Il modello mediterraneo di welfare tra famiglia e mercato
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The familist welfare model - based on an either implicit or explicit attribution of responsibility to family support networks and on a limited development of public support devices - is under strain, similarly to other welfare models, due to tensions linked to demographic developments and growing care demand. The article analyses recent developments in the domain of child and elderly care in Italy. Next to the weakening of informal networks and the stability of public supply of services, a process of care commodification has taken place both through the externalisation of services put in place by public authorities, and the tendency of the families, also encouraged by social policies, to access market care. Characteristics of the sector are the low level of protection and salaries of the labour force, the importance of grey labour and the growing importance of immigrant labour. Tensions connected to the increasing care needs instead of favouring a different distribution of responsibilities between the family and the public sector, foster the role of the market as a form of responding to social risks, through the partial displacement onto the labour force of production costs of care services.