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The gender gap in welfare state attitudes in Europe: the role of unpaid labour and family policy
Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Sociologiska institutionen.
2020 (Engelska)Ingår i: Journal of European Social Policy, ISSN 0958-9287, E-ISSN 1461-7269Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Previous research has shown a prevailing 'modern gender gap' in socio-political attitudes in advanced capitalist economies. While numerous studies have confirmed gender differences in attitudes toward the welfare state in Europe, few have addressed the reason for this rift in men's and women's views about the role of government in ensuring the general welfare of citizens. In this paper, I examine the relationship between gender equality in unpaid labour, family policy and the gender gap in welfare state attitudes. Based on data from 21 countries participating in the European Social Survey (ESS) round 4, and using a mix of country- and individual-level regression models and multilevel models, I find that there is a clear relationship between country-level gender equality in unpaid labour and gender differences in support of an encompassing welfare state. A more equal distribution of unpaid care and domestic work correlates with women being increasingly supportive of a large and encompassing welfare state, in comparison with men. This pattern holds when controlling for individual-level economic risk and resources, cultural factors such as trust and social values traditionally related to support of an encompassing welfare state, and beliefs about welfare state efficiency and consequences for society in general. This pattern is evident for countries with a low level of familistic policies, while no distinguishable pattern is discernible for highly familistic countries. These findings have implications for the perception of gender as an emergent social cleavage with respect to welfare state attitudes. The results are discussed in the light of institutional theories on policy feedback, familism, social role theory and previous findings relating to modernization theory and 'gender realignment'.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Sage Publications, 2020.
Nyckelord [en]
Attitudes, comparative research, division of labour, family policy, gender gap, gender roles, unpaid labour, welfare state
Nationell ämneskategori
Sociologi
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-167897DOI: 10.1177/0958928719899337ISI: 000512229600001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-167897DiVA, id: diva2:1391808
Projekt
Välfärdsopinion 2017
Forskningsfinansiär
Forte, Forskningsrådet för hälsa, arbetsliv och välfärd, 2016-00255Tillgänglig från: 2020-02-05 Skapad: 2020-02-05 Senast uppdaterad: 2020-03-26

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