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The Geography of Gender Divisions of Labour in Britain

Simon Duncan
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers
Vol. 16, No. 4 (1991), pp. 420-439
DOI: 10.2307/623028
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/623028
Page Count: 20
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The Geography of Gender Divisions of Labour in Britain
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Abstract

The paper provides basic information on the geography of gender divisions of labour in Britain. Although men have a fairly uniform 'breadwinning' role throughout Britain, there are substantial spatial variations in the degree to which women are engaged in full-time paid work, part-time paid work and full-time domestic work. These variations interact in various ways with indices of household 'conventionality' and women's social status. This geography of gender divisions of labour is a less familiar geography than those based on local economic or class relations. For instance west central London resembles industrial Lancashire or central Scotland, Bristol is rather like the north east, and outer Surrey, Kent and Sussex resemble rural Wales or Fenland. The paper relates these spatial differences to a discussion of gender divisions of labour in general, and discusses possible reasons for this variation. It also asks whether there could be a geography of patriarchy, and attempts some initial investigation of this question. Noting the severe limitations of aggregate and spatially defined statistics, the paper recommends more socially sensitive, in-depth research on these issues.

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