Gender Roles in Ireland : Three Decades of Attitude Change book cover
1st Edition

Gender Roles in Ireland
Three Decades of Attitude Change

ISBN 9781138219076
Published August 3, 2016 by Routledge
242 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Gender Roles in Ireland: three decades of attitude change documents changing attitudes toward the role of women in Ireland from 1975 to 2005, a key period of social change in this society. The book presents replicated measures from four separate surveys carried out over three decades. These cover a wide range of gender role attitudes as well as key social issues concerning the role of women in Ireland, including equal pay, equal employment opportunity, maternal employment, contraception etc. Attitudes to abortion, divorce and moral issues are also presented and discussed in the context of people’s voting behaviour in national referenda. Taken together, the data available in these studies paint a detailed and complex picture of the evolving role of women in Ireland during a period of rapid social change and key developments in social legislation. The book brings the results up to the present by including new data on current gender role issues from Margret Fine-Davis' latest research.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction  1.1. Background  1.2. Changing Gender Role Attitudes: The international context  1.3. Socio-Cultural and Historical Background to Study  1.4 . Overview of Studies  2. Method  2.1. Overview of Studies: 1975 – 2010  2.2. 1975 Study  2.3. 1978 Study  2.4. 1986 Study  2.5. 2005 Study  2.6. 2010  2.7. Data Analysis Techniques  2.8. Comparisons of Data Sets  3. Dimensions of Attitudes toward the Role and Status of Women  3.1. Factor Structure of Attitudes Toward the Role and Status of Women  3.2. Relationships among Attitudes Toward the Role and Status of Women  3.3. Determinants of Attitudes Toward the Role and Status of Women  3.4. Discussion  4. Social Psychological and Personality Correlates of Attitudes Toward the Role and Status of Women  4.1. Background and Literature Review  4.2. Method  4.3. Path Analysis  4.4. Discussion  5. Attitudes Toward the Role of Women as Part of a Larger Belief System  5.1. Introduction  5.2. Method  5.3. Results: The societal context  5.4. Results: Attitudes toward the role of women as part of a larger belief system  5.5. Discussion and Implications  6. Attitude Change: 1975 – 2005  6.1. Changing Gender Role Attitudes Cross-Culturally  6.2. The Irish Context for Social and Attitude Change  6.3. A Time Series Analysis of Attitudes in Ireland 1975 – 2005  6.4. Method  6.5. Comparisons of Datasets  6.6. Changing Attitudes: Dublin 1975 – 1986  6.7. Attitude Shifts Among Groups: Dublin 1975 – 1986  6.8. Changing Attitudes: Nationwide samples – 1978, 1986, 2005  6.9. Effects of Demographic Characteristics on Attitudes over Time  6.10. Discussion and Conclusions  7. Attitudes to Divorce  7.1. Introduction  7.2. The 1986 Divorce Referendum: An analysis of attitudes and voting patterns  7.3. The 1986 Divorce Referendum: Conclusions and implications  7.4. The 1995 Divorce Referendum and its Impact  8. Attitudes to Abortion  8.1. The 1983 Abortion Referendum: Attitudes and voting patterns  8.2. Attitudes Towards Abortion Under Various Circumstances  8.3. Medical Implications of the Amendment  8.4. Changing Attitudes to Abortion: 1986 – 2013  8.5. Cross-Cultural Comparisons and the Influence of Religion  8.6. Legal and Other Developments 1983 – 2013  9. Attitudes to Moral Issues  9.1. Background and Context  9.2. An Examination of Attitudes to Moral Issues  9.3. Summary, Current Attitudes and Conclusions  10. Current Attitudes and Policy Issues  10.1. Background and Context  10.2. Demographic Changes  10.3. The Relationship Between Women’s Labour Force Participation and Fertility  10.4. Changing Attitudes to Gender Roles  10.5. Implications of Changing Gender Role Attitudes

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Margret Fine-Davis is Senior Research Fellow (Emeritus), Department of Sociology, School of Social Sciences & Philosophy, Trinity College Dublin and Director of the Social Attitude & Policy Research Group. Her research interests include social attitudes; changing gender role attitudes and behaviour and related social policy issues; attitudes to family formation and well-being. She is co-author of Fathers and Mothers: dilemmas of the work-life balance -- a comparative study in four European countries (Kluwer, 2004; Italian version, Il Mulino, 2007).


"Gender Roles in Ireland: Three Decades of Attitude Change is a significant and timely work. Fine-Davis conducted five studies between 1975 and 2010, and the culmination of these data provides a unique vignette of Irish society when attitudes toward gender and the role of women underwent major change. Well contextualised, insightful and clear, Fine-Davis has crafted this book expertly and her findings illustrate the complexities of gender and gender role attitudes."

- Clay Darcy, University College Dublin

"Her analyses of attitudes towards abortion is particularly revealing. Fine-Davis finds an 'unexpectedly high degree of consensus between those who voted for and against the [Eighth] Amendment' (156) in their acceptance of exceptional circumstances under which abortion should be made permissible.[...]Given the incongruence between public attitudes and legislative and constitutional bans, Fine-Davis’ conclusion is the only one possible: 'It is obvious that legislation [regarding abortion] is not keeping pace with the wishes of the population' (174)."

- Katherine Side, Memorial University of Newfoundland