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Higher Education and Long-Term Manpower Planning in Socialist Romania (1950-1975). An Empirical Study

Abstract:

This article sets to analyze the manpower planning approach in respect of the Romanian higher education system during communism. The arguments used intend to demonstrate that long-term planning, although commonly used in the context of demand economy, was not a reliable instrument in education. Archival research has outlined the connections and the variations between long-term ‘cadre’ plans and higher education outcomes, in an attempt to better assess the feasibility of manpower planning in a socialist economy. The empirical analysis confirms the theoretical approach used by Jan Sadlak in the 1980s, but also provides an additional outlook on the practical and conceptual limitations of centralized normative planning.

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Competitiveness and Research-Oriented Teaching in Romanian Universities: The Neo-Liberal Transformation of the Higher Education System

Abstract

This paper focuses on the recent neo-liberal transformation in the Romanian education system and analyzes the genealogy of a new form of academic governance that has been implemented in higher education institutions in the past decade. It examines the role quality indicators and supplementary funding have played in the gradual embedding and naturalization of neo-liberal disciplinary reforms in universities and the specific quality enhancement policies that aimed at increasing the productivity of academic workers by stimulating the competition among them. The main argument of the paper is that in order to understand the extensive academic management based on scientometrics and recurrent evaluation of academics we need to look at the structural mechanisms that have shaped higher education institutions in accordance with market rules and at the generalization of competitiveness throughout the system in the context of budget cuts and decreasing resources allocated to education.

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Deliberation within Sectors. Making the Case for Sector Mini-publics

Abstract

In this paper it will be argued that a particular type of collaborative governance, sector mini-publics, has tremendous utility for policy formulation or evaluation. Sector mini-publics can be situated between traditional mini-publics and enclave deliberation, and should be evaluated using the same criteria applied to mini-publics in general, i.e. those that select from amongst the entire population. Inclusiveness, deliberation and influence are just as important as criteria for evaluation. Drawing on three examples of sector mini-publics, each involving a particular sector (young people, people with disabilities and the elderly), the authors build their argument that sector mini-publics have proven value, and should be encouraged, as well as subjected to further research.

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‘But You Looked Smart’: Participant Observations of HIV Testing and Counseling for Young Adults

Abstract:

In recent years, a consistent increase of new HIV infections in young adult populations has been reported. One argument is that this population does not receive adequate information or support to promote healthy behavior choices. The current study provides direct evaluation of services and communication about prevention provided to young adults by trained counselors to identify critical issues that could illuminate ongoing barriers. Six clinic sites surrounding a large Midwest university were evaluated. Through participant observations and interviews, this analysis demonstrates that while the rapid HIV test has increased the opportunity for counseling to take place, numerous areas of concern still exist including access to testing, the use of judgmental language, as well as the presence of both halo and horn effect.

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Domesticating Feelings Through Short Message Service (SMS)

Abstract

Starting from the ostentatious presence of the SMS for teenagers, I attempted to identify the values of its appropriation process and to outline the trajectory of SMS within teenage culture. My argument is that the SMS develops two interpenetrating usage trajectories: an individual and a collective line, the later bearing a marked cultural logic. The relation between the object of consumption and the individual is framed by specific values of usage and regulated by cultural practices. In this article, I will present the factors that regulate the individual usage of the SMS, incorporating this form of communication in teens’ universe. Through ethnographic fieldwork in Romania, I have carried out participant observation and interviews in places that are frequented by teenagers and I have collected and analyzed more than 300 text messages, written by teenagers in daily personal journals of communication.

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Architectural Firms in Transylvania. Objective Positions and Field Positioning

Abstract

I will discuss in this article the dynamics of business groups, using the case of architects from three Transylvanian cities (Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara and Brasov with emphasis on Cluj-Napoca). The architecture companies successfully represent the current trends of company organization in dynamic contexts, generated by the market changes, where services become the most important products of large cities. Using a sample of 375 architectural companies from these cities that employ 616 persons, I outline a field model inspired by Bourdieu’s work. My argument is that the large number of actors in the architectural networks from Cluj-Napoca is explained by the different forms of educational, economic, social and politic capital mobilized to create competitive companies and to survive within an instable post-socialist economic environment. Moreover, the internal structure of network organization from Cluj-Napoca is based on the usage of different types of available capital.

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The Dimension of Normativity in Informal Social Relations

Abstract

The aim of this article is to discuss the character of regularities occurring in informal social bonds, be they friendships, romantic partnerships, competitions or rivalries. Since Simmel’s work is emblematic for the theme of social norms involved in durable informal bonds, I take his original concept of forms of association as my point of reference. The argument I propose challenges several of Simmel’s assumptions, namely his objectivist stance, his formal sociology and the autopoiesis of systems of reciprocal effects. Based on this critical rereading of Simmel, I introduce the concept of “socially constructed typical bonds” as a more dynamic and versatile alternative to the static patterns of forms of association. By bringing a subjectivist turn (inspired by Berger, Luckmann and Butler) to Simmel’s forms of association, I argue for the recognition of the blurry, diverse and contradictory understandings of the typical social bond as the ground for relational normativity.

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Interrogating spaces of and for the dead as ‘alternative space’: cemeteries, corpses and sites of Dark Tourism.

Abstract

This paper considers spaces associated with death and the dead body as social spaces with an ambiguous character. The experience of Western societies has tended to follow a path of an increased sequestration of death and the dead body over the last two centuries. Linked to this, the study of spaces associated with death, dying and bodily disposal and the dead body itself have been marginalised in most academic disciplines over this period. Such studies have therefore been simultaneously ‘alternative’ within an academic paradigm which largely failed to engage with death and involved a focus on types of spaces which have been considered marginal, liminal or ‘alternative’, such as graveyards, mortuaries, heritage tourism sites commemorating death and disaster, and the dead body itself. However, this paper traces more recent developments in society and academia which would begin to question this labelling of such studies and spaces as alternative, or at least blur the boundaries between mainstream and alternative in this context. Through considering the increased presence of death and the dead body in a range of socio-cultural, economic and political contexts we argue that both studies of, and some spaces of, death, dying and disposal are becoming less ‘alternative’ but remain highly ambiguous nonetheless. This argument is addressed through a specific focus on three key interlinked spaces: cemeteries, corpses and sites of dark tourism.

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Mapping Deprivation in Rural Areas from Transylvania: Reflections on a Methodological Exercise

Abstract

The aim of the present paper is to present and critically discuss the potentialities and limits of using official data (collected and reported by state-institutions) in order to shed light on consequences of uneven development and measure area deprivation in present-day Romania. Our argumentation is based on a quantitative inquiry at the level of rural communes and small-towns from three counties located in the historical region of Transylvania. It presents the reasons for choosing certain statistical indicators, the construction of composite indexes and the profiles of localities according to their values. We explore the statistical correlations between our indexes and the poverty rates measured for 2002 (CASPIS, 2004), as well as the Local Human Development Index proposed by Sandu (2011) and revised by the World Bank (2014). Unlike other poverty-mapping inquiries, our goal was not to identify compact, segregated and severely impoverished settlements, but to measure the extent of material deprivation at the level of the entire administrative unit. In this way, we refrained from seeing poverty as the problem of a socially (and sometimes spatially) marginalized settlement, and instead defined poverty as a problem of the entire local community, that should be addressed by the local community as a whole. Our data reveals that, after controlling for poverty and local resources, the share of the Roma ethnic minority is a strong statistical predictor of registered unemployment, however, it does not correlate with the frequency of granting social assistance benefits.

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What, If Anything, Is Linguistic Creativity?

. MA: MIT Press. Chomsky, N. (2003). The reasons of state. London: Penguin. Francis, E. J., & Michaelis, L. (Eds.). (2003). Mismatch. Form-Function incongruity and the architecture of grammar. Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications. Goldberg, A. (1995). Constructions: A construction grammar approach to argument structure. Chicago: Chicago University Press. Goldberg, A. (2006). Constructions at work. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Haspelmath, M. (1999). Why is grammaticalization irreversible? Linguistics, 37 (6), 1043

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