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Work and Family as Interdependent InstitutionsMost of early society was formed by hunters and gatherers whose work was to forage, hunt, and make shelter for subsistence (Volti, 2012). Population remained small overall as nomadic groups worked to gather and hunt for food. During the Agricultural Revolution work switched from wandering and foraging for food to staying in one location and cultivating food, and there was the ability for
population to grow since work life became more stable (Volti, 2012). Preindustrial work was not split into public and private domains, but rather family and work was blended; each family member workedto make food and shelter, take care of the young and old, and the like. In the 1800s, the Industrial Revolution changed the ways in which people worked and created families. When agricultural workers moved in large numbers to cities to work in factories, this caused urban areas to expand in population (Volti, 2012). There was no longer a need for large families to work together, and the characteristics of work and family life detached compared to preindustrial times. Not only have work and family life become separate, work/life balance is a goal that today's workforcestrives for. For instance, industrialization brought on long working hours for employees, and as technologies increased, the common thought was that productivity hours would decrease; that has not been realized as the average work hours are still close to 40 hours per week in the U.S. (Sweet & Meiksins, 2017). Now families with dual earners who commute to work often have competing roles between work and family life.You can see from this example how the institutions of work and family have been intertwined throughout history. It is also clear that social institutions change over the long run and that they work together, whereas change to one institution influences other institutions as well. Other examples of this include the American health care system, where government, private insurance and providers, and employment have all had an impact on health and medicine costs and access. Population growth, aging, and technology also influence medicine and other institutions. Think about how changes on the cultural and societal level can impact the social institutions and individuals that make up the social structure. Q6.2 changing institutions question Olivia is married and has two children. She works full-time and struggles to get off of work early to make it to her kids' school play. She also often runs late coming home due to commuting traffic, which cuts into her time to spend with family. Olivia and her husband share household duties, but she finds that they often have to catch up with house cleaning and upkeep on the weekends due to their work schedules.