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I Love Lucy: Job Switching - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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I Love Lucy: Job Switching. What does this classic episode of I Love Lucy reflect about the roles of men and women in marriage and family? What happens when the roles are switched? What makes this episode funny?. Lecture 8. The Gendered Family. Gender & the Modern Family.

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I Love Lucy: Job Switching

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I Love Lucy: Job Switching

  • What does this classic episode of I Love Lucy reflect about the roles of men and women in marriage and family?

  • What happens when the roles are switched?

  • What makes this episode funny?

Lecture 8

The Gendered Family

Gender & the Modern Family

  • Family is where we spend most of our lives

    • Socialized in cultural ideas, roles, relationships

  • The form that family takes is in direct relation to other institutions in society:

    • Economy

    • Religion

    • Government

Industrialization and the Family

  • Industrialization created one of the biggest shifts in gender relations and family life

    • Separation of work inside/outside home

    • Requires both paid and unpaid labor

  • Modern marriage and the nuclear family creates a dual status system within the family and society

    • Nuclear Family: Parents (M/F) residing with the children

Gender Ideology, Family, and Work

  • Separate Spheres Ideology

  • Public sphere: Masculine

    • Work, Political Life, Community/Civic Life

  • Private sphere: Feminine

    • Home, Childrearing, Love



Cult of Domesticity

  • Naturalization of male/female roles regulated through family life

    • Complimentary roles

  • Emotional Life within the family

    • Wife/husband bond

    • Mother/ child link

  • Femininization of domestic labor

    • Connected to ideas of female love

“Family-wage” economic system

  • Our economic system is founded on the idea that one person should be able to support a family

    • Women and children as dependents

    • Swap paid labor for unpaid labor in the home

  • “Family wage” means:

    • High salary/ minimum wage

    • Benefits

    • Social security and retirement

His and Her Family

  • Dichotomization of morality for men and women in family life

  • Men are encouraged to focus on self-interest for the family

  • Women are encouraged to focus on self-sacrifice for the good of the family

What effect do these gender ideologies have on the way that men and women experience both the public sphere (work, politics, etc) and private sphere (family life, parenting, marriage)?

1: Household Labor

  • Household labor becomes invisible in the economy

    • Largest productive sector in the modern economy

  • It also is undervalued

    • “unoccupied” in the national accounting system

  • Mom’s market value = $35k more than the wages of the average working man

    • No retirement, unemployment, health benefits, nor individual social security

The Second Shift (1989)

  • In two paycheck households women do more household work than their husbands

    • 7 ½ hours per week

  • ‘Male’ and ‘female’ household chores differ

    • Women = high stress, immediate need

    • Men = low stress, limited need

  • Men develop strategies of resistance

    • “Waiting it Out”

    • “Playing it Dumb”

How do we spend our days?


April 26th

  • Sign in

  • Your DOL?

  • Lecture 10: The Gendered Economy

  • Homework:

  • “The Globe Trotting Sneaker” by Cynthia Enloe (CR)

    • “ Love and Gold” Arlie Hochschild (CR)

Your households DOL?

2. Male Pattern of Work

  • The most rewarded careers in our society (prestige and $) are generally based on the assumption that:

    • Time commitment while young

    • long hours

    • flexibility in your schedule

    • and limited household responsibility

  • Imagine what is takes to become a:

    • Medical doctor

    • Lawyer

President of HarvardFewer Tenured Women in the Sciences…

“And the relatively few women who are in the highest ranking places are disproportionately either unmarried or without children…[T]here are many professions and many activities, and the most prestigious activities in our society expect of people who are going to rise to leadership positions in their forties near total commitments to their work. They expect a large number of hours in the office, they expect a flexibility of schedules to respond to contingency, they expect a continuity of effort through the life cycle, and they expect-and this is harder to measure-but they expect that the mind is always working on the problems that are in the job, even when the job is not taking place. And it is a fact about our society that that is a level of commitment that a much higher fraction of married men have been historically prepared to make than of married women.”

Mommy (and Daddy) Tax

  • $1 million “mommy tax” for college educated women

    • 30 year old American women without children earns 90% of men’s wages, but with children earns 70%

    • MBA’s who pulled out of the job market for 8 months earned 17% less than counterparts

  • Professional men with working wives and children earn about 20% less than single men

    • Men with “feminist views” earned less than men with “traditional” views

3: Occupation Segregation

  • In the workforce jobs often reflect the gendered roles of the family

  • Men’s jobs:

    • High wages

    • Full time

    • Correlation with authority, power, and skill

  • Women’s jobs:

    • Lower wages

    • Correlation with domestic responsibilities

Are things changing?

  • How do young men and women today view family and their careers?

  • Have you thought about how you will balance career and family life? How?

And Today…He’s Happier, She’s Less So

  • Since the 1960s:

    • men have gradually cut back on activities they find unpleasant and now work less and relax more

    • women have replaced housework with paid work and are spending almost as much time doing things they don’t enjoy as in the past

  • As women entered the workforce, they now have a much longer to-do list than they once did

Men and Women in Marriage

  • According to “What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage”:

    • What is the role of a husband relative to the marriage? Role of the wife?

    • How should a wife interact with her husband?

    • How should a husband interact with his wife?

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