- Socialized choices: Labour market behaviour of Dutch mothers
P.T. de Beer
- Award date
- 15 January 2014
- Number of pages
- Amsterdam: Pallas Publications
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Dutch mothers display diverse labour market behaviour, though typically they work part-time, making modest use of childcare. It is generally assumed that Dutch women are free to make their own choices regarding employment. This narrative of 'choice' finds fertile ground in an era of general acceptance towards concepts such as individualism and the possibility of self-agency, and in which opportunities for part-time work have been created. Within the tradition of phenomenological sociology, Socialized Choices questions this narrative of choice.
What are the factors that influence a mother's work preferences? When do women develop their most important gender and work attitudes? How do such attitudes affect mothers' work preferences and actual labour market behaviour? By means of quantitative and qualitative research methods, including a concise historical analysis, Socialized Choices shows that Dutch mothers are not as free from social ties as is often believed. It reveals the complex and subtle socialization processes that influence mothers' individual work preferences. It also sheds light on the roles that parents, teachers, spouses and work colleagues play. These diverse individual processes of Dutch mothers prove to have several noteworthy traits in common. For instance, Dutch mothers do not complain openly about their spouses' relatively sparse contributions to homecare and household tasks. Also, this study makes clear that part-time work is nowadays a normative standard rather than a choice.
Socialized Choices gives a deep and varied insight into the social factors that influence the labour market decisions of Dutch mothers, and raises awareness to the false assumptions that continue to exist regarding employment and motherhood.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
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