Creating Equality at Home: How 25 Couples around the World Share Housework and Childcare
Creating Equality at Home was a very interesting read. I always enjoy the opportunity to be a fly on the wall in people’s daily lives. Case studies about family life are an excellent way to indulge this desire, and Creating Equality at Home has 25 of them. The book takes the reader to Switzerland, Indonesia, Croatia, Honduras, and the USA. It breaks the reader from the dangerous perception that equal gender parenting roles can only be achieved in first world western countries. This collection of case studies makes it clear that equal gender parenting roles are a concern and struggle the world over.
This book is primarily written for an academic audience; however, it is very readable, with each chapter describing a family in a different country and how the adult couple divides household management, professional work, and caring for children. A “day in the life” description comes first, followed by each adult’s perspective on their roles, what’s important to them and why. Each chapter also contains some information about the country and their policies toward women, men, and family life. It was really fascinating to see how national policies varied, but how across cultures it was the norm for men to do less housework and less care for children. I also found the perspectives and background that the couples brought to make home equality a priority really interesting. Most often both members of the couple had to agree it was a priority and frequent communication was important. Usually both adults also had influence or perspective from their background that made quality important as well. There was something about reading the daily life description, recorded first without interpretation, that made me think about how my family life is divided without judgment.
|Cambridge University Press
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|Parenting & Families