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Title: Capturing conflicting accounts : public and private sector employees negotiating domestic divisions of labour
Author: Christopher, Emily
ISNI:       0000 0004 8505 0065
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis examines whether paid employment in the public or private sector shapes the division of domestic labour among two-earner, heterosexual couples in the UK. The thesis utilises both quantitative and qualitative methods, drawing firstly on my secondary analysis of portions of the large-scale household survey, Understanding Society 2010/11 (Wave 2). This is followed by my analysis of the 25 qualitative interviews I conducted in 2014/15 in the West Midlands with two-earner, heterosexual parent couples on their domestic divisions of labour, using Doucet’s (1996) interactive methodology tool, the ‘household portrait’. My quantitative analysis shows that men’s job sector influences how couples divide housework, whereas women’s job sector does not. My qualitative analysis considers why this might be, focusing on the social interactions between couples, observable through the household portrait method. I show how the temporalities of men’s employment in both sectors, especially the scheduling of working hours, influenced how childcare and housework tasks were divided. I also show how men’s fathering identities influenced how men chose to use the temporal resources associated with their employment to increase their contributions to domestic tasks. I developed a typology of fathering identities, namely breadwinner fathers and work-and-care fathers, showing how these guided the ways fathers see their careers, how they value their women partners’ paid work and their assumptions about their own and their partners’ responsibilities. These fathering identities affected how much childcare and housework the fathers did and the extent to which the women’s paid employment and job sector mattered in terms of how tasks were divided. The thesis also shows that as a methodology, the ‘household portrait’ shows subtle variations in how couples divide different tasks and the reasons for this. It also shows complex gender differences in how domestic labour is conceptualised and reported, highlighting the diverse ways in which couples interpret the meaning of domestic tasks, the varying temporal frames which partners’ draw on to evaluate their contributions and their conflicting understandings of what it means to ‘mostly’ do childcare and housework.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD Industries. Land use. Labor ; HQ The family. Marriage. Woman