New York University Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Navigation Skip to Sub Navigation

Rigid Social and Economic Forces, Not Absence of Family Values, Threaten Vibrant Family and Work Life, NYU's Gerson Concludes in New Book

November 23, 2009
N-154, 2009-10

Rigid social and economic forces, not the absence of family values, threaten a vibrant family and work life for all Americans, New York University sociologist Kathleen Gerson concludes in her new book, The Unfinished Revolution: How a New Generation is Reshaping Family, Work, and Gender in America (Oxford University Press). Gerson’s work also observes that while the current recession has produced significant economic uncertainty in the United States, underlying these circumstances are deep-seated social and cultural, as well as economic, shifts that have been building for decades.

Despite the entrance of women into the workforce and the blurring of once clearly defined gender boundaries, men and women live in a world where the demands of balancing parenting and work, autonomy and commitment, time and money are left largely unresolved. In The Unfinished Revolution, Gerson finds that while an overwhelming majority of young men and women want-and need-more flexible and egalitarian forms of working and caretaking if they are to successfully blend love and work in the 21st century, today’s social and economic realities remain based on traditional-and now obsolete-distinctions between breadwinning and caretaking.

This “equity vacuum” has consequences, Gerson concludes, with men and women developing conflicting strategies-women stressing self-reliance and men seeking a new traditionalism. She argues that whether one decides to give in to traditionally imbalanced relationships or to avoid marriage completely, these approaches are second-best responses-not personal preferences or inherent attributes.

Gerson’s previous works include: The Time Divide: Work, Family, and Gender Inequality, a co-authored volume; No Man’s Land: Men’s Changing Commitments to Family and Work; and Hard Choices: How Women Decide About Work, Career, and Motherhood.

This Press Release is in the following Topics:
Graduate School of Arts and Science, Research

Type: Press Release

Cover: The Unfinished Revolution by Kathleen Gerson

Cover: The Unfinished Revolution by Kathleen Gerson


Search News



NYU In the News

Paying It Backward: NYU Alum Funds Scholarships

The Wall Street Journal profiled Trustee Evan Chesler on why he decided to chair the Momentum fund-raising campaign.

A Nobel Prize Party: Cheese, Bubbles, and a Boson

The New Yorker talked to Professor Kyle Cranmer and graduate student Sven Kreiss about NYU’s role in the discovery of the Higgs boson, which resulted in a Nobel prize for the scientists who predicted its existence.

The World as They Knew It

The New York Times reviewed the exhibit at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World on how ancient Greeks and Romans mapped the known and unknown areas of their world.

Elite Institutions: Far More Diverse Than They Were 20 Years Ago

NYU made stronger gains over the last 20 years in increasing diversity than any other major research university, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Program Seeks to Nurture ‘Data Science Culture’
at Universities

The New York Times reported on the multi-million collaboration among NYU and two other universities to harness the potential of Big Data, including an interview with Professor Yann LeCun, director of NYU’s Center for Data Science.

NYU Footer