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Employment Schedules Among Dual-Earner Spouses and the Division of Household Labor by Gender

Harriet B. Presser
American Sociological Review
Vol. 59, No. 3 (Jun., 1994), pp. 348-364
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2095938
Page Count: 17
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Employment Schedules Among Dual-Earner Spouses and the Division of Household Labor by Gender
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Abstract

I extend the research on how employment schedules affect family life and which factors determine a husband's share in household labor. I present a new specification of the concept of "available time" among dual-earner couples--the amount of overlap (in hours) in spouses' employment schedules and whether a spouse works day, evening, night, or rotating shifts. I show that variations in employment schedules are significant determinants of a husband's share in traditionally female household tasks. Also important are certain aspects of spouses' resources, gender role ideology, and stage in the life course. Interpretations of these findings take into account whether it is the husband's and/or wife's hours performing household tasks that are affected by these variables, since husband's share depends on both. The data come from the 1986-1987 National Survey of Families and Households, and my findings support the view that modest increases in husbands' participation in household labor may result from the growing diversity in employment schedules among American workers.

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