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Evaluation of The Second Shift by Hochschild and Machung

2872 words (11 pages) Essay in Sociology

08/02/20 Sociology Reference this

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Abstract

The roles of men and women has been studied for generations. The shift in female roles has been under scrutiny. Similarities and differences in research findings are strongly conveyed to understand the concept of The Second Shift. This paper examines the findings and results by Hochschild and Machung (2012), Milkie, Raley, and Bianchi (2009). Time allocation, the workload of parents, and multi-tasking of parents is assessed. The assessment of the findings and results on these topics will be conveyed to determine the agreements and disagreements concerning The Second Shift.

Second Shift Research Paper Containing

Critical Findings and Results

Three second shift findings and results in studies done by Milkie, Raley, and Bianchi (2009) and Hochschild and Machung (2012) are critically assessed. The discussion of the similarities and differences between the two studies are analyzed to understand the concept of the The Second Shift. The concept assists in how parental workload applies to our understanding. Household work, cultural change, and the responsibility of men and women are used to understand parenthood in today’s society.

The amount of time set aside between men and women is one of the discussions in today’s society. Research done by Hochschild and Machung (2012) in their study, “The Second Shift”, and a similar study, “Taking on the Second Shift: Time Allocations and Time Pressure of U.S. Parents with Preschoolers”, by Milkie, Raley, and Bianchi (2009) equally support that amount of time spent doing leisure activities between men and women differs. According to Milkie et al. (2009), “In households with both parents employed fulltime, mothers enjoy less adult-only free time, less active leisure and watch less TV than fathers” (p. 500). The authors explain that women do not spend much of their time doing enjoyable activities for themselves. Instead, women are spending that time providing meals, doing housework, and taking care of their children. In agreement with these findings, Hochschild and Machung (2009) state, “women spend more time on maintenance, such as feeding and bathing children, enjoyable activities to be sure, but often less leisurely or special than going to the zoo” (p. 9). Both sources argue that women spend significantly less time doing enjoyable or leisurely activities compared to their male counterparts, as demonstrated by the similar findings. Further analysis found that women spend “seven hours less per week, or close to one hour per day, doing leisurely activities than men” (Milkie et al., 2009, p. 500). It is evident through the findings of both studies that men get to spend multiple hours more per week than women doing activities that they enjoy partaking. These results indicate that less leisure time is a common theme among women in the United States today.

Based on nationwide surveys, Milkie, Raley, and Bianchi (2009) found in that around 3,000 fathers and 3,500 mothers receive periodic phone calls during their twenty-four hour day. Researchers found that compared to working dads, full-time working mothers with preschool children add in a couple five hours a week at home. The second survey conducted was revolved around the amount of time parents used to to take part in their own activities, such as taking a nap. Researchers found full-time working mothers put in seven hours a week at home. Hochschild and Machung (2012) state that mothers often multitask more than men and tend to juggle a job, children, and housework. These women tend to feel more rushed than men, resulting in more tasks being done at once. A peer reviewed source used for this topic by Offer and Schneider (2011) determined the comparison of multitasking between mothers and fathers. The study also states that women felt more stressed and had a more negative experience multitasking than fathers. According to Gorp (2013), contradiction between the amount of work that Hochschild (2012) proposed women were performing due to the second shift (15 more hours per week than their male mate) and the amount of work that current literature suggests women in today’s society are performing (five more hours per week than their male mate) is discussed in order to understand the concept of the The Second Shift and how it applies to our current literature and understanding

Milkie et al. findings compared full-time mothers and part time mothers and those who stay at home. Full-time mothers were reported to laugh less with their children than the others, including the fathers. Spending time with children reduces feelings of stress and increases satisfaction with work and family balance among parents (Milkie et al., 2010; Milkie, Raley, & Bianchi, 2009).  In result, full-time mothers were less likely compared to part-time and nonworking mothers, to admit they were satisfied completely with their child’s progression in life. About a third of fathers were satisfied, without vary of the hours worked by their wives. Most parents were not completely satisfied with how their children are doing. According to Milkie et al. (2009), “In households with both parents employed fulltime, mothers enjoy less adult free time, less active leisure and watch less TV than fathers” p. 500).

The Second Shift mentions the time burdens and responsibilities of working mothers. Between the studies by Hochschild and Machung (2012) and Milkie, Raley, and Bianchi (2009), multitasking is examined. Hochschild and Machung (2012) state that mothers often multitask more than men and tend to juggle a job, children, and housework. These women tend to feel more rushed than men, resulting in more tasks being done at once. Milkie, Raley, and Bianchi (2009) also claim that working mothers multitask, but fathers multitask the same percent number of hours of each day. In both studies, mothers are stated to multitask more often than fathers, but statistics published by Milkie et al. (2009) indicated that mothers and fathers multitask the same amount of time in the study. Both studies focus on time pressure between mothers compared to men. Milkie et al. (2009) evaluate the different experiences of men and women when when dealing with the amount of work at hand. A peer reviewed source used for this topic by Offer and Schneider (2011) determined the comparison of multitasking between mothers and fathers. The study also states that women felt more stressed and had a more negative experience multitasking than fathers.

Milkie, Raley, and Bianchi (2009) focus on the “extra work” that parents do at home every year. The study concurs that women have greater workloads than men each year; however, there is disagreement on quantity. When discussing childcare, parents may alter their definition of good parenting to emphasize quality over quantity. Spending time with children reduces feelings of stress and increases satisfaction with work and family balance among parents (Milkie et al., 2010; Milkie, Raley, & Bianchi, 2009). Among parents, the group with the shortest work week was not fathers, however, but rather the subgroup of mothers who were not in the labor force. This was about one third of all married mothers with children younger than 6 years of age even today.

Based on childcare study, there have been connections made between the cognitive development of a child and how they may be raised in society. There are many effects on cognitive development happening in home care and child care homes and centers, according to study. Options such as in-home child care, centers, homes, mother or father supervision, and grandparent supervision are offered (NICHD, 2006). According to Gorp (2013), contradiction between the amount of work that Hochschild (2012) proposed women were performing due to the second shift (15 more hours per week than their male mate) and the amount of work that current literature suggests women in today’s society are performing (five more hours per week than their male mate) is discussed in order to understand the concept of the The Second Shift and how it applies to our current literature and understanding. Perception changed when reading statements from The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (2006) study about working mothers being unlikely to have the time to provide sufficient stimulation to their kid alone.

Milkie et al. (2009) states that it isn’t confirmed whether women do less “fun” work, or more “dirty” work than men. It also states that fulltime working women do not complete more “onerous”, or unfavorable, work than their male counterparts (Milkie et al., 2009). This work between men and women is discussed in the studies done by Hochschild and Machung (2012). Hochschild and Machung (2012) differ in argument that in the household, women do more of the “dirty work” than men. The phrase used, “dirty work” refers to increased amounts of house work and childcare that is unenjoyable at home. Milkie, Raley & Bianchi (2009) defined “fun” work as being able to interact with the child. Some enjoyable work is considered as time spent helping, teaching and reading to the children. In reviewing the study by Hochschild, Van Gorp (2013) accurately describes multiple reasons for the purported discrepancies and changes since the publishing of Hochschild’s report. Van Gorp (2013) describes the culture change and convenience shopping emergence, while also highlighting the women’s increase in cultural capital. With more women earning college degrees and entering the workforce than in previous generations, women now have more cultural capital than they once had before. This supports the idea that more couples are sharing the workload.

The disparity of “dirty” or “onerous” work between men and fulltime working women is one of the topics discussed in the studies done by Hochschild and Machung (2012) and Milkie, Raley, and Bianchi (2009). Hochschild and Machung (2012) argue that women do more of the “dirty work” than men in the household. “Dirty work” refers to increased amounts of unenjoyable house work and childcare at home. According to Milkie et al. (2009), women do not complete more “dirty work” at home because studies show that even though mothers do more housework and childcare, the ratio of enjoyable childcare they do is the larger portion. To clarify, the study by Milkie et al. (2009) states that it is not confirmed that women do less “fun” work, or more “dirty” work, than men. It is also stated that fulltime working women do not complete more “onerous”, or unfavorable, work than their male counterparts (Milkie et al., 2009). The differences between the results of the studies makes it difficult to decipher which study is reliable. A reason that explains the opposing viewpoints on the amount of “dirty” work done by men compared to women is the cultural tendency for people to define childcare as not “masculine”. Despite rates of stay-at-home fathers being on the rise, there are still many barriers to men who wish to have more influence in their children’s childcare according to Harrington, Van Deusen, and Mazar (2012). Because of the lack of cultural support for men who strive to be more involved, it is much harder for them to be able to contribute. Hochschild and Machung (2012) and the female participants in the study viewed this lack of participation in childcare as a burden on the mothers that increased their “dirty work”, when in fact the women were getting more of an opportunity to participate in enjoyable childcare. Likely due to the “unmasculine” concept of childcare in society, Milkie et al. (2009) found in their studies that men were unable to contribute as much to “fun” childcare as women. According to Rolfe (2006), a major deterrent for men to become involved in childcare is the perception that it is “women’s work”. This perception makes it difficult for many men to see childcare as a potentially rewarding time commitment. Men believe they will be seen as “mothering” the children and fear cultural backlash (Rolfe, 2006). One of the many barriers for fathers to see childcare as something they can actively participate in is the lack of male representation in childcare-related fields. Employment barriers such as lack of male recruitment, isolation, and differential treatment are discussed and confirmed by Rolfe (2006) in the study. With the stigma that men cannot do childcare while keeping their “masculine” persona, they are being encouraged to not participate in childcare at home. As a result, there are disparities between studies about whether women do more of the “onerous work” than men

Within the studies published by Hochschild and Machung (2012) and Milkie, Raley, and Bianchi (2009), there are disparities surrounding the topic of multitasking. Hochschild and Machung (2012) state that mothers multitask more often than their male counterparts. Confirming this finding, Milkie et al. (2009) found that mothers reported feeling rushed and multitasking more often than fathers. However, it was also found through diary data that mothers and fathers multitask the same percent of each day (Milkie et al., 2009). Overall, in both studies, mothers reported multitasking more often than fathers, but statistics in the study published by Milkie et al. (2009) indicated that mothers and fathers multitask the same amount of time. A reason that clarifies the disparity between the two studies is the time pressure felt by mothers and fathers. According to Milkie et al. (2009), mothers have a unique sense of pressure where they feel they need to be multitasking more throughout the day. It is possible that Hochschild and Machung (2012) found that mothers multitask more due to the increased number of women who feel pressured to be multitasking. Fathers have a decreased sense of this time pressure which may have led Hochschild and Machung (2012) to conclude that mothers multitask more than fathers (Milkie et al., 2009). The findings of Milkie et al. (2009) show the different gendered experiences of men and women when they reflect on how much work at home they feel they are and should be doing.

3. Offer and Schneider (2011) published a study that determined time spent multitasking of mothers compared to fathers. It is stated that there is a small gender gap in the amount of time spent multitasking; however, women felt more stressed and had a more negative experience multitasking than fathers (Offer & Schneider, 2011). These findings confirm what was found by the studies of Milkie et al. (2009) and Hochschild and Machung (2012). It is consistent in all three studies that women feel more pressure to multitask at home, while men do not report feeling as pressed for time to multitask. Milkie et al. (2009) and Offer and Schneider (2011) found that there is a small difference in hours spent multitasking comparing women to men, and that the difference is seen in the attitudes of men and women towards multitasking.

It has been assumed for generations that women take care of the children and keep the home in order. Detail about men not feeling as masculine when involved in childcare has been intriguing to study. This may be one of the key reasons most children grow closer in bond with their maternal parent. Throughout study, working mothers were shown to be more engaged with the children on a day-to-day basis than were working fathers and also were more willing to take on more parenting duties than working fathers have shown to, upon returning home from their work. mothers multitask more than men and tend to juggle a job, children, and housework in their home. This paper has discussed women in today’s society in order to understand the concept of the The Second Shift and how it applies to us.

References

  • Bernardo, C., Paleti, R., Hoklas, M., & Bhat, C. (2014, April 27). An Empirical Investigation into the Time-Use and Activity … Retrieved from https://ctr.utexas.edu/wp-content/uploads/DSTOP112.pdf
  • Bianchi, M., S., Sayer, C., L., Milkie, A., M., . . . P., J. (2012, September 01). Housework: Who Did, Does or Will Do It, and How Much Does It Matter? Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/sf/article/91/1/55/2235879
  • Findings for Children up to Age 4½ Years – nichd.nih.gov. (2006). Retrieved from http://www.nichd.nih.gov/sites/default/files/publications/pubs/documents/seccyd_06.pdf
  • Hochschild, A. & Machung, A. (2012). The second shift: Working families and the revolution at home. New York, NY: Penguin Group.
  • Milkie, M. A., Raley, S. B., & Bianchi, S. M. (2009). Taking on the second shift: Time allocations and time pressures of U. S. parents with preschoolers. Social Forces, 88(2), 487-518.
  • Nomaguchi, K., & Fettro, M. N. (2016, December 13). WHY DO MOTHERS EXPERIENCE MORE WORK-FAMILY CONFLICT WHEN THEIR CHILDREN ARE YOUNGER?
  • Offer, S., & Schneider, B. (2011). Revisiting the Gender Gap in Time-Use Patterns. American Sociological Review,76(6), 809-833. doi:10.1177/0003122411425170
  • Rolfe, H. (2006). Men In Childcare. Retrieved from https://www.koordination-maennerinkitas.de/uploads/media/Rolfe-Heather.pdf
  • Speights, S. L., Grubbs, S. J., & Rubin, B. A. (n.d.). BAD JOBS, BAD PARENTS? HOW JOB CHARACTERISTICS RELATE TO … Retrieved from https://journals.uvic.ca/index.php/ijcyfs/article/download/16740/7091
  • Van Gorp, Kayla. “The Second Shift: Why it is Diminishing but Still an Issue.” The Review: A Journal of Undergraduate Student Research 14 (2013): 31-37. Web. [date of access]. <http://fisherpub.sjfc.edu/ur/vol14/iss1/7>
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