Family as a Socio-economic Actor in the Political Economies of East and South East Asian Welfare Capitalisms

Theodoros Papadopoulos, Antonios Roumpakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this article, we revisit Karl Polanyi’s concept of ‘oikos’ in order to reconceptualize the role of the family as both a welfare provider and an economic actor in the social reproduction of East and South E ast Asian welfare capitalisms. Our article is structured in four parts. First, we critically review existing approaches on the characteristics of welfare capitalism in East and South East Asia. We argue that existing approaches tend to isolate family as a welfare provider and neglect how the role of th e family is institutionalized as a collective actor. The second part focuses on the role of the family in the social reproduction of welfare capitalism, and explores how, in East and South East Asia, the specific conditions for family’s role as an economic actor were institutionalized historically. The third part revisits Polanyi’s concept of ‘oikos’ and how ‘householding’ constitutes one of the most important forms of economic action allowing us to examine the family as a socio-economic actor. In the fourth section, we provide an analysis of families’ available strategies and discuss evidence related to private education expenditure, household debt and labour market income share. We conclude by highlighting the need to re-articulate the importance of family as a collective socio-economic actor that, despite recent reforms and path departures, remains at the epicentre of East and South East Asian welfare capitalisms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)857–875
Number of pages18
JournalSocial Policy and Administration
Volume51
Issue number6
Early online date2 Oct 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017

Keywords

  • Oikos
  • Family
  • Social reproduction
  • Debt
  • Welfare capitalism
  • ; East and South East Asia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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