1st Edition

Child Care Policy at the Crossroads Gender and Welfare State Restructuring

Edited By Sonya Michel, Rianne Mahon Copyright 2002
    360 Pages
    by Routledge

    360 Pages
    by Routledge

    Whether childcare is seen as part of society's educational policy, welfare policy, or employment policy affects not only its form and content but also its public image. The contributors in this volume use current polices for the care of infants and preschool children to analyze debates and track the emergence of new state welfare practices across a variety of social and political configurations-and offer some conclusions about which methods work the best.

    Introduction: Gender and Welfare State Restructuring: Through the Lens of Child Care, Rianne Mahon I. The Consequences of Weak Feminism 1. Gender and Generation: Japanese Child Care and the Demographic Crisis, Ito Peng 2. The Value of an Educational Emphasis: Child Care and Restructuring in Spain since 1975, Celia Valiente 3. Ideology, Economics and the Politics of Child Care in Poland before and After the Transition, Jacqueline Heinen II. The Power of Choice 4. Australia: Child Care and State-Centered Feminism in a Liberal Welfare Regime, Deborah Brennan 5. The Illusion of Free Choice: Ideals of Care and Child Care Policy in the Flemish and Dutch Welfare States, Monique Kremer 6. Does Anyone Have a Libre Choix?: Subversive Liberalism and the Politics of French Child Care Policy, Kimberly Morgan III. The Impact of Neoliberalism 7. Modernization and Welfare-State Restructuring in Italy: The Impact on Child Care, Vincent Della Sala 8. Dual-Earner Families Caught in a Liberal Welfare Regime? The Politics of Child Care Policy in Canada, Rianne Mahon and Susan Phillips 9. Child Care in Britain, or, How Do You Restructure Nothing?, Vicky Randall 10. More Can Be Less: Child Care and Welfare Reform in the United Stated, Denise Urias Levy and Sonya Michel IV. Preserving/Creating Universalism 11. Danish Child Care Policy: Continuity Rather than Radical Change, Anette Borchorst 12. Alive and Fairly Well: Welfare State Restructuring and Child Care in Sweden, Christina Berqvist and Anita Nyberg 13. Against the Current: Child Care and Family Policy in Quebec, Jane Jenson Afterword, Sonya Michel Notes On Contributors Index


    Sonya Michel is Associate Professor of History and the Director of Women's Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is the author or editor of seven books including: Children's Interests/Mother's Rights and Mothers of a New World. Rianne Mahon is Professor of Public Administration and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies at Carleton University.

    "In this excellent collection edited by two of the foremost scholars working in the area of gender, politics, and states, we see the diversity in how countries respond to the pressing problems of caring for children in an era when women increasingly want to and have to work for pay, while states simultaneously face new political and fiscal pressures. The authors engage insightfully with both theoretical and practical issues emerging from this key arena of gender politics and policy." -- Ann Shola Orloff, Professor of Sociology, Gender Studies and Political Science, Northwestern University
    "A new perspective on the now conventional wisdom that welfare states must sacrifice equality to achieve fiscal balance. This book should be key reading for those who want a more nuanced and deeper understanding of the welfare state crisis, one that looks at the role of the family, together with evolving state policy, and private, market solutions." -- Susan M. Christopherson, Professor of City and Regional Planning, Cornell University
    "This sophisticated feminist volume highlights the importance of applying a gender lens to comparative welfare state studies. The well-researched and highly informative case studies highlight the challenges for child care provision posed by economic restructuring, the decline of the male breadwinner family, and feminist activism in 13 nations. It convincingly argues that in addition to benefiting children, and regardless of a country's welfare state ideology, quality childcare services can also ease the crisis of care, promote full employment and advance gender inequality. A must read for those concerned about children, gendered politics, and the future of the welfare state." -- Mimi Abramovitz, Professor of Social Work and Social Welfare Policy, Hunter College, City University of New York
    "Each chapter is in its own way masterful...This volume does an outstanding job of laying out the contours of domestic debate over child care...It gives us a clearer picture of the odds against which women in these countries have managed to find a place in the labor market for themselves." -- Political Science Quarterly