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date: 20 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter advances a social role perspective on gender and the work–family domain—defined to include work and family time investments and attitudes and the work–family intersection (e.g., work–family conflict). A traditional view of social roles suggests that (1) gender has a main effect on the work–family domain, such that men (women) tend to have more work-oriented (family-oriented) and less family-oriented (work-oriented) experiences than women (men) and (2) gender moderates the effect of the work–family domain on valued outcomes (e.g., career success, family satisfaction, health), such that men and women have more favorable outcomes when work–family experiences align with traditional gender roles. In contrast, a dynamic view of social roles suggests that gender has little relevance for understanding the work–family domain. A narrative review of recent research reveals that gender differences often fail to align with traditional gender-based social roles, but also reflect some vestiges of traditional gender-based expectations.

Keywords: Gender, Sex, Social role theory, Work and family, Work–family conflict, Work attitudes, Family attitudes, Work hours, Household responsibilities, Time use

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