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Family Management, Managerialism, and Feminist Re-Visions
Unformatted Document Text:  Family Management, Managerialism, and Feminist Re-Visions For hundreds of years, the family has been conceived of as radically different from the workplace. This presumed difference draws on overlapping tensions between home and work, private and public, feminine and masculine, and the attendant feelings, behaviors, and thoughts associated with these realms. Lately, however, the meanings and boundaries distinguishing these domains have been contested in discussions about work- life issues, dual earner or dual career couples, telework, and various flexible work arrangements (e.g., Edley, 2003; Kirby, Golden, Medved, Jorgenson, & Buzzanell, 2003). In some popular and scholarly discussions, work relations are looked to as remedies to the stress and tensions of family relations. These discussions posit that connections at work are more stable and reassuring than those outside of work (Hochschild, 1997). At the same time, “balancing” work and home life has come to be considered a critical “problem,” with families becoming isolated from community networks (Fondas, 1995) and “family time” structured in opposition to work time (Ciulla, 2000). The increasingly hectic pace and uncertainties of today’s world often constrain the critical reflection and creative generation of alternatives needed to achieve valued work-life goals. Family members may rely on familiar models for handling highly equivocal matters, especially those that seem expedient and rational (Weick, 1979, 1995). Specifically, they frequently turn to corporate models for techniques that promise to more efficiently organize and contain domestic and familial responsibilities (Graham, 1999). We argue that such appropriations of corporate techniques, language, and thinking not only threaten to obscure healthy distinctions between home and work (Tronto, 1993) but also integrate work values, patterns, and perspectives into everyday constructions of

Authors: Sotirin, Patty., Buzzanell, Patrice. and Turner, Lynn.
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Family Management, Managerialism, and Feminist Re-Visions
For hundreds of years, the family has been conceived of as radically different
from the workplace. This presumed difference draws on overlapping tensions between
home and work, private and public, feminine and masculine, and the attendant feelings,
behaviors, and thoughts associated with these realms. Lately, however, the meanings and
boundaries distinguishing these domains have been contested in discussions about work-
life issues, dual earner or dual career couples, telework, and various flexible work
arrangements (e.g., Edley, 2003; Kirby, Golden, Medved, Jorgenson, & Buzzanell, 2003).
In some popular and scholarly discussions, work relations are looked to as remedies to
the stress and tensions of family relations. These discussions posit that connections at
work are more stable and reassuring than those outside of work (Hochschild, 1997). At
the same time, “balancing” work and home life has come to be considered a critical
“problem,” with families becoming isolated from community networks (Fondas, 1995)
and “family time” structured in opposition to work time (Ciulla, 2000).
The increasingly hectic pace and uncertainties of today’s world often constrain
the critical reflection and creative generation of alternatives needed to achieve valued
work-life goals. Family members may rely on familiar models for handling highly
equivocal matters, especially those that seem expedient and rational (Weick, 1979, 1995).
Specifically, they frequently turn to corporate models for techniques that promise to more
efficiently organize and contain domestic and familial responsibilities (Graham, 1999).
We argue that such appropriations of corporate techniques, language, and thinking not
only threaten to obscure healthy distinctions between home and work (Tronto, 1993) but
also integrate work values, patterns, and perspectives into everyday constructions of


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