What qualitative research can be by Ronald jay cohen

Please select 2 of the 3 questions to answer. No, you do not need to answer all 3 questions, I just like to provide options :) Cite! Cite! Cite! This is important. Please don't forget to cite. Ex: (Last name of author, year of publication). See? It's that easy :) 1. Explain Arlie Hochschild's theory of the "second shift". Why are women disproportionately affected by the second shift? Why do certain types of work fall to women and not always men? 2. Like marriage, how is divorce a gendered experience? How may parental duties shift in the absence of a parental figure? Provide examples from the text and/or personal experience. 3. How are the ideals of motherhood and fatherhood socially constructed? What does Medved & Rawlins' (2013) study reveal about bread-winning mothers and stay at home fathers? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbE5GnBCJNQ&feature=youtu.be

Article 10. Caryn E. Medved and William K. Rawlins. At-Home Fathers and Breadwinning

Mothers: Variations in Constructing Work and Family Lives

Medved, Caryn E. & Rawlins, William K. (2013). At-Home Fathers and Breadwinning Mothers:

Variations in Constructing Work and Family Lives. Pp. 200-221 in The Gendered Society

Reader, 5th ed. Michael Kimmel and Amy Aronson, eds.). New York: Oxford University Press.


 12% of couples report women earn more than 60% of family income, 3% report being

100% dependent on wife’s income (US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

 1994-2005 – 200% increase in at-home fathers

 Males disproportionately affected by 2008 recession

 Women outpace men in education and earnings growth (Pew Research Center)

 47.8% of married couple are dual earner couples

 Purpose of research: meaning and identity in lives of husbands and wives in at home

husband households

Review of Literature

 Dual Earner Couples Negotiations

o Women’s income not translate into increased power

o Division of labor

o Marital decision making

o Women still do more housework than husbands

o As wife’s income rises, husbands do more

o Higher income women downplay their financial contributions to the family

 Labor Force Decision-Making and Opting Out

o Women’s decisions to leave labor force for child care are result of

 Factors pushing women out of workforce – motherhood, lack of

supportive spouse, falling career aspirations

 Factors pulling them into paid labor – career aspirations, ambivalence

toward motherhood, financial necessity

 Stay-at-Home Fathering

o Stay at home fathers judged harshly, sacrifice family security

o Working mother perceived as less nurturing, caring, dedicated to family

o Radin – four characteristics of fathers who stay at home more than 2 years

 Own fathers were inattentive

 In 30s with prior career experience

 Support of extended family members

 Have small family

o Rochlen – Reasons men exit paid work

 Wives have high value for career

 Full-time parenting an opportunity

 Caregiving aligns with preference, personality

o Douset, Canadian study of 20 father

 Do not entirely forego work-related identity; parttime home base work,

self-provisioning work (landscaping, carpentry, woodworking, car repair),

home based employment

• Social pressure to earn

• Need to socialize with other men on masculine level

o CENTRAL RESEARCH QUESTION: How do stay-at-home fathers and

breadwinning mothers articulate their stances toward moneymaking and


 Doing, Undoing and Reworking Gender

o We do gender in everyday discourse

 Ongoing negotiations and coordination of gendered tasks and identities

 How language shapes what couples see as possible in terms of

homemaking and moneymaking

 We can undo and rework gender through our language and social


Investigative Practices

 Semi-structured interviews with 8 married couples from large metropolitan area and midsized town in Midwest, two couples from east coast

 Participants

o SAHFC – Stay-at-home fathering couples

o White, upper middle class, heterosexual couples, stay at home fathers,

breadwinning mothers

o Married 10 years average, in current arrangements average 3 years

 Analysis of Interviews – themes

o Task responsibility – who does what for how long and why?

o Identity adoption – self understanding, Who am I?

o How they portrayed gender in relation to work and family role eligibilities. Role =

socially defined expectations associated with performing specific activities

 Report findings in five narratives. Role eligibility –ways couples reflected stereotyped or

and unequal eligibility for men and women


Five Homemaking-Moneymaking Stances

 Four common factors

o Both parents wanted children cared for at home

o Wife earned more than husband except in one case

o Every father except one had greater flexibility in work schedule than mother

o Temperament conducive to spending time with children and not threatened by

homemaking work and identities


o Sex of person performing homemaking or moneymaking tasks are reversed but

meaning stays intact

o Wife made more money so husband decided to stay home but tried to work at

home via email. Had identity crisis about not staying connected with occupation;

determining household task problematic; Saw homemaking as women’s

responsibility and money making as man’s responsibility; transitory adoption.

Tensions – only transitory


o Couple articulates contradictory meanings for the performance of unconventional

work and family tasks, identities, eligibilities. Reflects both openness and

discontent with division of task responsibilities. Meaning making fraught with


o Nanny quit after 4 years, wife made more money, path of least resistance for wife

to quit. Husband good with kids. Wife worried kids would think they were not as

important as her work. Biggest challenge for dad was managing his parttime paid

employment as financial planning consultant; wanted more work.

o Household chores were contested. He said she was more concerned about how

clean house was than he was. She switched to lower paying job so she could have

more life/work balance. Husband thought work not very important to her.

o Many facets of traditional male and female roles. Neither partner reconciled to

their roles and identities.


o Recognizes gender prescription but desires to transcend them. Shared conscious

decision to have children and husband stay home because wife made more

money. She liked her work but worried about being a good parent. Household

labor distributed equitably based on personal preference.

o Aware of gender prescriptions but able to negotiate jointly to minimize role based

tensions. Portray themselves as a team emphasizing equality and respect for

choices of the other.


o In terms of work and family life, attempt to improvise meaning without taking

gender as the primary frame for tasks, identities, or eligibilities. Disavows

gendered assumptions and replaces with language of personal preference

o Wife corporate person, husband good with kids. One son had serious vision

problem so lived in city with good eye surgeon.

o Husband saw kids as his work, his job.

o Domestic issues. Some issues but respected personal priorities. Husband was

renovating the house as well as doing most of the housework and the major, major

role of childcare. Husband and wife have different priorities in terms of


o Couple described relationship as involving friendship, open communication,

equality, mutual support, room for differences.


o Co-providing and co-sharing; creating new meanings and living work and family

life differently. Sharing orientation to domestic and paid labor.

o Academic couple

o Envisioned both fully working and being parents

o They took each other’s last name – symbolic commitment to equality

o Child care – “We are both the primary caregiver.”

o Worked their course schedules and teaching schedules to accommodate the other

parent. Very fluid. Continual negotiation.

o Shared power and cooperative adaptation of parenting and homemaking.

o Potential conflicts from ongoing negotiation of practices and identities, time

constraints, dealing with others who question their arrangement.

Discussion and Implications

 Research question: How do stay-at-home fathers and breadwinning mothers articulate

their stances toward moneymaking and homemaking?

 Social construction of masculinities and femininities and potential for transformative


o Reversing couple: may have shifted husband’s understanding of or performance

of his masculinity; others seeing his behavior of caring for children may also be


o Conflicting stance: Relational tensions have the reality of their choices, but

conflict is a part of social change so discomfort may be evidence of the social

constructionist perspective at work. Unconventional gendered arrangements

involving conflictual interactions can evidence social change. Change is a process

or doing and undoing.

o Collaborating couples: Collaboration is sophisticated and gentile but conventional

masculinity ad femininity remaining part of interpretive frame. Locus of conflict

is internal rather than relational in contrast to first two stances.

o Improvising stance: Let go of gender accountability in their work and family

lives. friends. Non-hierarchical relations, personal preference, differing sextypical abilities. Undoing of gender, husband and wife minimize traditional

masculinities and femininities. Husband born to do caregiving – use biology to

support atypical work and family roles

o Sharing Couple: Explicitly and consistently resists traditional masculinities in

word and deed. The post-feminist ideal of equal and fully participative divisions

of labor as well as external markers of gender change such as taking each other’s

names. Tensions form lack of role models, manipulating employment structures to

accommodate their sharing is not easy.

Conclusions and Next steps

 Performance and articulation of gender in lives of couples

 No one right way to be successful

 Co-construction and contextual nature of the performances of their roles.

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