Time work by overworked professionals: Strategies in response to the stress of higher status

Phyllis Moen, Jack Lam, Samantha Ammons, Erin L Kelly

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Social science is about uncovering and charting patterns, but the patterns revealed depend on the lens used. Much conceptual and theoretical development around the work-family interface, especially about employees “balancing” these two roles, is based on a schema (Sewell, 1992) delineating two distinct spheres of activity-the world of work and the world of the family-divided in time, space, and commitment (Greenhaus & Allen, 2011). While contemporary scholars discount the “separate spheres” formulation carried forward from the 19th century, which detached men’s public engagement in (paid) work from women’s private engagement in (unpaid) domesticity (cf. Ferree, 1990), the notion of separate spheres remains a purportedly nongendered but takenfor-granted framing. Moreover, “work-family” is an adjective, not a noun, but nevertheless is often used as a shorthand heuristic to refer to a range of conditions and experiences. The terms work-family, family-work, work-life, worknonwork, and job-home-often adjectives in front of “conflict,” “spillover,” “enhancement,” or “balance”-reify these as separate spheres. Most research is about the negative relationships between these two domains, not about how individuals respond to these relationships (Frone, 2003; Grzywacz & Marks, 2000; Mennino, Rubin, & Brayfield, 2005; Voydanoff, 2004). Moreover, prevailing work-family schema provide a way of thinking about and studying social life that grants relatively equal status to both sides of the hyphen, though important work has emphasized the long arm of the job and gendered asymmetries in constraints, claims, demands, and opportunities-at home and especially at work (Acker, 1990; Bailyn, 1993, 2006; Britton, 2000; Fletcher, 1999; Rapoport, Bailyn, Fletcher, & Pruitt, 2002).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWorking in America
Subtitle of host publicationContinuity, Conflict, and Change in a New Economic Era
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781317248767
ISBN (Print)9781612057323
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Taylor & Francis.


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