Gendered visions of family life and parenthood among Czech young people: restricted or transforming imaginations
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonJournal of Youth Studies. 2021, 24 (9), 1148-1163. https://doi.org/10.1080/13676261.2020.1804054
This article explores young people’s imaginations of their future family life. Based on qualitative research among young people in North Bohemia, it considers social reproduction and change within the domain of gendered labour and parenting. This is done on the backdrop of post-1989 transformation of Czech society, where drives towards individualisation and diversification of the life course stand against discourses and policies supporting separate gender roles. Through the analytical lenses of gendered relationality, combined with Yanagisako and Delaney’s concepts naturalisation/de-naturalisation, we uncover multiplex structures of imaginations and their specific regional–historical conditioning. While preferences for gender separate roles are quite strong among both young men and young women, there is also a willingness to cross gendered boundaries and share tasks, in particular when it comes to household labour. For childcare, the gendered boundaries appear more rigid in young people’s imaginations; infant care is deemed female and the image of the father as main or equal caregiver is rejected. However, the male main or equal caregiver is not unimaginable. Although undesirable, he is definitely present in the imaginations of both genders, something that leads us to argue that social transformation may also be on its way within this domain.