Current research projects
Ensuring Housing Needs: Challenges and Prospects in Lithuania
Project leader: dr. Jolanta Aidukaite
Duration: 2023 04 01 – 2026 03 31
Project team: dr. Kristina Senkuviene and dr. Ruta Ubareviciene.
The aim of the project is to investigate the housing needs in Lithuania through the prism of housing as a social right, including the expectations of the population and the preferences of housing policy makers. Housing need is understood as a discrepancy between existing housing and desired housing. The need for housing includes all housing estates (own housing, public / social housing, rented housing in the private market). Housing as a social right is understood as the state’s obligation to provide a decent housing to every citizen / resident, regardless of their income. However, housing is increasingly perceived as an investment and commodity, and the state’s responsibility to guarantee decent housing for everyone, regardless of income, is decreasing. Therefore, questions arise: How can we guarantee everyone’s right to a decent home? What type of housing do Lithuanian residents most need? What is the demand for social/public housing as well as private rental housing? The answers to these questions will allow us to predict long-term housing needs and find appropriate solutions to social problems in the area of housing.
Ethnic, national and transnational identities and geopolitical atitudes of third-country nationals in Lithuania in the context of the war in Ukraine
Project leader: dr. Monika Frėjutė-Rakauskienė
Duration: 2023 04 03 – 2026 03 31
No. S-MIP-23-39, Research Council Lithuania
Project partner is Vilnius University’s Institute of Asian and Transcultural Studies
Project team: dr. Monika Frėjutė-Rakauskienė (Institute of Sociology LCSS), specialist Janina Koliato (Institute of Sociology LCSS), dr. Kristina Garalytė (Institute of Asian and Transcultural Studies, VU), dr. Kristina Šliavaitė (Institute of Asian and Transcultural Studies, VU).
This project aims to research the nexus between identities (ethnic, national, transnational) and geopolitical atitudes of migrants in Lithuania from Ukraine, Belarus and India in the context of the war in Ukraine. We understand the war in Ukraine as a long-term process that began in 2014, including its causes, course and consequences that will likely span long atier the war will be over. We also view the war in Ukraine not merely as a regional, but also as a global event, creating food, energy and financial crises, restructuring the world’s geopolitical relations and directly affecting the lives and identities of people in different regions, directly or indirectly affected by war. The three groups of migrants (Ukrainians, Belarusians and Indians) were chosen for research due to their different proximity to the war and their home countries’ differing positioning with regards to the war. The research will focus on ethnically and regionally diverse groups of migrants, whose geopolitical atitudes are also likely to be significantly different and possibly even conflicting. Analyzing and comparing the narratives of migrants will allow us to understand how their identifications and geopolitical atitudes are affected by the immigration experiences in Lithuania in the context of the war in Ukraine. This will enable us to understand the points of contact and conflict among migrants in their perception of war and national belonging. The research is innovative because it explains underexplored processes of how national identities and geopolitical atitudes interact at the micro level. This research can be relevant in seeking a beter migrants’ integration into Lithuanian society.
(Not) to Become a Father: Lithuanian Men’s Procreative Behavior and Experiences of Childlessness
Head of the research team: dr. D. Stumbrys
Duration: 2022 07 01 – 2024 06 30
No. P-MIP-22-286, Research Council Lithuania
Members of the research team: dr. Gražina Rapolienė, dr. Margarita Gedvilaitė-Kordušienė, Vaida Tretjakova, dr. Lina Šumskaitė.
Topics of men’s procreative behavior and experiences of childlessness extremely rarely fall into the field of sociological research traditionally focused on women. This tendency is observed in both Lithuanian and foreign research. In Lithuania, several qualitative studies have been conducted on the topic of men’s procreative behavior and paternal identity, but they are not representative and are intended to examine only a few narrow aspects of this research field. There is a lack of data on male fertility both in Lithuania and in other countries. Data on the number and birth order of men’s biological children are not always recorded and are therefore considered inaccurate. The aim of this project is to assess men’s procreative behavior in Lithuania, identify individual, family and socio-cultural factors that determine it, and reveal subjective experiences of male childlessness. The project will use a) publicly available data of the European Social Survey (2018) to determine the population’s attitudes towards childless men; b) representative data of the Generations and Family Survey (2019), which will allow to analyze middle-generation male partnership and childbirth events, procreational desires and intentions, family gender roles; c) and the data of the qualitative study on male childlessness conducted for the first time in Lithuania, which will allow to reveal the subjective experiences of male childlessness. This study will significantly contribute to the knowledge of the phenomenon in Lithuania, as well as to the international scientific discussions. The results of the project are especially important from a practical point of view – when considering pronatalist policy measures aimed at men.
Socio-economic factors of youth life chances differentiation in Lithuania (YOUTH_CHANCE_LT)
Project leader: dr. Rūta Brazienė
Duration: 2022 04 01 – 2024 10 31
Project team: dr. Laima Okunevičiūtė Neverauskienė, dr. Arūnas Pocius, Sonata Vyšniauskienė, Justina Kraulėdaitė
Project “Socioeconomic Factors of Youth Life Chances’ Differentiation in Lithuania” is aimed at revealing the main social and economic factors, determining the differentiation of life chances of the 18-35 years old Lithuanian youth. For the implementation of the study of socio-economic factors of the differentiation of young people’s life chances, a multi-level theoretical research model is used. At the macro level, the model includes a complex analysis of structural, institutional, and cultural factors, and various economic and social indicators (GDP, unemployment rate, youth unemployment rate, etc.). At the mezzo level, the role of family and community is examined. At the micro level, the individual experiences and attitudes of young people are analysed. Expected results of the project. This scientific project will allow a comprehensive analysis of youth from the perspective of life chances, and reveal the distribution of life chances for young people in Lithuania. On the basis of the research results, the differentiation indexes of youth life at the macro level will be constructed, allowing to reveal diversity of youth life chances (in terms of age, gender, education, region, etc.). An innovative multidimensional theoretical model, integrating ideas from sociology, economics, social policy, psychology, etc. will allow revealing a complex picture of the differentiation of young people’s chances in Lithuania. The results of this research will not only reveal the differentiation of young people’s life chances but will also allow to develop youth public policy recommendations and methodology for interested parties, which would enable more complex planning, solving, and improving the situation of young people at the national and regional level. The social benefit of the knowledge gained during the research and the formulated conclusions will be revealed in the formation of more effective youth policy measures and recommendations for public administration institutions. The results of the project will contribute to the formation and development of youth research in the Eastern and Central European regions. Dissemination results of the project. It is planned to publish an article in the journal, referred in the Scopus DB, to make at least four presentations at national and international scientific conferences, and to carry out a scientific seminar-discussion on the results of the project with relevant stakeholders
Peripheral regions in Lithuania: migration and local communities
Project leader: dr. Edikas Kriaučiūnas
Duration: 2021 09 01 – 2024 03 31
Project team: dr. Donatas Burneika, dr. Rūta Ubarevičienė, dr. Viktorija Baranauskienė
The main idea of the research project is to discover the peculiarities of the impact of local social actors (various local communities and their leaders, etc.) on the development trajectories in peripheral regions in Lithuania, suffering from fast depopulation. The research is targeted to the revelation of the revelation of peripheral regions and their development trajectories. The analysis of impact of local leader and communities is the next step of the project. Though the depopulation of most peripheral rural areas of Lithuania, just like in other European countries, is inevitable, its consequences depend on the sociodemographic structure that emerges in declining regions. One of the most important factors that shape the appeal of specific peripheral regions are local communities. Revelation of these local differences is one of the tasks of the project. At present there is quite a lot of studies targeted to municipal or especially county and country levels, but little is done on the level, which is actual place of residence of people or every day space, where “everybody knows everybody”, where “face to face“ contacts are essential and quality of which actually is the most important for everyone’s life. Obviously one of the reasons of different success of different places is related to different activities of local actors and local communities first of all. Understanding the interrelation of newcomers and local communities, differently performing in quite similar general post-soviet social structures, is the second task. How local responses can withhold global and regional challenges in our societies is still uncertain. Understanding formation of communities and effective leadership is the third task. The main goal of the project is the determination of the impact of effective leadership at community level for the development trajectories of peripheral rural places in Lithuania.
Families of the past historical demography of the Lithuanian households and families in the middle of the 19th century (FAMPAST)
Project leader: prof. Aušra Maslauskaitė
Duration: 2021 04 01 – 2024 03 01
The project aims to reveal the demographic, spatial, and economic characteristics of households and families in the middle of the 19th century Lithuania. Empirically the project is based on the unique demographic historical dataset derived from the 1847 inventories collected in tsarist Russia.
The outcomes of the project will significantly contribute to the field of the historical family demography, which is still underdeveloped in Lithuania. Moreover, the empirical evidence will make the contribution to the ongoing discussion on the demographic past of the family in the Baltic countries, the links between family nuclearization and modernization.
Inventories represent a very valuable piece of the historical demographic information, as they record personal, demographic data of the household members, their marital or kin relationships with the household head, and the economic characteristics of the households. Inventories were digitalized during the implementation of the international MOSAIC project, but so far, no systematic analysis of the data has been carried out. The format of the data provides the opportunity to apply the advanced techniques of the demographic analysis and to uncover the composition of the households and families, their demographic, economic characteristics, spatial patterns of the households.
The dissemination of the project results includes the publication of the four papers (two papers in the CA/WoS indexed international journals published, one – submitted and one paper published in the Lithuanian journal indexed in the international databases). Three presentations will be made in the international scientific conferences and one in the scientific conference in Lithuania.
Digital inclusion of older people
Project leader: dr. Gražina Rapolienė
Duration: 2021-09-01 – 2023-11-30
Project team: dr. Margarita Gedvilaitė – Kordušienė, Vaida Tretjakova
The project aims to analyze the factors that encourage older people to use modern technologies (Internet, email, Skype, smartphone apps, etc.) and their subjectively perceived impact. We base our analysis on secondary quantitative data, original qualitative study, social exclusion, and social network theories. According to the data analysis from the European Social Survey, the share of older people using ICT has increased 4-fold in the last decade (2010-2020), but as the share of younger ICT users has also grown, the digital inclusion gap between generations widened. The following statistically significant factors of digital inclusion of older people were identified: age, education, place of residence, and access to the Internet at home. The main factor determining the likelihood of older people using the Internet is access to it at home. Older people who do not have this opportunity have very little chance of using the Internet. We divided the difficulties experienced by older ICT users, identified in the original qualitative study (N=45), into three groups: 1) “taming” of technology as a unique system (specific principles of operation, cursor control, touch screens, English and technical language), 2) psychological relationship with an unknown and complex subject – fear, insecurity, the shame of not knowing, experiencing one’s limitations, lack of patience, 3) changes that informants associate with age: decreased motivation to explore innovations, learning difficulties and health problems (decreased finger sensitivity, vision, memory). Comparing the barriers to the use of ICT identified in our study with the findings of other studies, the specificity of Eastern and Central European context emerges: not knowing English, ageist attitudes and possibly insufficient access to the equipment. Although most of the informants started learning to use the first computers at work, the incentives for ICT use are the awareness of the ever-increasing necessity, the will, and the stubbornness to learn alone. Users are motivated by a sense of success, self-pride, easy access to information, open communication, and the ability to cultivate or observe cultural events from home. The results of our study support the suggestion of other researchers (Martín-García et al. 2022; Hill et al. 2015) that ICT training needs to introduce the usefulness of ICT, thereby reducing the fear of technology and its perceived complexity. When starting to use technology, older people can benefit significantly from having a constant mentor or advisor they can turn to for help (often, children or grandchildren take up this role). Qualitative research data showed that informal networks, such as intergenerational family ties, are a favourable medium for older people to overcome technophobia because older people have the opportunity to ask simple questions without the embarrassment of repeating them, and a closer connection allows for the recognition of specific person-centred needs and challenges. Thus, when developing digital literacy programs, essential aspects would be personalization and contextualization (Neves, Mead 2021). Intergenerational networks (children, grandchildren, and other relatives) have the potential to encourage and motivate older people to use technology, but generational differences can pose challenges in passing on skills. Therefore, the development of digital literacy programs that would help the younger generation to transfer knowledge more easily is relevant. These measures would require more precise wording to replace the jargon used in this field. The development of targeted measures for specific groups of older people (e.g. childless, older people living alone, etc.) would be necessary for promoting greater digital inclusion. Three articles in English have been prepared based on the research conducted, and three presentations were given at international events (Intermediate ESA Aging Network and Socio-Gerontechnological Network Conferences). Additionally, two more peer-reviewed articles, two verbal conference presentations, and three articles for media are planned. The results of this study will be helpful for social policymakers and non-governmental organizations, reducing the digital and social exclusion of older people.
Eurostudent-8 – national research
Project leaders: dr. Liutauras Labanauskas (untill 2023 02 28), dr. Rūta Brazienė (since 2023 03 01)
National research in the framework of international project EUROSTUDENT-8
Ministry of Education, Science and Sport of the Republic of Lithuania
The research aims to evaluate the socio-economic situation of Lithuanian students in higher education and to provide recommendations for enhancing it.