Agency Freedom for Worklife Balance in Germany and Spain

Research output: Chapter in BookChapterResearchpeer-review


This chapter explores the association between gender, parenthood and employment in cross-national perspective and highlights the weaknesses in the resources–demands approach for understanding gender agency inequalities in worklife balance. Applying Sen’s capabilities approach calls for assessing worklife balance from different perspectives and at various levels of analysis. The study is built around a paradox finding that emerged from the analyses of three different high-quality large-scale European surveys, conducted between 2003 and 2006, in which no association between work?home conflict and presence of children in the household was found. In interpreting these results, the chapter underlines the strength of the capabilities approach by drawing into a predominantly individual focus on job characteristics and resources the institutional and normative settings in Germany and Spain in which employed men and women work and live.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWorklife Balance:
Subtitle of host publicationThe Agency and Capabilities Gap
ISBN (Electronic)9780191767449
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2013


  • Capabilities
  • Gendered agency gap
  • Work-family conflict
  • Female employment
  • Norms
  • Crisis
  • Germany
  • Spain


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