Gender and Racial Inequality among Immigrant and Non-Immigrant American Married Couples: The Case of Household Labor

Vincent Louis, University of Minnesota

This paper examines how gender and race influence the distribution of domestic labor in immigrant and non-immigrant married households. Previous sociological research has focused on the distribution of housework among American married couples, showing persistent gender inequality, favoring husbands. Much of this research makes no distinction between immigrant and non-immigrant individuals or couples. Thus, we are less certain about gender inequality between immigrant spouses, and how it compares to non-immigrant spouses. This paper explores the impact of gender and race on housework contribution in immigrant households compared to non-immigrant households, using the American Time Use Survey. Statistical results show that gender, race and immigrant status were important factors in determining housework time for wives. Gender was an influential factor for husbands, but race and immigrant status were not. The unequal distribution of housework time was more burdensome for immigrant wives. The results confirm the “production of gender” in married couples.

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Presented in Session 119: Migration and Gender