Workplace matters: negotiating a sense of entitlement towards taking time off for childcare among Korean fathers working in Sweden

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Abstract

A gender-equal leave policy for childcare does not necessarily engender a corresponding sense of entitlement in fathers to actually take leave, but few studies have focused on how fathers develop their sense of entitlement at work. This study explores how Korean fathers, accustomed to a work-centred life, changed their sense of entitlement towards childcare leave while working in a father-friendly country, Sweden. Sixteen Korean fathers’ narratives were analysed under two different work settings in Sweden: about half worked in Swedish companies while the other half worked in Korean-owned companies with branches in Sweden. The findings suggest that the fathers working at Swedish companies developed a stronger sense of entitlement to take childcare leave. Three contexts appeared to influence this development: the conceivability of being absent and putting responsibilities on hold, having a horizontal relationship with superiors (daring to refuse), and the social recognition of a father’s responsibilities as a co-parent.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFamilies, Relationships and Societies
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)

Keywords

  • South Korea
  • Sweden
  • paternal leave
  • sense of entitlement
  • workplace

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