Women Who Opt Out: The Debate Over Working Mothers and Work-Family Balance
By Paul Sweezy
P a r t I . “Opting Out”: Women’s History and Feminist Legal heory
Introduction: Women, Work, and
Motherhood in American History
Bernie D. Jones
P a r t I I . Is “Opting Out” for Real?
1 The Rhetoric and Reality of “Opting Out”:
Toward a Better Understanding of Professional
Women’s Decisions to Head Home
Pamela Stone and Lisa Ackerly Hernandez
2 The Real “Opt-Out Revolution” and
a New Model of Flexible Careers
Kerstin Aumann and Ellen Galinsky
P a r t I I I . Can All Women “Opt In” before hey “Opt Out”?
3 “Opting In” to Full Labor Force Participation in
Susan J. Lambert
4 The Challenges to and Consequences of “Opting Out”
for Low-Wage, New Mothers
5 The Future of Family Caregiving: he Value of
Work-Family Strategies hat Beneit Both Care
Consumers and Paid Care Workers
Peggie R. Smithviii |
6 Care Work and Women’s Employment:
A Comparative Perspective
P a r t I V. Conclusion
7 he Opt-Out Revolution Revisited
Joan C. Williams and Jamie Dolkas
About the Contributors
In a much-publicized and much-maligned 2003 New York Times article, “The Opt-Out Revolution,” the journalist Lisa Belkin made the controversial argument that highly educated women who enter the workplace tend to leave upon marrying and having children. Women Who Opt Out is a collection of original essays by the leading scholars in the field of work and family research, which takes a multi-disciplinary approach in questioning the basic thesis of “the opt-out revolution.” The contributors illustrate that the desire to balance both work and family demands continues to be a point of unresolved concern for families and employers alike and women’s equity within the workforce still falls behind. Ultimately, they persuasively make the case that most women who leave the workplace are being pushed out by a work environment that is hostile to women, hostile to children, and hostile to the demands of family caregiving, and that small changes in outdated workplace policies regarding scheduling, flexibility, telecommuting and mandatory overtime can lead to important benefits for workers and employers alike.
Contributors: Kerstin Aumann, Jamie Dolkas, Ellen Galinsky, Lisa Ackerly Hernandez, Susan J. Lambert, Joya Misra, Maureen Perry-Jenkins, Peggie R. Smith, Pamela Stone, and Joan C. Williams.
"Finally, a book that reaches beyond the headlines to place the 'opt out' controversy in its proper place! From 'opting out' to 'opting in' to 'being kept out, ' this stellar collection provides a much-needed overview of the diverse obstacles facing women - and men - of all classes, life stages, and social backgrounds. This is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the conundrums and inequalities created by the national and global crisis of work and care."-Kathleen Gerson, author of "The Unfinished Revolution: Coming of Age in a New Era of Gender, Work, and Family"
1 $25.00 9780814743133 No volume discount available.
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