Thirty Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall—Do East and West Germans Still Differ in Their Attitudes to Female Employment and the Division of Housework?

Gundula Zoch
2021 European Sociological Review  
Previous cross-sectional studies highlight persistent East–West differences in gender ideologies after German reunification. This study examines the extent to which gender ideologies in the East and West have converged and whether differences are still relevant for younger cohorts who experienced childhood around the time of reunification, or after 1989. Using data from the German Family Panel pairfam (2008–2019) and differences in regime-specific socialization for three cohorts born before and
more » ... after reunification, results reveal that different dimensions of gender ideologies have only partly converged 30 years after reunification. Attitudes towards housework and female employment converged particularly, yet, in all cohorts, views on maternal employment remain substantially different between East and West. Observed convergence occurred only partly due to contrasting trends of modernization in West Germany and re-traditionalization in East Germany. Moreover, the results highlight smaller attitude changes with increasing age, particularly for the younger cohorts, contributing to further variations in East–West differences. Overall, the findings confirm the existence of long-lasting ideology differences due to regime-specific socialization, and a persistently altered composition of society in East and West Germany. At the same time, they point towards slow convergence among younger cohorts due to a more similar institutional and socialization context following reunification.
doi:10.1093/esr/jcab002 fatcat:flky7b6cuzbjxhd4bqg3kdw76u