Article Summary and Reflection
Moral Dilemmas, Moral Strategies, and the Transformation of Gender Lessons from Two Generations of Work and Family Change Women seek personal development by caring for others and men care for others by sharing the rewards of independent achievement are the traditional social norm in the 20th century. In the 21st century, people started to question whether women and men should really be separated into two distinct, opposed and unchanging moral categories. Women and men now have conflicts and tensions between family and work, public and private, autonomy and commitment, for these, gender dichotomy cannot be used to solve as in the past. Undoubtedly, gender dichotomy in moral orientation can resolve the universal tension to certain extent, but it is only prescriptive rather than descriptive. Gender is a social institution rather than an inherent trait and it is now transforming. Women now seek self-sufficiency economically and socially, they seek personal and social commitment outside the home, while men’s breadwinning role and obligation to support women and children diminish. Women and men are now facing socially structured moral dilemma. Investigating how the new generation thinks, the interview reveals that the young generation believes that it is difficult to keep a relationship with balanced autonomy and commitment. They believed that it is not morally wrong to end the relationship if the two do not get along well. Ending the relationship would be better than keeping a bad relationship, not only to the couple, but also to their children. Also, they appreciated their mothers if they work and think that both women and men should care for the family both financially and emotionally. As it seems difficult to apportion moral labor by gender-neutral strategies, women and men diverge in their opinion in gender role. Men prefer the Neotraditionalism, that is, the couple share the breadwinning but the women have to place family first,...
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