Abstract: At least ninety percent (90%) of American parents, mothers and fathers, say they are experiencing an acute shortage of time spent with family and an intense work-family conflict. This article provides a history and a theory that should inform our conceptualization of work-family regulation. It points to the neglected history of working-class social feminism. It shows how working-class social feminists at the beginning of the twentieth century advocated for “constructive feminism”—government support, by way of labor regulation, of what this article terms “multidimensionalism”—a life enriched by meaningful dimensions of work, family, civic participation, and culture. The Article extends this history to a theory of work-family balance for today’s world, which centers on multidimensionalism by way of regulation. It claims this theory should provide a framework for designing and evaluating public policy, and should inform measures to ameliorate the work-family conflict, such as paid leave, “daddy quotas,” and quality childcare. The Article concludes that to adhere to constructive feminism’s multidimensional paradigm, Congress should further enhance the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/arianne_renanbarzilay/1/