The Welfare State and Life Transitions
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The Welfare State and Life Transitions

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 10: The Uncertain Path from the Mediterranean Welfare Model in Spain

Fausto Miguélez and Albert Recio


Fausto Miguélez and Albert Recio1 FROM THE MEDITERRANEAN MODEL TO A SOCIAL MODEL IN TRANSITION In the last 30 years in Spain significant changes have occurred in the range and form of those institutions that both regulate and support the life course of individuals, notably the family, the social protection system and the labour market. Spain traditionally has been regarded as an example of the Mediterranean welfare regime (Ferrera 1995, 1996; Petmesidou 1996), whose main characteristic was a strong gender differentiation that affected social life as a whole. In employment terms, this involved the predominance of the breadwinner–housewife model, with low participation rates for women in the labour market (with the exception of some industrial regions such as Catalonia). In reproductive terms, it was reflected in a traditional division of labour where women worked predominantly at home and the vast majority of social help was provided within the family. In other words, there was little development of public services and families (that is their female members) were the almost exclusive source of life care outside of the health services. The low level of public services also affected the educational and vocational training systems. In fact, Spain did not have a unified educational system until 1970. Until then, for the majority, school life was limited to primary education, whereas secondary and higher education were considered to be for the training of elites. Secondary education was mainly carried out by private schools, most of them linked to the Catholic church....

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