Culture and Welfare State
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Culture and Welfare State

Values and Social Policy in Comparative Perspective

Edited by Wim van Oorschot, Michael Opiekla and Birgit Pfau-Effinger

Culture and Welfare State provides comparative studies on the interplay between cultural factors and welfare policies. Starting with an analysis of the historical and cultural foundations of Western European welfare states, reflected in the competing ideologies of liberalism, conservatism and socialism, the book goes on to compare the Western European welfare model to those in North America, Asia and Central and Eastern Europe. Comprehensive and engaging, this volume examines not only the relationships between cultural change and welfare restructuring, taking empirical evidence from policy reforms in contemporary Europe, but also the popular legitimacy of welfare, focusing particularly on the underlying values, beliefs and attitudes of people in European countries.
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Chapter 14: The Values of Work and Care Among Women in Modern Societies

Detlev Lück and Dirk Hofäcker


Detlev Lück and Dirk Hofäcker INTRODUCTION AND RESEARCH QUESTIONS After a strong cultural shift towards gender equality in the 1960s, and a series of laws and social policies designed to eliminate discrimination against women, there remains surprising stability in the actual gendered division of labour, especially in the division between paid and unpaid work, and particularly after the birth of the first child (Schulz and Blossfeld, 2006; Mühling et al., 2006). Explanations for this persistence have mostly referred either to lingering structural obstacles to women’s equality (e.g. Becker, 1996), to culture (e.g. Inglehart, 1997), or to women’s individual preferences (Hakim, 2002). Few authors have analysed the way in which these dimensions are interrelated. We approach this interrelationship by studying women’s attitudes towards work and care as one dimension within this interrelationship, and by explaining it with reference to the others. This chapter, based on a crossnational comparison of the most recent data from the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP), asks which preferences women have regarding the choice between paid employment and responsibility for the family. As two oppositional landmarks, these two orientations correspond to two ideals regarding the division of labour within a couple. These are, on the one hand, the support for a ‘male breadwinner model,’ characterized by a full-time earning husband responsible for the financial well-being of the family, and a care-giving housewife in charge of all household-related tasks. Its counterpart is the support for a ‘dual career’ or ‘adult worker model’ (Lewis, 2001;...

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