Equally Shared Parenting - Half the Work ... All the Fun

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Here's where we keep you updated on news about parenting as it relates to division of responsibilities, career versus home decisions, work/life balance, and legislative and grass-roots movements toward equality or better choices for families. We'll also throw in our opinions of life as equal parents in a nonequal world, regardless of what's in the news.

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Equality Blog

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Volunteer for an ESP Housework Study!

Are you trying to equally share housework? Do you live in San Francisco, Monterey or Portland (OR)? If so, please consider participating in the following opportunity to further the ESP cause. I'll let our guest blogger, Rachel Bryant-Anderson, explain more:

Greetings, Equality Blog readers. I am a graduate student in the Sociology Department at University of California Santa Cruz, and Marc and Amy have generously agreed to let me tell you about my dissertation research project in hopes that some of you will want to participate.

I came across this Equally Shared Parenting website a few weeks ago. I've been interested in family models such as this for several years - first, on a personal level (my husband, Jacob, and I are not parents, but we've been working to create a fair and equal relationship for about seven years) and, later, on an academic level.

My graduate studies showed me that "revolution" in women's occupational roles, with women now accepted and expected in the workforce to a much greater degree than was the case in the mid twentieth century. What hasn't changed is that most women are still performing the vast majority of family work, such as household labor and childcare: men are not engaging in "women's work" inside the home to nearly the same extent that women have taken on "men's work" outside it. Of course, there are many structural, ideological, and personal reasons that serve to maintain these "traditional" arrangements. But, however compelling these reasons may seem, the general outcome is that women end up overburdened by their heavy combined load of paid work and family work, men end up deprived of the rich family connections and experiences that come from full participation in family work, and women and men feel their worlds becoming increasingly separate from their spouse's (her world is based in home and family, while his is based in a career outside the home).

But while sociologists and others have published a tremendous amount of work documenting this "problem," we have relatively little information on couples who have reorganized family roles and responsibilities in fair and equal ways. This is where my own research comes in: I am interested in learning from/about couples who are trying to create an equal/fair division of family work within their own homes.

I suspect that many of you readers of Marc and Amy's Equality Blog are just the kind of people I'm hoping will participate in my study: heterosexual couples (married or not, but living together) who have been in a committed relationship for at least three years and who are trying to equally share your family work (including housework and, if you have children, childcare). Because I would like to interview folks in person, right now I am limiting my study to the places near where I reside or frequently visit - the San Francisco Bay, Monterey Peninsula, and Portland, Oregon areas. Participation in this research will involve both partners being interviewed and keeping a month-long daily log pertaining to household labor.

If you think that you and your partner meet these criteria, I invite you to participate in my study. I also welcome you to pass on information about this project to anyone else you know who you think might qualify for participation. I am excited to begin this research, and I think that those of you who share your experiences with me will be greatly helping academics, as well as other couples, understand how equal/fair divisions of family work develop.

Please contact me at rbryanta@ucsc.edu to request further information or to volunteer to participate.


Blogger (chandelle) said...

wow, that sounds so amazing! wish i could participate. :(

1:55 PM  

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