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Negotiation and Egalitarianism in the Sexual Division of Labour

Garcia, Reece James (2015) Negotiation and Egalitarianism in the Sexual Division of Labour. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This thesis investigates how negotiation between heterosexual couples can shape the likelihood and extent of egalitarianism in their sexual divisions of labour. Despite the sexual division of labour being a cornerstone of research on gender, employment and the family, current literature has surprisingly neglected the relationship between these two concepts. In particular, the actual process of negotiation is largely assumed and not subject to critical engagement, making it unclear exactly how couples transform or sustain rather traditional divisions of labour. Through qualitative, semi-structured interviews with ten couples over a six month period, accounts of the negotiation process and how this links to the likelihood and extent of egalitarianism are examined. These processes are explored in instances of one partner’s redundancy amongst previously dual full-time earning couples. Employment loss provides a fruitful context in which established and often unquestioned routines (regarding the division of unpaid labour in particular) are unsettled and subject to renegotiation. In the current labour market context, where increasing numbers of people are employed involuntarily on non-standard working arrangements and there have been reductions in familial support through welfare cuts, this research offers a timely and contemporary analysis of how households are managing (and renegotiating) the often conflicting demands of paid and unpaid labour. Alongside a clear, comprehensive definition of negotiation is an outline of the stages in this process that facilitates higher levels of egalitarianism. Egalitarianism drives the level and form of negotiation whilst negotiation simultaneously fosters higher levels of egalitarianism, with the two concepts proving to be mutually reinforcing. The nature and extent of negotiation and egalitarianism that emerges is heavily influenced by what are distinguished as a range of individual, structural and cultural contextual factors. A typology is developed denoting the extent of negotiation and egalitarianism along a continuum of low to high.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Egalitarianism, negotiation, sexual division of labour, gender, work, family, typology
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Leeds University Business School
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.674986
Depositing User: Dr Reece J Garcia
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2015 12:29
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2016 15:43
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10588

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