For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Working-Class Jobs: Housework and Paid Work Assources of Satisfaction"

by Ferree, Myra Marx (1976)


Although it is widely believed that housework is a preferred and generally satisfying occupation for most working-class women, in fact it can be shown that fulltime housewives are more dissatisfied and feel themselves to be worse off than women with jobs. Housework may not be felt to be menial or degrading, but it also does not lead to a sense of competence, social connectedness, or self-determination equal to that produced by paid employment. Financial need is an important reason why working-class women seek jobs, but it should not be seen as either excluding or trivializing the basic social and psychological needs which for many are not met in housework as a fulltime occupation.


Feminism, Housework, Alienation, Unpaid Work, Critical Theory, Gender


Marx, Home and Work, Care Work

Links to Reference



How to contribute.