Skip to main content
Book cover

Comparative Perspectives on Work-Life Balance and Gender Equality

Fathers on Leave Alone

  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2017

You have full access to this open access Book


  • This open access book provides an international perspective on fathers who take parental leave alone Raises important issues on modernization of the life course and the family in contemporary societies
  • Provides an understanding on the impact in social and policy context
  • Provides a comparison on countries which have introduced generous fully-compensated leave entitlements for fathers

Part of the book series: Life Course Research and Social Policies (LCRS, volume 6)

Access this book

Softcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Other ways to access

Licence this eBook for your library

Institutional subscriptions

Table of contents (15 chapters)


About this book

This book is open access under a CC BY-NC 2.5 license.

This book portrays men’s experiences of home alone leave and how it affects their lives and family gender roles in different policy contexts and explores how this unique parental leave design is implemented in these contrasting policy regimes.   The book brings together three major theoretical strands: social policy, in particular the literature on comparative leave policy developments; family and gender studies, in particular the analysis of gendered divisions of work and care and recent shifts in parenting and work-family balance; critical studies of men and masculinities, with a specific focus on fathers and fathering in contemporary western societies and life-courses. Drawing on empirical data from in-depth interviews with fathers across eleven countries, the book shows that the experiences and social processes associated with fathers’ home alone leave involve a diversity of trends, revealing both innovations and absence of change, including pluralization as well as the constraining influence of policy, gender, and social context.   As a theoretical and empirical book it raises important issues on modernization of the life course and the family in contemporary societies. The book will be of particular interest to scholars in comparing western societies and welfare states as well as to scholars seeking to understand changing work-life policies and family life in societies with different social and historical pathways. 


“This edited volume … is a valuable addition to the growing research on fathers and parental leave. … this collection of studies offers important research on fathers on leave alone in different policy contexts. This will be extremely valuable for well-versed researchers interested in issues surrounding work–life balance and gender equality as well as anyone who wants to learn more about parental leave policies in the eleven featured countries.” (Gayle Kaufman, European Journal of Population, Vol. 33, 2017)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Institute of Education, University of London Thomas Coram Research Unit, London, United Kingdom

    Margaret O'Brien

  • University of Lisbon Institute of Social Sciences, Lisbon, Portugal

    Karin Wall

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Comparative Perspectives on Work-Life Balance and Gender Equality

  • Book Subtitle: Fathers on Leave Alone

  • Editors: Margaret O'Brien, Karin Wall

  • Series Title: Life Course Research and Social Policies

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Social Sciences, Social Sciences (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and the Author(s) 2017

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-319-42968-7Published: 15 December 2016

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-319-82708-7Published: 24 June 2018

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-319-42970-0Published: 06 December 2016

  • Series ISSN: 2211-7776

  • Series E-ISSN: 2211-7784

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: X, 266

  • Number of Illustrations: 7 b/w illustrations

  • Topics: Sociology of Family, Youth and Aging, Family, Gender Studies

Publish with us