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Work-family balance : subtitle rethinking the rights and responsibilities of Canadian social citizenship 2002

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WORK-FAMILY BALANCE: R E T H I N K I N G T H E R I G H T S A N D R E S P O N S I B I L I T I E S O F C A N A D I A N S O C I A L C I T I Z E N S H I P B Y P A U L W . K E R S H A W B . A . , M C G I L L UNIVERSITY, 1997 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL F U L F I L M E N T OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF D O C T O R OF PHILOSOPHY IN T H E F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES INDIVIDUAL INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES G R A D U A T E P R O G R A M (POLITICAL SCIENCE, L A W A N D E C O N O M I C S ) WE ACCEPT THIS THESIS AS CONFORMING TO THE REQUIRED STANDARD T H E UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH C O L U M B I A J U L Y 2 0 0 2 © P A U L W . K E R S H A W , 2 0 0 2 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of //Ufr / t/mgrfz_ /A)/&r?7jj<r^/si)rfi>r Y (n^/^C/^S <£h/&/^ The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date Atfat/<>r /S~ DE-6 (2/88) A B S T R A C T The work of T.H. Marshall teaches that citizenship is inadequately theorized i f only its formal legal dimension is appreciated. Equality before the law does not guarantee all persons the ability to benefit from legal entitlements since unequal social and economic conditions limit for some the opportunities to exercise their civil and political liberties. Full citizenship status therefore rests critically on what Marshall termed citizenship's "social element," which is concerned with the socio-economic resources and opportunities that are preconditions for dignified inclusion. The development of the social element of citizenship in Canada following World War II is the subject of this dissertation. I argue that the central problem in fulfilling the promise of social citizenship is the failure of the welfare state to integrate adequately in institutional form citizenry aspirations and obligations associated with unpaid caregiving. The remedy to this problem rests on incorporating care into the meaning of citizenship by enhancing public commitments to facilitate work-family balance for citizens regardless of sex, race, class and other differences. New commitments to work-family balance would institutionalize an understanding of social inclusion that values the provision of care in one's network of domestic relations on par with participation in the marketplace and political arena. The necessary institutional reordering would ensure that public policy no longer distorts how unpaid caregiving is a civic virtue on which the sustainability of market and state practices relies by systemically disobliging men to care. Nor would policy continue to obfuscate the barriers to full community membership that the patriarchal division of care labour presents for diverse groups of women. The dissertation defends four key policy changes: (i) a revised parental leave system that would reserve some benefits exclusively for fathers; (ii) universal child care; (iii) revised employment standards that would enforce shorter full-time paid work norms; and (iv) a restructured Caregiver tax credit to replace the current Spousal credit. I argue that these changes can mitigate key sources of gender inequality, as well as partially address declining real male wages and the resultant rising poverty among families with young children, earnings inequality and persistent levels of high un(der)employment. i i T A B L E OF CONTENTS Abstract i i Table of Contents iii List of Tables..... v Acknowledgments vi Dedication vii Chapter 1: Introduction 1 1. The post-war model of social citizenship 5 2. Neoconservative restructuring dismantled and replaced the post-war welfare regime 11 3. Feminist, neoconservative and other literature on social citizenship 19 4. The scope of the dissertation 35 5. Dissertation overview 38 Parti : 41 Chapter 2: Social Citizenship - The Dominant Post-War Paradigm 42 1. Marshall on the social rights of citizenship 46 2. Rawls's on full membership in society 56 3. The dominant post-war construction of social citizenship 66 Chapter 3: Feminist Critiques of the Post-War Welfare Regime 88 1. The dominant post-war ideology of 'citizen-mothers' 91 2. The race and class underpinnings of post-war motherhood ideology 104 3. The post-war regime institutionalized an inadequate understanding of domesticity 112 4. The impact of feminist critiques on post-war restructuring 116 Chapter 4: Neoconservative Critiques of Post-War Welfarism 124 1. Neoconservative state restructuring 128 2. The social conservative critique of post-war welfare 135 3. Economic conservative critiques of post-war welfare dominated state restructuring 145 4. The divide between economic conservatism and third way politics 158 Partn 174 Chapter 5: The Post-Industrial Transition 175 1. Structural unemployment 180 2. Wage conditioning 191 3. Polarization in the distribution of paid work time 196 Chapter 6: The Post-Traditional Familial Transition 220 1. The individual responsibility model of the family 223 2. The neoliberal model of social citizenship is androcentric 227 3. The hegemony of the female caregiver model 229 4. Costs imposed by the patriarchal division of care labour in unpaid contexts 234 5. Costs imposed by the patriarchal division of care labour in market contexts 246 6. Returning to a gender-differentiated model of citizenship is not a remedy 255 iii Part EI 261 Chapter 7: Work-Family Balance: Integrating Care into a New Conceptual Framework for Social Citizenship 262 1. The dialogical character of agency 266 2. Work-family balance captures in policy the nuances of the dialogical thesis 276 Chapter 8: The Politics of Time 295 1. A policy blueprint for the new work-family balance welfare regime 297 2. Restructuring the patriarchal gender order 306 3. Broadening the analytical boundaries associated with work-family balance 322 4. Impediments to implementing in Canada policies adopted by unitary governments in social democratic and corporatist states 329 Chapter 9: Rethinking Taxation of Dependency and Caregiving 340 1. Flat taxes and 'family' taxation 343 2. The tax treatment of spousal dependency 352 3. A revised caregiver credit to replace the spousal credit 359 4. Evaluating the CCED 372 Conclusion: Work-Family Balance: A Legitimate Citizenry Expectation 385 Bibliography 396 Key Legislation Cited 425 Cases Cited 426 iv LIST OF TABLES Table 1: Polarization in Distribution of Paid Work Time 203 Table 2: The Impact of the Alliance Flat Tax for One- and Two-Earner Couples 345 Table 3: Who Gains and Who Loses from the Proposal to Replace the Spousal Credit 371 v ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I am indebted to so many people who supported me during my academic development and the production of this dissertation. Many thanks are owed to the members of my supervisory committee: Barbara Arneil, Claire Young, and Jon Kesselman at the University of British Columbia, and Kathy Teghtsoonian at the University of Victoria. My supervisors demonstrated patience, flexibility and grace working with a graduate student who did not (want to?) fit into one set of disciplinary boundaries. While their doors were always open whenever I asked for guidance, they also showed considerable trust in my ability to work independently to reconstruct a dialogue from their respective expertises. Rhodri Windsor-Liscombe's unending passion for interdisciplinarity and his commitment to students has single-handedly sustained the IISGP at UBC without which I could not have pursued the project examined in this dissertation. Although 'publish or perish' indicates the path to success in academia, my research has been fundamentally shaped by some professors who also took the time to develop superb courses. This dissertation draws significantly on what I learned from David Kahane's course "Justice and Cultural Diversity in Contemporary Canadian Political Theory, which he taught while a sessional at McGill; Susan Dwyer's course at McGill "Feminist Epistemology;" and Susan Boyd's course at UBC "Feminist Legal Theory: Key Themes and Current Debates." All three professors have a rare skill in facilitating seminars that allow students to participate regularly while ensuring the discussion develops in a coherent, productive manner. The members of my Foundations Teaching Team, particularly David Green, Kathy Harrison and John Russell, provided a weekly opportunity to examine questions of inequality in an interdisciplinary context that enriched my research for the past two years. I wish to express special thanks to David who took on the role as an unofficial economics supervisor by fielding questions regularly during the walk back to his office. The Equality, Security, Community (ESC) project provided an important scholarly community for me at UBC and I appreciate the many presenters at its colloquia and conferences whose work I draw on throughout the dissertation. The ESC project, SSHRC and UBC also provided financial support that subsidized the time necessary to complete my Ph.D. Beyond the world of academia, I am beholden to a network of family and friends too numerous to name who helped me withstand the endurance test that is a dissertation. Some relationships stand out. I am obliged to my parents, particularly my mother, who provided the financial and care resources that fostered my personal development, and I remain thankful that they all continue to contribute significantly to the dialogue that shapes my sense of self as an adult. The members of my research group, Bryn, Carol and Deb, combated the isolation of a home office by providing a regular forum to share the frustrations and rewards of graduate research. Special thanks go to Deb for helping me to interpret my dreams. Simone and Mike never failed to show genuine interest in my thesis and gave me a chance to examine ideas while relaxing over a drink. They also represent an inspiring spousal relationship that influenced my thinking about work- family balance and illuminated the importance of time rhythms. Brian is the first friend that I learned to trust unconditionally and his visits with Christine have been critical for sustaining my mental equihbrium. Finally, I know not the words (which will not surprise her) to describe the debt I owe my partner Andrea. I marvel at her strength of will, which fuels my own, as well as the subtlety of her intellect that iUuminates the nuances of scholarly texts and, more importantly, my lived experience. No other person's writing or thinking has factored more prominently in shaping my own, in part because she helped me understand that "it's in the details." vi DEDICATION For my grandmothers. vii CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Citizenship articulates the terms of belonging in a society. It distinguishes who is and who is not a full member of the community and defines the entitlements and obligations that accompany membership. Major social institutions such as the constitution and the principal economic and social arrangements in a society engender and enforce citizenry rights and responsibilities that regulate individual participation in domestic, market, civic and political spheres while also setting constraints on state power (Jenson 1997, 628; Marshall 1964, 71-72; Rawls 1971, 7). The work of T.H. Marshall (1964, 65-122) following World War II teaches that citizenship is inadequately theorized i f only its formal legal dimension is appreciated. The capacity to participate fully in society and to affect its political decisions is not simply a question of the range of political and civil rights that empower members. Equality before the law does not guarantee all persons the practical ability to invoke and benefit from legal entitlements since unequal social and economic conditions limit for some the opportunities to exercise their civil and political liberties (ibid., 88).1 Full community membership therefore also rests critically on what Marshall (ibid., 72) termed the "social element" of citizenship that is concerned with the social and economic resources and opportunities that are preconditions for dignified inclusion and the pursuit of self-selected commitments. Recognition of the social dimension of citizenship implies that extension of full membership status to historically excluded groups is a socio- 1 For instance, Marshall (1964, 88) argues that: civil rights... confer [only] the legal capacity to strive for things one would like to possess but do not guarantee the possession of any of them. A property right is not a right to possess property, but a right to acquire it, i f you can, and to protect it, i f you can get it. But, i f you... explain to a pauper that his property rights are the same as those of a millionaire, he will probably accuse you of quibbling. Similarly, the right to freedom of speech has little real substance, i f from lack of education, you have nothing to say that is worth saying, and no means of making yourself heard i f you say it. But these blatant inequalities are not due to defects in civil rights, but to lack of social rights. 1 economic process in addition to a political-legal one. The state contributes to this socio- economic process by exercising public authority to shape market, family and other community practices to mediate the distribution of opportunities and resources (ibid.; Rawls 1971, 7). The years immediately following the Second World War witnessed substantial strengthening of the commitment to the social dimension of citizenship demonstrated by Western nation-states. Internationally, the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights2 recognized economic, social and cultural rights. For instance, Article 22 establishes that everyone as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international cooperation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his [sic] dignity and the free development of his [sic] personality. Schabas (2000, 190) summarizes the five Articles that follow in the Declaration, which identify in greater detail: the rights to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work, to protection against unemployment, to equal pay for equal work, to just and favourable remuneration, to other means of social protection, to form and to join trade unions, to rest and leisure, to reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay, to an adequate standard of living including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood, to free and compulsory education, and to participation in the cultural life of the community and to enjoyment of the arts. This international effort to acknowledge and protect citizenship's social element was consistent with domestic trends throughout Western capitalist nations, which saw the introduction and expansion of state institutions predominantly concerned to foster and redistribute social well-being. These developments built upon the work of Marshall and other contemporaries such as Beveridge (1942) in Britain and Marsh (1975/1943) in Canada who defended the position that citizenship must entail social as well as civil and political rights. In this dissertation I focus on the development of Canada's commitment to social citizenship following World War II, although the analysis is also germane to other liberal welfare regimes 2 G A Res. 217 (III), U N GAOR, 3d Sess., Supp. No. 13, U N Doc. A/810 (1948) 71. 2 identified by Esping-Anderson (1990, 26-27) including the United States, Australia and Great Britain. The principal thesis of the dissertation is that the central problem in fulfilling the promise of social citizenship since the Second World War is the failure of the welfare state to integrate adequately in institutional form citizenry aspirations and obligations associated with informal, unpaid caregiving. While the problem was first constructed by social policy in the three decades immediately following World War II, the dissertation is primarily concerned with the contemporary welfare state and engages with factors that contributed to state restructuring in Canada since 1980 to guide its investigations. In the current context, the remedy to the central problem addressed in this dissertation rests on incorporating care into the meaning of citizenship by enhancing public commitments to facilitate work-family balance for all citizens regardless of sex, race, class and other differences. New commitments to work-family balance would institutionalize an understanding of dignified social inclusion that values the provision and receipt of care in one's network of domestic relations on par with participation in the marketplace and political arena, reorganizing arrangements between the state, market and family accordingly. The necessary institutional reordering would ensure that policy in Canada no longer overlooks how care performed in the domestic sphere can express a commitment to relationships that form the basis for any sense of family and community belonging. Nor would the welfare state continue to distort how unpaid caregiving is a civic virtue on which the sustainability of market and public policy relies by systemically disobliging men to care, while obfuscating the barriers to full social membership that the patriarchal division of care labour presents for diverse groups of women. 3 The analytical approach in this dissertation is interdisciplinary, an approach that is suggested by the nature of social citizenship. Institutionalization of this dimension of citizenship in the early post-war era represented the political appropriation of insights from moral theory. I therefore draw on the works of moral philosophers and political and social theorists to discern some of the motivations underlying post-war social citizenship commitments, and I return to their work when developing the theoretical underpinnings of an alternative citizenship framework that integrates care into its meaning. As the embodiment of theory, social citizenship practices are constituted in part by the ideological, social, economic and political realities of the day, rendering research by economists, political scientists, sociologists and others relevant for interpreting the cultural deployment of moral theory in public institutions in the decades following World War II. Insofar as social citizenship entitlements are instantiated by a broad range of policies, the social element of citizenship is also the domain of legal scholars and policy analysts across academic disciplines. For this reason, I rely on the expertise of legal and policy scholars who employ a range of intellectual frameworks to explore some of the labour market, family, social service and taxation policy consequences implied by the alternative blueprint for social citizenship that I develop. Capitalizing on this interdisciplinary approach, I defend the central thesis of the dissertation by advancing three arguments. First, the early post-war era created a new model of citizenship across the country, organizing major social institutions around a stronger, but still limited, appreciation for the social and economic preconditions of full community membership. The post-war citizenship regime was inadequate due to its androcentrism and its failure to acknowledge fully the welfare potential of the domestic sphere and labour market. These inadequacies were exacerbated over time by post-industrial and post-traditional structural shifts. 4 Second, neoconservative restructuring since roughly 1980 has generated a new citizenship regime. This regime offers a number of important insights into social citizenship, but it is ultimately an impoverished alternative to the post-war model for several reasons, including that it re-institutionalizes an androcentric policy orientation. Third, select points of convergence between some feminist and neoconservative critiques of the post-war welfare state suggest that work-family balance is a sufficiently broad analytic concept on which to develop an alternative framework for social citizenship better suited to the particular needs of the present post- industrial, post-traditional social and economic context.3 The alternative would capitalize on the strengths of the post-war and neoconservative models while also addressing aspects of social security, equality and community membership that these models neglect. The most critical change implied by a work-family balance framework would be a heightened appreciation for the importance of caregiving for social citizenship to supplement and counterbalance the renewed concern for the welfare potential of market participation emphasized by economic conservatism. 1. The Post-War Model of Social Citizenship Canada had little formal poverty relief before the First World War. Baker (1995, 82) reports that a cultural commitment to the 'protestant work ethic' meant citizens were generally expected to be self-reliant and "protected from poverty by their own thrift and hard work, [or] by other family members." Prior to the 1920s, impoverished individuals with no familial relations 3 The multiplicity of identities and differences among women has produced a range of feminist literature that develops various distinct analytical frameworks. This diversity means extensive use of the term 'feminism' as an analytical category risks wrongly suggesting that there is one unified 'feminist' agenda. A similar problem arises for the term 'neoconservatism' given that stark differences divide some social conservatives and economic conservatives (or neoliberals). This dissertation by no means intends to imply unity where it does not exist as I endeavour to put in dialogue feminist and neoconservative positions. While the language of 'feminism' and 'neoconservatism' is retained throughout the thesis for the purpose of making broad distinctions, it is supplemented by careful attention to different intra-group positions. In particular, I examine distinctions between feminists that reflect class and ethnic differences, particularly as they manifest in three strands of feminist literature associated with the works of Gilligan (1982), Pateman (1988) and Collins (1990; 1994) respectively. In terms of my analysis of neoconservatism, I retain the now common distinction between economic and social conservatives, highlighting where relevant the political ascendancy of the former over the latter. 5 on which to fall back could approach their municipalities for financial aid, which in turn typically directed claimants to charitable and religious organizations. Application for this municipal assistance was often demeaning, socially portrayed as an admission of personal failure (Baker and Phipps 1997, 155). Following the First World War, the growing voice of labour accompanied religious and charitable groups in lobbying for new social assistance programs in response to the experiences of disability, widowhood and unemployment. The intense levels of poverty endured during the Depression further cemented demands for reform (Baker 1995, 83). Federal and provincial governments responded in the 1920s and 30s by drafting a collection of piecemeal legislation that retained elements of the English Poor Laws of 1834 by providing means-tested cash benefits for individuals that distinguished between the 'deserving' and 'undeserving' poor (Baker and Phipps 1997, 155; Beaujot 2000, 219; O'Connor, Orloff and Shaver 1999, 47-48). This classification system disqualified many able-bodied citizens as eligible assistance recipients on the grounds that market-based solutions were attainable to them. Esping-Anderson (1990, 42) explains that the distinction between 'deserving' and 'undeserving' reflected the concern that extending social rights to guarantee a moderate income for all would foster, rather than combat, unemployment and poverty by undermining labour market incentives. Policy makers also feared that overly generous social protection would generate "moral corruption, thriftlessness, idleness and drunkenness" (ibid.), as well as disempower families that were perceived as the most adept source of social security. Accordingly, state intervention in the inter-war years was reserved for situations in which families could no longer cope, providing a social safety net of last resort. By the end of the Second World War, the stage was set in Canada for a new, more robust, paradigm of social welfare. The Depression posed a profound crisis for laissez faire liberalism, 6 undermining faith in the tenet that a relatively unregulated market could provide employment to all who sought paid work. The wartime effort in turn laid the foundation for an alternative direction in welfare state development both in Canada and internationally. The state's role in organizing the economic activity that financed military victory was perceived as further refutation of classical economic doctrines that downplayed the need for, and ability of, governments to macro-manage national economies (McBride and Shields 1997, 35). The unprecedented levels of public expenditure and taxation required by the Second World War effort also helped to create a new "popular fiscal tolerance for the post-war decades," while wage controls implemented by governments moved businesses to offer more generous fringe benefit packages that set in motion revised expectations among unions in years to follow (Esping- Anderson 1990, 100). These wartime experiences facilitated the re-conceptualization of state welfare along two axes. Rather than charity, welfare programming was increasingly sanctioned by popular and elite opinion as economic stabilizers and as citizenship entitlements. On one hand, the research of Keynes advocated social spending to function as counter-cyclical fiscal measures to sustain stable levels of aggregate demand during downturns in the business cycle and to complement wage constraint initiatives designed to defend against low corporate profitability and high inflation (Baker 1995, 128; Baker and Phipps 1997, 145; Esping-Anderson 1990s, 173-188; McBride and Shields 1997, 37; Pateman 1989, 198; Ursel 1992, 195). On the other hand, the classical liberal concern with individual freedom was supplemented by a 'new liberal' appreciation for the social circumstances that condition individual choices - the social element of citizenship. Poverty, particularly among the elderly, was increasingly seen as an outcome of social and economic processes, as opposed to the result of personal failure alone. The social 7 policy paradigm characterized by the deterrent factor of the Poor Laws tradition was therefore demoted in favour of a new paradigm articulated by Marsh (1975/1943) that reflected the position that citizenship rights should not only guarantee negative freedoms, but also a set of opportunities that facilitate social inclusion. The evolution of the concept of positive rights lent credence to the position that equal citizenship demands the institutionalization of public social protections to enhance citizens' civil and political status when poverty would otherwise leave them bereft of the resources necessary for social, cultural and political integration (O'Connor, Orloff and Shaver 1999, 50). The need to guarantee various social protections was reinforced by wartime studies reporting that only 44 percent of families of wage earners (other than those who earned a living from agriculture) had sufficient income to secure a nutritionally adequate diet during the booming economy with full employment (Stroik and Jenson 1999, 66). The post-war paradigm shift in social welfare unfolded during a twenty-five year period of rapid economic growth and rising wages (Stroik and Jenson 1999, 66). Bolstered by a sense that the country could afford to expand its public sphere strategically, the state introduced a number of policy innovations to supplement its existing residual social assistance services. Much of the new programming was universal, rendering it less stigmatizing than pre-war state intervention. In 1941, following a Constitutional amendment granting the federal government jurisdiction, Ottawa implemented the Unemployment Insurance Act (S.C. 1940, c. 44). In 1944, the federal government introduced The Family Allowances Act (1944, S.C. 1944, c. 40). By 1951, the formerly targeted Old Age Pension Act of 1927 was replaced by an enriched and universal Old Age Security Act (S.C. 1951, c. 18; hereafter OAS). In the mid-1960s, the federal government implemented a national Medical Care Act (S.C. 1966-67, c. 64) and a new earnings- related public pension plan, the Canada Pension Plan (S.C. 1964-65, c. 51; hereafter CPP). 8 The universality of the new family allowance, OAS and Medicare systems marked a dramatic departure from the stigmatized social interventions of the pre-war era, as did the contributory character of unemployment benefits and CPP that distinguished them from targeted 'relief or 'charity'. While these pan-Canadian programs never perfectly delivered on post-war promises of economic security for all citizens, they nonetheless signaled the emergence of a tacit national consensus to expand citizenship entitlements to include social rights that individuals hold by virtue of their common legal position as citizens, rather than their class, region or status. Principal among new post-war entitlements was a citizen's right to draw upon state services and resources for the purpose of satisfying basic personal needs, especially when private mechanisms failed (Brodie 1995,39). The institutional entrenchment of social citizenship in the Canadian welfare state marked a significant breakthrough in the pursuit of equality domestically, particularly in terms of mitigating the effects of income inequality for social inclusion. But the new policy framework was also limited on several fronts. As I discuss below, neoconservatives criticize that post-war welfarism overemphasizes rights at the expense of obligations, as well as the capacity for the state to foster well-being at the expense of the welfare potential of the labour market and private households. In addition, feminists such as Ursel (1992) Leira (1992) Orloff (1993a) and Pateman (1989, 179-209) reveal that the post-war welfare model failed to integrate and value caregiving as it institutionalized a new commitment to social citizenship. Although the centrality of caregiving to welfare provision renders this inadequacy somewhat ironic, the failure reflects the cultural context of the times. Patriarchal expectations of public and private work inclined early theorists of citizenship and post-war policy makers to prioritize inclusion in democratic processes and the labour force as principal criteria for full membership in society, while drafting 9 policy that presumed white, economically advantaged men would be the primary actors in these public domains. This construction of social integration obscured and reinforced the gender, race and class systems of social power that distribute the majority of day-to-day care labour to diverse groups of women in private households for no or little pay. As a result, much of the daily caregiving on which citizens draw to secure their welfare was bracketed from the purview of the social citizenship paradigm that emerged following the Second World War. The consequences for women's status and in