Thursday, 1 August 2013

Exploring order and disorder: Women’s experiences balancing work and care

an article by Louise Wattis (University of Teesside, UK) and Liz James (Liverpool John Moores University, UK) published in European Journal of Women’s Studies Volume 20 Number 3 (August 2013)


This article explores how working mothers negotiate the often competing spheres of paid work and unpaid domestic and care work.

Drawing upon qualitative data from a varied sample of women, it discusses the impact of workplace demands on home life, women’s attempts to contain the domestic sphere so as not to disrupt paid work, and the emotional conflicts inherent to combining dual roles.

In addition, the article applies Bauman’s concepts of order and disorder to women’s experiences of work–care negotiation. Whilst it is recognized that Bauman’s work largely ignores gender, his discussion of solid modernity with its emphasis on order and the transition to liquid modernity with its emphasis on disorder provide a useful theoretical lens through which to illuminate women’s accounts of managing dual roles.

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