Chapter 2: Conceptualising work-family regimes: a theoretical framework

The considerable variation between countries in women’s labour force participation, in their employment patterns over their life course and in their market achievements have prompted scholars to search for societal mechanisms that constrain or facilitate women’s economic activity [Res03] [Gor98] [Sti01] [Van02]. Students of the family as well as those who focus on social stratification and gender inequality draw attention to the crucial importance of the institutional context within which individuals make their work and family decisions. In recent years, this interest has resulted in various typologies that aim to group countries on the basis of similarities and differences in the institutional context of the work-family nexus. In the following paragraph, we offer such a typology that combines components of the power-resource theory [Esp90] [Esp99] [Oco98] with aspects of gender and family raised by a feminist perspective [Lew92] [Orl93] [Orl01].