Social Institutions and Gender Regimes in Conservative Welfare States

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 14:45
Location: Hörsaal II (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Karen SHIRE, University Duisburg-Essen, Germany
Recent institutionalist studies have focussed on how shifts in employment are leading to important departures away from the traditional sets of well protected employment practices and social citizenship, which characterized conservative welfare states, like in Germany and Japan up through the 1980s. While employment institutions remain at the center of understanding changes in the gender division of labor, improvements in equal opportunities, educational advancement and childcare provision tend to obscure the extent to which, at a macro-level, gendered divisions of labor, both in paid and unpaid employment, continue to persist. In this paper we begin by exploring institutional changes at the meso-level in two model conservative welfare states -- Germany and Japan -- where we find contradictory effects on the modernization of the gender division of labor in these countries. What seems a contractiction at the meso-level however, may appear more consistent at a macro-level of analysis, taking into account a broader understanding of historical transformations in gender regimes. The results are discussed in relation to what can be gained by taking a more macro-analytical perspective on institutional arrangements and how we conceptualize outcomes for gender-based inequalities.