Two decades after Joan Acker (1973) castigated mainstream stratification research for its 'intellectual sexism', the debate over the impact that married women's paid employment has on class analysis is perhaps the most controversial issue in social stratification. Using two decades of survey data from the U.S., we assess the conditions under which wife's class affects the class identification of both spouses. Our principal findings include: (a) although the class positions of both spouses have an impact on class identification, husband's class is more important; (b) the explanatory power of wife's class does not appear to depend on gender inequality for men but does so for women; and (c) in certain situations, wife's class significantly modifies or reverses the class leanings expected on the basis of husband's position.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science