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“Out of sight, out of mind”: -A qualitative study of the interrelated character of workplace attitudes and the within-couple division of parental leave
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis examines how couples, aiming for a gender equal division of parental leave, experience the interrelated character and process of workplace attitudes and division of parental leave. The data comes from an interview study with twenty couples, of which thirteen are included in this study. The interviews are conducted in 2009 before their first child was born and again in 2010 or 2011, about a year and a half after their child was born. The interviews are a part of the project Between dream and reality. International and national studies of parenthood and work from a gender perspective [1](principal investigator Marie Evertsson) and was financed by The Swedish Research Council. The interviews have been analyzed from an Expectation States Theory and Doing Gender perspective with an aim to examine which mechanisms differ between the couples that were able to realize their planned division of parental leave and the couples that were not. The results show that the men working in workplaces where attitudes towards them taking a relatively long parental leave were positive also took a relatively long parental leave. On the other hand, many of the women who reported being in a workplace where attitudes to parental leave were positive, took a fairly short parental leave. The workplace support resulted in different outcomes for the men and the women, a relatively long parental leave for men and a relatively short parental leave for women. This could be explained by the different expectations society has on men and women, women are assumed to take a bigger part of the leave than men are. This can indicate that support is more important when breaking the traditional norm than it is when following it. The couples that divided their leave equally were very determined about their division. The couples that did not share their leave equally, were generally not as determined and therefore generally more open to the opinions and attitudes of prevalence at the workplace. The women that took a bigger part of the leave than their partners had a hard time returning to work after their parental leave, they often felt down-prioritized at the work place. The men that took a smaller part and the couples that divided their leave equally did not have a hard time returning to work.

[1] Mellan dröm och verklighet. Internationella och nationella studier av föräldraskap och arbete ur ett genusperspektiv

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keyword [en]
Parental leave, division, workplace, attitudes, gender
National Category
Sociology Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-152856OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-152856DiVA: diva2:1181540
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Available from: 2018-02-09 Created: 2018-02-08 Last updated: 2018-02-09Bibliographically approved

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