Divergences of French and Spanish women experiences on the labour market: the case of the secondary education
Sociology Toulouse Le Mirail University Toulouse, France
This paper proposes a comparative analysis of gendered experiences of women secondary school teachers in two European countries characterized by different modes of governance and societal "gender arrangements": France and Spain. This approach is in keeping with the general pattern of feminization of the labour market and the progressive transformation of gendered activity patterns in western societies. Despite the development of the gender equality policies in Europe, discrimination against women still persists and the difficulty in combining professional ambition with private life explains, at least in part, the difficulties that affect women´s professional careers. In practice, while the gendered structure of the teaching profession is characterized by a high rate of feminisation, French and Spanish women´s teachers are still concentrated in the less well paid and lower graded positions
However, French and Spanish women teachers don´t have the same experiences and expectations in their working life. The different Welfare State regulations, as well as the particularities in the exercise of the teaching profession in the two contexts and the different work/life conflict, with regard to time pressure at home, made diverging French and Spanish women´s teachers experiences on the labour market. Hence this paper attempts to explore the impact of three dimensions having an impact on gendered professional trajectories in this sector: societal contexts, structure of the teaching profession and individual or collective practices. This perspective leads us to work within the "gendered regime" framework, which stresses the dynamic aspect of European gender relations (Connell, 1987, Pfau-Effinger, 1999, Le Feuvre & Andriocci, 2005). Based on the first results of a doctoral dissertations in sociology, this communication will be enhance by about a sixty interviews conducted with women and men teachers in the secondary education in the two national setting studied.