"Family happiness, what is it?" A contribution of LIVES researchers

"Family happiness, what is it?" A contribution of LIVES researchers

Pasqualina Perrig-Chiello and François Höpflinger, members of the NCCR LIVES, publish a book in German with Christof Kübler and Andreas Spillmann, published by the Neue Zürcher Zeitung.

What does family happiness mean? 3000 visitors to the exhibition "Families, everything continues as it never was" had answered this question in 2009 at the Swiss National Museum. For further reflection, the authors make a scientific contribution to these points of view and establish a current status of the family. They describe the development from a patriarchal institution to a community based on affection, and expose the current state of research on marital and family happiness. This review examines the general conditions of happiness in family life in the different phases of life. Children’s drawings and answers to questions from the public exhibition illustrate the book.


LIVES team creates a social network to communicate with young people

LIVES team creates a social network to communicate with young people

The project "Experiences", conducted by researchers at the Swiss National Center for Competence in Research LIVES, is concerned with problems of transition to work by the 15-30 years old people. A colorful homemade kind of Facebook will follow the life course of participants in this study.

Would you be friend with a bird-legged crab, a little boy who talks to his stuffed tiger, or simply with a wise academic? "Not sure", will probably answer the young people contacted by the Project Experiences. It is therefore a real challenge that the five representatives of a research team of NCCR LIVES - Overcoming vulnerability, life course perspectives – have set by creating www.ProjetExperiences.ch, a new social network whose members may appear under the most unusual avatars.

Veronica Eicher took the face of Calvin, the little boy of Calvin & Hobbes comic strip. This 31 years old young researcher admits eclectic tastes such as sewing and the music of the Killers. From April 30 to May 4, 2012, she and her colleagues will try to convince 240 young people in career orientation or preformation at the Center for orientation and professional training (COFOP) in Lausanne to create their own profile on the new online club.

"Correct preconceived ideas on Youth"

The difference with Facebook? Here everything that is said will be used for scientific purposes, in order to "correct the preconceived ideas on youth", the researchers explain. They want to understand what particular resources are mobilized by young people to address their problems and why some are doing better or worse than others in accessing training and work.

For this, the team will start by distributing a questionnaire of eight pages to COFOP classes, in order to identify different dimensions of these teenagers’ life: what group identity do they feel part of, what is their degree of satisfaction and well-being, and on the contrary what are their reasons for concern or stress, what are their plans and their means to achieve them.

The same type of questionnaire will also be sent to a thousand apprentices and young employees of the City of Lausanne under the age of 30 years. These initial data will give an overview of the current situation of a representative sample of youth.

Share concerns and successes

All participants will receive the proposal to open an account on www.ProjetExperiences.ch, so that they can report their experiences over time related to the workplace, share their concerns and successes. The team hopes that discussion groups will be formed, and that the network will be joined by other young people from the French speaking cantons. These testimonies will allow researchers to analyze the evolution of each and retain key events over a period of two to three years, information essential to the study of life course.

Created with the content management system Wordpress and the help of staff of the Computer Centre of the University of Lausanne, this website provides an innovative way to conduct social science research. Mouna Bakouri, a doctoral student in the project who has been heavily involved in its design with another doctoral Student, Marlène Barbosa, explains that "this type of tool is known to unite people in the voluntary and activist circles. In our case, it seemed appropriate to the age of the population of interest, and to our mixed methods, with quantitative and qualitative analyzes. The advantage for users is that the knowledge shared on the network cannot be used commercially."

The team also plans to conduct face to face interviews. “We will meet those who are voluntary and who match a certain profile, says Christian Staerklé, professor of social psychology and project leader. We will seek for example those who have an ascending life course, who succeed in facing their problems and getting rid of them. What interests us is the impact of the relational regulations, the support from family and friends, and the impact of political regulations, concerning those engaged in a collective project as an association or a civic movement.” This qualitative part will allow researchers to better understand certain life courses… and participants to find out who was hidden behind the louse with Martian antennas.


2 public lectures as part of the LIVES doctoral program

The University of Geneva will host two speakers on 19 and 26 April 2012: Raffaela Piccaretta, researcher in statistics at the University of Bocconi (IT), and Cees Elzinga, professor of sociology at the Free University of Amsterdam (NL).

The LIVES Doctoral Program organizes two public lectures in English at Uni Mail, Room M-S130, bd. du Pont d'Arve 40 in Geneva, as part of its module of sequential data analysis.

  • The conference on Thursday, March 19th at 16:00 by Raffaella Piccaretta, specialized in statistical analysis, is entitled "A divisive clustering tree approach for sequence data".
  • The conference on Thursday, April 26th at 13:30 by prof. Cees Elzinga, also an expert in methodology, focus on "Intergenerational Transfer of demography patterns".

LIVES supports two conferences on the health of older workers

Organized among others by Jean-Marie Le Goff, advanced researcher at the Swiss National Center for Competence in Research LIVES, the afternoon of April 19, 2012 will host Anne-Francoise Molinié, demographer, and Brigitta Danuser, professor of occupational medicine.

The Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lausanne, will host two speakers on Thursday, April 19, 2012 from 2 PM to 6 PM in coffee Anthropos, Amphipôle building of the University of Lausanne, for half a day devoted to "Multidisciplinary Perspectives at the end professional career. "

This event is organized by Jean-Marie Le Goff, researcher at 3 of NCCR LIVES' projects (IP1, IP2, IP15) in collaboration with René Knüsel, Dean of the Faculty of Social and Political Science, and Beatrice Steiner, Senior Researcher at the Laboratory for Analysis of Social Policy, Health and Development, University of Lausanne (UNIL).

Anne-Francoise Molinié, demographer, is associate director of the Research Unit "Ages and Work" at the Centre for Research and Studies on the age and people at work (CREAPT), Noiy-le-Grand (France) . Her lecture is titled "Age, experience and health confronted to working conditions", and will develop the concept of strain at work and its measurement in statistical surveys.

Brigitta Danuser is full professor for occupational medicine at the 
University of Lausanne and director of the Institute for Word and Health. She will speak on "Aging at Work in Switzerland". Each of these lectures will be followed by a debate. They are part of the project "Living together under uncertainty" (Anthropos Foundation, Foundation of the 450th UNIL).

Prof. Dario Spini, director of NCCR LIVES (photo Hugues Siegenthaler)

"Can we promote robustness in life?" A lecture by Prof. Dario Spini

The French Section of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work at the University of Fribourg invited the director of the NCCR LIVES on April 18, 2012, as part of a series of public lectures on the theme of vulnerability.

Based on examples from family life and health in the very old age, Prof. Dario Spini, director of the Swiss National Center for Competence in Research LIVES, will develop lines of thought on the dynamics of vulnerability (and robustness) during life. What is the part of the individual, of the the social and of the political action in the life course? What are the principles that need our attention in order for an individual to go through life events and stress in a functional way?

The study of life course provides an interdisciplinary approach to the development of the individual in society. The aim of the NCCR LIVES is that this approach be also reflected by new approaches to public policy, whose objective is to compensate the lack of resources to ensure the fundamental rights to dignity and personal development.

Cycle of public lectures at the University of Fribourg

For 20 years the French Section of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work has launched a series of public lectures. The one that was completed in May 2011 was entitled "Ethics and social sciences. Between promises and distress"; the 2012 theme will be "Vulnerability: the fragility of the social ethics of care". This new round of public lectures will analyze the overall reorganization of the relationship between, on the one hand, existential finitude, social fragility, structural insecurity and, secondly, political transformation, ethics and practice of action on / with / for others. It will question both the meaning and the significance of the articulation "concern vs. vulnerability" at the heart of contemporary societies, as well as the reconstructions that its promotion already contributes to generate in the field of social intervention.

The conferences will be held from late February to mid-May 2012, always on Wednesdays from 5 PM to 7 PM.