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Sociology Word of the Day: domestic labor

(noun) The numerous tasks associated with maintaining a household such as childcare, elder-care, or housework.

Example: Cleaning the bathroom or taking out the trash.

Audio Pronunciation: (do·mes·tic la·bor)

Download Audio Pronunciation: domestic labor.mp3

Usage Notes:

  • Plural: domestic labors
  • Not to be confused with wage labor, which is labor sold by a worker to an employer.
  • The Sociology of Housework (1974) by Ann Oakley (1944) fueled the sociological discussion of domestic labor, as did The Second Shift: Working Parents and the Revolution at Home (1989) by Arlie Hochschild (1940) and Anne Machung over a decade later.
  • In contrast to domestic labor, household work strategy refers to labor inside and outside the home.
  • Variant form: domestic labour
  • Domestic labor used in a sentence: My mom and dad try to equally split the domestic labor in the house.

Additional Information:

Related Terms:

Useful Information

Parts of Speech:
  • adj. adjective - A word that expresses an attribute of a noun (big, little, short, tall).
  • adv. adverb - A word that modifies or qualifies the meaning of an adjective (unbelievably talented), verb (singing loudly), or another adverb (singing quite beautifully).
  • n. noun - Person (teacher, Bob); place (mountain, New York City) thing (rock); idea (happiness); or quality (charismatic).
  • v. verb - Action (run); occurrence (happen); or state of being (be).
  • e.g. - As an example.
  • etc. - And so on.
  • i.e. - In other words.
  • Ibid. - In the same place.
  • et al. - And others
Useful terms
  • coin - v. To create a word or additional meaning of a word.
  • comparison - n. How two things are similar.
  • connotation - n. The figurative or emotional meaning of a word.
  • contrasted - n. A comparison based on difference(s).
  • denotation - n. The literal dictionary meaning of a word.
  • hyponym - n. A specific version of the primary word.
  • [Example] - Indicates modification from the original, without changing the meaning, used typically for capitalization, to change plurality, or for clarification.
  • - Indicates a new paragraph, used in long quotes to show original formatting.
  • . . . - Indicates the removal of a portion of the quoted text for brevity but not in a way that changes the meaning.