This article explores tradeoffs reflecting interaction effects between socioeconomic class and different types of family policies on gender inequalities in terms of agency and economic inequality in eighteen Organization for Economic and Cultural Development countries. We identify multiple dimensions in family policies, reflecting the extent to which legislation involves claim rights supporting mothers' paid work or supporting traditional homemaking. We use constellations of multidimensional policies in combination with multilevel analysis to examine effects on class selectivity of women into employment and glass ceilings with respect to women's access to top wages and managerial positions. Our results indicate that while major negative family policy effects for women with tertiary education are difficult to find in countries with well-developed policies supporting women's employment and work-family reconciliation, family policies clearly differ in the extent to which they improve opportunities for women without university education.
Analyses regularly feature claims that European welfare states are in the process of creating an adult worker model. The theoretical and empirical basis of this argument is examined here by looking first at the conceptual foundations of the adult worker model formulation and then at the extent to which social policy reform in western Europe fits with the argument. It is suggested that the adult worker formulation is under-specified. A framework incorporating four dimensions—the treatment of individuals vis-à-vis their family role and status for the purposes of social rights, the treatment of care, the treatment of the family as a social institution, and the extent to which gender inequality is problematized—is developed and then applied. The empirical analysis reveals a strong move towards individualization as social policy promotes and valorizes individual agency and self-sufficiency and shifts some childcare from the family. Yet evidence is also found of continued (albeit changed) familism. Rather than an unequivocal move to an individualized worker model then, a dual earner, gender-specialized, family arrangement is being promoted. The latter is the middle way between the old dependencies and the new "independence." This makes for complexity and even ambiguity in policy, a manifestation of which is that reform within countries involves concurrent moves in several directions.
Work in the cultural and creative fields is marked by stark and growing inequalities relating to gender, class, and race/ethnicity. Yet, the same industries are also characterised by an ethos that celebrates openness, egalitarianism, and meritocracy. This paper explores this paradox, focusing in particular on gender inequalities. It argues that there is a need to move beyond the standard conventional explanations for women’s under-representation within the creative workforce, which point to female childbearing and childcare as central. Whilst not disputing the significance of motherhood to women’s career trajectories, the paper suggests that the repeated focus on maternity is problematic and may close down other areas of potential investigation and critique. The paper suggests that three alternative foci would repay attention in understanding inequalities in the CCI. First, the new, mobile, subtle, and revitalised forms of sexism in circulation urgently require further examination. Secondly, the power of the dominant post feminist sensibility which, in suggesting that “all the battles have been won,” renders inequality increasingly difficult to voice or speak about, demands critique. Thirdly, the new forms of labouring subjectivity required to survive in the field of cultural work may themselves be contributing to the inequalities in the field, by favouring an entrepreneurial individualistic mode that disavows structural power relations. These three aspects of life in the field of cultural work merit further attention and suggest that gender inequality has a variety of different causes, not all located in women’s childbearing abilities. Moreover, the paper argues that the very myth of egalitarianism at work in the CCI may itself be a key mechanism through which inequality is reproduced.
This paper surveys the emergence, diffusion, merits, and critics of social investment as a distinctive welfare policy paradigm. After revisiting its intellectual roots, the article subsequently develops a multidimensional life-course taxonomy of three complementary social investment functions: (i) easing the "flow" of contemporary labor-market and life-course transitions; (ii) raising the quality of the "stock" of human capital and capabilities; and (iii) maintaining strong minimum-income universal safety nets as social protection and economic stabilization "buffers". The article then tries to explain why the establishment of the social investment paradigm has unfolded in a remarkably piecemeal, but cumulatively robust, fashion over the past two decades in spite widespread skepticism in the political science literature. An open question, in conclusion, remains whether the social investment paradigm can withstand the E(M)U fiscal austerity backlash that emerged from the sovereign debt crisis in 2010.
Mothers employment and earnings partly depend on social policies and cultural norms supporting womens paid and unpaid work. Previous research suggests that workfamily policies are deeply shaped by their cultural context. We examine country variation in the associations between motherhood and earnings, in cultural attitudes surrounding womens employment, and in childcare and parental leave policies. We model how cultural attitudes moderate the impact of policies on womens earnings across countries. Parental leaves and public childcare are associated with higher earnings for mothers when cultural support for maternal employment is high, but have less positive or even negative relationships with earnings where cultural attitudes support the male breadwinner/female caregiver model.
Mothers’ employment and earnings partly depend on social policies and cultural norms supporting women’s paid and unpaid work. Previous research suggests that work–family policies are deeply shaped by their cultural context. We examine country variation in the associations between motherhood and earnings, in cultural attitudes surrounding women’s employment, and in child-care and parental leave policies. We model how cultural attitudes moderate the impact of policies on women’s earnings across countries. Parental leaves and public childcare are associated with higher earnings for mothers when cultural support for maternal employment is high, but have less positive or even negative relationships with earnings where cultural attitudes support the male breadwinner/female caregiver model.
In this article, we discuss a case study that deals with the care chain phenomenon and focuses on the question of how Poland and the Ukraine as sending countries and Poland as a receiving country are affected and deal with female migrant domestic workers. We look at the ways in which these women organize care replacement for their families left behind and at those families' care strategies. As public discourse in both countries is reacting to the feminization of migration in a form that specifically questions the social citizenship obligations of these women, we also look at the media portrayal of the situation of nonmigrating children. Finally, we explore how different aspects of citizenship matter in transnational care work migration movements.
Care has come to dominate much feminist research on globalized migrations and the transfer of labor from the South to the North, while the older concept of reproduction had been pushed into the background but is now becoming the subject of debates on the commodification of care in the household and changes in welfare state policies. This article argues that we could achieve a better understanding of the different modalities and trajectories of care in the reproduction of individuals, families, and communities, both of migrant and nonmigrant populations by articulating the diverse circuits of migration, in particular that of labor and the family. In doing this, I go back to the earlier North American writing on racialized minorities and migrants and stratified social reproduction. I also explore insights from current Asian studies of gendered circuits of migration connecting labor and marriage migrations as well as the notion of global householding that highlights the gender politics of social reproduction operating within and beyond households in institutional and welfare architectures. In contrast to Asia, there has relatively been little exploration in European studies of the articulation of labor and family migrations through the lens of social reproduction. However, connecting the different types of migration enables us to achieve a more complex understanding of care trajectories and their contribution to social reproduction.
The social investment perspective is replacing standard neoliberalism in Latin America as well as Europe. With it come ideas about social citizenship that reconfigure the citizenship regimes of the three regions. The responsibility mix is equilibrated to give a greater role for the state, although as investor rather than spender; access to citizenship rights shifts to incorporate the excluded and marginalized; and governance practices alter to emphasize decentralization to the local and the community. The main idea of the social investment perspective is that the future must be assured by investing in children and ending the intergenerational transmission of disadvantage. With this set of child-centered policy ideas, the equality claims of adult women and attention to their needs are sidelined in favor of those of children, including girls.
Work/family reconciliation policies have increasingly become part of employment-led social policy at both EU and Member State levels. Given this trend, we expected to see more attention to policies that unequivocally promote women's employment: childcare provision and the promotion of flexible working, together with reform of leaves that permit labour market exit in order to care for children. Our examination of the nature of change in policy goals and instruments finds that developments have not been this straightforward, and that they can be related to existing (and differing) patterns of labour market behaviour and attitudes towards parental involvement in work and care.