Abstracts & Papers in Session 3

Historical Welfare Regimes

Motivated by the comparative historical analysis of welfare regimes in the wake of state-socialism, this essay elaborates concepts and theoretical methods for analysis of welfare regimes across a variety of historical settings. Informed by a critical reading of older and more recent literature on welfare regimes, and drawing on the legacy of classical political economy and relevant streams of contemporary social theory, the essay puts forward an analytic strategy that calls attention to historical variation in modalities of social, political, and economic integration under state-socialism and market-Leninism and their implications for welfare, insecurity, and social stratification. The essay illustrates the value of the historical welfare regimes through an analysis of historical and regional variation in the principles and institutions governing wellbeing and stratification in Viet Nam. The paper aims to restore the theoretical ambition that characterized earlier studies of welfare regimes (with their emphasis on political-class coalitions and cultures) while building upon recent conceptual innovations in the analysis of welfare regimes.

Full paper download: 3.1.3 Jonathan London.pdffigurereference


The term "Ant Tribe" (yizu), referring to low-income graduates who live together in shabby urban neighbourhoods, has become a media idiom in China since 2009. However, compared to other neologisms such as "Dwelling Narrowness" (woju), it takes on more policy implications in contemporary China. Lian Si, a Beijing young scholar who invented this term and launched three surveys on young graduates in seven cities of China, has successfully drawn the attention of the China government to college graduates. What lies behind it is an academic gaze, enabled by the administrative power, on an ambiguously defined group of people. This paper argues that the related surveys and analysis fail to provide a deep understanding of the dramatic changes in contemporary China. The academic, media and administrative discourses on "Ant Tribe" function as repressing a reflexive understanding of state power, class formation and urban restructuring in China over the past decade. This paper, inspired by Pierre Bourdieu's reflexive sociology, concludes with offering alternative strategies for rescuing reflexivity from the discourses centred around the term "Ant Tribe".
Purpose: Suicide has become a wide problem in Korean society. This study seeks to examine the influence of early onset of drinking and drinking problems on suicide ideation and attempt among Korean adolescents.
Methods: The 5th Korean Youth Health Risk Behavior Survey 2009, a nationwide dataset collected by the Korean Center for Disease Control, was used for analyses. The data contained a total of 75,066 adolescents between ages of 14 and 19.  
Results: The prevalence of early drinking onset (before age 13) was 16.6% and the problem drinking (defined as 2 or more points in the CRAFFT) among current drinkers was 40%. Among Korean adolescents, 19.1% reported suicidal ideation and 4.6% had attempted suicide. Youths who had began drinking before the age of 13 had higher risk of both having suicidal ideation and attempting suicide (Odds ratio=1.37, 1.45, respectively). Likewise, those identified as problem drinkers had higher risk of having suicidal ideation and having had attempted suicide after controlling for the covariates such as age, grade, economic situation, and depressive mood. The risk differed between male and female students.
Conclusion: An analysis of a large national representative sample of Korean adolescents confirmed previous research regarding the relationship between problematic alcohol behaviors and suicide thoughts and attempts. Intervention and prevention efforts for youth suicide should integrate risk factors such as alcohol problems and depressive thoughts. Further implications are discussed.

Full paper download: 3.4.3 Sulki_Chung_et_al.pdf  
Young carers are children and young people under the age of 18 who provide care to another family member who is suffering from a long-term illness or disability. Young carers experience a double jeopardy owing to their dual role as carers and as children. To date, studies in Taiwan on the issue of care-giving have largely concentrated on the situation of adult carers, female care-givers in particular. As such, little attention has been paid to the daily experiences of young carers. However, involvement in caring can have adverse influences on a child or young person's physical and emotional development. In addition, the impact of caring activities on young caregivers differs from that on adult carers. The caring tasks and experiences involved also distinguish young carers from other non-caring children and young people. These issues pose a challenge to the current welfare system: to what extent has state policy been in concordance with young carers' needs?
Drawing upon qualitative interviews with 22 children and young people who have had the experience of providing care to another family member, this article explores the everyday practices of young carers with regard to what it is like to be a carer, as well as examines their needs and the corresponding welfare strategies required. This research concludes by proposing some policy recommendations. Firstly, schools should be placed as essential points to identify young carers. Secondly, young carers should be able to exercise the right to ask for their needs to be assessed and fulfilled. Thirdly, the 'whole family' approach could be adopted when working with young carers. Fourthly, relevant organizations could address the needs of young carers and to coordinate each aspect of professional intervention. Finally, a further consideration is required to form the scope of young carers.

Health policy amongst care workers in 3 countries: Japan, Korea and UK

The socialization of care is the main aim of the Japanese long-term care insurance system. In order for this system to be sustainable, it is essential to ensure stable social care services and improve the quality of social care.
There are currently about 1.3 million care workers in Japan, and it is estimated that between 2.12 and 2.55 million will be required by 2025. Acquiring human resources is an important issue under current policy reforms which address three main issues: 1) improving the work environment and health care of care workers; 2) human resource development and career improvement; 3) the implementation of medical care in some areas amongst care workers.
In South Korea, where a long-term care insurance system for the elderly began in 2008, improvements in health and reductions in the burden of family care can be found; however, according to a recent survey, staff turnover is increasing. There are three possible reasons for this: low ratings for care work as a profession; the physical and psychological burdens; and the work environment. As a consequence, interest in environmental improvement for care workers is likely to be insufficient.
Compared with UK, where socialization of care is popular, health and safety regulations for care workers function to prevent possible health problems in the workplace. UK's policies aim to ensure employee's safety through education and policy initiatives. These experiences should provide valuable insights from an industrial health and safety viewpoint
In this study, the development of human resource policies is reviewed, set against the experiences of care workers in Japan, Korea and UK. 
We hope that a comparative approach will stimulate discussion on how East Asian countries can improve care worker's health and safety and human development policies related to their workplace environment.

Full paper download: 3.5.1 Agenosono Yoshiko et al.pdf

The 'right to housing' incorporates at least five different dimensions which are all indispensible for the minimum satisfaction of such right, namely, 1) the 'right to adequate housing'; (2) the 'right to affordable housing'; (3) the 'right to enjoy' one's housing without arbitrary interference; (4) freedom from the threat of arbitrary forced eviction (5) the 'right of choice' in relation to: 5a) the decision to rent or home-ownership; 5b) the neighourhood one is to live in accordance with needs, preferences and lifestyle (Yung, forthcoming).  'Equal right to housing' essentially means equal opportunity or non-discrimination in the fulfillment of different dimensions of 'right to housing'.  For those with economic means, different dimensions of their 'right to housing' are largely satisfied in Hong Kong, however, this may not be the case for those from the lower socio-economic strata.  The situation is even more grave and alarming for members of disadvantaged groups from the latter who are thus doubly deprived.  This paper will examine the views on 'equal right to housing' in Hong Kong housing policy from four disadvantaged groups, namely, single-parent families, ethnic minorities, homosexuals and Mainland New Arrivals by drawing on information from in-depth interviews with members of these groups, representatives of organizations serving these disadvantaged groups, property sector practitioners, Equal Opportunity representative as well as members of the general public.  On the whole, those from these disadvantaged groups, especially those from the lower socio-economic strata, may not enjoy equal opportunity to have their different dimensions of 'right to housing' satisfied in Hong Kong, mainly due to discriminatory selection of tenants, on the part of private landlords as well as their limited economic means which may be, to some extent, magnified by some biased practices in public housing policy.  This paper will also examine some of policy implications of these research findings.

Full paper download: 3.4.2 Betty Yung et al.pdf

This article contributes to the debate about market transition and specifically to the questions of whether privileged elites are able to keep their advantages by adjustment to market reform or whether the private sector is drawn from a new social class. It examines the key factors affecting migrant workers' income and housing conditions in Dongguan, in order to further our understanding of migrant workers' characteristics and economic improvement in the post-1978 manufacturing boom. It is argued that differences in access to social resources between different types of household continue to be the main divisions affecting migrant workers' income and housing. Survey data from five factories in Dongguan are used to show that the household registration system has a major influence on migrants' education level which has direct and significant effects on personal income levels and housing conditions.

Full paper download: 3.4.1 Fengshuo CHANG.pdf

The purpose of this study is to suggest a new method for exploring the East-Asian welfare regime focused on the welfare-labor nexus. The key variables are earning dispersion, strictness of employment protection, and social expenditures. The research methods are as follows. First, each variable will be converted into qualitative variables to overcome the limit of quantitative data in comparing countries by using fsQCA method. Second, ideal type analysis using converted qualitative variable will be attempted to explore the East-Asian welfare regime different from the Western one. This will help not only understand the time-series change process of each welfare state based on welfare and labor but also get new insight of the East-Asian welfare states.

Full paper download: 3.3.3 Kyo-Seong Kim.pdf

Poverty dynamics and Institutional Change in Urban China

This paper employs a qualitative longitudinal methodology and a dynamic approach to the study of urban poverty in China. While new urban poverty emerging in the context of the state-owned enterprise (SOE) reforms and intensifying globalisation has gained increasing prominence on the academic and policy agendas both within and outside China since the mid-1990s, much less attention has been paid to the dynamics of the phenomenon in the sense of (a) individuals and families falling into or escaping from poverty over time; and (b) the possibility of poverty transmission across generations, or inter-generational poverty and upward/downward social mobility. By examining these aspects of the poverty dynamics, and the complex institutional contributing factors, the paper seeks to explore fresh theoretical explanations and methodological approaches to the study of poverty and inequality in China. It also hopes to contribute to the growing body of research in the field and relevant academic and policy debates in China and beyond.
The paper draws on a longitudinal investigation carried out by the two authors during the first decade of the 2000s against a highly fluid backdrop of drastic and rapid economic and societal change. The primary data were collected in (1) fieldwork conducted between 2002-4 by one author, who carried out extensive qualitative interviews with nine families receiving low-income benefits, or dibao in two urban communities in the northern city of Tianjin; and (2) a follow-up fieldwork conducted in late 2008 by the other author, who traced and intensively interviewed seven out of the original nine poor families, none of which was on benefit any more. The timing of the first investigation was coincided with the systematic rolling-out of the dibao scheme in Tianjin in the wake of massive layoffs casued the SOE restructuring in the city, and the consequent exacerbated unemployment, poverty, and increased social risks and insecurity among the urban residents. The second investigation six years later witnessed the most intensive social policy interventions by the central and local state, and through community actions in the midst of a severe global financial crisis and its looming impact on Chinese economy and society.
The qualitative research methods, including observations, unstructured interviews, and home and community visits combined with the longitudinal approach of the follow-up research after a six-year interval allow us to gain insights into the perspectives of the new urban poor in respect of the meanings and lived experiences of falling into poverty through losing one's job in the post-reform era in contrast to the earlier experiences of meanings and identities associated with work. The nature of the data that we collected both in great depth and across time in the same field sites offers the opportunity to deepen our understanding of how the new urban poor negotiate and deal with rapid economic change and social transformations - forces that are well beyond individuals' control, and the accompanied insecurity and social risks in their daily livelihood struggles. It helps illuminate the micro-social processes in their full contextual complexities, as reflected in individual life histories and experiences, and their relations to the larger macro-level forces. Through employing the dynamic approach to the analysis of the longitudinal data, the paper also aims to shed light on the workings of institutions and individual agency in shaping social mobility across generations.
Despite the increasing number of immigrant wives who have immigrated to Korea to marry Korean men, little is known about integration service utilization regarding this population.  Therefore, this article investigates factors that influence the utilization pattern of integration services among immigrant wives confronting myriads of problems related to adaptation to Korea.  The study analyzed data (N = 1,063) from the Marriage-Based Immigrants and Their Families in Korea: Current Status and Policy Measures conducted by the Minister of Health & Welfare in 2006.
This paper used hierarchical logistic regression analysis method based upon a modified Andersen behavioral model which categorized independent variables in need, enabling, and predisposing domains. The study found both the need of service users toward integration service and enabling factors were much more significantly explainable compared to predisposing factors. Thus, immigrant wives accessed integration service when having needs toward Korean culture and conflicts with their husbands. Also, they used the service when meeting financial difficulty and insufficient social networks in Korea. However, such utilization pattern of integration service among immigrant wives was different from their ethnic backgrounds.
These findings suggested that the government should conduct need assessment research as a prerequisite condition for service provision. Additionally, the government needs to develop mandatory Korean language class, as well as encouraging compulsory counselling for their families. More effort needs to be done on promoting advertisement activities so that the immigrant wives have more accessibility to immigrant services. As for the service organizations in the front line, social workers need to consider flexible service provision according to ethnic backgrounds. It is believed that the suggestions encourage immigrant wives to access integration service; moreover, the Korean societies' uncertainty related to integration of these women is reduced via the improved accessibility to integration service.

Full paper download: 3.2.2 MinChul Hwang.pdf