Table of Contents

Gender Divisions and Working Time in the New Economy

Gender Divisions and Working Time in the New Economy

Changing Patterns of Work, Care and Public Policy in Europe and North America

Globalization and Welfare series

Edited by Diane Perrons, Colette Fagan, Linda McDowell, Kath Ray and Kevin Ward

Contemporary societies are characterised by new and more flexible working patterns, new family structures and widening social divisions. This book explores how these macro-level changes affect the micro organisation of daily life, with reference to working patterns and gender divisions in Northern and Western Europe and the United States.

Chapter 1: Introduction: Work, Life and Time in the New Economy

Diane Perrons, Linda McDowell, Colette Fagan, Kath Ray and Kevin Ward

Subjects: development studies, family and gender policy, economics and finance, labour economics, geography, human geography, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, economics of social policy, family and gender policy, labour policy


Diane Perrons, Linda McDowell, Colette Fagan, Kath Ray and Kevin Ward The organization and composition of paid work and the structure of families have changed dramatically in recent decades and so too has the context within which individuals and families organize their lives. Contemporary times are characterized by the widespread, albeit uneven, use of information and computing technologies and greater economic, political and social communications between peoples and between states. As a consequence states in Northern and Western Europe have become more homogenous and moved closer to the United States in terms of their economies and working patterns. The service sector has become dominant, paid work has become feminized and more flexible and families are more varied in their composition. The significance of the male breadwinner, female caregiver model, dominant in the mid-twentieth century, has declined in both Europe and the United States, but the ensuing care deficit has not been resolved and to varying degrees growing numbers of both dual- and single-earning households struggle to find time to combine paid work with caring (Heyman, 2000). These changes result from the interrelations between the shifting economic and political context, in particular a more competitive and global economic environment and changing lifestyle preferences with regard to living and working arrangements. In advanced industrial societies new lifestyles, forms and patterns of work became increasing apparent towards the end of the twentieth century and terms such as ‘the risk society’, ‘late modernity’, ‘knowledge society’ and ‘new economy’ were used to portray the new...