Inequalities in Unpaid Work: A Cross-National Comparison

Part of the International Handbooks of Quality-of-Life book series (IHQL)

Abstract

This chapter reviews the main theoretical perspectives and key recent empirical research on the gender division of housework. We focus on unpaid housework, but where relevant also consider childcare. The chapter starts with an overview of research on time use in households and examines variation in domestic work time in relation to individual and household characteristics and across countries. We then review the main theoretical arguments advanced to explain the continuing gender division of household labor focusing on recent developments and debates. Finally we examine the consequences of gender divisions in household labor for wellbeing focusing on time pressure, work-family conflict and general happiness using data from the International Social Survey Program. Our empirical findings show that women continue to spend more time on housework than men and have a larger share of routine housework. In addition, housework time increases perceived time pressure and work-family conflict and decreases women’s happiness.

Keywords

Housework Time pressure Work-family conflict Happiness Subjective wellbeing 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Social Science ResearchUniversity of QueenslandSt. LuciaAustralia
  2. 2.Department of SociologyNational Taipei UniversityNew Taipei CityTaiwan

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