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Intergenerational Relations in Families and Societies

The aim of this project is to analyse patterns of financial and care (time) inter-generational exchanges in different welfare regimes and different long standing cultural family traditions and arrangements. The hypothesis, in fact, is that not only welfare regimes, but also family cultures matter in the way intergenerational exchanges are expected and shaped. Further, within country (or country clusters) differences will be focused on, with particular regard for gender and social class differences. Gender, in fact, traditionally has shaped different expectations with regard to what is given and received in the intergenerational exchange, as well as the cost and benefits of these exchanges. At the same time, changes in women behaviour on the one hand (increasing labour force participation), ageing of kinship networks on the other hand, are likely to affect the gender specific patterns of exchange (see e.g. the risk of a caring deficit). The ageing of the population, in particular, is likely not only to reduce, but to verticalize kinship networks, thus “slimming” the intergenerational chain. As for social class, it strongly affects the kind of resources that may be mobilised in the intergenerational exchange. Social class differences will be studied in a general way, thereby including other indicators of stratification such as education.