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Maria Stanfors. Foto.

Maria Stanfors


Maria Stanfors. Foto.

The Forest and the Trees: Industrialization, Demographic Change, and the Ongoing Gender Revolution in Sweden and the United States, 1870-2010


  • Maria Stanfors
  • Frances Goldscheider

Summary, in English

This paper examines the major trends unravelling the long-term gender division of family support and care structure that reached its peak in the middle of the twentieth century, often called the “worker-carer” or the “separate spheres” model. The unraveling of the “separate spheres” began with the increase in the labor force participation of married women and continues with the increase in men’s involvement with their homes and children, but its foundations were
laid in the nineteenth century, with industrialization. We examine these two trends for two quite dissimilar countries, Sweden and the United States, advancing our understanding of the growth of female labor force participation and of men’s roles in the family. We show that despite shortterm stalls, slowdowns, and even reverses, as well as huge differences in policy contexts, the overall picture of increasing gender sharing in family support and care is strongly taking shape in
both countries. It is clear that role specialization within the household, though theoretically important, applied only for a limited period.


  • Centrum för ekonomisk demografi






Stockholm Research Reports in Demography


2015: 18


Working paper


  • Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified




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