Against the odds?

Keeping a nontraditional división of domestic work after parenthood in Spain

Carmen Botía Morillas
Marta Domínguez-Folgueras
Teresa Jurado-Guerrero
Publicado en: Journal of Family Issues. Vol 39, Issue 7.
Año de publicación: 2018
Páginas: 1855-1879.

This article analyzes changes in the division of routine domestic work after first parenthood. We wanted to know whether and how it was possible for couples to resist the trend towards traditionalization that has been shown in the literature. To do so, we analyze semi-structured interviews with 27 Spanish couples who were expecting their first child in 2011, and interviewed them again in 2013. The couples were selected from a bigger sample because of their non-traditional practices pre-parenthood. Our results show that 17 of them were able to maintain a non-traditional division of domestic work, whereas ten traditionalized. In our analysis, relative resources and time availability did not sufficiently explain the changes in the division of work, but specific characteristics of the division of work before childbirth –men’s active participation, the routinization of tasks and flexible standards- emerged as key factors to resist the trend towards more traditional arrangements.

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