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Lecture 6

Week 6 reading notes


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCB22H3
Professor
Ping- Chun Hsiung
Lecture
6

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SOCB22- Week 5:
The Second Shift: Employed Women are putting in Another Day of Work at Home:
-Problems between couples, problems that seem “unique” or “marital”, are often the individual
ripples of powerful economic and cultural shock waves.
-Quarrels between husbands and wives in households across the nation result mainly from a
friction between faster changing women and slower changing men.
-Most workplaces have remained inflexible in the face of the changing needs of workers with
families, and most men have yet to really adapt to the changes in women.
-The writer, calls the strain caused by the disparity between the change in women and the
absence of change elsewhere the “stalled revolution”.
-Over the past 30 years in the US, more and more women have begun to work outside the home,
and more have divorced.
-Whether they were traditional or more egalitarian in their relationship, couples were happier
when the men did a sizable share of housework and childcare.
-2nd most common reason women cited for wanting to divorce- after “mental cruelty”- was their
husbands’ neglect of home or children.
-A happy marriage is supported by a couple’s being economically secure, by their enjoying a
supportive community, and by their having compatible needs and values.
-In the era of the stalled revolution, one way to make housework and child care more valued is
for men to share in that work.
-Adding together the time it takes to do a job and to do housework and using major studies, the
author found that women put in 15 more hours each week than men.
-Over the year, they worked an extra month of 24 hour days. Over a dozen years, it was an extra
year of 24 hour days.
-Most women without children spend much more time than men on housework.
-Women with children devote more time to both housework and child care.
-Just as there is a wage gap between men and women in the workplace, there is a “leisure gap”
between them at home.
-The research interviewed 52 couples.
-Men who shared the load at home seemed just as pressed for time as their wives, and as torn
between the demands of career and small children.
-Of the men surveyed, majority of them did not share the load at home.
-Even when husbands happily shared the work, their wives felt more responsible for home and
children.
-Even when couples more equitably share the work at home, women do two thirds of the daily
jobs at home, such as cooking and cleaning- jobs that fix them into a rigid routine.
x
Women do more childcare than men, and men repair more household appliances. A
child needs to be tended daily, whereas the repair of household appliances can often
wait.
x
Men thus have more control over when they make their contributions than women.
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-Another reason why women may feel under more strain than men is that women often do 2
things at one.
-Beyond doing more at home, women also devote proportionately more of their time at home to
housework than men and proportionately less of it to child care.
-More men than women take their children on “fun” outings to the park. Women spend more
time on maintenance, such as feeding and bathing the children.
-Men also do fewer of the most undesirable household chores, like scrubbing the toilet.
-As a result, women tend to talk more intensely about being overtired, sick, and emotionally
drained.
-Many women interviewed were fixated on the topic of sleep. These women talked about sleep
the way a hungry person talks about food.
-The two job family is suffering from a speedup of work and family life; working mothers are its
primary victims.
-Sadly, women are more often the lightening rods for family tensions aroused by this speedup of
work and family life. They are the villains in a process in which they are also the primary victims.
x
More than the longer hours and the lack of sleep, this is the saddest cost to women of
their extra month of work each year.
-Raising children in a nuclear family is still the overwhelming preferences of most people.
-Corporations and governments have done little to accommodate the needs of working parents.
-We need to look at other nations for a model of what could be done.
-A pro-family policy in the US could give tax breaks to companies that encourage job sharing, part
time work, flex time, and family leave for new parents.
-Another key element of a pro-family policy would be instituting fewer hour, more flexible
options- called “family phases”- for all regular jobs filled by parents of young children.
-Day care centers could be made more warm and creative through generous public and private
funding.
www.notesolution.com
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