Habits or Frames? Explaining Patterns in the Division of Paid and Unpaid Work in Germany, Bulgaria, France and Hungary

  • Jan Rasmus Riebling
  • Rumiana Stoilova
  • Dirk Hofäcker


When looking at the division of paid and unpaid work and its societal determinants from a cross-nationally comparative perspective, much earlier research had investigated the role of country-specific labour market and welfare state institutions (for example Fuwa, 2004; Treas and Drobnic, 2010; Hofäcker et al., 2013). Following this line of argument, cross-national differences in the division of paid and unpaid labour were to be explained by differences in, for example, care policies and dominant working time regimes. In comparison, gender-sensitive value orientations have been under-represented in most explanatory models. This neglect in previous research is all the more pressing because the cultural dimension has only rarely been discussed in inequality-relevant research.1 Even though gender roles are often discussed in the literature, they are also mostly considered as purely structural context conditions. Furthermore, the discussion does not reveal much about the link (or the lack thereof) between gender identity, behaviour and the cultural norms and values in a given society. We follow Risman and Davis’s conceptualization of gender as a structure

which embeds cultural dimension as the non-reflexive habituated rules, patterns and beliefs, which organize much of human life. The taken-for-granted or cognitive images that belong to the situational context […] are the cultural aspect of the gender structure, the interactional expectations that each of us meet in every social encounter.

(2013: 744)


Gender Role Household Labour Household Work Unpaid Work Welfare Regime 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Jan Rasmus Riebling, Rumiana Stoilova and Dirk Hofäcker 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Rasmus Riebling
  • Rumiana Stoilova
  • Dirk Hofäcker

There are no affiliations available

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