Tensions about men's and women's contribution to home life are often close to the surface in domestic relationships. As a result, when arguments erupt it is common for people to draw on culturally embedded stereotypes to explain or justify what men and women should or should not do. Even in much of the sociological, feminist and men's studies literature, it is implicitly assumed that home life remains a woman's domain. As a consequence there has not, until now, been a wide-ranging analysis of gendered domestic practices available to students that critically compares men's and women's expectations and experiences fully. This book considers women's and men's domestic practices in a wide range of household types including: heterosexual couple, gay and lesbian, single people, older people, economic and cultural migrant, and communal households. It also explores the whole range of domestic practices including paid work, housework, childcare, leisure, managing and spending money and caring.
The author argues that traditional gendered power relationships in the home are changing as women bring more economic resource into households and men express more interest in the project of domestic life. In doing so, the book explores the complex process of negotiation and compromise that occurs in all types of households as men and women attempt to match their expectations of what home life should be like, with the reality of everyday life. This thought-provoking book is ideal for anyone interested in debates concerning family life, gender and relationships, including students of Sociology, Gender Studies and Related Social Sciences.