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


  • Abstract 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.

altmetric score

  • 25

author list (cited authors)

  • Tannen, D., Kendall, S., & Gordon, C.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Tannen, Deborah||Kendall, Shari||Gordon, Cynthia

Book Title

  • Family Talk

publication date

  • January 2007