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The study analyses inter-household supporting networks among impoverished Roma and non-Roma households. The author concentrates on one dimension of relationships: what material and non-material relationships support the subsistence of poor households. Due to the datasets in reach-characteristics of supporting relationships of the total population, the circumstances of similarly impoverished Roma and non-Roma people may be compared. The most remarkable result of the research is that non-Roma poor households are significantly richer in their supporting network than Roma ones. Moreover, the characteristics of supporting inter-household networks of the Roma depend largely on their regional location as well as on ethnic identity, history and the traditions of inter-ethnic relations of the given region. As a conclusion the author formulates further research questions, the analyses of which may lead closer to the understanding of the diversity and different subsistence strategies of the population categorized as Roma.
People usually think about age as an objective data indicated in their official documents. However, there is a subjective side to it: the age we associate to an individual’s life-cycle – youth, middle age, and old age – depends on the social-economic context we live in. At the same time an individuals’ perceptions about age become elements of demographic trends, as individual decisions about major life events are influenced by perceptions about the ideal age of these event, i.e., which age is ideal to move from the parental home, start a relationship, give birth to the first child or retire from work. These very personal decisions are greatly influenced by the expectations or even norms posed by the broader society and the narrower community we live in. Social norms associated with age may also change in accordance with more general developments in medical science, expansion of education or policy areas related, for example, to childcare services or retirement. In our paper we examine perceptions about the lifecycle and timing of life and their respective changes in a European comparison. The analysis will use data from the Timing of Life questionnaire module of the European Social Survey (ESS) and compare data from Round 4 in 2006 and Round 9 in 2018. Our analysis triangulates the perception of the timing of life, demographic characteristics of societies and the policy context. Our analysis found that perceptions about ages associated to the lifecycle and major life events have shifted: in all respects people tend to associate a later age to these. The most prominent changes happened in societies of Central East Europe with regard to ages associated with the ideal and latest age of childbearing. There is a slow but explicit convergence of perceptions about age in post-communist countries in Eastern Europe with more long-time democracies in Western Europe. The changes are fuelled primarily by young people’s significantly different perceptions compared with the middle-aged and elderly. The trend of later ages seen as an ideal for key life events especially that of childbearing, is an important driver of further in the aging of European societies.
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