vol 15 - 1989

The contributors to this spring’s issue cluster mainly around family and work, two central arenas in the lives of women. In addition to fiction and poetry, authors used the research strategies of a number of social sciences: history, sociology, and policy studies. Rather than assigning family and work to separate "fields" or "spheres," the contributors see these strands as tightly intertwined in the daily lives of women.

Margaret K. Nelson's Vermont examination of working mothers who use family daycare providers for their children, and of the providers themselves, is a fascinating study in the blending of business and pleasure, family and market values. The mothers expect the daycare-providing women to lovingly adopt the children they care for daily, giving them special attention and afterhours care if necessary. And the mothers want, and need, good value for their money. The daycare workers, however, are torn between their own motherlike love for the children they are paid to look after and their resentment, as workers, at the poor pay, long hours, and extra pressures that go with the job. Anne Machung, in her study of a group of Berkeley seniors ("Talking Career, Thinking job") describes the students' fantasy world in which family pleasures and career fulfillment are fully compatible. The college women aim for high-powered careers, for husbands and children; these career-oriented women believe they can have it all. The majority of their male peers, with some reservations, to be sure, accept career goals as normal for women. Yet nearly all the students assigned women special skills at and responsibility for childcare. What they have not digested (or really experienced) are the implications of this special domestic charge for women's professional lives in a labor market quite unsympathetic to the circumstances of working mothers.




Margaret K. Nelson
Negotiating Care: Relationships between
Family Daycare Providers and Mothers

Anne Machung
Talking Career, Thinking Job:
Gender Differences in Career and
Family Expectations of Berkeley Seniors

Barbara J. Harris
Power, Profit, and Passion:
Mary Tudor, Charles Brandon, and the
Arranged Marriage in Early
Tudor England

Alicia Askenase

Heather Thomas
Wild Pinx (a Short Story)

Muriel Dimen
Into the Heart of Friendship
(a Memoir with the Names Changed)

V. Rudenko
Mothers and Daughters
(a Short Story Translated from the
Russian by Emily Tall)

Eileen Boris
Language Lost, Voices Found:
The Making of the Female Working
Class in New York City, 1789-1925
(a Review Essay)

Robert G. Moeller
Reconstructing the Family in
Reconstruction Germany: Women and
Social Policy in the Federal Republic,

Sara M. Evans and Barbara J. Nelson
Comparable Worth: The Paradox of
Technocratic Reform

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