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Family-friendly Working Conditions and Childbearing: A Capability Approach to Fertility Behaviour among Young Adult Women in Sweden
Stockholm University.
(English)Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Previous studies have shown that unfavourable working conditions, in terms of overtime, unsocial and inflexible working, etc., influence men’s and women’s work–family conflict. The relationship between working conditions and childbearing has rarely been studied, however. This study addresses the impact of family-friendly working conditions and individual resources on young adult women’s capability to have children in Sweden, and whether these factors have different impact on childless women’s and mothers’ further childbearing behaviour. The conceptual framework is inspired by Amartya Sen’s Capability Approach, which helps to advance our understanding of how institutional context, workplace practices and individual life situation shape women’s propensity to have children. Analysis of data extracted from the Swedish panel survey YAPS shows that especially the transition to the second child is associated with women’s family-friendly working conditions, while the partner’s family-friendly working conditions is associated with the transition to both first and second births. The analysis also reveals that family-friendly working conditions are most salient for the less educated and low income childless women’s transition to motherhood, and for low educated mothers’ second birth.

Keyword [en]
capability approach, childbearing, family-friendly work, Sweden, working conditions
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociological Demography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-79496OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-79496DiVA: diva2:555507
Available from: 2012-09-20 Created: 2012-09-04 Last updated: 2012-09-20Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Facets of Work–Life Balance across Europe: How the interplay of institutional contexts, work arrangements and individual resources affect capabilities for having a family, and for being involved in family life
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Facets of Work–Life Balance across Europe: How the interplay of institutional contexts, work arrangements and individual resources affect capabilities for having a family, and for being involved in family life
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this dissertation is to explore various dimensions of work–life balance in Europe. I examine the extent to which institutional factors, working conditions and individual resources influence individuals’ capabilities to have a family and engage in family life. The theoretical framework is inspired by Amartya Sen’s capability framework, a multi-dimensional approach that provides a deeper understanding of the relationship between institutional contexts and individual capabilities. Four studies have been conducted. The first study focuses on women’s short-term childbearing intentions in ten European countries and finds that the association between such intentions and economic uncertainties varies by the policy support for work-family reconciliation in the country as well as individual factors, such as her educational level, and her number of children. The second study addresses the impact of family-friendly working conditions on young adult women’s childbearing behaviour in Sweden, showing the importance of family-friendly working condition for the transition to motherhood of less educated childless women with low income, and for second births of low educated mothers. The third study analyses gender differences in perceived work–home conflict in ten European countries, and the importance of work-family policies and gender norms. I find that gender differences are more pronounced in countries with weaker support for work-family reconciliation and more traditional gender norms. The fourth study focuses on tensions between work and family demands that parents in Hungary and Sweden experience, and on their capabilities to make claims for work–life balance. We find greater agency inequalities for Hungarian parents for claims making for and achievement of work-life balance, in contrast to a strong sense of entitlement to exercise rights to care among Swedish parents, which reflect country variations in policy supports for work−life balance, working time regimes and social norms regarding work and care.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, 2012. 177 p.
Series
Stockholm studies in sociology, ISSN 0491-0885 ; N.S., 53
Keyword
capability approach, childbearing, family-friendly work, family policies, work–life balance
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-79498 (URN)978-91-87235-01-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-11-26, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: Submitted. Paper 2: Submitted. Paper 3: Submitted.

Available from: 2012-11-02 Created: 2012-09-04 Last updated: 2015-06-16Bibliographically approved

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