Tensions Between Work and Home: Job Quality and Working Conditions in the Institutional Contexts of Germany and Spain

English title: Tensions Between Work and Home: Job Quality and Working Conditions in the Institutional Contexts of Germany and Spain

Author(s): Sonja Drobnič - Ana M. Guillén Rodríguez -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2011

Abstract

Good jobs can generate capabilities that allow employees to avoid tensions between work and family/home. Following the conceptual framework of Amartya Sen, we examine how job-related demands and resources are related to the level of interference, as well as satisfaction with managing work and home in Spanish and German employees, using three different large-scale European surveys: European Quality of Life Survey and two waves of the European Social Survey. We find that long working hours systematically increase tensions between work and home, as do time pressure, job-related stress, and working hard. Job control or autonomy at work, which is hypothesized to expand individuals’ capabilities and agency, tends to increase work–home interference rather than alleviate it. Family responsibilities and household demands do not seem relevant to the tensions employees experience at the work–home interface. This also holds true for women, which is a surprising result in view of the "double burden” hypothesis. Employed mothers in Germany and Spain are a select group of women, as combining employment with raising children in conservative–corporatist and conservative–familialist states may be particularly problematic. Thus while the institutional contexts of Germany and Spain curtail women’s ability to reconcile employment and parenthood, the mothers (and fathers) who are employed do not experience significantly higher levels of work–family/home tensions than nonparents.

Volume: 18

Issue: 2

From page no: 232

To page no: 268

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1093/SP/JXR008

Journal: Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State and Society