Share this
PREVIOUS ARTICLE ALL CONTENTS Next ARTICLE

The Balance Gap: Working Mothers and the Limits of the Law, Sarah Cote Hampson

Reviewed by Caitlyn Collins

BUY

 

Why do laws and policies on the books not always translate as intended on the ground? Political scientists, sociologists, legal scholars, lawyers, and policymakers alike grapple with this line of inquiry. There is consensus around a short answer: laws and policies do not operate in a cultural void. Instead, they intersect with prevailing cultural norms in complex ways. Understanding this interplay more clearly is key to designing laws and policies whose outcomes align more squarely with their stated goals. In The Balance Gap: Working Mothers and the Limits of the Law, Sarah Cote Hampson investigates how employed women understand and invoke (or decline to invoke) work-life balance laws and policies.

Two in three mothers today work outside the home, and they still complete the majority of childrearing and housekeeping. So supportive policies are crucial to help women reconcile employment with motherhood. Drawing on 48 in-depth interviews conducted in 2012–2013, Hampson compares the experiences of American mothers and mothers-to-be in two workplace settings—public universities and the military—to shed light on the gap between policy and the extent to which women feel the policies’ impacts in their daily lives.

Hampson found that the degree to which women were knowledgeable about their rights at work, a state that scholar

To continue reading, see options above.

About PSQ's Editor

ROBERT Y. SHAPIRO

Full Access

Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.

CONFERENCES & EVENTS

The History and Future of Planetary Threats | Biological Risks and Hazards in the World Today - With Special Focus on Russia and Ukraine
May 4, 2022

Read the Proceedings >

MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT VIEW ALL EVENTS

Editor’s spotlight

Ukraine, Russia, and the West

Creating a Disaster: NATO's Open Door Policy
Robert J. Art

Engagement, Containment, and the International Politics of Eurasia
DAVID W. RIVERA

MORE ABOUT THIS TOPIC

Search the Archives

Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilson

view additional issues

Most read

Articles | Book reviews

Understanding the Bush Doctrine
Robert Jervis

The Study of Administration
Woodrow Wilson

Notes on Roosevelt's "Quarantine" Speech
Dorothy Borg

view all

New APS Book

Perspectives on Presidential Elections, 1992–2020   PERSPECTIVES ON PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS, 1992–2020

About US

Academy of Political Science

The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.

Political Science Quarterly

With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.

Stay Connected

newsstand locator
About APS