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Married Women's Employment over the Life Course: Attitudes in Cross- National Perspective

Judith Treas and Eric D. Widmer
Social Forces
Vol. 78, No. 4 (Jun., 2000), pp. 1409-1436
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/3006179
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3006179
Page Count: 28
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Married Women's Employment over the Life Course: Attitudes in Cross- National Perspective
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Abstract

We analyze survey data from 23, largely industrialized countries on attitudes toward married women's employment at four stages of the family life course. Despite general consensus between countries, cluster and correspondence analyses show that the nations represent three distinct patterns of attitudes. There is only mixed support for the hypothesis that public opinion conforms to state welfare regime type. Instead, normative beliefs reflect both a general dimension of structural and cultural factors facilitating female labor force participation and a life course dimension specific to maternal employment. Men and women largely agree, but gender differences affect cluster membership for a few countries. Systematic analysis of a large number of countries helps to test the limits of comparative typologies and to identify anomalous cases for closer study.

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