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Children's Lives in Southern Europe

Contemporary Challenges and Risks

Edited by Lourdes Gaitán, Yannis Pechtelidis, Catarina Tomás and Natália Fernandes

This interdisciplinary book provides a sociological view of the contemporary experiences of children in Southern Europe. Focusing on regions deeply affected by the 2008 economic crisis, it offers a detailed investigation into the impact of economic downturn and austerity on the lives of children.
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Edited by Katja Repo, Maarit Alasuutari, Kirsti Karila and Johanna Lammi-Taskula

This timely book reveals how policies of childcare and early childhood education influence children’s circumstances and the daily lives of families with children. Examining how these policies are approached, it focuses particularly on the issues and pitfalls related to equal access.
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Bryan Sanderson

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Carlos Cavallé

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The Home

Multidisciplinary Reflections

Edited by Antonio Argandoña

In the first major work to take the home as a center of analysis for global social problems, experts from a variety of fields reveal the multidimensional reality of the home and its role in societies worldwide. This unique book serves as a basis for action by proposing global legislative, political and institutional initiatives with the home in mind.
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Antonio Argandoña

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Jean-Michel Bonvin, Benoît Beuret and Stephan Dahmen

This chapter emphasizes the various possible ways to conceive inequality and disadvantage, as well as the multiplicity of individual, social, economic, cultural, institutional, and so on, dimensions involved. The challenge in terms of public policies is then to select one informational basis of inequality, that is, to identify which dimensions of inequality are to be tackled via public policies and which ones can be discarded as less significant. In this selection process, the participation of vulnerable people, directly affected by disadvantage, makes a huge difference, as it can allow a more adequate identification of the inequalities to be tackled. The chapter sheds light on the complex intricacies between inequality and participation, and emphasizes the prerequisites for a full and effective participation of vulnerable people in the design and implementation of public policies struggling against inequality and disadvantage.

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Niels Rosendal Jensen and Anna Kathrine Frørup

This chapter presents how young people's possibilities, aspirations and demands are raised, strengthened, transformed or put aside and how they feel about participating within different local programmes. The research shows that integration is an overall goal defined and carried out very differently among young people, but young people do not feel that they have equal and workable possibilities to participate and be included on a local, as well as societal, level. In the perspective of Sen’s and Nussbaum’s concept of capability, the results of this research are analysed and discussed in terms of the question of whose willpower is behind the young people’s voices and aspirations, similarly what are ‘real rights’, ‘free choices’ or ‘real freedom’ to participate and make choices. The conclusion is that local innovative procedures and programmes mainly support the development of new instruments, measures and their realization; and to a much lesser extent support young people’s capability to participate and to perform practical reasoning as well as real freedom.

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Sergio Belda-Miquel, Alejandra Boni Aristizábal and Aurora López-Fogués

New frameworks seem to be needed to readdress public policies so that they consider the perspectives of citizens and place human flourishing at the core. This is especially important in the case of youth policies in Spain, which have been erratic, designed from the top-down and unable to capture the multiple disadvantages that youth face in these times of crisis. The chapter draws on the Capability Approach in order to propose a framework that may allow the complexities of policy processes and outcomes to be captured, and place the construction of opportunities for people to lead the kind of life they value at the forefront. We use this framework to address a specific case: youth policies in the municipality of Quart de Poblet (Valencia, Spain). The case not only shows the impact and relevance of a participatory approach to youth policies, but also the tensions and contradictions of participatory policy making and outcomes.