A1 Journal article (refereed)
Negotiating parenting practices : the arguments and justifications of Finnish couples (2021)

Eerola, P., Närvi, J., Terävä, J., & Repo, K. (2021). Negotiating parenting practices : the arguments and justifications of Finnish couples. Families, Relationships and Societies, 10(1), 119-135. https://doi.org/10.1332/204674320X15898834533942

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Eerola, Petteri; Närvi, Johanna; Terävä, Johanna; Repo, Katja

Journal or series: Families, Relationships and Societies

ISSN: 2046-7435

eISSN: 2046-7443

Publication year: 2021

Volume: 10

Issue number: 1

Pages range: 119-135

Publisher: Bristol University Press

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1332/204674320X15898834533942

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Partially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/74876


This article explores Finnish different-sex couples’ (n = 12) negotiations on their parental division of labour. Theoretically, the article is based on the literature on gendered parenting practices and relational negotiations. Our discourse analysis reveals how the couples produced ‘togetherness’ and ‘our family’ by representing their care practices as agreements, irrespective of whether the care was described as equally shared or distinctly gendered. Disagreements reflecting more individualistic tones, and mainly resulting from the mothers’ sense of unfairness, were especially foregrounded when the distribution of household duties was discussed. The analysis also revealed how men cited involved fatherhood as a justification for their lesser responsibility for housework, while women sought to reconcile the contradictory discourses of equal parenting and mother’s primacy. Our results show how personal wishes and preferences, work life, family policies and cultural discourses are reflected in couples’ negotiations on parenting practices and moral identities pertaining to ‘good’ motherhood and fatherhood.

Keywords: parenthood; couple relationship; division of labour; household work; child care; equality (values); group interviews

Free keywords: Finland; couple interviews; gender equality; negotiation; parenting practices

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

Preliminary JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2021-07-07 at 17:56