Family Well-Being: European Perspectives: 49 (Social Indicators Research Series)

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Specifically, it breaks new ground by studying the various models indicated, which include the dual-earner models i. Our general hypothesis was that attitudes towards the different family models reflect the intricate crossing of values inherited historically dominance of patriarchal culture and values of a society advancing toward new ways of distributing work and family responsibilities.

In other words, attitudes may be due partly to the influence of the culture in the country studied, Spain. Pfau-Effinger demonstrates the influence of the bourgeois culture with its specific norms, values, attitudes, beliefs, etc. Our Hypothesis H0 led us to consider attitudes toward gender roles and preferences for family models as determined to a significant extent by socio-structural factors and as determined differently for women and men. If this were the case, the cultural influence hypothesis would be confirmed. We would stress that Pfau-Effinger confirms her theory by observing how social practice reinforces the imposition of the male-breadwinner family as the dominant family model, whereas our analysis focused on the ideal level, that of attitudes and not of social practices.

On the one hand, prior studies such as those by Crompton and Harris and Ortega-Gaspar , among other studies on attitudes toward gender roles in diverse countries, enable us to confirm the influence of specific socio-structural factors such as sex, country of origin, education and profession on these attitudes. We extended this analysis by attempting to determine the influence of the socio-structural factors on the three factors indicated—the ideal work situation for the mother and father when the children are under six, attitudes toward gender roles and family model preferences.

This goal was based on the premise that the socio-structural factors that influence attitudes to gender roles must also influence the other two factors. On the other hand, this hypothesis was supported by studies such as those by Pfau-Effinger a , who argues that role acquisition occurs in the internalisation of the structure of family roles during the socialisation process.

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Pfau-Effinger recalls that, for Parsons and Bates , gender role differentiation has a normative function. In this sense, Craig and Mullan and Hochschild and Machung argue that traditional gender norms and ideologies internalised through the socialisation process lead, for example, to men and women dividing work inside and outside the home unequally.

This gendered difference in internalising expectations about behaviour leads us to expect that the different socio-structural factors affect men and women differently. When examining the factors that explain the high level of work—family conflict in Spain and Great Britain for both men and women, Ortega-Gaspar observes that various socio-structural factors influence the two social contexts studied differently.

Finally, Pfau-Effinger a argues that family models in modern societies are images that specify the criteria for achieving the best integration and employment of women, men and children in society. This concept refers to two central social institutions, the family and the labour market, which must be arranged on the foundation of the gendered division of labour. The results reveal contradictions in family—work model preferences, fundamentally among women. We observe preference for a model that enables mothers to work part-time when children in the household are under school age, a preference that could be interpreted as a strategy to resolve contradictions women are more likely than men to express this preference.

These results may be due to the limitations of the public family protection system childcare leave legislation developed very slowly; Iglesias and Meil , rapid change in the Spanish labour market from to , the percentage of Spanish women ages 25—54 with paid employment rose from These factors influence men and women differently and depend on their age.

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The rest of the paper is organised as follows. Section 2 reviews the literature on family model preferences to establish the theoretical framework for this study. Section 3 presents the study goal, working hypotheses, data and empirical methodology. Section 4 presents the empirical results of both the descriptive and the regression analysis. Section 5 draws conclusions and implications. The ongoing debate on changing family models due to decline of the male-breadwinner family model has generally focused on a possible shift towards a dual full-time adult worker model with more equal gender balance Daly ; Lewis et al.

Studies on preferences suggest that they are context-sensitive and are constructed from cultural elements such as values. Warren et al. Following this psychological tradition, our study considers preferences and attitudes as on the same level. A series of theories argues the differences between attitudes and preferences, among them, the Theory of Planned Behaviour. Due to length restrictions and to the fact that our study was based on theories that assimilate preferences to the attitudes of the individuals and that the Theory of Planned Behaviour is thus not the focus of our analysis , we do not develop these further.

Values, on the other hand, refer to the norms or rules that tell members of the group how they should behave Rokeach ; Leong and Ward Values are the cultural substratum from which attitudes emerge as a normative belief system that predisposes the individual to practice behaviour Schwartz Women are expected to spend more hours on domestic tasks and to opt for part-time work because, among other reasons, the responsibilities for care of children and domestic tasks fall to married women more than to men.


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Since these tasks require a lot of attention, women tend to dedicate less time to work outside the home. In fact, Becker finds significant and different implications for the remuneration and labour status of men and women. That is, the family may provide greater incentives to choose this alternative. This interpretation emphasises the relevance of preferences and individual choice over social determinants.

This explanation justifies the existence of preferences but does not explain how individuals internalise them and adapt their behaviour according to them. In formulating an economic model that assumes gender identity, Akerlof and Kranton argue that couples tend to choose family and work options that maximise utility involving gender roles, thereby reinforcing gender identity.

Several studies conclude that education is a strong predictor of family—work arrangement attitudes Crompton and Lyonette ; DeBacker et al.

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Studies by Gershuny et al. Some authors conclude that the higher is the level of education, the faster is the adaptation to more egalitarian practices, regardless of gender. Others studies show a U-shaped relationship, as is the case in Spain Flaquer et al. In fact, families with the highest and the lowest level of education are more likely to opt for the most egalitarian family models both parents work full-time , for different reasons Flaquer et al. More generally, Crompton provides evidence that gender roles and attitudes are still quite traditional in Southern Europe and that these attitudes seem to be incompatible with labour market demands.

Tavora insists that these imposed practices do not correlate with more egalitarian household tasks and division of care. In the same study, the author observes that women with lower levels of education in Portugal are not oriented to paid work, although there is a high female employment rate due to economic need Tavora ; Torres Sociologists provide interesting contributions to the economic analyses of work—family preferences and division of gender roles. This framework explains the erosion of the male breadwinner model as a general but slow and progressive tendency.

Spain is in this stage. Based on the theoretical approaches presented above, this study aimed to analyse the attitudes towards gender roles and work—family preferences for family models from a socio-structural and gender perspective. The social factors that determine these preferences were analysed for both men and women.


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  5. The indicators of attitudes toward gender roles in the empirical part of this paper are the following:. Respondents were given the same response options as for the above statement Table 1. Opinions on the work intensity of women when there are children under six years old at home were assessed Table 2.

    Responses to the most desirable family model when children are under six years old were interpreted as indicators of family—work preferences in this situation Table 4. The family models were defined by the criteria of the work—family arrangements Pfau-Effinger a , b , We adapted this classification to Spain.

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    Cultural models of ideal families can vary among countries based on gender politics and family cultural tradition. Pfau-Effinger b affirms that these variations are due to differences deeply rooted in the cultural and historical development patterns of European countries. We adapted the previous classification to the labour conditions and family models characteristic of Spanish society. The general hypothesis was that attitudes towards the different family models reflect the intricate crossing of values inherited historically dominance of patriarchal culture and values of a society advancing toward new ways of distributing work and family responsibilities.

    In other words, attitudes may be due partly to the influence of the culture Pfau-Effinger b in the country studied, Spain. H0: This study considered attitudes toward gender roles and preferences for family models as determined to a significant extent by socio-structural factors and as determined differently for women and men. Spanish women are expected to show greater preference than Spanish men towards the family model in which the mother works part-time and the father full-time and less preference for the breadwinner family model when the family has children under six years old at home.

    In the case of Spanish society, this preference could be understood as a result of the influence of traditional culture Pfau-Effinger b historically internalised differently by Spanish women and men women have internalised the role of caretakers and men that of breadwinners.

    Such attitudinal ambivalences are considered as indicators of social changes related to family preferences. Socio-structural factors such as age, education level, immigrant condition, religion status or social class influence family model preferences of women and men differently. In contrast to the Individual Preference Theory Hakim , socio-structural factors Crompton et al.

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    Based on the theoretical framework presented above, this study analysed the attitudes of the Spanish population concerning family models. The working sample of individuals is nationally representative of the Spanish adult population over 18 years of age. We performed two types of analysis. This analysis provided information about attitudes related to gender role division and the ideal work situation for the mother and father when the children are under six.

    It also enabled detecting ambivalent attitudes among the Spanish population. Secondly, a regression analysis was conducted to determine the different factors that correlate with predisposition to consider a particular family model as the most desirable.


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    4. What, in your opinion, is the best way for them to organise their family and work life? Please tick one box only. The mother stays at home and the father works full-time. The mother works part-time and the father works full-time. Both the mother and the father work full-time. Both the mother and the father work part-time. The father works part-time and the mother works full-time. The proposed econometric specification for data processing was a multinomial logit model see Greene for details on estimation process and interpretation of marginal effects for this non-linear model.

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