The relationship between the individual and work and family has changed dramatically over the years. Jobs and families both demand enormous commitments of time and energy, especially during peak years of family formation and career growth. Today, jobs usually consume a third of a person's day. Americans put more hours in at work to support their families, creating more stress at home, which results in a work/family conflict, pushing parents into actually seeking more time spent at work to escape these pressures and tensions in the home. Juggling work and family life, particularly undesirable domestic chores, childcare and the increasing uncertainties and pressures of home life, are a few reasons for this battle for time spent between work and family. More effort and time is also put into work to achieve greater autonomy and job satisfaction in the workplace. This upward mobility work ethic is the heart of the American Dream. This work/ family conflict and the need for job satisfaction/autonomy in America is consequently fueled by this fast and furious pace of attaining the American Dream. These are some of the issues that are clearly depicted in the books Rivethead by Ben Hamper and The Time Bind by Arlie Russell Hochschild. Less time spent at home and more time spent at work creates a vicious cycle that is eating away at our home lives. These tendencies have become trends of an entire generation that may be placing more value on work-related achievements than on the necessary nurturing experiences of family life.
The issues of family/work conflict and autonomy/job satisfaction are important issues in the sociology of work today because of the continuous social and economic changes that occur in our society and effect the welfare of American workers and their families.
The Time Bind: When Work Becomes Home & Home becomes Work by Arile Russell Hochschild investigates the work/family conflict. Hochschild spent three su...
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