Chapter

Housework and Household Decisions

C. Y. Cyrus Chu and Ruoh‐Rong Yu

in Understanding Chinese Families

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780199578092
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722424 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199578092.003.0006
Housework and Household Decisions

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Both sociologists and economists predict that the couple's relative resource holding determines their respective position in the family. This hypothesis is investigated in China and Taiwan from two different angles: the decision power of regular family decisions and the sharing of housework. Concerning household decisions, it is found that the above‐mentioned resource theory is basically valid in Chinese societies. An additional phenomenon observed is that co‐residing with the husband's parents decreases the wife's decision power. Concerning housework sharing, the wives' load in China is relatively lower and the pattern is more like that in the USA, whereas the wives' housework load in Taiwan is much heavier, similar to the case of Japan. In addition, co‐residing with the husband's parents in Taiwan also increases the wife's housework.

Keywords: housework; household decisions; relative resource; decision power; co‐residence

Chapter.  7842 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management

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