Gender and part-time work: middle-aged men’s experiences in highly skilled occupations

Thompson, A. ORCID: 0000-0003-0930-0088, 2023. Gender and part-time work: middle-aged men’s experiences in highly skilled occupations. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

AMANDA THOMPSON 2023.pdf - Published version

Download (5MB) | Preview


This thesis focuses on middle-aged men working part-time in highly skilled occupations in the UK. Qualitative data collected between 2018 and 2021 from seven triads, each comprising a male part-time worker, home sphere and workplace participant analyses workers’ motives for working part-time, their experiences of work and home, how they perform gender in these spaces and the implications for the gender hierarchy. The study advances knowledge of part-time work among men and develops theorisations of gendering (Butler 1990; West and Zimmerman 1987), hegemonic masculinity (Connell 1987, 1995), age-gender intersectionality and chrononormativity (Riach, Rumens and Tyler 2014). Findings show the men choose part-time work for caring, health or work-life balance reasons. Their lives are more manageable, but they incur penalties for working part-time. At home they report doing more housework and caring than their full-time peers, however their wives share the workload, undertake invisible labour and did more housework and home-schooling during the pandemic. The study makes four contributions; (1) whilst workers choose part-time work and claim disinterest in career, home sphere participants maintain the workers found full-time work stressful and unsustainable; (2) the men enjoy job satisfaction and mixed job quality but their careers stagnate in part-time work; (3) part-time working among these men produces only marginal gains in equalising the domestic division of labour; (4) they are regarded as progressive by others, they construct masculine intelligibilities based on new ideals of gender equality, selfless partnering and involved fatherhood, underscored by a discourse of choice. In addition, however, they perform gender in accordance with traditional masculinity scrips by emphasising their productiveness, job expertise and successful work histories, they also use their age and status to conceal part-time working. The duality of these sets of gendered performances reflects a hybrid from of hegemonic masculinity which simultaneously hides and secures their hegemonic power.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Thompson, A.
Caven, V.Thesis
Wheatley, D.Thesis supervisorGDA3WHEATDUNSPECIFIED
Lawley, S.Thesis
Date: July 2023
Rights: The copyright in this work is held by the author. You may copy up to 5 percent of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the author.
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Melissa Cornwell
Date Added: 13 May 2024 14:01
Last Modified: 13 May 2024 14:01

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View


Views per month over past year


Downloads per month over past year