Navigation Links
In Tough Times, Jobless Men Embrace Housework
Date:8/23/2011

By Maureen Salamon
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- From factory workers to bankers, some of the jobless men in what's been dubbed the "mancession" are redefining their masculinity by doing more housework as they support their working partners, a small study suggests.

University of Kansas researcher Ilana Demantas and her colleagues conducted intensive interviews of 19 recently unemployed men. She and her team found that many had redirected their identities as breadwinners into tasks that still allowed them to think positively of themselves -- embracing domestic chores such as child care and housework.

"They totally took what we would consider women's work and made it men's work," said study co-author Kristen Myers, an associate professor of sociology at Northern Illinois University. With a female partner still in the workforce, the men "were also so grateful to have these women in their lives," she added.

For a variety of reasons, including generally higher salaries, men's jobs have been axed disproportionately in the ongoing recession. The disparity was even greater in November 2010 (the time the study was conducted), Myers said. At that point, the male unemployment rate was 10.4 percent vs. 8 percent for women.

The study is scheduled to be presented Tuesday at the American Sociological Association's annual meeting in Las Vegas. Research presented at meetings should be viewed as preliminary until it is published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Of the 19 men interviewed, 68 percent were white Americans, while 21 percent had emigrated from other countries in hopes of improving their economic prospects. Participants' ages ranged from 26 to 60 and their lost jobs spanned white collar, blue collar and service sector positions.

Annual wages had ranged from $15,000 to $200,000, with most previously earning between $40,000 and $50,000. Twelve of the 19 had a female partner with whom they shared a household, and all but one lived in the Chicago area.

Myers said that while the study authors understood their research wasn't representative of the entire United States, it was intriguing to learn that the men in their sample held no animosity toward their working partners, instead voicing gratitude that the women were employed and supporting them.

Comments from participants ranged from, "It's a blessing that my wife works and makes good money. If I was living on my own, I would be in serious trouble," to "If I was really stressed out and we weren't making a lot of money [from his wife's salary], I think I'd just be a wreck."

Still, many of the men expressed deep shame over having lost their jobs, and Myers said it was clear they struggled with losing the power and sense of self-worth that comes from employment. Rather than shunning housework in response to their job loss, however, some began doing more in hopes their domestic contribution would make up for their lost wages and the increased burden on their partners.

Myers said her colleagues hope to eventually interview hundreds of men in similar circumstances, and possibly women as well. She called the results a "silver lining" during a bleak economic period.

"It was kind of a nice surprise," she said. "This recession is going on much longer than anyone thought. A lot of these guys will find jobs -- probably with less money and authority. We'll see if their coping mechanisms change."

Nancy Naples, a professor of sociology and women's studies at University of Connecticut, said the study reminded her of research she undertook in the 1980s during the Iowa farm crisis that explored how men's gender dynamics changed in response to employment status.

"Men had to do a lot of that [domestic] work and think about how they understood their relationship to the breadwinner role when they weren't technically the breadwinner," said Naples, also director of the women's studies program and former chairperson of the American Sociological Association's section on sex and gender. "So I think these dynamics are not particular to just the mancession."

More information

For more on coping with unemployment, go to the American Psychological Association.

SOURCES: Kristen Myers, Ph.D., associate professor, sociology, Northern Illinois University; Nancy Naples, professor, sociology and women's studies, University of Connecticut, Storrs, and former chairperson, American Sociological Association's section on sex and gender; Aug. 23, 2011, presentation, American Sociological Association annual meeting, Las Vegas


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. New Drug May Relieve Severe, Tough-to-Treat Gout
2. Menthol May Make It Tougher to Stop Smoking
3. Experimental Drug Promising Against Tough-to-Treat Asthma
4. Implantable Device May Ease Tough-to-Treat Hypertension
5. Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders Tougher When Its Not Patients Call
6. Implantable Device May Help Ease Tough Migraines
7. Long Commutes Tough on Couples Relationships
8. Side Effects May Sway Drug Choices for Tough-to-Manage Diabetes
9. Prostate Cancer Survival May Be Especially Tough on Gay Men
10. As time goes by, it gets tougher to just remember this
11. Frequent Business Travel Tough on the Heart, Study Finds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
In Tough Times, Jobless Men Embrace Housework
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... (PRWEB) May 24, 2016 -- Grow ... its Advisory Board. Joining the Grow Healthy Advisory Board team ... them embody the mission of our organization and bring talent, expertise ... them as we continue to expand our footprint as the leader ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2016 , ... A newly ... rely heavily on their access to trusted resources, both in face-to-face interactions and online. ... Men of Color,” researchers concluded that the creative use of mobile digital devices can ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... DC (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2016 , ... ... consumers for 2016 increased by 9.3 million people, or 10% over last year, ... number of people covered under group policies was comparatively stable, with a slight ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Controlling and maintaining the home’s water heater just got infinitely ... Water Heater Controller , a first-of-its-kind system that enables remote and convenient control of ... thermostat does for HVAC systems, Aquanta gives users a much more efficient, versatile way ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... ... The Dream Builders Project, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Los Angeles, ... Mexico on Saturday, May 21st. The volunteers took the children out for the day ... 15 volunteers traveled from Los Angeles to Tijuana, Mexico for the day in the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... 24, 2016 Een app die ... zij collectief patiënten kunnen behandelen, hun kennis kunnen delen ... achter de nieuwe en revolutionaire MDLinking App, ontwikkeld door ... vaatchirurg dr. Hans Flu en oncologisch chirurg dr. ... beschikbaar is, wordt op dinsdag 24 mei officieel gepresenteerd ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Transparency Market Research ... Pancreatic Insufficiency Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, ... to the report, the exocrine pancreatic insufficiency market is ... 2015 to 2023 to reach US$2.85 Bn by 2023. ... characterized by the deficiency of the exocrine pancreatic enzymes, ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... 2016 Non-invasive diagnostic test realizes ... diseases; ,Technology to be presented at Yissum’s booth, at ... Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem ... with Aurum Ventures MKI, the technology investment arm of ... diagnostic approach for early detection of multiple diseases by ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: