Gender Regimes, Family Policies and Attitudes to Female Employment: A Comparison of Germany, Italy and Sweden
2003 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Genusregimer, familjepolitik och attityder till kvinnors förvärvsarbete : En jämförelse av Tyskland, Italien och Sverige (Swedish)
In this study, attitudes towards female employment and the division of labour between men and women in Germany, Italy and Sweden are explored. Using a quantitative approach, the first objective is to examine how political ideologies and welfare political models are reflected in or accompany attitudes towards female labour market participation among different groups in the three welfare states. Welfare policies significantly influence women’s choices to enter and remain in employment and to achieve individual social rights. Based on a more qualitative approach, the second aim is to study policy dynamics in relation to changing value orientations, and to track the emergence of alternative policies and their intended target groups. For this purpose local political implementers in each country were interviewed.
The overall conclusion is that that the ways in which certain patterns of gender relations occur are closely related to the designs of national welfare policies. Still, within the groups of women and men factors such as age, educational attainment levels and family status are important or even decisive for attitudes towards female labour market participation. In addition, the extent to which attitudes correspond to actual female labour market behaviour seems largely to be a matter of public policy. While all three studies point at important national differences in welfare policies at the same time as patterns of value orientations converge, especially among women, the comparison of local policy levels reveals important withincountry variations. These variations concern the quantity as well as the quality of policy measures, that is, the political implications for gender on socio-economic situation, alternative political majority and historical and cultural heritage. Variations in local policy formulations are large in Italy and less pronounced in Germany and Sweden, and they illustrate the different political emphasis placed on the preservation, modification or transformation of what is defined as gender equality and as local or national cultural traditions. Local social and labour market policies depict quite different approaches. The degree of state control versus local autonomy is relevant for the outcome of local social policies on gender and both national and local policy formulations are important in determining whether the normative emphasis should be placed on the maintenance, reinforcement or alteration of gender relations. While such choices and decisions also include the acceptance or rejection of national, and even local differences in definitions of citizenship rights, they point at the inherent relativity of the concept and as a result, its gendering effects on social, economic and political equality.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2003. , 50 p.
Akademiska avhandlingar vid Sociologiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, ISSN 1104-2508 ; 31
Sociology, gender regimes, welfare state, employment, care, citizenship, local policies
Research subject Sociology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-185ISBN: 91-7305-382-1OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-185DiVA: diva2:142190
2003-02-28, Hörsal E, Humanisthuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:15
Johansson, Vicki, Universitetslektor
Svallfors, Stefan, Professor
List of papers