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Socio-fiscal Incentive Policies for Family Employment Captured by Social Practices: Class and Gender Mechanisms of Delegation

Sebastián Pizarro Erazo

Research framework: Since the 1990s, the French government has developed social and fiscal policies that encourage families to use home-based employment to delegate domestic, parental and care work. The objective was to encourage women’s ability to fulfil multiple social commitments. However, the studies point to the persistence of class inequalities in the practice of delegation and emphasize the workload that it implies for women.

Objectives: This article aims to understand the class and gender mechanisms at work in the practice of delegation. It thus identifies the extent to which the contemporary French reproduction regime, namely the organizational referential for the practices of taking charge of the activities that sustain human life, alleviates domestic work in families and particularly for women.

Methodology: Based on semi-directive interviews conducted in Île-de-France as part of a doctoral research project in sociology with 38 families, we will capture a set of measures emblematic of the reproduction regime through family practices: socio-fiscal incentive policies for family employment.

Results: The analysis shows that by leaving the organizational referential of the reproduction regime unchanged, socio-fiscal incentive policies for family employment maintain and even reinforce class and gender inequalities.

Conclusions: As long as the French reproduction regime does not reconsider the foundations of its organizational frame of reference, we have every reason to believe that policies encouraging the delegation of family activities will have unequal consequences.

Contribution: This article shows how the inconsistencies between referential and social practices hinder the transformative impact of public policies.