This book is a comparative study of family change, parental employment and social policy in the five Nordic countries, the Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom. In all these countries family forms have been profoundly affected by lower fertility rates, lower marriage rates, increased cohabitation, higher risks of relationship breakdown and episodes of lone parenthood. These changes have also been linked to an increase in the proportion of mothers participating in the labour market.
The contributors to this book trace these social trends over the last twenty years and analyse how social policy has developed and evolved in response. They argue that while the Nordic countries pioneered efforts to recognise new family forms and reconcile work and family life, there is still considerable variation between them as well as some evidence that the non-Nordic countries are catching up.
Social Policy, Employment and Family Change in Comparative Perspective will strongly appeal to academics and researchers of social policy as well as policy makers looking to learn from the experiences of these countries.
Edited by Jonathan Bradshaw, Professor of Social Policy and Head, Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of York, UK and Aksel Hatland, ISF, Norway
Contents: Foreword 1. Introduction Jonathan Bradshaw and Aksel Hatland 2. Family Change Naomi Finch 3. The Parental Employment Context Emese Mayhew 4. State Recognition of New Family Forms? Cecilie Wehner and Peter Abrahamson 5. Parental Rights and Obligations Aksel Hatland and Emese Mayhew 6. Family Benefit Packages Jonathan Bradshaw and Emese Mayhew 7. Childcare and Parental Leave Naomi Finch 8. Fertility Rates in Europe: The Influence of Policy, Economy and Culture Arieke Rijken 9. First Births: A Comparative Study of the Patterns of Transition to Parenthood in Europe Katja Forssen and Veli-Matti Ritakallio 10. Men and (Their) Families: Comparative Perspectives on Men's Roles and Attitudes Towards Family Formation Trudie Knijn, Ilona Ostner and Christoph Schmitt 11. Education, Employment and Family Formation: Differing Patterns Ulla Bjoernberg, Stefan Olafsson and Guony Bjoerk Eydal 12. Working Their Way Out of Poverty? Lone Mothers in Policies and Labour Markets Anne Skevik 13. Family Poverty in the European Union Veli-Matti Ritakallio and Jonathan Bradshaw 14. Gender Equity and Time Use: How Do Mothers and Fathers Spend Their Time? Naomi Finch 15. Conclusions Ulla Bjornberg and Jonathan Bradshaw Index