ERIC Number: EJ787387
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Reference Count: 92
New City Domesticity and the Tenacious Second Shift
Johnson, Jennifer A.; Johnson, Megan S.
Journal of Family Issues, v29 n4 p487-515 2008
Research clearly shows that, in spite of large-scale social and political changes, women still bear the primary responsibility for housework. Research explaining the unequal division of domestic labor produces mixed results. The authors argue that the "new city" structure of the modern suburbs may be partially responsible for the tenacity of the second shift. The goal of the early suburban movement was to firmly embed women's labor in the private sphere of the isolated suburban home, leaving the public cities to men. The resulting suburban domesticity was marketed through advice literature and wartime propaganda as the ideal way to raise children, sustain better marriages, and fulfill a patriotic duty. With the return of women to the workforce, the iconic 1950s private suburb gave way to a reconstitution of the public and private through the colocation of work, home, and shopping. The authors argue that these new cities take for granted the labor of women and have developed to facilitate the second shift through the commercialization of convenience. The modern urban fringe is built to make the second shift as convenient as possible and in the process continues the social and economic expropriation of women's labor.
Descriptors: Females, Housework, Sex Role, Suburbs, Popular Culture, Ideology, Homemakers, Social Change, Minority Groups, Social Class, Social History
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
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