chapter  3
26 Pages

Understanding Diversity of Families in the 21st Century and Its Impact on the Work-Family Area of Study

I otTer this snippet of lan 's story because it defies the popular imagination, in which there resides an "average American family person" who must juggle the demands of spouse, children, job, friends, recreational interests, and so on. This mind's-eye family has fouod its way into family studies and other social sciences, and it has influenced studies ofthe work-family interface as weIl. It is the family referenced by the appeal to "family values," the family of political election rhetoric. Its adult members are married, White and heterosexual, and they have children Iiving with them at horne. Nowadays, the image of this traditional family has been updated: Instead of father working and mother at horne, both partners have paid work, but one of them-the wife-works less than full-time in order to look after the children and take care of the horne.