Satisfaction With Work and Family Life: No Evidence of a Cultural Reversal

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Abstract

Hochschild (1997) argued that in recent decades the rewards of work have increased relative to those of family life and that this cultural reversal has aggravated the time bind that families face by increasing working hours. To the contrary, pooled data from the 1973–1994 General Social Surveys indicate that in working families, women have shifted away from finding work more satisfying than home toward finding home a haven. Moreover, were it not for women's growing labor force participation and the changing distribution of marital status, the shift would have been even larger. Men's relative work–home satisfaction has been stable. Finally, finding work a haven is unrelated to weekly working hours, and it has not contributed to any increases in working hours over time.

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