Journal of Family and Economic Issues

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 386–398 | Cite as

The Use of Boundaries by Self-employed, Home-Based Workers to Manage Work and Family: A Qualitative Study in Canada

Original Paper


This qualitative study used grounded theory methodology to explore the experiences of 30 self-employed, home-based workers in Canada. Using boundary and work–family border theories as central theoretical constructs, this research examined the extent to which workers used boundaries to manage work and family, the nature of these boundaries, and how they were negotiated by the workers and their families. The results indicated that self-employed, home-based workers used both conceptual and physical barriers to create and manage the boundaries between home and work and that these boundaries were reinforced by rules. Gender differences and similarities were observed in the ways that boundaries were constructed and managed. Based on these observations, several areas for further investigation are proposed.


Canadian qualitative study Home-based work Self-employed workers Work–family boundaries 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Catholic Family Services-Peel DufferinBramptonCanada
  2. 2.College of Applied Human ScienceUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada

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