Abating inequalities? : Job quality at the intersection of class and gender in Finland 1977–2013
Mustosmäki, A., Oinas, T., & Anttila, T. (2017). Abating inequalities? : Job quality at the intersection of class and gender in Finland 1977–2013. Acta Sociologica, 60 (3), 228-245. doi:10.1177/0001699316657580
Published inActa Sociologica
© The Author(s) 2016. This is a final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published by SAGE. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
Globalization with its many side-effects on working life is seen to pose accentuated risks especially for women and low skilled workers – resulting in increasing polarization of job quality. In contrast to “universal theories”, institutional theories claim changes in work life might vary according to the institutional and cultural frameworks which mediate the global pressures of change. This study analyses job quality trends in Finland at the intersection of class and gender. The results, based on the Finnish Quality of Work Life survey (1977–2013), find no clear evidence of polarization. In line with the institutional theory’s prediction of a low risk of polarization in coordinated and inclusive Nordic countries, improvements have occurred for blue-collar workers in terms of autonomy and opportunities for development at work, reducing the gap between social classes. Furthermore, the negative sides of work life, such as insecurity and time pressures have become common experiences regardless of social class. The ‘welfare state paradox’ hypothesis on the comparative disadvantage of women in higher positions in the labour market does not gain support in 2013: the upper-white collar women have attained roughly similar levels of job quality to their male counterparts. ...