Feeding the Family: The Social Organization of Caring as Gendered Work

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University of Chicago Press, 1994 M07 15 - 270 pages
Housework—often trivialized or simply overlooked in public discourse—contributes in a complex and essential way to the form that families and societies assume. In this innovative study, Marjorie L. DeVault explores the implications of "feeding the family" from the perspective of those who do that work. Along the way, DeVault offers a new vocabulary for discussing nurturance as a basis of group life and sociability.

Drawing from interviews conducted in 1982-83 in a diverse group of American households, DeVault reveals the effort and skill behind the "invisible" work of shopping, cooking, and serving meals. She then shows how this work can become oppressive for women, drawing them into social relations that construct and maintain their subordinate position in household life.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Doing Family Meals
35
Provisioning
58
Constructing the Family
77
Feeding as Womens Work
95
Never Done
120
Conflict and Deference
138
Part Three Feeding Work and Social Class
167
Conclusion
227
Profiles of Named Informants
245
Index
259
Copyright

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About the author (1994)

Elizabeth A. Kaye specializes in communications as part of her coaching and consulting practice. She has edited Requirements for Certification since the 2000-01 edition.


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