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Equal opportunities in transition?
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Human Work Science.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Human Work Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2350-2623
2011 (English)In: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, ISSN 2040-7149, E-ISSN 2040-7157, Vol. 30, no 2, p. 86-104Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to focus on the attitudes of women and men in relation to gender-appropriate domestic responsibilities and equal opportunities in the changing context of neo-liberalism. Design/methodology/approach – The authors draw on results from an empirical investigation involving 1,731 questionnaires investigating the attitudes of women and men in a town in the north of Sweden. Findings – The tentative conclusions suggest that even if they appear to co-exist in contradictory ways, ideas of gender-appropriate domestic responsibilities and equality of opportunity are in the respondents' minds, alongside neo-liberal notions of individualisation. The prevailing attitudes in respect of gender suggest that women and men make apparently free “choices”; the influence of age on attitudes to gender issues is also considered. Originality/value – This paper considers neo-liberalisation and its impact on gender equity in Sweden, a country with a strong reputation for gender equity and a tradition of collective, inclusive social democracy, somewhere we would be unlikely to find its embedded presence. Using a quantitative self-reporting approach to attitudes relevant to the choices made by men and women, the study raises questions about gender-appropriate domestic responsibilities and equality of opportunity in a country that has been and continues to be regarded as one of the most gender-friendly in the world and likely to be resistant to the influence of neo-liberalism. The implications are explored, with the evidence indicating the presence of neo-liberalism co-existing, albeit perhaps uneasily, with traditions of equality of opportunity and attitudes to gender.

Abstract [en]

Purpose- The focus of this paper is on the attitudes of women and men in relation to gender-appropriate domestic responsibilities and equal opportunities in the changing context of neo-liberalism. Design/methodology/approach- We draw on results from an empirical investigation involving 1,731 questionnaires investigating the attitudes of women and men in a town in the North of Sweden. Findings- The tentative conclusions suggest that even if they appear to co-exist in contradictory ways, ideas of gender-appropriate domestic responsibilities and equality of opportunity are in the minds of our respondents, alongside neo-liberal notions of individualisation. The prevailing attitudes in respect of gender suggest that women and men make apparently free ‘choices; the influence of age on attitudes to gender issues is also considered. Originality/value- This paper considers neo-liberalisation and its impact on gender equity in Sweden, a country with a strong reputation for gender equity and a tradition of collective, inclusive social democracy, somewhere we would be unlikely to find its embedded presence. Using a quantitative self-reporting approach to attitudes relevant to the choices made by men and women, the study raises questions about gender-appropriate domestic responsibilities and equality of opportunity in a country that has been and continues to be regarded as one of the most gender-friendly in the world and likely to be resistant to the influence of neo-liberalism. The implications are explored, with the evidence indicating the presence of neo-liberalism co-existing, albeit perhaps uneasily, with traditions of equality of opportunity and attitudes to gender. Keywords- Neo-liberalism, Gender, Equal Opportunities, Domestic Responsibilities, Change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 30, no 2, p. 86-104
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Industrial Work Environment
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-5785DOI: 10.1108/02610151111116490Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-80054902005Local ID: 3f7afc70-0916-11e0-b767-000ea68e967bOAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-5785DiVA, id: diva2:978660
Note
Validerad; 2011; 20101216 (allkin)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2018-07-10Bibliographically approved

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King, Allen DouglasBarry, JimBerg, Elisabeth

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