Convinte o disperate: casalinghe italiane in tempo di crisi


  • Franca Maria Alacevich Università di Firenze
  • Annalisa Tonarelli



Over 9 million of Italian women aged 15-64 years are inactive, out of the labor market, in 2012’s third quarter. Nevertheless less than one out of two do not consider herself a “housewife” and only one out of four a “grateful housewife”. Even if they are only about one third of the whole female population, they are an unknown universe. A field research – promoted by the Department of Political Sciences and Sociology of the University of Florence, and financed by the Provincial administration of Florence – studied their life and strategies, their choices and constraints. Based on the first outcomes of this just finished research, the paper shows first of all as the label “housewife” hides unusual profiles and patterns, very different from each other, as well as motivations, expectations and capabilities that ask for social recognition and appreciation. The main reasons of female inactivity are twofold. In the one hand, they are related to the lack of job opportunities and the unsatisfactory working conditions offered by a labor market in a deep crisis. On the other hand, traditional gender models and gender based division of labor within the families seem to persist or reappear in new and alarming forms.

Keywords: Housewives, Female Inactivity, House Labor, Reconciliation of Work and Family, Young Women with Higher Education.

Author Biographies

Franca Maria Alacevich, Università di Firenze

Professore Ordinario Dipartimento di scienze Politiche e Sociali

Annalisa Tonarelli

Ricercatore (Td) Dipartimento di Scienze Politiche e Sociali