Volume 37 - Article 26 | Pages 853–866

Introduction to the Special Collection on Finding Work-Life Balance: History, Determinants, and Consequences of New Bread-Winning Models in the Industrialized World

By Trude Lappegård, Frances Goldscheider, Eva Bernhardt

Print this page  Facebook  Twitter


Date received:21 Aug 2017
Date published:28 Sep 2017
Word count:5189
Keywords:gender revolution, work-life balance
Weblink:You will find all publications in this Special Collection “Finding Work‒Life Balance: History, Determinants, and Consequences of New Breadwinning Models in the Industrialized World” here.


Background: A wide range of new models for breadwinning and caregiving is emerging in the industrialized world. The massive increase in women’s labor force participation is bringing many women into the public sphere of men and many men into greater engagement with the private sphere. These are the two halves of the gender revolution, which have challenged the foundations of the concept of the separate spheres, although it is still a powerful model for couples in the 21st century.

Conclusions: Substantively, the papers in this special collection variously illustrate the tight linkage between the two halves of the gender revolution, with the second half reacting to the changes underway in the first half. The second half is progressing more slowly than the first half, and there is a gap between equal sharing of economic and domestic responsibilities in most countries. Theoretically, the cross-national analyses in particular demonstrate that structural differences – arising from public policies and economic forces that shape couples’ choices – are of greater importance than ideological differences. And methodologically, the special collection shows the importance of employing a wide range of lenses through which to study such a massive phenomenon, including detailed case studies and multi-level comparative studies.

Contribution: This special collection brings together new knowledge about this ongoing gender revolution, focusing on new models of finding work‒life balance. We illuminate the history and determinants of these changes in gendered labor force participation as well as their consequences for how couples organize their economic and family lives. In addition, we relate these changes to the ongoing gender revolution in the public and private spheres, which is transforming the relationships between men and women.

Author's Affiliation

Trude Lappegård - Universitetet i Oslo, Norway [Email]
Frances Goldscheider - Brown University, United States of America [Email]
Eva Bernhardt - Stockholms Universitet, Sweden [Email]

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

» Unemployment and fertility: The relationship between individual and aggregated unemployment and fertility during 1994–2014 in Norway
Volume 46 - Article 35

» Parental leave policies and continued childbearing in Iceland, Norway, and Sweden
Volume 40 - Article 51

» Can a cash transfer to families change fertility behaviour?
Volume 38 - Article 33

» Division of housework and his and her view of housework fairness: A typology of Swedish couples
Volume 36 - Article 16

» The forest and the trees: Industrialization, demographic change, and the ongoing gender revolution in Sweden and the United States, 1870-2010
Volume 36 - Article 6

» The link between parenthood and partnership in contemporary Norway - Findings from focus group research
Volume 32 - Article 9

» Towards a new understanding of cohabitation: Insights from focus group research across Europe and Australia
Volume 31 - Article 34

» Domestic gender equality and childbearing in Sweden
Volume 29 - Article 40

» Reconciling studies of men’s gender attitudes and fertility: Response to Westoff and Higgins
Volume 22 - Article 8

» Cohort fertility patterns in the Nordic countries
Volume 20 - Article 14

» Sweden: Combining childbearing and gender equality
Volume 19 - Article 28

» New fertility trends in Norway
Volume 2 - Article 3

Similar articles in Demographic Research

» The quest for a ‘better life’: Second-generation Turkish-Germans ‘return’ to ‘paradise’
Volume 36 - Article 49    | Keywords: work-life balance

» Domestic division of labour and fertility preference in China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan
Volume 36 - Article 18    | Keywords: gender revolution

» Non-standard work schedules, gender, and parental stress
Volume 34 - Article 9    | Keywords: work-life balance