Changing families/changing communities work, family and community in transition

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16 Scopus citations


Scholars writing about community in recent years have been more likely to lament its passing than celebrate its exemplars. What's missing in this recent revival of interest in community is a systematic link with work - family issues and, in particular, an explicit recognition that women's and men's work - family lives have changed dramatically in the post-World War II era. We investigate the consequences of structural shifts in our family and work lives for a sample of elite, managerial women in dual-earner marriages, a population for whom work and family concerns are both immediate and salient. Understanding changing definitions of, and trends in, family and work can provide a useful lens through which we can profitably address recent debates about the decline or resurgence of community and civic society. Our findings suggest that, although conceived differently than in previous decades, family remains central to our respondents' sense of community and structures their civic engagement. In contrast with previous generations of women, however, work is also important, for defining women's sense of self and community and for offering an alternative venue for community service.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-224
Number of pages28
JournalCommunity, Work and Family
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)


  • Civic engagement
  • Civic society
  • Community
  • Work-family

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