All Research Networks Close

RN14 - Gender relations in the labour market and the welfare state

The importance of employment and labour market for the life chances of the members in the European nation states and in the developing common labour market of the European Union is undisputed. The specific and discriminated situation of women is an important reason to study the complex interrelation of the societal and labour market situation (not only) of women.

RN14 is a feminist research network engaged in the rethinking of key institutions from the perspective of gender. We are interested in how Gender is embedded in welfare states and labor markets seeking to elaborate existing knowledge on the gendered processes and outcomes in these arenas. Further, we aim to enhance the cross-national and cross-region dialogue to promote a feminism informed sociology of the tension between neo-liberalization and oppositional forces holding on to ideas of democracy, unionization, decent work, quality services, ethics of care, redistribution, equality, inclusion and participation.

Workshops on “Gender Relations and the Labour Market” were organized at both the First and the Second European Conferences of Sociology and both times the workshops attracted great interest among European sociologists. During recent years much comparative research projects on these issues has been carried out and there exist several research groups in the different European countries. However, more communication is needed between researchers not at least to focus comparative research on crucial gender issues such as the changing gender composition of the labour force and the development in patterns of female employment, new forms of employment, growing part-time work, gender segregation in the labour market, the changed condition for social citizenship, social exclusion and unemployment in a gender perspective, and the influence of state and labour market policy on men’s and women’s social conditions. In this context analysis of EU employment policy and its consequences for equal opportunities of women are also an important research issue. In discussing topics it is necessary to include – still more – researchers from the new member states of the European Union as well as those from the Eastern European societies.

Future Activities and goals of the Network:

  • Initiating and intensifying comparative research with the aims of clarifying theoretical explanations and providing more empirical based material for political strategies to improve women’s disadvantaged/discriminated situation in the emerging European labour market;
  • Establishing research groups and reinforcing contacts between researchers;
  • Organizing smaller research centered meetings and conferences.