Materials for Teaching, Research and Policy Making



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KEY WORDS: Employment Changes; Contracts; Coal; Mining Industry; Privatization; United Kingdom; Changes in Paid Work.

Yu, W.-h. (2002). Jobs for mothers: Married women's labor force reentry and part-time, temporary employment in Japan. Sociological Forum, 17(3), 493-523.


This paper explains the increase in middle-aged women reentering the labor force in Japan and their concentration in part-time or temporary employment. Existing explanations attribute women's concentration in part-time employment too narrowly to supply or demand factors. In Japan, both the labor supply of middle-aged women and the demand for part-time workers have increased, but these conditions channel middle-aged women into part-time or temporary employment only when systematic barriers obstruct their access to full-time jobs. Because it plays an important role in women's employment decisions, the rigidity of standard, full-time employment needs greater attention in studies of nonstandard, atypical types of work.
KEY WORDS: Japan; Part Time Employment; Working Women; Middle-Aged Adults; Labor Supply; Labor Force Participation; Sexual Inequality; Changes in Paid Work.



Section 2.4

Changes in Household Work



Alemani, C. (2004). Domestic workers: Their female employers' anxieties and desires. Polis, 18(1), 137-164.


Drawing on the results of research carried out in Milan and focusing on women's productive and reproductive work in Italy, family transformation, organization of social services, and migration from Eastern Europe & the South, this paper attempts to answer the following questions: Is it simply a meeting between "rich" women working away from home & "poor" women driven back into homes to perform low status tasks? Or can women open a dialogue, since they are all familiar with & suffer from the harshness, difficulties, & contradictions of the labor market? Can cultural & social aphasia about care work transform itself into the challenge of building gender solidarity?
KEY WORDS: Domestics; Immigrants; Italy; Housework; Childrearing Practices; Sexual Division of Labor; Women's Roles; Sex Roles; Working Women.

Alenezi, M., & Walden, M. L. (2004). A new look at husbands' and wives' time allocation. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 38(1), 81-106.


Using 13 years of data from the Panel Survey of Income Dynamics, this paper addresses the direct estimation of effects on time allocation from changes in the prices of market-produced goods and input goods in household production. While many limitations in earlier studies are addressed, numerous findings of earlier studies are reconfirmed. The article concludes that husbands and wives respond alike in their time allocations to changes in input goods prices, but their responses vary to the changes in market goods prices.
KEY WORDS: Household Management; Husbands; Time Management; Wives; Behavioral Economics; Time.

Anxo, D. (2003). The sexual division of tasks. The French and Swedish experiences. Futuribles, 285, 33-40.


This article presents a comparative study of the sexual distribution of time use (professional, domestic, parental) in France and Sweden. The author argue that, even with some changes in recent years, in both countries the division of tasks still has a strong sexual bias, with women spending more time than men on domestic activities and parenting. Nevertheless, Swedish couples appear to be more egalitarian in the sharing of tasks than their French counterparts. The Swedish employment policy, which allows for a "negotiated flexibility" throughout the life cycle, as well as child care arrangements for infants is a plays a key role in this phenomenon. This advantage of Sweden over France regarding the sexual division of activities is also linked to the high level of education and salaries of females in Sweden: total household income and wide differentials in pay scales between men and women heighten the inequalities in this area. The article concludes by suggesting some ways of reducing the highly unequal division of labor between the sexes.
KEY WORDS: Sexual Division of Labor; Housework; Childrearing Practices; Labor Policy; Sexual Inequality; France; Sweden; Socioeconomic Factors; Sociodemographic Factors; Household Work.

Apparala, M. L., Reifman, A., & Munsch, J. (2003). Cross-national comparison of attitudes toward fathers' and mothers' participation in household tasks and childcare. Sex Roles, 48(5-6), 189-203.


Data from the Euro-barometer surveys, including over 10,000 respondents from 13 European countries, were used to explore attitudes toward the division of fathers' and mothers' participation in child care /household tasks through a multilevel modeling approach. This article reports respondent attitudes related to several individual- and macrolevel factors. At the individual level, it was determined that respondents were most likely to hold egalitarian attitudes toward household work and child care when they were younger, female, and politically liberal. At the macrolevel, countries' United Nations ratings on women's empowerment, Gross National Product, and cultural individualism were related to egalitarian attitudes. The article concludes with suggestions for future research.
KEY WORDS: Mothers; Fathers; Sexual Division of Labor; Housework; Childrearing Practices; Sex Role Attitudes; Europe; Crosscultural Analysis; Household Work.

Appelbaum, E., Bailey, T., Berg, P., & Kalleberg, A. (2002). Shared work, valued care: New norms for organizing market work and unpaid care work. Washington. DC: Economic Policy Institute.


Until the 1970s, social norms dictated that women provided care for their families and men were employed for pay. The rapid increase in paid work for women has resulted in an untenable model of work and care in which all employees are assumed to be unencumbered with family responsibilities and women who care for their families are dismissed as 'just housewives'. a review of practices in Australia, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands and Sweden (based on interviews with government officials, academics, managers, employees and representatives of unions and employers' associations) suggested new ways for work and care responsibilities to be reorganized. A new "shared work valued care" model might structure behavior by tempering employers' demands and shaping the aspirations of workers. 'Shared work' means sharing good jobs through reduced hours, flexible hours, job sharing and sharing care duties between men and women; 'valued care' encompasses flexible scheduling and making day and elder care a public-private responsibility. Policies that are needed in the United states to facilitate such as change include: (1) hours-of-work legislation; (2) adjustment-of-hours legislation (3) equal opportunity and non-discrimination; (4) sharing of the cost of care; (5) untying of benefits from individual employers; and (6) updating of income security protections.
KEY WORDS: Adult Day Care; Behavior Standards; Caregivers; Child Dare; Employed Women; Employer Employee Relationship; Employment Opportunities; Employment Practices; Family Caregivers; Family Role; Flexible Working Hours; Foreign Countries; Fringe Benefits; Government Role; Homemakers; Males; Occupational Aspiration; Policy Formation; Public Policy; Quality of Life; Sex Role; Social Behavior; Social Services; Sociocultural Patterns; Work Environment; Australia; Germany; Italy; Japan; Netherlands; Household Work.

Arai, A. B. (2000). Self-employment as a response to the double day for women and men in Canada. La Revue Canadienne de Sociologie et d'Anthropologie/The Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, 37(2), 125-142.


Despite recent increases in domestic work by men, most household work is still performed by women. Women's duties range from child care, cleaning, & cooking to shopping, financial management, domestic discipline, & counseling. Yet many of these women also have paid jobs. Data from Statistics Canada's Survey of Work Arrangements (N = 11,828 female & 13,766 male respondents) shows that some women are turning to self-employment as a way of coping with conflicts between family and work. However, the same is not true for men.
KEY WORDS: Self Employment; Canada; Working Women; Working Men; Housework; Family-Work Relationship; Sexual Division of Labor; Household Work.

Arrighi, B. A., & Maume, D. J., Jr. (2000). Workplace subordination and men's avoidance of housework. Journal of Family Issues, 21(4), 464-487.


Increasingly, scholars argue that men's reluctance to do family work is because they associate it with "women's work" & thus a threat to their masculinity. This idea is extended by considering the link between challenges to men's identities in the workplace & their behavior in the home. Data from the 1980 Class Structure & Class Consciousness Survey for 385 US adults indicate that the extent of men's workplace subordination was negatively related to their performance of "feminine" tasks in the home. Moreover, this relationship was stronger in families in which wives' earnings approached those of their husbands. Theoretical implications are discussed, & a call is made for more longitudinal studies to understand the complex & evolving relationship between work & family.
KEY WORDS: Housework; Sexual Division of Labor; Masculinity; Family-Work Relationship; Family Power; Sex Role Identity; Sex Role Attitudes; Subordination; Working Men; United States of America; Working Women; Dual Career Family; Social Power; Household Work.

Artis, J. E., & Pavalko, E. K. (2003). Explaining the decline in women's household labor: Individual change and cohort differences. Journal of Marriage and Family, 65(3), 746-761.


Women's hours of housework have declined, but does this change represent shifts in the behavior of individuals or differences across cohorts? Using data from the National Longitudinal Surveys, individual & cohort change in housework are examined over a 13-year period. Responsibility for household tasks declined 10% from 1974/75 to 1987/88. For individual women, changes in housework are associated with life course shifts in time availability as well as with changes in gender attitudes & marital status, but are not related to changes in relative earnings. Cohort differences exist in responsibility for housework in the mid-1970s & they persist over the 13-year period. Overall, these findings suggest that aggregate changes in women's household labor reflect both individual change & cohort differences.
KEY WORDS: Females; Housework; Social Change; Generational Differences; Sexual Division of Labor; Family Roles; United States of America; Household Work.

Auer, M. (2002). The relationship between paid work and parenthood: A comparison of structures, concepts and developments in the UK and Austria. Community, Work & Family, 5(2), 203-218.


This paper investigates the consequences of these policies by focusing on working time and time away from employment, when children are very young, and relates these aspects to currently introduced and changed regulatory structures, such as working time regulations and statutory parental leave. The labor market and family policy in Austria, generally, supports the reconciliation of employment and parenthood. However, the male breadwinner model in Austrian public support structures and low normative support of employed mothers limits the work-family "system". In the UK, the cultural barriers for a more equal distribution of the duties of combining employment and parenthood seem to be lower. The market as the political focus, in general, allows more equal opportunities for (qualified) women in the labor market and within families. But the highly flexible and polarized labor market, passive public policy, and weak legal protection of employed parents creates a difficult relationship between paid work and family life. This is particularly true for many low-skilled, low-paid parents, and above all mothers. These analyses provide the basis for public policy direction that aims at reconciliation of paid work and parenthood.
KEY WORDS: Family-Work Relationship; Family Policy; Labor Policy; United Kingdom; Austria; Employment; Parenthood; Household Work.

Batalova, J. A., & Cohen, P. N. (2002). Premarital cohabitation and housework: Couples in cross-national perspective. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 64(3), 743-755.


This article examines the effect of premarital cohabitation on the division of household labor in 22 countries. Findings indicate that women do more domestic work than men in all countries. Married couples that cohabited before marriage have a more equal division of housework. Lastly, national cohabitation rates have equalizing effects on couples despite of their own cohabitation experience. However, the influence of cohabitation rates is only observed in countries with higher levels of overall gender equality. In conclusion, the trend toward increasing cohabitation may be part of a broader social movement toward a more egalitarian division of housework.
KEY WORDS: Family Roles; Single Persons; Cohabitation; Housework; Sexual Division of Labor; Opposite Sex Relations; Household Work.

Baxter, J. (2000). The joys and justice of housework. Sociology, 34(4), 609-631.


This paper explores husbands' and wives' perceptions of fairness of division of domestic labor. Data from a recent national Australian survey indicate that 59% of women report that the division of labor in the home is fair even though they also report responsibility for the bulk of the work. 68% of men report that the division of household labor is fair. Drawing on Thompson's distributive justice framework, the paper analyses the factors underlying these patterns in relation to perceptions of fairness of child care and housework. The results indicate that, for both men and women, the major factor determining perceptions of fairness is the division of tasks between men and women. The amount of time spent on domestic labor is also significant, but is less important than who does what around the home. There is insufficient support for other hypotheses relating to gender-role attitudes, time spent in paid work, and financial power. The article concludes by examining these findings with regards to the distributive justice framework and considers their implications for understanding perceptions of fairness in households.
KEY WORDS: Sexual Division of Labor; Australia; Equality; Distributive Justice; Housework; Husbands; Wives; Household Work.

Baxter, J. (2001). The links between paid and unpaid work: Australia and Sweden in the 1980s and 1990s. In J. Baxter & M. Western (Eds.), Reconfigurations of class and gender (pp. 81-104). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.


An analysis of links between paid/unpaid work in Australia and Sweden during the 1980s and 1990s builds upon 1990 research by Arne L. Kalleberg and Rachel A. Rosenfeld on the reciprocal interrelationship between the labor market and domestic work to argue that there is a zero-sum relationship between paid and domestic work. Data were obtained from a total of 3,131 surveys conducted in Australia (1986 and 1993) and Sweden (1980 and 1995) as part of the Comparative Project on Class Structure and Class Consciousness. The results showed women in both countries continued to be primarily responsible for domestic labor and changing policies had little impact on these arrangements. Men in both nations consistently spent an average of 43-46 hours/week in paid employment, but the hours Swedish women spent in paid work increased in the 1990s from 31 to 37 hours/week, while Australian women decreased their hours from 36 to 30/week. The gendered nature of the reciprocal links between paid and unpaid work is discussed, noting no significant cross-national differences.
KEY WORDS: Australia; Sweden; Labor Market; Housework; Social Class; Working Women; Labor Force Participation; Sexual Division of Labor; Household Work.

Baxter, J. (2002). Patterns of change and stability in the gender division of household labour in Australia, 1986-1997. Journal of Sociology, 38(4), 399-424.


Current research in Australia and overseas suggests that we are witnessing the convergence of domestic labor activities for men and women's time on task. Disagreement exists however as to whether this is due to women reducing their time on housework or men increasing their time on housework. Addressed are these issues using national survey data collected in Australia in 1986, 1993 & 1997. Findings show some changes in the proportional responsibilities of men and women in the home with men reporting a greater share of traditional indoor activities. But overall both men and women are spending less time on housework. In particular, women's time on housework has declined by 6 hours weekly since 1986. Hence, while the gender gap between men's & women's involvement in the home is getting smaller, it is not the result of men increasing their share of the load, but is due to the large decline in women's time spent on domestic labor. There is also evidence of change in the relationship between paid and unpaid work for women. Paid labor for women had a greater impact on their involvement in domestic labor in 1997 compared with 10 years earlier. In conclusion, women's increased labor force involvement in combination with changing patterns and styles of consumption is leading to some changes in the gender division of household labor, but not in the direction as previously anticipated.
KEY WORDS: Family Roles; Sexual Inequality; Housework; Sexual Division of Labor; Labor Force Participation; Women's Roles; Australia; Household Work.

Baxter, J. H., Belinda; Western, Mark. (2005). Post-familial families and the domestic division of labour. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 36(4), 583-600.


As a starting point, recent claims by Beck-Gernsheim (2002) that we are living in an era of "post-familial families." Beck-Gernsheim (2002) argues that our lives are no longer structured as they once were by tradition, class, religion and kin. Rather the family has become a transitional phase as people strive for fulfillment of personal goals and personal life projects. The demographic evidence to support these claims is clear in relation to changing patterns of family formation and dissolution, as well as the movement of married women into paid employment. Less evident is a decline in traditional patterns of gender stratification within families. Recent national data from Australia is used to examine the relationship between post-familial status, as indicated by marital status and employment, and time spent on housework. Findings show gender to be a clear predictor of time spent on housework, but there is evidence that gender inequality may be declining in non-traditional households.
KEY WORDS: Family Life; Sexual Division of Labor; Housework; Social Change; Sex Roles; Australia; Household Work.

Beneria, L. (1999). The enduring debate over unpaid labour. International Labour Review, 138(3), 287-309.


This paper summarizes the theoretical and practical issues related to the under-estimation of women's work in the labor force and national accounting statistics. It responds to the continuing criticism that women's efforts make no useful impact, unpaid work should not be treated the same as paid work, and efforts are misguided.
KEY WORDS: Employment Statistics; Females; Labor Force; Salary Wage; Differentials; Statistical Bias; Household Work.

Berg, C. A., Johnson, M. M. S., Meegan, S. P., & Strough, J. (2003). Collaborative problem-solving interactions in young and old married couples. Discourse Processes, 35(1), 33-58.


Explores the importance of conversational processes for understanding collaborative cognitive performance by examining interactions of married couples that facilitate performance on 2 everyday cognitive tasks. Twenty-four adults, 6 young (M age = 29.7 years) and 6 older (M = 70.8 years) married couples, completed a vacation decision-making task and an errand-running task. Couples were asked to speak as they performed the tasks and speech acts were coded as to whether they involved high-affiliation exchanges (between-partner sequences of cooperative and obliging speech acts) or low-affiliation exchanges (between-partner sequences of controlling and withdrawing speech acts). Interactions characterized by high affiliation were associated with greater use of information and the use of feature based search strategies on the decision-making task and shorter routes on the errand-running task. Open-ended interviews show the importance of division of labor and delegating during daily life collaborations. Findings illustrate the diversity present in couples' interactive patterns and approaches to collaboration. Further, the results demonstrate the potential of integrating work on collaborative cognition and conversational processes.

KEY WORDS: Conversation; Marriage Attitudes; Oral Communication; Problem Solving; Spouses; Household Work.

Bhatti, M., & Church, A. (2000). "I never promised you a rose garden": Gender, leisure and home-making. Leisure Studies, 19(3), 183-197.


This paper investigates the importance of contemporary gardens as leisure locations and argues that leisure in general, and the garden in particular, plays an important role in the process of homemaking. Consideration is given as to how the contemporary garden reflects wider social relations by examining how gender relations permeate gardens and gardening. Particularly, how gender power relations are played out in relation to the gendered meanings of gardens and the garden is highly significant in the social construction of 'home'. Findings show that there are conflicting uses and meanings of gardens.
KEY WORDS: Leisure; Sex; Gardening; Housework; Opposite Sex Relations; Social Power; Social Constructionism; Housing; Household Work.

Bianchi, S. M., Milkie, M. A., Sayer, L. C., & Robinson, J. P. (2000). Is anyone doing the housework? Trends in the gender division of household labor. Social Forces, 79, 191-228.


Time diary data from representative samples of US adults (total N = 6,740) show that the number of overall hours of domestic labor (excluding child care & shopping) has continued to decline steadily & predictably since 1965. This finding is mainly due to dramatic declines among women (both in & out of the paid labor market), who have cut their housework hours by almost 50% since the 1960s: about half of women's 12-hour-per-week decline can be accounted for by compositional shifts - such as increased labor force participation, later marriage, & fewer children. In contrast, men's housework time has almost doubled during this period (to the point where men were responsible for 33% of housework in the 1990s), & only about 15% of their five-hour-per-week increase can be attributed to compositional factors. Parallel results on gender differences in housework were obtained from the National Survey of Families & Households estimate data, even though these produce figures 50% higher than diary data. Regression results examining factors related to wives' & husbands' housework hours show more support for the time-availability & relative-resource models of household production than for the gender perspective, although there is some support for the latter perspective as well.
KEY WORDS: Sexual Division of Labor; Housework; Sex Differences; Time Utilization; Males; Females; United States of America.

Bittman, M. (2000). Now it's 2000: Trends in doing and being in the new millennium. Journal of Occupational Science, 7(3), 108-117.


This paper uses information from Australian time use surveys to examine the predictions made in 1983 by Jonathon Gershuny. Gershuny proposes that households have a hierarchy of needs & wants that they wish to satisfy. As societies get richer, they devote a smaller proportion of their national incomes to satisfying the more basic needs & a larger share to the more sophisticated, luxury categories. However, over time, there is an increasing gap in the relative market prices of durable goods & luxury final services. This means that final services bought on the market (eg, opera tickets, theater tickets, even movie tickets) become more expensive compared to the cost of producing these services at home using relatively inexpensive appliances (eg, stereo sound systems, video recorders, & so on). In other words, households turn to "self-service." On this basis, Gershuny predicts a decline in time devoted to paid work & an increase in time spent in unpaid work & in leisure consumption. Fortunately, however, time spent in unpaid work is itself reduced by the increasing productivity of domestic appliance (durables) & an increasingly equitable division of domestic labor. The net result is a society of greater leisure. This paper argues that Gershuny's predictions have gone astray because of two key weaknesses - his failure to consider the effect of labor demand on the distribution of hours of paid work & his neglect of bargaining over the domestic division of labor.

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