Presentation on theme: "Researching the gender division of unpaid domestic work: practices, relationships, negotiations, and meanings. CCSR/ISC Seminar series at Manchester University."— Presentation transcript:
Researching the gender division of unpaid domestic work: practices, relationships, negotiations, and meanings. CCSR/ISC Seminar series at Manchester University 19 October 2010 Tracey Warren, Reader in Sociology, University of Nottingham
Research focus How we research the gender division of unpaid domestic work (UDW). Make invisible work visible Recognition Three r framework, established by the United Nations Development Programme (New York) expert group on unpaid work, time and gender recognition, redistribution and reduction (Diane Elson 2008).
Unpaid domestic work Sociologies: of paid work, including emotional labour of caring /of the family who gives what to whom and why?/duty, obligation and responsibility/proper thing to do - ethical and moral dimension/negotiation of work-family responsibilities/ doing gender (and class and…) via domestic practices - cultural meaning of domestic practices/allocations and expectations/fluidity of practices - potential for change/tensions existing between change and continuity
Paper focus Four (more?) areas of concern for sociology domestic work practices (who does what); relationships (for, from and with whom); negotiations (how, why); meanings of domestic work (for those carrying out domestic work and others). ??
Quantitative data on UDW? recognising UDW necessitates also embedding questions into large scale surveys. Systematic variations (such as by gender, class, ethnic group, age, nation and so on), as well as changes (and continuities) over time Dearth of UDW data – e.g. ECHP: 1.how respondents define their own main working status (with housewife/carer as an option); 2.carry out unpaid housework/care? for how many hours. 39 variables on employment, four on unemployment, fifteen on searching for work, twelve on previous jobs, thirty-one on training and education.
Why quants and is it do- able? Advantages of secondary analysis of large data-sets are well recognised: What might we want to find out? What data are out there already? Gaps?
Questionnaires consulted BHPS British Household Panel Survey; BSA British Social Attitudes Survey; ECHP European Community Household Panel Survey; ECWS European Working Conditions Survey; EQLS European Quality of Life Survey; ESS European Social Survey (various rounds); ISSP International Social Survey Programme (third module on Family and Changing Gender Roles); MACA Multidimensional Assessment of Caring Activities; MWLB the Work Foundation's manual on work– life balance; PANOC Positive and Negative Outcomes of Caring; TUS UK Time Use Survey; WERS Workplace Employee Relations Survey; YPSAS Young People's Social Attitudes Surveys.
Practices 1.What tasks do you carry out? 2.How long do these tasks take? 3.What is the tempo or pace of the work? Is it leisurely or rushed? 4.Task completion. 5.When are the tasks carried out? 6.Where are the tasks carried out? 7.What else is the person doing as they carry out that task? 8.Complex tasks e.g. unpaid planning work and mental activity / provision of emotional support/crisis: what if scenarios? 9.Responsibility.
Relationships Relationships between those who are doing the work and those for whom the work is being done. 1.Who does what for whom? 2.What do respondents receive from others (or what work others do for them) 3.Who is present when jobs are carried out: with whom.
Negotiations How is it achieved: working it out (Finch 1989). 1.Are commitments/responsibilities for domestic tasks defined, negotiated and agreed/disputed? 2.How are standards agreed and set, if at all? 3.Is the domestic work managed and processed? How? For example, is this on a day to day or week to week basis? Does it involve agreed or delegated job routines, job lists, requests, demands? 4.Are there any negotiations around how practices are worked out?
Meanings Variables that try to explore subjective experiences raise the most difficult measurement problems in surveys. 1.Views about the work task itself; 2.Feelings about the doing of domestic work; 3.Feelings about the division of UDW; 4.Views on the fit between ones domestic work and the rest of life; 5.The moral meaning of domestic work.
Conclusions - making this hidden work visible, recognizing it, is best facilitated by research that employs large scale survey methods: patterns and trends, diversity - some very useful though scattered data - research into every important aspect of who we are and how we live (Understanding Society 2008) - a multi-methods strategy - far more debate over how we can develop well- operationalised multiple indicators for research into UDW.