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By Madonna Harrington Meyer

Care paintings is a suite of unique essays at the complexities of offering care. those essays emphasize how social rules intersect with gender, race, and sophistication to alternately compel girls to accomplish care paintings and to constrain their skill to take action. major foreign students from more than a few disciplines offer a groundbreaking research of the paintings of worrying within the context of the family members, the marketplace, and the welfare kingdom.

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Extra info for Care Work: Gender, Labor, and the Welfare State

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It is the leading cause of declining child well-being in our society. , Glenn 1997; Popenoe 1996) have fixed upon the singular need to reinstate the father as head of the family: “The most urgent domestic challenge facing the United States at the close of the twentieth century is the re-creation of fatherhood as a vital social role for men. At stake is nothing less than the success of the American experiment” (Blankenhorn 1995:222). These conservative defenders of traditional fatherhood present a clear picture of men’s limited capacity for direct care, and not incidentally, their inherent suit-ability for leadership: “Historically, the good father protects his family, provides for its material needs, devotes himself to the education of his children, and represents his family’s interest in the larger world.

Despite the enormous importance of care work and its theoretical role in the maintenance of society, little systematic attention has been paid to documenting cultural expectations for men’s caring and the social, political, and historical conditions that might promote it. Research on Men as Family Care Providers Following assumptions about separate work and family spheres for men and women, most social science research on parental care in the twentieth century has focused on mothers, documenting how the right combination of maternal warmth, encouragement, and control can lead to positive child outcomes.

Coltrane 1989; Ehrensaft 1987; Pruett 1987; Russell 1983), though the absolute time the average American man devoted to family work rose only slightly (Pleck 1983). As women worked more hours on the job and cut back on their housework hours, and as men’s domestic labor inched up, national time use surveys in the late 1980s began to document a significant shift toward more relative sharing of family work (Coltrane 2000). , Blankenhorn 1995; Glenn 1997; Popenoe 1996; Stacey 1996). Most commentators decried men’s lack of support for their children and championed some form of increased father involvement, but ideal images of the involved father ranged from a sensitive egalitarian partner who changed diapers and cooked meals to a stern but kindly patri-arch who exercised family leadership according to biblical teachings or biological imperatives (Coltrane and Adams in press).

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