Entanglements of economic and intimate citizenship: Individualization and gender (in)equality in a changing Europe

TitleEntanglements of economic and intimate citizenship: Individualization and gender (in)equality in a changing Europe
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsLe Feuvre, N, Roseneil, S
JournalSocial Politics: International Studies in Gender, State and Society
Volume21
Issue4
Pagination529-561
Abstract

This paper contributes to the ongoing refinement of citizenship as a feminist concept through the development of understandings of the relationship between economic and intimate citizenship in contemporary Europe. It draws on two cross- national research projects that each focus on a group of people who might be thought to be affected by particular processes of individualization: the economic “activation” of large numbers of women in increasingly deregulated labour markets, and the progressive detraditionalization of intimate life. The paper examines patterns of intimate life and citizenship that accompany employment in the elder care sector, and patterns of economic life and citizenship that accompany the experience of living outside the conventional family. It argues that there are significant and hitherto unrecognized tensions between “flexible” jobs and the ability of individuals to exercise agency as intimate citizens. It suggests that it is difficult to flourish as an intimate citizen without enjoying a degree of economic autonomy, and that economic autonomy is elusive for women working in the most deregulated sectors of the labour market. It also points to the important role that social policies play in mediating the relationship between intimate and economic citizenship.

DOI10.1093/sp/jxu010
Refereed DesignationRefereed