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Work Time


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Table of Contents

List of Figures, Tables, and Boxes vii

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

1 From Field to Factory and Beyond 9

Original Affluence? 10

Medieval Church Time, Modern Clock Time 14

Commodified Time 18

Industrial Time-discipline 19

Time-work Discipline in the Twenty-first Century 25

Gendered Time 27

2 Work-time Reduction in the US 31

Citizenship, Leisure, Education, and Health 34

From Haymarket to Henry Ford 40

Work Sharing and Fair Labor 51

Two 30-hour Experiments 57

Conclusion 63

3 Current Trends 65

Annual Hours 66

Weekly Hours 69

Overtime 71

Non-standard Work 74

Non-standard Schedules 90

Hours Mismatches 92

4 Work–family, Work–life 96

From Family-based to Family Consumer Economy 97

Women’s Labor-force Participation 99

Family Structure and Employment Hours 102

Housework, Child Care, and Free Time 102

Work–family 108

Private Adaptations 109

Workplace and Public Policy Initiatives 114

Work–life 124

5 Work Time Outside the US 128

Work Hours in Industrialized Nations 128

Work Hours Regulations in Europe 136

Women’s Part-time Employment in Europe 148

Family Policies 151

European Couples’ Work-hour Strategies 158

Work Hours in Transition and Developing Countries 163

Work Hours Preferences 171

Conclusion 172

6 A New Political Economy of Work Time 174

The Electronic Cottage 178

Customized Time: Two Forms 180

Recommendations for Change 181

Work Time and Environmental Sustainability 187

Conclusion 191

Notes 195

References 201

Index 229

About the Author

Cynthia L. Negrey is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Louisville.


"Cynthia Negrey has written an astute, thorough review of what wehave learned about the issue of work time since the issue was putback on the table by Juliet Schor's The Overworked American.By placing the issue in historical context, and by providing acomparative framework for thinking about the American experience,her book succeeds in its goal of getting readers to think about howwork time might be organized differently, in ways more compatiblewith the needs of a changing workforce." Peter Meiksins, Cleveland State University "Engaging and accessible, Work Time illustrates thehistorical development of the concept of time, then deftly weavestogether the broad literature around the defining work-timeinnovations of our era, namely the transition to part-time,temporary, and other non-permanent forms of employment. Byintegrating the literature on today's work-time configurations andproviding an international comparison of social policies aimed atsupporting work-life balance, Negrey helps readers make sense ofone of the most complex and significant issues of our times. WorkTime is essential reading for students and a valuable resource forresearchers, educators, and practitioners who are interested inwork, gender, and the intersection of the two." Anne Zacharias-Walsh, Solidarity Ink "an excellent example of good sociological analysis whichilluminates the underlying social characteristics of dominantinstitutions." Contemporary Sociology

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