In the controversial public debate over modern American families, the vast changes in family life – the rise of single, two-paycheck , and same-sex parents – have often been blamed for declining morality and unhappy children. Drawing upon pioneering research with the children of the gender revolution, The Unfinished Revolution reveals that it is not a lack of "family values," but rigid social and economic forces that make it difficult to have a vibrant and committed family and work life.
Despite the entrance of women into the workforce and the blurring of once clearly defined gender boundaries, men and women live in a world where the demands of managing parenting and work, autonomy and commitment, time and money are left largely unresolved. The Unfinished Revolution finds that while an overwhelming majority of young men and women see an egalitarian balance within committed relationships as the ideal, today's social and economic realities remain based on conventional – and now obsolete – distinctions between breadwinning and caretaking. In this equity vacuum, men and women develop conflicting strategies, with women stressing self-reliance and men seeking a new traditionalism.
With compassion for all perspectives, The Unfinished Revolution argues that whether one decides to give in to traditionally gender-divided relationships or to avoid marriage altogether, these approaches are second-best responses, not personal preferences or inherent attributes, and they will shift if new options can be created to help people achieve their egalitarian aspirations.
The Unfinished Revolution offers clear recommendations for the kinds of workplace and community changes that would best bring about a more egalitarian family life – a new flexibility at work and at home that benefits families, encourages a thriving economy, and helps women and men integrate love and work
Other Books by Kathleen
The Time Divide: Work, Family, and Gender Inequality
In a panoramic study that draws on diverse sources, The Time Divide explains why and how time pressures have emerged in contemporary life and what we can do to alleviate them. In contrast to the conventional wisdom that all Americans are overworked, it shows that time itself has become a form of social inequality that is dividing Americans in new ways – between the overworked and the underemployed, women and men, parents and non-parents. It details the increasing mismatch between our economic system and the needs of American families. Finally, it makes the case for a new set of family-supportive, gender-equitable policies that offer American workers new ways to integrate work and family life.
No Man’s Land: Men’s Changing Commitments to Family and Work
What does it mean to be a man in a world where women are almost as likely as men to shoulder the responsibilities of supporting a family? Why do some men still choose to be traditional breadwinners while others flee the responsibilities of parenthood altogether, and still others become infinitely more involved in family life than earlier generations of men? Here’s a look at the possibilities and limits for gender equality as men cope with the gender revolution.
Hard Choices: How Women Decide About Work, Career, and Motherhood
How do women trade off between work and family commitments? And what are the causes, limits, and consequences of the "subtle revolution" in women's choices over the 1960s and 1970s? To answer these questions, Hard Choices analyzes the experiences of a carefully selected group of middle-class and working-class women who were young adults in the 1970s. Their informative life histories reveal the emerging social forces in American society, where work-family conflicts and “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” options have led today's women to face a host of difficult choices.