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In the Nordic Welfare States, what is the relationship between parents' time and social class?

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Abstract: Time intensive parenting has become popular in western countries. This study contributes to the literature on parental time use, and aims to deepen our understanding of the relationship between parental childcare time and social class. Based on Norwegian time log data (2010-2011) and the concept of social class connecting the number of parents and the composition of economic and cultural capital, we investigated the time spent by parents on childcare activities. The analysis shows that class and gender intersect: all mothers practice intensive pregnancy and childbirth, which is measured by the time spent on active parenting, including developmental parenting activities considered to stimulate children s skills. A small number of economically upper middle class mothers spend even more time raising children than other familieshers. The time fathers spend on active childcare is less than mothers’, and intra-class divisions are notable. Not only lower-middle class fathers, but also cultural balanced upper-middle class fathers spend the most time on intensive fathering. Economic upper-middle and working-class fathers spend the least time on childcare. This new insight into class patterns in parents’ childcare time challenges the widespread notion of different cultural childcare logics in the middle class, compared to the working class.

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