The Secret Lives of Friends
The timing of women’s mass entry into paid work coincides with the evolution of industrial economies to the point where white-collar occupations predominate, where the biggest industries are in the service sector. Spatially this translates into open-plan offices, with ICTs and mobile phones on desks ‘always on’. Collectively, this creates a sense of being always visible, accessible and available. Women experience this time pressure and sense of being rushed most acutely because they bear the dual burden of domestic labour and paid work. However, workplace friends provide women (and all workers) with a ‘refuge from the glare of public life’, but it no longer does this from an institutionally separate private sphere, but from within the workplace itself.
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