Women's Employment Patterns and the Changes in the Service Sector
The paper considers some aspects of these contemporary societies, namely the development of immaterial labour forms and the increasingly organised diffusion of the immaterial or emotional dimensions of performed labour. The aim of this paper is to interrogate recent aspects of the sexual division of labour coinciding with the deregulation process affecting two Western European nations, France and Italy. The analysis shows that the explosion of formal and informal services is partially explained by the decline of employment opportunities in full-time jobs in large enterprises. Regarding the recent development of private-public partnerships for the organisation of local social-assistance networks, I compare formal and informal contractual relations. Approaching the evolution of the labour market from the perspective of gender allows the conceptualisation of the dualities of formality and informality, and paid and unpaid work, as evolving moments along a fluid continuum of work relations, conditions of employment, and competition in the labour market. I show the dual processes underlying the development of care services: on the one hand are the State which sustain the family and stabilise gender roles within the family and labour market, and on the other hand, the cultural and scientific differentiation of labour. The purpose here is to investigate whether there is a consistency or discrepancy between the two processes.
Keywords: Gender, immaterial labour
PhD student, Université Paris 7, CSPRP