Faderskapets synlighet i arbetsplatskulturer
preprintposted on 02.07.2021, 09:00 by Elisabet Näsman
The paper is an analysis of the visibility of fatherhood and of the scope for fathering in the workplace cultures. It is a comparison between some gendered occupations in Sweden, Denmark and Norway. The study includes survey data from nation-wide samples of parents working as nurses, nurses aids, metal workers and policemen, as well as qualitative data from in-depth studies of employees in metal factories and at police-stations. In Sweden the traditional role of the father as a breadwinner does not make fatherhood visible at the workplace although the scope for fathering is wide and opportunities numerous at male dominated workplaces and in male dominated occupations. In female dominated occupations the scope for practical care was wider and more opportunities offered for specific child-care needs. Fathers in male-dominated occupations had more general options of flexibility, but practical care was the kind of fathering activities that made fatherhood visible and part of the everyday life at the workplaces, irrespective of the prevailing gender-dominance. Socio-emotional care was almost a non-issue in the workplace cultures and the impact of work-environment conditions was mostly seen as a general problem, if not related to elders or to women.
Several fathers described a negative colouring. The opportunities for the socio-emotional aspect of fathering were few and most of the strategies of the fathers in this action area did not make fatherhood visible.
The comparison between countries indicated that Swedish fathers at male-dominated workplaces had a larger scope for parenting) than the Danish or Norwegian fathers. Also the Swedish fathers were offered more opportunities and made more use of individual strategies. Generally speaking traditional mothering makes parenthood visible at the workplace while the traditional father is not visible. A traditional male employee is visible as a father at the workplace only at the Christmas party or in equally exceptional situations. That Sweden has to some extent changed this pattern may indicate a possible direction of change also in the other countries) since the formal support of a caring father was developed earlier in Sweden.