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Worklife BalanceThe Agency and Capabilities Gap$
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Barbara Hobson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199681136

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199681136.001.0001

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Agency freedom for worklife balance in Germany and Spain

Agency freedom for worklife balance in Germany and Spain

(p.126) 5 Agency freedom for worklife balance in Germany and Spain
Worklife Balance

Sonja Drobnič

Margarita León

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the association between gender, parenthood and employment in cross-national perspective and highlights the weaknesses in the resources–demands approach for understanding gender agency inequalities in worklife balance. Applying Sen’s capabilities approach calls for assessing worklife balance from different perspectives and at various levels of analysis. The study is built around a paradox finding that emerged from the analyses of three different high-quality large-scale European surveys, conducted between 2003 and 2006, in which no association between work?home conflict and presence of children in the household was found. In interpreting these results, the chapter underlines the strength of the capabilities approach by drawing into a predominantly individual focus on job characteristics and resources the institutional and normative settings in Germany and Spain in which employed men and women work and live.

Keywords:   capabilities, gendered agency gap, work-family conflict, female employment, norms, crisis, Germany, Spain

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