Parenting and islands
DOI link for Parenting and islands
Parenting and islands book
The Faroe Islands is a fishing nation, which has historically entailed men working away from home for lengthy periods. Consequently, the division of paid labour and care work has been highly gendered. Whilst less prominent today, long-distance working patterns still powerfully frame practices of gender, work, and care. I argue that the paid parental leave system, as a significant labour market policy, powerfully frames, and is framed by, discourses of gender, work, care and islandness. The study applies critical discourse analysis to parliamentary debates concerning the paid parental leave system to uncover the construction of family policy in the context of gender on islands. Two rounds of debate were selected, more than a decade apart, to catch sight of any potential shift in discourse. From the analysis, three interrelated discourses emerged: the egalitarian islands, gender essentialism, and the island labour market. The analysis revealed that islandness, in constant interaction with Nordicness, frames how gender is (re)produced, and although fathers are increasingly active in parenting; parenting remains female dominated.