Managing Lives: Corporate Women and Social Change

By Sue Freeman Joan Mendelson | Go to book overview

7
Marriage and Children

Women have customarily grown up with the expectation that they would marry and reproduce some day. By so doing, they would be serving not only individual needs for adult family connection but also a crucial function of societal continuity.1 The future of a society, of course, rests on procreation, and Americans have institutionalized that in the form of the nuclear family.2 Although the romance of love and marriage is touted as central to adult family formation, it is the complex of higher-order ramifications that perpetuates a social system.3 For societal purposes, individual needs pale in light of institutional structures. The unit that we call family, and other cultures call kinship, gives fundamental structure to economic, social, and political transactions.


The Development of a Gender-Based Division of Labor

A society's economy largely dictates the form family must take to support it.4 The requirements of an agrarian economy, for example, were different from those of a technological one. American families that had been working their farms as a team were divided by the Industrial Revolution. A gender-based division of labor was more firmly established as men sought work away from the homes where women remained as caretakers.5

As paid work became more segregated from family life, the roles of

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Managing Lives: Corporate Women and Social Change
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 3
  • I - PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT 17
  • 1 - Work 19
  • 2 - Career Planning 34
  • 3 - Mobility 54
  • 4 - Managing 70
  • II - Confidence 95
  • 5 - Self 97
  • 6 - Family 122
  • 7 - Marriage and Children 140
  • III - CONNECTIONS AND CONTEXT 171
  • 8 - Relation between the Personal and the Professional 173
  • 9 - Females in Male Organizations 191
  • 10 - The Context of Opportunity 217
  • Appendix 229
  • Notes 235
  • Index 257
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