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Experiences of Work and Family Life Reconciliation in France and Sweden

Anna-Lena Almqvist

This article investigates how social policy and norms affect experiences of the reconciliation of work and family life, using interviews with 40 families with young children from France and Sweden respectively. The major findings indicate that Swedish parents more often experience role conflicts and stress than French parents, thus giving stronger support for the role stress theory among Swedes. Swedes refer to lack of own time whereas particularly French women express dissatisfaction with the domestic division of labour with their partner. French parents favour individual childcare at home or care at the workplace more than Swedes, who emphasise public collective childcare.