The role of basic values and education on women’s work and family preferences in Europe

English title: The role of basic values and education on women’s work and family preferences in Europe

Author(s): Petr Matějů - Michael L. Smith - Simona Weidnerová - Petra Anýžová -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2017


Purpose: Consistent with dual-process models of behaviour, Miles (2015) has shown that Schwartz’ basic values can provide a valuable framework for empirically analysing the role of values and cultural contexts in driving human behaviour. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to this line of research by distinguishing individual values from macro-level values, as well as from other micro- and macro-conditions, in order to test whether individual values shape women’s work-family orientations in ways predicted by Hakim’s preference theory. Design/methodology/approach: The authors make use of the second round of the European Social Survey (ESS) collected in 2004, where a battery of questions on human values and work-family preferences were posed, and apply a multilevel approach to take into account national cultural and economic conditions across 25 European countries. Findings: In line with the dual-process model and preference theory, the authors show that internalised values, particularly conservatism, shape work-family orientations much more than national social and cultural conditions; in addition, the effect of women’s education on work-value orientations is stronger in countries with more conservative national cultures, suggesting that education may help women overcome social barriers in the choice of their work-career preference. Originality/value: While values may shape work-family orientations differently in non-European or less affluent cultures, these findings reveal the importance of bringing values back into the analysis of individual preferences and behaviours towards the labour market.

Volume: 37

Issue: 9

From page no: 494

To page no: 514

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1108/IJSSP-10-2016-0117

Journal: International journal of sociology and social policy

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