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Transforming Gender and Family Relations

How Active Labour Market Policies Shaped the Dual Earner Model Åsa Lundqvist, Professor, Department of Sociology, Lund University, Sweden
This book is about how the activation of women into paid work was accomplished. It looks at the ideational grounds and the concrete measures that created the conditions for increasing the employment ratio of women, and thus also a farewell to male breadwinning.
Extent: 208 pp
Hardback Price: $115.00 Web: $103.50
Publication Date: 2017
ISBN: 978 1 78643 628 3
Availability: In Stock
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  • Politics and Public Policy
  • European Politics and Policy
  • Gender Politics
  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Family and Gender Policy
  • Labour Policy
  • Sociology and Sociological Theory
  • Welfare States
Sweden has gained a worldwide reputation for its family friendly policies and the high share of women in paid employment. This book discusses the particular importance of early activation policies in the increase of women’s paid employment and in changing gender and family relations. It explores how the integration of women into paid work was actually accomplished: on what ideational grounds, and using what concrete measures, were the conditions created for increasing the employment ratio of women?

A number of activation measures are analyzed in more detail: vocational training, opinion-shaping, persuading activities and the work done by activating inspectors, specially installed to initiate housewives into paid labor. The book showcases how early activation policies contributed to the transformation of gender and family relations and thus to a farewell to male breadwinning.

The book will appeal to undergraduates as well as graduate students, lecturers and researchers in gender studies, social and public policy and across the fields of politics, European studies, and contemporary history.
‘Sweden's social policies have a central place in both academic and political discussions of the role of states in promoting women's labor market activation and gender equality. Lundqvist's innovative, historically rich and theoretically sophisticated study analyzes a key episode in the building of these policies, focusing on the agency of Sweden's activation inspectors. She brings to light for the first time the critical role of women inspectors in the building of Sweden's policy architecture. Scholars of gender, social policy, states and labor markets will find here fresh insights and understandings of the gendered transformations of state policies and politics which continue into our own time.’
– Ann Shola Orloff, Northwestern University, US

‘Åsa Lundqvist has written a compelling study on gender, the labour market and the welfare state. Based on a profound historical-sociological analysis of Swedish labour market and family policies, including the 1960s activation campaigns attracting women into the workforce, the book is an exciting history of gendered welfare-state efforts to change social structures and individual behaviour. With her historical sensitivity and theoretical and methodological skills, Lundqvist makes a highly important contribution to current discussion on activation, workfare, and work-family relations.’
– Pauli Kettunen, University of Helsinki, Finland
Contents: 1. Activation policies and changing family relations 2. The politics of paid work 3. The activation project: Mission, goals and visions 4. Activation through training 5. Activation through information and persuasion 6. The activation inspector 7. Activating women: aim, means and consequences References Index