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After the male breadwinner model? Childcare services and the division of labor in European countries

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Bleijenbergh, I. & Ciccia, R.
Publication Date: 
1 Feb 2014

Excerpted from abstract

Fundamental reforms in childcare services appear to have eroded traditional support to the male breadwinner model across European countries. There has been a strong debate about the direction of these changes, and the ways in which childcare services can alter the division of labor and promote gender equality. This paper deals with these issues by using fuzzy set ideal-type analysis to assess the conformity of childcare service provisions in European welfare states to Fraser's four ideal typical models: male breadwinner, caregiver parity, universal breadwinner, and universal caregiver. We find that there is resilience of traditional gender roles in the majority of European countries, while there are different variants of the universal breadwinner shaping different forms of childcare policies. The more equalitarian universal caregiver model maintains its utopian character.