Families at Work
369 pages

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369 pages
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What is the relationship between work and family in a world where employment creates endless tensions for families and families create endless tensions for the workplace? This collection of reprinted and original articles broadens this discussion by addressing issues from the perspectives of often neglected populations: from white middle-class women with young children to people of color, to poor families, to the new sorts of families gays and lesbians are struggling to construct, to fathers, to older children.

To discuss work and family is also to discuss gender. Ranging from California's Silicon Valley to a remote fishing village in the northeast, part one shows how new work arrangements have created new expectations for what it means to be a woman or a man, and how slow and uneven the pace of change can be. Nowhere are the tensions of work and family more potent than around childcare. Part two takes up these tensions, showing how various "solutions" to caring for children of all ages (whether infants or teenagers) create new problems. Parts three and four turn outward to show how the new relationships between families and work are changing the relationships between families and the communities in which they live and generating new social policy dilemmas.



Publié par
Date de parution 30 mai 2002
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780826591524
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

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Families at Work
Families at Work
Expanding the Boundaries
Edited by:
Naomi Gerstel Dan Clawson Robert Zussman
Vanderbilt University Press Nashville
© 2002 Vanderbilt University Press All rights reserved First Edition 2002
This book is printed on acid-free paper. Manufactured in the United States of America
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Families at work : expanding the boundaries / edited by : Naomi Gerstel, Dan Clawson, Robert Zussman.— 1st ed. p. cm. ISBN 0-8265-1397-2 (cloth : alk. paper) ISBN 0-8265-1398-0 (paper : alk. paper) 1. Work and family. 2. Husbands—Employment. 3. Husbands Attitudes. 4. Fathers—Employment. 5. Fathers—Attitudes. I. Gerstel, Naomi. II. Clawson, Dan. III. Zussman, Robert. HD4904.25 .F359 2001 306.3’6—dc21 2002001702
Preface Naomi Gerstel, Dan Clawson, and Robert Zussman
Part One Family Labor and the Construction of Gender
1. Being the “Go-To Guy”: Fatherhood, Masculinity, and the Organization of Work in Silicon Valley Marianne Cooper
2. My Wife Can Tell Me Who I Know: Methodological and Conceptual Problems in Studying Fathers Annette Lareau
3. Constructing Gender and Occupational Segregation: A Study of Women and Work in Fishing Communities Carrie L. Yodanis
4. Domesticity and the Political Economy of Lesbigay Families Christopher Carrington
Part Two Employment and the Care of Children
5. Halving It All: The Mother and Mr. Mom Francine Deutsch
6. I’m Here, but I’m There: The Meanings of Transnational Motherhood Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo and Ernestine Avila
7. Using Kin for Childcare: Embedment in the Socioeconomic Networks of Extended Families Lynet Uttal
8. Work-Family Issues of Mothers of Teenage Children Demie Kurz
Families at Work
Part Three Family, Community, and Social Context
9. Black Picket Fences: Growing Up in Groveland Mary Pattillo-McCoy
10. Single Mothers and Social Support: The Commitment to, and Retreat from, Reciprocity Margaret K. Nelson
11. The Third Shift: Gender and Care Work Outside the Home Naomi Gerstel
12. Producing Family Time: Practices of Leisure Activity Beyond the Home Marjorie L. DeVault
Part Four Policy, Politics, and Working Families
13. Challenges for Studying Care after AFDC Stacey Oliker
14. Living with Violence: Women’s Reliance on Abusive Men in Their Transitions from Welfare to Work Ellen K. Scott, Andrew S. London, and Nancy A. Myers
15. Unions’ Responses to Family Concerns Naomi Gerstel and Dan Clawson
16. The Contradictory Effects of Work and Family on Political Activism Rebecca E. Klatch
Naomi Gerstel, Dan Clawson, and Robert Zussman
Not so long ago, it all seemed very obvious. The dissolution of the household economy—of family farms, “mom and pop” stores, family businesses—separated much work from families. This separation was both spatial and normative. Home became what many came to see as homelike (“home sweet home”) because it ap-peared to specialize in love, between wife and husband, parent and child. Work be-came work precisely to the degree that it involved the grubby calculations and relent-less rationalization of the factory and office. In this understanding, which took hold in the middle of the nineteenth century and held sway in much of the twentieth, connections between family and work were merely external, a series of exchanges in which the family provided labor to a market economy which, in turn, provided in-come to the family. A good relationship between work and family was taken to be one in which each remained as separate from the other as possible. For a long century, the separation of work and family, in practice and in belief, seemed both natural and inevitable. Moreover, the separation of work and family was accompanied by a number of assumptions, assumptions celebrated in popular culture and without challenge from the social sciences. One of these assumptions was that the separation between paid work and family would be accompanied by a differentia-tion between women and men. Men, working for pay, would be specialists in ratio-nality, in instrumentality. Women, staying at home, would be specialists in emotion and nurturance. A second assumption was that the relationship between work and family could and would be free of conflict, that a basic function of the family was to manage any tension, that power relations between employer and employed husband, between husbands and wives, between parents and their children would not create serious frictions, resentment, or exploitation. A third assumption was that the only kind of family that mattered—the kind everyone aspired to, the only one that would be viable in the modern world—was the nuclear family. Other family forms—single parent or extended kin, for example—appeared either as pathology or as relics of some quickly disappearing past. A fourth assumption was that only paid work, only work absorbed into market relations, counted as work. Unpaid work within the fam-ily—making meals, taking care of children, calling, writing, inviting relatives, clean-ing toilets, fixing leaky faucets, taking out the trash—became invisible. Today, it no longer seems so obvious. The separation of work and family seems neither natural nor inevitable. Most important, women have joined the paid labor force in unprecedented numbers. Over the last 30 years alone, the rate of labor force participation among all married women has grown from 43% to 62%; among mar-ried mothers with children 17 or younger it has gone from under 40% to over 70%. Under these conditions, the old assumptions simply do not hold. The differences between men and women—in the kind of work they do, in the kinds of skills they
Families at Work
possess, in the kinds of emotions they express—seem to be in steady retreat. We have come to see that employment creates endless tensions for families, and families cre-ate endless tensions for the workplace. The nuclear family no longer enjoys the promi-nence, numerical or ideological, that it enjoyed even a few decades ago. And social scientists–along with uncounted women and men overwhelmed by their responsibili-ties at home and at work, have taken to calculating the economic (and moral) value of housework of all sorts. This book is an attempt to make sense of the new relationship between work and family occasioned by, above all else, the rise of women’s employment (especially white middle-class married women’s employment). Let there be no mistake about it: Work and family have always been connected, even at those moments when they appeared most separate. What has changed is the character and conception of that connection. The title of this book,Families at Work, needs some explanation. First, this book is about “families,” not “family.” Family, in the singular, is an ideological formula-tion, implying a unity of experience that no longer exists and probably never existed. Families, in the plural, recognizes variations among families—over time, among groups, among individual families, and for individuals within families. Second, this book is about “families at work,” not “families and work.” “Families and work” im-plies that work and family are separate, that they occupy different places and differ-ent times. “Families at work” is meant to convey a more intimate connection between family and work, that a great deal of work (much of it unpaid) goes on within the household and has the family itself as its object. The phrase “families at work” is also meant to suggest that families are themselves under construction, that they are in-volved in a more or less constant process of creating and re-creating themselves. The first section of this book examines the construction and reconstruction of gender for women and men called on to combine families with work in historically new ways. The second section turns to child care. The third section looks at the ways that families and work, both paid and unpaid, are embedded within and shaped by a community context. And the fourth section looks at working families in the still broader context of politics and policies. This book began with Gerstel’s and Clawson’s participation in the national con-ference on “Work and Family: Expanding the Horizons” in San Francisco in spring, 2000. Zussman invited Gerstel and Clawson to solicit what they thought to be inter-esting articles from that conference for a special issue ofQualitative Sociology,which Zussman edits. That special issue, which appeared in December 2000, included the articles by Cooper, Lareau, Kurz, Oliker, Gerstel, DeVault, and Klatch that are re-printed here. The other articles and chapters—Yodanis and Carrington in part one; Deutsch, Hondagneu-Sotelo and Avila, and Uttal in part two; Pattillo-McCoy and Nelson in part three; and Scott, London and Meyers as well as Gerstel and Clawson in part four—that appear in this collection were selected to develop the framework and agenda ofFamilies at Work. The editors would like to thank Michael Ames, Anita Garey, Mary Ann Clawson, Laura Clawson, and an anonymous reviewer for their helpful comments, as well as Kate Zussman Gerstel for her patience.
Part One Family Labor and the Construction of Gender
To think about the relationship of work and family is to think about gender. Until recently, studying work within families seemed to mean studying women (just as studying paid employment seemed to mean studying men). The massive increase in women’s employment has changed all that. By the end of the twentieth century, 65% of all women, 70% of married women, and 72% of unmarried mothers with children under 18 were employed at some point during the year. Less than 20% of married couples were “traditional” in the sense that only the husband was employed. As women, especially married women with children, participate in the labor force in numbers almost equal to men, there has been a parallel pressure for men to in-crease their share of work within the family. Not only liberal feminists but also men-only social movements directed toward family, like the Promise Keepers, the Million Man March on Washington, the Mythopoetic movement, and various fathers’ rights groups, have urged men to accept new responsibilities. So far, however, most evi-dence suggests that changes in the rhetoric of masculinity have outstripped changes in its practice. Have increases in women’s paid work outside the home led to changes in the division of labor inside the home? So far, the answer is that they have, but only a very little. Although employed women do less than they used to, women, regardless of their employment, continue to do most of the work in the home. Attitudes toward this division of labor are clearly more egalitarian now than they were in previous decades. Nonetheless, neither men’s fathering nor men’s housework has kept pace with attitudinal changes. There is little agreement about how to explain such intransigence in the allocation of family work. A few, mostly much cited near classics, explain the division of labor by the continuing force of early socialization. Others explain it by men’s and women’s 1 divergent positions in adulthood. Most important, paid work reinforces gendered expectations about who should do what kind of work. In the context of labor markets that remain segregated by gender, different kinds of jobs allow men and women more or less time, energy, and flexibility for domestic work. Moreover, while nearly as many women as men are now holding jobs, women continue to earn less than men. As a result, women and men may enter into an implicit contract wherein a woman exchanges household labor for economic support from a man, who, if no longer the onlybreadwinner, remains theprimarybreadwinner. Yet another set of explanations for the tenacity of the division of labor within the family can be grouped around the concept of gender construction. Men and women are not equally involved in family work because their different efforts—men on the job, women in the home—affirm and reproduce gendered selves. These different efforts help create and reinforce a sense of masculinity or femininity. Thus, by per-
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