Gender Differentiation and New Trends Concerning the Division of Household Labour within Couples: The Case of Emergency Physicians
Division of household labour
Atypical employment schedules
Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
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AbstractThis paper provides an account of the division of household labour (i.e., housework and childcare)based on the results of a doctoral research project on time management among couples, in relationto a specific professional group: emergency physicians. It is tested the suitability of some generaltheoretical approaches for the explanation of housework time, namely rational choice theory andrelative resources theory. The gender dimension is still an important variable to describe andunderstand attitudes and behaviours within the couple, even in upper socio-economical categories,largely recognised to be usually more democratic and egalitarian in what regards the tasks and selfperceptionsof women and men inside and outside home. However, along with the persistence of‘traditional’ gender roles in unpaid work, especially at some stages of the family life cycle, there arenew trends of ‘modernisation’ concerning sex-role attitudes. This is translated into changes in theeconomic resources ratio between spouses, such as the appearance of a relative female breadwinnermodel in dual-earner couples. Therefore, it is important to deepen the social research onthese issues by pursuing qualitative studies and articulating different analytical perspectives, inorder to understand how they may interact in a more sophisticated explanation of the participationin domestic labour.