Conflict and concord in work and family: Family policies and individuals' subjective experiences
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
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.
Akademiska avhandlingar vid Sociologiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, ISSN 1104-2508 ; 70
Work-family conflict, role expansion, family policy, gender, class, dual-earner families, household work, perceptions of fairness
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-61668ISBN: 978-91-7459-526-0OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-61668DiVA: diva2:571392
2012-12-14, Humanisthuset, Hörsal F, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:15 (English)
Charles, Maria, Professor
Svallfors, Stefan, Professor
List of papers