Examine the factors affecting the domestic division of labour among couples

1078 Words Oct 4th, 2013 5 Pages
Examine the factors affecting the division of domestic labour among couples. (24 marks)

The Division of Labour refers to the range of tasks within a social system. This can vary from everyone doing the same thing to each person having a specialised role. The division of domestic labour is the tasks given to each person in a house unit. For example the wife may do the housework, whilst the husband goes out to work. The division of domestic labour can also include childcare and emotion work, two things that previously were completely down to the wife but now are becoming more evenly spread between family members.

Cultural factors that affect the division of labour are aspects like lagged adaptation. Jonathan Gershuny said wives who are
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This is the idea that since women are bringing in an income, men are more willing to do domestic work. Rosemary Crompton pointed out that men do more in the home when the woman’s economical power increases (though the DOL is still unequal). However, women only earn ¾ of what men earn, so men can never do quite as much housework based on their wives income.
Feminists on the other hand feel that instead of a change in men, all that has altered is that women now bear a dual burden; this is the combination of paid work and domestic work. They believe modern men are benefiting from their wives’ financial income on top of them doing the housework and looking after the children.
Lydia Morris found that even when the male partner is unemployed, the woman still does the domestic work as the male suffers a crisis of masculinity, so they refuse to demean themselves with housework. Women’s working hasn’t impacted on the division of childcare either; fewer than 4% of men were deemed the main child-carer in 1996.
Additionally, Hochschild defined the concept of emotion work as a job where you manage someone’s emotions (for example an air stewardess). Feminists say women are working, looking after children/domestic labour, and are emotionally supporting the family. Jean Dunscombe and Dennis Marsden call this a triple shift (emotion work + domestic labour + paid work). So, in reality, the division of labour hasn’t changed through economic factors as much as

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