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Title: Gender inequality in long-term marriages : negotiation and renegotiation of gendered responsibilities by married couples aged 50-70
Author: Mason, Jennifer
ISNI:       0000 0001 3620 7183
Awarding Body: University of Kent at Canterbury
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 1987
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This thesis adopts the kind of perspective which investigates inequality in the 'personal' sphere of marriage by reference to links between the interpersonal and structural or patterned inequalities. It is based on a study of 18 couples aged between 50 and 70 who are in the process of negotiating various transitions in their lives. These have a disruptive potential for the ways in which inequality has been observed to be constructed in younger marriages, and form the focus for a discussion about negotiations and renegotiations of gender inequalities. Gendered responsibility is identified as the crucial structuring component of gender inequality. It involves women's servicing of, caring for, and maintenance of the wellbeing of their husbands and families, and men's provision and protection for their families. Negotiations in the lives of the couples, although producing meaningful changes in gender divisions, did not challenge the relations of gendered responsibilities and hence did not overcome inequality. In fact, those responsibilities gained a new significance and priority in the light of the life course positions of the couples in the study . The couples were found to be making sense of the social material which formed the context of their 'private' lives through various common sense ideologies. These ideologies helped to create an aura of inevitability and immutability about gendered responsibilities and helped to preclude their renegotiation. Essentially, these helped to sustain a taken-for granted fabric of married life, encompassing a particular kind of gender division whose consequence was gender inequality.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: HM Sociology