Project Title: “Everyone’s Got a Hustle”: A Study of the Non-Domestic Work of Stay-at-Home Parents

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Stay-At-Home Parents are workers. This category of worker includes not only the traditionally gendered position of submissive housewife, but it also includes modern iterations including liberated Stay-At-Home Moms, Stay-At-Home Dads, and Stay-At-Home Parents (SAHPs) of other gender identities. While certain social movements have payed modest attention to the job of SAHP, this profession remains largely untapped in terms of revolutionary organizing. The tendency to omit SAHPs from what we typically think of as the working class is a major blind spot with its roots in both patriarchy and capitalism.  By denying SAHPs the identity of “worker” the potential size of the proletariat has been cut, in certain eras and places, by as much as half. (continued below)

 

This study seeks to understand the motivations and activities of parents who choose to both become a stay-at-home parent and perform non-domestic labor. The limited sociological literature on stay-at-home parents focuses on two aspects of being a stay-at-home parent. Authors in of the existing literature either struggle with the Second-wave feminist dilemma of why a woman would choose to be a homemaker when she is allowed to pursue a career, or they attempt to understand the relatively new phenomenon of stay-at-home dads. While both of these subjects are relevant to the lives of stay-at-home parents, they make the flawed assumption that being a stay-at-home parent is an all-or-nothing proposition.

     Preliminary findings show that many SAHPs choose to maintain labor outside of the home, and their reasons vary. The most common of those reasons include financial necessity and personal fulfillment, with personal fulfillment being given greater emphasis than financial need.  Findings also confirm previous studies that indicate that modern SAHPs tend to be relatively highly educated, with the average level of education being at a bachelor’s degree or higher.

The slides for this presentation can be found here