taking social pedagogy into their practice by ensuring that they have support within their team in order to make desired improvements. Generating a critical mass is necessary at every level – within a team, an organisation, residential child care in Britain, and even the country’s entire children’s workforce. It is important that all staff share a basic understanding and are involved in any changes. The construction of British social pedagogy has to be a grassroots movement, not a government policy.
Social pedagogy is a holistic approach, and this means that its implementation should ideally be a holistic one, with social pedagogy becoming part of every level of a system. In our experience practitioners have been very open towards social pedagogy, embracing its philosophy, concepts and ideas, and working hard on applying them in their work with children. However, their practice is often regulated in ways that set boundaries to bringing social pedagogy fully into practice, for instance through risk-averse policies. It is not enough that fieldworkers are making use of social pedagogy – organisational policies, strategies, leadership, legislation, regulations, etc. have to reflect social pedagogy too. Irrespective of our position, we all can contribute to taking social pedagogy forward, starting with our own practice.
Networks are crucial for maintaining momentum and generating a critical mass, and these need to be nurtured both within organisations embracing social pedagogy and at a national level by linking those that are interested in taking social pedagogy forward. With increasingly more organisations exploring social pedagogy through the recruitment of social pedagogues from abroad, commissioning training in social pedagogy or buying in social pedagogy consultancy, the circle of professionals engaging in the construction of a social pedagogic approach for Britain becomes wider. This means there is great potential to learn from each others’ experiences of how to put social pedagogic theory into residential practice. For this purpose a virtual network has been set up on www.socialpedagogyuk.com and England’s section of the International Federation of Educational Communities (FICE) has been revived in an attempt to create a practitioners’ forum for social pedagogy in England.
With Essex County Council working together with us over the next three years on a social pedagogy implementation strategy, with the DCSF pilot project about to start in early 2009 and with various other organisations and local authorities exploring how social pedagogy relates to their current way of working, it appears that there is a lot of ongoing activity in adapting social pedagogy for residential child care in Britain. The two long-term projects exploring the benefits of social pedagogic practice in detail mean that social pedagogy seems to have a positive future ahead.
Bengtsson, E., Chamberlain, C., Crimmens, D., & Stanley, J. (2008). Introducing Social Pedagogy to Residential Childcare in England. London: National Centre for Excellence in Residential Child Care.
Boddy, J., Cameron, C., Moss, P., Mooney, A., Petrie, P. & Statham, J. (2006). Introducing Pedagogy into the Children’s Workforce. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Bradshaw, J., Hoelscher, P. & Richardson, D. (2007). An Index of Child Well-being in European Countries. Social Indicators Research, 80, pp. 133-177.
Cameron, C. (2004). Social pedagogy and care: Danish and German practice in young people’s residential care. Journal of Social Work, 4(2), 133-151.
Department for Children, Schools and Families. (2007). Care Matters: Time for Change. White Paper. London: HMSO.
Hegstrup, S. (2008). Tendencies and Trends in Social Pedagogy in Denmark at the Turn of the Millennium. Presentation at the FICE/NCB Conference ‘Improving Outcomes for Vulnerable Children and Young People’, 18/01/2008.
Jones, H.D. (1986). The profession at work in contemporary society. In H.D. Jones, M. Courtioux, J. Kalcher, W. Steinhauser, H. Tuggener, K. & Waldijk, The Social pedagogue in Europe: living with others as a profession. Zurich: FICE-International publications.
Jones, H.D. (1994). The Social Pedagogues in Western Europe – some implications for European interprofessional care. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 8(1), 19-29.
Mollenhauer, K. (1964). Handbuch der Sozialpädagogik. Weinheim: Beltz Verlag. (A translation of the chapter ‘several aspects of the relationship between social pedagogy and society’ is available on http://www.thempra.org/downloads/mollenhauer.pdf)
Petrie, P., Boddy, J., Cameron, C., Wigfall, V. & Simon, A. (2006). Working with Children in Care – European Perspectives. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Petrie, P., Boddy, J., Cameron, C., Heptinstall, E., McQuail, S., Simon, A. & Vigfall, V. (2008). Pedagogy – A Holistic, Personal Approach to Work with Children and Young People, Across Services. Briefing Paper. London: Institute of Education, University of London.
The author is director of the ThemPra Social Pedagogy Community Interest Company in Dereham (UK).
Picture: www.pixelio.de (Photographer: Thomas Max Müller)
March 28th, 2009
Klaus Schneider, Luxembourg
This article illustrates the development of the child and youth welfare in Luxembourg and its connection with the industrialisation in the 19th and 20th century. The living and working conditions of working-class children within the scope of the industrialisation are being introduced, using the example of manufactories in Luxembourg. Furthermore, it is described how the labour protection law and the incipient compulsory education impact the general societal perception of childhood and the accompanying transformation of the conditions of socialization.
La protection de l’enfance dans le reflet du développement industriel au cours du 19e siècle
Au 19e siècle, l’évolution de la politique sociale au Luxembourg est étroitement liée à l’industrialisation. Alors que le quotidien austère des enfants de prolétaires était marqué par des privations et le dur labeur, les enfants issus de la couche supérieure se trouvaient souvent entourés d’une multitude de serviteurs. Allaités par une nourrice, élevés par une bonne d’enfants, formés par des précepteurs, les enfants fortunés pouvaient se développer dans un milieu protégé. L’éducation dans la prime jeunesse et la formation scolaire étaient assurées par du personnel domestique qualifié.
Les tout-petits du milieu prolétaire par contre étaient livrés à eux-mêmes où à leurs frères et soeurs aînés, alors que leurs parents étaient au travail. La garde des enfants par les (grands-)parents n’était assurée qu’au sein des grandes familles agricoles ou des entreprises artisanales. « Le fait que le travail et la vie se trouvaient réunis dans le ménage des familles traditionnelles ne permet pas d’en déduire une définition suffisante de la qualité de cette cohabitation. »(1)
« La révolution industrielle et le recours croissant aux machines dans l’industrie du drap permettaient également l’emploi d’une main-d’oeuvre physiquement plus faible, notamment des femmes et des enfants. Mais avant l’utilisation des machines dans le processus de transformation de la laine, le travail des enfants jouait un rôle négligeable (2). » Les conditions de travail des tisserands et des fileurs étaient catastrophiques, et le travail des enfants dans les fabriques « n’était que temporairement interrompu par les heures de cours » (3).
Les ordonnances concernant les mines, applicables dès le 15e siècle dans différentes régions germanophones, prévoyaient par contre une protection très poussée des travailleurs adultes. Les dispositions interdisaient notamment le travail des femmes sous terre, le travail en fin de semaine et elles limitaient le temps de travail quotidien à huit heures par jour (4). Mais plusieurs siècles s’écouleront encore avant que le travail des enfants ne soit interdit pour de bon.
Les mauvaises conditions sur le lieu de travail, les habitations étroites et peu hygiéniques comportaient de gros risques pour la santé. Il est frappant de voir combien d’ouvriers sont exclus du service militaire. Au milieu du 19e siècle, les trois quarts des mises à la réforme en Saxe concernaient des fileurs et des tisserands (5). L’air confiné, l’éclairage insuffisant, le bruit, les vibrations et la poussière nuisaient à la santé des ouvriers dans les fabriques (6).
La situation en Prusse
L’enquête du prince de Hardenberg, chancelier de l’État, critiquait dès 1817 le mauvais état de santé des enfants travaillant dans les fabriques. Mais ce n’était pas tellement le bien-être de l’enfant qui inquiétait Hardenberg, c’étaient plutôt les problèmes de recrutement de soldats et l’affaiblissement de l’armée prussienne qui lui donnaient du fil à retordre (7).
En 1839, le travail des enfants de moins de 9 ans dans les mines et l’industrie du fer a été interdit par le règlement sur l’emploi de jeunes ouvriers (8). Le travail des jeunes de moins de 16 ans a été limité à 10 heures. « Une dérogation à cette règle n’était possible que si les enfants avaient l’occasion de fréquenter l’école d’une fabrique (9). » Les écoles du soir ou du matin servaient à l’enseignement lorsqu’il faisait sombre, donc en dehors du temps de travail régulier. L’école du dimanche remplissait les mêmes fonctions.
Les écoles des fabriques ne répondaient que de façon limitée aux exigences d’une institution de formation. La lutte contre l’analphabétisme, le renforcement de la conscience nationale et la transmission de la foi marquaient la formation générale à l’école primaire (10). L’école était soumise aux attentes économiques.
En 1853, un texte complémentaire au règlement prussien disposait que les jeunes de moins de 13 ans ne pouvaient travailler dans les fabriques. Et le temps de travail quotidien jusqu’à l’âge de 14 ans était désormais limité à six heures (11). Des inspecteurs de fabriques devaient assurer les contrôles requis. Mais ces réformes de la législation sur le travail des enfants ne constituaient qu’une faible contribution à l’amélioration des conditions de vie des jeunes. En dépit de l’interdiction par la loi, le travail des enfants continuait à marquer les conditions de socialisation des enfants d’ouvriers. La pression économique régnant dans les ménages de prolétaires impliquait le travail des mineurs. D’une part, les enfants coûtaient cher, d’autre part ils apportaient une importante contribution économique pendant leurs jeunes années. C’est au plus tard au début de la puberté, donc à 14 ans pour les garçons et dès 12 ans pour les filles que les jeunes se trouvaient intégrés dans le dur monde du travail. Bien que le règlement prussien ait défendu le travail des enfants, celui-ci se poursuivait néanmoins dans l’industrie à domicile (12).
En dépit du fait qu’une loi de 1841 limitait le travail des enfants également en France, il ressort des statistiques qu’en 1847, 131.000 enfants étaient toujours occupés dans des entreprises (13). Au tournant du siècle, plus de la moitié des 300.000 enfants occupés et enregistrés dans les entreprises industrielles allemandes travaillaient dans l’industrie textile (14).
L’évolution au Luxembourg
Alors que la révolution industrielle commençait dans les États voisins, l’économie luxembourgeoise était dominée jusqu’au milieu du 19e siècle par l’agriculture et les petites manufactures. Le recours croissant aux machines (15) n’allait pas se traduire par une amélioration des conditions de vie des enfants. Bien au contraire, car certains travaux de force du passé pouvaient désormais être accomplis par des enfants. « Le système du remplacement de la main-d’oeuvre masculine par des femmes et des enfants n’était pas très transparent, car l’aménagement des filatures mécaniques de coton et des usines de tissage mécanique se faisait dès le départ essentiellement en vue du travail des enfants. » (16)
Cette constatation ne s’applique pas telle quelle au Luxembourg. Une récente exposition « Le travail des enfants, hier et aujourd’hui » a témoigné du travail des enfants au Luxembourg. Les sources et les photos prouvent que le travail des enfants était également à l’ordre du jour dans les fabriques, les mines, l’agriculture et l’industrie sidérurgique du Luxembourg (17). Et l’on peut déduire de certaines indications que le travail des enfants existait également dans l’industrie textile luxembourgeoise et auprès de ses sous-traitants, les travailleurs à domicile.
La filature, le tissage et la couture étaient des travaux à domicile fort répandus. Les fabricants de drap avaient d’innombrables sous-traitants. L’activité à domicile était effectuée par des femmes avec le soutien de leurs nombreux enfants, sous des conditions indignes d’un être humain, et de surcroît elle était mal payée (18). C’est notamment dans l’industrie textile que des temps de travail extrêmement longs étaient usuels, avec jusqu’à 14 heures par jour. Des déficits dans la formation et la dégradation de la santé en étaient les conséquences. Les deux parents étaient obligés de se soumettre aux ordres du patron. Ces familles étaient très pauvres, en dépit de leur travail. « Dicté par le monde du travail, le rythme de vie familial ne permettait quasiment pas aux parents de + satisfaire aux besoins les plus élémentaires de l’enfant. Le fait de ne pouvoir compter que sur soi-même est une expérience fondamentale d’un enfant d’ouvrier. » (19)
Les conditions d’existence des enfants se détérioraient de plus en plus au cours du 19e siècle. Une agriculture de moins en moins rentable, de mauvaises récoltes suivies de la migration (ou de l’émigration) vers les postes de travail dans l’industrie, contribuaient à la disparition des structures familiales traditionnelles. Non qualifiés et appauvris, les agriculteurs constituaient la troupe de réserve de l’industrie. Leurs nombreux enfants devenaient des générateurs de coûts et ils étaient simplement obligés de travailler. Il n’était question ni de protection, ni de garantie d’un emploi adapté à l’enfant. Née vers le milieu du 19e siècle, l’assistance publique locale combattait ces problèmes à travers un appel pressant. Des écoles gardiennes devaient être créées « pour assurer la garde des enfants en bas âge » issus d’un milieu pauvre, afin de permettre aux parents « de se consacrer entièrement à leur travail, sans devoir se faire du souci ». (20)
Avec la loi de 1912 sur l’école primaire (21), l’obligation scolaire de tous les enfants (exception faite des enfants handicapés physiques ou mentaux) était étendue à sept années, et l’enseignement était gratuit pour tous les élèves du primaire. Cette loi prévoyait néanmoins de nombreuses exceptions donnant droit à une dispense de fréquenter les cours. Les parents ou les tuteurs avaient notamment la possibilité de faire dispenser temporairement des enfants ayant atteint l’âge de 11 ans (22). Et en dépit des classes à effectifs élevés, les rares écoles ne pouvaient accueillir tous les enfants.
L’obligation scolaire générale de 1912 a introduit au Luxembourg un secteur de vie séparé et adapté à l’enfant. Des délimitations sous forme d’activités sportives spécifiques, de fêtes, de livres et de jeux pour enfants commençaient également à se profiler.
Protection des mineurs en matière de travail
Le rapport de la section centrale du 6 mars 1876 concernant le projet de loi « sur le travail des enfants et des femmes dans les usines, ateliers, fabriques et manufactures (23) » souligne les répercussions économiques de la protection des mineurs en matière de travail (24) telle qu’elle était envisagée. Le travail des enfants (essentiellement des jeunes filles) dans les filatures d’Ettelbruck, Schläifmillen et Polvermillen est évoqué dans le cadre de la discussion parlementaire du 17 mars 1876. Les propriétaires des usines protestaient contre la loi primitive et notamment contre l’interdiction du travail de nuit des femmes et des enfants : « Aussi les chefs de ces établissements ont-ils protesté contre l’adoption du projet primitif qui portait interdiction générale, absolue, du travail de nuit aux femmes et aux filles ». (25)
La loi est néanmoins votée le 5 mai 1877 et limite la journée de travail des enfants (ayant accompli leurs études primaires) de moins de 14 ans à huit heures, et celle des jeunes âgés de 14 à 16 ans à 10 heures. La loi a été transposée par le règlement grand-ducal du 23 août 1877. Les mesures de protection en matière de travail y prévues comportent de nombreuses exceptions. Le temps de travail peut être prolongé de deux heures en cas de phénomènes naturels ou d’accident (26). Les enfants de moins de 14 ans dépourvus de formation scolaire ou fréquentant l’école pouvaient être chargés de six heures de travail par jour (27).
La première loi sur la protection des mineurs en matière de travail (1877) ne comportait donc pas d’interdiction définitive du travail des enfants de moins de 14 ans. Le travail de nuit, sous terre et dans les carrières était interdit de manière générale aux jeunes de moins de 16 ans et aux femmes de tout âge. Un inspecteur était chargé du contrôle des lieux de travail. La disposition légale fixait notamment les consignes de sécurité à respecter en cas de manipulation de substances dangereuses et elle réglementait le travail des enfants sur des machines(28). Ces règlements apportaient de fortes restrictions aux possibilités d’employer des enfants dans les filatures et les usines de tissage.
Cette première loi sur la protection des mineurs en matière de travail était sapée quelques années plus tard, suite à l’intervention des industriels, avec l’entrée en vigueur d’un arrêté grand-ducal du 30 mai 1883. Les 10 heures de travail quotidien (29) prévues pour les jeunes de 14 à 16 ans occupés dans la production et l’artisanat (30) étaient étendues à 11 heures. Mais un certificat médical devait attester que le jeune était physiquement apte au travail et une liste de tous les collaborateurs avec leur date de naissance et le profil de leur activité devait être établie (31).
Les enfants qui travaillaient restaient néanmoins exclus de toute allocation de chômage. L’assurance chômage instaurée par la loi du 6 août 1921 ne prévoit l’octroi de cette allocation qu’à partir de l’âge de 16 ans (32).
Il faudra attendre l’arrêté grand-ducal du 30 mars 1932 pour que le travail des enfants de moins de 14 ans soit définitivement interdit. L’interdiction du travail de nuit et la manipulation de matières plombifères vaut désormais pour tous les jeunes de moins de 18 ans (33). Mais une fois de plus il y a des exceptions, notamment pour le travail dans la sidérurgie ou concernant l’emploi d’apprentis susceptibles de manipuler de la céruse ou du sulfate de plomb. La même édition du Mémorial annonce également l’introduction d’un congé de maternité postnatal de six semaines, ce qui est profitable au bien-être de l’enfant.
La loi sur la jeunesse du 2 août 1939 a permis d’ancrer pour la première fois - légalement et avec obligation générale - une différence juridique entre les mineurs et les adultes (34). Les parents n’ont non seulement le droit, mais également le devoir de l’éducation. La création d’un tribunal pour mineurs a permis d’instaurer une juridiction spécifique aux enfants et aux jeunes (jusqu’à 17 ans inclus) (35).
L’éducation précoce pour protéger l’enfant
C’est au tournant du siècle qu’est née l’idée de la fondation de la première crèche luxembourgeoise (36). Les Godchaux, une famille d’industriels, soutenaient cette idée. Louise Godchaux et Élise Nathan (née Godchaux) se consacraient aux problèmes des familles nombreuses du milieu ouvrier et elles fondaient la Crèche de Luxembourg. Une analyse des besoins des enfants de moins de trois ans effectuée dans différents quartiers de la ville fit ressortir la nécessité d’une stimulation et d’une éducation des enfants en bas âge (37).
C’est à l’initiative des fabricants de drap que les plans d’un « établissement de garde d’enfants en bas âge » à proximité des logements des ouvriers étaient élaborés en 1888. Il s’agissait de permettre aux jeunes mamans (et également aux mères célibataires) de poursuivre un activité professionnelle dans la draperie. En tant que barons du drap, les Godchaux avaient fait ériger de petites maisons d’ouvriers (les soi-disant casernes), dont certaines servent encore aujourd’hui de logements sociaux. C’était dans l’intérêt des industriels d’avoir des couturières qui ne se consacraient non seulement à leurs enfants, mais également aux produits de la fabrique de draps (38). La famille Godchaux tenait les rênes en de nombreux domaines. Des systèmes de sécurité sociale étaient créés : à l’époque ils comportaient d’incontestables avantages pour les collaborateurs de la fabrique, mais ils généraient également une dépendance du patron (39). Quiconque perdait son travail devait également quitter les petits logements de la fabrique.
Suite aux débats publics en Allemagne (40) et en Angleterre sur les conditions de logement des prolétaires, jugées indignes d’un être humain, l’idée d’une enquête sur les conditions sociales dans les faubourgs (41) commençait à faire son chemin au Luxembourg.
En 1907, l’enquête sociale de l’Association luxembourgeoise pour les intérêts de la femme révélait les conditions de vie défavorables des familles démunies de la ville basse (Grund, Clausen, Pfaffenthal).
« Les familles nombreuses, dont les 10 ou 12 membres vivent entassés dans une ou deux petites chambres, sont vraiment à plaindre (42). » Les adultes et les enfants y vivaient et travaillaient à l’étroit et sous des conditions d’hygiène déplorables. « Il y a des pièces, dans lesquelles des enfants de 7 ans rentrant de l’école sont obligés de faire du travail à domicile jusque tard dans la soirée (43). » L’enquête qualitative de cette association de femmes engagée illustrait les misérables conditions de logement dans les faubourgs analysés et les mauvaises conditions de socialisation.
L’évolution de la protection des enfants et des jeunes au Luxembourg est en étroite relation avec l’industrialisation aux 19e et 20e siècles. En général on n’accordait pas trop d’importance aux soins et à l’éducation prodigués aux enfants d’ouvriers. L’enfance au sens bourgeois du terme n’existait pas (44). Les enfants étaient un facteur de coût et leur travail à domicile ou dans une fabrique assurait la maigre survie des familles généralement nombreuses. Une existence constamment menacée justifiait le travail des enfants à domicile, et cela dès leur plus jeune âge (45). En matière de rendement, on ne faisait pas de grandes différences entre enfants et adultes. Le milieu ouvrier déraciné était marqué par la déchéance et des déficits de socialisation.
Les conditions de vie des enfants d’ouvriers se détérioraient au cours de la période de l’industrialisation, et cela en dépit du fait que le 18e siècle avait déjà généré une nouvelle construction pédagogique (46) de l’enfance, qui se démarquait du monde adulte par la « découverte » de la particularité de cette phase de vie (47). C’est notamment dans les draperies (filature et tissage) que le travail des enfants était largement répandu. L’enfance prolétaire du 19e siècle était déterminée par le travail – nécessaire à la survie – et une scolarité limitée et payante. La fréquentation de l’école servait essentiellement de préparation à une activité professionnelle ou à la promotion de la diligence. Il fallait attendre la législation sur la protection des travailleurs et surtout la scolarité gratuite (1912) pour que la perception sociale de l’enfant change durablement et les conditions de socialisation des adolescents s’améliorent de façon déterminante.
Bibliographie et Annotations
(1) Flecken, Margarete : Arbeiterkinder im 19. Jahrhundert, Weinheim, Basel 1981, p. 35
(2) Blumberg, Horst: Die deutsche Textilindustrie in der industriellen Revolution, Berlin, 1965, p. 351.
(3) ibid., p. 351.
(4) cf. Das Bürgerliche Gesetzbuch mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der Rechtssprechung des Reichsgerichts und des Bundesgerichtshofes, Berlin, New York, 1997, p. 2.
(5) cf. Blumberg, ibid., p. 314.
(6) cf. ibid., p. 315
(7) Reidegeld, Eckart: Staatliche Sozialpolitik in Deutschland, Wiesbaden 2006, p. 51. C’est avec cette affirmation que le réformateur social Hardenberg réussit à convaincre le roi de Prusse Frédéric Guillaume III. Une autre thèse dit que l’obligation scolaire avait déclenché une approche différente. En Prusse, les enfants de 6 à 14 ans étaient soumis à l’obligation scolaire dès 1763.
(8) cf. règlement prussien du 9 mars 1839 (accès le 7.10.2007)
(9) Flecken, ibid., p. 90
(10) cf. Alt, Robert : Kinderausbeutung und Fabrikschulen in der Frühzeit des industriellen Kapitalismus, Berlin 1958, p. 16 ss.
(11) Des législations sont également mises en vigueur en France et en Angleterre. La situation des ouvriers d’usine en Autriche vers le milieu du 19e siècle est explicitement décrite dans le mémoire de qualification pour l’enseignement supérieur de Wolfgang Häusler (Von der Massenarmut zur Arbeiterbewegung, Wien 1979, p. 44 ss.).
(12) Une impressionnante collection de biographies d’ouvriers et de descriptions des conditions de vie misérables se trouve dans la publication de Wolfgang Emmerich (Wolfgang Emmerich : Proletarische Lebensläufe, Band 1 : Anfänge bis 1914, Reinbek 1985).
(13) Schwarz, Arnold : Aperçu de l’histoire du travail dans l’industrie et des métiers. Dans : Gottfried Schmid (édit.) : Peuples au travail, Zurich, 1952, p. 49.
(14) cf. Rein, Wilhelm (édit.) : Handbuch der Pädagogik, Langensalza 1906, p. 825.
(15) En 1851, les premières machines à vapeur dans l’industrie textile étaient mises en service sur le terrain de la Schläifmillen (cf. site de machines á vapeur au Luxemburg , accès le 7.10.2007). La fabrication du drap s’en trouvait sensiblement accélérée. Plus tard, la machine à vapeur servait à la production de courant électrique et donc à l’éclairage des ateliers. Ces nouvelles techniques allaient permettre le travail de nuit et le travail par roulement. Un vestige particulier de cette époque, la double cheminée servant à l’évacuation des gaz d’échappement, a survécu jusqu’à aujourd’hui dans la forêt avoisinante.
(16) Herzig, Arno : Die ersten Kinderarbeitsschutzgesetze in Preußen – Ursachen und Folgen. Dans: Christel Adick (édit.): Straßenkinder und Kinderarbeit, Francfort-sur-le-Main, 2007, p. 31.
(17) Aide à l’enfance de l’Inde (édit.) : Kinderarbeit, einst und jetzt, 2007. Le quotidien d’Wort du 5.7.2007 annonce l’exposition en publiant une photo des ouvriers travaillant en 1908 à l’usine de Dudelange : on y reconnaît des enfants de moins de 16 ans.
(18) L’enquête sociale de 1907 présente pour la première fois une description très réaliste de ces conditions de vie précaires. Société luxembourgeoise d’hygiène sociale et scolaire (édit.) : Einiges über Wohnverhältnisse in Luxemburg, 1907.
(19) Flecken, ibid., p. 45.
(20) Mémorial législatif et administratif, 1846, p. 675.
(21) Mémorial législatif et administratif 11.8.1912.
(22) cf. ibid., p. 763 sq.
(23) Mémorial législatif et administratif, 1876, p.331.
(24) La législation luxembourgeoise était certainement influencée par le règlement prussien. De nombreux passages de textes ont été repris.
(25) cf. Chambre des députés, Séance du 17.3.1876, p. 1166.
(26) cf. Mémorial législatif et administratif, 1.9.1877, p. 377.
(27) cf. ibid., p. 378.
(28) cf. ibid., p. 379. La manipulation des machines par des enfants a été limitée.
(29) Après l’introduction du règlement en Prusse, les industriels avaient tenté d’obtenir une extension de la durée du travail à 11 heures, mais sans succès.
(30) « Définir la réglementation du travail des femmes et des enfants (lois de 1876 et 1877) comme l’acte fondateur de la législation sociale au Luxembourg relève du mythe. … Alors que la loi de 1877 limite la durée de travail quotidienne à huit heures pour les enfants de moins de 14 ans et à 10 heures pour ceux de moins de 16 ans, un arrêté grand-ducal de 1883 prend le contre-pied en étendant la durée de travail des 14 à 16 ans à 11 heures par jour dans les industries textiles, de tabac et les ateliers de porcelaine. Il est facile de deviner à la demande de qui … ». Scuto, Denis : La naissance de la protection sociale au Luxembourg. In : Bulletin luxembourgeois des questions sociales, vol. 10, Luxembourg 2001, p. 50 sq.
(31) cf. Mémorial législatif et administratif, 5.6.1883, p. 266.
(32) Mémorial législatif et administratif 10.8.1921, p. 1006. Luc Housse, parlementaire et échevin de la ville de Luxembourg, cite dans son étude une statistique officielle du 1.12.1905, qui mentionne également de jeunes bénéficiaires (14-16 ans) d’une caisse de secours (cf. Luc Housse : La lutte contre le chômage involontaire dans le Grand-Duché de Luxembourg, et l’oeuvre de la Conférence internationale du chômage à Paris en septembre 1910).
(33) cf. Mémorial 31.3.1932, p. 181.
(34) En Allemagne dès 1871, et plus tard dans le code civil allemand en 1900.
(35) Mémorial législatif et administratif 12.8.1939, p. 782. (Les punitions prévoyaient notamment l’envoi du jeune dans une maison d’éducation.)
(36) La première école maternelle allemande ouvre ses portes en 1837 à Blankenburg (une institution répondant au besoin d’occupation des enfants et des jeunes) ; le pédagogue Friedrich Fröbel en avait pris l’initiative. Les écoles maternelles de Fröbel sont interdites en 1851. Le pédagogue meurt le 21 juin 1852 à Marienthal (cf. Wikipedia, accès le 7.10.2007)
(37) cf. Société pour la protection de l’enfance : Crèche de Luxembourg, 1898. 104 ouvrières étaient occupées à la Schläifmillen (indication publiée page 14).
(38) La fondation des premières sociétés de secours mutuels luxembourgeois avait lieu vers le milieu du 19e siècle. Le « Schleifmühle Arbeiter-Kranken-Verein » suivait le 21.8.1865. L’école, les pompiers, les logements et les installations de loisirs (club de kayak) contribuaient à la naissance d’un quartier autonome, exclusivement dû aux barons du drap.
(39) En 1873, Hamm se détachait de la commune de Sandweiler ; Paul Godchaux en devient le premier maire et le président du bureau de bienfaisance. Le baron du drap Godchaux était donc l’autorité centrale de la Schläifmillen.
(40) En 1876 déjà, une enquête du « Verein für Sozialpolitik » illustrait la situation des enfants et des femmes qui travaillaient (cf. Irmgard Weyrather, Die Frau am Fließband. Das Bild der Fabrikarbeiterin in der Sozialforschung 1870-1985, Francfort-sur-le Main 2003, p. 26).
(41) cf. Goetzinger, Germaine: Sozialenquête 1907. Dans: Lëtzebuerger Almanach ‘89, 1988, p. 60.
(42) Société luxembourgeoise d’hygiène sociale et scolaire (édit.) : Einiges über Wohnverhältnisse in Luxemburg. 1907, p. 10.
(43) ibid., p. 4.
(44) La vie des enfants d’ouvriers était néanmoins axée sur des règles, des attentes et des exigences (travaux) spécifiques, en fonction des différentes phases de développement des mineurs. Au 19e siècle, la puberté marquait la fin de l’enfance et donc l’entrée dans la vie professionnelle. C’est au plus tard après la cérémonie religieuse de la confirmation que les filles âgées de 12 ans et les garçons de 14 ans étaient exposés à la pression du monde du travail et assimilés aux adultes.
(45) cf. Flecken, ibid., p. 92 ss.
(46) cf. Ariès, Philippe : L’enfant et la vie familiale sous l’Ancien Régime, Paris, 1960. Les conclusions d’Ariès concernant l’attitude changeante de la société à l’égard de l’enfance entre le 16e et le 18e siècle ont été discutées en détail et des fois de façon divergente dans de nombreuses publications. Une conception moderne de l’enfance se trouve notamment chez Wilhelm Flitner : Allgemeine Pädagogik, Berlin, 1950.
(47) Rousseau, Jean-Jacques : Émile ou de l’éducation, 1762. Ces premières directives pédagogiques ont paru en 1762. Dans cette oeuvre littéraire portant le nom de l’enfant Émile, ce dernier n’est pas considéré comme un petit adulte, mais il est décrit dans sa nature autonome telle qu’elle correspond à son âge respectif. L’enfance se terminait à l’âge de douze ans. Elle était suivie de la jeunesse, qui prenait fin à quinze ans. Une enfance au sens strict du terme n’existait pas pour les enfants issus du prolétariat.
The Autor works in Luxemburg at the institution FORWARD and is founder of the European Anty Poverty Network Luxemburg (EAPN).
Picture: www.pixelio.de (Photographer: Gerd Altmann)
March 28th, 2009
Luigi Leone, Messina (Italy)
This article examines how poverty and social exclusion can be related to delinquency. After an analysis about the problematic definition of poverty and its effects on behavior, using the latest official data of the National Institute of Statistics and the Report of the Home Ministry, the study shows the relatedness between two economic indicators (i.e., individual relative poverty and the Gross Domestic Product per capita), two social indicators (i.e., unemployment and low educational profile) and the rates of homicides, robberies, thefts in house, pickpocketing and bag-snatching in each Italian region. The results show interesting direct/inverse relations.
«They say, moreover, that grinding poverty renders men worthless, cunning, sulky, thievish, insidious, vagabonds, liars, false witnesses; and that wealth makes them insolent, proud, ignorant, traitors, assumers of what they know not, deceivers, boasters, wanting in affection, slanderers…».
Tommaso Campanella, The City of the Sun
Definition of “poverty”
Defining poverty analytically is not easy: indeed literature reputes mischievous ambiguity of the word ‘poor’ (Checkland and Checkland 1974), whereas it “is not a fixed constant and this opens the possibility that the same socio-political process that sets poverty policy also defines the poverty problem” (Bird 1999: 269). Poverty, as a complex phenomenon – not only in terms of material deprivation and inadequate consumption (Ruggles 1990) or as “enforced lack of a number of goods and services” (Muffels and Fouarge 2004: 301) but also the deprivation of non-material resources and its individual and social perception (Eckmann 1997) – is strictly linked with the concept of social exclusion: “defining poverty is actually a social process rather than a scientific one” (Bird 1999: 276). Social exclusion is principally perceived as the exclusion from the labor market, followed by other forms of exclusion (e.g., consumption, saving, social activities, and so on): social exclusion is a lack of agency (Smith 2005). Besides deprivation is also part of the concept of social exclusion (Atkinson et al. 2002; Muffels and Fouarge 2004) .
Formerly, the EU 3rd Poverty Program, in the European Council Declaration of December 19th 1984 asserted that “poor are people, families and groups whose material, cultural and social resources are so limited to rule them out from the least life’s quality acceptable by community where they live”. Analyzing the relationship between poverty and social exclusion, there are lots of indicators of welfare problems linked to both of these concepts, as integration in the political process, neighborhood conditions, housing conditions, health impairments, anxiety and psychological distress, health hazards, social integration, educational marginalization, unemployment and economic vulnerability (Halleröd and Larsson 2008).
Actually, in the political debate of 1980s and 1990s the term of “poverty” has been replaced with others, as “social exclusion”, “social disintegration” and “social marginalization” (de Haan 1998), signifying a status of denial of the social, political and civil rights of citizens in society (Silver 1994; Walker and Walker 1997; Byrne 1999).
Sen’s concept of deprivation is mostly identified at an ethical level: “If there is starvation and hunger, then – no matter what the relative picture looks like – there clearly is poverty [. . .]. Even when we shift our attention from hunger and look at other aspects of the living standard, the absolutist aspect of poverty does not disappear. The fact that some people have a lower standard of living than others is certainly proof of inequality, but by itself it cannot be a proof of poverty unless we know something more about the standard of living that these people do in fact enjoy. It would be absurd to call someone poor just because he had the means to buy only one Cadillac a day when others in that community could buy two of these cars each day. “The absolute consideration cannot be inconsequential for conceptualising poverty.” (Sen 1983: 159).
Social marginalization is measured by the degree of social exclusion: weakness of familial relationships, residential segregation, exclusion from public spaces and denial or ineligibility to various forms of social welfare (Juska et al. 2004).
The socioeconomic transformations have moreover produced new dynamics of occupational structure (i.e., labor market deregulation and flexibilization, casual/irregular labor and odd jobs, unemployability, risk of losing one’s job), sense of insecurity, inequality, loss of power and independence; thus it is clear that unemployment is problematic even if the employed person is protected from poverty (Nordenmark 1999; Strandh 2000). Employment, moreover, is clearly a central factor of social inclusion in both sense of income’s source and active participation in society.
Even if the EU praxis refers the economical deprivation condition alternately to the available income or to the (outgoings for) consumption, this second indicator is a better measure of the economic well-being, whereas it is not affected by temporary income fluctuations (e.g., loss of job) or from underreporting (i.e., hiding real income for tax reasons).
As explained above, poverty is not only an economic issue: there are, in fact, further specific aspects linked to families’ conditions of life. Home, for example, is one of the most important evaluation factors about material deprivation: lack of basic housing services (warm water, WCs, household appliances), space shortage and overcrowding, grungy structures, expensive cost of management, are essential as well for analyzing the phenomenon of poverty.
Related to the construction of the social marginalization concept are the status of dwelling-place zone and problems such as dirty streets, pollution, hard noise, criminality, inadequate lighting system, bad urban décor, the sale and use of drugs, streetwalkers, beadsmen, drunken, homeless, vandalism, etc., – issues that cannot be inappreciable for a complete examination. Service accessibility pertains as well to this context of material deprivation, that is, when people have problems for achieving access to pharmacies, hospitals, precincts, school buildings, supermarkets, post offices, parks and so on.
Poverty effects on behavior
Inadequate material and social resources (in terms of health, job, education , lodgings, social net, rights) can seriously lead to marginalization and to adopt a “culture of poverty”, whereas people reproduce and transmit, not affecting value and norm systems behavior, being forced to cope with life’s problems resorting to alternative strategies. Children from poorer families, for example, “are less able to satisfy their desires for material goods, excitement and social status by legal or socially approved methods, and so tend to choose illegal or socially disapproved methods. The relative inability of poorer children to achieve their goals by legitimate methods could be because they tend to fail in school and tend to have erratic, low status employment histories” (Farrington 1995: 948).
Poverty, as a multidimensional disadvantage, is irregularity in income and social condition that during childhood causes a chronic cycle of transmission from one generation to another (i.e., intergenerational persistence), with serious reflection on later life (Warzywoda-Kruszynska and Rokicka 2007). Poverty gives rise to harsh impairment of neural (language, memory) and abilities development (Krugman 2008). A negative association has been noted between poverty and array of children’s health, cognitive and socioemotional outcomes (McLeod and Shanahan 1993; Bolger et al. 1995; Bradley and Whiteside-Mansell 1997; Duncan and Brooks-Gunn 1997; Vrijheid et al. 2000).
Children living in poverty are at a higher risk for engaging in delinquent behavior (Peterson and Krivo, 2005; Pratt and Cullen 2005), and whereas the family’s poverty, including low income, poor housing, unemployment and other social problems, could be some of the most important childhood (aged 8–10 years) predictors and risk factors of later delinquency; early prevention through policy actions is needed to reduce it: “convicted delinquents tended to be from poorer families, from large-sized families, living in poor houses with neglected interiors…” (Farrington 1995: 939).
Even if there is no agreement about the importance of the role of socioeconomic status (Hindelang et al. 1981), poverty clearly increases family stress (Larzelere and Patterson 1990), that is obviously the context where it plays an important role in child outcomes.
It is surprising that studies on the link between poverty and antisocial behavior have not been widely conducted.
One of the most relevant studies is one that income maintenance experiments carried out in the United States, and which provided extra income for poor families: however, the only evaluation of the effects of income maintenance on children’s delinquency did not deliver positive results (Groeneveld et al. 1979). There is some evidence that extra welfare benefits given to ex-prisoners can in some cases lead to a decrease in their offending (Rossi et al. 1980). A study emphasizes the effect of unemployment on delinquent boys and leaving school at an average age of 15 years (Farrington et al. 1986): more offences were committed while unemployed, and the offences were limited to theft, burglary, robbery and fraud, excluding others like violence, vandalism or drug abuse. It could be owing to lack of money, although these effects involved only those with the highest prediction scores for crime. Another research conducted in Lithuania shows that unemployed youth, who abandoned school before higher education, are the most criminogenic members of society, and are 24 times more probable to be criminally active than those who remain in higher education (Babachinaite and Kurapka 2000): “this group committed 63% of all solved crimes in 1999. Young people between ages 18–29 accounted for 47% of all persons charged with a criminal offence during 2000 and yet this group makes up only 17% of the entire population” (Juska et al. 2004: 166).
But how is crime related to poverty? Do those ‘who have less’ want to take from ‘who have more’? Does crime increase when the gap expands between the haves and the have-nots? Does poverty drive people to crime?
Of course poverty and crime can sometimes be symptoms of some form of lack of social integration: in October 11, 2005 the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime saw crime as both the cause and consequence of poverty, insecurity and underdevelopment.
Even 2000 years ago, imperator and philosopher Marcus Aurelius Antoninus claimed that “Poverty is the mother of crime”, but now things are partially different. Indeed, it is plainly unfair to people in poverty to suggest that they are more disposed to crime than other people, as all these suggestions arise out of oversimplification of relationships between facts: we have to begin from what definition of crime is being used, and what type of crime and criminal behavior is being parsed.
It could be possible to try a correlation between poverty and criminality in these two hypothetic ways:
Direct relation: On the whole, the so-called “predatory activities”, e.g., theft in house (art. 624-bis, 1° paragraph, Italian criminal code), robbery (art. 628 Italian criminal code), pickpocketing (art. 625, n. 4 Italian criminal code) and bag-snatching (art. 624-bis, 2° paragraph, Italian criminal code) over the last 30–40 years has grown in the European countries. Economic growth and consequently, a better level of life (i.e., income growth) could have a positive correlation with lucrative crimes (Barbagli 1995);
Inverse relation: Violent crimes (e.g., murders and homicides) have notably reduced in those countries where the Gross National Product (GNP) has grown, compared with poor countries where indeed number of murders is higher. In other words, the number of homicides seems to have an inverse relation with economic conditions, therefore with the education/acculturation levels of the population.
Poverty in Italy
During the last four years, the incidence of relative poverty in Italy has been quite uniform: Istat’s Report 2006 shows that 12.91% of the whole population was living in relative conditions of poverty or 7,537,351 persons, that means 11.13% of resident families or 2,622,921. Measures of the incidence of relative poverty are computed using a conventional value on average consumption outgoes (the “poverty line”), where outgoings under it define a family as poor in relative terms. In 2006, the poverty line for a two-member family was estimated at 970.34 euros per month.
It has been observed that while in the Center–North less than 7% of the families were poor (5.2% in the North and 6.9% in the Center), highest values were condensed in the South, where 22.56% of the families – i.e., 65% of the Italian poor families – were below the poverty line. The lowest northern values were in Piemonte (6.68%), in Veneto (5.00%), in Lombardia (4.96%) and Emilia-Romagna (4.01%). In the South 5,201,330 persons were relatively poor and poverty’s incidence was 31.51% in Sicily, 19.45% in Sardinia, 31.40% in Calabria, 24.55% in Basilicata, 20.05% in Molise, 22.34% in Puglia, 24.18% in Campania and 13.16% in Abruzzo. In the South, poverty was more critical, as the monthly outgoings amount on average 752.01 euros, compared to 797.62 euros in the North and 806.35 euros in the Center. Number of members was linked with poverty: 24.3% of the families with five or more members were poor, of them 37.5% lives in the South. Besides, families with minors had a sharper economic privation.
Poverty is strongly linked as well with low educational levels, low job profiles (the so-called “working poor”) and to the exclusion from the job market: the incidence of poverty in families where two or more members were searching for a job was, in fact, higher by four times to families where there were no jobless persons. Families with an employee had low poverty incidence, equal to 9.3%; among those with a self-employed householder it was equal to 7.5% and, when he was a professional worker, it was equal to 3.8%. Though, when he was a factory worker, it increases to 13.8%. In the South, families with enterprises and professional workers had a poverty incidence of 9.0%; among those with managers and employees the incidence is 13,3%, and it is equal to 27.5% for the factory workers. Incidence of poverty was 28.3% in families with a jobless member and if there was a retired person and pension was the only income. The lowest levels of poverty were allocated in those families where all their members were workers (3.8%). Families with an enterprise or a professional worker as householder had the highest outgoings levels: they spent, on average, 3,857 euros monthly, twice that of the outgoings of families where the householder was jobless.
Obviously, the more a family gains, the broader is the variety and quantity of goods and services consumed: leisure and free time, education, transits and trips, communications, clothes and footwear. Contrarily, the poorest families expend most on food and housing. Lombardia (2,886 euros) and Bolzano (2,906 euros) had the highest outgoings levels, while Sicily had the lowest value (1,724 euros).
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita is another indicator of the individual’s prosperity, even if it pretermits some of the most important social and economical aspects: the South had a GDP per capita clearly lower than the Center and the North. Bolzano, Valle d’Aosta and Lombardia had the highest value in 2006 (up to 27,000 euro per inhabitant), while Campania (13,700 euro per inhabitant), Calabria and Puglia (14,000 euro per inhabitant) had the lowest.
With regard to education in Italy, in 2007, 48.2% of the population aged 25–64 had achieved only the primary school diploma, compared to 30% of EU27’s average. The internal highest values were for Sardinia, Sicily, Campania and Puglia (on average, 56–57%). Around 75% of young people aged between 20 and 24 achieved at least the secondary school diploma that is lower than the EU27’s average (77.8%): it was comparable with Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark and Romania. Sicily, Sardinia, Campania and Puglia had low values (less than 70%), compared to Basilicata (81.8%), Abruzzo (80.7%) and Molise (80.2%). Trento had the highest national value (86.2%).
In 2007, the job market showed that 58.7% of population aged 15 to 64 was working. However, in 2006 the Italian male workers’ rate was lower than EU27 by about 1%, while the rate for female workers was lower by 11%. Only Hungary, Malta and Poland had national rates lower than Italy. The highest worker levels are in the North, specially in the North-East, where the rate was 67.6% – more than the national average, though there were still big internal differences; whereas in Emilia-Romagna and Bolzano the rate was 70%, in Campania, Calabria and Sicily it was around 45%.
The unemployment rate comprises the percentage of the population aged 15 years and older looking for a job and the global population of those who work or would want to work. The Italian unemployment rate in 2007 was 6.1%, which still shows gender differences: there were 7.9% unemployed females compared to 4.9% of males. In 2006, compared with EU27’s average, Italian unemployment rate was lower by 1.5% and the rate of unemployed males was among the lowest in the group. The rate of unemployed females, indeed, was the same as that of the EU27’s average. Internal differences were very big: in the North-East the unemployment rate in 2007 was on average 3.1%, while in the South it was on average 11%; in Sicily it was 13%, and in Campania 11.2%. Concerning the Italian youth – those between the ages of 15–24 – the rate of unemployment in 2007 was 20.3% (14% more than the national), and gender differences were relevant: unemployed females were 23%, compared to 18% of males. In Italy the youth unemployment rate was higher than the EU27, lower than in 2006 only to Poland (29.8%), Slovakia (26.6), Greece (25.2%) and France (23.4). Female unemployment rate was at 25%, one of the highest rates in comparison with the EU27’s average. Austria, Ireland, Denmark and the Netherlands had the lowest youth unemployment rates (17.2% on average) in EU27. In 2007 the South had rates of youth unemployment higher by 10% than the national average, but Molise (23.9%) and Abruzzo (17.2%) were lower. The lowest rates were in the North-East (9.6%) and the North-West (13.9%).
Criminality in Italy
Official data of 2005 show that denounced crimes had a value of 44 points per 1,000 inhabitants that means over 2,500,000. In EU27’s context, after an increase of 15.6 points from 2002, Italy in 2005 was at 4th position, after Germany, United Kingdom (UK) and France. Indeed, a decreasing number of denounced crimes (more than 5%) were observed in Belgium, Bulgaria, UK, Finland, Czech Republic, France, the Netherlands, Denmark and Romania.
In Italy the most relevant increasing values (more than 10%) from 2000 to 2005 were in four northern regions: Trento, Valle d’Aosta, Lombardia and Emilia-Romagna; Toscana in the Center and Abruzzo in the South. In Sicily and Sardinia there were a decreasing values, equal to –3.7 points and –4.8 points, respectively. The highest values were in Piemonte (51.9), Lombardia (51.4), Liguria (60.9), Emilia-Romagna (56.2), Toscana (47.9) and Lazio (54.1); indeed the lowest ones were in Basilicata (18.8) and Molise (23.4).
Data on homicides, meaning both murder and manslaughter, in the period 2000–2005 show progressive reduction: in fact, numbers have decreased from 13.1 to 10.3 per million inhabitants. In EU27’s context, Italy was below the average (that is equal to 14 homicides per 1 million inhabitants), staying at eighth position after Austria, Luxembourg, Sweden, Germany, Malta, Slovenia and Czech Republic. In first three positions were Lithuania (118.3), Estonia (83.9) and Latvia (55.2), respectively.
Most of the homicides in Italy were perpetrated in the southern regions: the highest values were in Calabria, (34.4) and Campania (22.1), where there is a big presence of historical criminal organizations, such as ‘ndrangheta’ and ‘camorra’; while Sardinia (14.5) and Sicily (14.0) had lower values.
With regard to “predatory activities”, the 2007 Report on Criminality compiled by the Home Ministry shows that in Italy on the whole, robberies are constantly on the rise; in 2006 the southern regions registered a value of 124 per 100,000 inhabitants, while in the North–Center the value was 65. The highest value was in Campania, with 296.2 robberies every 100,000 inhabitants in 2006. In Sicily, indeed, from 2000 (98.3) the value has decreased: in 2005 it registered a rate of 77.5 robberies, though in 2006 it increased to 94.5. In the North–Center, the highest values were in Piemonte (91.2), Lazio (89.9) and Lombardia (85.6); Valle d’Aosta (16.9), Trentino Alto Adige (17.5), Molise (12.2) and Basilicata (6.7), had the lowest values in Italy.
Thefts in house and pickpocketing were more common in the North, compared to bag-snatching that was typical in the South. Analyzing data per 100,000 inhabitants, for thefts perpetrated inside homes in 2006, the highest values were in the North: Valle d’Aosta, with a rate of 369, Piemonte, with 355, Emilia-Romagna, with 331, and Lombardia, with 324; the southern regions had lower values: Sicily, with 192, Campania, with 145, Calabria, with 107, and Basilicata, with 103.
Pickpocketing in 2006 was most common in the North–Center as well, whereas the highest values were in Liguria (727), Lazio (521) and Piemonte (451); indeed, in the South, this illegal activity was not so frequent: Sicily (86), Calabria (40) and Basilicata (25) had the lowest national levels.
The situation is reversed in terms of bag-snatching: in fact, the highest value in 2006 was in Campania, with 97 per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Sicily (57) and Lazio (50); the northern regions had lower values. It is interesting to note that, from 1998, in the Southern regions pickpocketing surpassed bag-snatching, and in 2006 it increased by 1.7 points (92 and 52).
Even if scientific correlations between different factors are not easily possible, concluding from a strictly cause/effect relatedness, an analysis of the above data allows to find some important relations between poverty and some types of crimes committed in the Italian context.
As noted in the discussion, the poorest Italian regions are in the South (including islands), each one with an individual incidence of relative poverty higher than 10%, while the central and northern regions have a relative poverty lower than 10%.
The southern regions on the whole have the highest rates of homicide but the lowest in theft in house; while the northern regions have highest rates of theft in house, specially the North-West. The highest rates for robbery are reported in Campania and in Sicily; followed by Piemonte, Lazio and Liguria. Pickpocketing is an activity most common in the North-West regions, and of important value is Lazio, because of Rome: the South and the Islands do no have relevant rates (the south’s highest is in Campania). The highest rates for bag-snatching are distributed especially in the South and the Center, even if Liguria has a relevant position as well.
It seems that crimes requiring strength and aggression against people (where it is not possible to avoid human contact) – such as homicide, robbery and bag-snatching – are most common in poorest zones with high levels of social exclusion/marginalization. In contrast crimes that require no violence and target private property (possessions found inside house or with an individual), where slyness and speed is necessary to avoid human contact – or sparring, as the action directly involves goods – are most common in “richer” zones, with low levels of social exclusion and marginalization.
These relations are shown in the table below (the five highest values are indicated in bold).
Policy interventions have an essential role in remedying poverty; it may help nurture the young and reduce the stresses that exacerbate social disorder and delinquency, even if the benefits from crime control are often speculative.
Reflecting deeper on child poverty, “governments have a responsibility to ensure that children in their countries have equal rights to participate in education, health care, etc., and that they should be entitled to the necessary resources in terms of nutrition and housing so that they can take full advantage of these rights. If children cannot be blamed for being poor, the reason why they are to be found in poverty is in one sense irrelevant. Whether it is unemployment, sickness, divorce, or simply indolence and/or negligence on the part of their parents, it can be argued that in no case should children be deprived of the opportunity of becoming full citizens. Yet it is for policy purposes of course important to identify the causes of child poverty” (Palme 2006: 392).
However, a civil society engagement should deal with poverty regardless of the effects on the crime rate, even if Bird concludes that “(1) poverty is relative and its definition is changeable, (2) the definition is subject to political manipulation, and (3) as a social problem, poverty persists through time, and both before and after transfers” (Bird 1999: 276).
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Luigi Leone, lawyer, is PhD student on “Criminality, deviance and arrangement of social – educational measures of prevention” in the Forensic Sciences’ Section of the University of Messina, in Sicily (Italy).
Picture: www.pixelio.de (Photographer: Steffen Hellwig)
March 28th, 2009
August 18-21, 2009, Altai Republic
The Russian Union of Social Workers and Pedagogues proudly informs all social care specialists that the III International Forum of Social Workers of Siberia and the Far East will be held from 18 through 21st of August in the Altai Republic, one of the most picturesque regions of Russia.
The Government Head of the Altai republic Berdnikov Alexander Vasilievich, has kindly agreed to host the Forum.
The Forum will focus on the development of social services of the present day and the role of social workers and pedagogues in eradication of poverty in Russia, making the information on rights and responsibilities, improvement of quality of life – all the problems that specialist in social care are very familiar with.
Special attention of the conference will be devoted to upgrading of the infrastructure of social services for various categories of people, and to demonstration of innovational experience of regions of Russia and of Asia and the Pacific.
The organizers of the Forum have put together a lot of interesting information. You will receive unique hand-outs with materials on social work with different categories of people, and on innovations in social work technologies in rural regions. The Forum would be an excellent opportunity for establishing contacts with social care specialists of Europe and of the Asia and the Pacific region.
Holding such Forums has already become a tradition. Such summits have been held in the Tyva Republic, in Khanty-Mansiysk autonomous district and in Novosibirsk region. The Forum is a space where social workers from distanced regions of Russia meet with their colleagues, share experience and learn. The quotas of participation limit the number of participants from each subject of Siberia and Far East regions to 4 people, and from the European part of Russia – to 2 people.
The mentioned quotas do not concern representatives of regional structures of the Russian Union of Social Workers and Pedagogues. Regional structures can make suggestions on the list of participants according to their wish.
The sacred Altai is, according to great Rerikh,not only the “jem of Siberia, but the jem of the planet”…
The Altai republic is located in the heart of Asia, where the Siberian taiga meets Kazakh moors and Mongolian semi-deserts. The mountainous land of Altai is infinitely picturesque; it is called a “Russian Tibet” situated in the centre of the Eurasian continent, at the jointing edge of several countries, climate zones and cultures. Altai ice-chests are a major potable water reserve. Small mountain lakes hide among mountains. The biggest lake of the region is Lake Teletskoe, is surrounded by mountain peaks and with taiga spans. The Teletskoe lake is one of the deepest lakes in the world (its depth is over 325 meters) and is traditionally regarded as the symbol of Altai region. Altai boasts beautiful valleys and is famous for its sorcerers and the mysterious lost country Shambala.
The Altai region is located in South-Western Siberia, in the South Altai Mountains. It is unique in history and landscape. Nearly one fourth of its territory is included into the UNESCO list of World Heritage: objects such as lake Teletskoe, The Altai and Katun nature reserves, Mt. Belukha, Ukok plateau, caves, hills, Ulalin Paleolithic site – the oldest stationing of ancient people discovered by man, and much more…
Members of Russian Union of Social Workers and Pedagogues can have tours and visit the unique places of Altai Mountains – Lake Teletskoe, Chuiskiy route, and historical places of interest.
Date of the Forum: 18-21 AUGUST 2009
Place of the Forum: Altai republic, Gorno-Altaisk city
- Russian Union of Social Workers and Social Pedagogues, member of IFSW
- Altai republic Government
- Labour and Social Development Ministry of Altai republic
- Association of Social Workers of the Siberian Federal District
Also present at the Forum will be members of Russian Presidential Administration, representatives of the Health and Social Development Ministry, the State Duma, Russian Public Chamber, non-governmental organizations in the social care sphere.
Who is invited:
- Social workers;
- Heads of social services;
- Teachers of social work and social pedagogy;
- Representatives of social NGOs; representatives of government;
- Authorities responsible for regional social policy
Program of the Forum
18 August – Arrival of participants
19 August – Plenary session
20 August – Round tables, master-classes, specialized presentations for Union members
21 August – Presentation of Altai republic rural social services experience
22 August – Departure of participants
The Forum Venue is Gorno-Altaisk city
- The Russian city you are traveling from —(train, plane) –> Barnaul—(bus) –> Gorno-Altaisk
- The Russian city you are traveling from—(train,plane) –> Barnaul—(train) –> Biisk———-(bus) –> Gorno-Altaisk
- The Russian city you are traveling from —(train,plane) –> Novosibirsk—(bus) –> Gorno-Altaisk
- The Russian city you are traveling from —(train, plane) –> Novosibirsk–(plane) –> Gorno-Altaisk
- The Russian city you are traveling from—(train, plane) –> Novosibirsk—(train) –> Biisk———-(bus) –> Gorno-Altaisk
Getting to Novosibirsk city:
1 – By plane from other Russian cities
2 – By train – Novosibirsk train station receives trains from many cities of Russia
Getting to Barnaul city:
1 – By plane from other Russian cities
2 – By train
In Novosibirsk and Barnaul Forum participants are met by the organizers of the event, and get on buses to Gorno-Altaisk (travel time from Novosibirsk is 6-7 hours, and from Barnaul – 4-5 hours).
Another option is taking a charter flight Novosibirsk to Gorno-Altaisk.
You can also go by train from Barnaul or Novosibirsk to Biisk, and then on to Gorno-Altaisk by bus.
Buses at a regular schedule go from Biisk to Gorno-Altaisk, from Novosibirsk to Gorno-Altaisk, from Barnaul to Gorno-Altaisk.
We recommend that you reserve and buy tickets in advance, because the Forum is held in the season of summer vacations, which can make buying tickets at the last minute risky.
Abstracts of presentations by the Forum’s participants will be put together and handed out to all Forum participants.
- Abstracts should be no more than 3 pages, Times New Roman size 12.
- A photo of the author should be attached (of a size no less than 800 kB, in JPEG or printed).
- The Abstract should include information on
- The author’s full name
- Place of work
- Which region he is representing
The abstracts should be sent in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org /
For registering at the Forum you need to send in a filled registration form BEFORE JUNE 1ST, 2009. It can be sent (respectively)
- by e-mail to Altai republic email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org (with a copy attached for email@example.com). The letter head should be “Registration for Forum”
- by fax 7 495 253-82-96
- by mail - the Organizing Committee address: 649000 Altai Republic, Gorno-Altaisk city, Chaptynov Street, 24.
To: Labour and Social Development Ministry (the letter should be marked “Registration for Forum”)
- If you have any questions, you can contact the Organizing Committee by telephone: Moscow office of Russian Union of Social Workers and Pedagogues (RUSWP)
7 (495) 253-82-96
7 (499) 940-11-03
- Labour and Social Development Ministry, Altai Republic
Tel/Fax 7 (38822) 2-25-03
7 (38822) 2-44-43
The finalized version of the Forum’s Programme will be sent to you by e-mail after you confirm your participation and send in the registration form.
REGISTRATION IS CLOSED ON 15 JUNE 2009!
The Organizing Committee of the Forum welcomes distribution of information on the Forum and registration among social workers of your region. We are interested in attracting as many social sphere specialists as possible. Please send the information to district Social Centers of your region.
Vacation in Altai Republic
The Organizers of the Forum invite you to add fun to work and spend your vacation in the Altai region before or after the Forum. You can contact us for information on tourism and recreation in Altai region.
March 28th, 2009
The International Social Work & Society Academy 2009/Vilnius (Lithuania)
Welfare regimes are facing a fundamental transformation on a global scale. The shift of paradigms, procedures and perspectives becomes obvious in analysing the dominant social political terms like audit-system, efficiency and effectiveness, self-responsibility and activating. Moreover, the contradictory constructions of citizens on the one hand as powerful, flexible and responsible members in their communities and on the other hand as unpredictable, detached and threatening individuals mark a strain in current welfare formations.
Social professions are challenged to positioning themselves within this new culture of welfare. The managerial ideology squeezes social professions to become more standardized, (specialized) and fragmented in order to implement evidence-based, countable and calculable practice in social services.
The public image of social professions increasingly focuses on prevention and control. Social services are perceived as institutions of policing rather than institutions of civil society, characterized by the pressure of `demand and support`.
Along with these utilization, attribution and perception social professions are confronted with a degradation of their interpretative authority in the struggle of the definition of social problems.
The professional identity is continuously developed in the triangle of education, organisation and individual practice. In its progressive way, it comprises critical theory and practice as well as ethical and political contexts, includes a strong mode of reflexivity and the orientation on social justice and empowerment. But within the new culture of welfare, the professional identity is a contested claim. To keep the disposal of the definition and interpretation of professional identity is the central challenge of current social professions, emancipatory social practice and social work policy.
The international ‘Social Work & Society’ Academy (TiSSA) provides a forum for involving professionals and academics in innovative discussion on theory and practice at the cutting edge of the social professions. Its overall aim is to identify how the needs of a wide range of societies experiencing transition can be met through the generation of new knowledge, concepts and models. The organizers of TiSSA assume, that socio-economical developments indicate categorically that social work has to deal with its relation to the respective societies in a critical way, in order to build out a clear professional profile for the future, for a renewal of perspectives and to improve its agency. Any site of economic, political and social transition poses a challenge to social professions to reflect on new approaches to social work. In doing so, The international ‘Social Work & Society’ Academy focuses on
- promoting a comparative approach to the analysis of social work and society
- enhancing the development of knowledge, skills and experience
- shaping organizational changes and new governance processes
- analyzing quality criteria and reflecting on best practice
- encouraging the international dissemination and exchange of information on significant developments.
This reflection shall take place in the setting of The international ‘Social Work & Society’ Academy in two ways: TiSSA Plenum & inter-university PhD-Network.
TiSSA Plenum (August 26th to 28th 2009)
The TiSSA Plenum is the annual meeting of academics and professionals from all over the world. Based on the constitutive aims and perspectives, each Plenum deals with one central issue for contemporary social work on a global scale. Plenary sessions, panel debates and working groups excite serious but lively discussions. Field visits and the social program allow forging closer links to the colleagues. The Plenum is borne by the inquisitiveness and engagement of the participants, which realize each program by their papers and statements and vitalize the idea of a cross-national network of social professions.
Inter-university PhD-Network Pre Conference (August 23rd to 25th 2009)
The PhD-Network of The international ‘Social Work & Society’ Academy aspires to establish a broad international cooperation of PhD-students in the social professions. Within the structure of TiSSA an active participation in current professional debates is promoted and supported. Emergent scholars get the opportunity to present their dissertation projects in a broad international context and to enlist contacts relevant for their research topic. Thus a new generation of professionals could acquire and exercise those skills, which are necessary to cope with contemporary challenges of societies in transition and their impact on social services.
The Call for Papers is now open: TISSA Call for Papers
More information on the conference will soon be available at the TISSA homepage
March 28th, 2009
A French Think Tank for European ideas has launched a manifesto for sustainable and solidary growth.
Objectifs du Think Tank européen Pour la Solidarité
Depuis plusieurs années déjà, les « laboratoires d’idées » ou « Think Tanks » spécifiquement européens connaissent un essor considérable. Ces lieux stratégiques d’études et de réflexion s’adressent aux décideurs et leur apportent la matière pour alimenter leurs débats.
Pour la Solidarité (PLS) se positionne en tant que prestataire de services pour les acteurs socioéconomiques et politiques désireux d’agir avec professionnalisme dans le champ européen de la solidarité. En lien constant avec les institutions européennes, Pour la Solidarité répond aux attentes des acteurs de la solidarité en Europe.
Nous entendons jouer un rôle actif dans la formulation des politiques publiques durables, l’accroissement de l’intérêt des entreprises pour leur responsabilité sociétale, la promotion de l’économie sociale et l’encouragement de la participation des citoyens aux processus décisionnels afin de relever les nombreux défis émergents et contribuer à la construction d’une Europe solidaire et porteuse de cohésion sociale. À travers des projets concrets, il s’agit de jeter des ponts entre les différentes familles d’acteurs clés du monde économique et social actuel : les pouvoirs publics, les entreprises, les syndicats, les centres de recherches et les associations.
Parmi ses activités actuelles, PLS initie et assure le suivi d’une série de projets européens ; développe des réseaux de compétences ; suscite la réalisation et la diffusion d’études socioéconomiques, de publications ; la création d’observatoires ; l’organisation de colloques, de séminaires et de rencontres thématiques ; l’élaboration de recommandations auprès des pouvoirs publics et répond aux besoins de consultance des décideurs économiques. Ce document vous présente les objectifs que nous poursuivons, la méthode adoptée ainsi que les actions et services que nous mettons à la disposition de tous acteurs désireux, comme nous, de porter un développement durable et solidaire pour construire l’Europe de demain.
PLS a initié en décembre 2008 le Manifeste européen « Pour une croissance durable et solidaire au service d’une richesse partagée » qui avance douze propositions pour bâtir une croissance durable. Aujourd’hui, ce Manifeste compte près de 60 signataires, personnalités des mondes associatif, politique et universitaire, qui ont fait le choix d’un changement économique majeur.
Par ailleurs, il connait un succès grandissant sur la toile : suite à l’initiative de l’un de nos partenaires, le manifeste a été repris sur le réseau social Facebook, où il fait l’objet d’un groupe. A l’heure actuelle, plus de 1000 membres ont rejoint ce groupe. Plusieurs commentaires félicitent ce manifeste, et appellent à plus d’actions pour appliquer les recommandations citées. N’hésitez pas à rejoindre ce groupe (Manifeste européen) et venir débattre avec nous.
You can find here the manifesto and the list of supporters:
Picture: www.pixelio.de (Photographer: Stephanie Hofschlaeger)
March 28th, 2009