The Welfare State and Life Transitions
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The Welfare State and Life Transitions A European Perspective

A European Perspective

Edited by Dominique Anxo, Gerhard Bosch and Jill Rubery

This timely book reveals that new life courses are found to require more, and not less welfare support, but only Sweden has developed an active life course approach and only three more could be considered supportive, in at least some life stages. For the remainder, policies were at best limited or, in Italy’s case, passive. The contributors reveal that the neglect of changing needs is leading to greater reliance on the family and the labour market, just as these support structures are becoming more unpredictable and more unequal. They argue that alongside these new class inequalities, new forms of inter-generational inequality are also emerging, particularly in pension provision.
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Chapter 9: Life Stage Transitions and the Still-Critical Role of the Family in Greece

Maria Karamessini


9. Life stage transitions and the stillcritical role of the family in Greece Maria Karamessini INTRODUCTION The Greek social model of the post-war decades can be seen as a variant of what has been defined in comparative research literature as the Southern European social model (Ferrera 1996; Petmesidou 1996; Mingione 2002 and Karamessini 2008a). Until the mid 1970s the Greek model was characterized by ● ● ● ● ● High rates of self-employment and rural employment and incomplete proletarianization of the working class; Pronounced labour market segmentation due to (a) large discrepancies in formal employment protection and social security rights between the public and private sector as well as between white- and blue-collar employees, (b) direct wage discrimination against women workers in the private sector, that is lower wage rates for the same work, and (c) widespread informal work; General orientation of secondary education, underdevelopment of technical education and vocational training, and elitist higher education; Underdevelopment of the welfare state and heavy reliance on the extended family for protection against risks, and on its female members for the provision of care; Strong male-bias in the social protection system, gaps in social security coverage, residual unemployment insurance and social assistance, highly fragmented and inadequate healthcare, total lack of social care services. During the same period the life course employment patterns of the labour force differed greatly by sex, educational level and sector of employment. Irrespective of educational attainment and sector of employment, men had continuous employment patterns. Their legal retirement 257 258 The welfare state and...

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