SOC 402: Contemporary Social Problems & the Workplace
Prof. Paula Zobisch
August 2, 2012
Balancing work life and family life is important. Such a simple statement that is, as the cliché goes, easier said than done. In the 50’s and 60’s most families were of the traditional nature, in that there was a husband, wife and kids. The women may or may not have worked, and if they did it was until the first child was born (Hertz, 2001, p. 23). The mothers would leave their jobs for an extended period of time to care for the child or children and in quite a few cases the mother wouldn’t return to the workforce. I think one of the main reasons this was possible is women didn’t make nearly as much a men so the impact on the finances was not that hard to overcome. I feel another reason was that women weren’t as career driven as women of today. Women of that time were, generally speaking, more concerned with raising children and taking care of the home.
Now, in the twenty-first century, the family structure is different. There are still the traditional households of male breadwinner/female homemaker, but now we see more and more of duel-earner families, and single parent families. The process of integrating the demands of our families and our jobs remains a source of stress and continual accommodation for many of us (Fredriksen-Goldsen & Scharlach, 2000, p. 248). The economic downturn added additional stress on families, as many went through and are still going through the loss of employment. In duel-earner families the loss of employment by the father and/or mother has put additional stress on the family structure. The effects of loss of income can be felt in different areas of the family. Depending on the length of the job loss families may be unable to afford daycare, gas in their vehicle(s), or even the vehicles themselves. Many families have suffered losses, from their cars to their homes. When the...