'A great job and a family': Work narratives and the work and family interaction

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    12 Citations (Scopus)


    This article investigated how work narratives of dual-earner families are materially and symbolically configured in discourses of reconciliation of work and home life. Following critical studies of the work-family interaction, this research takes into consideration symbolic and social structures and tries to look into the interrelation of factors such as job resources, job satisfaction, levels of autonomy with the self-esteem and sense of 'self' which parents derive from their paid work. Hochschild's concept of 'emotional culture' is used to explore how parents' experience of work is intertwined to their occupational groups and how it is associated with different narratives of work-family interaction. This study is conducted through qualitative methods, using in-depth semi-structured interviews on a sample of 27 dual-earner families. The data collected are composed of in-depth accounts that are then examined through the method of narrative analysis. The data indicate that, for divergent occupational levels, work generates different material and symbolic resources, which account for divergent narratives of work and home. The sociological analysis of occupational levels with the associated emotional culture of work and family then provides an exploratory model for understanding the links between social class and work-family interaction.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)43-59
    Number of pages17
    JournalCommunity, Work and family
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


    • dual-earner couples
    • emotional culture
    • occupational levels
    • work narratives
    • work-family interaction


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