Gender attitudes in post-crisis Europe
A report by Natalia Soboleva at the regular LCSR seminar
On January 16, 2014 Natalia Soboleva (junior research fellow at the Laboratory for Comparative Social Research) presented a report on "Gender attitudes in post-crisis Europe" at the regular seminar of the lab.
The objective of this research is to identify the impact of the global economic crisis on gender attitudes of the European population. The study takes into account both micro- and macro- indicators such as the change in the unemployment rate or GDP per capita from 2008 to 2009, and job loss of the respondent or her/his partner. Using the World Bank indicators Natalia has shown that the crisis had deep economic and social consequences. All the European countries have experienced a decline in GDP per capita and higher unemployment during the 2008 - 2009 period.
The main hypothesis was that the economic crisis had a negative impact on gender attitudes. It was tested using empirical data from 2011 Eurobarometer Survey for twenty-seven countries of Europe. The main research method was multilevel regression analysis which allows studying micro and macro level effects simultaneously. The author constructed her own index of gender attitudes. This measure takes into account the respondent’s degree of consent on the following questions: “Women are less interested than men in positions of responsibility”; “Women are less willing than men to fight to make a career for themselves”; “Women do not always have the necessary qualities and skills to fill positions of responsibility”.
One of the main findings of Natalia’s study is that macro level predictors like GDP per capita drop or increase of unemployment rate have no significant impact on the gender attitudes of the whole population. This result goes in line with the evidence that value shift is a very slow process and it couldn’t be an immediate reaction on the change in socio-economic conditions. As Natalia has shown, the crisis had a stronger impact on the gender attitudes of some particular social groups like women, low educated people, and members of single households with children. It had also an impact on gender attitudes of the victims of the crisis. For example, people who or whose partner had lost their job during this period are more likely to share traditional views on gender issues. Drawing the conclusion, we can say that the economic crisis influenced gender attitudes of some particular groups at the individual level.
by Anna Ryabchikova