Symposium 2: Time Use Studies, Care Work, and Care Responsibilities: Conceptual, Methodological, and Epistemological Issues

Convenor: Andrea Doucet, Brock University

In many countries, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to what many commentators are calling a ‘she-cession’ where women are reducing their paid work hours and opportunities or leaving their jobs altogether. Although these decisions are negotiated within complex personal and socio-political contexts of gendered commitments and structures of paid work and unpaid care work, for families with young children, the pandemic has revealed, intensified, and exacerbated women’s long-standing responsibilities for care work and domestic life. Time-use studies (surveys and diaries) are currently the most widely used and trusted methodological approach for measuring gender divisions of housework and care. In the past decade there have been considerable methodological advancements in how to study and assess daily time use. At the same time, there is a growing critique of the efficacy of time-use studies for assessing and measuring care responsibilities and a call for attending more to conceptual and methodological complexities in how care time and temporalities are viewed, lived, and experienced by diverse populations. This symposium explores and debates conceptual, methodological, and epistemological issues in assessing and measuring unpaid care work and care responsibilities. It brings together several leading writers on care, gender divisions of housework and care, and time and temporality.

Paper authors and titles:

  • Melissa Milkie (University of Toronto, Canada): Parents’ Time “With” versus “For” Children: Social Status Dimensions
  • Oriel Sullivan (University College of London, UK): Changing Activities, Housework and Care during Periods of Different Social Restrictions in the UK
  • Brenda S.A. Yeoh (National University of Singapore, Singapore): The Critical Temporalities of Serial Migration: Negotiating Care Relations among Migrant-Sending Families in Southeast Asia
  • Andrea Doucet (Brock University, Canada): Care responsibilities and time: Methodological, conceptual, and epistemological issues

Discussant: Nancy Folbre (University of Massachusetts, USA)

Posted in Conference 2021, Symposia.