Housework--often trivialized or simply overlooked in public
discourse--contributes in a complex and essential way to the form
that families and societies assume. In this innovative study,
Marjorie L. DeVault explores the implications of feeding the family
from the perspective of those who do that work. Along the way,
DeVault offers a new vocabulary for discussing nurturance as a
basis of group life and sociability.
Drawing from interviews conducted in 1982-83 in a diverse group of
American households, DeVault reveals the effort and skill behind
the invisible work of shopping, cooking, and serving meals. She
then shows how this work can become oppressive for women, drawing
them into social relations that construct and maintain their
subordinate position in household life.
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