The area of work and family is a hot topic in the social sciences
and appeals to scholars in a wide range of disciplines. There are
few edited volumes in this area, however, and this may be the only
one that focuses on low-income families--a particularly important
group in this era of welfare-to-work policy. Interdisciplinary in
nature, the volume brings together contributors from the fields of
psychology, social work, sociology, demography, economics, human
development and family studies, and public policy. It presents
important work-family topics from the point of view of low-income
families at a time in history when welfare to work programs have
become standard. Divided into four parts, each section addresses a
different aspect of the topic, consisting of a big picture lead
essay which is followed by three papers that critique, extend, and
supplement the final paper. Many of the chapters address important
social policy issues, giving the volume an applied focus which will
make it of interest to many groups. Serving to organize the volume,
these issues and others have been encapsulated into four sets of
anchor questions: *How has the availability, content, and stability
of the jobs available for the working poor changed in recent
decades? How do work circumstances for low-income families vary as
a function of gender, family structure, race, ethnicity, and
geography? What implications do these changes have for the widening
inequality between the haves and have-nots? *What features of work
timing matter for families? What do we know about the impacts of
shift work, long hours, seasonal work, and temporary work on
employees, their family relationships, and their children's
development? *How are the child care needs of low-income families
being met? What challenges do these families face with regard to
child care, and how can child-care services be strengthened to
support parents and to enhance child development? *How are the
challenges of managing work and family experienced by low-income
men and women? The primary audience for the book is academicians
and their students, policy specialists, and people charged with
developing and evaluating family-focused programs. The volume will
be appropriate for classroom use in upper-level undergraduate
courses and graduate courses in the fields of family sociology,
demography, human development and family studies, women's studies,
labor studies, and social work.
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