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 The Unfinished Revolution: How a New Generation is Reshaping Family, Work, and Gender in America

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د. فرغلى هارون
المدير العـام

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ذكر عدد الرسائل : 3278
تاريخ التسجيل : 07/05/2008

مُساهمةموضوع: The Unfinished Revolution: How a New Generation is Reshaping Family, Work, and Gender in America   15/4/2010, 1:24 pm




The Unfinished Revolution
How a New Generation is Reshaping Family, Work, and Gender in America
By Kathleen Gerson
Oxford University Press, 2009
320 pages
1 mb


In the controversial public debate over modern American families, the vast changes in family lifethe rise of single, two-paycheck , and same-sex parentshave often been blamed for declining morality and unhappy children. Drawing upon pioneering research with the children of the gender revolution, Kathleen Gerson 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 balancing parenting and work, autonomy and commitment, time and money are left largely unresolved. Gerson 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 conventionaland now obsoletedistinctions 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, Gerson argues that whether one decides to give in to traditionally imbalanced 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 lifea new flexibility at work and at home that benefits families, encourages a thriving economy, and helps women and men integrate love and work.

Summary: One of the Best Books about Families, Work and Change in America
Rating: 5

Kathleen Gerson's The Unfinished Revolution is itself a revolution in the study of families, work and gender. Beautifully written and deeply insightful, The Unfinished Revolution serves as an exemplar of what meticulously designed qualitative social science can achieve. The third in what is now a trilogy of books about family, work and gender, The Unfinished Revolution should be considered equal to her earlier classicsbooks that have transformed family research.

Gerson turns on its head the debate about which family formtraditional, dual-earner or single-parentis best for children. Instead of examining family forms, Gerson investigates how families cope with change, finding that the most successful families, traditional, single-parent and dual-earner alike, are flexible in their response to change. This, in itself, is a significant departure from prior research and represents an important theoretical breakthrough in a contentious political and sociological debate. But Gerson does not stop here. Instead, in the second half of the book, she examines how young adults, the children of the gender revolution, reconcile their hopes for more egalitarian relationships with the realities of inflexible institutions.

While most hoped for egalitarian relationships, they also expected these goals to be unattainable and created gendered fallback positions, in which men were more likely to pursue a neo-traditional approach to forming families while women were more likely to seek autonomy if egalitarian relationships could not be found. Like her prior work, this book will inform debates on families, work and gender for years to come. I recommend it highly to all those interested in family, work and gender.


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