The Social Construction of Time: Work, family, and conflict by Krista Brumley
This event is in the past.
Detroit, MI 48202
The Humanities Center is proud to present as a part of its Brown Bag Colloquium Series, a talk by Krista Brumley, Sociology, Associate Professor.
Today’s workers are expected to work longer hours and are increasingly required to travel. Even when they are home, workers are often tethered to their jobs by technology, and expected to be available at nearly all times. Higher demands on a worker’s time can lead to work-family conflict. Given these intensifying work demands, we examine how individuals in dual-income partnerships make sense of, and manage, competing demands on their time. Time is commodified in U.S. culture – we “buy” time, “save” time, and “spend” time. It is literal, tangible, and thus, can be manipulated and controlled. Time is also figurative where pressure is perceptual such as when the “needed” time is seen to exceed the “available” time. Drawing on in-depth interviews with parents and childfree couples, our study shows participants attempt to control their time to address hectic work and family lives. However, this is often not successful, leading to sometimes paradoxical outcomes. Despite the difficulty of managing and controlling time because of real or perceived external time demands, they work to make their limited time meaningful. This study extends our theorizing on how work and family demands shape perceptions and meanings of the structure of time.