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Earning and Caring in Canadian Families

Earning and Caring in Canadian Families

Copyright Date: 2000
Pages: 416
  • Book Info
    Earning and Caring in Canadian Families
    Book Description:

    By taking a detailed look at the abundant data and analyses available on families through the lens of the "earning and caring equation," this book provides an excellent foundation for new understanding of the family.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-0254-0
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-6)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 7-16)
  3. preface
    (pp. 17-18)
  4. acknowledgements
    (pp. 19-20)
  5. introduction
    (pp. 21-26)

    On the level of the society, a demographer’s main interest is in understanding the relationships between economic production and demographic reproduction, to use the terms of political economy. On the level of families, the central issues are earning and caring. These functions include theinstrumentalactivities, especially making a living and maintaining a household, and theexpressiveactivities of caring for each other, especially for children and other dependants. Thus the key question underlying this book is how to better understand the changing links between earning and caring.

    To look at this meshing of earning and caring we need, then,...

  6. ONE Family and Work
    (pp. 27-48)

    A good deal of the writing on families emphasizes the distinction between the public world of work and the private world of families. We often believe that our family lives are private, and that they should be kept that way. Families are seen as a haven of retreat from the public world. It follows that sociologists should respect this privacy, and governments should not interfere. The outside world of paid work involves competitive struggles and rewards for achievement, but at home, in the enclosed circle of our families, we expect to be accepted and nourished for who we are, regardless...

  7. TWO The Gender Context
    (pp. 49-82)

    Research in the area of male-female differences initially adopted the overriding concepts ofsexandsex roles.But the word sex not only has a biological connotation but also draws excessive attention to sexuality at the expense of other human differences and interactions. The idea of sex roles gives the impression of relatively fixed categories, comparable to the roles of parent, student, or manager—roles learned and enacted in specific contexts. The focus on male and female roles also accentuates the differences rather than the similarities between women and men. Consequently, these concepts can bring us both to pay less...

  8. THREE Changing Families
    (pp. 83-128)

    As seen in the previous chapter, there are strong links between gender and family questions. In many respects, family and gender roles are forged together. The family would appear to be the main environment in which we do gender, and consequently where gender is produced and sustained. It is probably in the family, more so than in schools and workplaces, that we insist on males and females being different. For many people, the ideology of the ideal family includes a complementarity of roles for husbands and wives, fathers and mothers. This can be seen in reactions to propositions for gender...

  9. FOUR Paid Work and Family Income
    (pp. 129-174)

    Families, as we have seen, have changed extensively in the past 30 years. In particular, the phenomena of cohabitation and divorce have implied changing definitions of marital unions, and the decline in the numbers of children has been significant.

    Work—which in this chapter means paid work—has also undergone change: a larger proportion of the total population is employed, but workers have also seen limited wage gains and higher unemployment, a continued growth of the service sector, and a greater predominance of part-time work and other forms of non-standard work. The Economic Council of Canada (1990) used the title...

  10. FIVE Unpaid Work and the Division of Productive Activities
    (pp. 175-230)

    Earning and caring represent two major family activities, but they do not always receive equivalent recognition, nor is their interaction properly appreciated. InGender Relations in Canada,Marlene Mackie (1991: 221) suggests that one of the great achievements of the women’s movement has been the elevation to visibility of unpaid domestic activities, and their definition as productive work.” In effect, while censuses have always included several measures of paid work, the 1996 Canadian census was the first to obtain measures of unpaid work. Paid and unpaid work, then, both represent time spent in productive activities, in contrast with the down-time...

  11. SIX Fertility
    (pp. 231-266)

    Child-bearing and child-rearing are clearly of central importance for most families. While families do not have to include children, the organization of family life takes as a central facet the connections across generations. Consequently, the study of fertility is an important avenue through which to study families. In addition, a substantial body of research on fertility does exist, and much of this research pays attention to the family role in child-bearing. Demography in particular focuses on the births, deaths, and movement of people as the means through which populations change.

    Whether to have children, and the number of children to...

  12. SEVEN Children and Youth
    (pp. 267-310)

    As Maureen Baker (1991: 37) states, “Most sociological research on family life has focused on the problems and points of view of adults, especially wives and mothers.” Researchers may be overlooking children because many families today do not include children living at home: the proportion of families with children at home declined from over 70 percent in 1961 to under 60 percent in 1991 (Kerr, Larrivée, and Greenhalgh 1994: 11). Nonetheless, children and parent-child relationships remain central to most families. In effect, the arrival of a child changes a family, just as children are shaped by their family context. This...

  13. EIGHT Policy Dimensions
    (pp. 311-356)

    The study of families inevitably involves units, partnerships, and bonds across individuals, which in turn imply a need to resolve differences and to come together in common identities and destinies. But individuals also need to be different and to maintain their own identities. This search may be seen in the sharing of paid and unpaid work, which includes both a push to reduce the differences between women and men in the distribution of work activities and an interest in maintaining differences. While we can legitimately blame men for being unwilling to undertake caring activities, women too can show a certain...

  14. references
    (pp. 357-400)
  15. copyrights
    (pp. 401-404)
  16. author index
    (pp. 405-412)
  17. subject index
    (pp. 413-416)