Edited by Heikki Ervasti, Torben Fridberg, Mikael Hjerm and Kristen Ringdal
Chapter 8: Disagreement About the Division of Work Among Couples in Europe: The Role of Gender Ideology and Labour Involvement
Mikael Nordenmark INTRODUCTION Although paid and unpaid work is still divided between women and men according to a traditional pattern, there is a distinct indication that women are becoming increasingly involved in employment and men more engaged in household work and childcare. This means that the division of work between women and men who form couples is not as taken-for-granted as it previously was. What does this scenario mean for the occurrence of conﬂicts and disagreements about the division of labour among couples? This chapter examines various factors that can explain the level of disagreement about division of housework and time spent in employment among couples in Europe. A major focus of the chapter is if attitudes towards gender roles and levels of involvement in employment and household work can explain to some extent the variation between states regarding the experience of disagreements about division of work among couples. Analyses are based on an extensive cross-country data set that includes 24 European countries collected within the framework of European Social Survey 2004 (ESS). RESEARCH ON DISAGREEMENT ABOUT DIVISION OF WORK Research attempting to explain variation in perceptions of unfairness and disagreement in relation to the division of labour among couples often points out both pragmatic or instrumental explanations and explanations related to symbolic or relational meanings of gender, household work and childcare. 152 Disagreement about the division of work among couples in Europe 153 Explanations and theories concerning perceptions in relation to division of labour from an instrumental or...