In Dividing the Domestic, leading international scholars roll up their sleeves to investigate how culture and country characteristics permeate our households and our private lives. The book introduces novel frameworks for understanding why the household remains a bastion of traditional gender relations—even when employed full-time, women everywhere still do most of the work around the house, and poor women spend more time on housework than affluent women. Education systems, tax codes, labor laws, public polices, and cultural beliefs about motherhood and marriage all make a difference. Any accounting of "who does what" needs to consider the complicity of trade unions, state arrangements for children's schooling, and new cultural prescriptions for a happy marriage. With its cross-national perspective, this pioneering volume speaks not only to sociologists concerned with gender and family, but also to those interested in scholarship on states, public policy, culture, and social inequality.
About the authors
Judith Treas is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for Demographic and Social Analysis (C-DASA) at the University of California, Irvine. Sonja Drobnič is Professor of Sociology at the University of Hamburg, Germany.
"Overall, this book is a wonderful resource for scholars interested in gender, paid and domestic labor, and cross-national comparison. The book is especially strong on the comparison of countries with Western Europe, the United States, and Canada . . . Treas and Drobnič have carefully chosen to include a series of topics written by thoughtful researchers that help add significantly to our understanding of domestic labor and gender inequality around the world."
—Amanda J. Miller, Journal of Comparative Family Studies
"For over 30 years, who does what in the heterosexual, married household has been a serious topic of sociological study . . . This volume is a good beginning for the graduate student or researcher who wishes to go beyond the confines of U.S.-based analyses."
—Sarah Fenstermaker, Contemporary Sociology
"Studies on work, education, and politics often fall short when it comes to theorizing about unpaid caring and domestic work, despite the fact that this type of work provides critical context for production and is the key to reproduction! This vital book compares variations in housework hours and shares of housework hours in the context of policy differences across a wide range of countries. How could it fail to be exciting and important?"
—Frances Goldscheider, University of Maryland
"There are surprising results embedded in this thought-provoking book examining variations in institutional and cultural contexts on gender relations in the home. It's immensely enjoyable from cover to cover and could very well become the standard source on cross-national domestic labor patterns."
—Janeen Baxter, The University of Queensland