Earning and Caring in Canadian Families
Published: November 1999© 1999
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 416 Pages
Dimensions: 7.00 x 9.00
416 Pages, 7.00 x 9.00 x 0.80 in
Temporarily Out Of Stock
Most people place a high value on family, work, and children. However, there are often serious tensions associated with juggling and accommodating these priorities. This book analyses these tensions, working on the assumption that it is through the effective sharing of associated earning and caring activities that families are made and maintained.
The focus on the conflict between caring and earning highlights the basis on which the family activities of women and men are similar and different. Much writing on families tends to accentuate crisis and conflict. But a study of total time spent on productive activities (paid plus unpaid labour) actually shows there are not large differences between the time expended by women and men, although differences do lie in the division of this work. Furthermore, some couples maintain more symmetry which suggests there should be new social policies to promote "new families" based on a different accommodation for the sharing of provider and parenting roles. Indeed, the book especially considers the Swedish model where social policy effectively creates an incentive to postpone child-bearing until careers are established, the result being that the cost of child-rearing is partially transferred from women to men and to the workplace.
Clearly, family questions are complex. The division of family labour was central to the writings of early modern sociologists and family questions remain central to our understanding of social class, stratification, and inequality. In 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. In so doing it alters our views on gender and inequality and offers new approaches to public policy and to human resource issues facing public and private organizations.
One: Family and Work
Two: The Gender Context
Three: Changing Families
Four: Paid Work and Family Income
Five: Unpaid Work and the Division of Productive Activities
Seven: Children and Youth
Eight: Policy Dimensions
This well-researched, data-packed study of Canadian families has much to offer students of family change occurring throughout the industrialized world. Arguing that transformations in the wider society are eroding the grounds for complementarity in men's and women's roles, and encouraging roles based on companionship instead, the author's special contribution is to widen the study of gender to give men's perspective a fairer hearing. The results are quite interesting and at times surprising.Susan Greenhalgh, Population and Development Review
Earning and Caring in Canadian Families provides a carefully-crafted sociological and demographic analysis of the links between the private and public spheres in Canadian society. It offers a nuanced and data-rich study of family change focussing on the common ground between men and women in the intersections of work and family, and on the related social policies and issues.Ellen M. Gee, Simon Fraser University