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Feminist scholars have long pointed out the relevance of the unpaid work that goes on within European households in sustaining the well-being of the continent's populations. However, care work and domestic labour continue to be largely unremunerated and unequally distributed by gender. This unique volume of interdisciplinary essays casts new light on the roles that households play in securing the well-being of individuals and families, uncovering the processes of bargaining and accommodation, and conflict and compromise that underpin them. Contributors put gender at the centre of their analyses, demonstrating the uneven experiences of men and women as both providers and receivers of welfare in European households, in both the past and the present.

As European states grapple with changing family forms, a growing population of dependent people, increased participation of women in labour markets and a profound shift in the nature and organisation of work, this book makes a timely contribution to our understanding of the critical role played by households in mediating processes of economic and social change. It offers new challenges to scholars, researchers and policy makers eager to address gender inequalities and enhance well-being.

This book is the second of four volumes being published as part of Ashgate's 'Gender and Well-Being' series that arise from a programme of international symposia funded by the European Science Foundation under the auspices of COST (European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research).

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