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Female employment, gender roles, and attitudes: The Baltic countries in a broader context
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis consists of four constituent studies exploring several common themes: female participation in employment, normative assumptions regarding the proper roles of males and females, and social change. The underlying focus is gendered division of work, which is explored through the concept of family models. These models are conceptualized with reference to the interrelationships between female employment, availability of care services outside the family, and sharing of care work within the family. The empirical analysis is mostly based on the Baltic countries, but also includes Germany, Sweden, and Russia. By examining the variation between the countries, the research aims to highlight some common issues regarding the gendered division of work, issues that bridge the East/West divide. The data come from three sources: 1) available national descriptive statistics, 2) surveys, namely, the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) ‘Family and Changing Gender Roles’ modules and the European Values Survey (EVS), and 3) nineteen problem-centred interviews with women who experienced hardships in the Lithuanian labour market. The analyzed time period starts with the collapse of socialism.

The studies call into question the assumption that strong support for the traditional ‘male breadwinner/female carer’ family model in post-socialist societies contributed to the exclusion of women from the labour market. Comparing male and female employment indicators revealed no general pattern of female exclusion from the labour market. Moreover, gender-role attitudes are neither uniform nor traditional in the studied societies. The most valid generalization would be that there is a trend towards less traditional attitudes over time, more precisely, towards greater acceptance of women’s working roles. Summarizing the current situation regarding the gendered division of work, with reference to policies, practices, and attitudes, reveals the presence of ‘adult worker’ family models in Eastern Europe.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, 2008. , 141 p.
Stockholm studies in sociology, ISSN 0491-0885 ; N.S., 29Södertörn doctoral dissertations, ISSN 1652-7399 ; 22
Keyword [en]
female employment, work, gender-role attitudes, family models, breadwinner, traditionalism, social change, cross-national comparisons, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Sweden
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7340ISBN: 978-91-854445-84-4ISBN: 978-91-89315-80-8OAI: diva2:198075
Public defence
2008-03-07, MB 505, Södertörns högskola, Alfred Nobels allé 7, Huddinge, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2008-02-02 Created: 2008-02-02 Last updated: 2012-10-05Bibliographically approved

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