Few Choices

Few Choices: Women, Work and Family

Ann Duffy
Nancy Mandell
Norene Pupo
Copyright Date: 1989
Pages: 118
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3138/j.ctt2ttnv7
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Few Choices
    Book Description:

    Few Choicesexamines the few choices that confront women today in their efforts to balance paid work and family life.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-0258-8
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-6)
  3. Preface
    (pp. 7-8)
  4. CHAPTER 1 Women’s Work and Family Patterns: Constraints and Options
    (pp. 9-16)

    Canadian women are in the midst of tremendous change in their work and family lives. The ever-rising number of married, employed women and the steady decline in the birth rate are signs of this revolution. The way women’s decisions about work and family are intermingled reflects the prevailing interpenetration of domestic and wage labour under advanced capitalism. Drawing upon the actual experiences of individuals, we explore both the difficulties women encounter, and the coping strategies they devise, as their lives become more and more conditioned by paid employment. By focusing on a range of women’s employment patterns – full-time paid...

  5. CHAPTER 2 Juggling the Load: Employed Mothers who Work Full-Time for Pay
    (pp. 17-43)
    Nancy Mandell

    Expectation and Reality: How did women get where they are?

    Since industrialization, the belief has existed that family and work exist as separate worlds that operate independently of each other (Kanter, 1977). The development of industrial capitalism in Canada has brought about the physical separation of the private realm of family intimacy from the public experience of labour that is largely responsible for the academic treatment of work and family as distinct and noncomparable areas of study. Recently, scholars have criticized this approach and argued for an analysis that considers the interaction of work and family.

    Both work and family...

  6. CHAPTER 3 The Traditional Path: Full-Time Housewives
    (pp. 44-73)
    Ann Doris Duffy

    In the late 1980s, the role of full-time homemaker appears to be headed for extinction. A generation ago, this role typified adult married women, but today it is becoming more and more of an anomaly. This chapter explores the changes that this role has undergone, examines the current realities of full-time homemaking and considers the implications of the demise of this former norm.

    How has the social situation of the full-time housewife changed? Contrary to popular assumption, the homemaker supported by an employed husband is a relatively recent phenomenon in Canadian family life. The popularity of the family in which...

  7. CHAPTER 4 Balancing Responsibilities: The Part-Time Option
    (pp. 74-100)
    Norene Pupo

    Part-time work is often presented as a desirable and necessary option for women.¹ It is seen as allowing the flexibility required in the domestic sphere, as well as the personal satisfactions and independence derived from paid work. Women who work part-time often feel that they have “the best of both worlds.”

    Underlying this view are certain assumptions about women’s roles and life situations: the benefits of part-time work are primarily depicted in light of women’s responsibilities in mothering and homemaking. Part-time work is expected to relieve women of their isolation in the home and provide “extra” income for family purchases,...

  8. CHAPTER 5 Differing Solutions: Similar Struggles
    (pp. 101-108)

    The women interviewed for this book are strikingly similar in many respects. As interviewers, we expected that there would be many more significant differences than there actually were between employed and non-employed women’s accounts of their early dreams, their attitudes towards wage labour and their concerns about children and about spousal relationships. Stereotypical descriptions of women’s lives suggest that employed women differ fundamentally from non-employed women in terms of motivation, ambition, fear and guilt. We soon realized that our expectation of differences reflected our own internalization of artificial ideological divisions between work and family. We were associating paid work with...

  9. Bibliography
    (pp. 109-117)
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 118-118)