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‘The house belongs to both’: undoing the gendered division of housework

Abstract : This article studies 28 dual-income Spanish childless couples who were undoing gender in routine domestic work. We understand ‘undoing gender’ as defined by Deutsch [(2007). Undoing gender. Gender & Society, 21, 106–127, p. 122]: ‘social interactions that reduce gender difference’. The dual-earner couples came from different socio-economic backgrounds and were interviewed in four different Spanish towns in 2011. The analysis shows that resources in a wide sense, time availability, external help, ideas about fairness, and complex gender attitudes are key interdependent factors that can weave together to form different configurations leading to a non-mainstream division of housework. All configurations were based on principles of gender equality: some couples found it fair to have a 50/50 division of domestic work, others a 50/50 division of all work (paid and unpaid); and a third group showed conflicts in practice. These couples’ ways of undoing gender illustrate the external, individual, and couple circumstances under which spouses are able to achieve a non-traditional construction of unpaid work.
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Submitted on : Friday, February 18, 2022 - 11:35:07 AM
Last modification on : Monday, October 10, 2022 - 5:54:06 PM




Marta Dominguez Folgueras, Teresa Jurado Guerrero, Carmen Botía Morillas, Patricia Amigot Leache. ‘The house belongs to both’: undoing the gendered division of housework. Community, Work and Family, 2016, pp.20. ⟨10.1080/13668803.2016.1192525⟩. ⟨hal-03579767⟩



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