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Working Mothers in Europe

A Comparison of Policies and Practices Edited by Ute Gerhard, Professor of Sociology, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany, Trudie Knijn, Professor of Interdisciplinary Social Science, Utrecht University, the Netherlands and Anja Weckwert, Research Fellow, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany
Working Mothers in Europe combines comparative perspectives on social policies with analyses of mothers’ practices as evidenced in macro data and as explored in country based case studies. Social policy research has emphasised the impact of particular welfare systems and their policies on women’s integration into the labour market and the organisation of care and work. However, the authors argue that policies are not the only factor, and, hitherto, we have very little knowledge of the precise interactions between social policies and social practices of individuals and families.
Extent: 192 pp
Hardback Price: $127.00 Web: $114.30
Publication Date: 2005
ISBN: 978 1 84542 244 8
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  • Development Studies
  • Development Studies
  • Family and Gender Policy
  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Comparative Social Policy
  • Family and Gender Policy
  • Sociology and Sociological Theory
Working Mothers in Europe combines comparative perspectives on social policies with analyses of mothers’ practices as evidenced in macro data and as explored in country based case studies. Social policy research has emphasised the impact of particular welfare systems and their policies on women’s integration into the labour market and the organisation of care and work. However, the authors argue that policies are not the only factor, and, hitherto, we have very little knowledge of the precise interactions between social policies and social practices of individuals and families.

In order to accurately grasp the cross-country variation of mothers’ work and care arrangements in Europe, this book assembles a comparative approach towards welfare systems and social policies with an analysis of mothers' social practices in several European countries.

Exploring the ways in which working mothers manage to combine care responsibilities and paid work on the basis of diverse public and private resources, this book will be invaluable to academics, researchers and students interested in the social sciences. More generally, the book will greatly appeal to those with an interest in women’s employment, gender relations and the needs of children as matters that are tackled in the interaction between social policy and individuals.
‘Working Mothers in Europe will appeal to readers with an interest in public
policy development and mothers’ experiences of work–family balance (or
imbalance). I envisage that Australian readers will be most interested in the sections exploring how mothers’ combine paid employment with child care when state assistance is limited, given that Australia too offers only limited support for employed mothers.’
– Amanda Hosking, Labour & Industry
Contributors: M. Daly, U. Gerhard, I. Jönsson, U. Klammer, T. Knijn, A. Leira, M.-T. Letablier, C. Tobío, R. Trifiletti, A. Weckwert
Contents: 1. Introduction: Social Practices and Social Policies 2. Mothers between Individualisation and Institution: Cultural Images of Welfare Policy 3. Caring for Children: The Logics of Public Action 4. Strategies, Everyday Practices and Social Change 5. Kinship and Informal Support: Care Resources for the First Generation of Working Mothers in Norway, Italy and Spain 6. Care Packages: The Organisation of Work and Care by Working Mothers 7. Women’s Participation in European Labour Markets References Index