Gendering Social Vulnerability: The role of Labour Market Destandardisation and Local Welfare

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This chapter brings the relationship between female participation in the labour market and social vulnerability into perspective arguing that local production systems and provisions of local welfare are crucial to better understand the determinants of women’s social vulnerability in 11 European cities. Social vulnerability refers to individuals and households who are not formally socially excluded, but characterized by a fragile integration into the traditional systems of social protection and resource distribution (welfare, family and the labour market). It is argued that either or both higher level employment and better employment of women determines a lower social vulnerability level, but its intensity and shape can change according to local contexts, characterized by the different conditions and criteria by which women access citizenship and take positions in local production systems. The first aspect is related to the conditionality and generosity of welfare benefits that are relevant in order to allow women to work (elderly care and childcare) and to be protected from social risks. The second aspect is related to the chance of women to be (or not to be) segregated and discriminated in their local labour markets.

The chapter will present both quantitative analysis by presenting a comparison among the 11 European cities and countries, and some qualitative analysis aimed at reconstructing the social and institutional mechanisms at the local level influencing social vulnerability. The analysis aims to understand the extent to which different patterns of participation in the labour market in different local contexts determine exposure to poverty, social vulnerability and low social participation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLocal welfare policy making in European Cities
ISBN (Electronic)9783319161631
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

NameSocial Indicators Research
ISSN (Print)1387-6570
ISSN (Electronic)2215-0099


  • Social vulnerability
  • Gender
  • Labour market integration
  • Local welfare systems


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