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Division of Household Labor among Black Couples and White Couples

Terri L. Orbuch and Sandra L. Eyster
Social Forces
Vol. 76, No. 1 (Sep., 1997), pp. 301-332
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/2580327
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2580327
Page Count: 32
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Division of Household Labor among Black Couples and White Couples
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Abstract

Research consistently documents that women do most of the housework and childcare within the family, but the explanation for gender inequity within the home is not well understood. One explanation focuses on the distribution of structural resources by gender, which in turn influences the division of household labor. Another concentrates on cultural expectations about gendered responsibilities in the home. We argue that an adequate explanation must integrate both structural and cultural factors. We also assess the effect of husbands' participation in home labor on marital well-being for black and for white wives. The sample is representative of first marriages of blacks and whites in an urban county. Findings show that part of the effect of relative resources on the allocation of home labor is due to their mutual association with couple norms. Further, husbands' participation in home labor is related positively to marital well-being, but only for black wives.

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