Can a woman and a man, both of whom are career-oriented, achieve a loving and enduring relationship with children and also advance in their careers? Why is it that women more often than men push for dual-career marriages? What personal and societal difficulties and obstacles do they face? What special difficulties do men experience as a result of this phenomenon? Taking us to the frontier of close relationships--where traditional gender roles are being reevaluated in light of what is both functional and optimal for persons in dual-career partnerships--Two Careers / One Family describes the current world of women and men trying to negotiate new realities at home and at work. It offers a glimpse of the future and the potential that exists for creative restructuring of our concepts of gender. The first part of this unusual and compelling volume describes the societal context of young adults today; the second addresses, in detail, both expectations for and realities of dual-career family life. In the final section, the author makes predictions about the benefits of increased gender equity for same-sex and heterosexual dual-career couples and identifies continuing obstacles and sources of stress for partners in dual-career families.
Stimulating, informative, and insightful, this volume is especially helpful to students and professionals in close relationships, gender studies, family studies, psychology, communication, counseling/clinical psychology, social work, and sociology.
"It is Lucia Albino Gilbert's recognition of the complexities of the dual-career situation; the interrelations between family, work, and society; and the influence of theory on the very research questions being framed that make Two Careers/One Family: The Promise of Gender Equality more than a summary of current research data. Although Gilbert's own research focuses on the family and career choices of young adults, the book reaches far beyond that topic to place the dual-career family into historical, philosophical, and societal contexts. . . . This brief but comprehensive book would be of interest to any scholar of gender or family issues, whether in psychology, sociology, communications, or women's studies. Gilbert's readable style and useful chapter summaries also make it suitable as a supplementary text for advanced classes."
"The inclusion of a discussion of what trends in dual-career families may mean for same-sex couples is particularly noteworthy. Family professionals, students, and interested lay people should all find this book valuable. It is both well-written and successful in providing a meaningful summary of what we currently know about dual-career families."
"It wasn't until after my neighbor and I (he's a nationally known constitutional lawyer) got into a discussion of which detergents we preferred when doing the families' laundries that I realized how profoundly some parts of society are changing. We had often talked about feminist aspects of civil rights legislation, but it was the laundry detergent discussion that did it. Now Lucia Gilbert chronicles the changes we and our children face. Gilbert's Two Careers/One Family is a dramatic and graceful description of the emergence of the two-career family form. Gilbert covers it all--theory and research, history and future prospects, female and male views, and more. During '93, the media will be preoccupied with the 'Hillary question,' but in the meantime change marches on. Read Two Careers/One Family to understand not just this year's media fuss, but what's in store for close relationships in the coming years."
--Milton D. Hakel, Bowling Green State University, Ohio
"In this volume, Gilbert describes--and astutely analyzes--the interplay between work and family in the lives of dual career couples. She looks at this in terms of the past, the present, and the future, as well as from the perspective of the individual, the family, the work organization, and society as a whole. I cannot think of anyone better qualified for this task than Lucia Gilbert. Her analysis blends her experiences as a counseling psychologist with her skills as a researcher and scholar. . . . Her experiences as a counseling psychologist give the book a valuable richness and compassion for each individual's situation. Her experience as a scholar, one who has been a leader on this topic since the early '80s, serves as a solid foundation on which Gilbert paints an up-to-date empirical portrait of dual career couples with rigor, breadth, and balance. . . . Gilbert's writing is well-organized, concise, and lucid. Sprinkled throughout the text are well-selected excerpts from other sources, cartoons, and informative figures and tables. Combining sensitivity with rationality, her writing epitomizes an androgynous style."
--Daniel Perlman, The University of British Columbia
"For psychologists, personal relationships scholars, women's or family studies experts already familiar with this body of knowledge, Gilbert describes the conceptual shift in the focus of sociopsychological inquiry from sex, as a biological difference, to gender, as a socially constructed difference. She casts her analysis in terms of the new 'gender as socially constructed difference' perspective, emphasizing gender as an organizing feature of our lives and as a social process."
--Daniel Perlman, The University of British Columbia
"This book offers a wealth of information and understanding of gender issues. The implications are mind-boggling in terms of potential for relationship and power shifts between wives and husbands, between women and men--at home, in the workplace, in larger social spheres--, for shifts in child-parent roles and relationships, and for new parental role models. It is rich in detail, appealing in lucidity and compassion, and delightfully entertaining in sprinkles of humor that sparkle and nip."
--Earl Koile, Professor Emeritus, University of Texas at Austin
"I enjoyed reading this book. By placing the dual-career family literature firmly within a framework of gender dynamics, it goes much further than just chronicling the problems faced by dual-career spouses. It also offers explanations and the vision of a way forward. The tone is optimistic, while in no way underestimating the hurdles to be overcome in the path to gender equality. The book also broadens the scope of the discussion to include same-sex dual-career relationships, who have so long been overlooked by researchers studying work and family. The author demonstrates that they too can benefit from the progress being made by heterosexual couples at home and at work. The lifetime perspective on dual-career relationships, together with the book's accessible style, and some delightful hard-hitting cartoons, should make in invaluable reading for anyone contemplating a dual-career relationship, as well as an academic readership."
--Suzan Lewis, Manchester Metropolitan University
"Lucia Gilbert's Two Careers/One Family is a thorough and current discussion of today's two-career families. The book is energetic and insightful in its review of social science research on these families, including the author's own research. The gender analysis is sophisticated. This book is important reading for those interested in the psychology of gender or the psychology of work and work/family issues."
--Janet Shibley Hyde, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin