Fathers' sense of entitlement to shared and ear-marked parental leave
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionSociological Review. 2018, . 10.1177/0038026118809002
In most countries, parental leave systems consist of several parts with different lengths for fathers and/or mothers. This article compares fathers’ sense of entitlement to two parts of the Norwegian parental leave system that are available to them, namely the individual, non-transferable father’s quota and the shared parental leave. The objective is to gain knowledge of the rationale for fathers’ different take-up of the two types of leave. Analysis of interviews with 22 fathers finds culturally divergent understandings of the two types of leave among them. Using the concept of ‘entitlement’ as a theoretical lens, results show that fathers feel entitled to the father’s quota based on fathering- and gender equality norms in working life and the wider society. Fathers feel entitled to a much smaller degree to the shared parental leave, which is culturally understood as mothers’ entitlement. This understanding is, however, challenged by some fathers’ claim to the shared leave on the basis of their being competent parents.