Thèse de doctorat
Résumé : Recent empirical evidence reveals that, in many countries, there is a growing group of workers having jobs but struggling to make ends meet: they are the "working poors”: many of them are women. This dissertation examines gendered in-work poverty by considering two processes - decommodification and defamilialization - to explore how the female working poors groups locate in the labour market and welfare institutions. Decommodification refers to the level of workers’ economic independency produced by the social protection system. Defamilialization raises the issue of dependency and independency of women both in the family and on the labor market. A third process is also taken into consideration: gendered employment segregation. The analytical framework is thus three-dimensional.From a methodological perspective, the research roots in the tradition of international comparative analysis incorporating both quantitative and qualitative data. Statistical data about Belgium come mainly from Eurostat – Labour Force Surveys statistics (LFS) and Income and living conditions (SILC), and, for China, the data mainly come from The National Bureau of Statistics of China (NBSC) and the Chinese general social survey (CGSS).The comparison of the cases of Belgium and China and, more specifically, the analysis of gendered in-work poverty in China, allows the identification of different processes leading to in-work poverty. Two distinct forms of female in-work poverty are described and discussed. The dissertation also addresses broader insights, including the importance of the conceptualizing “in-work poverty” in social policy debates, the analysis of the relationships between women’s economic independence and social security, the links between women’s family obligations and state-level care provisions, the role of gender employment segregation in shaping women’s status in the occupational hierarchy and the cultural construction of gender ideologies and stereotypes. The findings suggest that work-based welfare, power and “economically conditioned” status disqualification, together shape the gendered trends in-work poverty. Due to the cross-national differences in requirements, systems, and cultural constraints in access to economic and social activities, variations within above mentioned three dimensions de facto leave considerable space for the pluralistic development of gendered in-work poverty.