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Är det privata politiskt?: Barnfri i ett barnvänligt samhälle
Institutet för Framtidsstudier.
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Technology and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2011 (Swedish)In: Socialvetenskaplig tidskrift, ISSN 1104-1420, Vol. 18, no 2, 126-143 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

  Childfree in a “child-friendly” society     “Children are the future!” In Sweden there is a political ambition to make it possible for men and women to reconcile work with parenthood. As in many other countries, there is also a pronatalistic discourse where children are seen as an important contribution to the future nation. How do child-free women and men experience living in a “child-friendly” society? If children are perceived as a contribution to society, what do childfree people offer society? Do the childfree experience a dichotomy between childfree people and parents?     The article draws on interviews with 30 childfree women and six childfree men. It discusses three issues: the labour market, the Swedish redistributive tax system and how childfree argue about their contribution to society.     Childfree women and men accept that parents have problems reconciling work with parenthood, but sometimes get irritated that their time is less valued than parents’. They argue in favour of a “childfriendly” society, but are more hesitant about a “parent friendly” labour market. Likewise, the interviewed Swedish child-free men and women accept the tax system whereby they support children and their families.     The interviewees reject the idea that having biological children is the only way to be useful to society and give other examples such as voluntary work, helping out other children and paying taxes. Some of them have also noticed how the pronatalistic discourse, often on the Internet, is underpinned by racist arguments.     Compared to the USA, there are very few Swedish childfree communities on the Internet. The harsher arguments of the pros and cons of parenthood are instead written as comments on Internet articles. A more open discussion between parents and childfree women and men might open up for more political standpoints concerning childfreeness.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 18, no 2, 126-143 p.
Keyword [sv]
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-74375OAI: diva2:483522
Available from: 2012-01-25 Created: 2012-01-25 Last updated: 2012-02-03

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Peterson, Helen
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Technology and Social ChangeFaculty of Arts and Sciences
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