Ways of Seeing

Initially we contacted couples by distributing a short questionnaire on work and family life to every thirteenth name drawn from the personnel list of a large corporation. Fifty-three percent returned the questionnaire. At the end of this short questionnaire we explained what we were inter­ested in and asked if respondents would be willing to volunteer […]

Characteristics of the Couples

Of the men we interviewed, the mean age was thirty-three, of the women, thirty-one. Forty-seven percent had one child, 38 percent had two, and 15 percent had three; no couple had more than three. As a whole, those we interviewed were disproportionately middle class. Twelve percent were blue-collar workers (craft workers, operatives, service workers), 17 […]

My Study: A Naturalistic Approach

Anne Machung and I interviewed 145 people altogether, two-thirds of them several times over. We interviewed 100 husbands and wives (50 two — job couples) and 45 other people, including baby-sitters, day-care workers, schoolteachers, traditional couples with small children, and divorcdes who had been in two-job couples. I did the in-depth observations of 12 fami­lies, […]


Since the publication of The Second Shift, Greg Alston no longer plays scary jokes on his son Daryl to toughen him up. But the Liv­ingstons have separated and the Judsons have divorced. Cary Liv­ingston, now three, lives mainly with her mother, though her father wants desperately to remain involved. Ray Judson sees Erik and the […]

A Gender Strategy for the Nation

Brought to America by the tradition of the European Enlighten­ment, the belief in human progress easily fit the open American frontier, the expanding national and international economy, and the movements for racial and gender equality. Like most Ameri­cans over at least two centuries, most of the men and women I in­terviewed for this study said […]

Future Nancy Holts?

As I drive from my office at the University of California, Berkeley, across the Oakland Bay Bridge to my home in San Francisco, I of­ten compare the couples I have been studying to the students I teach. Who will step into the biography of Nancy Holt? Who will be the new Nina Tanagawa? The Jessica […]