Earning and Caring in Canadian Families

Earning and Caring in Canadian Families

Weight 0.00 lbs
By Rod Beaujot
University of Toronto Press, Higher Education Division © 1999
World Rights
416 Pages
ISBN 9781551111667
Published Nov 1999
Online discount: 15%
 $52.95    $45.01

Most people place a high value on family, work, and children. However, there are often serious tensions associated with juggling and accommodating these priorities. This book analyses these tensions, working on the assumption that it is through the effective sharing of associated earning and caring activities that families are made and maintained.

The focus on the conflict between caring and earning highlights the basis on which the family activities of women and men are similar and different. Much writing on families tends to accentuate crisis and conflict. But a study of total time spent on productive activities (paid plus unpaid labour) actually shows there are not large differences between the time expended by women and men, although differences do lie in the division of this work. Furthermore, some couples maintain more symmetry which suggests there should be new social policies to promote "new families" based on a different accommodation for the sharing of provider and parenting roles. Indeed, the book especially considers the Swedish model where social policy effectively creates an incentive to postpone child-bearing until careers are established, the result being that the cost of child-rearing is partially transferred from women to men and to the workplace.

Clearly, family questions are complex. The division of family labour was central to the writings of early modern sociologists and family questions remain central to our understanding of social class, stratification, and inequality. In taking a detailed look at the abundant data and analyses available on families through the lens of the "earning and caring equation," this book provides an excellent foundation for new understanding of the family. In so doing it alters our views on gender and inequality and offers new approaches to public policy and to human resource issues facing public and private organizations.

Rod Beaujot is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Western Ontario. He is the author of many books and articles including Population Change in Canada: The Challenges of Policy Adaptation. He is also Chair of Statistics Canada's advisory Committee on Demographic Statistics and Studies, and a board member of Action Canada for Population and Development.




One: Family and Work

Two: The Gender Context

Three: Changing Families

Four: Paid Work and Family Income

Five: Unpaid Work and the Division of Productive Activities

Six: Fertility

Seven: Children and Youth

Eight: Policy Dimensions



Author Index

Subject Index

This well-researched, data-packed study of Canadian families has much to offer students of family change occurring throughout the industrialized world. Arguing that transformations in the wider society are eroding the grounds for complementarity in men's and women's roles, and encouraging roles based on companionship instead, the author's special contribution is to widen the study of gender to give men's perspective a fairer hearing. The results are quite interesting and at times surprising.

Susan Greenhalgh, Population and Development Review

Earning and Caring in Canadian Families provides a carefully-crafted sociological and demographic analysis of the links between the private and public spheres in Canadian society. It offers a nuanced and data-rich study of family change focussing on the common ground between men and women in the intersections of work and family, and on the related social policies and issues.

Ellen M. Gee, Simon Fraser University