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Religion and Welfare in EuropeGendered and Minority Perspectives$
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Lina Molokotos-Liederman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447318972

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447318972.001.0001

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The intersections of state, family and church in Italy and Greece

The intersections of state, family and church in Italy and Greece

(p.107) Six The intersections of state, family and church in Italy and Greece
Religion and Welfare in Europe

Margarita Markoviti

Lina Molokotos-Liederman

Policy Press

This chapter discusses the fragile organisation of welfare in southern Europe, with Italy and Greece as examples. In the Mediterranean countries, it is the idea of ‘familism’ that best captures a system where the family—more especially women—is the basic unit of care for dependent family members, migrants, and refugees. Although a state welfare system does exist, it is essentially a stopgap when the family is no longer able to cope with the demands of a particular situation. The religious majorities, in this case the Catholic Church in Italy and the Greek Orthodox Church in Greece, have different approaches to social care. In both cases, church organisations participate locally in order to reduce poverty and exclusion. The Greek tradition has, however, resulted in a much weaker civil society in terms of ‘voice’. In Italy, Caritas is involved both in local activities and in social advocacy work, alongside other social movements in support of migrants.

Keywords:   Italy, Greece, familism, migrants, refugees, state welfare system, Catholic Church, Greek Orthodox Church, social care, Caritas

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