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Gender restructuring, employment, and caring

In market capitalism, the tension between the demands of employment and the requirement for caring has, historically, largely been met by the domestication of women via the “male breadwinner” model of employment and family. However, the rising level of women's employment has destabilized this arrangement. In this article we evaluate a range of prescriptive responses to this situation: rightist, center-leftist, and feminist. To varying degrees, “family-friendly” state welfare policies have attempted to grapple with the resolution of the employment/caring conundrum. Nevertheless, such policies are called into question by increasing pressures to deregulate the market. At a personal level, individuals in a competitive labor market find it difficult to resist organizational demands. These issues will be explored and developed drawing upon evidence from a comparative study of male and female doctors and bank managers in Britain, France, and Norway.

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Social Politics

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