Over the last few decades, families in many highly developed nations (such as Great Britain) have been held together by grandparents. Yet as single motherhood spreads into this generation, extended families without men or work are becoming more common. The proportion of single mothers with daughters who are also state-dependent single mothers is growing. The British underclass has arrived. Women who can see this happening around them, and understand its roots, are the ones most able to revive traditional values, but policymakers are looking the other way. This fuels alienation from mainstream political parties.

What Women Want argues that sociology and social policy in Britain have failed to recognize how women's orientation to paid work and a career remains different from men's. Most women now have paid jobs, but the happiest are those working only part time, with plenty of time to enjoy motherhood and being a homemaker. A revised sexual division of labor has emerged; and the author argues that denial of this in Britain may be contributing to the breakdown of family life.

A working male partner is a major factor in making women happy. The least content are single mothers dependent on state welfare who know that the state expects them to repay its support by becoming full-time workers when their children reach a certain age. Many single mothers may be victims of policies prioritizing work for women. Single motherhood has grown alongside male male breadwinners. This is a new edition of a book previously distributed only in the United Kingdom.

chapter 1|34 pages

A Woman’s Work

ByGeoff Dench, Geoff Dench

chapter 2|34 pages

The Value of a Male Partner

ByGeoff Dench

chapter 3|40 pages

Wider Family Ties – and Grandparents

ByGeoff Dench

chapter 4|36 pages

Representing Women

ByGeoff Dench