Crunch Time: How Married Couples Confront Unemployment

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Univ of California Press, Jun 23, 2020 - Social Science - 306 pages

In Crunch Time, Aliya Hamid Rao gets up close and personal with college-educated, unemployed men, women, and spouses to explain how comparable men and women have starkly different experiences of unemployment. Traditionally gendered understandings of work—that it’s a requirement for men and optional for women—loom large in this process, even for marriages that had been not organized in gender-traditional ways. These beliefs serve to make men’s unemployment an urgent problem, while women’s unemployment—cocooned within a narrative of staying at home—is almost a non-issue. Crunch Time reveals the minutiae of how gendered norms and behaviors are actively maintained by spouses at a time when they could be dismantled, and how gender is central to the ways couples react to and make sense of unemployment.

 

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Contents

A Tale of Two Unemployments
1
Men at Home
31
Idealizing the Home and Spurning the Workplace?
60
Dinner Table Diaries
89
Can Women Be Ideal JobSeekers?
116
Why Dont Unemployed Men Do More Housework?
145
Why Do Unemployed Women Do Even More
171
Age of Uncertainty
207
Professionals and Spouses
241
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About the author (2020)

 Aliya Hamid Rao is Assistant Professor in the Department of Methodology at the London School of Economics.

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