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'Beyond 'flexibility' and 'juggling': theorising classed and gendered practices of employment and motherhood

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'Beyond 'flexibility' and 'juggling' : theorising classed and gendered practices of employment and motherhood. / Armstrong, Jo.

In: Sociological Research Online, Vol. 11, No. 2, 2006.

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@article{a752b88b310f41e080d360c19da672fc,
title = "'Beyond 'flexibility' and 'juggling': theorising classed and gendered practices of employment and motherhood",
abstract = "This paper proposes that there is a need to push beyond the popular discourses of 'flexibility' and 'work-life balance'. Developing a feminist-Bourdieuian approach and drawing on three illustrative case studies from my interview research with 27 mothers in the UK, I show the importance of maintaining a focus on class and gender inequalities. In the first part of the paper the concepts of capitals, dependencies and habitus which shaped, and were shaped by, this interview research are discussed. An analysis of three women's accounts of their experiences across work and family life is then used to illustrate that although these women all used terms such as 'flexibility' and 'juggling' in describing their work, the experience of that work was crucially influenced by their histories and current positioning. Tracing each of these women's trajectories from school, attention is focused on the influence of differential access to capitals and relations of dependency in the emergence of their dispositions toward work. Overall, the paper points to the significance of examining the classed and gendered dimensions of women's experiences of employment and motherhood.",
keywords = "Class, Gender, Women, Employment, Motherhood, Feminism, Bourdieu, Habitus, Life-Course, Qualitative Research",
author = "Jo Armstrong",
year = "2006",
language = "English",
volume = "11",
journal = "Sociological Research Online",
issn = "1360-7804",
publisher = "Sociological Research Online",
number = "2",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - 'Beyond 'flexibility' and 'juggling'

T2 - theorising classed and gendered practices of employment and motherhood

AU - Armstrong, Jo

PY - 2006

Y1 - 2006

N2 - This paper proposes that there is a need to push beyond the popular discourses of 'flexibility' and 'work-life balance'. Developing a feminist-Bourdieuian approach and drawing on three illustrative case studies from my interview research with 27 mothers in the UK, I show the importance of maintaining a focus on class and gender inequalities. In the first part of the paper the concepts of capitals, dependencies and habitus which shaped, and were shaped by, this interview research are discussed. An analysis of three women's accounts of their experiences across work and family life is then used to illustrate that although these women all used terms such as 'flexibility' and 'juggling' in describing their work, the experience of that work was crucially influenced by their histories and current positioning. Tracing each of these women's trajectories from school, attention is focused on the influence of differential access to capitals and relations of dependency in the emergence of their dispositions toward work. Overall, the paper points to the significance of examining the classed and gendered dimensions of women's experiences of employment and motherhood.

AB - This paper proposes that there is a need to push beyond the popular discourses of 'flexibility' and 'work-life balance'. Developing a feminist-Bourdieuian approach and drawing on three illustrative case studies from my interview research with 27 mothers in the UK, I show the importance of maintaining a focus on class and gender inequalities. In the first part of the paper the concepts of capitals, dependencies and habitus which shaped, and were shaped by, this interview research are discussed. An analysis of three women's accounts of their experiences across work and family life is then used to illustrate that although these women all used terms such as 'flexibility' and 'juggling' in describing their work, the experience of that work was crucially influenced by their histories and current positioning. Tracing each of these women's trajectories from school, attention is focused on the influence of differential access to capitals and relations of dependency in the emergence of their dispositions toward work. Overall, the paper points to the significance of examining the classed and gendered dimensions of women's experiences of employment and motherhood.

KW - Class

KW - Gender

KW - Women

KW - Employment

KW - Motherhood

KW - Feminism

KW - Bourdieu

KW - Habitus

KW - Life-Course

KW - Qualitative Research

M3 - Journal article

VL - 11

JO - Sociological Research Online

JF - Sociological Research Online

SN - 1360-7804

IS - 2

ER -