Balance mellem arbejdsliv og familieliv – belyst gennem en semantisk ana-lysestrategi

Tanja Vilhof

Student thesis: Master thesis


This master thesis arose from an observation in the Danish women’s magazine. They glorifies the strong ambitious women seem to having it all. A great career, several children and a perfect mar-riage. Even though she works a lot, all the negative externalities and opt-out are hidden from the reader. So my thought was to show the cost of being a family where both parents work. I started to wonder how I could observe balance between work and family and how the balance constructs the families and organizations – not just today, but through the past 110-130 years. The theoretical approach of this master thesis is inspired by the work of the German sociologist Niklas Luhmann. I use his semantic analysis as a second order perspective. I look at three guiding distinctions: salary, time and childcare. I used two tools to implement my analysis: the first one is to observe if the communication is about ‘things’, ‘social interaction’ or ‘time’ (as in future/past) and the second tool is to observe how the communication shifted in certain manners. The result of the analysis was several semantic breaks for the three guiding distinctions. I observed that time and salary has become very related in the present. The scarce resource for the families is not money anymore, but time. In relation to that fact, the organizations try to meet the families’ needs with very flexible solutions where they for instance are offered flextime meaning that they are not obligated to meet in a certain point of time and also opportunity to work from home. But with the new flexibility and the rise of technology as the internet and mobile devices, people has the opportunity to work all the time and they are having are hard time finding the boundaries and balance between work and family. The childcare system in Denmark is much expanded and the reason for that is the rise and the en-largement of the welfare state in the 50s and 60s. The need for more labor made the women work and they never turned back. The state obligated to the childcare and today almost every child is in childcare services from they are around one year old. They have not extended the opening hours through the years so the lack of flexibility in this area makes it challenging for the families.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2012
Number of pages87