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Work, parenting and gender: the care–work negotiations of three couple relationships in the UK

Yarwood, GA and Locke, A (2015) Work, parenting and gender: the care–work negotiations of three couple relationships in the UK. Community, Work and Family, 19. ISSN 1366-8803

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Abstract

© 2015 Taylor & Francis Changes globally mean that there are now record numbers of mothers in paid employment and a reported prevalence of involved fathering. This poses challenges to mothers and fathers as they negotiate care–work practices within their relationships. Focusing on interviews with three heterosexual couples (taken from a wider UK qualitative project on working parents), the paper considers care–work negotiations of three couples, against a backdrop of debates about intensive mothering and involved fathering. It aims to consider different configurations of work and care within three different couple relationships. We found that power within the relationships was negotiated along differential axis of gender and working status (full- or part-time paid work). We present qualitatively rich insights into these negotiations. Framed by a critical discursive psychological approach, we call on other researchers to think critically about dominant discourses and practices of working, caring and parenting, pointedly how couples situated around the world operationalise these discourses in talking about themselves as worker and carers.

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