Women's Employment in Segregated Occupations and the Allocation of Household Labor: An Analysis of Gender Inequality at Work and in the Family

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Overview

Title
Women's Employment in Segregated Occupations and the Allocation of Household Labor: An Analysis of Gender Inequality at Work and in the Family
Contributors
Alexandrowicz, Carrie L. (creator)
Hogan, Dennis (director)
Fennell, Mary (reader)
Short, Susan (reader)
Luke, Nancy (reader)
Brown University. Sociology (sponsor)
Doi
10.7301/Z0XS5SPR
Copyright Date
2009
Abstract
Sociologists have documented a recent shift in the way many of society's resources are distributed by gender such that ? on average ? the United States is moving toward greater gender parity. Despite these advances, one important paradox remains about work and family: Why, despite ideological shifts toward greater gender egalitarianism, human capital shifts such that women's educational attainment has surpassed men's, and economic shifts such that women comprise almost half the paid labor force ? do employed women remain responsible for a disproportionate share of the housework? Researchers interested in this question typically focus on characteristics of employment to suggest that as women's and men's paid work patterns more closely resemble each other ? through longer hours and higher compensation ? their allocation of housework becomes less traditional. However, there's more to work than time and money. When considering how unpaid labor is segregated by gender, most studies neglect to consider that women's paid labor is also segregated: most men work in jobs with men while most women work in jobs with women. Furthermore, most male-dominated jobs are more highly compensated and provide more advantageous benefits than most female-dominated jobs. To date, however, the literatures on segregation at work and segregation at home remain largely divided. This dissertation addresses this gap by examining the following questions: Does women's participation in sex segregated occupations affect women's investment in household labor? If so, how? Longitudinal analyses of the National Survey of Families and Households ? merged with Current Population Survey and Occupational Information Network data ? indicate that participation in a more male-dominated occupation is positively and significantly associated with women's likelihood of engaging in a more equal division of housework with their male partners. Additional results suggest this occurs by reducing women's own housework hours. Finally, other work conditions are also important. Holding an occupation with greater levels of training and authority is negatively associated with ? and care work positively associated with ? women's housework hours. Results support stratification and feminist theories that suggest gender inequality is interrelated across institutional contexts.
Keywords
household labor
work
gender
occupational sex segregation
inequality
Housekeeping
Sex role
Families
Equality
Notes
Thesis (Ph.D.) -- Brown University (2009)
Extent
xvi, 138 p.

Citation

Alexandrowicz, Carrie L., "Women's Employment in Segregated Occupations and the Allocation of Household Labor: An Analysis of Gender Inequality at Work and in the Family" (2009). Sociology Theses and Dissertations. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library. https://doi.org/10.7301/Z0XS5SPR

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