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Korinek, Kim M. (2004). Maternal Employment during Northern Vietnam's Era of Market Reform. Social Forces, 83(2), 791-822.


This research explores the relationship between family structure and maternal employment in Vietnam's Red River Delta, a region experiencing economic development and market transition. Analyses of work intensity, measured as working hours and multiple jobholding, demonstrate that women, including mothers of infants and pre-schoolers, persistently work at high levels of intensity. Work intensity is especially high among women raising teenage children, due to demands for education and other resources exerted upon parents. The findings suggest a reframing of the 'role compatibility' thesis that has guided research on maternal employment. Women's employment is a foremost response to financial pressures in poor households; it is central to the maternal role and even more salient than care work and supervision in contexts featuring diverse, alternative forms of childcare.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Social Forces


Korinek, Kim M.