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Critical and international approaches

Populations around the globe are ageing rapidly. This demographic shift affects families, market structures and social provisions. This timely volume, part of the Ageing and the Lifecourse series, argues that the lifecourse perspective helps us understand the causes and effects of population ageing. The lifecourse perspective suggests that individuals’ experiences at an early age can influence their decisions and behaviour at a later age. This much-needed volume combines insights from different disciplines and real-life experiences to describe the theories and practices behind this idea. It therefore caters to the needs of scholars, practitioners and policy makers in a range of areas including sociology and political science.

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Ageing populations comprise of many frail individuals who need care and support. In some cases, this need exceeds the help that families can provide. When this happens, social care services come into play. However, the help and support that older people need is not uniform. The challenges that older people face differ, and so do the support strategies that older people prefer. Consequently, social care providers need a deeper understanding of life-courses if they want to design care services that suit the older individuals’ needs and that can easily be understood and accepted by the older individuals. This chapter explains how social care providers can learn from the life-courses of the care-recipients, using older migrants in Sweden as an example.

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The final chapter summarizes the findings of this book, discusses them, and draws conclusions. It thereby refines the initial explanation how the life-course perspective enhances our knowledge about population ageing, which was presented in the introduction. In particular, this chapter elaborates on the role of social inequalities and on practical implications emerging from this perspective. Additionally, this chapter reflects on country-differences in the findings, and on the role of historical events such as the current economic crisis.

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Populations around the globe age. For Western countries, this demographic shift is one of the biggest current challenges, challenging individual life plans, family arrangements, market structures, care provisions, and the financial basis of pension schemes. This volume uses the life-course perspective to investigate causes and effects of population ageing. The life-course perspective suggests that individuals’ experiences at an early age can influence decisions and behaviour at a later age. Similarly, historical events such as World War II or the current economic crisis can alter current and future live choices of the individuals who lived through these events. Thus, the foundation for population ageing has already been laid in the past, and the effects of today’s intervention into population ageing will only be visible years or even decades in the future. This volume explains how insight from demography and life-course research can be merged to gain a better understanding of population ageing. It then applies a critical perspective to illustrate social inequalities in life-course effects. Finally, it discusses the practical implications on these insights, e.g. on families, the labour market, and on policy-making. To exemplify the discussions, the book includes examples from across Europe, Australia, China, and Northern America.

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Populations around the globe age. For Western countries, this demographic shift is one of the biggest current challenges, challenging individual life plans, family arrangements, market structures, care provisions, and the financial basis of pension schemes. This volume uses the life-course perspective to investigate causes and effects of population ageing. The life-course perspective suggests that individuals’ experiences at an early age can influence decisions and behaviour at a later age. Similarly, historical events such as World War II or the current economic crisis can alter current and future live choices of the individuals who lived through these events. Thus, the foundation for population ageing has already been laid in the past, and the effects of today’s intervention into population ageing will only be visible years or even decades in the future. This volume explains how insight from demography and life-course research can be merged to gain a better understanding of population ageing. It then applies a critical perspective to illustrate social inequalities in life-course effects. Finally, it discusses the practical implications on these insights, e.g. on families, the labour market, and on policy-making. To exemplify the discussions, the book includes examples from across Europe, Australia, China, and Northern America.

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Populations around the globe age. For Western countries, this demographic shift is one of the biggest current challenges, challenging individual life plans, family arrangements, market structures, care provisions, and the financial basis of pension schemes. This volume uses the life-course perspective to investigate causes and effects of population ageing. The life-course perspective suggests that individuals’ experiences at an early age can influence decisions and behaviour at a later age. Similarly, historical events such as World War II or the current economic crisis can alter current and future live choices of the individuals who lived through these events. Thus, the foundation for population ageing has already been laid in the past, and the effects of today’s intervention into population ageing will only be visible years or even decades in the future. This volume explains how insight from demography and life-course research can be merged to gain a better understanding of population ageing. It then applies a critical perspective to illustrate social inequalities in life-course effects. Finally, it discusses the practical implications on these insights, e.g. on families, the labour market, and on policy-making. To exemplify the discussions, the book includes examples from across Europe, Australia, China, and Northern America.

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Populations around the globe age. For Western countries, this demographic shift is one of the biggest current challenges, challenging individual life plans, family arrangements, market structures, care provisions, and the financial basis of pension schemes. This volume uses the life-course perspective to investigate causes and effects of population ageing. The life-course perspective suggests that individuals’ experiences at an early age can influence decisions and behaviour at a later age. Similarly, historical events such as World War II or the current economic crisis can alter current and future live choices of the individuals who lived through these events. Thus, the foundation for population ageing has already been laid in the past, and the effects of today’s intervention into population ageing will only be visible years or even decades in the future. This volume explains how insight from demography and life-course research can be merged to gain a better understanding of population ageing. It then applies a critical perspective to illustrate social inequalities in life-course effects. Finally, it discusses the practical implications on these insights, e.g. on families, the labour market, and on policy-making. To exemplify the discussions, the book includes examples from across Europe, Australia, China, and Northern America.

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This chapter introduces the rationale of the book. It explains the idea of the life-course perspective, and it discusses the added insight on population ageing that this perspective provides. Additionally, this chapter gives an overview of the remainder of the book.

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New challenges for citizenship research in a cross-national context

This is a collectively written, inter-disciplinary, thematic cross-national study which combines conceptual, theoretical, empirical and policy material in an ambitious and innovative way to explore a key concept in contemporary European political, policy and academic debates.

The first part of the book clarifies the various ways that the concept of citizenship has developed historically and is understood today in a range of Western European welfare states. It elaborates on the contemporary framing of debates and struggles around citizenship. This provides a framework for three policy studies, looking at: migration and multiculturalism; the care of young children; and home-based childcare and transnational dynamics.

The book is unusual in weaving together the topics of migration and childcare and in studying these issues together within a gendered citizenship framework. It also demonstrates the value of a multi-level conceptualisation of citizenship, stretching from the domestic sphere through the national and European levels to the global.

The book is aimed at students of social policy, sociology, European studies, women’s studies and politics and at researchers/scholars/policy analysts in the areas of citizenship, gender, welfare states and migration.

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The previous chapters have examined changes in the perception and application of citizenship rights in relation to childcare provision and to migration and asylum. This chapter looks at what Chapter Four called the ‘transnational redistribution of care work’ – the ways migration and childcare intersect in the case of the private employment of migrant women as domestic and childcare workers in European households. This phenomenon has been referred to as ‘the global care chain’ (Ehrenreich and Hochschild, 2003) where women from poorer regions of the world migrate to care for the children and households of employed women in the West in order to support their own children who they leave in the care of female relatives in their countries of origin. Research on the care chain in Europe has exposed the highly oppressive nature of such work and the ways in which migration rules and regimes render women vulnerable, through lack of citizenship status, to work in the underpaid and undervalued grey economy of household labour (Phizacklea, 1998; Anderson, 2000; Kofman et al, 2000; Lutz, 2002; Cox, 2006). The chapter draws on empirical qualitative research in the UK, Spain and Sweden with both employers of migrant domestic/care workers and migrant women who carry out such work. While it reinforces some of the findings of research on domestic service, it seeks to focus more on the demand for childcare services and contextualise this in terms of wider social and policy changes. The chapter starts by looking at this context and outlines the many different and complexly connected dimensions of citizenship it invokes.

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