Care is Not a Tally Sheet: Reflections on the Care/Work Portrait as a Method for Rethinking and Remaking the Field of Gender Division of Domestic Labour

Conference Highlights, Regular Sessions
Critical Sociology of Families, Work, and Care

The porous and shifting boundaries within and between care and work concepts and practices, and related measurement complexities, call for innovative conceptual and methodological approaches to research gender divisions of domestic labour. This panel showcases the recent research of diverse faculty members and students conducting research with diverse families (e.g., Indigenous, new immigrant, LGBTQ, rural, and caregiving fathers) and care and work and gender divisions of domestic labour. It builds on our forthcoming article (Doucet and Klostermann, in press) on how we reconfigured the Household Portrait – a qualitative, participatory, visual, creative method that engages couples in mapping and discussing their household and care tasks and responsibilities – into a Care/Work Portrait. This method and digital app, which is informed by conceptual shifts in care theories, offers theoretical and methodological advantages for studying gendered divisions and relations of household work and care. The Care/Work Portrait attends to unpaid care work/paid work/paid care work intra-connections, moves outside the household to include community-based work, deepens distinctions between tasks and responsibilities, and considers wider forms of care. It goes beyond who-does-what tallies to bring forth relational, temporal, spatial stories about people’s complex care/work configurations and the specific contexts, constraints, supports, and structuring conditions of their lives.

Tags: Indigenous Studies, Migration and Immigration, Parenting and Families, Research Methods

Organizers: Andrea Doucet, Brock University, Janna Klostermann, University of Calgary