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Who should do the dishes now? Exploring gender and housework in contemporary urban south Wales

Mannay, Dawn ORCID: 2015. Who should do the dishes now? Exploring gender and housework in contemporary urban south Wales. Presented at: The Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD) Annual Conference 2015, Cardiff, 30 June - 2 July 2015.

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This paper revisits Jane Pilcher’s (1994) seminal chapter from Our Sisters’ Land: The Changing Identities of Women in Wales - ‘Who should do the dishes? Three generations of Welsh women talking about men and housework’. Two decades on from the original study, the paper explores this question in contemporary south Wales by drawing upon data generated in a study of mothers and daughters residing in a Welsh, marginalised, urban housing area. Mothers of daughters in the two eldest groups tended to be born in the late sixties, in line with Pilcher’s (1994) youngest generation of interviewees, adult-granddaughters, born in 1967. The mothers of daughters in primary school were born in the late seventies and are part of a younger generation than the participants in Pilcher’s study. The analysis of participants interviews and visual data, specifically applies the lens of gender to examine and foreground the tension between the post-feminist discourses of equality and the everyday negotiation of feminised identities in private space. The paper argues that in contemporary Wales, the domestic sphere remains a site of inequality, where women are negotiating the impossibility of being both in full-time employment and meeting the ideology of the ‘Welsh Mam’. Furthermore, the work of women and the accompanying expectations have moved from being peripheral to becoming central; this places women in a psychological impasse where they identify themselves as ‘lazy’ when they cannot simultaneously fulfill these roles to the unreachable standards of the new respectable working-class femininity.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Uncontrolled Keywords: Gender, Identity, Mothers, Housework, Wales
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2022 09:25

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