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Family vs. Equality: Using grid group cultural theory to study marital equality among at-home-parents
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis concerns how the individualization-process that takes place in modern society affects family life and marital equality. Different theories seek to explain how individualization is influencing family life. Still, most theorists seem to agree that the process of individualization leads to equality among the sexes, which for instance can be traced back to the fact that more women are participating in the work force with the corollary being a better balance in power between the sexes. However, it has been argued that this is at the cost of weaker family-values and a crisis for the family. Individualization could at the same time lead to women (and sometimes men as well) using this freedom and decides to stay at home and take care of their children. Some people may argue that the phenomenon of at-home-parents could result in a backlash for equality; whereas others would argue that being able to choose how to use time resources is in itself encompassing equality. In this thesis, grid group cultural theory will be used to examine marital equality among at-home-parents. Grid group cultural theory explains why individuals view the world in different ways and what consequences such perceptions have with respect to how different resources, such as time as well as the ability to use time, are valued. In this thesis mixed methods are used, i.e., a survey based approach that allows for a quantitative analysis as well as in-depth interviews that provides rich qualitative data. Grid group cultural theory depicts four main typologies of individuals: individualists, hierarchists, fatalists, and egalitarians. The results from this study indicates that even though at-home-parents are different and that all typologies connected to grid group cultural theory can be identified, they are present in different degrees. What predominantly unites at-home-parents is that they do not like it when society creates norms that everyone is expected to follow, such as having both parents working while leaving the children at preschool from an early age. Most respondents indicated that it was their own decision to stay at home with their children. They also communicated that they were satisfied with this decision, and that they lived in equal relationships.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 90 p.
Keyword [en]
Individualization, marital equality, temporal autonomy, Mary Douglas, grid and group, cultural theory
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-225627OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-225627DiVA: diva2:721827
Educational program
Master Programme in Social Sciences
Available from: 2014-06-12 Created: 2014-06-05 Last updated: 2014-06-12Bibliographically approved

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