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Teachers as good mothers, mothers as good teachers: Functional and ideological work-family alignment in the South Korean teaching profession

Cited 12 time in Web of Science Cited 15 time in Scopus

Kang, Miliann; Park, Hye Jun; Park, Juyeon

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Blackwell Publishing Inc.
Gender, Work and Organization, Vol.27 No.3, pp.1-19
As one of the largest women-dominated employment niches in many national contexts, the teaching profession has been widely studied, yet the gender, work and family negotiations within this profession deserve fuller attention. The case study of South Korean teachers, one of the most highly qualified teaching workforces in the world, illuminates how particular professions create specific challenges as well as supports for work and family that can counter national patterns of women's low labour force participation. This study engages with theoretical debates regarding 'work-family conflict' and 'work-life balance' to develop the alternative framework of 'work-family alignment' giving greater attention to cultural, ideological and functional dimensions within specific occupations and national contexts. However, rather than expanding opportunities for women, work-family alignment often depends on conformity to normative gender roles - both at work and within families. Nonetheless, the framework of work-family alignment can inform policy implementation by demonstrating that both functional and ideological supports are needed for workplace and state policies to be effective.
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