The divison of household labour and patterns of social support in the family
Research department Social protection institute of the Republic of Slovenia Ljubljana, Slovenia
The presentation focuses on the importance of family and kin relationship in the conditions of late modernity and stems to prove that family and kin relationships still play an important role in individual´s personal and social life. The importance of kin relations is operationally defined in terms of social support and division of labour. I anticipate that kin relations are important in sense that they offer the social support as a resource for receiving certain forms of help. Additionally, it is expected that the patterns of social support are dispersed and relatively equally distributed among kin members due to assumed lower division of labour. The gender-induced division of labour is so less intensive than in the past, since gender assumingly does not put limits on the processes of individualisation. It is claimed that this process will amount on one hand to "disburdening" of traditional women roles, and on the other hand to the disburdening of traditional men roles. Due to the individualisation, especially in form of higher participation of women on labour market, it is claimed that the opportunities for offering kin support will shrink. On the basis of above said it is thus expected that the patterns of kin support in late modernity are more diverse and more equally distributed among various social circles.
On empirical level I will try to answer the following research questions: To what extent (if any) is the division of labour in family (different forms of families) structured by gender? And is the exchange of social support in the family embedded in the responsibilities, which are tied to gendered division of labour in the family?
These questions are analyzed in two parts. In the first part, the data from "Survey on time consumption in Slovenia" (Statistical office of Slovenia, 2000) is used to access the intensity and nature of division of labour between gender in terms of time consumption for various activities in the family and household. In the second part the data "Social support networks of Slovenian inhabitants" (Ferligoj et al, 2002) serves to analyze the supportive interpersonal relations in family and household.