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Family TalkDiscourse and Identity in Four American Families$
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Deborah Tannen, Shari Kendall, and Cynthia Gordon

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195313895

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195313895.001.0001

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Father as Breadwinner, Mother as Worker: Gendered Positions in Feminist and Traditional Discourses of Work and Family

Father as Breadwinner, Mother as Worker: Gendered Positions in Feminist and Traditional Discourses of Work and Family

Chapter:
(p.123) six Father as Breadwinner, Mother as Worker: Gendered Positions in Feminist and Traditional Discourses of Work and Family
Source:
Family Talk
Author(s):

Deborah Tannen (Contributor Webpage)

Shari Kendall (Contributor Webpage)

Cynthia Gordon (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195313895.003.0006

This chapter shows that when women in the family talk about conflicts between work and family in a range of contexts, they are not merely concerned with who does what in the household but are engaged in a personal struggle between their parental and professional identities as they attempt to reconcile competing discourses of gender relations. When these women talk about work and family, they negotiate the forms and meanings of their parental and work-related identities through the positions they take up themselves and make available to their husbands in relation to traditional and feminist discourses about work and family. Using framing and positioning theory, the chapter demonstrates that these women articulate an ideology of egalitarian role sharing but linguistically position their husbands, though not themselves, as breadwinners. The analysis contributes to the discourse of face-to-face verbal interaction by considering strategies previously used to analyze representations of mothers and fathers in written texts and the media.

Keywords:   work, mothers, fathers, conflicts, family talk, gender relations, professional identities, parental identities, framing

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