Between Equalization and Marginalization: Women Working Part-time in Europe and the United States of America

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Levels of part-time work vary enormously across industrial society, from 66 per cent among women in the Netherlands to just 8 per cent among women in Greece. Part-time work was almost unknown in Eastern Europe, but is now growing rapidly in the same sectors of industry as in Western Europe and the USA. Between Equalization and Marginalization provides a comparative analysis of the development of part-time work in Europe and the USA from 1950 onwards, using longitudinal and cross-sectional data, and reassesses the competing theories and conflicting perspectives so far offered on the growth of part-time work among women. It concludes that part-time work does not equalize women's position vis a vis full-time workers, nor does it leave women in part-time jobs wholly marginalized. Instead, it shows that part-time jobs provide new opportunities for secondary earners and play a special role in the context of the sexual division of labour in the family. The country reports - by national experts - cover the USA, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, West Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Greece, Hungary, Slovenia, and Poland. Two chapters by the editors synthesize the results and assess their theoretical implications.