08.04.2020 in Society


The research, conducted by Beagan et al. aims at investigating the proportion of involvement of men and women in the housework and identification of reasons, leading to the labor division at home. According to the research, the women tend to be more involved in the housework in comparison with men, in the vast majority of cases. The authors explain it with the following reasons. To start with, the unequal involvement into housework and foodwork is the result of the inappropriate time management. Commonly, the unemployment, part-time employment or maternity leave allow women spending more time at home, which automatically makes them more engaged into housework activities. On the contrary, the full-time employed women tend to demonstrate the reduced involvement in foodwork and housework. Thus, the inappropriate time division is the first reason of greater proportion of women, involved in the housework. 

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Secondly, Beagan et al. explain that women are more involved in the housework, because they tend to earn less, in comparison with men. Therefore, the unequal earning is another reason, which creates the division of housework and foodwork. The authors admit that financial dependence on the husbands makes wives being involved in the housework on the permanent basis. Besides, such a situation leads to the direct division of labor into feminine and masculine, causing significant obstacles in the interpretation and comprehension of gender roles. 


Thirdly, Beagan et al. explain the differences of unequal involvement of men and women in housework as the result of following the traditional social norms and gender roles. The study shows that men with the higher education are more likely to share the housework duties, since they are well aware of the gender equality and universal character of all housework tasks. In other words, the level of education influences the differences in the involvement of men and women in the housework. The study shows that the lack of egalitarian education leads to the inappropriate perception of housework duties and their treatment as feminine obligations and tasks. 

Finally, the authors admit that women tend to be more involved in the housework due to their personal imaginations about health and cleanliness. Thus, they suppose that no one else can clean the house appropriately or cook the healthy meal. However, it is important to remember that such ideas and associations can harmfully affect the perception of gender roles and create noticeable obstacles in the relevant upbringing of children. 

Overall, Beagan et al. conclude that many factors contribute to the differences of engagement of men and women in the housework and food cooking. Mainly, the differences are the results of the conventional social stereotypes of gender roles and insufficient self-actualization of women in the financial and professional terms. 

DeVault provides another rationale for the explanation of differences in involvement of men and women in the housework and foodwork. The researcher states that the housework is a complex and difficult process, which demands previous preparation, planning and management. Commonly, one person in the family (frequently, this is the wife) is responsible for these tasks. As a result, it may be difficult to express the vision on the housework to the husband and explain the personal ideas about the healthy cooking and cleanliness. The author argues that every person has individual imaginations and perceptions of cleanliness, healthy food and other preferences, and it may be confusing for wives and husbands to reach agreement in these questions. Therefore, one explanation of differences of involvement of spouses in the housework is the complicated process of housework management and planning. 

Secondly, the author links the problem of differences of engagement in the housework to the lack of communication between spouses. Apparently, each person in the family has personal values, interests and opinions, which do not necessarily correlate with the ideas of other members. For example, some may believe that women should serve meal to their husbands as soon as they enter houses after work. Analogically, many may perceive the violation of this task as the disobedience or disrespect. Many cases of such examples promote the domestic violence and lead to the misunderstanding between the spouses. Correspondingly, the author states that many women tend to do all the housework due to the implied social standards of gender behavior. For instance, women tend to serve hot meal for their husbands after work, even if they do not want to do this duty. Moreover, such differences in individual preferences may lead to the divorces, as people are not aware of proper discussion of their interests and values. 

Finally, the explanation of those differences may consist in the different approaches to the definition of the housework and foodwork. For example, some people regard dinner as the complex meal, which consists of several hot dishes, freshly cooked and served instantly. Analogically, some may regard dinner in the mere vegetable salad and a snack. In both cases, each individual will represent his or her vision of the foodwork and perform it on practice. Apparently, it can result in the prominent misunderstanding between the family members. The same is true in regards to the concepts of cleanliness, shopping and other daily duties. Therefore, the differences in the perception of housework is another criterion, which marks the unequal engagement of men and women in the housework.

Considering the above-mentioned reasons of the unequal involvement of men and women in the housework and foodwork, it is applicable to suggest the following question for the qualitative research design. Does higher education promote the equal engagement of spouses in the housework in comparison with those families, who do not have any formal degrees? The research will aim at the investigation of influences of higher education on the perception of gender roles and involvement of men in the housework as well as comparison of such families with the one, sticking to the conventional social norms. 

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