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This brief and accessible title integrates contemporary scholarly research with compelling vignettes to make it appealing to both instructors and undergraduate audiences. While focused on the United States in respect to its target audience and emphasis, it contains considerable international data that compares and contrasts social policies adopted in Europe and elsewhere. In so doing, it shows both the strengths and the limitations of the approaches used in the U.S. This title is the only single source that summarizes the origins of work–family concerns, the diversities of needs and experiences, the impact of tensions on the family front, the consequences of tensions for employers, and different types of policies that can make meaningful differences not only in the lives of employees, but also potentially in job quality and national productivity.

Individual and Family Frontiers: Personal Responses to Strained Schedules
Individual and family frontiers: Personal responses to strained schedules

Among the pamphlets at the entrance of my local library is a self-help guide called “Balancing Work and Family.” After briefly describing some of the challenges working parents face, this pamphlet offers the following advice:

  • Manage your time and set your priorities
  • Make a schedule and stick to it
  • Plan your menus for the week
  • Leave your work at the office
  • Get a good night's sleep
  • Make time for yourself

Nearly all of the recommendations focus on the difficulties of maintaining a home and a job and how these problems stem from a failure to manage time effectively. The inherent message to readers is this: The problems that you experience are the result of the ...

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