Narrative, time and intimacy in social research
Linda and Jim revisited
in Revisiting Divisions of Labour
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This chapter explores two of the book's key themes: the 'polarization of workers' lives', and the ways in which couples share the domestic division of labour over the life course. Ray Pahl pairs the story of Linda and Jim with a much shorter case study of Beryl and George, a couple untouched by unemployment and living a life of 'modest affluence'. George and Beryl are used as a device to highlight the arbitrariness of Linda and Jim's fate. Linda and Jim's plight in 1992 underscored many of the central aspects of Pahl's analysis in Divisions of Labour the polarisation of society into work-rich and work-poor households, the disincentives to work embedded in the welfare system, and above all, the arbitrariness of economic success and failure in the context of rapid deindustrialisation and the liberalisation of labour markets.

Revisiting Divisions of Labour

The impacts and legacies of a modern sociological classic

Editors: Graham Crow and Jaimie Ellis

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