Citation

Intimate Inequalities: Love and Work in a Post-Industrial Landscape

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Abstract:

The post-industrial landscape of the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st has produced significant changes in the intimate and romantic lives of the American population. The post-industrial re-arrangement of labor has had especially profound effects on working-class Americans, who are now less likely to get married, stay married, and have their children within marriage than those with college degrees. We draw upon interview and survey data with over 300 people to examine the emotional texture and experience behind the statistics on relationship patterns. We find that for working-class adults, the disappearance of stable unionized jobs with benefits and the concomitant rise of unstable, poorly paid, service jobs have made lasting marriages less attainable and exacerbated feelings of distrust or even fear about intimate relationships. Commitment, rather than a hedge against external risks of the market, becomes one demand too many on top of the already excessive demands of the postindustrial labor market. In contrast, middle and upper-middle class respondents express high expectations for their marriages centering on self-fulfillment, deeply engaged parenting by both parents, and an articulated psycho-emotional awareness. They insure themselves against the possibilities of marital complacency, conflict, and dissolution through private material and emotional investments such as therapy appointments or special “date nights.” These forms of “private insurance,” however, are too “costly” for most working class couples even though they are at greater risk of divorce to begin with and have fewer safety nets to catch them if they fall.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

marriag (73), work (73), class (59), relationship (45), famili (37), women (36), year (32), children (31), live (30), marri (29), middl (29), colleg (29), resourc (27), peopl (27), educ (27), intim (26), although (25), risk (24), life (24), job (24), cindi (23),
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Association:
Name: American Sociological Association Annual Meeting
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http://www.asanet.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p651121_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Corse, Sarah. and Silva, Jennifer. "Intimate Inequalities: Love and Work in a Post-Industrial Landscape" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Hilton New York and Sheraton New York, New York, NY, Aug 09, 2013 <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p651121_index.html>

APA Citation:

Corse, S. M. and Silva, J. M. , 2013-08-09 "Intimate Inequalities: Love and Work in a Post-Industrial Landscape" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Hilton New York and Sheraton New York, New York, NY Online <PDF>. 2014-12-10 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p651121_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: The post-industrial landscape of the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st has produced significant changes in the intimate and romantic lives of the American population. The post-industrial re-arrangement of labor has had especially profound effects on working-class Americans, who are now less likely to get married, stay married, and have their children within marriage than those with college degrees. We draw upon interview and survey data with over 300 people to examine the emotional texture and experience behind the statistics on relationship patterns. We find that for working-class adults, the disappearance of stable unionized jobs with benefits and the concomitant rise of unstable, poorly paid, service jobs have made lasting marriages less attainable and exacerbated feelings of distrust or even fear about intimate relationships. Commitment, rather than a hedge against external risks of the market, becomes one demand too many on top of the already excessive demands of the postindustrial labor market. In contrast, middle and upper-middle class respondents express high expectations for their marriages centering on self-fulfillment, deeply engaged parenting by both parents, and an articulated psycho-emotional awareness. They insure themselves against the possibilities of marital complacency, conflict, and dissolution through private material and emotional investments such as therapy appointments or special “date nights.” These forms of “private insurance,” however, are too “costly” for most working class couples even though they are at greater risk of divorce to begin with and have fewer safety nets to catch them if they fall.


Similar Titles:
Suitable Women: Marriage, Education and Mobility among Middle-class Families in India


 
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