SOC314H1 Lecture Notes - Socalled, Child Care, Personalism

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15 Apr 2012
SOC314 Lecture
March 20th/2012
Divorce & Its Aftermath*
- majority of Canadian women in the labor force
- that historical change has unsettled conventional patterns
- men are now expected for the most part to take part in the work of the household
- the extent to which men are doing that
- if you look @ the trend over time - men’s housework has gone up significantly
- we are seeing a more equal division of work within the home
- another change* - much of the work has been offloaded to the shoulders of paid employees
- many professional middle-class families + small kids = nanny
- cleaning lady
- the point being made = with that trend, the work has remained women’s work
- what is that relationship like between employee and employer*
- readings = women are still doing quite a bit more of the housework and childcare than their partners do
- women do much more of the household work - the reason that this is important is because it is seen as
‘invisible’ work, low-status work
- feminists have focused on who is doing this work
- unpaid, low-status work
- nature of the work = not skilled work, repetitive, nothing anybody sees really
Veronica Tickner article
- women who make more money than men
- men are able to “buy their way out of this work b/c they make more money in the labor force”
- summarizes the research
- women tend to push their partners to do housework/childcare
- men tend to do slightly different things than women
- women tend to have higher standards than men
- MAIN FINDING - what happens when women make more money
- talks to both women who make more money and those who don’t
- the main finding = even when women make more money, that doesn’t turn into getting a proportionate
increase for men’s housework
- GENDERED STRUCTURE; in this society, women and men are assigned different responsibilities
based on your gender
- 5 women who make nearly all the money - women are the breadwinner (in those cases, the men is doing
the housework + childcare - women can in fact convert that to housework and childcare for their partner)
- why are there differences among these couples? the virtue of interview data - ask WHY
- seems to be something w/ the fact of whose job is more important
B. Child care continuing to be a private and gendered responsibility: the Employment of Nannies
- the “solution” to the problem of childcare that the government has adopted - we have imported people
from poor countries to do this work
- you NEED to provide daycare to have women in the labor force
- childcare is a private responsibility in this country
- the problem with this “solution” is three-fold
- 1. families who can’t afford it do not benefit - majority of Canadian families
- 2. it remains a private responsibility & also remains a gendered responsibility
- 3. creates problematic work - the worker is quite vulnerable to exploitation
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- what has happened in Canada - imported for most of our history - white women from Europe*
- the whole history of importing white women - imported as landed immigrants - expected to become citi-
- when the supply of white women disappeared - started imported women of color
- 100 women from the Caribbean - still imported as landed immigrants
- very restrictive program - terms of the program
- the country that they were coming from would pay for them to come back if they were not seen as good
domestic workers
- more women from the Fillipines*
- the people coming from the Fillipines are well educated but not clear that their kids will do well in the
future b/c the economy is so bad
- send the bulk of their earnings back to the Fillipines - MANDATORY
(1) The Live-In-Caregiver Program: no citizenship rights & the requirement to live in the house of the
- program developed in the 90s
- terms of this program - come in with no landed status
- guest/temporary workers
- only other groups of workers who come in on these terms - Mexico who come to harvest our crops in
- temporary worker permit
- the other term that they come in under is that they HAVE to live with their employer for two years
- those 2 terms are the two lean problems w/ the work
- the workers are very vulnerable - no citizen rights and have to live with employer
- powerless position
- the point is - two conditions that are unique to this kind of work
- main problem with the work = LONG hours (private context)
- Ontario Labor Law - only work 44 hours a week and no longer
- we have raised the requirements of coming into work
- with those raised requirements - increasingly people are coming in illegally
- undocumented workers in larger numbers than before - even more vulnerable!
(2) P.Hondagneu-Sotelo: on employers and employees in the home. sturggles over time, tricky issues of
authority and autonomy, & the importance of “personalism” (respect and dignity at work)
- only study where the researcher interviews both the employees and the employers
- issues coming up with
- issues around TIME*
- big things that is a tricky issue in this situation
- the domestic workers want boundaries around their time - presumably 44 hours a week
- describes most vividly - employers on the other hand work long hours, professionals, they want to rest
- they come in the door - they want quiet time
- the nanny on the other hand who had children all day - she would think the mother would want the chil-
- the other mindset that is different - these women have never stayed home w/ young kids ever
- no maternity leave in the US
- the other point of view - a women who’s been home w/ kids all day is EXHAUSTED
- different positions give them diff understandings of the situation
- compounding that is a bit of a struggle
- work that is negotiable is the housework
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