Households, Employment, and Gender: A Social, Economic, and Demographic View

Overview

During the twentieth century arrangements governing love, work, and their routinization in households and employment underwent a transformation. During this period women gained employment opportunities. This reduced sex differentiation, but did not equalize the roles or power of men and women. The goal of this book is to describe the trends and patterns that remain constant amidst the change, and to provide an integrated framework for understanding them.

The authors focus on a ...

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Overview

During the twentieth century arrangements governing love, work, and their routinization in households and employment underwent a transformation. During this period women gained employment opportunities. This reduced sex differentiation, but did not equalize the roles or power of men and women. The goal of this book is to describe the trends and patterns that remain constant amidst the change, and to provide an integrated framework for understanding them.

The authors focus on a three-tier level of integration that is not available in other studies of this kind. First, they combine the topics of households and employment, showing similarities and causal links between household and employment arrangements. Second, a conceptual framework is provided that gives attention to both individuals’ choices and to the structural constraints that limit available options. Finally, an integration of economic and sociological views of employment, demographic behavior, and other household behavior is examined.

By using both individual and structural views, Paula England and George Farkas provide an overview of this coupling. This work is unique in that it draws from both economics and sociology and from demographers in both disciplines. Households, Employment, and Gender is an analytic synthesis for scholars and an invaluable sourcebook for classes on gender, labor, the family, social demography, economics, and economic sociology.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“England and Farkas combine… theoretical and empirical work in several broad disciplinary areas… The authors aim to provide a new way of viewing arrangements within households and employment which simultaneously draws upon the individualistic approach of microeconomic and social exchange theory (choice) and the “new structuralist” sociology and social demography (constraint) which draws parallels between households and employment, and which can explain the arrangements of the 1950s as well as those of the 1980s… England and Farkas’ book could be used as a primary text in advanced undergraduate and graduate level classes, and I would consider it a “must” for anyone in these fields.”

—Patricia A. Gwartney-Gibbs, Contemporary Sociology

“This book represents an important advancement toward the integration of theory in gender stratification… Their model explains why discrimination persists despite the competitive advantage afforded to nondiscriminating firms as discussed in the neoclassical economic perspective. I found the greatest achievement of the book to be the integration of different theories in economics and sociology into one conceptual framework. This approach recognizes important contributions from both disciplines that are often lost when researchers are engrossed in one perspective.”

—M. Therese Stafford, Social Science Quarterly

“This volume reviews the American research literature concerning households, employment, and gender roles… The text is primarily descriptive, integrating a good selection of references from the economic, sociological, and demographic literature… The text is useful as a reader, providing information in a nontechnical fashion.”

—P.E.H., Population and Development Review

“England and Farkas cite a considerable body of research literature that demonstrates how structural position shapes and reinforces behaviors and values useful for survival in those positions and how those traits in turn sharply limit alternatives in otherwise rational choices individuals make regarding work and family… Their arguments are thoroughly grounded… in demography, sociology, and economics… The book will be valuable to scholars of gender, work, and family, and it is written in a style that also makes… theory and research on these issues easily accessible to a general audience.”

—William T. Bielby,Science

“This book sets out to integrate economic and sociological theories of the interplay of economic activity and family life and to explain major changes and coninuities in North American society during the post-war era… The book is recommended for its interdisciplinary review of the literature as well as the cogency of its arguments. In particular, the authors should be congratulated for introducing the concepts of ‘emotional work’ and ‘role overload’ to the description of women’s place in contemporary society, and for providing us with an example of how fruitful intellectual co-operation between sexes as well as between disciplines can be.”

—Heather Joshi, Population Studies

“England and Farkas set out to examine the changes in households and employment since World War II, using the concepts of search and implicit contract to provide a framework… England and Farkas’s exposition is interesting and lucid… In considering possible future developments, England and Farkas argue that women’s marital power will increase as their labor market increases, but it will never equal that of men until men share the unpaid work of the private sphere.”

—Jane Lewis, American Journal of Sociology

"England and Farkas do a remark­ably good job in demonstrating how labor economists' recent for­mulations of the employer-worker relation elucidate a central socio­logical problem."

—Beverly Duncan, University ofCalifornia-Santa Barbara

"This book deserves to be influen­tial among economists, sociolo­gists, and their students inter­ested in sex roles in the family and workplace... England and Farkas have performed a valuable service for both disciplines."

—Barbara R. Bergmann, University of Maryland

"Husbands and wives today must organize their household lives without the clear normative guidelines of earlier times. To show how they do this, England and Farkas develop a new analyti­cal framework around the concept of contract."

—Ida H. Simpson, Duke University

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Product Details

Meet the Author

George Farkas is professor of education at the University of California, Irvine. His writings have appeared in The American Sociological Review, The Journal of Youth and Adolescence, The Journal of Human Resources, The Journal of Labor Economics, Sociological Methods and Research, and Structural Equation Modeling. He is the author of Human Capital or Cultural Capital? Ethnicity and Poverty Groups in an Urban School District.

Paula England is professor of sociology at New York University where she specializes in the areas of changing family patterns, sexual behavior, gender and labor markets, and interdisciplinary integration. She is the author or editor of numerous books, including Comparable Worth: Theories and Evidence, Social Class and Changing Families in an Unequal America, and Unmarried Couples with Children.

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