Families and Informal Support Networks in Portugal: the reproduction of inequality
Journal of European Social Policy
Web of Science®
This article analyses informal support networks in Portugal. Using data from a national survey on families with children (1999), it explores the dynamics of support, in terms of the characteristics of, and variations in, families' experience of support. The analysis underlines the importance of social factors, such as the position of families in social and educational structures, and family variables, such as position in the life course, in determining the extent of support received by families. The results show that many families have a low level of support and that extended kinship does not play a significant role in providing support. As in other European countries, assistance flows mainly from parents, from the wife's family and from women rather than men; it is also strongly related to families' position in social structure, with low educational levels and less favourable occupational categories determining lower levels of support over the course of married life. Thus welfare provision stemming from informal relationships reinforces existing social inequalities rather than compensating for them, and the idea of a strong pre- and post-modern welfare society must be challenged.
Family,Inequalities,Informal support networks,Support and care,Welfare society
Classificação Fields of Science and Technology
- Sociologia - Ciências Sociais
- Ciências Políticas - Ciências Sociais