|Gerstel, Naomi, PhD|
My research addresses the care given to extended family members-to mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, cousins-and asks what factors, whether economic conditions. cultural values, or the legal system shape this caregiving. I find a persistent gender gap in such caregiving. I also find a persistent racial gap. What explains these? It is not differences in values or some natural predispositions that distinguish these groups. My research shows that it is structural conditions, especially employment and income, that can best explain the differences in caregiving between women and men as well as the greater caregiving of blacks and Latiino/as compared to whites. My work also shows very high rates of non-compliance with the FMLA by companies covered by the Act; those least likely to comply are those with large number of women employees who are unionized and earn a salary rather than a wage. Finally, my recent work examines the flexibility of work hours and schedules for paid caregivers. I find that low wage workers, like nursing assistants, have far less flexibility in both their jobs and families than do those who earn more, whether physicians or nurses. Giving care in our country has become a privilege rather than a right.
Most well-known books and articles:
Families at Work: Expanding the Boundaries, Vanderbilt University Press (2002). Eds. Naomi Gerstel, Dan Clawson, Robert Zussman, includes Gerstel article on Caregiving to Extended Kin, "The Third Shift: Gender, Employment, and Care Work Outside the Home," and an article on Unions and Family/Work Policies "Unions' Responses to Family Concerns."
Naomi Gerstel and Amy Armenia, "Giving and Taking Family Leaves: Right or Privilege." Yale Journal of Law and Feminism. V. 21, #1, pp. 161-184, 2009.
"Kin Support Among Blacks and Whites: Race and Family Organization," American Sociological Review, December 2005 (Natasha Sarkisian and Naomi Gerstel).
"Explaining Men's Care Work: Gender and the Contingent Character of Care," Gender & Society, Vol. 15, No. 2, April 2001 (Naomi Gerstel & Gallagher).
"Family Leaves, The FMLA, and Gender Neutrality: The Intersection of Race and Gender," Social Science Research, 2005 (Amy Armenia and Naomi Gerstel).
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