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This innovative book examines changes in family practices and paid work in the 21st century. Focusing on highly qualified mothers who combine childcare with employment, it makes a valuable contribution to current debates. It also takes into account the views of fathers, making it a rounded study of family practice in the new millennium. "Hard Labour" puts forward some new and thought-provoking arguments about both mothers' and fathers' commitments to parenting and paid work. The first part of the book provides an up-to-date, comprehensive and readable overview of the literature on motherhood, fatherhood, family practices, and women in employment. The second part draws on a qualitative study of the lives of twenty mothers and their husbands or partners, each of whom is educated to degree level or above, and has at least one child under five.This study considers key aspects of the family lives of the men and women interviewed, including: how they manage their commitments to one another, their children and their professional work; sharing out family tasks such as childcare and housework; and at each stage, the empirical research is placed in the context of the literature referenced in the first part, and of the wider debate on career and motherhood. "Hard Labour" is essential reading for students and academics in sociology, family policy, family studies, women's or gender studies and the sociology of management/employment.
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