A Relationship in Crisis
Edited by Luigi Burroni, Maarten Keune and Guglielmo Meardi
Chapter 4: Gender, Family and the Labour Market in Post-industrial Societies: A New Social Compromise?
4. Gender, family and the labour market in post-industrial societies: A new social compromise? Teresa Jurado-Guerrero, María José González López and Manuela Naldini INTRODUCTION This chapter draws from Crouch’s work on Social Change in Western Europe (1999), with regard to the coming of the post-industrial society and the possibilities for European social ‘convergence’. Using a historical framework from the mid-1960s and mid-1990s, Crouch masterfully described the transformation of social institutions and social action. His starting point was the description of a ‘mid-century social compromise’ in which industrialism, capitalism, liberalism and citizenship achieved a distinctive balance in western Europe after World War II. He envisioned that transformations in gender relations were crucial for understanding the evolution of this ‘social compromise’. In the period of the ‘mid-century social compromise’, employment and family were clearly separated spheres, which resulted in a segregation of roles between men (who were all in the labour market) and women (who were mainly in domestic and caring work), such that the male-breadwinner family was one of the social pillars of Fordist capitalism. Today this ‘compromise’ has been severely modified. The malebreadwinner family model no longer forms the social basis of current European capitalist societies, since this family type represents only a minority of families with dependent children throughout the region. In northern and eastern Europe, as well as Portugal, dual-full-time earner families have become the norm, while in western, central and Mediterranean Europe, one-and-half earner together with dual-full-time earner families are the majority among young...
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