Paid Work and Family Work Sociology Help

Paid Work and Family Work

As previously discussed. the first big change in the relationship  between family and work occurred with the Industrial Revolution  and the rise of capitalism. The cult of domesticity kept many middle- and upper-class  women out of the work force during this  period. Primarily.  working-class and poor women were the ones  who had to deal with the work/family conflict. Today, however.   he issue spans the entire economic spectrum  (Reskin and Padavic, 2002). The typical married  woman in the United States   combines paid work in

the labor force with family work as a homemaker. Although This this change has occurred at the societal level. individual women bear   he brunt of the problem. Even with dramatic changes in women’s work-force  participation. the sexual division of labor in the   family remains essentially unchanged. Most married women  now share responsibility for the breadwinner role. yet  many men do   not accept their share of domestic responsibilities  (Reskin and Padavic, 2002). Consequently. many women have a “double day” or   second shift” because  of their dual responsibilities for paid and unpaid work (Hochschild, 1989.2003). Working women have less   time to spend on housework; if husbands do not participate in routine domestic chores. some chores simply do not get done or get   one less often. Although  the income that many women earn is essential for the economic survival of their families. they still must  pend part of their earnings on family maintenance. such as day-care centers. fast-food restaurants. and laundries, in an attempt to  keep up with their obligations. Especially in families with young children. domestic  responsibilities consume a great deal of time  and  energy. Although some kinds of housework can be put of1′,the needs of children often cannot be ignored or  delayed. When  children are ill or school events cannot  be scheduled around work, parents (especially mothers) may experience stressful role   conflicts (“Shall be

comparable worth (or pay equity) the belief that wages ought to reflect the worth of a job. not the gender or race of the worker.

a good employee or a good mother?”). Many working women care not only for themselves, their husbands, and their children but  also for elderly parents or in-laws. Some analysts refer to these women as “the sandwich generation” caught between the needs of  heir young children and of their elderly relatives. Many women try to solve their time crunch by forgoing leisure time and sleep.  hen Arlie i-hochschild interviewed working mothers, she found that they talked about sleep “the way a hungry person talks about  ood” (1989: 9). Perhaps this is one reason that, in more recent research, Hochschild (1997) learned that some married women  with   children found more fulfillment at work and that they worked longer hours because they liked work better than facing the  pressures of home.

Posted on September 5, 2014 in Sex and Gender

Share the Story

About the Author

Back to Top
Share This