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.
Table of Contents
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
Jenny Dixon (Ph.D., University of Missouri) is an Assistant Professor and Chair of the Communication and Media Arts Department at Marymount Manhattan College, USA. Dr. Dixon is featured in Journal of Applied Communication Research, Communication Quarterly, and The Electronic Journal of Communication. Jenny’s research explores workplace diversity through consideration of family structure.