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'Beyond 'flexibility' and 'juggling' : theorising classed and gendered practices of employment and motherhood

Armstrong, Jo (2006) 'Beyond 'flexibility' and 'juggling' : theorising classed and gendered practices of employment and motherhood. Sociological Research Online, 11 (2). ISSN 1360-7804

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Abstract

This paper proposes that there is a need to push beyond the popular discourses of 'flexibility' and 'work-life balance'. Developing a feminist-Bourdieuian approach and drawing on three illustrative case studies from my interview research with 27 mothers in the UK, I show the importance of maintaining a focus on class and gender inequalities. In the first part of the paper the concepts of capitals, dependencies and habitus which shaped, and were shaped by, this interview research are discussed. An analysis of three women's accounts of their experiences across work and family life is then used to illustrate that although these women all used terms such as 'flexibility' and 'juggling' in describing their work, the experience of that work was crucially influenced by their histories and current positioning. Tracing each of these women's trajectories from school, attention is focused on the influence of differential access to capitals and relations of dependency in the emergence of their dispositions toward work. Overall, the paper points to the significance of examining the classed and gendered dimensions of women's experiences of employment and motherhood.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Sociological Research Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Class ; Gender ; Women ; Employment ; Motherhood ; Feminism ; Bourdieu ; Habitus ; Life-Course ; Qualitative Research
Subjects:
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology
ID Code: 62028
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 06 Feb 2013 17:45
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2017 00:27
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/62028

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