What Keeps Mothers in Full-Time Employment?

Kanji, Shireen. (2011) What Keeps Mothers in Full-Time Employment? European Sociological Review, 27 (4). pp. 509-525.

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Mothers who participate and persist in full-time work after the birth of their first child are in a minority in the United Kingdom. Yet maintaining full-time employment is a precondition for many mothers to maintain their careers relative to men and women without children. At a societal level mothers who persist in full-time employment contribute to narrowing the pay gap between men and women. This article explores what leads partnered first time mothers to participate in full-time employment, and to persist in it, from three theoretical standpoints: profit maximization, polarization and preference theory. Women who are the main earners in the household are much more likely to continue in full-time employment and, moreover, they make up a disproportionate share of mothers who are in continuous full-time employment. Mothers who are equal earners are also much more likely to persist in full-time employment but to a lesser degree than mothers who are main earners. Partners' attitudes to family life prove to be as important as mothers' attitudes in guiding employment decisions. The research confirms theories derived from the UK context that dual full-time earning is more likely to be a lifestyle adopted by those at the top of the household income distribution.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften > Fachbereich Soziologie
04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften > Fachbereich Soziologie > Sozialforschung und Methodologie (Bergman)
UniBasel Contributors:Kanji, Shireen
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Oxford University Press
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:13 Dec 2021 09:41
Deposited On:13 Dec 2021 09:41

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