Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Spousal Social Capital

Today, after reading/editing/commenting on the fifth of the papers my husband has written this year, I realized what a benefit it is to him to have a sociologist for a wife (and for me to have a sociologist for a husband, of course ; ).

Not only can we assess the quality of each other's arguments, in addition to the regular editing tasks (watching for logical organization, comma splices, etc.), but having each other as spouses mean that we have an automatic confidant in the workplace.*

With only my own experience to go on, I'm prepared to say that our mutual career is an incredible asset professionally. And I'm wondering if such "spousal social capital" in the workplace will only become more common as more women have entered, and continue to enter, the workforce.

*Of course, this benefit has also sometimes taken the form of a curse. I remember a specific time period (around completing my dissertation), when I tried to forbid the discussion of sociology outside our department. Not only did this not work very well at all, it caused a bit of friction, since both of our identities are highly tied to being a sociologist, and of course you want to share important things with your spouse. Good times!

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