Departmental Papers (Sociology)

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Book Chapter

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Work and the Quality of Life: Resource Papers for Work in America

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The time-honored assumption that a link exists between the family system and the economic order is hardly a controversial one, and few authorities would question the more specific proposition that family stability in contemporary American society bears a relationship to the occupational prospects of the household head.¹ In times past, the family was generally an economic unity, and its members were integrated by virtue of the fact that they shared a number of work activities. Although the postindustrial family is no longer a work unit, it is still very much an economic entity. For example, the occupational status of the household head determines the social status of his or her family. Moreover, the family is still organized around an economic activity—consumption. The consumption of resources provides a kind of integration of the family and an arena for exchanging economic benefits for psychological rewards.²

Copyright/Permission Statement

This chapter was originally published in Work and the Quality of Life edited by Peter O'Toole ©1974 the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and it is reprinted here by permission of the MIT Press.



Date Posted: 14 June 2017