Care Work: Gender, Labor, and the Welfare State by Madonna Harrington Meyer

By Madonna Harrington Meyer

Care Work is a set of unique essays at the complexities of offering care. those essays emphasize how social rules intersect with gender, race, and sophistication to alternately compel girls to accomplish care paintings and to constrain their skill to take action. top overseas students from a variety of disciplines supply a groundbreaking research of the paintings of worrying within the context of the relatives, the industry, and the welfare kingdom.

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Extra resources for Care Work: Gender, Labor, and the Welfare State

Example text

As a consequence, men’s proportionate contribution to housework more than doubled between 1965 and 1985: from 15 to 33 percent. Broadly similar results have been reported using national survey data such as the National Survey of Families and Households, the National Survey of Children, the National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women, and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (Coltrane 2000). Most studies also show that when wives have more equal levels of employment and earnings, and when both spouses hold more liberal attitudes toward women’s rights, they tend to share more (but not most) of the housework.

Studies also show that women perform a greater share of the domestic work when they are married and when they have children (Coltrane 2000; Shelton 1992). Despite the enormous importance of care work and its theoretical role in the maintenance of society, little systematic attention has been paid to documenting cultural expectations for men’s caring and the social, political, and historical conditions that might promote it. Research on Men as Family Care Providers Following assumptions about separate work and family spheres for men and women, most social science research on parental care in the twentieth century has focused on mothers, documenting how the right combination of maternal warmth, encouragement, and control can lead to positive child outcomes.

Men blocked women from work in factories and mines through exclusionary trade union practices and demands for a “family wage,” resulting in more families becoming dependent on men’s wages for subsistence (Jackson 1992:158). As the household and paid workplace became more segregated, women were left with responsibility for routine housework and child care, which took on heightened moral significance. According to the separate spheres ideology that resulted, middle-class women were supposed to realize their “true” nature by marrying, giving birth, and most important, tending children.

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