Gender, work/family conflict, parenting, qualitative, Goffman


Through in-depth interviews with thirty women and men politicians, this paper investigates their unpaid work as parents and their paid work. Using Goffman’s (1959) concepts of “front stage” and “back stage” performances, the author argues that the women and men developed strategies to do this work. Decisions about whether or not to run for their first job in politics were gendered. Another finding was that the experiences of their families and the making of public policies were gendered. The women organized their “village” while the men saw their fathering roles in terms of scheduling dad time. Finally, there were differences among the men; some of the men made “choices” about their fathering that led to a cost to their paid work careers.

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