Lammi-Taskula, Johanna
Title:Combining Work and Fatherhood in Finland
Category:Other Publications
Published in:Harvey, Carol (ed.): Walking Tightrope: Balancing Work and Family
Date:2000 (Forthcoming)
Type:Published works
Keywords:fatherhood family work
No electronic version available.

      The article analyses fathers of young children combining work and family. The data is from an ESF research and development project "Combining Work and Family Life" by STAKES (National Research and Development Center for Welfare and Health) and the Work Research Center at the University of Tampere in 1996-1999. Lammi-Taskula presents one of the interview stories in the article to illustrate experiences of combining work and family. At the beginning Lammi-Taskula states that the gender concept in Finland is based on agricultural tradition, that the practices of the welfare state have great influence on it, and since the 60's a new form of gender contract appeared along with the industrialisation. She writes that "in the Finnish working life gender neutrality and the intimacy and invisibility of gender is the norm". One of the results of the study is that younger, educated men take paternal leaves more often than other men. It is far more often a woman who stays home when the child is sick,
      but other tasks related to children are quite equally shared, such as feeding children, taking them to school and day-care, playing with them etc. Work is the main obstacle for men to spend more time with their families. Many respondents were willing to reorganise their work time to be more suitable for family life and overwork was avoided. It is, however, more often the women who make compromises, such as part-time work or giving up education, rather than men. Generally combining work and family was seen as a positive thing in different kinds of work places. At the end, Lammi-Taskula writes that feelings of ambiguity about work and home are present in the survey material. On the one hand men would like to spend more time with their families, but on the hand they are not very keen on proposing new work practices to enable this. Combining work and family is anyway one way to blur the gender contract.
Last Modified: 15.04.2002