Against a backdrop of persistent gender inequalities around childcare, recent research suggests that some men – and especially fathers – are engaging to a greater extent in the everyday tasks of social reproduction. However, our understanding of the multiple factors, motivations and institutions that facilitate and constrain this nuanced ‘regendering of care’ phenomenon in different national contexts remains limited. Previous work has theorised the uneven rise of male primary caregiving in North America and Scandinavia. This paper extends these debates through an empirical focus on the UK in the wake of the 2008-09 recession and double dip of 2011-12, to explore male work-care in relation to: economic restructuring, welfare spending cuts, rising costs of childcare, policy interventions which seek to culturally and numerically defeminise carework, and concerns over work-life balance in an ‘age of austerity’. The final part of the paper explains the significance of a larger research agenda that recenters the expansive work-life balance literature through an expanded focus of analysis on men, work-care intermediaries, and socially sustainable modes of post-recessionary growth.
- Gender Research Group
- SPAIS Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship
- Stay at Home Fathers
- work-life balance