Defining parenthood: A comparative analysis

When:17 Oct 2017, 12pm - 1pm
Venue:Room 221/223, Level 2, John Goodsell Building, UNSW Kensington Campus
Who:Associate Professor Manuela Naldini, University of Turin, Italy
Manuela Naldini

The social and the cultural meaning of ‘parenthood’ has changed profoundly, challenging the existing legal definitions of being a ‘parent’ at national and supra-national levels. The comparative study presented during the seminar is part of a EU research project titled bEUcitizen. It shows that cross-national differences in the EU forge very different pictures of what it means to identify and be identified as a ‘parent’ and a ‘child’ . It will discuss some of the main legal and social barriers faced by ‘different forms of family’, when living, moving or travelling within the European Union. Although some EU countries appear to converge when it comes to the progressive recognition of different family forms and support for women (and parents) in terms of work-family balance, there are still significant cross-national differences within EU countries in both family policies and family law. The global importance of phenomena such as cross-border reproductive care, surrogacy, and the diverse panorama of family regulations, shows that the legislation on an international and EU level intersects with states' national social policy and family law. The presentation will explore whether it is possible to identify a clear direction in changes within six EU Member States.

Manuela Naldini is Associate Professor of Sociology of the Family and Director of Graduate Studies in Social Policy and Social Services at University of Turin (Italy). She has coordinated several national and international research projects on topics related to changes in the family, comparative studies of welfare states, gender studies, work-family reconciliation issues, the transition to parenthood, and, more recently, migrant families. Among her recent publications: Gender and Generational Division in EU citizenship (eds) with Trudie Knijn, Edward Elgar (2017); Politics of defamilialization: A comparison of Italy, Japan, Korea and Spain (with Estévez-Abe, M.), in Journal of European Social Policy, October 2016 26: 327-343.

Currently she is Senior Visiting Fellow at the Social Policy Research Center, UNSW.

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