Diverse breadwinner models: a couple-based analysis of gendered working time in Britain and Denmark

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

June 1, 2000


A commonly used typology in the cross-national study of gendered working time depicts variation in the strength of a 'male-breadwinner' model. Yet the question at the heart of these comparisons is actually concerned with why differences in women's bread winning exist cross-nationally. In addition, there is a growing awareness of the need to explore variation in gender contracts within societies too, and class is a fundamental indicator of heterogeneity in women's bread winning. In this context, this paper investigates two societies characterized by somewhat different strength male-breadwinner models: Britain and Denmark. It examines the extent to which women can be seen to be 'bread-winner' workers in the household, and what policies facilitate or impede their bread winning in the two societies. It is argued that although gender-based breadwinner models usefully depict broad differences in societal work patterns, their relative neglect of non-gendered dimensions of inequality - such as class - lead to their underestimating variety in women's experiences within societies and neglecting such non-gender-based factors which may unite women cross-nationally.

Published in

Journal of European Social Policy


Volume: 10 (4):349-371



No doi given

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