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Reshaping the Work-Family Debate: Why Men and Class Matter

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  29 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
The United States has the most family-hostile public policy in the developed world. Despite what is often reported, new mothers don t opt out of work. They are pushed out by discriminating and inflexible workplaces. Today s workplaces continue to idealize the worker who has someone other than parents caring for their children.

Conventional wisdom attributes women s decision
Hardcover, 293 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Harvard University Press
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Molly Westerman
In Reshaping the Work-Family Debate, law professor Joan Williams writes as a progressive feminist for an audience of progressive elites. Her dual purpose is to reframe A) conversations about work/family 'balance,' caregiving, related public policy, and gender and B) progressive elites' perceptions of working class people and self-perceptions, which Williams sees as impeding a politically-effective coalition that could change the game in US politics for the better. Roughly speaking, the first 3 c ...more
Brian Stout
Dec 28, 2016 Brian Stout rated it it was amazing
Shelves: work-family
This book should be mandatory reading for any liberal still struggling to understand what happened on November 8, 2016. Great guidance - and a needed dose of humility - for those struggling to understand the "white working class".

And finally, an exquisitely written and incisive treatise that takes on the elephant in America's room: masculinity. This election cycle saw some discussion of "toxic masculinity", mostly in the context of sexual assault. And that discussion is important, but misses th
May 22, 2011 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing

This book has really been inspiring and eye opening and thought-provoking. I've thought that the concept of women 'opting out' of the workforce was an accepted norm belief-- even though it felt incorrect in some deep-seated way. But I've never really thought about what another explanation could be.

Joan Williams brings forward some very interesting hypothesis, based on significant interviews and studies and data, which state that women are actually being forced out of the workforce due to lack o
Meredith Watts
Feb 22, 2012 Meredith Watts rated it it was amazing
This book was revelatory. Professor Williams makes a very strong case that both men and women, employers and employees, will benefit from workplaces that make accommodations to the requirements of family life. Her review of grievance proceedings shows that men as often as women suffer adverse employment decisions when a crisis strikes and they must leave to take care of family emergencies. She makes a very strong case for the importance of upper middle class people taking the time and effort to ...more
Oct 20, 2013 Lori rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this read by Joan C. Williams. I read it for my social science seminar. There is a lot of valid information without overwhelming the reader. I liked the academic yet conversational style of the book.
Oct 30, 2010 Becky rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: I'll make a long list.
Joan Williams is brilliant. I wrote about it here:
As heard on Tell Me More.
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MOTHERS Book Bag: Book Review: Reshaping the Work-Family Debate 1 6 Sep 13, 2011 12:32PM  
Professor Joan C. Williams is Distinguished Professor of Law, 1066 Foundation Chair, founding Director of the Center for WorkLife Law at University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and Co-Director of the Project on Attorney Retention (PAR).
More about Joan C. Williams...

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“The ideal-worker standard and norm of work devotion push mothers to the margins of economic life. And a society that marginalizes its mothers impoverishes its children. That is why the paradigmatic poor family in the United States is a single mother and her child.” 3 likes
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