Compromising conventions: attitudes of dissonance and indifference towards full-time maternal employment in Denmark, Spain, Poland and the UK

Jacqueline O'Reilly, T. Nazio, J. Manuel Roche

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The article examines cross-national variations in attitudes towards gender roles and the extent to which they map onto regime types. It explores intra-national variation in attitudes to non-traditional gendered behaviour drawing on the theoretical approach of the ‘economy of conventions’, informed by feminist perspectives from comparative research. Data from the European Social Survey are used to map where there is a strong degree of resonance or dissonance between societal and individual attitudes and how these are attenuated by sex and employment status. The results expose unexpected national and intra-national similarities and differences. Societies characterized by a traditional male breadwinner model, such as Spain, indicate a higher degree of permissive values than expected; more liberal countries like the UK show high degrees of indifference, as well as a strong element of traditionalism. Dissonance and indifference compromise traditional gendered conventions and illustrate underlying tensions at the individual and societal level in resolving gender conflicts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-188
Number of pages21
JournalWork, Employment and Society
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2013

Keywords

  • attitudes
  • conventions
  • Denmark
  • employment regimes
  • European Social Survey
  • gender roles
  • maternal employment
  • Poland
  • Spain
  • UK

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