Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 20 items for

  • Author or Editor: Elin Kvande x
Clear All Modify Search
The Norway Model and the Changing Face of Fatherhood
Authors: and

Nordic countries lead the way in facilitating better work-family integration through their design of parental leave policies that encourage men towards life courses with greater care responsibilities.

Based on original research, this compelling book offers a novel analysis of the everyday parental practices of fathers and parents in Norway as a way of understanding the workings of labour market and welfare policies, whilst considering how migrant fathers might relate to the expectations such laws generate. The authors showcase how this style of men’s care work constitutes a re-gendering of men by promoting ‘caring masculinities’.

Restricted access
Authors: and

This chapter is concerned with two aspects of fathering practices in Norway. First, how they use parental leave, and second, what they do when they are home on leave, ie how they practice childcare. The analysis draws on the concept of ‘fathering practices’ developed from David Morgan’s ‘family practices’. Based on interviews with 30 couples, findings show distinct class differences in fathers’ take-up pattern of parental leave. Working class fathers are more inclined to take shorter leave with the mother home at the same time. Middle class fathers tend to take longer leave while the mother goes back to full-time work. The analysis demonstrates how fathering practices are related to their take-up patterns and thus how fathering as a practice is class related. Both classes define parental leave for fathers in ways that fit with their values; and thus it is embedded in the type of care project that parents in the different classes are practicing.

Restricted access
Authors: and

Research has documented that fathers in countries with individualized, non-transferable parental leave policies take leave to a greater extent than in other countries. Studies have not, however, explored the processes of constructing these outcomes. We have investigated this issue by means of interviews with middle-class immigrant fathers from various European countries to Norway. The ‘outsider-within’ perspective represented by immigrants’ experiences is our intake to understanding this. Results show that the principle of earmarking and non-transferability combined with a generous income compensation is experienced as a great possibility to care for children and perceived as important. It is in comparison with the care regimes of their homelands that this insight becomes perceptible. These results can be seen as supporting the tendency to convergence, not in the actual care policies, but in the attitudes toward parental leave held by the fathers from these countries.

Restricted access
Authors: and

Research on work-family balance has seen flexible work arrangements as a key solution for reconciling work and family, but it has given contradictory results regarding fathers. This chapter focuses on flexible parental leave use for fathers in Norway. It is based on interviews with 20 fathers who have used the father’s quota flexibly either as part-time combined with part-time leave or as piecemeal leave. The study describes the motives for using flexible leave and the consequences of the two types of flexibility for fathers’ caregiving. Flexibility provides them with a menu of choices, which affects their caregiving differently. Findings show that part-time leave allows work to invade care, produces a double stress and promotes halfway fathering. It tends to confirm fathers as secondary caregivers instead of empowering them as primary caregivers.

Restricted access
Authors: and

This chapter focuses on fathers who took parental leave before they were granted earmarked rights. Fathers taking parental leave were rare at that time. The chapter explores how they include caregiving in their construction of masculinity. Using an interactionist perspective, viewing mothers and fathers as negotiating their caregiving roles, we find that fathers assert masculine identity by using several strategies. One of them is shaping their form of care-work differently from mothers’ interaction with the child. Another is defining caregiving as an extension of the “masculine sphere” of the outdoors. Both mothers and fathers, however, take part in the process of reproducing masculinity as normative by giving masculine care higher status than women’s care work. Care-giving activities are adopted by the hegemonic form of masculinity with its strong connection to paid work.

Restricted access
Authors: and

This chapter compares fathers who have been home on leave alone with fathers who took their leave with the mother also at home. The analysis finds distinct differences between the two leave situations and their consequences for the father-child relation, his ability to understand their non-verbal language of and his development into a confident and competent caregiver. The situation where the mother is also at home, means that she continues in her role as the primary parent, translating the child’s language to the father, which means that he assumes status as a supporting player and an assistant. He looks forward to the child growing older for him to become a more central dad and companion.

Restricted access
Authors: and

The research question is what fathers do when home on parental leave without the mother. During the period the quota has existed the father’s quota has been substantially extended. Based on interviews with fathers, who have used 10 and 12 weeks leave, this article aims to explore how being home alone has impacted their caring practices. When the fathers describe their experiences, they focus on care work as hard work. While fathers staying at home on a shorter leave right after the introduction of the quota concentrated on taking care of their children, and housework was an area of conflict in the family, the current fathers integrate cleaning and cooking with caring. Because the current generation of home-alone fathers are home for a longer period and have the primary responsibility for their children’s well-being, they also seem to develop stronger emotional ties and relational competence.

Restricted access
Authors: and

There has been a concern that Norwegian family policies may be problematic for immigrants because such policies carry normative expectations about gender equal divisions of work and care. The study explores how immigrant fathers to Norway frame taking parental leave and practicing childcare. Parental leave for fathers, being rare or non-existent in their home countries, is justified in a favorable way to their family and friends at home. Hence, in a transnational perspective, the leave is narrated into an account of the auspicious aspects of their life in a new country, and they oppose being defined as lesser men because of having to take leave. The analysis shows that staying home with the child increases their capacity to provide emotional and practical care for their children. They situate themselves in terms of what they understand to be the dominant understandings of fatherhood. This is the “involved father frame”, which may be variable in content but fits well in a Norwegian discourse.

Restricted access
Authors: and

The chapter directs attention to work-life balance after the leave, asking what consequences the leave experience has for fathers’ work involvement. The fathers describe becoming a father and caring for a one-year old as an emotional and existential experience that have changed them as men. The question posed in the chapter, is what consequences this experience has for their efforts and time-use at work. Judging from the literature, reduction in working hours is rarely an option for men, but the changes reported by the fathers, impact on their boundary management between home and work. Several strategies are used to reduce the time demands of work in order to benefit time with their children, and four such strategies are described.

Restricted access
Authors: and

The development of parental leave policies was the most important area of expansion for the Norwegian welfare state in the 1990s. Schemes were extended, and special rights were granted to fathers. This chapter shows how fathers in various male-dominated work organizations relate to the obligation to take leave at a time when the father’s quota was in its infancy. It underscores the importance of work context as well as personal agency and perceptions. Four different leave practices are described, and they show variations in how seriously the fathers and their work organizations relate to the new policy, and how they adapt to it. Some opposition is demonstrated, but there are clear indications that something is set in motion by the introduction of the father’s quota.

Restricted access