Chapter 12 Marriage, Work, and Economics

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Transcript Chapter 12 Marriage, Work, and Economics

Chapter 12

Marriage, Work, and Economics

Chapter Outline

    Workplace/family Linkages The Familial Division of Labor: Women in the Labor Force Dual-earner Marriages Atypical Dual-earners: Shift Couples and Peer Marriages

Chapter Outline

     Employment and the Family Life Cycle Family Issues in the Workplace Living Without Work: Unemployment and Families Poverty Workplace and Family Policy

Families and Work

  Families may be examined as economic units bound by emotional ties.

Families are involved in two types of work: – paid work at the workplace – family work- unpaid work in the household

Employment and Family Life

   Work spillover is the effect employment has on the time, energy, and psychological functioning of workers and their families at home.

Role strain refers to difficulties individuals have in carrying out multiple responsibilities attached to a role.

Role overload occurs when the activities for one or more roles are greater than an individual can handle.

Sociologist Ann Oakley: The Homemaker Role

 Four primary aspects: – Exclusive allocation to women, rather than to adults of both sexes.

– Association with economic dependence.

– Status as nonwork, which is distinct from “real,” economically productive paid employment.

– Primacy to women—that is, having priority over other women’s roles.

Characteristics Of Housework

        It isolates the person at home.

It is unstructured, monotonous, and repetitive.

It is often a restricted, full-time role.

It is autonomous.

It is “never done”.

It may involve child rearing.

It often involves role strain.

It is unpaid.

Women’s Decision to Enter the Labor Force



 For unmarried women and single mothers, employment may be their only source of income. Social norms  Financial factors: To what extent is income significant?

How accepting is the social environment for married women and mothers?

Women’s Decision to Enter the Labor Force



 Self-fulfillment Does a job meet needs for autonomy, personal growth, and recognition?  Attitudes about employment and family Does the woman believe she can meet the demands of her family responsibilities and her job?

Findings From a Study of Two Parent Families

   Mothers spend from 3 to 5 hours of active involvement for every hour fathers spend.

Mothers’ involvement is oriented toward practical daily activities, such as feeding, bathing, and dressing.

Fathers’ time is generally spent in play.

Findings From a Study of Two Parent Families

  Mothers are almost entirely responsible for child care: planning, organizing, scheduling, supervising, and delegating.

Women are the primary caretakers; men are the secondary.

Contemporary Arrangements



Shift households - where spouses work opposite shifts and alternate domestic and caregiver responsibilities.

Households in which men stay home with children while women support the family financially.

Three Basic Work/family Life Cycle Models




Traditional- simultaneous work/family life cycle Sequential work/family role staging Symmetrical work/family role allocation

Traditional-simultaneous Work/family Life Cycle Model Stages


Establishment/novitiate 2.



New parents/early career School-age family/middle career Post parental family/ late career 5.

Aging family/post exit

Economic Distress

   Aspects of a family’s economic life that may cause stress: unemployment, poverty, and economic strain. Unemployment causes family roles to change. Unemployment most often affects female-headed single-parent families, African-American and Latino families, and young families.

Children Under 18, Below Poverty Level, 1994

Coping Resources: Families in Economic Distress

   Individual family members’ positive psychological characteristics Adaptive family system Flexible family roles

Recipients of AFDC and TANF 1975–2002

1975 1980 1985 1990 Total recipients (thousands) 11,165 10,597 10,812 11,460 % of U.S. pop.





Families receiving assistance 3,498 3,642 3,692 3,974

Recipients of AFDC and TANF 1975–2002

1995 2000 (TANF) 2002 Total recipients (thousands) 13,652 5,778 5,066 % of U.S. pop.



NA Families receiving assistance 4,876 2,215 2,047


  Almost 14% of the population of the United States lives in poverty. Poverty generally occurs due to: – Divorce – Birth of a child to an unmarried mother – Unemployment – Illness, disability, or death of the head of the household