It seems now more than ever the dual income has become the solution for families then the alternative. As cost of living has skyrocketed, especially it seems in the suburban landscape of Orange County. Both parents seek employment to keep up with the Jones, or at the very least to keep food on the table. Arlie Russell Hochschild, a sociologist researched the effects of the dual income lifestyle in her book The Time Bind. In her research she was able to make several observations and then further speculations about the future outcomes of what will happen in families where both parents worked. Hochschild concluded that a majority of people, especially women who were employed would consider family as the ultimate priority in their lives. However due to hectic work schedules, corporate and personal goals it seemed difficult to adjust their hours. Furthermore while workplaces would offer family benefitting programs such as flextime, paternity leave, telework many workers, both men and women alike, would not consider the possibility. All workers would give various explanations as to why they would not consider the alternatives. Hochschild’s ultimate conclusion was that many people had reversed the traditional roles they had in their professional and personal lives. The ideal of a personal sense of fitting in at home had diminished because most people found home life more stressful. Juan and his wife, from the last interview discussed their decision for Stephanie to stay home. Besides becoming a more affordable option for their family’s future with Stephanie being at home both parents believed they were providing a safe and nurturing atmosphere for their daughters to develop. There are some in the Barrio whose families have chosen to have both parents working, just as those Hochschild studied in The Time Bind, their reasoning seems to resonate with those who were interviewed in the book. Their opportunities at work provided at times a greater more overall satisfaction then goals obtained in their private spheres. This research does provide evidence that the Latinos of the financial barrio cannot be all lumped into one generalized group. To suggest that their family structures were all the same would be a disservice and a horrific misrepresentation. After some observation there does seem evidence that more Latinos, specifically women who have changed their traditional roles and lifestyles to accommodate for economic prosperity. Their dedication to their work has at times resulted in gratification in their professional lives versus in their personal lives. As the future comes to be the present will the dynamics of the Latino household be as the majority of Americans in having a dual income?


About ocbarrios

Professor for Cal State Fullerton's Barrio Studies class for Fall 2011 semester

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