Family Matters: Gender, Work Arrangements, and the Rural Myth

  • Leann M. Tigges
  • Hae Yeon Choo
Part of the International Handbooks of Population book series (IHOP, volume 3)


In this chapter, we demythologize rural life and the rural gender ideology by examining the ways in which rural men and women structure their work lives and child-care provisions. We bring a gender perspective to the examination of the work arrangements of the household to explore the gendered underpinnings of the division between standard and nonstandard work. Our multivariate statistical analysis of the data from nonmetropolitan Wisconsin show that the gender ideology of the rural myth persist in rural residents’ lives, in spite of changes in the reality of active labor market participation of women. When considering which individual, family and labor market factors explain the character and extent of men and women’s work engagements in paid employment, we find the strong influence of family and social characteristics on women’s work and not men’s. Family constraints such as the number and age of children as well as being socially embedded in a place through generational links, affect women’s involvement in standard work. The gender ideology that childcare is women’s work persists in a changed form, as they make decisions to spend the money on childcare based on women’s, but not men’s earnings.


Current Population Survey Standard Work Gender Ideology Nonstandard Work Nonmetropolitan Area 
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

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Community and Environmental SociologyUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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