Navigation Links
Study finds shifting domestic roles for men who lost jobs in current recession

LAS VEGAS The acute economic downturn that began in 2008 sometimes is called the "mancession" to reflect its harsher impact on men than women. As recently as last November, 10.4 percent of adult men were unemployed as compared to 8 percent of adult women.

But how do unemployed men cope with their shifting domestic roles, especially when they become financially dependent on a wife or female partner?

One University of Kansas researcher has investigated the impact of joblessness on masculinity and the "breadwinner ideology" within the context of traditional families.

"It changes how men think of themselves," said Ilana Demantas, doctoral student in sociology, who has interviewed 20 recently unemployed men. "Usually men see themselves as supporters of the family, and since a lot of them are no longer able to do that alone on their income, they have to construct their identity in a new way to allow them to still think positively of themselves."

Demantas will present her findings at the 106th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association.

Working with Kristen Myers, an associate professor of sociology at Northern Illinois University, Demantas found that out-of-work men use an array of strategies to deal with their situations. While some suffer from depression, the KU researcher found among the men she studied that most proudly embrace domestic chores such as childcare and housework.

"Before unemployment, while they very much valued 'women's work,' men still constructed their identity in a way that allowed them to remain in charge," Demantas said. "Working was a way to sort of say, 'I'm the man.' But now managing the family is a way to see themselves as men. So they've actually used 'women's work' to see themselves as contributing to the family. This seems to be a silver lining in a very bleak recession."

Demantas also found that men who were out of work in the recession highly valued the employed women in their families who were still able to bring in a vital income stream.

"They very much felt grateful that women were employed," said Demantas. "One subject said, 'I'm so lucky that my wife is still working, and she has a great insurance policy.' Another said, 'If she weren't working, I'd be sleeping in a car or something.' And some of our subjects take up more household work. One of the subjects said he woke up early and made coffee for his wife because it was the one nice thing he could do for her since he wasn't contributing economically."

Although the disparity in unemployment statistics between men and women has eased somewhat as the U.S. recession has worn on, Demantas believes that masculinity nonetheless has arrived at a crossroads due to economic pressures.

"Men's identities have changed," Demantas said. "They're proud to contribute to the household, to make up for the work their wives are doing. Yet, they still maintain household authority, holding onto their identities as 'men' any way they can."


Contact: Daniel Fowler
American Sociological Association

Related medicine news :

1. Infections Among Those With Heart Devices Has Doubled: Study
2. Males believe discussing problems is a waste of time, MU study shows
3. 17 percent of cancer nurses unintentionally exposed to chemotherapy, U-M study finds
4. Study Shows Key Ways Young Adults Can Find, Keep a Job
5. New study examines window fall-related injuries among youth
6. Happy Teens Usually Crime-Free Teens, Study Finds
7. Weight Gain Hits Women After Marriage, Men After Divorce: Study
8. Study finds narcolepsy cases in China peak in early spring
9. Stanford study draws connection between narcolepsy and influenza
10. Study: Community organization can reduce, negate impact of alcohol outlets on neighborhood violence
11. Study identifies new way to treat common hospital-acquired infection
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Dr. Thomas Dunlap and Dr. ... Tucker Bierbaum with Emergency Medicine at St., Joseph Health System’s Santa Rosa Memorial ... conditions present in similar ways and require time-critical intervention to avoid large area heart ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Indosoft Inc., ... the incorporation of Asterisk 11 LTS (Long Term Support) into its Q-Suite 5.10 ... brings Q-Suite 5.10 up-to-date with a version of Asterisk that will receive not ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Las Vegas, NV (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... holiday shopping strategy. Many customers choose to buy during the Black Friday and ... holiday gifts. Shoppers don’t need to search the Internet high and low to find ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Somu Sivaramakrishnan ... a franchise owner, Somu now offers travelers, value and care based Travel Services, ... cruise sales, as well as, cabin upgrades and special amenities such as, shore ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... ... Jobs in hospital medical laboratories and in the imaging field lead the many ... Medical Group . These fields, as well as travel nursing, ranked at ... through the company’s website, , The leading healthcare staffing agency released ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 --> ... blends immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy for advanced cancer. ... immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy for advanced cancer.   ... immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy for advanced cancer.   ... that immunotherapy can be efficiently combined with photodynamic therapy ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... -- Research and Markets ( ) has ... Horizons and Growth Strategies in the Japanese Therapeutic ... Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, Emerging Opportunities" report to ... --> This new 247-page report provides ... monitoring market, including emerging tests, technologies, instrumentation, sales ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , Nov. 26, 2015 Research and Markets ... "Advanced Wound Care Market by Type (Dressings, Therapy ... User (In-Patient Facility, Out-Patient Facility), and Geography - Global ... --> --> The ... definition and forecast of the global advanced wound care ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: