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The Second Shift and the Nonstandard Shift: How Working Nonstandard Hours Affects the Relationship between the Division of Household Labor and Wives’ Fairness Perceptions

Work and Family in the New Economy

ISBN: 978-1-78441-630-0, eISBN: 978-1-78441-629-4

ISSN: 0277-2833

Publication date: 17 February 2015

Abstract

Purpose

Research has not yet examined how paid labor performed at nontraditional hours may factor into women’s perceptions of the fairness of the division of household labor. Here we specifically examine how being employed during nonstandard hours alters the relationship between the division of household labor and wives’ perceptions of the fairness of this division of labor.

Methodology/approach

We analyze data from the National Survey of Families and Households using multinomial logistic regression.

Findings

We find that over-work in household labor has a weaker effect on perceptions of unfairness for wives who work nonstandard hours than for wives who work standard hours. This interaction effect, however, is partially mediated by husbands’ time in feminine-type chores.

Research limitations/implications

The cross-sectional design does not allow us to draw causal conclusions. Future research would benefit by considering how movement in and out and nonstandard work affects perceptions of fairness of household labor.

Originality/value of the chapter

Our findings suggest that one way that the gender revolution has stalled is through women’s participation in the service economy since this participation is positively associated with their husbands’ hours in routine chores, which women particularly value. Thus, women may continue to perceive fairness in the home, despite objective inequality, because their husbands are spending more time in feminine-type chores, as necessitated by women’s participation in work at nonstandard times.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgments

The authors acknowledge support from National Science foundation grants SES 0966536 and BCS 0729396. An earlier draft of this chapter was presented at the 2010 Mid-South Sociological Association annual meeting and received the Association’s Graduate Student “Paper of Distinction” Award.

Citation

James, K. and Clay-Warner, J. (2015), "The Second Shift and the Nonstandard Shift: How Working Nonstandard Hours Affects the Relationship between the Division of Household Labor and Wives’ Fairness Perceptions", Work and Family in the New Economy (Research in the Sociology of Work, Vol. 26), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 35-59. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0277-283320150000026002

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015 Emerald Group Publishing Limited