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1April 28, 2015April 28, 2015April 28, 2015 The Division of Household Labor Family Sociology.

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Presentation on theme: "1April 28, 2015April 28, 2015April 28, 2015 The Division of Household Labor Family Sociology."— Presentation transcript:

1 1April 28, 2015April 28, 2015April 28, 2015 The Division of Household Labor Family Sociology

2 2April 28, 2015April 28, 2015April 28, 2015 Why study the division of household labor?  Research on housework has implications for gender inequality in both the work and family spheres Good example of the inter-relationship between two social institutions, the economy and families Good example of the inter-relationship between two social institutions, the economy and families  Research on housework also highlights the interplay between the micro and macro levels  Study of housework shows how gender is socially constructed

3 3April 28, 2015April 28, 2015April 28, 2015 Why study the division of household labor? Unequal social change: Major change in one social institution -- the economy -- increase in the percentage of married women and mothers in the labor force is not met by similar change in -- families -- in the amount of household labor performed by married men/fathers

4 4April 28, 2015April 28, 2015April 28, 2015 Why study the division of household labor? Unequal social change:  In other words – married women and mothers have taken on more paid work responsibility but still devote more time to unpaid family work  While men have not “taken up the slack” at home in equal amounts of time or responsibility

5 5April 28, 2015April 28, 2015April 28, 2015 Division of Household Labor Today we’ll examine the time spent on housework By wives and husbands By teen girls and boys

6 6April 28, 2015April 28, 2015April 28, 2015 Division of Household Labor The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports: 6 in 10 women over age 16 were in the paid labor force 61 % of mothers with children under age 3 are in the paid labor force

7 7April 28, 2015April 28, 2015April 28, 2015 Labor Force participation rates for married women, by age of youngest child Ages 6-17 Under Age 6 Under age 6 Ages

8 8April 28, 2015April 28, 2015April 28, 2015 Has Women’s Labor Force Participation Slowed? Recent article in the NY Times states “Stretched to the Limit, Women Stall March to Work” Argument is that without more help with housework, working mothers have “hit a wall” The increase in women’s labor force participation has helped fuel economic growth Source: New York Times, 3/2/2006

9 9April 28, 2015April 28, 2015April 28, 2015 Paid Labor Force Participation So today about 75 percent of women ages are in the paid labor force or actively seeking work Up from 40 percent in the late 1950s This trend flattened in the 1990s Since 2000 the labor force participation rate has declined somewhat Source: New York Times, 3/2/2006

10 10April 28, 2015April 28, 2015April 28, 2015 Unpaid work: The good news According to a survey by John Robinson From 1965 to 1985 the time men spent on household labor doubled from 4.6 hours per week to 10 hours per week Over the same period, women reduced their time spent in housework from 27 hours to 20 hours

11 11April 28, 2015April 28, 2015April 28, 2015 Unpaid work: The bad news It appears men are doing a larger proportion of housework and child care, but much of this change was due to women reducing their time on housework Numerous studies based on different data sources show wives still perform about 2/3 of housework, even when they work full- time

12 12April 28, 2015April 28, 2015April 28, 2015 Unpaid work: The bad news Data from the National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH) collected from 6,882 husbands and wives on hours spent on 9 household chores

13 13April 28, 2015April 28, 2015April 28, 2015Source: NSFH, 1993 Mean Number of Hours Spent on 9 Household Tasks per Week by Dual-Earner Spouses

14 Household Chores and Gender 144/28/2015 What do you notice about the chart? Who spends more time on chores? Who does more of the chores? And remember these are couples who BOTH have paid jobs

15 15April 28, 2015April 28, 2015April 28, 2015 Unpaid work: The bad news Wives do a greater number of tasks than husbands And they spend more time on housework On average, dual-earner wives spent 32 hours each week on 9 household tasks Dual-earner husbands spent only 19 hours per week on same tasks

16 16April 28, 2015April 28, 2015April 28, 2015 Unpaid work: The bad news These same wives spent on average 40 hours per week in paid labor While, husbands spent 44 hours per week in paid labor In sum, wives spent a total of 72 hours per week in paid and unpaid labor, while husbands spent 63 hours in paid and unpaid labor combined

17 17April 28, 2015April 28, 2015April 28, 2015

18 18April 28, 2015April 28, 2015April 28, 2015 Unpaid work: The bad news In other words, dual-earner wives spent 9 more hours per week working than their husbands This adds up to 36 hours per month Arlie Hochschild calls wives’ extra work the “Second Shift”

19 19April 28, 2015April 28, 2015April 28, 2015 Unpaid work: The worse news Given significant changes in women’s lives: 1) Higher labor force participation rates 2) Changing attitudes toward more gender equality 3) Greater educational opportunities for girls… we might expect less gendered division of housework among children?

20 Youth Time Use In the next chart, I show findings from my research on household labor participation by high school students These data are from the Youth Development Survey They interviewed all 9 th grade high school students in the St. Paul MN school system, and then followed them through h.s. and beyond 204/28/2015

21 21April 28, 2015April 28, 2015April 28, 2015 Weekly hours Spent by Teens on Household Tasks, Grades 9 & 12

22 22April 28, 2015April 28, 2015April 28, 2015 Mean Hours Spent on Selected Activities – Grade 9 Source: Youth Development Survey

23 23April 28, 2015April 28, 2015April 28, 2015 Unpaid work: The worse news In ninth grade, girls spend more time on paid work, homework, and housework than boys Boys spend more time on extra-curricular activities across high school Teen girls are already learning to multi-task by ninth grade Girls and boys are growing up to expect a gendered and unfair division of labor

24 24April 28, 2015April 28, 2015April 28, 2015 Unpaid work: The bad news At the same time, NSFH data also show that: 90 percent of wives and 81 percent of husbands agree with the question “If couples work full-time should they share household tasks equally?” 72 percent of dual-earner husbands and 66 percent of dual-earner wives say the division of household labor is fair to both spouses But we just saw that they don’t divide the housework equally! What explains these conflicting data?

25 25April 28, 2015April 28, 2015April 28, 2015 Wives' & Husbands' Perceptions of Fairness of the Division of Household Labor

26 Why do couples say things should be equal? 264/28/2015 My research shows that women compare their division of labor to other women they know i.e. sisters, friends, co-workers Most of these women also do more housework, so by comparison, things don’t seem unfair If they compared themselves to their husbands, then they might say “hey this isn’t fair!” (Gager, 1998) Couples I interviewed also made justifications like men just cannot do laundry or women are not good at mowing the lawn? Really – is a washer and dryer so hard to use?

27 Sex and Housework Link ht ml ht ml ork/Does_the_Couple_That_Cleans_Toge ther_Stay_Together__All__National_.html ork/Does_the_Couple_That_Cleans_Toge ther_Stay_Together__All__National_.html 27April 28, 2015April 28, 2015April 28, 2015

28 28April 28, 2015April 28, 2015April 28, 2015 The Second Shift Arlie Hochschild reviews data on the division of household labor Shows that women are working a “second shift” of housework, after they work at their paid job She also talks about how wives compare themselves to other women – not to their own husbands

29 29April 28, 2015April 28, 2015April 28, 2015 The Second Shift What is the stalled revolution? Unequal social changeUnequal social change Women have entered the labor force, but men are not doing equal amounts of work in the homeWomen have entered the labor force, but men are not doing equal amounts of work in the home

30 The Second Shift Joey’s Problem: Nancy & Evan HoltJoey’s Problem: Nancy & Evan Holt How did you answer the questions for Assignment 6?How did you answer the questions for Assignment 6? Hochschild describes the family myths used by couple Nancy and Evan HoltHochschild describes the family myths used by couple Nancy and Evan Holt In other words, she tells the story they make up about their division of labor but what is the real story according to Hochschild?In other words, she tells the story they make up about their division of labor but what is the real story according to Hochschild? 30April 28, 2015April 28, 2015April 28, 2015

31 The Second Shift Joey’s Problem: Nancy & Evan HoltJoey’s Problem: Nancy & Evan Holt See Assignment 8? See Assignment 8? 1. According to Hochshcild, what is the “Second Shift?” 2. Briefly describe the story of Evan and Nacy Holt. 3. Hochschild argues that families create “myths” about their division of household labor. Describe the family myth created by Nancy and Evan Holt. 31April 28, 2015April 28, 2015April 28, 2015

32 The Second Shift Joey’s Problem: Nancy & Evan HoltJoey’s Problem: Nancy & Evan Holt Assignment 6? Assignment 6? 4. According to Hochschild, what is the purpose of family myths? 5. Was this reading surprising to you and why? How do you imagine you will divide family work (including child care) in your own marriage or cohabitation? 32April 28, 2015April 28, 2015April 28, 2015

33 33April 28, 2015April 28, 2015April 28, 2015 Families and unpaid work: Where do we go from here? Summary Girls and women perform more household labor than their male peers – even when they work full-time Hochschild calls this the “Second Shift” If women and girls continue to do more unpaid labor, will we see real change in gender inequality at the macro and micro levels? If we do not close the gender gap at home, can we close the gender gap at work?


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