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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

A Life in Balance?

Reopening the Family-Work Debate

Magazine articles, talk shows, and commercials advise us that our happiness and well-being rest on striking a balance between work and family. It goes unsaid, however, that the advice is based on an outmoded and unrealistic ideal. This provocative volume challenges the notion – often offered in support of neo-liberal agendas – that paid work (employment) and unpaid work (caregiving and housework) are separate and competing spheres, rather than overlapping aspects of a single existence. Alternative approaches to integrating work and family must be taken into account if we hope to build truly equitable family and childcare policies.

280 pages


Table of Contents

Introduction: Diversifying the Model, Demystifying the Approach: The Work-Family Debate Reopened / Catherine Krull and Justyna Sempruch

Part 1: Transcending the Prevailing Myths

1 Destabilizing the Nuclear Family Ideal: Thinking Beyond Essentialisms, Universalism, and Binaries / Catherine Krull

2 Intergenerational Care Work: Mothering, Grandmothering, and Eldercare / Nancy Mandell and Sue Wilson

3 Maternal Employment, Childcare, and Public Policy / Maureen Baker

Part 2: Integrating Family and Work

4 Work, Care, Resistance, and Mothering: An Indigenous Perspective / Donna Baines and Bonnie Freeman

5 “I Am the Patient and Compassionate Cashier”: Learning through Unpaid Household Work for Paid Work / MargritEichler

6 Employment in the New Economy and the Impact on Canadian Families / Ann Duffy and Norene Pupo

7 What Impedes Fathers’ Participation in Care Work? Theorizing the Community as an Institutional Arena / AndreaDoucet

8 Addressing the Interlocking Complexity of Paid Work and Care: Lessons from Changing Family Policy in Quebec / Patrizia Albanese

Part 3: Feminist-Informed Family Initiatives and Family Visions

9 Beyond the “Cultural” Landscape of Care: Queering Childcare, Caregiver, and Work / Justyna Sempruch

10 Working-Time Regimes, Flexibility, and Work-Life Balance: Gender Equality and Families / Judy Fudge

11 The Increasing Invisibility of Mothering / Margaret Hillyard Little

Epilogue: A Feminist Vision for Caring-Employment Integration in Canada / Susan A. McDaniel

References; List of Contributors; Index

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