Gender differentiation and new trends concerning the division of household labour within couples: the case of emergency physicians [Full text]
Catarina Delaunay 
|Abstract: This paper provides an account of the division of household labour (i.e., housework and childcare) based on the results of a doctoral research project on time management among couples, in relation to a specific professional group: emergency physicians. It is tested the suitability of some general theoretical approaches for the explanation of housework time, namely rational choice theory and relative resources theory. The gender dimension is still an important variable to describe and understand attitudes and behaviours within the couple, even in upper socio-economical categories, largely recognised to be usually more democratic and egalitarian in what regards the tasks and self-perceptions of women and men inside and outside home. However, along with the persistence of ‘traditional’ gender roles in unpaid work, especially at some stages of the family life cycle, there are new trends of ‘modernisation’ concerning sex-role attitudes. This is translated into changes in the economic resources ratio between spouses, such as the appearance of a relative female bread-winner model in dual-earner couples. Therefore, it is important to deepen the social research on these issues by pursuing qualitative studies and articulating different analytical perspectives, in order to understand how they may interact in a more sophisticated explanation of the participation in domestic labour.
Keywords: Gender inequalities, time management, division of household labour, atypical employment schedules, emergency physicians
 CESNova – Centro de Estudos de Sociologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal,