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Everyday household activities: essential and indispensible unpaid labor performed by urban workers

Research Article

Tatyana M. Karakhanova Candidate of Economics
Leading researcher, Institute of Sociology of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
ORCID ID=0000-0002-6497-9188
Olga A. Bolshakova Candidate of Sociology
Senior Researcher, Institute of Sociology of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
ORCID ID=0000-0003-2501-6001
Everyday household activities: essential and indispensible unpaid labor performed by urban workers.
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2018. Vol. 9. No. 2. P. 100-129

This Article is downloaded: 25 times
Topic: Social Strata and Groups: Attitudes and Activity

For citation:
Karakhanova T. M., Bolshakova O. A. Everyday household activities: essential and indispensible unpaid labor performed by urban workers. Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2018. Vol. 9. No. 2. P. 100-129
DOI: https://doi.org/10.19181/vis.2018.25.2.512


 This article is dedicated to the results of examining workers’ actual behavior in the realm of everyday household activity, which comprises a considerable portion of a laborer’s work load. Data from a comprehensive study of laborers’ household activities (including information on their time budget), conducted in 2014 at industrial enterprises in five Russian regional capital cities (Bryansk, Vladimir, Kirov, Omsk, Pskov), was used as an empirical foundation for analysis. Defined is the degree of household activities’ subjective importance, and the various practices which they include. Determined are their scope and structure, expressed in temporal parameters, as well as factors which affect verbal and actual behavior within the realm of fulfilling everyday needs. Analyzed are the dynamics and prospects of optimizing household activity. It is revealed that subjective perception of everyday household activities among workers (both male and female) is more of a testament to both genders’ high degree of willingness to attend to household chores. Actual practice (time budget data) also shows that workers, regardless of their gender, partake in all sorts of household chores, and for the most part they organize their household priorities in the same manner, within the limits of various amounts of time dedicated to these tasks. An analysis of gardening work is conducted, along with other sorts of land site labor. Examined are subjective assessments and objective measures of urban workers’ behavior within this particular group of household activity, as well as the “branch” composition of agricultural production. Revealed are workers’ attitudes (declared and actual) towards such a socially significant activity as “taking care of and raising children”. Also analyzed is the connection between the time which workers dedicate to household work (including going to stores, using services, agricultural labor), to taking care of and raising their children, and workers’ social characteristics (marital status, family size, amount of income) and their value orientations. Drawing comparison throughout the years of reform (1986-2014) of the time workers dedicate to household activities, within the structure of one week’s time budget, shows that men now spend much more time on these activities, while women spend somewhat less. Workers’ satisfaction with household activity in general, and when it comes to separate groups of practices, falls short of a “good” grade; women are generally less satisfied than men.


 urban workers, household, household activity, housekeeping, child care and children education, gardening and kitchen-garden activities, unpaid work.



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