Country Report: Intergenerational Family Solidarity and Key Life Domains in Italy

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] Country Report: Intergenerational Family Solidarity and Key Life Domains in Italy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

The Italian family seems to be hanging in the balance between modernity and tradition: some changes are spreading regarding households forms, the processes of starting families and the steady aging of the population. Nevertheless, the family's social role has been upheld in the country until recently, and even though it is now in trouble, the family has also offered a safety net during times of economic crisis, that has made in 2014, an estimated 1/3 of Italians at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Since the year 2000 law n. 328 has changed welfare system in Italy based on the principle of subsidiarity: this law inaugurated the pluralization of welfare in the programming of social policy measures and delineated a vaguely family friendly welfare program, however the Plan for family policy of 2012 is still mainly unapplied. From most of the research carried out it Italy, it emerges that the Family represents a value for all the generations. Marriage still maintains its institutional validity for most Italians and also concept of the “nuclear” family (father–mother–child/children) attaches importance to and promotes family unity characterized by supportiveness between generations (children and parents, and parents and children); an altruistic tendency also manifested by stressing the qualities that the children are encouraged to learn in the family and which characterize the primary socialization process. This overall altruistic-familist value model, in any case, implies a differentiation of the family roles, characterized by the lower acceptance of the father-mother parity trend, highlighting the importance among Italians of the cultural-symbolic “motherly love” complex (Pollini, 2008). Some Italian studies conducted by the Family Studies and Research University Centre of the Catholic University include in-depth examination of the characteristics of intergenerational solidarity, understood both as exchange of concrete and emotional support and as a place of caring and an expressive space for cultural exchange between the generations. In summary, it is possible to understand from researches how the family in Italy, as a determinant subject and actor, as a point of mediation and ethical and pragmatic exchanges, still continues to be, in today’s critical times, a moral compass. In this context, the family manifests its centrality and enormous potential almost unknowingly, proving itself to be an institution able to develop more rational, explorative and innovative values and projects, and to ride change intelligently, through processes of inclusion and expansion, which keep its profile up-to-date.
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] Country Report: Intergenerational Family Solidarity and Key Life Domains in Italy
Original languageItalian
Title of host publicationFamilies and family values in society and culture
EditorsM. Emirhafizovic, C.N. Shpigelman & U. Trummer I. Albert
Pages244-289
Number of pages46
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • aging
  • intergenerational solidarity
  • values

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