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Book Review: Gender Pressures (Reviewing Williams’s Reshaping the Work-Family Debate)

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6 Responses

  1. A.J. Sutter says:

    Thanks for this review, which makes the book sound worth reading. What do you mean, though, by “reducing the human capital of the American workforce”? Do you mean people are unlearning skills they formerly had? Do you mean simply that fewer people are working (presumably because of job loss)? Or something else? The phrase’s use as a euphemism (or jargon) for there being more people out of work recalls that the true meaning of “human capital” is slaves. (See, e.g., link @ 233, 237.)

  2. JD says:

    “Republican Party’s ability to express disdain for the unemployed without significant political cost.” Really? Can you give us an example of the Republican Party’s expression of disdain for the unemployed?

  3. Okay JD – I’ll give you one:

    “It’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations,”

  4. “Perhaps as critically, she explains the role of gender, focusing on masculinity, in the recreation of class…”

    Okay, I admit it – I have no idea what “recreation of class” means here – is it just a another way to say it’s recess time?

  5. June Carbone says:

    The “recreation of class” refers to the growing inequality in income in the US, and further skewing of opportunities in accordance with class position. Williams makes the point that those with college degrees and those without think differently about family formation and about the relationship between work and family. They also experience different workplace environments — the college educated are more likely to be in more flexible workplaces, with paid family leave, the ability to make personal phonecalls, more flexibility in changing hours or coming in late or leaving early to pick up children, etc. In addition, family pressures have become much linked to education and income, the college educated, for example, begin family formation later, are less likely to divorce or to have a child without being married.

  6. mangostein says:

    I think it will be fruitful to looking into Joan Williams own personal beliefs on discrimination and equal opportunity employment prior to labeling her as someone who advocates for the people and fairness. From what I’ve read and heard from people who have taken her classes or spoken with her, she is very much an elitist and seems quite against equal opportunity initiatives such as affirmative action.

    To me she seems like someone who’s into assigning fault, such as in cases of divorce: http://lawblog.legalmatch.com/2010/09/23/concerns-linger-over-temporary-maintenance-guidelines-in-new-yorks-no-fault-divorce-law/