Numerous challenges exist in respect to integrating work and family institutions and there is remarkable cross-national variation in the ways that societies respond to these concerns with policy. This volume examines these concerns by focusing on cross-national variation in structural/cultural arrangements. Consistent support is found in respect to the prospects of expanding resources for working families both in the opportunity to provide care, as well as to remain integrated in the workforce. However, the studies in this volume offer qualifiers, explaining why some effects are not as strong as might be hoped and why effects are sometimes restricted to particular classifications of workers or families. It is apparent that, when different societies implement similar policies, they do not necessarily do so with the same intended outcomes, and usage is mediated by how policies are received by employers and workers. The chapters in this book speak to the merits of international comparative analysis in identifying the strategies, challenges and benefits of providing resources to workers and their families.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Community, Work & Family.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Work and Family Policy: International Comparative Perspectives Stephen Sweet 1. The impact of work-family policies on women’s employment: a review of research from OECD countries Ariane Hegewisch & Janet C. Gornick 2. Work-family policies and the effects of children on women’s employment hours and wages Joya Misra, Michelle Budig & Irene Boeckmann 3. Rethinking the paradox: tradeoffs in work-family policy and patterns of gender inequality Hadas Mandel 4. Fathers’ rights to paid parental leave in the Nordic countries: consequences for the gendered division of leave Linda Haas & Tine Rostgaard 5. Family policies in developed countries: a ‘fertility-booster’ with side-effects Olivier Thévenon & Anne H. Gauthier 6. Differences in women’s employment patterns and family policies: eastern and western Germany Birgit Pfau-Effinger & Maike Smidt 7. ‘It was just too hard to come back’: unintended policy impacts on work-family balance in the Australian and Canadian non-profit social services Donna Baines 8. Flexibility implementation to a global workforce: a case study of Merck and Company, Inc. Lori A. Muse
Stephen Sweet is Associate Professor of Sociology at Ithaca College, USA, and is a visiting scholar at the Center on Aging and Work at Boston College, USA. He has published widely on work-family concerns in a wide range of journals including Work & Occupations, Marriage and Family, Family Relations, Journal of Vocational Behavior, Generations, and Community, Work & Family. Recent publications include Changing Contours of Work (2008, with Peter Meiksins) and The Work and Family Handbook (2006, with Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes and Ellen Ernst Kossek). His current research focuses on the intersecting concerns of job security, talent retention, and the aging of the workforce.