ERIC Number: ED316803
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988
Reference Count: 0
Who's Responsible for Supporting the Family? Employed Wives and the Breadwinner Role. Working Paper No. 186.
Potuchek, Jean L.
In order to understand the meaning of wives' labor force participation for dual-earner families and the consequences of that participation, the breadwinner role must be conceptualized more clearly and the concept used more precisely. Researchers must abandon their assumption that all wives who are in the labor force are breadwinners and instead treat the allocation of breadwinning responsibility in dual-earner families as a variable. The breadwinner role should be the subject of research in its own right. Much work is needed before basic questions about the allocation of breadwinning responsibility in dual-earner families can be answered. Questions that need to be answered through carefully designed and conducted research include: (1) the extent of breadwinning responsibility assigned to employed wives; (2) variation among dual-earner couples in how breadwinning responsibility is allocated; (3) factors influencing the extent to which breadwinner role is shared; and (4) the relative importance of various factors and their interaction. This research would greatly enhance understanding of the meaning of labor force participation in married women's lives. (ABL)
Wellesley College Center for Research on Women, Wellesley, MA 02181 ($4.00).
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Wellesley Coll., MA. Center for Research on Women.
Note: An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Sociological Society (58th, Philadelphia, PA, March 11-13, 1988).