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The juggle and struggle of everyday life. Gender, division of work, work-family perceptions and well-being in different policy contexts.
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Health Sciences.
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background This thesis explores the division of work, work-family perceptions and well-being in different policy contexts. Work (both paid and unpaid) is an arena where gender order is emphasised. Work task specialisation is often based on our ideas of femininity and masculinity. A gender order results in different chances and possibilities in life for men and women, influencing for example access to paid work. Genders are constructed differently across contexts, and countries policies and norms seem to play an important role in for instance the possibilities to combine work and children. Also, gender is important for the understanding and for the experiences of health and well-being. Two main research question are investigated in this thesis. First, how do gendered work division and work-family perceptions relate to well-being? Second, what are the contextual differences (policies and norms) with regard to gendered time use, gender attitude, work-family perceptions and well-being? Methods The thesis is based on data from three sources: the European Social Survey (ESS), the International Social Survey programme (ISSP) and Multinational Time Use Data (MTUS). With these sources, the aim is to capture patterns of behaviours, attitudes and perceptions on both individual level and national level. The methods used are logistic regression (Study I), OLS regression (Study III) and two different types of multilevel analyses (Studies II and IV). Results The results indicate that work-family perceptions are more important for individuals' well-being than actual time spent on paid and unpaid work. Further, the relationship between experiences of imbalance between work and family and low well-being differs by country. In countries where labour markets are more gender-equal the experience of imbalance to a higher degree relate to lower well-being, indicating that those who do experience imbalance in these gender-equal countries report lower levels of well-being than in countries which are less gender-equal. There have been changes in division of work and attitudes towards women's employment over the last few decades. Institutions and policies play a role for the division of work, and to some extent for changes in work task specialisation, as well as attitudes towards women's employment. Conclusion Central findings in this thesis show that it seems as if the experience of balance in life is more important for individuals' well-being than time use. The context in which gender is constructed is important for the relationship between paid work and family life imbalance and well-being and should be taken into consideration in cross-country studies. The fact that individuals in more gender-equal countries report lower well-being when experiencing imbalance could be a result of the multiple burden for both men and women in more gender-equal contexts. Also, the role of context and policies for attitudes and behaviours in relation to work is complex, and although this thesis adds to previous knowledge more research is needed. From a gender perspective the conclusion is that there are dual expectations in relation to work. In more gender-equal countries, women are expected to be equal to men by participating in the labour market. Meanwhile women still have the main responsibility for the home. Thus, it seems as if the equality of work is based on a masculine norm where paid work is highly valued.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Östersund: Mid Sweden University , 2016. , 98 p.
Series
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 244
National Category
Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-27449ISBN: 978-91-88025-61-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-27449DiVA: diva2:920854
Public defence
2016-05-27, F229, Östersund, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

Vid tidpunkten för disputationen var följande delarbeten opublicerade: delarbete 3 och 4 inskickade

At the time of the doctoral defence the following papers were unpublished: paper 3 and 4 submitted

Available from: 2016-04-25 Created: 2016-04-19 Last updated: 2016-04-28Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Division of labor, perceived labor-related stress and well-being among European couples
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Division of labor, perceived labor-related stress and well-being among European couples
2012 (English)In: Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, ISSN 2162-2485, Vol. 2, no 4, 452-460 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: The objective of this study was to analyze how involvement in paid and unpaid work and perceived labor-related stress are re- lated to the well-being of married or cohabiting men and women in Europe. Methods: Data from the European Social Survey round two has been used. The sample consists of 5800 women and 6952 men, aged between 18 - 65 years. Exposure variables were divided into labor involvement, time spent on paid and unpaid work, and la- bor-related stress. Multiple logistic regressions with 95 % confidence interval were used. Re- sults: Women spent more hours on housework than men did, but fewer hours on paid work. Women tended to perceive higher degrees of housework-related stress than men did. Fur- thermore, women who experienced housework- related stress tended to have higher odds of reporting a low level of perceived well-being than men, while men had higher odds of report- ing a low level of perceived well-being when they experienced work/family conflicts. Conclu- sion: For both men and women, the perceptions of labor involvement are of more importance for the well-being than the actual time spent on paid and unpaid work. This implies that, when study- ing the relationship between labor involvement and well-being, perceived stress should be con- sidered.

Keyword
Division of Labor; Labor Involvement; Perceived Labor-Related Stress; Well-Being
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-17643 (URN)10.4236/ojpm.2012.24064 (DOI)
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2012-12-11 Created: 2012-12-11 Last updated: 2016-04-25Bibliographically approved
2. Work-family conflict and well-being across Europe: The role of gender context
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Work-family conflict and well-being across Europe: The role of gender context
2017 (English)In: Social Indicators Research, ISSN 0303-8300, E-ISSN 1573-0921, Vol. 132, no 2, 785-797 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study analysed whether gender context is important to differences in therelationship between work–family conflict (WFC) and well-being across Europe. Wehypothesised that in countries that support equality in work life and where norms supportwomen’s employment, the relationship between WFC and low well-being is weaker than incountries with less support for gender equality. Cohabiting men and women aged18–65 years from 25 European countries were selected from the European Social Survey.A multilevel analysis was conducted to investigate the relationship between well-being andWFC, and two measurements were used to represent gender context: gender equality inwork life and norms regarding women’s employment. Contrary to the hypothesis, theresults showed that the negative relationship was stronger in countries with high levels ofgender equality in work life and support for women’s employment than in countries with arelatively low level of gender equality in work life and support for traditional genderrelations. The context in which gender is constructed may be important when studying therelationship between WFC and well-being. In addition, emphasis should be placed onpolicies that equalise both the labour market and the work performed at home.

Keyword
Gender context, Europe, Gender relations, Multilevel analysis, Well-being, Work–family conflict
National Category
Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-27386 (URN)10.1007/s11205-016-1301-x (DOI)000402092200013 ()2-s2.0-84961199387 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2016-04-12 Created: 2016-04-12 Last updated: 2017-08-08Bibliographically approved
3. Are changes in parental leave policies related to gendered time use?: A case study of Spain and Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Are changes in parental leave policies related to gendered time use?: A case study of Spain and Sweden
Show others...
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-27513 (URN)
Available from: 2016-04-25 Created: 2016-04-25 Last updated: 2016-04-25Bibliographically approved
4. Changing gender relations, fact or fiction?: Patterns of change in the gendered division of housework and attitudes toward gender equality over two decades in 21 countries.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Changing gender relations, fact or fiction?: Patterns of change in the gendered division of housework and attitudes toward gender equality over two decades in 21 countries.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-27514 (URN)
Available from: 2016-04-25 Created: 2016-04-25 Last updated: 2016-04-25Bibliographically approved

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