Work-Family Reconciliation in Global Contexts

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 15:30
Oral Presentation
Virginia SAWYER, University of Delaware, USA
Bahira TRASK, University of Delaware, USA
Barbara SETTLES, University of Delaware, USA
Significant social changes in societies have led to the intersection of gender, work and family becoming a hotbed of argumentation. Critical of biological and/or functional approaches, feminists have identified the ideological construction of the ‘breadwinner-homemaker family’ with its accompanying gender role constructs as particularly oppressive to women. This view has been exported by feminists to non-Western parts of the world where social unrest, the incorporation of large numbers of women into the workforce, and the revival of fundamentalist movements have re-focused attention on the role of women and men in families and societies.

Thus, concurrently, globalization has led to multiple ideological and economic constructs and models being available to individuals. Social policies have not kept up with these ideological and economic transformations. In general, most social and economic policies that focus on these issues specifically address keeping women in the labor force while discounting their roles in families. This paper will address the discourses on families, gender, and work environments and will provide some policy examples from Western and non-Western contexts.