Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Peter J. Stein
Dramatic changes in the workforce participation of women and men and, to a lesser extent, in the division of labor in the home have occurred in recent decades. The traditional family of the male breadwinner and female homemaker, the norm among middle-class married couples in the 1950s and 1960s, evolved into families where both the husband and wife often work for pay—the dual-earner family or dual-income family. Dual-earner families include two-career couples and couples who do not see their jobs as careers. Careers differ from jobs in requiring a deeper commitment of time, energy, and education; the payoffs are higher salaries. Thus, despite the difficulties dual-earner families experience because of career demands, the added income can buy many services. Working wives and mothers are not new. Since the 1850s working-class, minority, and immigrant women have found employment as factory laborers or domestic servants, or have taken in boarders or laundry ...