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Work bias within eco living families - research

Posted by ecosrights, 162 days ago

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Reading discussion "Work bias within eco living families - research" - Join this discussion / 6 comment(s)
I am a student at Glasgow University researching whether adopting an ecofriendly lifestyle creates more work, and if it does, whether males or females take more of the burden. That is, basically looking at who does what within greener homes as compared to non-green homes.

It would be fantastic if you would help me with my dissertation on this topic, especially if you are interested in finding out whether a greener lifestyle means more or less gender equality. Please take a few minutes (no more than 10) to anonymously complete the survey below. I hope to gather enough feedback to post my findings on the site as well.

Living an eco-lifestyle isn’t easy – washing nappies instead of throwing dirty ones away; spending time and energy searching for organic/ local/ in season produce; cooking from scratch instead of instant meals, walking or catching the bus instead of using the car, etc. So when a couple or family start taking on this lifestyle, who is it that spends that extra time and energy to make the household ‘greener?’ Are some people wearing the (now trendy) label of ‘ecowarriors’ without really putting the work in; or can they go more environmental in ways that don’t create extra drudgery? Perhaps some people in the household are more committed than others.

Since the 1980s, second wave feminism and a huge increase in ‘working women’ studies () have looked at the sexual division of labour in the home. They have repeatedly found that women still do more than their male partners, despite women earning more and working as many hours as men. While research shows that the amount of time women spend on housework has reduced over the years, () are men increasing the proportion of chores they carry out; are some jobs just not being done; or have labour-saving but energy-hungry devices eased the burden?

If an eco lifestyle does increase the amount of time it takes to complete many tasks (whether due to increased preparation, more work maintaining something, more time spent travelling without a car), is there an unequal gender division involved here?

As well as completing the survey, any comments/ feedback/ ideas are very welcome.

Thank you


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  1. Re: Work bias within eco living families - research by SystemicPlural, 153 days ago

    I entered the survey. I don't think it accurately captured our reality.

    Our baby is only 6 months old.
    4 days a week my wife looks after her from 23:30 until 18:00 the next day. (she does the nights because she is breastfeeding) I look after her from 18:00 until 23:30. I do housework from 8:30 until 9:00 and then work until 17:40.
    1 Day a week I look after the baby in the day and my wife works.
    At the weekend we share it as equally as possible.
    Chores are done by whoever is looking after the baby at the time, unless she is difficult or we are too tired. There is a lot of leeway and we work out a new solution if we feel it is unfair.

    My wife does more of the house work, I do more money earning work. My wife's sleep is interrupted more, but she gets more time off in the evenings.

    (we answered nearly all the eco questions with 'usually do')

    From talking with friends, I suspect that the more genuinely ecological the family, the more likely division of labour is to be fair. This would be consistent with Clare Graves values psychology. The problem is that not everything is always as it seems.

    Reply to this comment

    1. Re: Re: Work bias within eco living families - research by ecojim, 83 days ago

      well said.

      Reply to this comment

  2. Re: Work bias within eco living families - research by greenjeangenie, 150 days ago

    Hi I've just completed your survey. I am divorced and now live in a large community. The way the survey was designed it looks as if I could still be married - you dont ask - and very happily equally sharing the work.
    I would redesign the survey questions, augment them to get a little more info about the gender of your partners or if indeed you live with housemates. Then you will be able to take into account or eliminate gender bias. Otherwise a lot of your data will be misleading or meaningless. Context!
    I think this will be very interesting bit of research - useful in social planning too. Well done.
    Kind regards
    PS Facebook ?

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  3. Re: Work bias within eco living families - research by ecojim, 83 days ago

    Hi this not the angle to start looking at an eco lifestyle and your discussion appears to be using a green lifestyle as an excuse to discuss femanist issues, I work and play hard and am a Dad leading a good green life and me and my partner share the home workload eqaliy, that is our coice and arrangement abd the satisfaction gained throgh living 'green' out ways the small amount of extra work. I comes down to resposible behaviour as a human, as we know we are in controle of the fate of the eart and our efforts have enormous effect. BE good be green guys and sort out the domestics in your own time, remember what is important.

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  4. Re: Work bias within eco living families - research by ecojim, 83 days ago

    Read the ecologist magazine if you need no more about the rel resons for a need for allmen and women to be green and lead a sustainable/eco life,

    also a good book amoungst many, titled cradle to cradle, is a rather interesting look on how we make and use things, and how we should make and use things.

    Reply to this comment

    1. Re: Re: Work bias within eco living families - research by jane, 83 days ago

      Thanks for the feedback / comments. I think that the initial thoughts behind the survey were based on how equal greener households are. In no way was it to say that men should not be as green as women - that would be inappropriate as we all know that everyone has a role to play in leading a greener lifestyle.

      Reply to this comment

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