Managing Paid Employment and Family Life

  • Jyothsna Latha Belliappa
Part of the Genders and Sexualities in the Social Sciences book series (GSSS)


Beck and Beck-Gernsheim (2001) argue that the labour market and family are often in conflict within late modernity because the needs of the labour market, flexibility, individualization and mobility, are antithetical to the needs of family life, stability, rootedness and altruism. Since individualism enjoys high purchase in late modernity, workers are expected to create a highly individualized career path, to be agile, adaptable and mobile. They contend that individualization puts high stress on the family as two individuals struggle to reconcile their divergent career paths, both unwilling to sacrifice their professional aspirations for the benefit of the relationship. This leads to what they call ‘a long and bitter battle’ between the sexes (Beck and Beck-Gernsheim, 1995: 14). Women are believed to be particularly vulnerable in this conflict because they are caught between the traditional expectation of living for others and the late modern ideal of living a life of one’s own. While Beck and Beck-Gernsheim’s point of reference is the neoliberal society of contemporary Western Europe, their arguments imply a certain universality in these social trends.


Family Life Postpartum Depression Diversity Management Indian Woman Human Resource Policy 
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Copyright information

© Jyothsna Latha Belliappa 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jyothsna Latha Belliappa
    • 1
  1. 1.Azim Premji UniversityIndia

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