This chapter suggests that EU gender policies have developed a European image of normal and worthy life based on the principle of “exchangeability” of roles between the sexes. This principle rejects the idea that different social roles pertain to men and women, ordered along the divide between productive and reproductive work. It is the result - and the expression - of an optimistic understanding of the relationship between the economic and the social, openly trusting in the market’s capability to perform as a socially inclusive player. The principle of exchangeability thus summarizes the contemporary spirit of the European integration process in comparison with the constitutional inheritance of post-World War III national constitutions. Here, a pessimistic view of the market economy was reflected in the idea that stable gender roles had to exist, in order – at the same time – to protect society from the market and the market from society. The principle of “exchangeability of roles between the sexes” thus operates as a sign of notable, even if ambiguous and complex, changes in the answer to the purely constitutional question: what is the relationship between life and the market that is deemed opportune and just?

Changing Images of Normal and Worthy Life. The Constitutional Potential of Economic Sensitivity in EU Gender Policies

NICCOLAI, SILVIA
2010

Abstract

This chapter suggests that EU gender policies have developed a European image of normal and worthy life based on the principle of “exchangeability” of roles between the sexes. This principle rejects the idea that different social roles pertain to men and women, ordered along the divide between productive and reproductive work. It is the result - and the expression - of an optimistic understanding of the relationship between the economic and the social, openly trusting in the market’s capability to perform as a socially inclusive player. The principle of exchangeability thus summarizes the contemporary spirit of the European integration process in comparison with the constitutional inheritance of post-World War III national constitutions. Here, a pessimistic view of the market economy was reflected in the idea that stable gender roles had to exist, in order – at the same time – to protect society from the market and the market from society. The principle of “exchangeability of roles between the sexes” thus operates as a sign of notable, even if ambiguous and complex, changes in the answer to the purely constitutional question: what is the relationship between life and the market that is deemed opportune and just?
978-88-8398-062-6
Antidiscriminazione; Genere; Unione europea
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/20668
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