chapter  3
24 Pages


In this chapter we consider the existing literature on waged domestic labour, and establish the contours of the theoretical position developed in Chapters Four and Five. The chapter is divided into two main sections. Firstly, we review the literature on waged domestic labour, focusing on waged domestic work in a variety of historical and contemporary settings and on the ‘dual-career family’. Our aim is not to provide an exhaustive summary of these fields. Rather, we identify general trends, the intention being to establish the historical and geographical extensiveness of waged domestic labour, its commonalities and particularities. This underpins the second section of the chapter, in which we review and critique the various theoretical perspectives on waged domestic labour. This serves to prefigure some of the features of our conceptualisation of the resurgence in demand for waged domestic labour in Britain in the late 1980s.