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Synopsis

In the last two decades there has been a plethora of research on a range of subjects collectively and rhetorically known as ‘work-life balance’. The bulk of this research, which spans disciplines including feminist sociology, industrial relations and management, has focused on the significant concerns of employed women and/or dual career couples. Less attention has been devoted to scholarship which explicitly examines men and masculinities in this context. Meanwhile, public and organizational discourse is largely espoused in gender neutral terms, often neglecting salient gendered issues which differentially impact the ability of women and men to successfully integrate their work and non-work lives.

This edited book brings together empirical studies of the work-life nexus with a specific focus on men’s working time arrangements, how men navigate and traverse paid work and family commitments, and the impact of public and organizational policies on men’s participation in work, leisure, and other life domains. The book is innovative in that it presents both macro (institutional, how policy affects practice) and micro (individual, from men’s own perspectives) level studies, allowing for a rich and contrasting exploration of how men’s participation in paid work and other domains is divided, conflicted, or integrated. The essays in this volume address issues of fundamental social, labor market, and economic change which have occurred over the last 20 years and which have profoundly affected the way work, care, leisure and community have evolved in different contexts. Taking an international focus, Men, Wage Work and Family contrasts various public and organizational policies and how these policies impact men’s opportunities and participation in paid work and non-work domains in industrialised countries in Europe, North America, and Australia.

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