Gender convergence in domestic work: Discerning the effects of interactional and institutional barriers from large-scale data

Man Yee Kan, Oriel Sullivan, Jonathan Gershuny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

327 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cross-national trends in paid and unpaid work time over the last 40 years reveal a slow and incomplete convergence of women's and men's work patterns. A simplistic extrapolation would indicate a 70-80 year process of gender convergence, with the year 2010 representing an approximate mid-point. However, in conformity with the expectations of gender theory, time use data show that gender segregation in domestic work is quite persistent over time. Women still do the bulk of routine housework and caring for family members while men have increased their contributions disproportionately to non-routine domestic work, suggesting that gender ideologies and the associated 'doing' of gender in interaction remain important features of the division of domestic labour. The effects of institutional barriers are also apparent, with differential changes in women's proportional contribution to routine housework and caring activities related to different national policy clusters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-251
Number of pages18
JournalSociology
Volume45
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • domestic work
  • gender convergence
  • time use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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