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University of Toronto St. George
Actuarial Science

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 - 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- zens - when the supply of white women disappeared - started imported women of color - PROGRAMS CHANGED* - 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 employer - 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 September - 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- dren - TWO DIFF VIEWS THAT CLASH - 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 - the relationship between the two - there used to be an old maternalistic model - now a more personalist relationship - two human beings - NOT the idea of a servant - how these workers expect to be treated and recognized as people who do fairly important work - also expect a bit of a relationship - the new model that she is talking about - the complicating factor here - the issue of the kind of parenting you want your nanny to do - mothers typically want their nannies to do the kind of parenting they would do - someone working for you, coming from a different culture - this is hard - someone who you want to be your right hand - but they are an ‘other’ - that means that you need to spend time w/ them and communicate clearly - nannies want very clear guidelines on what the woman wants and is happy to follow them* - to do that, you need to be very communicative - the built in contradiction in this employer/employee relationship - in trying to be even handed - still a built in contradiction against time - problematic situation - a lot of tricky stuff here - a question of negotiation DIVORCE A. ‘Sky-rocketing’ divorce rates? (1) 1968 and 1985 divorce legislation - demographers say that divorce went up over the 20th century - it went down in the 1950s and started to climb back up - took a big increase in Canada is in the two pieces of legislation - the act said that there are different grounds in which you could get divorced - *someone had to have done something* - 1985 - the next divorce act @ federal level - after 68 & 85 - big increases in the rates of divorce - the 90s came along - and the divorce rate really leveled off - divorce - simply replaced death as a break-up of marriage - it’s been about the same # until the 1990s - more because of death than divorce - the average marriage lasts 50 years if they do not get divorced - divorce is going up b/c we are living w/ this person for a long time* (2) Now, about 38% of marriages are expected to end in divorce (if current trends continue) - 38 likelihood for your marriage to break-up IF current trends continue - in the US = 50/50 chance of breaking up - in the US - 40% of children will experience their parent’s divorce B. Why divorce has increased over time (1) Changed expectations, especially women’s - problem w/ that argument; self-centeredness - ignores the causes of many divorces - violence against women, for example* - not being committed enough to a marriage w/ violence is problematic - what are the ‘real’problems - marriage is about merging to TWO lives - people’s lives merge and build a life together - the context of a marriage - blaming individuals but not looking at the circumstances that they are living in - contextual matters - expectations have changes - think of marriage much differently than what we used to - baby-
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