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Taking Turns or Halving It All: Care Trajectories of Dual-Caring Couples
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2018 (English)In: European Journal of Population, ISSN 0168-6577, E-ISSN 1572-9885Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Interview and observational studies document that dual-caring is characterized by temporality. Two ‘ideal-typical’ trajectories are identified: ‘halving it all’ in which couples divide care equally on a daily or weekly basis and ‘taking turns’ in which parents take month- or year-long turns in serving as primary caregivers to the child. This study utilizes a new source of couple-level longitudinal information on parental leave to investigate dual-caring trajectories in contemporary Sweden. Results show that while care trajectories in which only one parent serves as the primary caregiver can be captured without longitudinal information, the dominant dual-caring trajectory cannot. In fact, despite a uniquely flexible parental leave system that allows egalitarian couples to share care on a daily basis, most couples do not share care in every point in time, but ‘take turns’ in serving as the primary caregiver to the child, with the mother’s ‘turn’ preceding the father’s. The results demonstrate that cross-sectional and aggregate measures of child care may fail to detect emerging trends in dual-caring.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
Child care, Dual-caring, Parental leave, Sweden, Sequence analysis
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Sociological Demography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-154111DOI: 10.1007/s10680-018-9473-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-154111DiVA, id: diva2:1190626
Available from: 2018-03-15 Created: 2018-03-15 Last updated: 2018-09-21
In thesis
1. Studies on Parental Leave and Co-residence using Swedish Register Data
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Studies on Parental Leave and Co-residence using Swedish Register Data
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Understanding the two primary life-course events that create and accelerate gender inequality within the couple -- the transition to parenthood and parental separation -- may ameliorate their far-reaching consequences over the life-course in multiple domains of life. This thesis includes four studies on various aspects of these life-course events. The first two studies investigate division of child care at the transition to parenthood. A gender equal transition to parenthood, in which both women and men take leave off work to care for their children, is essential for couples to achieve gender equality in the family as well as in the labor market. Study I investigates the ways in which Swedish couples do such ‘dual-caring’ and shows that the dominant trajectory of dual care is characterized by taking turns as the child’s primary caregiver. Study II investigates how the domain of paid work may hinder or facilitate a gender equal transition to parenthood, focusing on economic considerations and occupational conditions of work. Study III investigates gendered division of care leave taken after couples have returned to paid work. It shows that economic differentials within the couple may shape the onset of long-term division of child care but that short-term economic incentives do not seem to alter the division. Study IV turns to parental separation as the second life-course event in which gender inequality is accelerated. As children have been most likely to live with their mothers when their parents’ union ends, parental separation typically marks the (possible) second life-course event in which unpaid work is shifted towards women. Study IV provides a method for estimating parental separation with register data and therefore making possible studies of outcomes for mothers, fathers and children who live apart.

 

All studies use administrative register data. These data provide a unique source of couple-level longitudinal information on all parental couples registered in Sweden. The first two studies are made possible by the availability of dated information on parental leave use. The third study accurately traces division of care leave by income composition within the couple. The last study traces parental coresidence from birth to age 15 for a period of almost four decades.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Sociology, Stockholm University, 2018. p. 35
Series
Dissertation series / Stockholm University Demography Unit, ISSN 1404-2304 ; 17
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Sociological Demography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-154651 (URN)978-91-7797-266-2 (ISBN)978-91-7797-267-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-05-18, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 349-2007-8701Swedish Research Council, 340-2013-5164
Available from: 2018-04-25 Created: 2018-04-04 Last updated: 2018-04-16Bibliographically approved

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