Theoretical Background

  • Giulia Maria Dotti SaniEmail author
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Sociology book series (BRIEFSSOCY)


This chapter is the theoretical backbone of the volume, offering a comprehensive overview of the theories and literature concerning the three cornerstones of domestic work: housework, childcare and adult care. The chapter provides a broad overview of gender inequalities in domestic work and engages in a detailed review of the literature on the micro and macro determinants of housework in Italy and internationally. Theories of time availability, gender ideology and relative resources are discussed and then used throughout the volume to guide the interpretation of the findings. The chapter also engages with the theoretical accounts for time spent on childcare, in particular regarding intensive parenting styles and concerted cultivation. Finally, the chapter discusses time on adult care and its correlates, and provides a specific literature review about the determinants of housework time and participation among children, teenagers and young adults.


Relative resources Time availability Gender ideology Domestic work Housework Childcare Adult care 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.European University InstituteSan Domenico di FiesoleItaly

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