Economic Activities in the Household

Much economic work takes place in the household, where people produce and reproduce family life. Here economic activity is broadly defined, rather than being restricted solely to the commercial. Indeed, grappling with what constitutes the "economic" within the household remains a conundrum (Wilk, 1989). To understand how gender roles and economics interact, particularly in traditional societies, the household must be a focus. However, different perspectives differ widely in their view of economic roles in the household. World systems theorists influenced by the work of Immanuel Wallerstein (1974) sometimes seem to suggest that households exist merely to satisfy the needs of industrial capitalism (e.g., Smith, Wallerstein, & Evers, 1984) while some Marxists see women's work and behavior as the result of women's lack of control of the means of production or their victimization by patriarchal ideological relations (Young, Wolkowitz, & McCullagh, 1981). Scholars with this viewpoint sometimes suggest that the household is a sort of patriarchal structure or device to marginalize or otherwise control women, rather than exploring it as a way of understanding both men's and women's economic activities.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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