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Family work balance

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Product Description

By David A de Vaus

Published: 2009
ISBN: 978-1-921348-06-8
Pages: ii+86



David A de Vaus PhD
Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Science, La Trobe University, Melbourne

For most parents, life is no longer a matter of being a parent or a worker - it's both. The emergence of the democratic family means that roles are not meant to be ascribed simply because of gender but are to be negotiated and shared. At the level of ideology at least, mothers are encouraged to participate in the public world of paid work and fathers are to participate more in the private world of family caring.

While this new deal of gender equality is widely accepted in theory we have not been so successful in working out how to live the new deal. Numerous studies have demonstrated that simply doing two full-time jobs (parenting and waged work) is extraordinarily difficult for any individual and results in considerable stress and can result in degraded parenting and degraded relationships.

The experience of the competing demands of family and of employment is not uniform. Many factors shape the experience. The workplace itself, the structure of the immediate family (partnered, number of children, age of children), the availability of supports from one's wider family and friends, the availability of childcare and many other considerations all contribute to the experience of tensions between work and family and the capacity to manage these tensions.

This special issue seeks to address this important issue by providing insight into both the tensions and the strategies employed by men and women who need to balance their work life with the need to care for family. The papers in this issue clearly demonstrate that the issue of balancing work and family remains a live issue.

As such it provides the basis for further thinking about how those who struggle with the balancing act might be helped to manage better.

Table of Contents

Editorial: Balancing family work and paid work: Gender-based equality in the new democratic family
David A de Vaus PhD

Work-life balance: The experiences of Australian working mothers
Ibolya Losoncz, Natalie Bortolotto

Who's bathing the baby? The division of domestic labour in Sweden
Jan E Thomas PhD, Ingegerd Hildingsson PhD

Mothers' timing of return to work by leave use and pre-birth job characteristics
Jennifer Baxter PhD

The deal: Wives, entrepreneurial business and family life
Dina D Bowman PhD

Transnational family-work balance: Experiences of Australian migrants caring for ageing parents and young children across distance and borders
Raelene Wilding PhD, Loretta Baldassar PhD

Multimedia Review

Raising children: A guide to parenting from birth to five - www.raisingchildren.net.au
Jane Svensson PhD

Book Reviews

Family, Gender and Kinship in Australia: The Social and Cultural Logic of Practice and Subjectivity
Allon Uhlmann
Reviewed by Jo Grimwade

Achieving Work- Life Balance
Thomas Kalliath and Paula Brough (Eds)
Reviewed by Barry Rogers

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