The division of domestic work in Spain: is undoing gender possible?

Carmen Botía Morillas
Patricia Amigot-Loache
Marta Dom ínguez -Folgueras
Teresa Jurado-Guerrero
Publicado en: Notes & Documents, L'Observatoire sociologique du changement-OSC Nº2015-05.
Año de publicación: 2015

This article studies thirty-three dual-income Spanish childless heterosexual couples who were undoing gender in routine domestic work. We understand “undoing gender” as defined by Deutsch (2007): “social interactions that reduce gender difference”. The dual-earner couples came from different socio-economic backgrounds and were interviewed in four different Spanish towns in 2011. The analysis shows that resources in a wide sense, time availability, external help, ideas about fairness, and complex gender attitudes are key interdependent factors that together may form different paths leading to a non-mainstream division of housework. Four paths are identified: the first two are based on beliefs in gender equality and on ideas about fairness equal responsibility and equal leisure; the third is characterized by conflict; and the fourth relies on commodification. The ways in which these couples are undoing gender illustrate the external, individual and couple circumstances spouses succeed to achieve a more gender-equal construction of unpaid work.

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