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, In-person, 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 research with diverse families on paid and unpaid work and divisions and relations of domestic labour. Each panelist is part of a research team working with a qualitative, participatory, visual, creative method that engages couples in mapping and discussing their household and care tasks and responsibilities – the 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 (Doucet, 2023; Doucet and Klostermann, in press). 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. These papers go 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.

Chair: Andrea Doucet, Brock University

Panelists and Presentations:

1. Fathering and care/work policies

Kim de Laat, University of Waterloo; Andrea Doucet, Brock University

2. Care/work in rural and small town families

Laura Fisher, Dalhousie University; Karen Foster, Dalhousie University

3. Absences and (re)articulations: 2SLGBTQ families and care/work

Margaret F. Gibson, University of Waterloo; Bridget Livingstone, University of Waterloo; Jenna Cooper, University of Waterloo; Brianna Urquhart, University of Waterloo

4. “That’s shared!”: Care/work stories and new immigrant families in Canada

Umay Kader, University of British Columbia; Andrea Doucet, Brock University

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

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