A postdoctoral researcher from the A06 project “Pathways to Family Policy Universalism: Coverage and Generosity of Family Policies in a Global Perspective” will participate in the Visiting Researchers Program of the Max Planck Society for two months.
During her research visit from 15th of October until 15th of December at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne, she aims to examine the complex interplay between growth regimes, gender inequality, and welfare policies during the Fordism era, when advanced capitalist economies began to diverge in their paths towards "gender equal" or "conservative" welfare states.
Keonhi Son’s argument is twofold: first, growth regimes have shaped gender inequality in the labor market since the Fordism era. Growth strategies centered around specific sectors disadvantaged women through wage moderation and gendered hierarchy in the labor market. Second, the demand for women's labor influenced policymakers' preferences on welfare policies for women workers. If female labor played a minimal role in a state's growth strategy, policymakers were likely to perceive women as dependents of male workers in the industrial sector rather than as workers themselves, and thus reluctant to extend welfare policies for working women. To test her arguments, she will conduct a comparative case study that examines the patterns of gender inequality in labor markets, as well as the political discourse surrounding the early development of paid maternity leave in Germany and Sweden during the 1950s and 1960s.
Her research interest encompasses leave policy development in the Global South, the origin of work-family policies, and the role of female agency on social policy development. She is constructing three historical databases that measure inclusiveness and generosity of maternity, paternity and parental leave in the Global South, covering 165 countries from 1883 until 2018.
Son, Keonhi. (2023). The Origin of Social Policy for Women Workers: The Emergence of Paid Maternity Leave in Western Countries, Comparative Political Studies (online first). https://doi.org/10.1177/00104140231169024.
Son, Keonhi. (2022). Colonialism and Paid Maternity Leave Policies in Sub-Saharan Africa, In Dobrotić, Ivana, Blum, Sonja, & Koslowski, Alison. (Eds.), Research Handbook on Leave Policy, 310-323. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing. https://doi.org/10.4337/9781800372214.00033.
Son, Keonhi. (2022). Ship of Theseus: from ILO Standards to Outcome of Maternity Protection Policy. Journal of Social Policy. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047279422000010.
Son, Keonhi. (2022). Do International Treaties Only Have an Impact on Ratifying States?: the Influence of the ILO Maternity Protection Conventions in 160 States, 1883 until 2018. International Labour Review. https://doi.org/10.1111/ilr.12371.
Dr. Keonhi Son
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Phone: +49 421 218-99858