Work–Family Intersections



Research on the intersections of paid labor and family life has expanded in recent decades, driven in large part by the dramatic increase in women's labor force participation and the concurrent rise in dual-earner families. This article first reviews the extant literature on three major sources of conflict between work and family – the demands of home, the demands of work, and cultural prescriptions for ‘good’ workers, childhood, and parenting. Then, I turn to a review of policies and programs designed to address the nexus of employment and personal obligations now confronting the majority of American workers, emphasizing that, in the USA, nearly all of these attempts to address work–family conflict occur at the organizational (rather than governmental) level and are thus differentially distributed resources. I conclude with two suggestions for future research – attention to the diversity of American workers and families and examinations of work–family intersections across the life course.