Working parents and the welfare state : family change and policy reform in Scandinavia / Arnlaug Leira
Author(s): Arnlaug Leira
Date: 2002

The mass entry of women into the labour market, the decline of the male breadwinner norm and the rise of the dual-earner family have all profoundly transformed the societies of the Western industrialised world. This book argues that childcare has become increasingly 'defamilised' or collectivised as mothers have joined the labour market, causing significant impact on welfare policies. As a result, the complex relationship between family change and policy reform calls for a rethinking of the relationship between the welfare state, labour markets and working parents. Rather than concentrating on the changing models of motherhood, Leira advocates the need to consider the effects of the gendered division of work and welfare on fathers' opportunitiesto be supported as carers for children. Her analysis incorporates important new empirical data from Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.