Why should parental leave policies (not) be implemented? A frame analysis of French-speaking Swiss press articles: 1999-2009

TitleWhy should parental leave policies (not) be implemented? A frame analysis of French-speaking Swiss press articles: 1999-2009
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsValarino, I, Bernardi, L
JournalLIVES Working Papers
Volume2011
Issue7
Pagination1-18
PublisherNCCR LIVES
Place PublishedLausanne
Type of ArticleResearch paper
ISSN2296-1658
Keywordsgender, media analysis, parental leave policies
Abstract

This paper analyses the media coverage of parental leave policies (parental and paternity leaves) in Swiss French-speaking press articles from 1999 to 2009. Switzerland is one of the rare European countries, which has no statutory parental or paternity leave. The aim is to describe the mediatisation of these policies and to analyse the arguments in favour and against their implementation. We proceed with a content analysis of 579 press articles, as well as a frame analysis on a subset in which parental leave policies are the central theme (N=206). Results show that paternity leave is the predominant public issue addressed in the dataset. A mediatisation peak was reached in 2007, following an initiative of a member of the Federal executive to implement a short paternity leave. Parental leave policies are predominantly represented in a positive light. The primary positive frame is economic, in which leaves are represented as serving the interests of companies. Involved fatherhood and gender equality are also frequently mentioned as positive frames. The main negative frame presents parental leaves policies as secondary measures which are not truly necessary. Also, financial costs, for the employers and for society at large are frequently mentioned. We discuss the predominance of the economic frame in the media coverage of parental leave policies and suggest future avenues of research on parental leave policies in Switzerland.

Notes

A revised version of this paper has been published and is now available under: http://muse.jhu.edu/login?uri=/journals/population_review/v049/49.2.valarino.html

DOI10.12682/lives.2296-1658.2011.7
Citation Key132