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The second half of the ”second shift”: Swedish and US fathers’ domestic work responsibility upon return home
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. (Socialt arbete)
Center on Everyday Lives of Families, University of California, Los Angeles.
2010 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Despite reports of an emerging notion of ‘involved’ fatherhood in both Sweden and the US, and the fact that fathers do more household work and childcare than ever, research shows that men still participate considerably less than women in household tasks. Rather than relying on men’s reports about fatherhood ideals and practices, this study analyzes how men’s parental practices unfold when coming home from work on weekday afternoons. Drawing on data collected from 30 dual-earner families in Southern California and 8 families in Sweden, this paper explores domestic work responsibility during the first hour when the father has come home as the second parent in the afternoon. We highlight an instance from each culture of a father returning home at about the same time as mother; father returning more than an hour after mother, but before dinner; and father returning home more than an hour after mother and after dinner has been served. Through these analyses we see that fathers can display different levels of responsibility for household and childcare tasks, ranging from strong amounts of self-initiation of involvement, to resistance to getting involved in helping mothers with tasks. Mothers are often positioned as the organizers of household work and childcare, with fathers reporting to their spouses.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Los Angeles: UCLA Sloan Center on Everyday Lives of Families , 2010. , 28 p.
, UCLA Sloan Center on Everyday Lives of Families Working Paper, 97
Keyword [en]
parenthood, domestic work, responsibility, gender
National Category
Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-63601ISRN: CELF-EX-97OAI: diva2:381275
Available from: 2010-12-26 Created: 2010-12-26 Last updated: 2011-02-01

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Gottzén, Lucas
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Department of Social and Welfare StudiesFaculty of Arts and Sciences
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ReferencesLink to record
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