Domestic capital, portative capital and gender capital: The effects of independent living and family of destination on men's household labor participation
AuthorPitt Jr., Richard N.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis study argues that domestic skills--accumulated, transferred, and elicited by different aspects of the life course--act as a major influence on men's household labor participation. Specifically, I argue that as men increase their skills via independent living, as they are presumed to have more relevant skills when raising older biological/step male children, or as they become more proficient in skills relative to other household workers, they are more or less likely to assume (or be assigned) different responsibilities in the household. First, I tested to what extent the years a man lives without some kind of caregiver--whether that caregiver is tied to him through consanguinal, romantic, or institutional ties--affected the amount of housework he does once married. I discovered that men who live independently for long periods of time are responsible for creating less housework than men who are not. They do not do any more or less housework than their peers who are married, cohabiting, or in military service longer, but their wives have less of it to do. A man's years of independent living is unrelated to his own contribution to housework. I also tested whether a husband's holdings of particular occupational characteristics--namely, high levels of female sex composition, a service orientation, and routine and repetitive work tasks--affect the amount of housework he does in the home and his share of the overall housework that is done. I found mixed effects of these characteristics on household division of labor. Men whose jobs are especially routine and repetitive create more housework and do more of the additional housework they create. Conversely, wives do spend more time doing housework when their jobs are more masculine in composition and/or less service oriented than their husbands' jobs. Finally, I investigated the relationship between children's characteristics--sex, age, birth order, and relationship to the father--and their father's contributions to both housework and childcare interactions. I found no effect of children's characteristics on men's housework particiatipation and limited effects of children's characteristics on men's childcare interactions; men spend more time in unorganized play/non-play activities when they have male children.
Degree ProgramGraduate College