Policy attempts to facilitate work–life balance, while simultaneously advancing social welfare, are the subject of the two texts under review here. Gender equality: transforming family divisions of labor is the sixth publication in Verso’s Real Utopia Project. Gornick and Meyers have assembled a number of international experts from both Europe and the United States (US) to critically evaluate their ‘real utopia’ consisting of a suite of policies to facilitate women’s long‑term attachment to the workforce and minimise gender specialisation in household tasks while supporting child welfare. Esping-Anderson has assembled recent data pertaining to the plight of the welfare state’s attempts to ameliorate the distributive consequences of women’s changing roles in order to advance social equality. Read together these two texts provide an invaluable guide to current research on social policy in the related areas of work and welfare, contextualised by what Esping-Anderson refers to as the ‘incomplete revolution’ in women’s roles, household labour and caring responsibilities. Each text is argumentative and engaged, providing an opportunity for experts and non-experts alike to reflect on international policy debates about family structure, employment opportunities and caring responsibilities.
Subtitle: "Book reviews of Gornick, J & Meyers, M (eds) 2009, Gender equality: Transforming family divisions of labor, Verso, London and Esping-Anderson, G 2009, The incomplete revolution: Adapting welfare states to women’s new roles, Polity Press, London".
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