Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
RN13_09b: Gender-arrangements and the division of work within couples
Friday, 23/Aug/2019:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Anna-Maija Castrén, University of Eastern Finland
Session Chair: Kathryn Almack, University of Hertfordshire
Location: UP.2.219
University of Manchester Building: University Place, Second Floor Oxford Road

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“His Illness, His Needs –This Is My Life” – Familial Ties and Women’s Self-Exclusion

Iwona Janina Taranowicz

University of Wrocław, Poland

In the past the family was a “community of needs” held together by an obligation of solidarity. Rather than individual goals and purposes, common goals and purposes were the most important. However, contemporary families are a creation of individual choices and negotiation. The obligation to give support is not obvious, and commitment is negotiated. In Poland though, social pressure on family members and their obligations to give help and care is still strong. So if relatives are ill, is caring for them still a duty?

The results of individual, semi-standardized interviews conducted with 67 family caregivers do not give a clear answer. The call of duty still exists, but it is the result of personal feelings and internal criteria, not social pressure. The outcomes show the importance of emotional ties; these are the main sources and the basic grounds for attention and caregiving. Empirical data confirm that women are the primary caregivers in families. Among this study's participants, 89,7% are women. Almost half of them claimed that their lives are subordinated to the ill relative, other claimed that the illness completely changed their lives. The illness limits their activities and eliminates them from different dimensions of social life, including the labour market. While such caregiving is an obligation, taking on that obligation is their choice. They do it for relatives whom they love. However the cost of this choice is huge, emotionally, socially, professionally, and financially.

Capturing a Changing Gender Dynamics: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Division of Household Labour in Post-transitional Croatia

Inga Tomic-Koludrovic1, Ivan Puzek2, Mirko Petric3

1Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar, Croatia; 2University of Zadar, Croatia; 3University of Zadar, Croatia

The subject matter related to gender, care and work has remained relatively understudied in the successor states emerging after the breakup of socialist Yugoslavia (except for Slovenia, which has had a different post-succession trajectory). What evidence exists in other post-Yugoslav countries indicates that the participation of men in routine household labour has increased in relation to the socialist period. However, the indicators used so far have been rather crude and have resulted in primarily descriptive accounts. This paper represents an attempt to gear the discussion towards a more complex analysis within the family context, allowing for a better understanding of the changing gender dynamics in post-transitional Croatia. The analysis is based on data from a nationally representative survey conducted in 2018 within the Croatian Science Foundation funded project on gender modernisation (GENMOD - HRZZ 6010). Determinants of housework gender distribution were simultaneously analysed on the level of household members (i.e. individuals) and on household level using a hierarchical regression model. The findings strongly suggest that there are significant predictors of housework share both on the individual and the contextual level. The introduction of previously unused categories has revealed that men tend to engage in routine household work more on an “occasional” basis and that the same goes for women who increasingly perform traditionally “male” chores.

Convergence towards a Dual Earner Model? Contrasting changes in family-related attitudes and family policies across Europe

Simone Braun, Dirk Hofäcker

University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany

One aim of the “Europe 2020” agenda has been increasing women’s employment across Europe. Implementation of this aim rests on two basic preconditions: (i) the normative acceptance and (ii) the promotion of women’s employment through work-family-reconciliation policies. Our paper investigates how far European countries have progressed in meeting these dual challenges in a three-step design:

First, using data from the International Social Survey Programme 1988, 1994, 2002 and 2012 for up to 22 European countries, it reconstructs long-term trends in the acceptance of women’s employment as well as the desired type (full- versus part-time). Aggregated results suggest that there has been a move from a traditional breadwinner orientation towards a dual earner model, though with cross-national variation in the speed and magnitude. Convergence in attitudes towards women’s employment thus is paralleled by persistent cross-national differences.

Second, we decompose attitudinal trends by socio-demographic indicators including gender, age, education, employment and family status. Applying regression allows us investigating which nation-specific social groups have been the frontrunners and the laggards in the attitudinal trends.

Third, we contrast attitudinal patterns with shifts in public reconciliation policies, such as child care services and family-related leave schemes, using institutional data sources. This systematic contrast allows us investigating whether countries where reforms in reconciliation policy have been most profound are also those where attitudes have changed most comprehensively. Are there countries where public policies actually “lag behind” manifest attitudinal changes? And, vice versa, are there countries where public policies have run ahead of rather modest changes in employment-related attitudes?

The paper closes with a critical assessment of the promotion of women’s employment across Europe and potential challenges for its future convergence.

A Cohort Perspective on Traditional Gender Stereotypes in Countries of The Former Czechoslovakia: A legacy of Soviet-style Women's Emancipation?

Alexandra Matejková

Slovak Acadamy of Sciences, Slovak Republic

The paper focuses on transformations in perception of gender-based roles of women in post-communist countries using the example of Slovak and Czech Republics. Women's employment and women's emancipation affect not only the labour market but family life as well. Eastern Europe, and the countries of the former Czechoslovakia in particular, have experienced several decades of high labor market participation of women. This was a result of a duty imposed on women - aimed at increasing the wealth of the countries - not of a choice directed at gaining economic independence. During communism, women in the former Czechoslovakia grew up in a situation where high labor market participation of women and two-career family was the norm. The emancipation of women was expressed not as a right to work but as a "duty to work". Becoming a housewife was not a real option. Against this background, we ask whether women socialized during communism have a different view on their gender roles and careers than women who grew up after its demise and whether this gap is diminishing 30 years after the fall of the Iron curtain. Our results, based on data from four waves of the European Values Survey, point out an interesting feature of the post-communist societies of the former Czechoslovakia – a turn to traditional values. Slovak and Czech women seem still fascinated by their traditional roles of a wife and a mother and have ambiguous attitudes towards their occupation and professional careers.

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