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 language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Working in America|
|Subtitle of host publication||Continuity, Conflict, and Change in a New Economic Era|
|Publisher||Taylor and Francis|
|Number of pages||16|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2015|