COAS | Divided Lives: Women and Men at Home and at Work
E104 | 9621 | Walters

Lecture 9621 8:00-9:15a MW

Men's and women's responsibilities used to be clear: men took care of work, women took care of the family. Rapid social changes in the U.S. have consigned this "traditional family" to the dustbin of history, but new, workable models have not emerged for both women and men to combine work and family responsibilities. At present many adults experience conflicts between work and families, and in many families there are conflicts, sometimes intense ones, between the division of work and family responsibilities.

This course has three goals. The first is to explore how the organization of family life in our society in general (who takes care of the kids?; how available and affordable is childcare?; what social services are available to support families?) is affected by and in turn affects the organization of the workplace (how unequal are women's and men's incomes?; is part-time work available?; what family benefits do employers provide?). In brief, we will examine the social-structural context in which the divisions and conflicts in individual people's lives are played out. The second goal is to connect this social-structural context with the work and family experiences of individual women and men. How do people think about the choices in their own lives? How do women's choices affect men's, and vice-versa? The final goal is to describe and analyze a variety of public and private attempts to modify the work-family linkage, primarily ones that are intended to make it easier to work and care for a family.