Gender and Nurture

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät
Zentrum für transdisziplinare Geschlechterstudien
WS 2014/15
SE 53820: Gender und Ernährung
Mahlzeiten: Geschlechtliche Arbeitsteilung II
    Feeding the Family (Marjorie DeVault)
  I. Actual patterns of doing housework
  * 21 households in the study
  * 3 factors: class group, wives’ un- or employment, children’s age
  * In about 8 couples almost all the feeding work is done by women:
  * Traditional views of both husband and wife on family organization   his role as a breadwinner and hers as a housewife
  * Husband’s insistence on total responsibility of his wife in domestic life   and her resistance to it due to her job outside the home   conflict in the marriage
  * In 5 couples household work is shared or distributed in non-traditional ways
  * Wives express high level of commitment to their career
  * Important! Husbands support the wives’ work outside home and are willing to share the family work
  *   Less frequently: reversion of traditional roles where a husband does most of the cooking
  * In 8 couples (families with young children and women staying home)   3 strategies somewhere between two extremes:
  * 1) Couples share a traditional view on women’s responsibility
  *   No expectations from wives to share the work but men occasionally help on their own terms   (“usually frozen waffles or dry cereal”)
  * 2)   Couples share more egalitarian views
  * Wives devote their time to child care and family work
  * Husbands make significant contributions but   they spend most of the time at work   children are unaware of their father’s role in feeding the family   children early get the idea that “Mother is supposed to do the housework”
  * When husbands cook, it looks rather atypical to children   a distinction between mother’s and father’s activity and a strong association between “mother” and “cooking food”
  * 3) Wives have to negotiate...