Working Mothers and the Welfare State Essay

Working Mothers and the Welfare State Essay

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"How can we explain the differences in work-family policies in the different welfare states?”

Kimberly Morgan's research approach is policy centred and focuses in particular on gendered polices. In this book, with a historical comparative approach, she tries to explain how “both religious practice and religious conflict are key in the formation of the welfare state”. She emphasizes the relationship between “religion as a political force, gender and familial ideologies, the constellation of political parties and the nature of partisan competition, women's movements, policy legacies, and social structural changes” . As stressed out in the first pages: “this book examines and explain patterns of work-family policies in Sweden, France, the Netherlands and the United States, giving particular attention to child care policy but also looking at parental leave and flexible work-time arrangements. The analysis focuses on how religion has influenced on this dimension of the welfare state.”

As Morgan underlines, gender differences in social policies are explained by women’s movements, by the pressures generated by social structural changes on the welfare state and by ideologies. Given that organized religion is an important source of ideology, we can then say that religion has had a fundamental role in the shaping of the relationship between state, family and gender. In fact organized religions “have sought to maintain their position as the dominant arbiters of community values and morality with giving a great attention over child and family affairs.” An example of religious influence on public welfare policies is the maintenance of the status quo perpetuated by the Christian democracy’s party.

The temporal dimension of the welfa...


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...by Kimberly J. Morgan, Stanford University Press, 2006

• Working Mothers and the Welfare State by Kimberly J. Morgan
Review by: Jason Beckfield Social Forces, Vol. 86, No. 2 (Dec., 2007), pp. 867-869 Published by: Oxford University Press

• Miriam Cohen. (2009) Working Mothers and the Welfare State: Religion and the
Politics of Work-Family Policies in Western Europe and the United States, by Kimberly J. Morgan,
Labor History, 50:3, 382-383, DOI: 10.1080/00236560903021649

• Ingela K. Naumann. Working Mothers and the Welfare State: Religion and the
Politics of Work-Family Policies in Western Europe and the United States, by Kimberly J. Morgan,
Journal of European Social Policy DOI: 10.1177/09589287070170030602 2007 17: 286

• Lewis, Jane. Gender and the development of welfare regimes Journal of European Social Policy

, 1992





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