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Lecture 10

Lecture 10 - Work and Family

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Western University
Sociology 3308F/G
Kim Shuey

Lecture 10: The Intersection of Work an d Family Film: Judging Work and Family  Difficulties o ‘ideal worker’ vs. ‘ideal parent’  Gender/class differences o Difficult for women to balance work and home life o Women more likely to be the one to limit work hours or quit their job to stay with children  Social norms surrounding who is providing care o Almost expected that employed women will leave the workforce once they have children  Strategies for addressing o By families  May be more financially viable for one spouse to stay home to watch the children vs. both parents working and paying for daycare  Split shifts (but reduces the amount of ‘family time’) o By employers  Flexible policies for white collar workers, but blue collar workers work under different rules  Balancing work and family are completely different situations depending on income and job status  Health effects o Less likely to have healthy meals, exercise, sleep, etc. Accommodating Employment to Family  Conflicting expectations for women (who are working) o This is primarily something that is discussed concerning women – social norms surrounding caregiving, household chores, etc. o High rates of women entering the workforce, higher education, etc.  have expectations about their future, but the primary responsibilities for women concerning keeping house  Strategies o Sequentially  Women scheduling their lives so that they leave their jobs once they get married or have children  Have a disruptive effect on pay, long term retirement income, etc.  This strategy not viable for most women o Reduced hours  Stigma associated with taking time off (unless job is set up to value part time workers or accommodate them)  Part time usually lack benefits, less autonomy, less pay, etc.  Can be a problematic strategy for many different reasons o Split shifts  Greater focus among working class families in particular  Downsides in terms of health, lack of sleep/fatigue, eating habits o Selection of occupation  Choosing jobs from the get go that are going to allow you to balance work and family o However, not everyone is going to be able to have these sorts of choices (e.g. single women) Single Parents  Responsibility overload o Balancing work with home/children  Task overload o Trying to work as well as thinking about all the extra things that have to happen after you get home  Emotional overload o Trying to meet the needs of everyone in the family  Negative effects of low income on well-being  Not just related to being a single parent with an overload of responsibilities, but also that it is associated with low income o Not just the connections that are important for levels of stress/happiness, but low income and all the effects of being poor that are also related to health Accommodation Employment to Family  Conflicting expectations for men o Expected to work more hours while still helping out more at home  Still have this ideal worker image in combination with changing norms concerning men in domestic labour o Resistance from co-workers to fathers who want to spend less time at work – stigma surrounding this Accommodating Family to Employment  Delaying childbirth, having fewer children, not having any children o Around 1/3 said that work stress delayed couples to delay children or not have children at all o 3x as many Canadians pick work as their priority vs. family o strong pressure to acco
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