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Gender, Class and Citizenship in the Comparative Analysis of Welfare State Regimes: Theoretical and Methodological Issues

Julia S. O'Connor
The British Journal of Sociology
Vol. 44, No. 3 (Sep., 1993), pp. 501-518
DOI: 10.2307/591814
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/591814
Page Count: 18
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Gender, Class and Citizenship in the Comparative Analysis of Welfare State Regimes: Theoretical and Methodological Issues
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Abstract

The objective of this paper is to integrate class, citizenship and gender in a comparative approach to the analysis of welfare state regimes. I argue that the incorporation of gender into the analysis entails a reassessment of the conventional conception of citizenship, a broadening of conventional definitions of political mobilization and participation and a modification of the welfare state regime concept used in the mobilization of power resources research approach. Furthermore, the concept of de-commodification or insulation from the pressures of the labour market, which is central to the analysis of welfare state regimes, must be supplemented by the concept of personal autonomy or insulation from personal and/or public dependence. To date comparative research has concentrated on the relationship between the labour market and the state with little attention to the family aspect of this tripartite relationship. The concept of personal autonomy remedies this imbalance since it relates directly to the articulation of relations of reproduction and production.

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