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Technocracy and Strategic Maternalism: Housing Policies, 1990–2014

  • Alejandra RammEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Studies of the Americas book series (STAM)

Abstract

This chapter analyzes how gender and motherhood have been at the core of housing policies in Chile from the second half of the twentieth century until today. Though the home is defined as the primary realm of women, and of mothers in particular, historically in Chile unmarried mothers have been excluded from having access to housing policies, which almost exclusively benefited married men. Unwed mothers were excluded from housing benefits as they did not conform to the ideal model of family based on heterosexual formal marriage. However, at the turn of the twenty-first century, as Pinochet’s dictatorship came to an end, women, and particularly unwed mothers, became the main recipients of housing subsidies. This chapter argues that this historical turn was the outcome of both top-down and bottom-up maternalism and came about as an outcome of increased technocratic policy-making. For low-income women becoming homeowners entails enhanced economic autonomy and greater resources to deal with intimate-partner violence. These are significant gains for women’s autonomy that should be further reflected upon.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of ValparaísoValparaísoChile

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