Not So Separate Spheres

Women’s attitudes and decisions about work-family balance belie the popular “separate spheres” notion. In reality, the majority of women work and parent simultaneously, even as workplaces continue to idealize workers who are fully (and solely) devoted to their jobs.

Recommended Readings from Patricia Roos

Blair-Loy, Mary. 2003. Competing Devotions: Career and Family among Women Executives. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Collins, Patricia Hill. 1994. “Shifting the Center: Race, Class, and Feminist Theorizing about Motherhood.” Pp. 45-65 in Evelyn Nakano Glenn, Grace Chang, and Linda Rennie Forcey (eds.), Mothering: Ideology, Experience, and Agency, New York: Routledge.

Garey, Anita I. 1999. Weaving Work and Motherhood. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.

Landry, Bart. 2000. Black Working Wives: Pioneers of the American Family Revolution. Berkeley: University of California Press.

McQuillan, Julia, Arthur L. Greil, Karina M. Shreffler, Veronica Tichenor. 2008. “The Importance of Motherhood Among Women in the Contemporary United States.” Gender & Society 22:477-96.

Parker, Lonnae O’Neal. 2005. I’m Every Woman: Remixed Stories of Marriage, Motherhood, and Work. New York: Amistad.

Roos, Patricia A. 2009. “Interconnecting Work and Family: Race and Class Differences in Women’s Work Status and Attitudes.” Women’s Studies Quarterly 37:103-20.

Roos, Patricia A., Mary K. Trigg, and Mary S. Hartman. 2006. “Changing Families/Changing Communities: Work, Family and Community in Transition.” Community, Work and Family 9:197-224.

Simon, Robin. 2008. “The Joys of Parenthood, Reconsidered.” Contexts 7 (Spring):40-45.

Stone, Pamela. 2007. Opting Out? Why Women Really Quit Careers and Head Home. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Williams, Joan. 2001. Unbending Gender: Why Family and Work Conflict and What to Do About It. New York: Oxford University Press.