Sex Roles

, Volume 38, Issue 5–6, pp 331–362 | Cite as

Traditional Ideologies, Nontraditional Lives

  • Francine M. Deutsch
  • Susan E. Saxon


This study examined how blue-collar couples whoalternate work shifts and share the care of theirchildren reconcile their traditional gender ideologieswith their nontraditional lives. In-depth interviews were conducted with twenty-three alternatingshift couples in which the husband was a blue-collarworker. Ninety-six per cent of the participants wereWhite, and the remainder were Hispanic. The results suggested that despite their nontraditionalbehavior, these couples maintained traditional genderidentities by adherence to three central beliefs abouttheir families: 1) the father was still the breadwinner; 2) the mother only worked in the paid laborforce because of financial pressures; and 3) the motherwas still the central parent. The ways in which each ofthese myths is constructed, and the functions they serve of both maintaining traditionalgender identity, and of obscuring potential conflictsbetween husbands and wives over identity arediscussed.


Social Psychology Work Shift Financial Pressure Central Parent Central Belief 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francine M. Deutsch
  • Susan E. Saxon

There are no affiliations available

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