Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Sociology

Content Description

1 online resource (x, 154 pages) : illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Hayward Horton

Committee Members

Karyn Loscocco, Christine Bose


African American families, Dual-career families, Sex role, Work and family

Subject Categories



With more white women entering the workforce now than in previous decades, finding a balance between competing work and family demands is an increasingly salient issue for families. Slowly the dual-earner model has been replacing the breadwinner/homemaker model. Some groups, black women in particular, have more experience navigating the choppy waters of work and family. Black middle-class women's entrance into the labor force in the late nineteenth century was not based on economic necessity, but the more liberal gender ideologies they espoused which viewed motherhood and employment as compatible. Differences in black and white employment patterns, the more equitable sharing of household and childcare responsibilities, black women's tendency to view reproductive work as a form of resistance and empowerment, and the importance of communal mothering and extended family to the black community may translate into differences in how contemporary white and black dual-earners balance their work and family lives. Moreover, decades of racism directed at black men, ultimately limiting their life chances and forcing black women into the labor force, usually in occupations at the bottom of the wage scale, may be influential as well.

Included in

Sociology Commons