Domestic Division of Labour

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Domestic Division of Labour (DDoL)

  • Domestic division of labour refers to the roles that men and women play in relation to housework, childcare and paid work.
  • This links to Bott's (1957) indentification of 2 types of conjugal roles:
  • Joint Conjugal Roles: husband and wife share responsibilities, decision making and leisure activites.
  • Segregated Conjugal Roles: this is where the husband and wife lead largely seperate lives and have sharply differentiated roles within the family.
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DDoL - The commercialisation of hourswork

  • Online delivery of shopping is time and labour saving, especially to women.
  • Technologies such as microwaves, freezers and processed foods save time.
  • Dining out and take-away food frees women from having to cook and wash up.
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DDoL - The impact of pain work

  • Paid employment would seem to empower women within the family.
  • On average, the more hours a woman is employed outside the home, the more domestic work appears to be shared.
  • With many women working unsocial hours (evenings or weekends), men are increasingly having to take care of children.
  • Man-Yee-Kan (2001): income, education and age affects how much housework a woman does, e.g. the better educated, better paid and younger the woman is the less housework they do.
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DDoL - The dual burden

  • Many feminists argue that despite women working, there is little evidence of the 'new man'.
  • Women have simply acquired a dual burden of paid work and unpaid housework.
  • Ferri and Smith: increased employment outside the home has little impact of the domestic division of labour.
  • Their research shows that the father took the main responsibility for childcare in fewer than 4% of families.
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DDoL - The 'triple shift'

  • Duncombe and Marsdsen (1993): interviewed 40 white couples who had been married 15 years and found women typically experienced what they termed an 'emotional loneliness'.
  • They argue women are expected to not only do a double shift of both housework and paid work but also a triple shift that includes emotion work. David Morgan proves this through the care of a sick child.
  • Giddens (1992): women are increasingly seeking a 'haven in a heartless world' through greater emotional and sexual openness.
  • Mansfield and Collard (1989): the newly-married wives were deeply disappointed with the lack of emotional reciprocity in their marriages.
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DDoL - Power and Authority

  • Edgell study of Middle Class Couples (1980): interviewed both husbands and wives from a sample of 38 professional couples.
  • He found women controlled decision making in a number of areas, food purchases, children's clothing and household decoration.
  • However, couples did not see these decisions as important.
  • Husbands had the main say in what were regarded as 'serious' decisions, e.g. moving house and buying expensive items.
  • Pahl and Vogler: family income was pooled if both partners worked full time but men still make major financial decisions.
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