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Lecture

Lecture 25 Transition to Parenthood Part 2.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOCIOL 2U06
Professor
Sandra Colavecchia
Semester
Winter

Description
1 Sociology 2U06: Sociology of the Family Jan. 12 2012 Lecture 25: Transition to Parenthood Topics: - New Parents (Fox, ch 19) - New Parents (Walzer) Fox Chapter 19 - Study of 40 couples in t.o over the course of their first year as new parents - Argues that transition to parenthood may be the most important experience producing gender diffs in our society o Transition:  Gender based inequalities reinforced  Shift to rigid division of labour  Mostly male as breadwinner, female as housewife/primary caregiver  Surprising given that these particular women had a high level of education and strong careers  Most women don’t return to work after maternity leave o Why the women? o Shaped by a number of factors:  Belief that babies are best cared for at home by a parent  Women capable of breastfeeding  Gender gap in earnings  Labour market  Men making more than the wives even before the pregnancy, so makes economic sense  Women who stayed home could cause their husbands could support them o Women who returned to work usually had no choice  Time out from career  Give up anxieties such as appearance etc.  Motherhood solved identity problem  In light of occupational failure, solved identity problem  Factors associated with women doing more housework o Women home more than men o Learned this from their own moms – role models o Housework is a break from babycare 2 o Facilitating a relationship between dad and baby (at their own expense)  Giving husband time to spend with baby  These mothers felt more dependent on their partners and worked hard to shield their husbands from the demands of having a newborn (i.e. sleep deprivation)  Gender reinforced as women’s unpaid labour was devalued and men’s breadwinning was valued and protected Walzer, 1998 – Thinking about the Baby: Gender and transitions into parenthood - Found that even thou the women in her study came from very different backgrounds (employment status, career, housework sharing prior to parenthood, ideas about gender – liberal/feminist etc.) they seemed to have more experience like one another rathe
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