Manuela Naldini

Policies and practices: gender boundaries of the care

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Social Policy; Childcare; Elderly Care; Family Changes.

The article focuses on policies and practices for combining work and care in the Italian case. First, it illustrates the changes and the continuities in social policies for both working parents, in the case of childcare, and adult-children, in the case of elderly care. Second, the differences between childcare and elderly care strategies are analysed on the basis of a qualitative study carried out in Italy on working parents and on working care-givers responsible for one or more dependent elderly parents. The study sheds light on the gender division of childcare and care of the elderly at both the institutional level (the laws, social and care policy, immigration policy, etc.) and the cultural level. At the practical level, family strategies show the extensive use made of private care- workers for frail elderly relatives, and the heavy reliance on the «extended» family and inter-generational help for childcare. The results indicate how and with which implications care policies and care practices are deeply gender-based. The conditions and mechanisms that support these results are discussed.

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