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Why Who Cleans CountsWhat Housework Tells Us about American Family Life$
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Shannon Davis and Theodore Greenstein

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781447336747

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447336747.001.0001

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Housework over the family life course

Housework over the family life course

(p.87) 8 Housework over the family life course
Why Who Cleans Counts

Shannon N. Davis

Theodore N. Greenstein

Policy Press

To examine the effectiveness of our argument that housework can be used to understand power in families, we apply our theoretical framework across the family life course. In this chapter we empirically examine patterns across the five housework classes (Ultra-traditional, Traditional, Transitional Husbands, Egalitarian, and Egalitarian High Workload) regarding shifts in measures of power. We focus on changes in labor market participation, income, and occupational prestige from NSFH Wave 1 to Wave 2. We find that couples where women secured more economic resources at a pace similar to their husbands were more likely to be more egalitarian in their division of housework over time. However, couples where women secured resources while men did not were likely to exhibit gender deviance neutralization and a traditional division of labor at the second interview.

Keywords:   Life course perspective, Labor market participation, Relative resources, Gendered division of labor

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