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The separation of work and the family : attitudes towards women's labour-fource participation in Germany, Great Britain, and the United States

Die Trennung von Arbeit und Familie : Einstellungen zur Erwerbsbeteiligung von Frauen in Deutschland, Großbritannien und den Vereinigten Staaten
[working paper]

Alwin, Duane F.; Braun, Michael; Scott, Jacqueline

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-69899

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Corporate Editor Zentrum für Umfragen, Methoden und Analysen -ZUMA-
Abstract Recent trends indicate substantial changes in the labour-force status of women in Western industrialized societies. Many studies indicate that shifts in sex-role attitudes have apparently accompanied these changes, but research has not focused on the specific conditions under which men and women approve of non-familial roles for women. Moreover, virtually no comparative research exists on this topic. In this paper, data for three Western countries - the former West Germany, Great Britain, and the United States - are compared with respect to attitudes toward female labour-force participation. The data, taken from the 1988 ISSP (International Social Survey Program) module on the family, focus specifically on the conditions under which respondents approve of women working. Results indicate that the attitudes of both men and women reflect substantial preference for a primary familial role for women, especially when young children are present. Intra-country patterns of predictable variation in attitudes are quite similar in the countries considered: attitudes favouring the labour-force involvement of women are associated with gender, labour-force experience, schooling, and birth cohort. Inter-country differences can in part be explained by normative differences in labour-force participation rates of women and perceptions of the suitability of child-care resources, but most of the inter-country differences were unexplained by the factors considered and are thought to be due to unmeasured normative and institutional factors associated with the care and nurture of children.
Keywords Federal Republic of Germany; Great Britain; United States of America; women's employment; family; division of labor; international comparison; gender-specific factors; North America
Classification Employment Research; Women's Studies, Feminist Studies, Gender Studies
Method empirical
Document language English
Publication Year 1992
City Mannheim
Page/Pages 25 p.
Series ZUMA-Arbeitsbericht, 1992/22
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications
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