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Gendering citizenship in Western EuropeNew challenges for citizenship research in a cross-national context$
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Ruth Lister

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781861346940

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861346940.001.0001

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Gendered citizenship: the care of young children

Gendered citizenship: the care of young children

(p.109) Four Gendered citizenship: the care of young children
Gendering citizenship in Western Europe

Lister Ruth

Williams Fiona

Anttonen Anneli

Bussemaker Jet

Gerhard Ute

Heinen Jacqueline

Johansson Stina

Leira Arnlaug

Siim Birte

Tobio Constanza

Gavanas Anna

Policy Press

This chapter reviews the central theoretical perspectives on childcare, gender, and social citizenship, and childcare as a social right of parents. It then discusses the main components of the childcare policy packages of the nine European welfare states, and parents' take-up and use of the childcare-related rights available. The chapter returns to the development of childcare-related social rights and their importance for the gendered differentiation of access to social and economic citizenship. It is clear that childcare is increasingly ‘going public’ in all Western European countries. Childcare policies may serve to familise or defamilise childcare and to commodify or decommodify the labour of the parents. The chapter explains the three sets of childcare-related policy measures: (1) leave arrangements for parents, (2) state-subsidised/approved childcare-service provision for children under school age, and (3) cash benefits for childcare. The gendering of citizenship is related to the renegotiation and redistribution of childcare responsibilities.

Keywords:   gendered citizenship, young children, social citizenship, economic citizenship, social right, European welfare states, childcare policies, leave arrangements, childcare service, cash benefits

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