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Division of Labor in Two-Earner Homes: Task Accomplishment versus Household Management as Critical Variables in Perceptions about Family Work

Helen J. Mederer
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 55, No. 1 (Feb., 1993), pp. 133-145
DOI: 10.2307/352964
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/352964
Page Count: 13
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Division of Labor in Two-Earner Homes: Task Accomplishment versus Household Management as Critical Variables in Perceptions about Family Work
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Abstract

The conceptualization and measurement of household labor allocation is critically discussed, and the suggestion that the measures need to be more theoretically based is made. Using the definition of housework as caring for family members, for the home, and for transactional matters, the distinction between task accomplishment and household management is integrated into the definition. Two measures of housework are created: the allocation of tasks and the allocation of household management. Using hierarchical regression models, data from a survey of 359 married, full-time employed women tested the extent to which the two dimensions predict perceptions of fairness and conflict. The results show that "task" and "management" allocation contribute independently and differently to perceptions of fairness and conflict about housework allocation. Unfairness was predicted by both task and management allocation, but conflict was predicted only by task allocation. The implications of different dimensions of housework for gender identity and gender stratification are discussed.

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