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Normative Beliefs Regarding the Employment of Parents of Pre-School Children: A National Survey Experiment

Jerry A. Jacobs, Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Pennsylvania
When Feb 04, 2013
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Where 1101 Art-Sociology
Contact Name
Contact Phone 301-405-6403
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About the Talk

Research on attitudes toward the employment of mothers of young children is most often based on the General Social Survey (GSS). While the GSS provides valuable information about time trends dating back to the 1970s, there is room for improvement. The study described here experiments with re-wording the GSS questions. More importantly, the scope of the analysis is broadened to include married fathers and single mothers. Finally, a series of vignettes were presented to respondents that systematically varied working conditions and family situations.  The findings indicate that attitudes toward the employment of mothers of young children depend on whether the vignette describes a working mom who is satisfied with her job, satisfied with her child care arrangements, and whose family depends on her income. Data on attitudes toward working fathers is revealing, and helps to place the results on working moms in perspective.

Jerry Jacobs

About the Seminar

Jerry A. Jacobs is Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, where he has taught since earning his Ph.D. in sociology at Harvard in 1983. He has served as the Editor of the American Sociological Review, President of the Eastern Sociological Society, and founding President of the Work and Family Researchers Network. His sixth book, Interdisciplinarity, Specialization and a Defense of the Liberal Art Disciplines, will be published this year by the University of Chicago Press. His research with Kathleen Gerson was honored with the Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award for Excellence in Work-Family Research in 2002, and led to the publication of The Time Divide: Work, Family and Gender Inequality, published by Harvard University Press in 2004. His 75 journal articles and book chapters have addressed various aspects of women's employment, including authority, earnings, working conditions, part-time work and work-family conflict, and entry into male-dominated occupations. His current projects include an experimental survey of attitudes toward the employment of parents of young children, which will be the subject of today’s seminar.

Visit Professor Jacobs's webpage

This event is co-sponsored with the Department of Sociology

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