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Essays Family Labour Research

More Than a Labour of Love: Three Generations of Women’s Work in the Home

More Than a Labour of Love:
Three Generations of
Women’s Work in the Home
Meg LuxtonThe Women’s Press1980

Based on participant observation and in-depth interviews, this book describes the work women do in their homes, caring for children and partners, and maintaining the house. It shows how their lives are shaped by domestic responsibilities and challenges the ways in which their work is neither recognized nor valued. Arguing that the work they do is socially necessary and central to the economy, it calls for a transformation of current social and economic relations.

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Introduction
… The Working-Class Household
… The Family Household and the Sexual Division of Labour
… Women’s Domestic Labout

Chapter Two: Domestic Labour in Flin Flon: An Overview of the Study
… Flin Flon as a Case Study
… The company and the Most Desirable Classes of Labour
… Settling in Flin Flon: The First Generation, 1927-1939
… Growth and Development: The Second Generation, 1940-1959
… Stabilization: The Third Generation, 1960-1977
… Doing the Study

Chapter Three: Wives and Husbands
… Wage Labour and Domestic Labour
… Love and Affection
… Sexuality
… Family Violence is a Hateful Thing
… Meeting Women’s Needs

Chapter Four: Mothers and Children
… Changes in Motherwork
… The Contradictions of Mothering
… From Cradle to Empty Nest: The Rhythms of Motherwork
… Conception
… Pregnancy and Childbirth
… Infancy
… Preschoolers
… Schoolaged Children

Chapter Five: Housewives and Housework
… Schedules and Plans: The Rhythms of Housework
… Procuring Housework Supplies
… Technical Change and the Organization of Labour
… Food Preparation
… Cleaning
… Laundry
… Conclusions

Chapter Six: Making Ends Meet
… Wages as an Instrument of Consumption
… From Wages to Housekeeping Money
… Consumption Management
… Taking in Work
… Going Out to Work
… The Double Day of Labour
… Reproduction of Labour Power on a Daily Basis
… Reproduction of Labour Power on a Generational Basis
… Housework
… The Working Conditions of Domestic Labour

Chapter Seven: Bread and Roses
… Facing the Problem
… Fighting Back
… The Women’s Liberation Movement
… Out from the Kitchen
… Into the Community
… Links with the Unions
… The Rising of the Women