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The relationship between work and family preferences and behaviors: a longitudinal study of gender differences in Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work. Centre for Research on Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Karlstad University, Sweden.
2017 (English)In: Acta Sociologica, ISSN 0001-6993, E-ISSN 1502-3869, Vol. 60, no 2, 120-133 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Proposed theories to explain gender inequality in the labor market and family, such as gender specialization within families and gender segregation in the labor markets, lack consideration for individual preferences. Preference theory accounts for individual choice and gendered preferences but has been substantially criticized, indicating a need for further research. This study uses Swedish longitudinal data to explore how preferences for work and family relate to behavior. We explore three critical issues raised in previous research: gender differences in preferences; the relationship between work and family changes and subsequent preferences; how preferences relate to work and family behaviors. Our results showed small general gender differences in preferences, although women had a stronger preference for both children and work than men. Changes in work status were further related to changes in work preferences, while changes in family status were related to changes in family preferences. Moreover, preferences had poor predictive power in relation to work and family behaviors. Our results indicate that preferences do not explain gender inequality in Sweden. The relationship between preferences and behaviors seems bidirectional and preferences and behavior within the family sphere has little to do with preferences and behavior within the work sphere.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 60, no 2, 120-133 p.
Keyword [en]
Gender, family, labor market, preferences, longitudinal, Sweden
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-124668DOI: 10.1177/0001699316659322ISI: 000400089400002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-124668DiVA: diva2:954237
Available from: 2016-08-22 Created: 2016-08-22 Last updated: 2017-05-30Bibliographically approved

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Nilsson, KarinaHammarström, AnneStrandh, Mattias
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
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