Gender in the welfare state

Ann Orloff*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

448 Scopus citations


Gender relations - embodied in the sexual division of labor, compulsory heterosexuality, gendered forms of citizenship and political participation, ideologies of masculinity and femininity, and the like - profoundly shape the character of welfare states. Likewise, the institutions of social provision - the set of social assistance and social insurance programs and universal citizenship entitlements to which we refer as "the welfare state" - affect gender relations. Until recently, two broad approaches to gender relations and welfare states predominated: one which saw states contributing to the social reproduction of gender hierarchies, and a second which saw states having an ameliorative impact on gender inequality. More recently, two new strands of research have emerged emphasizing the variation in the effects of social policies on gender.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-78
Number of pages28
JournalAnnual Review of Sociology
StatePublished - 1996


  • Feminization of poverty
  • Social policy
  • States
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Gender in the welfare state'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this