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Lecture 36 Family Finances Part 2.docx

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McMaster University
Sandra Colavecchia

1 Sociology 2U06: Family Sociology March 1 2012 Lecture 36: Family Finances Topics: - Ch 25 – Colavecchia Colavecchia o Expenses men typically pay for were more visible  Knew how much they were going to pay every month – no real fluctuation o Also carried greater prestige o Gender divisions disadvantage women  Bc women tend to earn less than their husbands  Bc couples weren’t asking if they were really being equitable  Each did not have equal access to personal spending o Men had higher levels of personal spending in comparison to wives  Men’s entitlement led to this  Both husbands and wives were accepting of this  Women lack bargaining power in the marriage due to lower income  Women with higher regular earnings spent more personal spending in comparison to other women – but women who outearned their husbands still did not outspend them o The burden of a lower family income was carried disproportionately by those women - Financial Depravation o Served as a buffer for husbands who spent money on themselves while their wives restricted personal spending  Accepting the idea that earnings provide the right to spend money o Relational perspective on money  Women’s personal spending was very much tied to caregiving and the transition to motherhood  Women feel guilt over personal spending o Women’s lower personal spending  Tied to very descriptive ideas about gender and women’s attempts to conform to societal ideals  Gave women the opportunity to conform to the ideal of the self-sacrificing mother while still getting their needs met  Self-denial  Permission seeking o Not overt – more subtle o Consistent with “doing gender” 2  Tells us how gender is constructed through marital interactions Implications for Social Policy - The measurement of poverty o Ignores the hidden poverty of people who experience financial depravation while living in a family whose income appears to be above poverty-line o Argue that contemporary rates of poverty are likely underestimating -
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