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Chapter 16

Chapter 16 Textbook Notes

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Sociology 2169

Sociology Work and Industry Chapter Sixteen Unpaid Domestic and Volunteer Work Work is what we do out of the home for pay Unpaid Domestic Labour Domestic labour activities essential to maintain and reproducing individuals, families, and their residences o Includes: meal prep, cleaning, and laundry o Makes sure we can function from day to day It can be done for pay, most likely it is a private concern Can be argued that domestic labour is socially essential and valuable Paid work contributes to economy and society, but without domestic work that could not be done It is necessary for the survival of human beings and societies Relationship between paid work and unpaid work Karl Marx o if a worker works today, tomorrow he must again be able to repeat the same process in the same conditions as regards health and strength o Labour power regenerated through domestic labour o To survive meet the needs that are socially defined and central to our habits and degree of comfort o Must reproduce to produce future workers o For paid work to happen, domestic labour must be performed Opposite is true: unpaid work could not be done without the money generated through paid work o Paid work involves the expenses of labour power to produce goods and services, in return for a wage, unpaid work produces labour power through the expenses of labour and the consumption of capitalists goods and services Interdependent and indispensible Men primarily responsible for paid work, women primarily responsible for unpaid work o Root for gender inequality in our society Men able to draw on womens unpaid domestic labour to maintain labour power Womens lower involvement in paid work, keeps them dependent and subordinate to men The Nature of Domestic Labour Domestic labour has two key components interrelated and dependent o Meeting the household needs o Producing labour power Three sets of tasks: o Housework essential to maintain individuals and their home o Childbearing and childrearing having and raising children o Consumption work making ends meet, entailing money management and shopping, through which wages and other income are exchanged for goods and services Housework Preindustrial Ontario women combined their work of cooking and cleaning for their families with other work o Combine housework with some other productive work o Married women became to concentrate on domestic labour, while their husbands and sometimes children focused on employment outside the home Housework = full time job o Difficult and time-consuming physical labour Housework became easier with technological changes shortened the amount of time it took to do a single chore o Automatic washers and dryers, dishwashers, electric stoves and ovens, and vacuum cleaners With changes...standards of cleanliness increased Now: housework can be seen as a part time job because many work are working outside of the home Housework can be centered around five tasks: cleaning, shopping, cooking, washing up, and washing clothes o Some other tasks can be done by men: household, lawn, and garden maintenance and home improvement activities Nature of housework depends on class o Middle class people have a different experience than impoverished settings Class can shape amount of household labour people do o Richer households did more household work and more likely to do tasks with their own labour o Poorer households rely on informal sources of labour Racialization and economic status can shape who has time and ability to perform domestic labour o Women of colour unable to spend much time on domestic labour for their own families as they get paid to do domestic labour for others Can be socially isolating, monotonous and fragmented work The experience of that type of work is subdivided into a series of unconnected tasks Type of work is frustrating and routine never ending work o Can have autonomy determine what they do and when Downside: ensuring that they tasks get done Today: people are spending much less time on housework than they used to Because housework can be linked with doing the work for the ones they love, it gives them a sense of value and meaning as an expression of care and love Increased and altered by presence of children Childrearing Childrearing requires a lot of effort Close parental involvement is essential Spending time with children is increasingly socially valued o Strong social norms concerning childrearing that shape both the activity and our feelings about it Raising children is guided by the mothers intuition and their love For fathers: time with children is seen as a pleasant break from the demands of the world Raising children is hard work and is guided by three social beliefs: o Mothers should be central caregivers o Children should receive lots of time, energy, and material resources (kids come first) o Childrearing is more important than paid work lead to a rise in work-family conflict, marginalize the role of fathers and others in the childrearing process, and encourage people to expand a lot of labour on childrearing Society is guided by intensive mothering appropriate child rearing is child-centred, expert- guided, emotionally absorbing, labour-intensive, and financially expensive o Social ideal that fundamentally shapes parenting o Puts pressure on the mother and marginalizes the fathers role in childrearing o Heavy time investments in childrearing despite womens paid work commitments Raising children is seen as a scientific process parents are encouraged to pay attention to their physical, social, and emotional needs, while enhancing their cognitive, social, and gross motor and fine motor skill Mothers are emotionally involved and attached to their children which leads them to want to raise a healthy child Childrearing = labour intensive o Tasks are amorphous and difficult to quantify and identify o Occur during the 24-hour day o Can add mental labour worrying, processing information, and managing the division of labour As child grows, parent tend to spend less time dressing and bathing, and mor
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