Why do sociologists call both work and family “greedy institutions”?

February 5, 2013

Hard choices in work and family viewed differently by men and women 
When Kathleen Gerson conducted a study of how young adults felt about marriage, the majority of both women and men indicated a desire for egalitarian marriages in which earning the family income, housework, and childrearing would be shared equally. Reporting on Gerson’s study and cross-posting a summary of its findings on both Sociological Images and the Ms. blog, sociologist Lisa Wade showed that even though such equal partnership was held as the ideal by the study’s participants (regardless of class, race, or family background), something else was revealed when participants were asked about another possible situation. What would be their fallback position if, for some reason, equal sharing of work and family responsibilities could not be realized or sustained? Read about the gender-based differences in the answers that emerged.

Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Letha Dawson Scanzoni (1935-2024) was an independent scholar, writer, and editor, and the author or coauthor of nine books. In 1978, she and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott wrote Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?, one of the earliest books urging evangelical Christians to rethink their views on homosexuality (updated edition, 1994, HarperOne). More recently, Letha coauthored (with social psychologist David G. Myers) What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage (HarperOne, 2005 and 2006). Another of Letha’s most well-known books is All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today, coauthored with Nancy A. Hardesty (Word Books, 1974; revised edition, Abingdon, 1986; updated and expanded edition, Eerdmans, 1992). Letha served as editor of Christian Feminism Today in both its former print edition (EEWC Update) and its website for 19 years until her retirement in December 2013.


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