An earlier version of this article was presented at the 2010 meetings of the American Sociological Association. I thank Melissa Chiu, Jennifer Cheeseman Day, David Johnson, Rose M. Kreider, Ana J. Montalvo, and Sirius Fuller for their helpful comments. I would also like to thank Karen A. Cerulo and several anonymous reviewers for their valuable feedback and insights. The views expressed are the author's and not necessarily those of the U.S. Census Bureau.
Opting Out, Scaling Back, or Business-as-Usual? An Occupational Assessment of Women's Employment†
Article first published online: 5 MAR 2014
© 2014 Eastern Sociological Society
Volume 29, Issue 1, pages 189–214, March 2014
How to Cite
Landivar, L. C. (2014), Opting Out, Scaling Back, or Business-as-Usual? An Occupational Assessment of Women's Employment. Sociological Forum, 29: 189–214. doi: 10.1111/socf.12075
- Issue published online: 5 MAR 2014
- Article first published online: 5 MAR 2014
- opting out;
- women's employment;
- work hours
After decades of growth, women's labor force participation stagnated in the 2000s, prompting widespread interest in work–family balance and opting out. However, much of the research and media attention is limited to small samples of women in managerial and professional occupations. Using data from the 2009 American Community Survey, this article examines mothers' labor force participation and work hours across 92 occupations to assess whether mothers in nonmanagerial and nonprofessional occupations exhibit similar work patterns. I find that mothers in managerial and professional occupations are the least likely to remain out of the labor force but most likely to work reduced hours. The results indicate that there is significant occupational variation in women's work–family strategies, and these comparisons provide insight into the differential structures of disadvantage that encourage different work–family outcomes.