In this ground-breaking book, acclaimed sociologist Ann Oakley undertook one of the first serious sociological studies to examine women’s work in the home. She interviewed 40 urban housewives and analysed their perceptions of housework, their feelings of monotony and fragmentation, the length of their working week, the importance of standards and routines, and their attitudes to different household tasks. Most women, irrespective of social class, were dissatisfied with housework – an important finding which contrasted with prevailing views. Importantly, too, she showed how the neglect of research on domestic work was linked to the inbuilt sexism of sociology.
This classic book challenged the hitherto neglect of housework as a topic worthy of study and paved the way for the sociological study of many more aspects of women’s lives.
Ann Oakley is Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the UCL Institute of Education. A social researcher for more than 50 years, and author of many academic publications, she is also well known for her biography, autobiography and fiction. She founded both the Social Science Research Unit and the EPPI-Centre at the UCL Institute of Education, and has a long-term interest in gender, welfare, and the shaping of public policy.