Work-Life Conflict In The Economic Recession "CANCELLED"

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 9:27 AM
Room: 413
Linda LANE , University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

The aim of this paper is to explore from a gender and class perspective the effects of the on-going economic recession on work-life conflict and well-being of Swedish employees. For many employees, the global economic downturn has exacerbated work-life conflict making it more difficult to find an acceptable work/life balance. Some employees have lost their jobs, others have been forced to change jobs, accept reduced working hours, lower pay and/or accept work with increased degrees of precariousness with direct implications for work/life balance. Current knowledge indicates that the recession has not affected all employees equally. Due to gender segregation and the gender wage gap women and men are hypothesized as affected differently. Furthermore, social class is likely to play an important role in outcomes for both men and women. Consequently, although the global economic downturn has affected well-being of all employees, the ramifications for individual employees’ remain unclear.

The data used to study these issues were collected in the European Social Survey (ESS), Family, Work and Well-Being (FWW), modules for 2004 and 2010. The study is limited to a sub-sample of Swedish employees. To capture gender differences in perceptions of work-life conflict the research problem is approached from both dimensions; work-to-family and family-to-work conflict as previous research has shown that men and women experience these facets differently. In order to capture class position the study adopts Wright’s class scheme based on ownership, hierarchy and autonomy as developed and elaborated by Leiulfsrud, Bison and Jensberg. The study is expected to show that some intersections of class and gender will exacerbate work-life conflict and have a more detrimental effect on work/life balance than others.