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The Sociology of Housework$
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Ann Oakley

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781447346166

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447346166.001.0001

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Marriage and the Division of Labour

Marriage and the Division of Labour

(p.129) 8 Marriage and the Division of Labour
The Sociology of Housework

Ann Oakley

Policy Press

This chapter looks at data on marriage obtained from the forty women interviewed. In only a small number of marriages is the husband notably domesticated, and even where this happens, a fundamental separation remains: home and children are the woman's primary responsibility. Thus, doubt is cast on the view that marriage is an egalitarian relationship. Psychological intimacy between husband and wife, an intermingling of their social worlds, and a more equitable distribution of power in marriage are undoubtedly areas in which marriage in general has changed. However, the importance of women's enduring role as housewives and as the main rearers of children continues. Inequality in this area is often overlooked, and sociologists surveying marriage are no exception to the general rule. They bring to their data their own values about the place of men and women in the home, values which repeat the popular theme of gender differences.

Keywords:   marriage, husband, domesticity, power, women, housewives, child rearing, inequality, gender differences

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