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    282602

    Public opinion and Congressional action on work, family, and gender, 1945-1990.

    Burstein P; Wierzbicki S

    Seattle, Washington, University of Washington, Seattle Population Research Center, 1997 Jun. [50] p. (Seattle Population Research Center Working Paper No. 97-9)

    There have been tremendous changes in congressional debate and federal policy focusing on work, family, and gender since the end of World War II. This paper considers how Congress defined and redefined the "problem" of work, family, and gender; the policies it considered; and how policy changed in response to public opinion and the internal logic of the policy process. Congressional action generally moved together with public opinion, as both became more "liberal" and egalitarian over time. But critical aspects of congressional action depended on how Congress happened to view the problem and possible solutions at times when action of some kind seemed relatively urgent. Congressional action stimulated evaluation of current policies and proposals for policy innovation, by women's organizations, intellectuals, federal bureaucrats, and members of Congress, and these evaluations led to calls for further action. Changing views of pregnancy played a key role in moving policy debates from a focus solely on the workplace to a broader focus on how both men and women can balance the competing obligations of work and family. (author's)
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