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During the transition to parenthood, the gender division of paid and unpaid work undergoes a profound redefinition in response to both attitudes and resources. These…
During the transition to parenthood, the gender division of paid and unpaid work undergoes a profound redefinition in response to both attitudes and resources. These attitudes may be concordant or discordant between two partners, they may or may not clash with perceived financial or labour market constraints, and they may or may not provoke explicit conﬂicts and negotiations. In this study, by combining quantitative and qualitative data, we focus on Italian couples with young children or in transition to first child, and we explore what happens when partners have discordant views. The findings show that the division of domestic and care work seems more resistant to change and more responsive to the husband’s attitudes than does the division of paid work, as the latter is mainly driven by the woman’s education and attitudes. The findings also show that very few couples overtly disagree. If they do so, the main issue in dispute is the allocation of domestic work and the main solution consists more in hiring external help than in obtaining the husband’s greater participation. Compared with domestic work, the allocation of care is a less disputed and more ﬂexible issue: when women start negotiations on a more equal sharing, men are more willing to increase their participation. However, when a more equal sharing is not attained, couples’ narratives tend to give the “cause” to the constraints of the man (typically his work) than of the woman, while they point at a redefinition (for the best of the family) of her rather than his preferences.
The objective of this chapter is twofold: (1) to analyse meanings and practices regarding the work-family balance of fathers from different social and cultural backgrounds…
The objective of this chapter is twofold: (1) to analyse meanings and practices regarding the work-family balance of fathers from different social and cultural backgrounds and (2) to explore how infancy experts and workplace cultures can influence the paid work and childcare reconciliation practices of native and immigrant fathers in Italy, in particular, from the point of view of fathers making the transition to parenthood. Little attention is paid to the role of infancy experts and workplace cultures in shaping fathers’ reconciliation perspectives. Moreover, little research has been dedicated to parenting practices among immigrant families from the fathers’ point of view. We investigate how parenthood is perceived and experienced by native and immigrant fathers, focussing on cultural differences with regard to beliefs about gender roles, children’s needs and childbearing. Our work is based on a qualitative analysis of 61 qualitative interviews with fathers, born in Italy, Romania, Peru and Morocco living in (the north of) Italy, carried out between 2010 and 2015. The results show how both infancy experts and workplace cultures tend to reinforce the widespread hegemonic ideals on ‘good father as provider’ both for natives and for immigrant fathers, despite their different socio-cultural backgrounds.