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Religion and Political Theory: Secularism, Accommodation and The New Challenges of Religious Diversity, Edited by Jonathan Seglow and Andrew Shorten

New Social Divides and the Demand for Work/Care Policies

Presenter
Agnes Blome
Freie Universität Berlin
Authors
Agnes Blome
Freie Universität Berlin

Abstract
In this paper we try to empirically assess to what extent the described developments have created new socio-economic divides that – in addition to the old cleavages (e.g. religion or class) – determine social policy preferences. We focus on the field of work/care policies and look at people’s attitudes towards working mothers and public childcare. Drawing on three waves of the European Values Survey (1990, 1999, 2008) we analyze the determinants of individual beliefs in 14 countries with a regression framework. Controlling for fixed country and time effects test the explanatory power of different social and economic divides that are operationalized over individual characteristics like religion, gender, employment, occupational and family status etc. We intend to exploit the longitudinal dimension of this data set to identify to what extent the explanatory power of the old and new divides has changed over the last 20 years. Moreover, the data also allows relating the divides as well as attitudes towards work/care policies to the political preferences of the individuals. This may shed some light on the question whether these new social divides are relevant for the electorate of certain political parties which, in turn, would adapt work/care policies accordingly.
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