Research Topic

Tackling intersecting inequalities in work-family relations

About this Research Topic

Over the last decades, research on work and family relations has developed rapidly and provided valuable insights into how inequalities in the management of paid and unpaid work are shaped by individual, couple, organizational and contextual factors and how it has changed over time. However, from intersectional scholars we also know that inequalities are much more complex, and that other social strata, such as race, ethnicity, sexuality, and class moderate work-family relationships. In the area of work-family research, however, the knowledge about intersecting inequalities is rather limited, in particular, when it comes to their underlying mechanisms and causes. This neglect of intersecting inequalities, however, might have led - in a worst-case scenario - to incorrect and incomplete theories as well as to policies reproducing inequality.

In this context, there is an urgent need to advance our understanding of how intersecting inequalities impact work-family relations as well as individual's experiences and opportunities.

Against this background, this Research Topic aims to fill this gap. As aforementioned, decades of research on work-family relations with well-studied groups of working mothers and fathers showed that inequity in work-family relations is intertwined with the social construction of gender roles and spans over occupational types, family structures, and cultural norms. Despite the efforts to integrate diversity within the studies of work-family relations some groups, such as LGBT; non-white; temporary workers and some further dimensions (e.g. emotional labour; outsourcing of housework) remain understudied. This, however, conceals exiting inequalities and compromises the possibilities of having a more comprehensive understanding of gender inequalities in work-family relations. In addition, current challenges in contemporary societies, such as the current health and socio-economic crisis, have opened the box to deeper explore how persistent inequalities are accentuated within the social institutions and how new inequalities may have risen. To adapt a more inclusive approach, this Research Topic aims to focus on the more vulnerable groups (e.g. low income, LGBT, single-parent families, entrepreneurs, precarious and temporary workers) and/or on less visible facets of inequalities (e.g. emotional and mental labor, 24/7 expected availability, intensive parenting high standards). With this approach, we hope to raise awareness and pave the way for more nuanced reflection on social and gender equality.

We welcome both theoretical and empirical papers drawing from quantitative research, but not excluding qualitative or mixed methods approaches, that focus on the persistence of visible and invisible impacts of gender inequalities in work-family relations across diverse groups.

Examples of relevant topics include, but are not limited to:

• Under-privileged workers (e.g. informal workers, gig economy workers, temporary workers, solo entrepreneurs, disabled workers);
• Intersections among age, class, ethnicity, income, sexual orientation and health;
• Family dynamics and division of labor (e.g. emotional and mental labor, parenting practices, intimate relationships, care responsibilities);
• Education and social construction of gender roles in work and family domains;
• Multigenerational families, transnational families and migrant families;
• Men, masculinities and work-family relations.


Keywords: Work-Family relations, Inequalities, Intersectionality, Diversity, Social Policies


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Over the last decades, research on work and family relations has developed rapidly and provided valuable insights into how inequalities in the management of paid and unpaid work are shaped by individual, couple, organizational and contextual factors and how it has changed over time. However, from intersectional scholars we also know that inequalities are much more complex, and that other social strata, such as race, ethnicity, sexuality, and class moderate work-family relationships. In the area of work-family research, however, the knowledge about intersecting inequalities is rather limited, in particular, when it comes to their underlying mechanisms and causes. This neglect of intersecting inequalities, however, might have led - in a worst-case scenario - to incorrect and incomplete theories as well as to policies reproducing inequality.

In this context, there is an urgent need to advance our understanding of how intersecting inequalities impact work-family relations as well as individual's experiences and opportunities.

Against this background, this Research Topic aims to fill this gap. As aforementioned, decades of research on work-family relations with well-studied groups of working mothers and fathers showed that inequity in work-family relations is intertwined with the social construction of gender roles and spans over occupational types, family structures, and cultural norms. Despite the efforts to integrate diversity within the studies of work-family relations some groups, such as LGBT; non-white; temporary workers and some further dimensions (e.g. emotional labour; outsourcing of housework) remain understudied. This, however, conceals exiting inequalities and compromises the possibilities of having a more comprehensive understanding of gender inequalities in work-family relations. In addition, current challenges in contemporary societies, such as the current health and socio-economic crisis, have opened the box to deeper explore how persistent inequalities are accentuated within the social institutions and how new inequalities may have risen. To adapt a more inclusive approach, this Research Topic aims to focus on the more vulnerable groups (e.g. low income, LGBT, single-parent families, entrepreneurs, precarious and temporary workers) and/or on less visible facets of inequalities (e.g. emotional and mental labor, 24/7 expected availability, intensive parenting high standards). With this approach, we hope to raise awareness and pave the way for more nuanced reflection on social and gender equality.

We welcome both theoretical and empirical papers drawing from quantitative research, but not excluding qualitative or mixed methods approaches, that focus on the persistence of visible and invisible impacts of gender inequalities in work-family relations across diverse groups.

Examples of relevant topics include, but are not limited to:

• Under-privileged workers (e.g. informal workers, gig economy workers, temporary workers, solo entrepreneurs, disabled workers);
• Intersections among age, class, ethnicity, income, sexual orientation and health;
• Family dynamics and division of labor (e.g. emotional and mental labor, parenting practices, intimate relationships, care responsibilities);
• Education and social construction of gender roles in work and family domains;
• Multigenerational families, transnational families and migrant families;
• Men, masculinities and work-family relations.


Keywords: Work-Family relations, Inequalities, Intersectionality, Diversity, Social Policies


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

15 October 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

15 October 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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