Clinging to the Past: The Air Force's War on Dual-Career Families
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL SCHOOL OF ADVANCED AIR AND SPACE STUDIES
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This study explores the challenges faced by USAF dual-career families, by which this study means one Airman and one civilian career-minded spouse. Specifically, it investigates structural and cultural incompatibilities between the Air Force family schema conceptions of, and practices relating to, USAF families. The study combines existing research on stress and work-family conflict with new primary research on current USAF dual-career families in the form of a case study and focus group. The research suggests that, via its organizational and social cultures, the Air Force is biased against dual-career families, a bias that negatively affects Air Force spouses, families, Airmen, and the Air Force workforce. When one combines these negative effects with the growing proportion of dual-career families and evolving gender roles, it generates a need for the Air Force to modernize its family schema. There are many existing efforts to improve the employment situation for military spouses, but as the research shows, increasing employment opportunities is only one part of improving the career outlook for military spouses. The author makes a number of recommendations including reducing the hypermobility of Airman, updating anachronistic outdated practices, and conducting further research on the scope and scale of the problem.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Military Forces and Organizations