Date of Award

January 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Krista L. Minnotte


Scholars are interested in how social policies affect citizens on issues related to work and family. Previous research has made comparisons of work and family in Scandinavia and the United States, emphasizing differences in history, development, and current social policies. However, much of the literature focuses on countries within the European Union, and research on how gender and social policy correlate with work and family identities is particularly scarce in Norway. To examine the effect of social policies on work and family identities, this study analyzes if men and women in Norway and the United States differ in the strength of their work and family identities. This study uses data from the World Value Survey’s (WVS) fifth wave collected between 2005 and 2009. The sample used in this study (N = 1,445) consists of employed individuals, 18 and older from Norway (N = 717) and the United States (N = 738). A cross-national comparison is performed on work and family identities in the two countries, and the results indicate that gender and policy context are both related to work and family identities in Norway and the United States. Although respondents from both countries express strong work and family identities, a greater percentage of Norwegians hold two strong identities. Findings on men and women`s family and work identities in Norway and the United States are discussed.