The distribution, negotiation and management of unpaid domestic labor are issues that are inextricably linked to the well-being of families, relationships, and our very selves. For example, disputes and arguments about chores rate amongst the most common and destructive in terms of relational conflict. Several theories have been developed to explain the division of household labor, but scholars have yet to be successful in explaining persistent differences in husbands' and wives' domestic contributions. As a step toward doing so, here we provide an integrative theory that builds upon singular explanations such as gender display and evolutionary/biosocial differences. In this paper, we incorporate these theories, introduce the importance of threshold level, and integrate concepts derived from self-organizing systems theory, the economy of gratitude, and individual, dyadic and social sensemaking processes. Together, these provide an integrated theory well suited to explore how couples' communicative practices both create and can ameliorate inequities in the division of domestic labor.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology