Families, Ageing and Social Policy

Families, Ageing and Social Policy

Intergenerational Solidarity in European Welfare States

Globalization and Welfare series

Edited by Chiara Saraceno

This important book offers valuable insights into the way in which social policies and welfare state arrangements interact with family and gender models. It presents the most up-to-date research in the field, based on a variety of national and comparative sources and using different theoretical and methodological approaches. The authors address different forms of support (care, financial, emotional) and employ a bi-directional perspective, exploring both giving and receiving across generations. They illustrate that understanding how generations interact in families helps to reformulate the way issues of intergenerational equity are discussed when addressing the redistributive impact of the welfare state through pensions and health services.

Chapter 7: The Relationship between Children and their Frail Elderly Parents in Different Care Regimes

Wolfgang Keck

Subjects: development studies, family and gender policy, social policy and sociology, ageing, comparative social policy, family and gender policy, sociology and sociological theory, welfare states


7. The relationship between children and their frail elderly parents in different care regimes Wolfgang Keck DOES DEFAMILIALISATION CROWD OUT THE FAMILY? Since the turn of the millennium, gender and intergenerational issues have increasingly been considered key aspects of the new challenges that modern welfare states now face (Esping-Andersen et al. 2002; Taylor-Gooby 2004). Family and care policies have consequently become a critical field of public intervention. In European countries, however, there are competing approaches to the relation between the state and the family in their role as providers of welfare, and thus also to the degree and patterns of defamilialisation of needs that should be promoted.1 On that account, social services gain in importance in social and policy research because they are seen as important for tackling numerous social problems, including low fertility rates, gender inequalities, and the need to reconcile paid employment and family work (Daly and Lewis 1998; Sipilä et al. 2003). In short, services relieve women, in particular, from their family engagements and give them the opportunity to participate in paid work. Employment rates will then increase, it is argued, assisted by a growing demand for formal carers in the service sector. Another line of argumentation maintains that defamilialisation alleviates social inequalities, because the early integration of children in care institutions makes childcare and education less dependent on the social position of their parents, thus providing more social justice within society. In addition, inequalities between men and women diminish, because women become more independent from...

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