Quality of Life As Outcome of Interlocking Family and Work Trajectories. an Overview of Romanian Households in Precarious Prosperity

Monday, 11 July 2016: 11:00
Location: Hörsaal 12 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Ionela VLASE, Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Romania
Ana Maria PREOTEASA, Research Institute for Quality of Life, Romania
This paper addresses the topic of quality of life as framed by Romanian households whose members are living close to poverty threshold, while enjoying some (scarce) resources and opportunities to avoid slipping into poverty. Their quality of life is seen as the result of biographical decision-making and the shape of the ensuing life trajectories in the fields of family and employment. Gender and age cohort appear to play an important role in structuring these life trajectories that often lead to discontinuous employment histories especially for women, and late transitions to work and marital unions for men belonging to younger age cohorts. Drawing on the analysis of 50 interviews with household members from both rural and urban regions of Romania (25 in each community), the authors point to the opportunity of considering the quality of life as an outcome of past experiences and individuals’ biographical work, rather than as a snapshot evaluation of the present status of research participants. The data stem from a comparative research undertaken within the frame of a Joint Romanian-Swiss research programme, grant no IZERZ0_141975.