Saturday, April 25, 2009

From Fortune 500 to the PTA

Yesterday I found this article in the Fashion & Style section of the New York Times website. I thought the placement of the article was a bit odd, so I began reading about men in Pelham Manor, New York, who are dealing with losing their jobs in a recession which is leaving more men unemployed than women.
In this intimate town of 5,500 in Westchester County, with a median household income of almost $137,000, the streets are lined with meticulously landscaped homes with an average value of almost $1 million. These days, though, for-sale signs are popping up all the time.
The article followed several men who had lost their high-paying jobs and are now spending more time with their children and doing more parenting. But throughout the article it was made clear that these men all seemed to have lived experiences of masculinity in which providing was the most important aspect of being a good man/husband/father.
Other research shows that men tend to get more depressed than women when they lose jobs, but in cases where people are laid off in waves, such as when an entire plant closes down, they often experience less angst than those who are laid off individually.
Of course, this particular article concerns men with a kind of monetary security that is not at all common for most families in this country, but what do you think about the recession and the implications of differing gender roles due to unemployment levels?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

they would be affected by the fact that they are not able to "provide" for their families. they would be under pressure (whether it is societal or due to gender roles) to portray themselves as a strong masculine force in their families. thus, the rise in depression among these once-comfortably-employed men. there would also be a potential for the rise in family abuse.

additionally, it is not only due to a change in family or gender roles as a result of unemployment - it is also due to the fact that unemployment leads to a sense of fatigue and loss of worth in being unable to contribute towards society (as well as family).