Cash and Care: The Historical Introduction of Capitalist Logic into Family Life

Thursday, July 13, 2017
Gilbert Scott Building - Room 356 (University of Glasgow)
Birgit Pfau-Effinger , Dept. of Social Sciences, Centre for Globalisation and Governance, University of Hamburg
While a relatively large share of the male population in working age was integrated into the formal employment system of industrial capitalism in most European societies in the middle of the 20thCentury, the integration of a larger share of women into industrial capitalism started with a substantial historical delay in the 1970s in Western Europe. Also, there were substantial cross -national differences concerning the level and dynamic of women’s integration into formal employment.  

So far, it is a contested issue how such cross-national differences can be explained. This paper uses a complex theoretical framework that considers the role and interaction of cultural, political, social and economic factors for the explanation. It evaluates the theoretical assumptions on the basis of a cross-national historical study about the differences in women’s integration into formal employment from 1970 until 1990 in six European societies which represent different regions of Western Europe, Finland, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy. The analysis of the historical development is based on document analysis, analysis of statistical data, secondary analysis of qualitative empirical studies, and on data of national surveys and of international surveys like ISSP and EVS. It also uses findings of comparative case studies in two EU projects.

  • CES Women's Integration into Capitalism Pfau-Effinger.pdf (418.8 kB)