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Jules Allen

Ms Juliet AllenESRC Doctoral Training Partnership Studentship

Social Norms and Fathers’ Use of Parental Leave Entitlements

Supervisor: Professor Jude Browne (University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies)


My research examines the ways that social and cultural norms influence fathers’ decisions about use of parental leave, using an understanding of parenting as gendered and performative. Despite significant changes made to parental leave allocations in Europe in recent years, fathers’ take-up of leave entitlements remains consistently lower than mothers’, even in countries with the most gender-sensitive frameworks including ‘daddy quotas’ and other paternal incentives.  

This research uses a mixed methodology and focuses on Norway, and Sweden, Portugal and the UK. The project is investigating the significance of social norms and gendered responsibilities in decisions about who uses leave, and examines how parenting practice has the potential to both reinscribe and unsettle the gender binary.


I hold an MSc in Gender Research with distinction from LSE’s Gender Institute. My research interests include sociology of gender; reproductive labour and care; heteronormativity; feminist economic theory; and social policy. Prior to undertaking my PhD, I specialised in funding, and working in the international development, UK health/social care and higher education sectors.

Allen, J. (2016). Changing Parenting Roles for Transforming Gender. LSE Engenderings.