Chapter

How and Why Mothers Have Been Shortchanged

Susan Thistle

in From Marriage to the Market

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2006 | ISBN: 9780520245907
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520939196 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520245907.003.0007
How and Why Mothers Have Been Shortchanged

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This chapter evaluates the crisis created by the transformation of women's work, providing a deeper understanding of why women are having such difficulty combining work and family. It looks closely at mothers, asking first if they are really working harder now than in the 1960s—and if so, why, given that the market's takeover of many domestic tasks has created a new pool of free time as well as income. It also explores what the turn to paid employment has meant for black and white mothers of different educational backgrounds, comparing their earnings, hours of work, and overall family income in 1970 and 2000. It concludes that though women's turn to work for wages, like men's earlier move off the land, has given them new legitimation and leverage to realize their own interests, increasing disparities among women themselves threaten such efforts.

Keywords: women; market; domestic tasks; income; paid employment; black mothers; white mothers; leverage

Chapter.  13130 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Marriage and the Family

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