Fatherhood regimes and father involvement in France and the UK

Abigail Gregory, Susan Milner

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This paper contrasts and compares the institutional framework for fatherhood and father involvement and the survey evidence relating to fathers’ contribution to childcare and domestic work in the two countries. It shows that while men's contribution to such activities appears to be increasing in both France and the UK, change is slow and father involvement does not necessarily seem to correlate directly either with patterns of female labour force participation or with the support offered by the institutional framework. The authors explore the theoretical frameworks most appropriate for explaining their findings and situate them primarily in terms of Pfau-Effinger's theorization of the gender arrangement (1998, 2002, 2004). The authors conclude that while change in father involvement is slow, the introduction of statutory and organizational work–life balance measures which alter the gender order open up opportunities for negotiated change in the division of the labour in the home.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-84
Number of pages24
JournalCommunity, Work and Family
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008


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