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Is it fair to share? Perceptions of fairness in the division of housework among couples in 22 countries.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2013 (English)In: Social Justice Research, ISSN 0885-7466, E-ISSN 1573-6725, Vol. 26, no 4, 400-421 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study explores the relationship between the actual division of housework and men’s and women’s perceived fairness in this regard. The central question is how the actual sharing of housework influences the perceptions of fairness in the division of housework. It is hypothesized that the perceptions of fairness differ between policy models. In countries where gender equality has been more present on the political agenda and dual-earner policies have been introduced, people are expected to be more sensitive to an unfair sharing or division of housework. By analysing the relationship between actual division of housework and perceptions of fairness in household work for 22 countries representing different family policy models, the study takes on a comparative perspective with the purpose of analysing the normative impact of policy. The analysis draws on data from the 2002 round of the International Social Survey Programme on family and changing gender roles. The results show that in countries that have promoted gender equality through the introduction of policies with an aim to promote dual roles in work and family, both women and men are more sensitive to an unfair division of household labour. The difference between perceptions in the different policy models is greater among men than among women, indicating that a politicization of the dual-earner family is more important for men’s equity perceptions than women’s.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Netherlands, 2013. Vol. 26, no 4, 400-421 p.
Keyword [en]
division of labour, fairness, family policy, gender, household work
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-61660DOI: 10.1007/s11211-013-0195-xOAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-61660DiVA: diva2:571342
Available from: 2012-11-22 Created: 2012-11-22 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Conflict and concord in work and family: Family policies and individuals' subjective experiences
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Conflict and concord in work and family: Family policies and individuals' subjective experiences
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background This thesis explores the relationship between individuals’ subjective experiences and the welfare state setting. The research questions in focus deal with the outcomes of women’s and men’s increasing dual roles in work and family in contemporary welfare states. The studies analyse women’s and men’s subjective experiences of combining work and family, and their perceptions of fairness in the division of household work.

Methods The thesis applies a comparative perspective where the unit of analysis is country and/or family policy model. A broad perspective with the aim to capture general patterns across a broad range of welfare states is combined with a narrower case-oriented approach. Multilevel analysis is used to analyse patterns at national as well as individual levels in the same model. Latent Class Analysis is used to capture patterns of latent dimensions with regard to the central concept of subject experiences.

Results The results indicate that the introduction of policies aiming to promote dual roles among women and men and the articulation of gender equality can matter for individuals’ subjective experiences of work-family conflict. In dual-earner countries, the probability that a high level of conflict is counterbalanced by feelings of life satisfaction is higher than in other policy models. A class asymmetry is found when it comes to effects of policy on men’s and women’s levels of work-family conflict and work-family satisfaction; women in the working class and the salaried class are more similar when it comes to experiences of work-family conflict and satisfaction in Sweden than in Germany and the UK. The analysis also shows that perceptions of fairness in the division of housework are moderated by the institutional and normative context. The politicisation of gender equality increases the correspondence between actual share of housework performed and the perceptions of fairness in the division of housework. The effect of politicisation is more important for men’s perceptions than for women’s.

Conclusion The thesis contributes to a deepened understanding of the relationship between policy and work-family conflict and the integration of the perspectives of role conflict and role expansion; knowledge about the ways in which both class and gender relations are structured concerning the patterns of work-family conflict and satisfaction in different policy contexts; and new knowledge about the relationship between policy and men’s – and not only women’s – perceptions of fairness in the division of household work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2012
Series
Akademiska avhandlingar vid Sociologiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, ISSN 1104-2508 ; 70
Keyword
Work-family conflict, role expansion, family policy, gender, class, dual-earner families, household work, perceptions of fairness
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-61668 (URN)978-91-7459-526-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-12-14, Humanisthuset, Hörsal F, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-11-23 Created: 2012-11-22 Last updated: 2012-11-23Bibliographically approved

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Is it fair to Share? Ida Öun(612 kB)221 downloads
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