Special Issue "Work-Family Balance and Gender (In)equalities in Europe: Policies, Processes and Practices"

A special issue of Social Sciences (ISSN 2076-0760).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 September 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Isabella Crespi

Department of Education, Cultural Heritage and Tourism, University of Macerata, P.le Luigi Bertelli, 1, 62100 Macerata, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: family policies; gender equality; work-family balance; comparative studies; Europe

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the last few decades, important societal developments changed the situation for family practices in term of work-family negotiation and balance. Increasing numbers of women in education and the work force, the new role of fathers as caregivers, as well as providers and the expansion of family-friendly policies and gender equality policies pointed towards more family-friendly and gender equal societies.

However, labor markets, as well as welfare states, are undergoing major transitions facing increasing global competition, insecurity and pressure for continuously increased productivity. These challenges have introduced great polarization among employees resulting from the fragmentation in employment arrangements and differential quality of jobs. Thus, conflicting demands and rationalities of work, family and welfare states might collide even in societies with extensive family-friendly policies. 

As modern working life and family life has become more individualized and flexible with less clear boundaries, debates about work- family dynamics have expanded. This Special Issue invites proposals that conceptualize and empirically investigate the consequences of work-family policies through which institutions may impact gender (in)equalities within the couples/families.

This Special Issue welcomes papers analysing current situation in a specific European country or comparison among EU countries in a cross-sectional or longitudinal perspective. In particular, papers using statistical and representative datasets and surveys, analyzing data in the light of work-family and gender policies changes and cultural representation, are especially welcome. Methodologically, promising approaches for exploring policy impact and processes include longitudinal data analyses, as well as insightful comparisons within and across countries.

Prof. Isabella Crespi
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Social Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Work-family balance
  • Gender (in)equalities
  • Family and gender policies
  • Comparative studies
  • European society

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Balancing Work and Life When Self-Employed: The Role of Business Characteristics, Time Demands, and Gender Contexts
Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(8), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7080139 (registering DOI)
Received: 30 June 2018 / Revised: 9 August 2018 / Accepted: 10 August 2018 / Published: 14 August 2018
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This study explores individual and contextual risk factors in relation to work interfering with private life (WIL) and private life interfering with work (LIW) among self-employed men and women across European countries. It also studies the relationship between interference (LIW and WIL) and
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This study explores individual and contextual risk factors in relation to work interfering with private life (WIL) and private life interfering with work (LIW) among self-employed men and women across European countries. It also studies the relationship between interference (LIW and WIL) and well-being among self-employed men and women. Drawing on data from the fifth round of the European Working Conditions Survey, a sample of self-employed men and women with active businesses was extracted. After applying multilevel regressions, results show that although business characteristics are important, the most evident risk factor for WIL and LIW is time demands. Both time demands and business characteristics also seem to be important factors in relation to gender differences in level of interference. There is a relationship between well-being and both WIL and LIW, and time demands is again an important factor. Gender equality in the labor market did not relate to level of interference, nor did it affect the relationship between interference and well-being. However, in gender-separated analyses, LIW and LIW interacted with gender equality in the labor market in different ways for women’s and men’s well-being. In conclusion, gender relations are important in interference and how interference relates to well-being. Full article
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