Scandinavia has for several decades been seen as a laboratory of changing gender relations, with Nordic policies and initiatives aimed at changing men's roles in the family attracting particular attention internationally.
Drawing on a longitudinal follow-up study of two generations of men, in which the fathers participated in a unique experimental research project that sought to promote egalitarian family relations through a spousal work-sharing arrangement, this book explores policies and practices intended to change men and gender relations, considering the ways in which certain initiatives and ideas are taken up and come to inform policy, whilst others are abandoned. With attention to the work-family adaptations that resulted from the experiment for the two generations or men, the author examines the influence exercised on gendered roles by the broad social contexts in which individuals are enmeshed, as well as both political factors and intergenerational dynamics. A close reading of a unique experiment, analysed in a context of changing theories, changing masculinities, changing policies and changing welfare regimes, this book offers not simply an examination of masculinity in family life, but also a multidimensional analysis of situated agency and social change at both the individual and the collective levels.
As such, it will appeal to social scientists with interests in masculinity, the sociology of the family and the gendered division of household labour.