On any given night in living rooms across America, women gather for a fun girls’ night out to eat, drink, and purchase the latest products—from Amway to Mary Kay cosmetics. Beneath the party atmosphere lies a billion-dollar industry, Direct Home Sales (DHS), which is currently changing how women navigate work and family.
Drawing from numerous interviews with consultants and observations at company-sponsored events, Paid to Party takes a closer look at how DHS promises to change the way we think and feel about the struggles of balancing work and family. Offering a new approach to a flexible work model, DHS companies tell women they can, in fact, have it all and not feel guilty. In DHS, work time is not measured by the hands of the clock, but by the emotional fulfillment and fun it brings.
In addition to its well-crafted analysis of direct home sales, this book insightfully explores the role of emotion in the social construction of time.'
With exemplary methods, compelling data, and sophisticated analysis, this revealing study shows us how the temporal and emotional dynamics of work and family reproduce traditional gender roles.
JAMIE L. MULLANEY is an associate professor of sociology at Goucher College. She is the author of Everyone Is NOT Doing It: Abstinence and Personal Identity.
JANET HINSON SHOPE is a professor of sociology and the associate dean for faculty affairs at Goucher College.
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