Childbearing, Women's Employment and Work-Life Balance Policies in Contemporary Europe

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-09-26
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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This volume addresses the tensions between work and welfare with respect to fertility. Focusing on childbearing choices (intentions, desires) as influential predictors of future fertility, the contributors examine the importance of labour force attachment on young women's fertility plans in the context of increased labour market flexibility and differences in work-life balance policies across Europe in the early 21st century. Both high- and low-fertility societies of different welfare regimes are studied, illuminating processes of uncertainty and risk related to insecure labour force attachment and the incoherence effect in terms of women's and men's equal access to education and employment but unequal share of domestic responsibilities, constraining fertility. The synthesis of the findings shows how childbearing choices in relation to uncertainty, risk and incoherence offer a lens for understanding the capabilities of families to have and care for children in contemporary Europe. This volume contributes to the conceptual development of further research on the complex relationship between fertility, paid work and work-life balance policies.

Author Biography

Livia Sz. Oláh is Associate Professor for Demography at the Department of Sociology, Stockholm University, Sweden.

Ewa Fratczak is Professor and Head of the Event History Analysis and Multilevel Analysis Unit at the Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics, Poland. She is also Head of the Demographic Committee of the Polish Academy of Sciences, a former member of the UN Commission on Population and Development; the European Population Committee; and of the European Population Network at Council of Europe.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Aspirations and Uncertainties: Childbearing Choices and Work-Life Realities in Europe; Livia Sz. Oláh and Susanne Fahlén
2. Work and Childbearing Intentions in a Capability Perspective: Young Adult Women in Sweden; Susanne Fahlén and Livia Sz. Oláh
3. Employment Instability and Childbearing Plans in a Child-Oriented Country: Evidence from France; Ariane Pailhé and Anne Solaz
4. Female Employment, Reconciliation Policies, and Childbearing Intentions in East and West Germany; Katharina Lutz, Mandy Boehnke, Johannes Huinink and Silke Tophoven
5. The Interplay of Fertility Intentions, Female Employment and Work-Life Balance Policies in Contemporary Poland: Can Gender Equity, Preference, and Social Capital Theories Provide a Better Insight?; Ewa Fratczak & Aneta Ptak-Chmielewska
6. Unattainable Desires? Childbearing Capabilities in Early 21st Century Hungary; Judit Takács
7. Concluding Thoughts on Childbearing, Women's Work and Work-Life Balance Policy Nexus in Europe in the Dawn of 21st Century; Livia Sz. Oláh and Susanne Fahlén

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