chapter  20
8 Pages

Delores Hayden, 'Housing and American Life' (1984)

This chapter describes a general analysis of gender differentiation in terms of existing sociological perspectives or, as it prefers to term them, orientations. It discusses three such orientations, or rough groupings or clusterings of ideas, within the existing debates on the sexual division of labour. The first orientation or production orientation', examines gender differences within existing frameworks for analysing other social divisions; it subsumes, as it were, the sexual division of labour into the social division of labour. The second or reproduction orientation' reverses this order of priority. Here the causes of gender divisions are sought within the domestic sphere. The third orientation is based on the argument that an understanding of sexual divisions must embrace both work and home, production and reproduction. Joint orientation involves an explicit claim that concepts drawn from Marxism, structuralism, functionalist sociology or cultural studies are insufficient to that understanding, and that new concepts, based on the specificity of gender divisions, must be elaborated.