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family balance

   Work-family Balance or Conflict

Reflect on this week’s resources and your work-family balancing experiences. Describe the main work-family challenges and how you or others address them. Integrate the findings of two scholarly articles to connect your experience within a larger theoretical context. Compare and contrast your experience and resource findings. 

MY PERSONAL INFORMATION YOU CAN USE:

I am a mother of 6. All of my children are grown now. But my husband was killed in a car wreck when they were ages 4 to 12 . I was the only breadwinner. 

 NOTES FROM THE PROFESSOR:

Many of the themes explored last week carry over into this week. This is a byproduct of the interconnectedness and complexity of work in modern society. As you probably noticed when completing the polarity mapping exercise, there are no clear boundaries between issues. This is evident in the role of women in and outside the workplace.

Thirty years ago, Carol Gilligan, a wonderful psychologist, studied adolescent girls and identified an ethic of care, an element of human nature every bit as important as the ethic of justice. It turns out that “you don’t care” is just as much a part of who we are as “that’s not fair.” Bill Gates agrees. He argues that the two great forces of human nature are self-interest and caring for others. Let’s bring them both together. Let’s make the feminist revolution a humanist revolution. As whole human beings, we will be better caregivers and breadwinners. You may think that can’t happen, but I grew up in a society where my mother put out small vases of cigarettes for dinner parties, where blacks and whites used separate bathrooms, and where everybody claimed to be heterosexual. Today, not so much. The revolution for human equality can happen. It is happening. It will happen. How far and how fast is up to us. (Slaughter, 2013, t. 15:35)

Work and family goes beyond gender stereotypes and the Gilligan-Kohlberg debate (Jorgensen, 2006). As more employees work remotely, leveraging technology and flexible schedules, the line between work and personal time is blurred. Both men and women are juggling this new environment where work-life balance is evermore challenging. Within this context, the feminist revolution noted by Slaughter (2013) is truly a humanist one. The historic struggle of women is no longer uniquely theirs. As you investigate the questions this week, you may find that everyone benefits when employers support work-life balance, though not all policies are created equal. Keep an eye out for unintended consequences.

REQUIRE READING

Brown, M. (2012). Responses to work intensification: Does generation matter?. The International Journal Of Human Resource Management, 23(17), 3578-3595. doi:10.1080/09585192.2011.654348

Kelly, E. L., Moen, P., Oakes, J. M., Fan, W., Okechukwu, C., Davis, K. D., Hammer, L. B., & Casper, L. M. (2014, May 29). Changing work and work-family conflict: Evidence from the work, family, and health network. American Sociological Review,79(3), 485-516. Retrieved from http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Kelly_Davis3/publication/262484362_Changing_Work_and_Work-Family_Conflict_Evidence_from_the_Work_Family_and_Health_Network/links/540dcb3c0cf2f2b29a3a1585.pdf

Mandel, H. (2011). Rethinking the paradox: tradeoffs in work-family policy and patterns of gender inequality. Community, Work & Family, 14(2), 159-176. doi:10.1080/13668803.2011.571397

Ray, R., Gornick, J. C., & Schmitt, J. (2009). Parental leave policies in 21 countries: Assessing generosity and gender equality. Center for Economic and Policy Research. Retrieved from http://www.cite.gov.pt/asstscite/images/grafs11/Parent_Leave_Policies_21.pdf

Slaughter, A-M. (2013, June). Anne-Marie Slaughter: Can we have it all? [Video file] Retrieved from: http://www.ted.com/talks/anne_marie_slaughter_can_we_all_have_it_all.html (Links to an external site.)

Valenti, J . (2014, August 20). Lean in, lean out, whatever: working mothers still don’t get enough credit. The Guardian Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/20/lean-in-lean-out-working-mothers-dads

Recommended References

Budig, M. J., Misra, J., & Boekmann, I. (2012). The motherhood penalty in cross-national perspective: The importance of work–family policies and cultural attitudes. Social Politics, 19(2), 163-193.  Retrieved from http://paa2012.princeton.edu/papers/120033 

Jorgensen, G. (2006). Kohlberg and Gilligan: Duet or duel?. Journal of Moral Education, 35(2), 179-196. Retrieved from http://www.worldcat.org/title/kohlberg-and-gilligan-duet-or-duel/oclc/425082606&referer=brief_results

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