By Frances Chaves
Princeton sociology Ph. D. student, Joanne Golann, is looking for unemployed professionals to interview for a research paper on how unemployment among professional workers affects household activities. The confidential interviews are 30 to 60 minutes long, either in person or on the telephone. You can refuse to answer any question(s) and will receive a $20 gift card for participating.
To participate you must be married or cohabiting (spouses may also participate in an interview) and be currently or recently unemployed, for at least several months.
If you are interested in participating in an interview, please contact Joanne Golann at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a time.
This will be Joanne’s second research paper on the topic. She described her earlier paper which explored the impact of the recession on family roles: “Breadwinning is part of the “package deal” for men, a must-have of middle-class masculinity. Since the mid-nineteenth century, the cultural ideal of men as “good providers” has prevailed. Despite the surge in women’s labor force participation rates, the social fabric of the family remains structured around cultural expectations for men to be breadwinners and women to be caregivers. Men’s breadwinning status is threatened when their wives out-earn them, and the threat is greater still when they are unemployed.
In a new economy in which stable and long-term employment opportunities are unraveling, the likelihood that men will experience spells of unemployment has increased. The Great Recession of 2008, the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, provides a unique opportunity to examine how unemployed, professional men renegotiate household responsibilities when traditional patterns of economic activity are uprooted. During the Great Recession, male-dominated industries like manufacturing and construction suffered large-scale job losses and unemployment among professionals more than doubled. Drawing on interviews with unemployed men and their spouses, I showed how men not only resisted housework but also appropriated and redefined housework. Through interviews with unemployed women, I also compared women’s and men’s responses to housework to further assess the gendered nature of men’s strategies.”
By Frances Chaves