Lecture #9 - Work, Family, and Self: Changing Families, Lagging
Theoretical Perspectives: Work-Family Interface
• Early Ideas: work and family as separate domains --------->
Lag between work structure and demographic change
Ideologies and institutions – assumptions about gender is imprinted in
organizations – Acker. But now there are hanging demographics – dual
They have kids – ideal worker vs. parents
Intensification of work – expansion of client-based work.
Mass distribution of work mobile technology – boundaries are expanding.
Work expanding into the home. Idea is It gives you more flexibility because
you don’t have to be at work – but even if you are not at working you are –
what are the repercussions of being there or not being there – good for some
and bad for some.
Can be helpful or problematic – need to respond asap but bathing kid.
• Mass Entrance of Women into Paid Work: Spillover Theories
1950s 60s – work was separate from home and were studied separately.
Didn’t look at cross-effects. Separate domains
late 60s and 70s – change in family form, women enter work
• 70s the connection of domains is vital. Looked at
psychosomatic outcomes – does work make It tired. • 80s – role strain –social role is important – set of connected
behaviours, rights and obligations i.e. parent, husband,
supervisor. We take on many roles.
• We take on social roles and multiple ones in the
two domains but we only have scare amount of
time and energy to spend doing those roles.
• The more social roles one take one – the less time
you have to do them the more you feel Role strain
or roll conflict.
Rise of Work-Family Conflict
• ―...a form of inter-role conflict in which the pressures from the work
and family domains are mutually incompatible in some respect
(Greenhaus and Beutell 1985).‖
Inter-role – social role – 2 roles – in conflict – when they are colliding.
Work role is intensified and requires a lot of time and energy – feeds into
ability to do other role.
There are work roles impeding into family live, but you also have your
family roles going to the direction of the work place. Domains affect real
health and mental health. Two domains connecting.
Empirical evidence : work to family is more salient then family to work.
Social value we place on work role is so pervasive – feel more pressure to
perform it correctly than family roles. • Both are associated with physical and psychological well-
being – negative impact.
• Role-Strain Theory Revisited
Scarcity of resources not sufficient to articulate gendered expectations
of women in the home
• Not just about holding several roles – talk about meanings .
Not just logistics of being there but the meanings in the home
gets attached to mom and dad and need to look at gender
expectations. Not just social meanings coming from society
(expectations .e. second shift) but then how actors themselves
interpret those meanings. They have filtering systems. People
negotiate their identity. Different classes have different
access to resources and ability to negotiate identity.
• How is meanings differently interpreted by individuals. More
sophisticated. The interpretation affects men and work
Gendered nature of the workplace (Acker)
Moral Division of labour (Gerson)
• Not enough to compete in labour market for women – need to
achieve the fullest level of themselves – by caring for others.
What it means to be a good female.
• She looked at the interpretation of young people when they
cohabit. Most young people are egalitarian.
• People come form single families and dual earners – we
expect men and woment to have equal chances at equal things. • How did they see family work demands – how did they divide
work and family.
• Younger men: thought they would have to revert to
traditional labour. Women would end up stay at home.
• Women said: they would opt out of marriage and delay
the whole thing
• Women’s views on how to cope in attempt to
compete and attempt to use human capital. They
want a good fit in the labour market so they don’t
get ‘mommy tracked’. They have consequences of
marriage. Women with first child – 31. More
Role Strain V. Role Enhancement
• Evidence supports role strain BUT employment also serves positive
functions, especially for women
With the cultural meaning of roles – another framework looking at multiple
social roles and outcomes. Enhancement theories. Employment has positive
effect on well-being. Increases physical and mental well-being.
• Rise of Role Enhancement Theory
energy is an expandable quantity; it is not limited or fixed
• Role strain – we have so much energy need to divide.
Enhancement: energy is expandable – the more you take on
the more you get out the more you can give. The more
diversity of experiences you have the more you take into interactional contexts – get more out – positive experiences in
the household mediates functions.
• Intensive mothering but we also have cultural expectations
that women can compete and should compete. This is
equitable – if you have what it takes you should do the job.
Social culture—women‘s employment is self-fulfilling and increases
their financial power
• Increases resources.
• Fatherhood – positive work outcomes – shows that he is
committed. Motherhood – penalty.
Gender and Work-Family Conflict
• No consistent gender differences in reported levels of work-family
How can this be?
• Gender distribution of work family conflict – how much does
men and women experience. There is no empirical gender
difference between the two. Interesting. It is inconsistent –
• How is family and conflict measured – how many hours etc.
same problem as measuring unpaid work.
• Word ‘interfere might be interpreted to more than
• Women are more willing to cope with – women are
culturally expected to carry second shift. Women have
been dealing with interference longer – it is more normalized. The interpretation by the actor – how you
• Consequences of work-family conflict reveal gender differences
Gender differences in feelings of guilt (Glavin, Schieman, and Reid
• Look at different outcomes – depression etc. Work family
conflict is not the outcome.
• Looking at men and women – use work family outcome to
a factor that is a mediator.
• US – use work family conflict as an independent variable and
look at different outcomes - look as distress (like anxiety),
different than depression and guilt.
• To measure work family conflict – boundaries demands –
being phoned, texted and emailed – contacted when not at
work. Levels were not that different although men felt
contacted slightly more.
• Outcomes: women report higher levels of GUILT and distress.
Men didn’t have guilt. Both men and women had equal levels
of work family conflict.
• A lot of feminine identity comes from being a caregiver
– feels guilty for her primary role as a mother being
impeded on. It is greatly internalized.
• Guilt is an internally evaluative emotion, female feel it
more. • This is NOT about work, family conflict – it is constant.
It is the feeling that you are not doing it well.
Estimated Number of
Regulated Child Care Spaces
Canada & Provinces/Territories, 1992 to 2004
Province/Territory 1992 1995 1998 2001 2003/04 % Change 1992
Newfoundland 3,568 4,202 4,275 4,226 4,921 37.9%
Prince Edward Island 4,123 3,888 3,717 4,270 4,100 -0.6%
Nova Scotia 10,826 10,645 11,163 11,464 12,759 17.9%
New Brunswick 7,162 7,952 9,204 11,086 11,897 66.1%
Quebec 78,388 111,452 175,002 234,905 321,732 310.4%
Ontario 145,54 147,853 167,090 173,135 206,743 42.0%
Manitoba 18,977 18,846 20,490 23,022 25,634 35.1%
Saskatchewan 6,418 7,266 7,124 7,166 7,910 23.2%
Alberta 51,656 51,088 47,033 47,693 47,959(65,72 -7.2%(27.2%)*
British Columbia 42,927 59,794 68,978