Academic journal article Journal of Marriage and Family

Earning and Caring in Canadian Families

Academic journal article Journal of Marriage and Family

Earning and Caring in Canadian Families

Article excerpt

Earning and Caring in Canadian Families. Roderic Beaujot. Peterborough, Ontario, Canada: Broadview. 2000. 416 pp. ISBN 1-55111-166-7. $24.95 paper.

Paid and unpaid work. Production and reproduction. Instrumental and expressive activities. Economic activity and child care. Private and public spheres. Rod Beaujot casts the two primary undertakings of family life as earning and caring and examines the complex relationships between them. In so doing, he argues for a move toward new models of families and a rethinking of Canada's social policies. Beaujot's main point is that new models of family participation in earning and caring activities are essential, models that permit more equality between men and women by breaking the link between gender and caring.

Beaujot sets the stage in the first chapter with a discussion of different theoretical perspectives on family and paid work and the relevance to society of studying earning and caring activities. Then, in separate chapters, he examines the gender context of earning and caring; family change and diversity; patterns of paid work and family strategies for accommodating paid work; the meaning, distribution, and measurement of unpaid work; the relationships between fertility trends and earning and caring; and the connections between the organization of earning and caring and the well-being of children and youth. The book concludes with a chapter that provides an overview of the scope of Canadian family policy and Beaujot's recommendations for policy change.

The book has several strengths. First, it is an engaging read. Overall, Beaujot succeeds in striking a balance between provision of data and analysis and explanation. …

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