Different Ways of Not Having It All: Work, Care, and Gender Change in the New Economy with Kathleen Gerson

August 21, 2014

Gender inequality in workplaces and in homes around the globe reflects individual attitudes and abilities, intra-household bargaining and legal and socio-cultural influences. Research that considers factors across the individual, household and cultural levels simultaneously is essentially nonexistent. This paper explores how gender attitudes are shaped by the national context, how these shape intra-household bargaining, and how women’s and men’s lives at work and at home are altered in the process. Just as the industrial revolution prompted a new way of life by separating earning an income from domestic caretaking, the rise of a new economy is again reshaping the ways people organize work and care. The decline of stable jobs, along with the rise of optional and fluid intimate partnerships, has created unpredictable occupational and interpersonal prospects for women and men alike. How are 21st century adults responding to these growing conflicts and uncertainties? What are the implications for gender – and class – inequality? And what are the possibilities for creating more egalitarian options? Drawing on her recent book, “The Children of the Gender Revolution,” as well as early findings from a new study of workers residing in Silicon Valley, Gerson will present a framework for exploring and explaining the changing landscape of gender, work, and care in the new economy. Speaker: Kathleen Gerson, Professor of Sociology, New York University

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