ERIC Number: ED228125
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: 0
What Is an Egalitarian Family: Reflections from a Los Angeles Hospital.
Mukhopadhyay, Carol Chapnick
The degree to which spouses actually share household tasks and income production is compared to their ideological commitment to sex role equity. Data were obtained from long-term intensive fieldwork with 19 Los Angeles nurses and their 18 families and from the researcher's doctoral dissertation. All data on family performance patterns indicate a highly segregated division of labor, with virtually all tasks the responsibility of a single spouse. Of the 98 tasks categorized, 50 were performed primarily by wives, 39 by husbands, and 9 were shared. Task allocation continues to be determined by traditional role designations, i.e., the wife prepares meals; the husband repairs the car. Deviation from traditional roles occurs only when a wife's job commitment constrains her from carrying out role-designated responsibilities. Thus, the actions of those families who identified themselves as egalitarian do not differ significantly from other families in the study; their self-characterizations only reflect general intentions. Further, wives are reluctant to accept equal responsibility for the provider role, even when their income exceeds that of their spouse. (KC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Women's Studies Association (Arcata, CA, June, 1982).