Cover

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Title Page, Series Page, Copyright Page

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

List of Tables and Figures

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pp. vii-xiii

About the Authors

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pp. ix-x

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xvi

This project began longer ago than we care to think. It began when we first thought about where our interests intersected and whether collaboration would be fruitful. Naomi’s work, with numerous collaborators, had shown that families, when confronted by what might appear to be the...

Part I: Introduction

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Chapter 1: Unpredictability and Unequal Control in a Web of Time

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pp. 3-18

Because life is routinely unpredictable, our control over time becomes a crucial resource for keeping a job and having a family—but control over time, much like income, is contested and powerfully shaped by gender and class inequalities. Those inequalities reverberate through a “web of...

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Chapter 2: Conceps and Methods

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pp. 19-32

We began this study with a broad aim: to develop a research design that would allow us to understand inequalities in hours and schedules and the social processes that produce them. Initially we considered many occupations, but after substantial discussion, we decided to examine four...

Chapter 3: The Context: Occupations and Organizations

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pp. 33-58

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Chapter 4: Setting the Official Schedule

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pp. 59-86

When they are hired , regular staff members are typically given an official basic schedule that specifies in advance a number of work hours and a shift—day, evening, and/or night; weekday or weekend—that both they and their employer come to expect. These official schedules are disrupted...

Part II: The Forms of Unpredictability

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Chapter 5: Unpredictabiliity and Churning: Is There a Fixed Schedule?

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pp. 89-107

“Normal unpredictability” means that the schedules people actually work often do not match the schedules that are set in advance. Employers adjust staffing depending on the number and condition of the people seeking their services. Employees cannot work at some of the times specified...

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Chapter 6: Adding Time to the Official Schedule

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pp. 108-129

Everybody talks about adding time to their official basic schedules— women and men, advantaged workers and disadvantaged workers—but workers have very different motives for wanting to add time, and they encounter very different responses from employers and the state. The issues...

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Chapter 7: Taking Time Off: Sick Leaves and Vacations

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pp. 130-156

The right to time off from work that many take for granted was contested and won for the most part in the last 150 years, with active skirmishing continuing today. Take the weekend. “The concept of the weekend, as we now understand it, didn’t appear in the...

Part III: Families and Jobs: Creating and Responding to Unpredictability

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Chapter 8: Unequal Families: Class Shapes Women's Responses to Unpredictability

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pp. 159-180

Both employers and employees in our study said that families drive unpredictability and the struggle over schedules. Talking about hours and schedules, a human resources administrator reported that when she talked to nurses about their schedules, “the key issue is family.” “Family is your...

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Chapter 9: Unequal Families: Class Shapes Men's Responses to Unpredictability

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pp. 181-208

An examination of emergency medical technicians and doctors—the two occupations dominated by men—suggests a process parallel to that for nursing assistants and nurses: those with class advantage promote gender conventions, while those with less class advantage “undo gender.”...

Part IV: Strategies to Address Unpredictability

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Chapter 10: Finding Solutions in the Web of Time: Coworkers

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pp. 211-234

The web of time , which often creates unpredictability and causes schedule problems, can also provide the solutions to these problems and turn what might have been a major difficulty into a minor complication. With help from coworkers, people can take a sick day without being charged...

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Chapter 11: The Push of the Family and the Pull of the Job

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pp. 235-258

Many say that the family is a haven in a heartless world—and it is the job that is the heartless world. This chapter reverses that understanding. Here we show the ways in which workers often use the metaphor of “family” to describe the relationships they develop at work at the same time as...

Part V: Conclusion

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Chapter 12: Inequality and the Normal Unpredictability of Time

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pp. 261-272

Conventional wisdom holds that work policies about time are too rigid. This book shows that for many Americans the problem with work policies is too much flexibility as often as it is too much rigidity. Not only do supposedly “flexible” work policies often force employees to adapt to unpredictability...

Notes

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pp. 273-296

References

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pp. 297-312

Index

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pp. 313-324