Exploring the Second Shift: A Data-Driven Learning Guide Go to Resource


Gender roles are socially and culturally constructed norms of gender-appropriate behavior. Social scientists are interested in gender roles because they are often closely linked to gender stratification, or the unequal distribution of power and resources between men and women. Research on gender roles often focuses on gender dynamics in the family, and particularly on the household division of labor.

In the United States, the traditional conception of the household division of labor defines women as primarily responsible for care of children and the household, while men assume the role of financial provider for the family. However, the dramatic increase in women's labor force participation in the past fifty years has led to changing attitudes about work and family, and blurring of traditional gender roles.

The second shift is a term coined and popularized by sociologist Arlie Hochschild. It refers to the household and childcare duties that follow the day's work for pay outside the home. While both men and women experience the second shift, women tend to shoulder most of this responsibility.

The goal of this module is to explore the influence of gender roles and attitudes about work and family on the household division of labor and childcare responsibilities. Crosstabulation and comparison of means will be used.

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Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
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