Changing Family Models: Emerging New Opportunities for Fathers in Catalonia (Spain)?
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In the present chapter, we try to explore the characteristics of families with young children making a special emphasis on the changing role of fathers in relation to childcare depending on their employment status. In particular, the chapter examines the extent to which the prevalence of high male unemployment rates in Catalonia (Spain) in recent years, in connection with other social and economic factors, is contributing to shape new patterns of allocation of time involving a more equitable sharing of childcare and domestic tasks between partners. We are interested in enquiring to what extent mass unemployment may be viewed as an opportunity for enhancing gender equity and social investment in childhood and what can be the long-term consequences of these new developments for work-life balance and for the relationships between fathers and children. Finally, we wonder whether these new arrangements may have a permanent character as new opportunities for fathers or if they will fade away as soon as there is an economic recovery.
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