- Kulturelle und strukturelle Faktoren bei der Rückkehr in den Beruf: ostdeutsche, westdeutsche und ost-west-mobile Mütter im Vergleich
- Book title
- Familie und Partnerschaft in Ost- und Westdeutschland: Ähnlich und doch immer noch anders
- Pages (from-to)
- Leverkusen: Verlag Barbara Budrich
- Zeitschrift für Familienforschung. Sonderheft
- Volume | Edition (Serie)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Transition back to work: Comparing mothers in Eastern Germany, Western Germany, and East-West mobile mothers.
We assess the relative impact of cultural norms and structural conditions on employment interruption patterns of new mothers in reunified Germany, 1992-2009. During this time, Eastern and Western Germany share similar family policies; yet, the regions differ markedly with regard to cultural orientations towards working mothers. Our comparison therefore allows for drawing conclusions about the relative importance of structural and cultural factors in shaping patterns of individual behaviour. New mothers who were born and raised in the East, but had their first child after moving to the West provide us with key insights in this respect. We test three cultural mechanisms which seek to explain the distinct behaviour of East-West mobile mothers in comparison with their immobile peers: selection, adaptation and socialization. Our results show that East-West mobile mothers return to work faster than West German mothers, but more slowly than East German mothers. The longer East-West mobile mothers have lived in Western Germany prior to the birth of their first child, the more similar to West German mothers they behave. We cautiously interpret this as evidence of successive adaptation.