Women are known to be the backbone of family solidarity. This is a well-documented fact. Yet, despite this empirical evidence, family solidarity has barely been investigated in a gender perspective, especially when compared to research on domestic work, or, more recently, research on care. This paper first addresses this issue and then proposes an interpretation of family solidarities that is based on the fundamental reconsideration of the concept of work by materialist feminists. In an historical and macro-sociological perspective, the authors use this article as an opportunity to assess the findings from an extensive survey they conducted in 2004 on the transformations of family solidarities in Quebec over the course of the 20th century. Despite the year of data collection (2004), the historical depth of the survey guarantees its continued relevance for the purposes of the article, namely to shed light on the dynamics that link changes in family solidarities to women’s work and public policies during this critical moment of Quebec history.
Isabelle Van Pevenage
Renée B. Dandurand
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