Caught between the clocks
: everyday family politics between work, education, and care in Cologne, Germany

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Reconcilability between family and work is an issue thematised in various literatures. What is often missing from accounts of Feminist Political Economy and Economics, as well as Welfare State Research, is an engagement with the everyday and how time is experienced as a multifaceted issue for carers. Focussing in on time, this dissertation addresses parenthood in sequences, from the wish for children, through the first year after birth, and in the transition from familial to public childcare. Tracing the asynchronous temporal structures of labour markets and public childcare in everyday life in Cologne, Germany, it reveals how temporal disempowerment is affecting carers. In terms of a conflict between neo-familialist and third-way ideologies, findings suggest that the current state of affairs has not stabilised towards any hegemony. The results are broken institutional interfaces in the shape of scheduling and synchronisation problems, as well as psychological issues arising from a mismatch between experiences and expectations around work and family reconcilability.
Date of Award1 Jun 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorMagnus Ryner (Supervisor) & Alexander Clarkson (Supervisor)

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