A limit to reflexivity: the challenge for working women of negotiating sharing of household labor

Walters, Peter and Whitehouse, Gilllian (2012) A limit to reflexivity: the challenge for working women of negotiating sharing of household labor. Journal of Family Issues, 33 8: 1117-1139. doi:10.1177/0192513X11431566

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Author Walters, Peter
Whitehouse, Gilllian
Title A limit to reflexivity: the challenge for working women of negotiating sharing of household labor
Journal name Journal of Family Issues   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0192-513X
Publication date 2012
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0192513X11431566
Open Access Status
Volume 33
Issue 8
Start page 1117
End page 1139
Total pages 23
Place of publication Thousand Oaks, CA, United States
Publisher Sage Publications
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Abstract Unpaid household labor is still predominantly performed by women, despite dramatic increases in female labor force participation over the past 50 years. For this article, interviews with 76 highly skilled women who had returned to the workforce following the birth of children were analyzed to capture reflexive understandings of the balance of paid and unpaid work in households. Alongside a need to work for selfhood was a reflexive awareness of inequity in sharing household labor and dissatisfaction with the ways in which male partners contributed around the home. However, in parallel with this discourse of inequity was one of control, manifest in perceptions of male partners’ inability to competently complete household tasks. Although the discursive aspects of women’s understandings of inequality in the home can be understood as manifestations of reflexive modernization, participants’ general incapacity to effect everyday changes is better explained by the more fully socialized feminist reading of Bourdieu’s conception of embodied practice.
Keyword Housework
Unpaid household labor
Late modernity
Reflexive modernity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online before print 19 December 2011.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Political Science and International Studies Publications
School of Social Science Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 25 Jan 2012, 15:31:22 EST by Dr Peter Walters on behalf of School of Social Science