Relevant Degree Programs
Graduate Student Supervision
Doctoral Student Supervision (Jan 2008 - May 2021)
What actually happens on maternity leave? Leave involves long-term employment interruption but do new mothers completely trade career for caregiving? Moreover, what happens if they do? Using longitudinal interviews, this research investigates the influence of Canadian mothers’ jobs on their leave and return-to-work experiences. Intensive mothering dominates mothers’ leave experience. Successfully “doing” leave, according to gendered cultural notions of proper maternal behaviour, means mothers are responsible for the baby at all times and put babies’ needs first. However, this research finds that Canadian mothers construct their leaves in response to the pressures of both intensive mothering ideology and ideal worker norms that demand consistent career attachment. Efforts to resolve the emerging tension between caregiving and career produces a variety of leave and return-to-work approaches. Mothers’ unique job context dictates the degree to which they experience ideal worker pressure and, as a result, the extent to which they can detach from their careers. Mothers who strongly detach from their jobs are more likely to experience work anxiety, diminished professional confidence, and skill stagnation. Those remaining strongly attached experience insufficient caregiving time. Regardless of degree of work attachment, inflexible returns to full-time work increase work-family conflict, often resulting in job-specific concessions to preserve caregiving time. Mothers who cut-back on job duties or hours to preserve caregiving time may risk wage and achievement penalties after leave. In contrast, mothers integrating a moderate degree of professional activity with caregiving, both on leave and during the return-to-work transition, the report the most work-family balance. The benefits associated with moderate integration of career and caregiving are contingent upon mothers’ ability to control the nature of their career attachment. However, the extent of new mothers’ work activity is largely determined by their jobs and fathers’ participation in caregiving. As such, only some have the opportunity to challenge intensive mothering after childbirth, should they require an alternative work-family approach.
Master's Student Supervision (2010 - 2020)
High hazard work sectors are often male-dominated, and can have occupational cultures that impede following safety regulations. Many of these sectors, such as the skilled trades, have cultures that align with conventional masculine norms. The existing literature suggests that workers in these fields often experience safety compliance measures as conflicting with this normative culture, and this can lead to increased risk taking. It has also been found that organizational attitudes towards safety in the workplace individualize these issues, rather than considering a widespread lack of compliance as a symptom of underlying social issues. This research project used a case study approach to evaluate risk taking and organizational approaches to safety at the male-dominated organization, WestTech. Using both quantitative and qualitative accident reports, I found that risk taking and accidents vary by occupational sector; however, this was not addressed in WestTech's conclusions or safety recommendations. The relatively new accident investigation model, “Curtailing Accidents by Managing Social Capital” (CAMSoc), is discussed and employed to evaluate how the inclusion of social factors can help to better scrutinize the role of these underlying issues and how they contribute to negative safety outcomes.
Infidelity is often cited as the leading cause of marital dissolution. Moreover, previous research has focused on gender differences, relationship variables and other variables, such as religion and employment without establishing a comprehensive theoretical framework. To the extent that theories are established, they focus on the inherent differences between men and women. It is theorized that women and men approach infidelity differently due to different mating strategies. Men are more likely to commit adultery than women because they engage in short-term mating with multiple partners. Women, on the other hand, engage in long term mating and when they do have affairs, they are emotionally involved. However, current estimates of infidelity range from one to six percent and indicate that the vast majority of individuals do not approve of nor engage in extramarital sex. I argue that social institutions such as marriage, religion, and work inform both behaviour and attitudes regarding infidelity. These institutions establish norms and conventions, which also influence aspects of sex including infidelity. As such, the current study examines whether attitudes and behaviours regarding infidelity can be explained as the result of inherent differences between men and women or whether social institutions also play a role.