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Motherhood and the reproduction of gender stratification

Опубликовано на портале: 19-05-2004
Nancy Lane Latham
Научный руководитель: Neil Fligstein
Организация: University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley)
Подтип: PhD
Тематические разделы: Социология, Экономическая социология, Экономическая социология: Социально-экономическая дифференциация. Бедность, Экономическая социология: Гендерные отношения и хозяйство, Социальная стратификация

What factors are behind a couple's redistribution of labor hours after they become parents? I come at this issue from two directions, considering first the rise in the proportion of housework hours women do, and then the drop on their proportion of employment hours. First, why don't women resist a division of housework in which they do twice what their husbands do? And second, why do women choose to decrease their employment hours so dramatically while men's hours register virtually no change? In chapter 2, I ask whether women employ a particular equity principle in judging whether the division of housework is fair;a principle in which men compensate for a smaller proportion of housework hours with a larger proportion of employment hours. I find that indeed women's use of this principle can account for their lack of resistance to a much more sex-typed division of housework. In chapters 3 and 4 I tackle the issue of employment. In chapter 3, I explicitly test an explanation often taken for granted: that the decision to drop or not drop employment hours is rooted in a sex stratified labor market;in other words, that women stay home with children because they make less money than their husbands do. Having found that a comparative advantage in market labor can't account for men's and women's employment decisions, in chapter 4 I ask what alternative reasons there might be. I test a psychological theory, asking whether a gender difference in work commitment underlies the gender difference in post-natal employment hours. I find that what might at first look like a gender difference in work commitment is better understood as a gender difference in felt responsibility for care of young children.

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