Forming Australian families: gender ideologies and policy settings

JaneMaree Maher

in Social Policy Review 20

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9781847420763
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303473 | DOI:
Forming Australian families: gender ideologies and policy settings

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This chapter shows how the normative underpinnings of policy reflect gendered assumptions about work and care in Australian families. Drawing on the key findings of the Families, Fertility and the Future study, the chapter shows how policy concerns about fertility rates were reflected in decisions about family configuration, and shows specifically how such considerations are differentiated along gender lines. The burden of work and care seems to be falling on women within this policy context, and this is demonstrated through views expressed that state that policies about combining work and care are about women's concerns. The chapter also shows that less attention has been paid to the role that fathers play or are expected to play; a gendered preoccupation echoed in policy across several national and international contexts.

Keywords: policy; gendered assumptions; work and care; Australian families; fertility rates; family configuration; women

Chapter.  5608 words. 

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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