Sociology of Gender and Domestic Labour

“When weighed together, full-time working women spend 6.4 hours more per week working inside and outside the home than full-time working men. Averaged across the year, this means a 332 additional hours (or two weeks of 24-hour days) of work.” – Leah Ruppanner, sociologist, on The Conversation

Drawin of a woman's legs, she is is pants wearing slippers with a pink broom in the background. The quote says: “Clearly, society has a tremendous stake in insisting on a woman’s natural fitness for the career of mother: the alternatives are all too expensive.” – Ann Oakley, 1974
– Ann Oakley

Housework, like the organisation of paid work and other institutions, is inextricably linked to gender inequality.  

Sex roles describes the tasks and functions perceived to be ideally suited to masculinity versus femininity. Sex roles have converged across many (though not all) cultures due to colonial practices and also due to industrialisation. These roles were different prior to the industrial revolution, when men and women worked alongside one another on farms, doing similar tasks. Entrenched gender inequality is a product of modernity. It’s not that inequality did not exist before, it’s that inequality within the home in relation to family life was not as pronounced.

Read more about the social construction of gender on my resource, The Sociology of Gender.

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