Housework as 'family practices' in transnational couples: an exploratory study of middle-class Indians in the UK

Publication type

Journal Article

Published in

Families, Relationships and Societies


Lotika Singha

Publication date


Some recent scholarship has proposed analysing housework within 'time' and 'space' to better understand the persistent gender gap in the division of household labour. This article presents the findings of an exploratory study of housework over the lifecourse of marriage and migration in 17 transnational, middle-class, dual-career Indian couples, married for 10 to 30 years and living in the UK for nine to 24 years. By applying Morgan's (2011) family practices approach (which includes themes of time and space and subthemes of the practical, symbolic and imaginary), the analysis revealed how the temporally and spatially changing (gendered) domestic practices of the sample were underpinned by decisions made by active agents and informed by, rather than just being a passive enactment of, normatively decreed roles, situated within a framework of 'cooperative conflict', as described by Amartya Sen. These findings have implications for how housework is both researched and theorised.

Volume and page numbers

4, 131-147





Social Sciences, Migration, Family Formation And Dissolution, Ethnic Groups, Life Course Analysis, Social Stratification, Social Behaviour and Sociology Of Households


Not held in Hilary Doughty Research Library - bibliographic reference only