Materials for Teaching, Research and Policy Making

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KEY WORDS: Domestics; Child Care Services; Immigrants; Mothers; Latin American Cultural Groups; United States of America; Housework; International Division of Labor; Caribbean Cultural Groups; Household Work.

Hook, J. L. (2006). Care in context: Men's unpaid work in 20 countries, 1965-2003. American Sociological Review, 71(4), 639-660.

This study examines men's unpaid household and child care work in 20 countries, within the context of their country and over a time span of 28 years. The author conceptualizes the national context as including women's employment practices and work/family policies that combine to shape the effects on men's unpaid work behaviours. The author finds that men's unpaid work increases with levels of women's employment. The effect of children on men's unpaid work time depends on women's employment hours and public policies such as the length of available parental leave as well as the men's access to parental leave.

Public policy of long parental leave for women affects men's behaviours by reinforcing women's gendered roles as caregivers during a time of change (i.e. the transition to parenthood). If women continue with part time employment it continues to avert demands from fathers. Children are described as a "gendered time restraint" which has a greater effect on women than on men. Policies which release women from work to provide care, reduce men's contributions in the home. It is suggested that work family policy such as increased child care, actually contributes to higher levels of gendered division of labour and persistent inequality for women.

KEY WORDS: Household Work; Men; Gender; Work Family Policy; Parental Leave.

Jefferson, T., & King, J. E. (2001). "Never intended to be a theory of everything": Domestic labor in Neoclassical and Marxian economics. Feminist Economics, 7(3), 71-101.

This article is a comparative study of the treatment of domestic labor by neoclassical and Marxian economists. Before 1960, mainstream economics concentrated on production for the market. Serious analysis of housework was confined to a handful of economists, many of whom were marginalized by economics departments but supported by departments of home economics. Later domestic labour was culminated in Gary Becker's "new household economics", yet neglected by Marxist thinkers, who argued that housework was being socialized under capitalism and would disappear altogether under socialism. However, it was rediscovered again by Marxist-feminists in the late 1960s. Housework continues to pose serious analytical difficulties for both neoclassical & Marxian economists.
KEY WORDS: Housework; Marxist Economics; Economic Theories; Intellectual History; Home Economics; Household Work.

Kemmer, D. (2000). Tradition and change in domestic roles and food preparation. Sociology, 34(2), 323-333.

This paper provides a discussion on the gendering of domestic food preparation. It argues that findings from research carried out in the late 1970s and early 1980s must be seen in its historical context which outlines structural changes and its impact on women's roles. In addition, the tendency of sociology of food research to focus on the cultural norm of the nuclear family with dependent children ignores more common household structures currently present in Great Britain.
KEY WORDS: Housework; Food Preparation; Women's Roles; Great Britain; Sexual Division of Labor; Family Structure; Norms; Cultural Change; Family Roles; Nuclear Family; Households; Household Work.

Kirchler, E., & Venus, M. (2000). Between job and family: Justice and satisfaction with the distribution of housework. Zeitschrift fur Sozial Psychologie, 31(2), 113-123.

A total of 109 couples, employed women and men, answered a questionnaire on their contributions to work in the home and the amount of time spent on their paid job. Perceived justice and satisfaction with the division of labor within the household were also indicated. In addition, satisfaction with the partnership, role orientation, and reference point in comparisons of one's own contributions to work in the home and the partner contributions, and sociodemographic data were measured. The results indicate that women and men spend different amounts of time on housework, and they perceive the distribution as just. Women, however, were less satisfied with the distribution than men. Subjective justice for women depends on perceived discrepancies between actual time spent on housework and desired time, partnership satisfaction, role orientation and opportunities to compensate for lower contributions to housework. Men's perception of justice depends only on the presence of children in the household. Satisfaction with the distribution of housework depends mainly on perception of justice.
KEY WORDS: Housework; Sexual Division of Labor; Family-Work Relationship; Working Hours; Distributive Justice; Sex Differences; Perceptions; Working Men; Working Women; Household Work.

Klute, M. M., Crouter, A. C., Sayer, A. G., & McHale, S. M. (2002). Occupational self-direction, values, and egalitarian relationships: A study of dual-earner couples. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 64(1), 139-151.

This study examines the associations between husbands' & wives' experiences at work & their attitudes about & behaviors in marriage, using a framework informed by the ideas of Kohn (1969, 1977). Specifically, it was hypothesized that experiences of self-direction at work would be associated with greater endorsement of values associated with self-direction. Further, it was predicted that those who value self-direction more would both prefer & adopt more egalitarian arrangements in their marriages. These hypotheses were tested with a sample of 167 dual-earner couples. Results supported the hypotheses & suggested that values mediate the relationships between occupational self-direction & both attitudes about marital roles & the division of household labor. The pattern of results suggests that this framework is a useful perspective for examining the construct of marital equality.
KEY WORDS: Marital Relations; Social Values; Sex Role Attitudes; Family-Work Relationship; Sexual Division of Labor; Housework; Family Roles; Dual Career Family; Work Values; Working Men; Working Women; Husbands; Wives; Household Work.

Kushnir, T., & Melamed, S. (2006). Domestic stress and well-being of employed women: Interplay between demands and decision control at home. Sex Roles, 54(9-10), 687-694.

Studies on family relations have suggested that shared decision control is important for coping with stressful demands at home, whereas occupational stress theorists view personal decision control as an essential coping resource. This study explored the effects of home demands, personal and shared decision control at home in relation to burnout and satisfaction with life, using Karasek's job-demands-control model. This study includes 133 mothers employed in secretarial and managerial jobs and hypothesized that shared control correlates more strongly with burnout and satisfaction with life than personal control. Multiple regression analyses indicated that shared control significantly predicted satisfaction with life, but not burnout. Personal control predicted neither. This study suggests that shared decision control is a more potent coping resource than personal control.
KEY WORDS: Burnout; Shared Control; Demands; Home Stress; Occupational Stress; Household Labour; Multiple Roles; Gender.

Lee, C., & Owens, R. G. (2002). Men, work and gender. Australian Psychologist, 37(1), 13-19.

Contemporary analyses of work and unemployment need to place psychological findings in the context of society, culture, and gender in understanding the meanings of paid and unpaid work for men and for women. The Australian Psychological Society discussion paper (in this issue) takes a comprehensive view of the literature and places it in the contemporary Australian social context, but fails to consider the extent to which socially constructed gender roles affect individuals' relationships with work. This paper complements the discussion paper by examining men's relationships with work and unemployment from a gendered perspective. Given the centrality of paid work to men's sense of self, there is surprisingly little psychological research on the extent to which patterns of paid and unpaid work, and discrepancies between desired and actual patterns of employment, interact with gender roles and expectations to affect men's physical and emotional wellbeing. This is particularly a concern, given structural changes in patterns of employment. Increasingly, men need to juggle the traditional view that a real man provides financially for his family with contemporary definitions of masculinity that emphasise egalitarianism and flexibility, in the context of rapid changes to work and family structures. The challenge for men is to find new ways of defining themselves and their sense of self-worth, other than exclusively through paid work.
KEY WORDS: Employment Status; Health; Psychology; Society; Working Conditions; Age Differences; Human Males; Human Sex Differences; Sex Roles; Unemployment; Household Work.

Lee, Y.-S. (2003). Housework and familial relationships. Dissertation Abstracts International, A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 63(7), 2709-A-2710-A.

This dissertation explores current developments of the literature on housework. Specifically it addresses two research questions: (a) examining various measures of household labor and (b) examining the role of specific familial contexts in two empirical studies. The first study investigates how the frequency of joint performance with parents moderates the effect of time on housework on children's depression levels. The second study explores the importance of time spent with spouses in the perceived appreciation for housework. It identifies three factors--the amount of time spent on housework, gender role attitudes, and options after marriage--that influence recognition of efforts at home. The author concludes that the moderating role of joint performance with parents may add to the debate on the developmental and cognitive implications of household labor for children.
KEY WORDS: Housework; Family Relations; Sexual Division of Labor; Family Roles; Depression (Psychology); Children; Childrearing Practices; Parents; Parent-Child Relations; Marital Relations; Household Work.

Levold, N., & Aune, M. (2003). "Cooking gender": Home, gender and technology. Sosiologisk Tidsskrift, 11(3), 273-299.

With a special focus on the construction of gender relations, this article analyses the domestication of a home. In traditional studies of home, material and technological aspects are often ignored. In this article 'domestication,' is used as a metaphor to illuminate the mutual shaping processes of consumption of technology, negotiations of work routines, and construction of gender relations. The study focuses on two cases. A picture is drawn of different ways of negotiating gender in interaction with life at home as well as life at work. The stories told illustrate the ambivalence and paradoxes in a modern woman's life: What is "freedom" for women today? What type of work is demanding? The article, rather than answer these questions, contributes theoretically and empirically to the ongoing discussion within both technology studies and labor studies.
KEY WORDS: Housework; Sex; Opposite Sex Relations; Everyday Life; Family-Work Relationship; Technology; Households; Females; Household Work.

Looker, E. D., & Thiessen, V. (1999). Images of work: Women's work, men's work, housework. Canadian Journal of Sociology/Cahiers Canadiens de Sociologie, 24(2), 225-254.

Interview data gathered from approximately 1,200 17-year-olds in Hamilton, Ontario, and Halifax and rural Nova Scotia were used to discover their attitudes to (1) male- & female-dominated jobs; (2) their mother's job, their father's job, and being a full-time homemaker; and (3) their own expected job, their father's and mother's job, and housework. Findings show that women's work was reported as less desirable than men's work; domestic work was seen as women's work and as less desirable (to all but working-class females) than paid work. Jobs of middle-class fathers were both desirable and described in many ways similar to jobs expected by their sons and middle-class daughters. Working-class females tended to describe their mother's work in positive terms and defined housework as a practical option.
KEY WORDS: Adolescents; Work Attitudes; Sexual Division of Labor; Housework; Parents; Class Differences; Canada; Life Plans; Ontario; Nova Scotia; Working Mothers; Working Men; Household Work.

Maher, J., & Singleton, A. (2003). "I wonder what he's saying": Investigating domestic discourse in young cohabitating heterosexual couples. Gender Issues, 21(1), 59-77.

Using narrative methodology, this article examines domestic labor in heterosexual couple particularly with regard to how changing employment patterns are interacting with domestic work and construction of domestic life in contemporary Western societies. The study revealed the disjunctions between what women and men say and what their descriptions reveal that they do. It demonstrated that young women in heterosexual cohabitating couples do more. They also worry more about how their domestic lives appear and what it suggests about them and their male partners. The narrative method of this study reveals complexity that would not have been apparent in survey or short answer data, even if couple responses had been compared. While both partners often talked of shared domestic burdens, women bore the burden of domestic work. They also carry the burden of the myths of shared involvement that are current in contemporary Western accounts of domestic labor.
KEY WORDS: Housework; Sexual Division of Labor; Working Men; Working Women; Cohabitation; Couples; Narratives; Household Work.

Mattingly, M. J., & Bianchi, S. M. (2003). Gender differences in the quantity and quality of free time: The U.S. experience. Social Forces, 81(3), 999-1030.

Newly collected time diary data was used to assess gender differences in both quantity and quality of free time. Measures of contamination of free time by nonleisure activities such as household chores, the fragmentation of free time, and how frequently children's needs must be accommodated during free-time activities were also included. Findings suggested that men and women do experience free time very differently. Men tend to have more of it. Marriage and children exacerbate the gender gap and market work hours erode men's and women's free time in different ways. Findings also revealed that despite gains toward gender equality in other domains, discrepancies persisted in the experience of free time.
KEY WORDS: Sex Differences; Time Utilization; Leisure; Sexual Inequality; United States of America; Household Work.

Minnotte, K. L., Stevens, D. P., Minnotte, M. C., & Kiger, G. (2007). Emotion-work performance among dual-earner couples: Testing four theoretical perspectives. Journal of Family Issues, 28(6), 773-793.

The study of the domestic division of labour has been reconceptualized to include emotion work. Emotion work has been characterized by gender imbalance (Duncombe & Marsden, 1993, 1995). Minotte et al. identify a gap in empirical literature on household labour and suggest that traditional domestic labour theories are not predictive of emotion-work performance.

This quantitative study compares the ability of four domestic labour theories to predict relative emotion-work performance among dual-earner couples. This study analyzed a random sample of 156 dual earner couples in Utah. The effects of gender ideology, time availability, relative resources and crossover factors were examined in relation to emotion-work performance.

This study found that for men, length of relationship, gender ideology, relative housework hours and partner's work-to-family "spillover" are significantly associated with emotion work. For women, relative housework is the only significant predictor of emotion-work performance. For both men and women, relative housework performance is positively related to relative emotion-work performance.

The most interesting finding was that partner's work to family spillover and gender ideology operated differently than expected. Results suggest that for men, the partner's work-to-family spillover is negatively related to men's relative emotion-work performance and men with more traditional gender ideologies report performing more emotion work relative to their partners. It is suggested that men may actually withdraw emotional support based on women's work-to-family spillover.

Future research should include qualitative analysis, address broader samples and configurations of families, and address the antecedents of emotion work. In this way, new theories can be proposed and tested.
KEY WORDS: Emotion Work; Domestic Labour; Gender; Work and Family.

Mortelmans, D., Ottoy, W., & Verstreken, M. (2003). A longitudinal view on the gendered division of household labor. Tijdschrift voor Sociologie, 24(2-3), 237-260.

Based on empirical data from a panel study of Belgian Households (PSBH), this article addresses the stability of the household-labor in partner-relations over time from the viewpoint of "task load" of individuals. The longitudinal database offers the opportunity to combine a cross-sectional analysis with a longitudinal dimension. The results show that at the end of the 1990's women were not only doing most of the household labor, they were often predominantly, if not exclusively, responsible for the household labor.

KEY WORDS: Belgium; Females; Housework; Sexual Division of Labor; United States of America; France; Household Work.

Natalier, K. (2003). 'I'm not his wife': Doing gender and doing housework in the absence of women. Journal of Sociology, 39(3), 253-269.

Share households composed solely of men are a site in which masculine identities in the home are disembedded from marital ideologies. This allows us to unravel the connections between housework, power and what it means to be a man. The study finds that the domestic labour practices of men who reside with their peers reflect those traditionally associated with husbandhood, although the bases for these interactions, and the associated play of power, differ in the absence of a wife. It is evident that gender continues to be an important organizing principle of domestic labour outside marital homes.
KEY WORDS: Gender; Housework; Masculinity; Share Households; Household Work.

Nordenmark, M. (2004). Does gender ideology explain differences between countries regarding the involvement of women and men in paid and unpaid work? International Journal of Social Welfare, 13(3), 233-243.

Women spend more time doing household work than men, and men spend more time working at paying jobs outside the home than women. But studies also show that there are major differences between countries regarding the degree to which women and men involve themselves in different kinds of labor activity. The main aim of the article is to analyze the significance of gender ideology when studying differences between countries regarding the involvement of women and men in paid and unpaid work. The analysis is based on national random samples from ten OECD countries that were collected within the framework of ISSP 1994. The conclusions are: (a) gender ideology has an impact in all the studied countries on the degree to which women and men involve and engage themselves in labor and (b) gender ideology partially explains the differences between countries regarding women's and men's involvement in paid and unpaid work.
KEY WORDS: Sex; Sex Roles; Housework; Employment; Crosscultural Differences; Sex Differences; Sexual Division of Labor; Household Work.

Nordenmark, M., & Nyman, C. (2003). Fair or unfair? Perceived fairness of household division of labour and gender equality among women and men: The Swedish case. The European Journal of Women's Studies, 10(2), 181-209.

This study analysed how time use, individual resources, distributive justice and gender ideology influenced perceptions of fairness concerning housework and gender equality. Swedish couples were surveyed and interviewed in the study. The quantitative results show that it is only factors connected to time use that are significantly correlated to both perceptions of fairness concerning division of household labour and gender equality. In addition, the qualitative results illustrated the complexity of concepts like fairness and equality.
KEY WORDS: Housework; Sexual Division of Labor; Distributive Justice; Sex Role Attitudes; Equity; Sexual Inequality; Leisure; Time Utilization; Sweden; Household Work.

Pilcher, J. (2000). Domestic divisions of labour in the Twentieth Century: 'Change slow a-coming'. Work, Employment and Society, 14(4), 771-780.

A review essay on books by (1) Rosalind Barnett & Caryl Rivers, She Works, He Works, How Two-Income Families Are Healthy and Thriving (Cambridge, MA: Harvard U Press, 1998); (2) Francine Deutsch, Halving It All. How Equally Shared Parenting Works (Cambridge, MA: Harvard U Press, 1999); & (3) Richard Layte, Divided Time. Gender, Paid Employment and Domestic Labour (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1999). These books focus on the distribution of household/caring work among heterosexual couples in the UK. An examination of pre-1990 research, as well as several nationally representative studies of the early 1990s, revealed continuing gender inequality in the distribution of domestic work in spite of the increasing number of women employed outside the home. Layte uses SCELI data to demonstrate why many women do not consider these unequal arrangements unfair. Barnett and Rivers offer an academic study of 300 working, married couples with children and a self-help manual for two-income families. Deutsch's study of 150 dual-earner parents focuses on couples who have created truly equal families. These books confirm the unequal distribution of domestic/parenting work and suggest approaches couples can use to negotiate their solutions for more equitable distribution of domestic work.
KEY WORDS: Sexual Division of Labor; Twentieth Century; Housework; Dual Career Family; Sexual Inequality; Household Work.

Powers, R. S. (2003). Doing the daily grind: The effects of domestic labor on professional, managerial, and technical workers' earnings. Gender Issues, 21(1), 3-23.

Using two data sets from the National Survey of Families and Households, this paper examined how domestic labor tasks, including daily grind tasks, female-type and male-type tasks, affected the earnings of workers in professional, managerial, and technical occupations in both the short and long term. Domestic labor explained an additional 19% of the gap between the earnings of women and men in professional, managerial, and technical occupations. These results suggest that despite having jobs that offer higher pay and more autonomy, the time spent doing the daily domestic labour negatively affects earnings, especially for women in professional, managerial, and technical occupations.
KEY WORDS: Housework; Everyday Life; Working Men; Working Women; Family-Work Relationship; Professional Workers; Income Inequality; Sexual Division of Labor; United States of America; Household Work.

Press, J. E., & Townsley, E. (1998). Wives' and husbands' house work reporting, gender, class, and social desirability. Gender and Society, 12(2), 188-218.

This paper analyzes the "reporting gap" between direct-question reports of housework hours from the National Survey of Families and Households (1988) and time-diary reports from Americans' Use of Time (1985). The authors note that there may also be gender related differences in other sorts of quantitative data including time diaries.

The authors limited their study to four most frequently reported household tasks: preparing meals, washing dishes, cleaning house and doing laundry. Notably, child care was absent because it was not easily comparable across previous surveys. The findings are that deeply gendered attitudes, total housework, class, education, income, family size, and employment status together, significantly affect the over report, although the variables operate in different ways for wives and husbands. Working-class husbands with employed wives were more likely to profess traditional attitudes but many of them actually shared the domestic burden more equally with their wives. This is suggested as a response to having fewer resources of income and time. Educated, liberal husbands actually performed little housework, but educated middle class women could compensate by contracting out domestic labour. The authors discuss their "supermom" thesis that privileged women can buy their way out of domestic labour with their own resources, and still lay claim to fulfilling their gender-specified roles.

It is concluded that inconsistent social perceptions of the appropriate domestic roles of women and men have resulted in reporting biases that do not necessarily correspond to actual changes in housework behaviour, casting doubt on claims that contemporary husbands are doing more housework than their predecessors.

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