WP 119 - “He would never just hit the sofa” A narrative of non-complaining among Dutch Mothers
AbstractWorking patterns among Dutch mothers differ remarkably. This variation makes the Netherlands an interesting case to study the origins of the labour participation pattern of women and mothers in particular. This article explores the influence of mothers’ work and gender attitudes and preferences on their diverse employment pattern through 39 semi-structured interviews with mothers living in Amsterdam. Previous studies have already addressed the question to what extent women’s attitudes correspond with their labour market behaviour. Yet, most of these studies are based on large surveys which lack the detail to study the intricacies of the relationship between attitudes, preferences and behaviour. This study shows that a woman’s employment behaviour is the result of a dynamic relationship between her personal work preferences and gender and work attitudes on the one hand, and her work experiences and cultural normative gender expectations on the other, rather than the outcome of a free choice. The study further reveals the prevalence of ‘a narrative of non-complaining’ among Dutch mothers regarding their spouses’ contribution to the home work. This finding may help to understand why the division of labour at home along gender lines persists.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies in its series AIAS Working Papers with number 119.
Date of creation: Apr 2012
Date of revision:
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-05-08 (All new papers)
- NEP-HME-2012-05-08 (Heterodox Microeconomics)
- NEP-LAB-2012-05-08 (Labour Economics)
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