Social suffering, 'lifeworlds' and agency of social assistance beneficiaries in Luxembourg

Project Details


The fight against the growing at-risk-of-poverty and socially excluded populations in the EU Member States is being led by social investment policies aimed at fostering social inclusion through active labour market policies. Within this framework, Luxembourg has recently reformed its guaranteed minimum income scheme by strengthening the dimension of activation of beneficiaries towards the labour market.
This research focuses on the social suffering that ‘activated’ social inclusion income recipients experience in their daily lives and how it affects their social
inclusion process. Based on observations made in previous research, it was assumed that social suffering is a significant underlying component of the
social exclusion process and presents a substantial challenge for populations receiving social assistance in order to reintegrate into the labour market and
be socially included.
The research will provide a comprehensive analysis of this empirically understudied phenomenon in order to better understand the constitution of social
suffering throughout the course of social assistance beneficiaries’ lives and how it is linked to institutional or individual causes. Second, analyses of
beneficiaries’ 'lifeworlds' will provide insight into the challenges of that they face in their daily lives, the forms of social suffering linked to these challenges,
and how social suffering affects their agency. Third, the research examines how social suffering could hinder the activation process, notably the acquisition
of new skills to increase beneficiaries’ chances of professional integration and their active participation in the life phase transition towards social inclusion.
This study uses qualitative research methodologies, which utilises individuals’ subjective points of view for explaining social phenomena. Data will be
collected through narrative and semi-structured interviews based on life course research and will provide a deeper understanding of social assistance
beneficiaries’ life phase transitions.
Effective start/end date15/01/2114/01/27


  • Fonds National de la Recherche-FNR


  • Social suffering
  • Social exclusion
  • Lifeworlds
  • Social assistance
  • Life phase transitions
  • Agency