Employed Mothers' Worker Ideology and Social Support Network Composition While Managing Multiple Demands in Paid and Family Work
How an employed mother defines herself in her paid work life, her orientation to worker ideology, may impact her social support network composition, and thereby influence her choices and ability to manage stress from multiple paid work and family demands. The purpose of this ethnographic study was to examine employed mothers' orientation to worker ideology and their social support network composition. A re-analysis of data from two longitudinal, interview studies was conducted (Harrison, Neufeld & Kushner, 1995; Kushner, 2005; Kushner & Harrison, 2002), sampling 31 employed mothers. Ecomaps were developed to depict women's social support network composition, revealing five categories of support sources: household family, non-household family, friends and neighbours, workplace, and professionals and services. A typology of diverse, restricted, and mixed networks was identified and analyzed in relation to women's orientation to worker ideology. Focusing on worker ideology, in contrast to motherhood ideology, provided a fresh perspective that may inform health promotion programs for women.
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