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ITALIAN FAMILIES AND SOCIAL CAPITAL

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This paper explores how care provision takes place in families across countries and generations and what are its implications for the individuals and families involved. Drawing on the experiences of women of Italian origin who have migrated at different times, the paper shows that families are complex and fluid entities capable of adapting to different circumstances, such as geographical dispersal and rapid cultural changes. Rather than being in decline, as some social capital theorists seem to suggest, the paper demonstrates that families are resilient units that continue to perform numerous emotional and practical tasks for the individuals who form them. However, even it is argued that families can be seen as a locus of social capital of different forms, the paper also shows how maintaining family connections and fulfilling family obligations both constrains and empowers the individuals involved in them, especially women who tend to do a bigger share of this type of work. Cet article examine la manière dont les familles se chargent de diverses responsabilités à travers les pays et les générations et étudie ce qui en résulte pour les individus et les familles. A partir des expériences de femmes italiennes qui ont émigré à des époques différentes, l'article démontre que la famille est une entité fluide et complexe capable de s'adapter à des circonstances différentes telles que la dispersion géographique et les changements culturels rapides. Certains théoriciens du capital social soutiennent que la famille est en déclin; cet article démontre qu'au contraire la famille est une entité sociale qui a du ressort et qu'elle continue à remplir de multiples tâches affectives et pratiques pour les individus qui les constituent. Cet article montre comment le maintien ion des liens et l'exécution des obligations familiales à la fois dynamise les individus concernés, surtout des femmes, qui ont tendance à accomplir une part plus importante de ce travail. familles transnationales, capital social, tâches sociales, Italiens, rôle de la femme et generation
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Keywords: transnational families, social capital, care provision, Italians, gender and generation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2006

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