Next Article in Journal
Trust and Distrust: Listening to Children about Their Relationships with Professionals
Previous Article in Journal / Special Issue
Gender Inequalities in Early Career Trajectories and Parental Leaves: Evidence from a Nordic Welfare State
Open AccessArticle

Parents’ Strategies in Dealing with Constructions of Gendered Responsibilities at Their Workplaces

1
Department of Sociology, University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria
2
Austrian Institute for Family Studies at the University of Vienna, 1010 Vienna, Austria
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(9), 250; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8090250
Received: 1 July 2019 / Revised: 9 August 2019 / Accepted: 28 August 2019 / Published: 2 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Family and Work: Parental Leave and Careers)
This paper, which is based on qualitative research conducted in Austria, focuses on current gender inequalities between parents in fulfilling their parental responsibilities, which means reconciling the responsibilities of childcare and earning a living. Austria is characterized by a substantial gender gap in men’s and women’s labor force participation and a system that provides particularly long parental leaves. These foster long-term gender inequalities in parents’ careers and involvement in family life after their transition to parenthood. Against this background, we analyzed constructions of parental responsibilities parents face at their workplaces, and how these constructions shape parents’ decisions on sharing parental responsibilities. The findings demonstrate the relevance of parental norms that comprise a father’s main responsibility as breadwinner and a mother’s primary responsibility as a caregiver, constructed and reproduced by parents’ colleagues and employers. Consequently, for parents who try to share their breadwinning and caregiving in a non-normative (and more gender-equal) way, both parents are forced to find strategies in dealing with normative constructions. These strategies range from making a ‘conscious decision’, insisting on the original plan, and challenging predominant norms at workplaces, through quitting the job and looking for another employer, to modifying or giving up the originally planned arrangement. View Full-Text
Keywords: gender inequality; parental leave; employed parents; social constructions; parental responsibilities; Austria gender inequality; parental leave; employed parents; social constructions; parental responsibilities; Austria
MDPI and ACS Style

Mauerer, G.; Schmidt, E.-M. Parents’ Strategies in Dealing with Constructions of Gendered Responsibilities at Their Workplaces. Soc. Sci. 2019, 8, 250.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map

1
Back to TopTop