The Balance Gap: Working Mothers and the Limits of the Law
The Balance Gap: Working Mothers and the Limits of the Law by Sarah Cote Hampson. Stanford, CA, Stanford University Press, 2017. 184 pp. Paper, $22.95.
Why do laws and policies on the books not always translate as intended on the ground? Political scientists, sociologists, legal scholars, lawyers, and policymakers alike grapple with this line of inquiry. There is consensus around a short answer: laws and policies do not operate in a cultural void. Instead, they intersect with prevailing cultural norms in complex ways. Understanding this interplay more clearly is key to designing laws and policies whose outcomes align more squarely with their stated goals. In The Balance Gap: Working Mothers and the Limits of the Law, Sarah Cote Hampson investigates how employed women understand and invoke (or decline to invoke) work-life balance laws and policies.
Two in three mothers today work outside the home, and they still complete the majority of childrearing and housekeeping. So supportive policies are...