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Patterns of Informal Help and Caregiving in Sweden: a Thirteen-Year Perspective
Ersta Sköndal University College, Institute for Civil Society Studies.
2009 (English)In: Social policy & administration, ISSN 01445596, Vol. 43, no 7, 681-701 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article analyses informal help and caregiving in Sweden with a focus on the scope and trends of change over time. The discussion is based on the results of three national surveys and of one survey conducted in the county of Stockholm. The results indicated that informal help and caregiving was common throughout the period under study. In the 1990s, the figures were fairly stable, while from the late 1990s to 2005 there seems to have been a dramatic increase in the prevalence of such support. Two interpretative perspectives are used to discuss this pattern. One locates its point of departure in recent welfare state changes and in the substitution argument, according to which cuts in welfare services put more pressure on people to provide informal help and care. The second perspective relates to the present debate on civil society and to its possible role in contemporary society. According to the civil society perspective, an increase in the prevalence of informal help and caregiving might be interpreted as an expression of growing civic involvement ‘in its own right’, without a straightforward and simple relationship to changes in the welfare state. It is argued in the article that the two frames of interpretation should not be viewed as mutually exclusive, but rather that they represent two partly complementary approaches to the understanding of the complex dynamics of unpaid work in contemporary Swedish society.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 43, no 7, 681-701 p.
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:esh:diva-168DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9515.2009.00689.xOAI: oai:DiVA.org:esh-168DiVA: diva2:321261
Available from: 2010-05-31 Created: 2010-05-31 Last updated: 2011-03-30Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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