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The Work-Family Interface

The Work-Family Interface
An Introduction

March 2013 | 176 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
This brief and accessible title integrates contemporary scholarly research with compelling vignettes to make it appealing to both instructors and undergraduate audiences. While focused on the United States in respect to its target audience and emphasis, it contains considerable international data that compares and contrasts social policies adopted in Europe and elsewhere. In so doing, it shows both the strengths and the limitations of the approaches used in the U.S. This title is the only single source that summarizes the origins of work–family concerns, the diversities of needs and experiences, the impact of tensions on the family front, the consequences of tensions for employers, and different types of policies that can make meaningful differences not only in the lives of employees, but also potentially in job quality and national productivity.

The Origins of Contemporary Work-Family Dilemmas
When Work Separated from Family: The Household Economy Transitions to the  
Industrial Economy  
When Family and Work Were Defined as Separate Spheres: The Husband/Breadwinner-Wife/Homemaker Economy  
Where We Are Now: Most Every Adult Should Work Outside the Home  
Useful Concepts  
Issues to Ponder  
Mini Project  
The Diversity of Work, Family, and Work-Family Arrangements
Diverse Values and Preferences  
Diverse Employment  
Diverse Families  
Useful Concepts  
Issues to Ponder  
Mini Project  
Individual and Family Frontiers: Personal Responses to Strained Schedules
Dominant Culture Metaphors of Connecting Work and Family  
Work-Family Conflict, Spillover, and Segmentation  
How Individuals and Families Respond to Work-Family Conflict  
Useful Concepts  
Issues to Ponder  
Mini Project  
Employer Frontiers: Organizational Intransigence and Promising Practices
The Dual Agenda: Establishing Positive Outcomes for Families and Employers  
Availability and Use of Employer Provided Family-Responsive Policies and Practices  
The Process of Organizational Change: Moving From Awareness to Action  
Rethinking the Scheduling of Work  
Flexible Work in Multinational Organizations  
Useful Concepts  
Issues to Ponder  
Mini Project  
Global Perspectives on the Work-Family Interface: International Comparative Analysis and Transnational Relationships
International Comparative Analysis of Work and Family Relationships  
Intersections of Culture and Policy: National Approaches to Support Care Work  
Three Societal Level Approaches to Reconciling Work-Family Strains  
Family Well-Being in International Comparative Perspective  
Transnational Concerns  
Useful Concepts  
Issues to Ponder  
Mini Project  
The Work-Family Interface as a National Priority
What Governments Can Do  
Making the Case and Understanding Resistance  
Useful Concepts  
Issues to Ponder  
Mini Project  
Further Exploration
About the Author

We are starting the FDA in H&SC in Sept 2015. This will be on our reading list!

Mrs Nikki Southgate
March 31, 2015
Key features


  • The Work-Family Interface is one of the newest additions to SAGE’s Contemporary Family Perspectives series.
  • Sweet integrates contemporary scholarly research with compelling vignettes, including contributions from 22 leaders in the work–family field who identify the core contributions of their scholarship.
  • This title offers a domestic focus combined with the opportunity to compare and contrast international data for a consideration of relevant social policies adopted in Europe and elsewhere in the world.
  • Work–family concerns are addressed from the interests of caregivers, employers, and also societies, and central concerns and concepts are identified and illustrated, providing an ideal introduction to the reasons why work–family connections need to be recognized and harmonized.
  • Chapters include “Issues to Ponder,” questions challenging readers to identify their own stance on how best to harmonize work and family spheres, as well as “Mini Projects” that can be integrated as course assignments.

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