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Women and Work Lecture- Jan 23.doc

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Stephen Reid

Women and Work Lecture January 23, 2013 Gender, Money and Power in the Private Sphere • Gender/money power: how employment and resources affect the gendered division of labour • How does sociology take these conceptual models and ideas and test them? • Trends in household division of labour and how can we use these to project what is going to happen in the future • How can housework be divided more equally? Models for employment/household division of labour • Relative resources model: have two key components: take an exchange-based perspective and dependency [who has power?] o Hypothesis: as women’s employment resources rise, they will do less housework- more money they make, the less housework they do o Money = power; more money means you are less dependent on your spouse and you can bargain more on the division of housework o This model would say that because women earn less then men, they do more housework [bring less to the table, have less power and thus do more housework in exchange] o This is an economic model based on calculating the resources and a rational negotiation • Time availability model: economic sphere about the rational individual and calculating your time [input/output] but the focus is how much time you have because time is a finite resource o Draws on human capital theory is being applied to explain why women do more housework o Becker: time and effort are the elements of the human capital. He argues that time and energy are finite resources because you only have so much energy and time. He argues that both paid work and childcare require enormous amounts of energy and because it is an exchange, you get more “bang for your buck” if you specialize in one sphere [cypher your energy into one sphere rather than split it up into numerous spheres]. Women should spend their energy and time devoted to housework than paid work [says this because it maximizes whatever works more for the household because you have two individuals specializing in different spheres aka men and women]. It is a choice model so women choose to invest less in human capital because they are projecting the fact their gonna get less in the labour market. Also, women choose less demanding occupations where they don’t have to use all their energy so they can do the housework [these occupations are less demanding and often lower paid] o Assumes a nuclear family household and an exchange between two people in a ho
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