Many construction workers face periods of layoff due to the seasonal nature of the industry, economic fluctuations in the building trades, and the fact that construction jobs tend to be of limited duration. Because this occupation is socially marked as masculine, male and female workers' emotional response to unemployment is likewise expressed in highly gendered terms, which can negatively impact family life. Based on research with unionized building trade workers in California, this paper will explore the ways in which gendered norms and behaviors impact worker stress, and by extension couple conflict, during periods of unemployment. In particular, we will describe the ways in which these conflicts become precipitated by, and expressed through, a habitus of masculinity that affects both male and female construction workers.
Like Swallowing a Butcher Knife: Layoffs, Masculinity, and Couple Conflict in the United States Construction Industry
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Michael Duke, Luke Bergmann, Carol Cunradi, Genevieve Ames; Like Swallowing a Butcher Knife: Layoffs, Masculinity, and Couple Conflict in the United States Construction Industry. Human Organization 1 December 2013; 72 (4): 293–301. doi: https://doi.org/10.17730/humo.72.4.kj54822p0u575637
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