Division of Labor Essay

Division of Labor Essay - Liz Dong Sociology 004 Gender...

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Liz Dong Sociology 004 Gender Division of Labor in the Household In the Bible’s book of Ecclesiastes, chapter 4, verse 9, it comments on the advantage of the couple. It states, “Two are better than one because they have good reward for their labor.” Clearly the Bible is referring to the functional advantages of a relationship. Couples usually divide their work in all of life’s activities, and this makes both schedules much easier. As a result, each individual is able to concentrate fully on his/her individual responsibility, which allows for a smoother home and family function. Therefore, this paper examines males’ and females’ positions of fairness on the domestic division of labor. The results of my research show that females on average spend more time on domestic work and child caring than men. This finding has not changed since earlier times, which may be surprising because of women’s increasing participation in the work force. This unchanging pattern of women performing the majority of the housework may be due to a variety of reasons, which will also be further investigated in the paper. Arlie Hochschild (2003), Professor of Sociology at the University of California- Berkeley, wrote a book titled The Second Shift , which examines two-career parent homes and searches for reasons why women still continue to perform the majority of the family’s domestic work. She mentions that women feel that there is a double standard; they believe that it is normal for men to do less than their fair share of housework. Thus, she states that women who have husbands that actually help with the housework feel “lucky” that they are helping. As a result, both males and females recognize this
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domestic division of labor to be fair, despite objectively unfair distributions of work. Moreover, despite the fact that more and more women enter the work force, they still feel that it is their duty to maintain the household and take care of the children. Sharon Hays states in her essay about motherhood, “Modern-day mothers are facing two socially constructed cultural images of what a good mother looks like… On the one side there is the portrait of the ‘traditional mother’ who stays at home with the kids… On the other side is the image of the successful ‘supermom’… effortlessly juggling home and work.” Indeed, the increasing number of women in the workforce has not made a significant impact on the number of women that choose to stay and care for the home. This is because of what Lisa Belkin (2003) terms as the “opt-out revolution,” referring to the fact that women still believe that taking care of the home is the first priority and leave their work in order to comply with this belief. Therefore, despite the fact that it is the norm for both genders to work, women are still expected to handle more of the domestic work because of societal pressures. Based on these readings, I believe that there are two possibilities.
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Division of Labor Essay - Liz Dong Sociology 004 Gender...

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