Policy Press

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Why Who Cleans Counts

What Housework Tells Us about American Family Life

By Shannon Davis and Theodore Greenstein

Published

Feb 19, 2020

Page count

184 pages

ISBN

978-1447336754

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Policy Press

Published

Feb 19, 2020

Page count

184 pages

ISBN

978-1447336747

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Policy Press

Published

Feb 19, 2020

Page count

184 pages

ISBN

978-1447336778

Dimensions

Imprint

Policy Press
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Published

Feb 19, 2020

Page count

184 pages

ISBN

978-1447336778

Dimensions

Imprint

Policy Press
Why Who Cleans Counts

Every household has to perform housework, and researchers know a lot about what predicts who does which chores, drawing frequently from theoretical explanations that highlight the importance of power dynamics.

This book moves beyond the existing scholarship by using quantitative, nationally representative survey data to theorize about how power dynamics as reflected in housework performance help us understand broader family variations. The authors investigate how knowing who cleans the house explains how households of differing forms, demographics and compositions operate, both cross-sectionally and over the life course of the household.

"Davis and Greenstein have written an important book for family scholars, practitioners, and anyone who is in a relationship and trying to maintain a household." David Maume, University of Cincinnati

Shannon N. Davis is Professor of Sociology at George Mason University. She studies the division of household labor and gender ideologies, as well as undergraduate researchers and their mentors.

Theodore N. Greenstein is Professor of Sociology at North Carolina State University. His research interests include work and the family, the division of household labor, and maternal employment.

What do we know about housework?

Theorizing housework as an example of power dynamics

Describing the data

The five classes

Housework class characteristics

Housework class consequences

Stability and change in class membership over time

Housework over the family life course

Housework and socialization

Insights for helping families