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Wed Nov 11, 2020, 05:51 PM

"Other countries have social safety nets. The U.S. has women."

For the newsletter this week, I’m talking with sociologist Jessica Calarco about her recent research on mothers grappling with parenting, partners, anxiety, work, and feelings of failure during the pandemic. She’s whipsmart, as you’ll see below, and I love what she has to say about the work of sociology as a form of “ungaslighting.” Follow her on Twitter here — and if you have thoughts, praise, or questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments. [Academics don’t get a lot of explicit praise, in particular, just saying]

And if you have ideas for other organizers, academics, and thinkers I should interview at length, send me an email!

Can you tell me a bit about yourself and your work?

I’m an associate professor of sociology at Indiana University, and my research focuses on inequalities in family life and education. I’m also the mom of a 6-year-old and a 3-year-old whose antics and insights and general hilariousness are getting me through the darker days of the pandemic.

This research grew out of a project examining how mothers navigate parenting controversies in making decisions for themselves and their children (e.g., decisions about breastfeeding, co-sleeping, vaccines, screen time, and employment after childbirth). The project started in 2018 with surveys of pregnant women in Southern Indiana, and we’ve been following up with those same mothers with surveys and in-depth interviews every six months.

In the interviews we conducted early in the pandemic, mothers told us about waking up at 5 am to work before their kids got up, trying to keep toddlers occupied during conference calls, losing their jobs and their childcare in the same week, fighting with their partners about whether or not to wear masks, and doubling or tripling their kids’ normal screen time, just so they could get a break. My coauthors and I (Amy Knopf, Assistant Professor, Indiana University School of Nursing; Emily Meanwell, Clinical Professor of Sociology, Indiana University; Elizabeth Anderson, PhD student in Sociology, Indiana University) made the decision to develop a follow-up project called The Pandemic Parenting Study.

https://annehelen.substack.com/p/other-countries-have-social-safety

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Reply "Other countries have social safety nets. The U.S. has women." (Original post)
demmiblue Nov 2020 OP
niyad Nov 2020 #1
BigmanPigman Nov 2020 #2
JudyM Nov 2020 #3

Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Wed Nov 11, 2020, 05:53 PM

1. Are we at all surprised?

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Response to niyad (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 11, 2020, 06:05 PM

2. None of us are!

But we are justifiably angry....very angry!

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Fri Nov 13, 2020, 07:42 AM

3. K&R.

Truth. We are the safety net.

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