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The gender-job satisfaction paradox and the dual-earner society: Are women (still) making work-family trade-offs?
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2017 (English)In: WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment, and Rehabilitation, ISSN 1051-9815Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Despite their disadvantaged labour market position, women consistently report higher levels of job satisfaction than men. Researchers have attributed women’s higher job satisfaction to their lower expectations, arguing that gender differences will fade away as women’s labour market prospects improve. Others, however, argue that women are more contented than men because their jobs satisfy a need for family adaptions.

OBJECTIVE: In this article, we put the hypotheses of transitions and trade-offs to a strong test, by comparing men and women with comparable human capital investments living in a country where women’s employment is strongly supported by policies, practices and social norms.

METHODS: The relationship between gender and job satisfaction is analysed with stepwise OLS regressions. The analysis is based on a survey to newly graduated highly educated men and women in five occupations in Sweden (n≈2 450).

RESULTS: First, we show that, after controlling for a range of job characteristics, women report a higher level of job satisfaction than men. Second, although the paradox appears to be surprisingly persistent, it cannot be attributed to work-family trade-offs.

CONCLUSIONS: Future research should consider job satisfaction more broadly in the light of gender role socialization and persistent gender inequalities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keyword [en]
Job satisfaction, gender, preferences, work-family adaptions, Sweden
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-138930OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-138930DiVA: diva2:1138138
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2011-0816
Available from: 2017-09-04 Created: 2017-09-04 Last updated: 2017-09-07

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf