This book presents an understanding of work-family balance for working adults belonging to a number of different family structures (e.g. single and/or childfree adults, LGBT couples, families with female breadwinners). It contends that family structure should serve as a way of thinking about diversity (i.e., race, gender, age, family) in the U.S. workplace. It also argues that—in addition to accommodations occurring through workplace policy—the negotiation of work-family balance happens as a result of self-advocacy that occurs in everyday communication about family at work. Relaying the stories of a number of different working adults belonging to a variety of different family structures, it explores the range of obstacles faced in the attempt at balancing work and family life, generates informed ideas for eliminating barriers commonly experienced in balancing work and family, and problematizes enduring assumptions regarding gender roles and the myth of steadfast public and private spheres.
1. Perceptions of Family
2. Ambiguous Expectations & Precarious Prospects
3. Balancing a Lingering Compulsion
4. Balancing LGBTQ Identities
5. Balancing Gendered Obligations
6. Balancing Family of Choice