Tagged: work

Breadwinning Mothers and the Importance of Intersectional Thinking

It is hard to imagine that only several decades ago, many women in the United States did not work outside the home. If they did work, their income was a supplement to the household, not the primary share. In fact, in 1960, census reports found that mothers were the primary breadwinner in only 11% of households. A new Pew Research Center study shows us how much times have changed. Not only are women working and making more money than ever...

Big Data: The new frontier or a methodological nightmare?

  Big Data refers to the enormous amount of information now possessed by companies, that we offer up in our day-to-day lives. In Google searches, Facebook wall posts, or any purchase we are contributing to the vast amount of data, and allowing companies to make predictions about how we will behave. The use of patterning, statistical analysis and algorithms give these companies a perceived ability to ‘predict the future’; ranging from suggesting future purchases to tracking the flu virus through...

Leaning In and Working Together: The Leanin.org "Circles" Initiative

Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, has created quite the buzz in the media, drawing accolades and criticism from widespread analysts, academics, feminists, business people, journalists, etc. Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, contends that the norms of femininity prevent women from gaining success in the workplace. While insufficient work and family policies are obstacles for women, one major, often overlooked, barrier is the rigid boundaries of masculinity and femininity, which hinder men’s participation in...

Feminism, Family, and Work

This week, Stephanie Coontz contributed an opinion piece to the New York Times in honor of the 50th anniversary of Betty Friedan’s, The Feminine Mystique. Coontz’s article, entitled “Why Gender Equality Stalled,” explores some of the structural and economic reasons hindering equality between men and women. The attitudes and beliefs of individuals are not to blame for the stalled gender revolution; instead, Coontz points to a failing economy and inadequate work-family policies as the major obstacles to gender equality. Coontz...

Debating Gendered Workplace Inequality

The presidential debates have raised some interesting and important questions about gender inequality in the U.S. Specifically, the second debate (transcript) brought up the issue of fair pay and equal wages for American women. While Governor Romney’s response—which involved “binders full of women”—rightfully took a lot of heat, both candidates could have benefitted from a brief lesson in the sociology of gender discrimination. Perhaps their aides will pass this on.Gov. Romney’s answer focused on increasing women’s participation in the workforce...

The Political Value of Welfare

One of the latest Romney ads attacks President Obama for removing work provisions from Welfare Reform.  In the ad, disappointed-in-himself Obama (pictured left) sneakily gutted welfare reform by dropping the work requirements, so that as the ad states, “They just send you your welfare check.”  The ad’s claims are false or, as the fact-checking website Politifact put it, pants-on-fire.  What Obama has actually done is allow states to develop their own welfare-to-work programs.  The changes provide states with some flexibility regarding...

Childcare and Work: The Privilege of Choice

“If you don’t believe that childcare is work, then try telling your parents or whoever took care of you that raising you was not work.  I don’t imagine that would go over well.”  I say this in my social problems class as a counterpoint to the assertion that welfare-recipients are lazy and immoral.  Most recently the sentiment was employed to defend wealthy “stay-at-home mom,” and wife of presidential candidate, Ann Romney.  The sentiment that childcare is work is fairly uncontested...

Second Video Abstract Available! – “Older Workers: The 'Unavoidable Obligation' of Extending Our Working Lives?”

Older Workers: The ‘Unavoidable Obligation’ of Extending Our Working Lives? Sarah Vickerstaff VIDEO ABSTRACT: ARTICLE ABSTRACT: Older workers are becoming an increasing topic of research interest and policy concern as the populations of Europe, the United States and many other countries age. Some commentators argue that living longer means that there will be an ‘unavoidable obligation’ to work for longer as well. This article considers the reasons for concern about an ageing workforce. It then looks at the different literatures,...

Want An Egg? It's as Easy as Faxing: Home and Efficiency

The invasion of time saving appliances and convenience food items is nothing new in American kitchens. Sociologically speaking this can (and has been) explained through a variety of theoretical paradigms. This could certainly be understood as an ideal example of Habermas’ notion of the (re)feudalization of the lifeworld, the colonization of the private sphere by the sphere of economy and consumerism. This phenomenon can also be explained through feminist theory as a source of liberation for women in particular, relieved...

Conference Summary Part I: The Internet as Playground and Factory

The New School held a conference last week that may be of interest to many Sociology Lens readers, so I have decided to devote this week’s entry to sharing some notes from the conference. The implosion of work and play was the most recurrent theme in the panels that I attended.  The term “playbor” was frequently used to describe the product of this implosion.  Panelists generally seemed to assume that playbor was a relatively new and increasingly prevalent phenomenon.  However,...

‘Is your email really necessary?’

by paulabowles In order to read (and of course create) this post requires access to the internet, an option that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. However, for many of us, the internet – as well as mobile phones – has already become essential to modern living. Hamish McRae of The Independent raises the interesting topic of social etiquette, suggesting that although; we may be familiar with the technology we have yet to agree on the rules...