Investigating the possibilities of change in marital relationships, we argue, involves examining the interplay of gender consciousness, relational resources and material circumstances in their concrete, interactional manifestations. The attempt to address this interface is grounded in the idea that understanding gender relations necessarily involves both institutional and interactional dimensions. While much research has been devoted to the influence of material or structural resources on indicators such as the domestic division of labour, relatively little direct attention has been given to the issue of differing 'relational' or interpersonal resources. We use a multi-method approach based on interviews with women in different occupations to analyse possibilities of change in marital communication and the domestic division of labour in relation both to women's material and to their relational resources. We conclude that a combination of increased gender consciousness and the development of particular inter-personal skills facilitates negotiation and change in the boundaries regulating both communication and the domestic division of labour within the marital relationship.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science