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Trond Petersen


Mittwoch, 26. Juni 2013: 17:30 - 18:15

Ort: UniS A003 / UniS A-126

Prof. Dr. Trond Petersen, UC Berkeley


Family Policies and Gender Inequality: Lessons From Scandinavia


By the end of the twentieth century it had become abundantly clear that the processes unfolding in the family are a core, if not the core, obstacle to achieving gender equality in the workplace. For men, marriage and to some extent children have positive effects on wages and careers. For women, the reverse is the case, there are small differentials for marital status but large penalties to having children. Family thus pulls in opposite directions for men and women: Helping wages and careers for one sex, detrimental for the other, and jointly increasing the gap between men and women. Analyses of gender equality at work should therefore focus on this family gap and the interrelationship between family and the workplace. The Scandinavian countries have led the world in passing family legislation. Reviewing evidence from research on employer discrimination and the role of family policies in creating gender inequality in the workplace, one assessment is that Scandinavian-style family policies have succeeded in ameliorating the cost to women from family, while not succeeding in eradicating the male workplace advantage to marriage and fatherhood. In many respects the vanguard for furthering gender equality in the workplace today has shifted from the United States to Northern Europe.


Trond Petersen is a Professor in the Department of Sociology (and the Haas School of Business) at the University of California, Berkeley. A former Chair of Sociology (2007-2010), he is currently the Director of the Program for Comparative Studies of Societies and an Associate Dean of the Division of Social Sceinces. His research is on gender equality in the workplace, on the role of family policies in creating gender equality, and on quantitative methods for research. He has published in outlets such as American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, Sociological Methodology, Sociological Research and Methods, Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Journal of Law, Organizations, and Economics.