THE DUAL·CAREER FAMILY IS BECOMING COMMON
For some years, many wives have worked, but few have had careers. Most working wives viewed their jobs as temporary, supplemental or supportive, and subordinate to their husband's careers. Whether these working wives are happier than full time housewives is uncertain. Several studies [e.g., Nye, 1%3; Ferree, 1976; Booth, 1979) conclude that working wives are more satisfied with their lives than housewives. But the National Commission on Working Women reports that "the average woman worker is a lonely person in a dead-end job, seething with frustration over her lot" [Business Week, Feb. 5, 1979, p. 28). Six national surveys by the University of Michigan and the National Opinion Research Center find no consistent relationship, between wives' working and their life satisfaction [Wright, 1978; Campbell, 1980, p. 137]. There is some evidence that the happiest category of women are those WI husband; children, and a job to which they are only 'moderately committed [Campbell, 1975; Shaver and Friedman, 1976]. Most of these women were socialized. when sex-role .expectations were more' traditional. Where today's young women will find their greater life satisfaction maybe changing. As shown in Table 10-2 over half the college women who gave a definite answer to the question plan to have a career A growing number of young women today are asserting their- equal right to a career, not just a job. 'Jnlike a job, a career implies a' major, long-term commitment to a sequence of positions carrying increasing responsibility and expertise. Many women today expect that any necessary sacrifices of career goals to family life should be joint and equal, not unequally imposed upon the wife. A couple .who try seriously to apply this formula will -find that many adjustments must be made [Holmstrom, 1973; Rapoport and Rapoport, 1976; Hopkins and White, 1977; Heckman et aI., 1977; Pepitone-Rockwell, 1980), These range from who stays home when Junior is ill to wbat happens when a career move beneficial to one career would damage the other career. The greater one's career success, the greater becomes the likelihood that one must 'move to .continue advancing [DUncan and Perucci, 1976). It is clear that a man or woman who values career success above all other values should marry only a spouse who is willing to sacrifice career ambitions to family values [Fowlkes, 1981]. Either one or both must make some career sacrifices or irreconcilable conflicts are predictable.One study found that a majority of the dual-career couples were either childless or past child-rearing age [Ramey, 1977]. Where there are children, the major responsibility for child care usually' falls upon the wife [lohnson and Johnson, 1977]. Dual-career couples with children usually employ dotic help, leading critics to charge that this creates a class of women who must do house work childlike qre so that other women can ave privileged life-style [Hunt and . Hunt, ln Some career couples resolve job transfer digestibility commuting, tutu. sort of part-time marriage is often a prelude to divorce [Gallese, 1978]. Dual art,dearly difficult to operate within the in a specialized mobile society.