Sense of entitlement to support for the reconciliation of employment and family life

Lewis, Suzan and Smithson, Janet (2001) Sense of entitlement to support for the reconciliation of employment and family life. Human Relations, 54 (11). pp. 1455-1481. ISSN 0018-7267



This article explores young European women and men’s expectations of support - from the state and employers - for reconciling paid employment and family life. It is based on a qualitative study employing focus groups with young women and men in Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Ireland and the UK. Drawing on the concept of sense of entitlement, derived from social justice theory, it was expected that the type of welfare state and ‘gender contract’ that young adults have experienced will influence their sense of entitlement to support for work and family life. Findings indicate that participants perceived their entitlement to state and employer support differently across national context. However this is moderated by gender, parental and occupational status, and particularly by awareness of provisions in other countries in the case of state support, while perceived entitlement to employer support varies according to the specific policy considered, gender and perception of benefits to employers. Some implications for public policy makers and employers are discussed.

Item Type:Article
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Awaiting copyright clearance checking. JCA. 3.3.09.

Research Areas:A. > Business School > Leadership, Work and Organisations
Citations on ISI Web of Science:10
ID Code:569
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Deposited On:30 Jun 2009 10:22
Last Modified:02 May 2015 15:42

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