Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Liberal Studies

First Advisor

Joseph Entin

Subject Categories

American Studies


This paper is about three things, as examined over the course of the 1970s: the changes in the state and dependability of work, the pressures of masculinity as felt by heterosexual white men over the age of 20 in the working and middle classes, and what occurred because of the relationship between work and that masculinity. To understand 3 the third, it is necessary to understand the first two, and what happened in both cases during the decade. Even disregarding the male-female dynamic in the increase in women at work, the state of employment changed in massive and permanent ways. Discussing work in combination with masculinity and expected social roles makes it more interesting because of the association between men and breadwinning, which was a key aspect of the male sex role predominant at the time. The discussion of these sex role assumptions led to the establishment of the men’s liberation movement, whose middle- and upper-middle-class members examined the pressures they felt to be the sole earner for their families while their wives began to push for change.



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