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New Parents in Europe

Work-Care Practices, Gender Norms and Family Policies Edited by Daniela Grunow, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany and Marie Evertsson, Stockholm University, Sweden
This innovative book explores the different ways in which dual-earner couples in contemporary welfare states plan for, realize and justify their divisions of work and care during the transition to parenthood. Providing a unique comparative, longitudinal and qualitative analysis of new parents in eight European countries, this timely book explicitly locates couples’ beliefs and negotiations in the wider context of national institutional structures.
Extent: 272 pp
Hardback Price: $140.00 Web: $126.00
Publication Date: 2019
ISBN: 978 1 78897 296 3
Availability: Not yet published (pre-order)
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  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Comparative Social Policy
  • Family and Gender Policy
  • Labour Policy
This innovative book explores the different ways in which dual-earner couples in contemporary welfare states plan for, realize and justify their divisions of work and care during the transition to parenthood. Providing a unique comparative, longitudinal and qualitative analysis of new parents in eight European countries, this timely book explicitly locates couples’ beliefs and negotiations in the wider context of national institutional structures.
 
Compelling evidence is provided, demonstrating that the ways and degrees to which new parents can realize their work-care plans and ideals systematically relate to the support structures and resources available from employers, families and the state. A key focus is on couples that act in a non-normative way compared to their national, gender cultural context.

New Parents in Europe will be of great value to sociology, political science and economics scholars alike and, with its use of cutting-edge methodology, will prove to be a valuable resource for policy makers.
‘New Parents in Europe is a long-desired book for everyone who wants to understand how today's work-care practices, parenting norms, and the impact of social policies are changing the lives of new parents in Europe today. The book is a masterpiece of cross-national research with longitudinal data that is sensitive to different gender ideologies of parents in various countries, their equity patterns in the division of paid and unpaid work, the gender norms over the adult life course, and the creation and maintenance of gender identities.’
– Hans-Peter Blossfeld, University of Bamberg, Germany

‘Transition to parenthood can be imagined, but it is only following the arrival of a baby that the impact it will have dawns. It is these early years of parenthood, which are addressed in this excellent, comparative collection. Across the eight countries included, the ways in which caring and paid work are managed is explored. This includes considering non-normative care and paid work arrangements at the individual/couple level, set against national comparisons of cultural commitments to gender equality and structural features such as welfare regimes. Across the chapters, possibilities of undoing gender are glimpsed, but so too is a continued conflation at various levels, of mothers and primary caring ‘obligations’. The sensitive analysis reveals how gendered ‘choices’ and individual practices, related to caring and paid work, come to be organised. This collection makes a timely and significant contribution to the parenthood literature and is highly recommended.’
– Tina Miller, Oxford Brookes University, UK

Contributors include: J. Alsarve, S. Bertolini, K. Boye, S. Buchler, A. Dechant, M. Evertsson, N. Girardin, D. Grunow, D. Hanappi, M.J. González, T. Jurado-Guerrero, I. Lapuerta, J.-M. Le Goff, T. Martín-García, R. Musumeci, M. Naldini, O. Nešporová, M. Reimann, A. Rinklake, C. Roman, E.-M. Schmidt, M, Seiz, P.M. Torrioni, S. Vogl, U. Zartler
Contents:

Preface

PART I CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK AND COMPARATIVE OVERVIEW
1. Resisting or embracing institutional models of parenthood: an analytical framework
Daniela Grunow

2. Comparing couples’ narratives over time: Data and methods
Daniela Grunow

3. Couples in their national context: Gender ideology and maternal labour force attachment
Sandra Buchler

PART II THE SCANDINAVIAN MODEL OF DUAL-EARNING AND DUAL-CARING
4. Realized plans or revised dreams? Swedish parents’ experiences of care, parental leave and paid work after childbirth
Jenny Alsarve, Katarina Boye and Christine Roman

PART III VARIETIES OF EARNING AND CARING IN CONSERVATIVE WELFARE STATES
5. Working and caring: German couples’ realizations of non-normative work-care plans
Anna Dechant and Annika Rinklake

6. Swimming against the tide? Austrian couples’ non-normative work-care arrangements in a traditional environment
Eva-Maria Schmidt, Ulrike Zartler and Susanne Vogl

7. Couples’ alignment of pre-birth plans and post-birth realities in Switzerland: Non-normative adaptation to the one and a half earner model
Nadia Girardin, Doris Hanappi and Jean-Marie Le Goff

PART IV EARNING AND CARING UNDER CONDITIONS OF UNSUPPORTIVE FAMILIALISM
8. Transition to parenthood in Italy: the reasons for non-normativity
Sonia Bertolini, Rosy Musumeci, Manuela Naldini and Paola Maria Torrioni

9. Non-normative couples in Spain: Mothers’ career commitment, fathers’ work arrangements, and egalitarian ideology
Marta Seiz, María José González, Teresa Jurado-Guerrero, Irene Lapuerta and Teresa Martín-García

PART V NEW WELFARE STATES’ RESPONSES TO DUAL EARNING AND CARING
10. ‘It is not something we consciously do’: Polish couples’ struggles to maintain gender equality after the birth of their first child
Maria Reimann

11. Non-normative parents in the gender traditional Czech Republic
Olga Nešporová

PART VI DRAWING CONCLUSIONS: A COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE ON NEW PARENTHOOD IN EUROPE
12. Swimming against the tide or going with the flow? Stories on work-care practices, parenting norms and the importance of policies in a changing Europe
Marie Evertsson and Daniela Grunow

Index