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Caring Masculinities and Flexibilisation of Labour Markets: Fathers in Precarious and Managerial Employment in Slovenia

Majda Hrženjak, Živa Humer


The starting point of this article is that transition from breadwinning to involved fathering is not only a matter of men’s identity change, but is profoundly shaped by broader societal structures, among which labour markets appear as crucial. Given that in Slovenia flexibilisation of the labour markets is a salient issue, this qualitative study, based on explorative, in-depth, semi-structured, individual interviews with fathers in precarious and managerial employment, analyses how insecure and flexible work arrangements shape fatherhood practices, impact on chances for being an involved father and structure gender relations. Narratives of fathers in managerial positions point to the persistence of the breadwinner model of fathering with limited participation in childcare, expressed as “weekend fatherhood,” but also to a more egalitarian share of childcare mainly among young fathers in managerial positions. Though the experiences of fathers in precarious employment point to their pronounced involvement in childcare, some cases in our sample indicate that precarious working relations can also, in a peculiar way, lead to the strengthening of the breadwinner model and re-traditionalisation of gender relations.


men; masculinities; fathering; childcare; reconciliation of work and family; flexibilisation of work

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