Between dream and reality. International and national studies of parenting and work from a gender perspective

Project leader

Funding source

Swedish Research Council - Vetenskapsrådet (VR)

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2009
End date: 31/12/2011
Funding: 3000000 SEK


As part of an international collaboration, this project studies how dual earner couples negotiate and decide about the division of paid and unpaid work and how these processes and outcomes differ across welfare regimes. By combining qualitative interviews with quantitative methods and data and by framing the outcome in an international comparative context, we contribute to research fields such as the household division of labor, gender inequality in the labor market and gender constructivism. We will interview nascent parents, a) a few months before the expected birth of their first child and, b) about one and a half year after the birth. The aim is to identify mechanisms that reproduce the gendered division of work in families, by linking couples’ negotiations with cultural setting and institutional context. We will study: 1) How couples plan for the birth of a child and the resulting care work and how they, later on, modify and justify these decisions to themselves and others; 2) How parents in different welfare state regimes differ in this respect; 3) How decisions like these affect the careers of women and men; and, 4) How they feel about the outcome. The international collaboration includes Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands and the U.S. These countries represent three different welfare regimes and are examples of nations promoting a universal-breadwinner strategy (the U.S.), a caregiver-parity strategy (Germany and the Netherlands) and an earner-carer strategy (Sweden)

Last updated on 2017-01-06 at 11:03

Share link