Families in Italy in the face of the crisis of ‘Mediterranean’ welfare

Michele Bertani


National welfare regimes in Europe are rapidly evolving and diversifying. Changes are influenced by not always well defined elements, depending by dynamics that are both internal and external to the system, making it difficult to define the characters of the new scenario. The Italian welfare regime is strongly connected within this process, posing new challenges in a country where the intervention of the state in the welfare sphere is limited, and the family has always played an important role in the care work. 
Based on the national and international debate on this topic, this article explores the factors that characterize the Italian welfare regime, and the challenges posed by globalization. With reference to the category of familialism, it will be discussed the typical Italian attitude “to do all-at-home” in relation to the care work. Using empirical evidence, it will be analyzed if this typical Italian attitude is the result of the persistence of a traditional and rural model of orientation, or the consequence of complex social dynamics, in which causes and effects influence each other.
Findings suggest a changing scenario in the way Italian families organize and perceive their care work, giving the idea that a profound structural process, activated by economic and cultural factors, is going through this social institution.


welfare; family; parental work

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13136/isr.v3i2.53

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