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Lecture 29 Unpaid labour and heterosexual couples.docx

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Sandra Colavecchia

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1 Sociology 2U06: Family Sociology January 26 2012 Lecture 29: Unpaid labour and heterosexual couples 10 Key Research Findings - Women do more unpaid work o Men and women do equal amounts of productive labour, but women do more unpaid labour - Gender inequalities persist among dual-earner families o “The Second Shift” by Hochschild (1989)  Looked at husbands and wives that worked full time  Big conclusion was that women were carrying a disproportionate share of the housework  Time-bind for working families  Way to function is to set timelimits for everything  To try to get everything done on time  Homelife becomes really hurried and stressful  Parents who are doing childcare in this context are dealing with a Third Shift o Dealing with all of the emotional consequences of this stressful fast-paced homelife o Third shift becomes about emotional labour o Children react negatively to this high-pressure pace  Protest by being uncooperative - Men in dual-earner couples do more than men in male breadwinner couples o But still doing much less than their full-time working wives - Gender inequalities narrowing over time o Situation is improving – men are doing more now than they have in the past - Women doing less o Women cutting down the time they spend on household labour – lowering or changing their standards  Lowering cleanliness standards  Relying on outsourcing and domestic workers etc. o Men not necessarily doing more - Gender task segregation o Men doing outdoor labour, women doing outdoor labour o Appearance of equal – issue with that is that much of the indoor labour needs to be done every day, also there is less discretion around it - Social factors (age, education) o Evidence that younger, more highly educated couples share more in terms of household labour 2 o Women’s educational attainment is associated with women’s household labour – more edu = less time spent on household labour - Hard to change a spouse o Once a couple has established a pattern for the division of work – they have a hard time changing that pattern - Women’s reactions: protest vs. conflict avoidance
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