The Gendering of Child Welfare -- Chile: A Case Study
Miller, Anna M.
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The issue of gendering in child welfare is prevalent in ·numerous, if not all, countries' welfare states. Economic and political factors play an integral part in influencing the development of gendered roles within society. Gender roles are played out within the family unit, schools and the professional sectors of the welfare system. Using Chile as a case study I argue that machismo influences all sectors of a child's life as dictated through state economic and political policies in the welfare state. In order to measure this I looked specifically at the area of education in child welfare in relation to the larger gendered hierarchy of the nation. Chile conforms to the gendered nature of child welfare services while at the same time they are making attempts to move away from implicating gender roles. To further examine this I did qualitative research in Valparaiso, Chile during the summer of 20 II with professionals in the child welfare service area. I coupled this field research with a review of the literature available on gendering in child welfare. I use a discussion section to further analyze the relationship between the body of literature and the qualitative data I gathered. The data found during my qualitative field research reflects what the literature on the topic is saying. The interviewees focused more specifically on Chile than the literature did, and addressed more specific cases in relation to the cultural value of machismo. While education was discussed, it was not the most prevalent topic and the discussion became more about the benefits of formal vs. informal education.