Majority opinion or divided selves?: researching work and family experiences

2017-05-04T03:46:00Z (GMT) by Probert, Belinda Murphy, John
Some commentators, such as Evans and Kelley in the September 2001 issue of People and Place, argue that we should support mothers who want to stay home with their young children rather than those who want to go out to work. We should do this, they say, because the stay-at-home option is more popular than the work-and-childcare option. Evans and Kelley claim to have discerned what women really want from a single poorly worded attitude question in a mass survey. In contrast, qualitative research shows that parents’ belief about what mothers should do are complex and contradictory. These beliefs do not offer clear guidelines to policy makers but, even if they did, there are other considerations to bear in mind such as the effect of policies on the total fertility rate and on public expenditure. Copyright. Monash University and the author/s