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Lecture 27 Paid and Unpaid labour.docx

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Sandra Colavecchia

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1 Sociology 2U06: Family Sociology January 19 2012 Lecture 27: Paid and Unpaid labour Topic: - How is it that most men and women take on traditional roles within the family? o Not to say that there aren’t marriages where couples are sharing housework and caregiving  Feminist or egalitarian couples Readings: - Kathleen Gerson (ch 17 Fox) - Jane Gaskell Kathleen Gerson: Books: Hard Choices (on women and work), No Man’s Land (Men’s paid labour) - Socialization o Gendered from birth o E.g. Marge Reitsma-Street – a Canadian criminologist  Found girls learn how to care for others  Including siblings, parents, boyfriends  “Policed to care” o Enforced upon them to care for others, really pressured  Putting others first  Caring for others comes before thinking of oneself o Discussion: are girls socialized to put others first? o Dr. C’s Studies of Family Finances  Women were socialized to put others’ economic needs ahead of their own  Learned this from their mothers, from other new-mothers/wives  As a consequence, wives had lower levels of personal spending (as compared to husbands)  Were able to constrain their personal spending in relation to their husband’s  Female Socialization as caretakers explain these roles  Supports existing research - Gerson: Hard Choices - Study of Women o Look for other explanation besides Primary gender socialization  Weren’t saying it was irrelevant, but wondering if it is the only explanation  Not saying inherent personality differences explain this traditional division of labour but that structural devices – how family is organized explains this 2 o Wanted to understand how some women came to be homemakers and embrace it while others became career women and embraced it or working mothers who embraced it  4 Groups/Paths 1. Traditional Model - Women has early ambitions to become a homemaker  Direction was ALWAYS to be a homemaker - Life goes as planned - Insulated from events that might push them into the labour market  No marital instability, great job opportunities etc. which pushed them into paid labour 2. Veering Away from Domesticity - Early plans to become a homemaker change because of career opportunities, marital instability, or financial pressures to work  Over time had increasing work ambitions, decline in interest in mothering, increase in ambivalence for the homemaking lifestyle - Replacement of early ambitions for domestic life  Marital instability a factor for some  Or full out divorce  Economic instability a factor for some  Pushed women to the labour market - Disillusionment with domesticity as a result of isolation or the fact the homemaking not valued in society - The women in this group that had kids were not defined in the way groups 1 and 4 were. Will discuss soon 3. Non-traditional Model - Career women - Always planned to be career women and life goes as planned  Stayed on course like women in the first category - Supported by insititutions and people in their career goals - See children as problematic  Obstacles to having life they wanted  Mothering a trap to be avoided 4. Veering Towards Domesticity - Initially had ambivalence about motherhood - Over time, motherhood viewed as a solution to blocked job opportunities 3  Come up against workplace barriers, fallen work aspirations  Lead them to view domesticity as a haven – sanctuary - Like the women in #3 as they did experience early ambitions, BUT their ambitions as adults didn’t support their earlier roles - Factors leading them to veer towards domesticity:  Work issues as stated above & below 
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