Handbook on Gender and Social Policy
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Handbook on Gender and Social Policy

Edited by Sheila Shaver

Providing a state of the art overview, this comprehensive Handbook is an essential introduction to the subject of Gender and Social Policy. Bringing together original contributions and research from leading researchers it covers the theoretical perspectives of the field, the central policy terrain of gender inequalities of income, employment and care, and family policy. Examining gender and social policy at both the regional and national level, the Handbook is an excellent resource for advanced students and scholars of sociology, political science, women’s studies, policy studies as well as practitioners seeking to understand how gender shapes the contours of social policy and politics.
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Chapter 21: Norway: the evolution of a Nordic earner–carer model

Anne Lise Ellingsæter


The emerging earner–carer models of the Nordic welfare states, aimed at the equal engagement of mothers and fathers in paid and unpaid work, have gained extensive attention and been an exemplar in much policy debate. However, these earner–carer models have emerged through complex processes over several decades, and this chapter investigates the evolution of the Norwegian variety of the models. What makes this model particularly notable is that it has been categorized as a hybrid, combining dual-earner support with traditional breadwinner elements, by some scholars seen as part of a more general divergence from the Scandinavian model of gender and welfare. The main question addressed is how manifestations of this hybridity have changed over time, and whether it continues to be a defining model feature. To shed light on this process, main family policy reforms since the mid-1970s are traced: paid parental leave, childcare services and cash for childcare benefits. The emphasis is on positions taken by political parties and ideas activated in reform initiatives, as reflected in policy documents. Side glances to other Nordic countries locate particularities of the Norwegian path.

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