Publication details

The State as a Norm-builder? The Take up of Parental Leave in Norway and Sweden

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Year of publication 2017
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Social Policy and Administration
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Field Political sciences
Keywords Parental leave; Parental sharing; Family policies; Norms; Gender equality
Attached files
Description This study shows that although Norway and Sweden have rather similar family policies, the seemingly small differences that exist reflect different national ideals of care, and these differences encourage parents to employ different gendered moral rationalities. However, Sweden’s ideal of ‘equalsharing/ professional care’, encourages fathers to take longer leaves than the Norwegian ideal of ‘partial sharing plus choosing between professional or parental care’. Given their different national ideals of caring, different gendered moral rationalities emerge. While in Norway the dominant gendered moral rationality among our interviewees is ‘man-doing-his-duty’, in Sweden two different rationalities arise: the ‘breastfeeding-plus-sharing’ rationality and the ‘male-opt-out’. This conclusion is based on 60 interviews with mothers and fathers in Oslo and Stockholm.
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