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How men became the local agentsof change towards gender equality
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. Department of Sociology and Human Geography , University of Oslo , Blindern, Oslo, Norway.
2008 (English)In: Journal of Gender Studies, ISSN 0958-9236, E-ISSN 1465-3869, Vol. 20, no 3, p. 1-18Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Work-Sharing Couples Study was an action research project conducted in the early 1970s to reconcile work, family and gender equality in families. Its design involved both spouses working part-time and sharing childcare and housework. This article is based on a follow-up study of the original couples 30 years later. The men played a key role in initiating work-sharing in their families and how the men becameagents of change is the topic of the article. Biographical influences from their families of origin and domestic skills, facilitated by the contemporary concept of a modern, profeminist masculinity, were important background factors, and promoting the careers of wives emerged as an important motivational factor. Their authoritative agency in promoting more egalitarian patterns of work and care in their own families also invokes the question of a constructive use of male power. This could give rise to a further discussion of power and masculinity and men as agents of change towards gender equality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 20, no 3, p. 1-18
Keywords [en]
men, part-time, masculinity, power, work/family reconciliation, gender equality
National Category
Gender Studies
Research subject
Gender Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-37925DOI: 10.1080/09589236.2010.514210ISI: 000288953400002Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-79953287709OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-37925DiVA, id: diva2:757788
Available from: 2014-10-23 Created: 2014-10-23 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Modern men: A Norwegian 30-year longitudinal study of intergenerational transmission and social change
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Modern men: A Norwegian 30-year longitudinal study of intergenerational transmission and social change
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The dissertation addresses men and change, intergenerational transmission, historical change and agency, employing as a case a longitudinal follow-up study over two generations of men, where the fathers participated in an experimental research project, the Work-Sharing Couples Project, which aimed to promote egalitarian work–family adaptations in Norway in the early 1970s. The original project was based on both spouses working part-time and shift parenting. The summary presents a multidimensional analysis of the work–family adaptations of the two generations of men: the untraditional adaptation of fathers in the 1970s; and the neo-traditional adaptations of sons in the 2000s. Their different work–family adaptations are discussed as situated agency, taking into account different aspects of time and space, personal biography, discursive and material structures of opportunity, and intergenerational dynamics at the family level as well as at social level.

The five articles present the empirical material: Bjørnholt (2009a) presents the impact on the couple relation and the family of the the parents’ work–sharing arrangement, concluding that the work-sharing arrangement was perceived by the participants to have been beneficial for their couple relationship as well as for the family as a whole. Bjørnholt (2011) explores the motivations of the work-sharing men to act as agents of change towards gender equality, concluding that personal biography, an authoritative way of being and new masculinity ideals, notably a partner- oriented masculinity, were important. Bjørnholt (2010b) analyses the consequences of the work-sharing arrangement on the work-sharing men’s careers, concluding that there were few negative career effects. They were rather successful, and their house-father experiences tended to be valued by employers as management skills. Bjørnholt (2009b) concludes that a father–son design is insufficient in explaining intergenerational transmission and Bjørnholt (2010c) finds that the untraditional work–family arrangement had not been passed on to sons.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro university, 2014. p. 137
Series
Örebro Studies in Gender Research ; 3
Keywords
fathering, intergenerational transmission, longitudinal qualitative research, masculinities, men, part-time, social change, work–family
National Category
Gender Studies
Research subject
Gender Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-34980 (URN)978-91-7529-027-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-10-09, Prismahuset, Hörsal 2, Örebro universitet, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-05-07 Created: 2014-05-07 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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