DOI link for Societal Europeanisation
Societal Europeanisation book
Having explained the WFLR policy development in Turkey and Germany under the EU influence, this final empirical chapter turns to assess the implementation of those policies. More precisely, it questions why and to what extent the EU model of reconciling work and family lives has been practised by the German and Turkish public. The chapter begins with a discussion of the changing WFLR trends in the selected countries between 2000 and 2017. After presenting the current WFLR trends in each country, the chapter proceeds with an illustration of the reasons behind those daily work and family life reconciliation practices. It is important to highlight here that even though each Europeanised WFLR experience at the domestic level is a contribution to the process, individuals who practise the European trend are not referred to as ‘catalysts’ in this chapter. By the same token, individuals who preserve the national trends in terms of WFLR have not been considered as antagonists. Instead, they practise the EU reconciliation trend or maintain the domestic trend, highly related with the potential social learning. A number of notable Europeanisation scholars have already put forward that if domestic societal actors have been socialised throughout the process, they have come to practise the EU model (Diez et al., 2005). Relying on the literature on soft-Europeanisation, individuals who have combined their work and family lives in de-familialised ways, in this chapter are called the ‘thick learners’ and those who have remained committed to the previous domestic model are called the ‘thin learners’. Having explained the main rationale behind domestic actors’ WFLR trends, the chapter concludes by discussing the level of execution of EU norms and values regarding WFLR practices at domestic levels. Observations made in this research have revealed that, in both countries, a number of thick learner families coexist with other thin learner families. Due to the actor-centred approach of the book, particular attention has been given to reasons behind these domestic practices, rather than focusing on the statistics. In so doing, neither the EU, nor the EU’s greater involvement in this specific policy area, has appeared as a push factor. Instead, the economic necessity of women’s active labour market participation, their career aspirations, parents’ good education desires for their children, and changing fatherhood trends have encouraged German and Turkish citizens to Europeanise their WFLR habits. On the other hand, existing generous familialised incentives, fear of assimilation, domestic societal actors’ disapprobation of existing WFLR services, the high gender pay-gap, fear of stigmatisation, and women’s status ambitions have appeared to be discouraging societal actors from Europeanising their daily practices. As discussed below, domestic societal actors mostly make their decisions on how to reconcile their work and family lives on the basis of rational cost–benefit calculations, which once again highlights the importance of domestic socio-political and socio-economic dynamics on the Europeanisation outcome.