Eric D. Widmer

Widmer, E.D., Ganjour, O. (2016). Patterns of family salience and welfare state regimes: sociability practices and support norms in a comparative perspective. European Societies. Vol 13, n3, pp. 201-220



This research explores patterns of family salience based on sociability and solidarity norms according to the institutional context. The data come from the International Social Survey Program (ISSP), from respondents living in four types of welfare regime countries: Mediterranean, corporatist, liberal, and social-democratic. Based on cluster analyses, we found that the salience of family in sociability practices and solidarity norms to a significant extent varies according to welfare regimes. Individuals from a Mediterranean welfare regime more often develop a pattern of sociability by a focus on children or parents. Normatively, they develop a pattern stressing the salience of both family and state. Individuals from a corporatist welfare regime more often develop a pattern of sociability focused on extended kin or feature a lack of sociability. At the normative level, they promote either the patterns of state support or reliance on the self. Individuals from a liberal welfare regime stress patterns of family support or self-reliance at the normative level. They develop a pattern of associational activity or show a lack of sociability. Individuals from social-democratic welfare regimes are more frequently normatively oriented toward state support while promoting participation in associations or showing a lack in their sociability.

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