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“Explaining the Gender Gap: Women, Economic Vulnerability, and Public Attitudes Toward European Integration”

Nelsen, Brent F. and Fraser, Cleveland R. and Guth, James L. and Tillman, Jodie. (1999) “Explaining the Gender Gap: Women, Economic Vulnerability, and Public Attitudes Toward European Integration”. In: UNSPECIFIED, Pittsburgh, PA. (Unpublished)

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    Do European men and women differ in their attitudes toward European integration? Yes. Using Eurobarometer 42, we demonstrate a consistent difference in attitude toward European integration between women and men across the European Union (EU) and Norway, with women less enthusiastic about the process. How do we explain the gender gap in public attitudes toward integration? Drawing on European welfare state literature and work on women and European integration, particularly in the Nordic countries, we developed an explanatory model that focuses on an individual’s subjective and objective economic vulnerability. We hypothesis that the more economically insecure a respondent is and feels, the less likely he or she will show support for integration. The model we developed includes the following variables: subjective perception of personal and national economic situation, women-friendly nature of the welfare state, education, wealth, social class, number of children, view of traditional gender roles, and age. Using linear regression (OLS) we find perceived economic security to be a powerful predictor of both men’s and women’s attitudes toward integration, but women’s attitudes more so then men’s. Women are also more affected than men by the nature of the welfare state and other objective measures of economic security. Economic uncertainty is the key to understanding women’s skepticism toward integration. A more competitive market and a perceived threat to national welfare states increases anxiety among women and leads to lower levels of support for the process of integration.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Nordic area
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > social policy > welfare state
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs > public opinion
    Countries > Norway
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 1999 (6th), June 2-5, 1999
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2006
    Page Range: p. 21
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:22

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