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A Mysterious European Threesome: Work-care Regimes, Policies and Gender

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Author(s): Anália Torres | Bernardo Coelho | Inês Cardoso | Rui Brites

Journal: RIMCIS : International and Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Sciences
ISSN 2014-3680

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 31;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: work | family | gender | workcare arrangements | workcare policies

ABSTRACT
Arguing that European family lives are affected by many societal factors, this article discusses the interplay between three sets of phenomena: the management of work and care responsibilities, workcarepolicies and regimes, and gender order within the family context. Based on discussions about orientations to work and care, we compare European countries and analyze regularities and singularities among them. Identifying and assessing the interplay between structural, institutional and cultural determinants of orientations we try to explain country diversity mobilizing data from the European Social Survey (rounds 2002, 2004 and 2006) and data from Eurobarometer 2003.The paper is organized around three analytical axes. First, we nalyze how work and family orientations are perceived by the Europeans. Secondly, we assess different European political policies regarding work and care arrangements, the outcome being a proposal for a workcare political typology. And finally we discuss the connectionsbetween those policies and the production or reproduction of gender order within the family. We conclude that in countries with more egalitarian gender values and policies targeted at workcarearrangements, individuals experience less workfamily conflict. Conversely, in countries with more traditional gender values and restricted or disadvantaged policies we found more familyworkconflict. But institutional constraints don’t act alone: orientations to work and care differ according to age, education, family forms and employment status.
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