Data extracted in June
In some countries such as Denmark, France, Italy, and Greece, it is precisely in this age group that one finds the lowest levels of women in part-time work.
In all the countries of the European Union, women aged below 25 years and those aged above 55 years are those most often found in part-time work It is the increase in part-time work in these age groups which best accounts for the recent large increases in part-time work in Europe.
Part time work and the cultural construction of motherhood The third way of analysing the differences in female part-time employment rates in Europe is based on a different point of view to the two previous demand Employment and northern countries supply-side perspectives.
It questions the type of causal relationship that is usually postulated in research on part-time work and starts from the point of view of women themselves. While not denying the interest of traditional analysis which show how women may be forced into part-time work due to various constraints, this approach uses the gender contract idea to broaden the analysis to the cultural basis of this atypical type of work in different national contexts.
As discussed above, the idea of a gender contract suggests that a specific consensus about gender norms exists in every national context.
Birgit Pfau-Effinger questions the implicit hypotheses of traditional research in this field. According to Pfau-Effinger, the characteristics of any nationally or historically specific gender contract do not only exist at an institutional level, e. They are also present in the minds of all the members of that society; anchored in the mental and symbolic representations of all social actors.
Employment and northern countries collective representations are organised into a relatively coherent vision of what is and should be considered normal for a woman or a man to do in each societal context. In societies which have a differentiated gender contract based on a strong version of the male breadwinner model, members of that society will be socialised to accept the traditional sexual division of labour as normal.
They will come to believe, for example, that young children really are better off when their own mother looks after them at home.
This belief will be further reinforced by the gendered staff management practices adopted in the public and private sectors, which will also reflect this hegemonic national value system. This idea reflects the concept of the gender doxa found in the work of the French sociologists Pierre Bourdieu and Monique Haicault Pfau-Effinger does not claim that this gender order perspective should supersede all previous attempts to explain differences in the way part-time work is conceived and practised in different European countries, she does suggest that this perspective offers a useful framework for explaining, at least in part, differences in the proportion of women who work part-time and those who declare that they occupy part-time jobs under some form of constraint Table 6.
In order to test Pfau-Effinger's hypothesis more fully one would also need to know the proportion of full-time women workers who would prefer to work part-time and the number of women at home who would like to work either full or part-time. It is worth noting that which ever analytical perspective is adopted, international comparisons of part-time work must allow for the fact that there is a huge diversity of experience of part-time work in Europe.
It is clear that, whatever the country, the number of hours worked in part-time jobs varies according to the sector and professional status. We should remember that the economic and social consequences of part-time work are far from identical for the women concerned.
Economic Analysis of Part Time Work The opposition between the reconciliation theory of part-time work, i. Whether one adopts a reconciliation or a flexibility perspective, it remains that women are socially designated as the typical part-time worker.
In economic terms, the ambivalence of part-time work raises a supplementary issue. The nature of any part-time employment contract, in terms of working conditions, will depend of the laws of supply and demand.
Part-time employment is not only a question of the number of hours to be worked, it also raises the issue of the organisation of employment and remuneration. Part-time work should be seen in the context of current economic changes, in particular the increase in unemployment, in the European Union.
These rates were For women in the year old age bracket, this rate is In such circumstances is it possible for a young women to turn down the offer of a part-time job even if she would prefer to work full-time? Is it possible for a working mother whose husband is unemployed to leave a full-time job even if she would rather work part-time?
One should not ignore this aspect of forced part-time work, i. On the reconciliation issue, recent research reveals the paradox of employers' position on this subject.
Private sector firms with high levels of part-time jobs can often be characterised by the large proportion of women they employ and by the low salary rates they offer. This is particularly the case in areas such as catering, sales, and food manufacturing. Whether it is freely chosen by women or forced upon them, part-time work should be analysed within the general context of the labour market, i.
Part-time work implies several consequences which part time workers can not control and that they unlikely to be in a position to negotiate with their employers on an individual basis. Employers inflexibility with regard to the distribution of the working hours of part-time workers will have consequences on their travelling costs to and from work, as well as on their ability to manage family life and child care in relation to their jobs.
The complexity and ambiguity of the issue of part-time work should be stressed. Part-time work is a phenomenon which encompasses such diverse realities. The features of part-time work have led some authors to describe it as the principle source of discrimination against women Bihr and Pfefferkorn A certain number of women do choose to work part-time and they declare themselves satisfied with this kind of work.
Equally, a not insignificant number of women would like to switch from full-time to part-time work. However, given the lack of change in the sexual division of domestic labour and the unequal burden of domestic and family responsibilities that women continue to bear in the private sphere see part 2.Synonymous with quality entertainment and cutting-edge technology, The Walt Disney Company impacts a global audience every day.
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