Ambivalent Attitudes, Contradictory Institutions: Ambivalence in Gender-Role Attitudes in Comparative Perspective
2010 (English)In: International Journal of Comparative Sociology, ISSN 0020-7152, E-ISSN 1745-2554, Vol. 51, no 1-2, 33-57 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The purpose of this article is to analyze the extent and determinants of ambivalent — that is, seemingly inconsistent and contradictory — attitudes with regard to gender roles and female participation in the labor force from a comparative point of view. Drawing upon the work of Robert Merton and Elinor Barber, it is argued that attitudinal ambivalence may arise as a consequence of a disjunction between people’s aspirations and the structural possibility of realizing them. One such disjunction with possible importance for ambivalence with regard to gender role attitudes is between, on the one hand, the massive increase in women’s participation in higher education, which has increased women’s opportunities as well as aspirations to pursue career and labor market goals similar to those of men, and on the other hand, the emergence of institutions that allow women to take advantage of these opportunities by providing the means to reconcile work at home with paid work. The empirical analyses, using data from the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) for 26 countries, presents strong evidence in favor of this argument: the greater the difference between rates of change in female educational attainment and institutions that might reconcile paid work with motherhood, the greater is attitudinal ambivalence with regard to gender roles
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications , 2010. Vol. 51, no 1-2, 33-57 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-34877DOI: 10.1177/0020715209347064ISI: 000274478000002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-34877DiVA: diva2:285858