(noun) The numerous tasks associated with maintaining a household such as childcare, elder-care, or housework.
- Bathing children.
- Changing diapers (also called nappies).
- Cleaning the bathroom.
- Preparing meals.
- Shopping for groceries.
- Taking out the trash.
Audio Pronunciation: (do·mes·tic la·bor)
Download Audio Pronunciation: domestic labor.mp3
- 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.
- Family and Kinship Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Word origin of “domestic” and “labor” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
- Waring, Marilyn. 1990. If Women Counted. San Francisco: Harper & Row.
- American Sociology Association – Section on Family: asanet.org
- Ann Oakley – Sociology of Housework: sociologytwynham.com
Abercrombie, Nicholas, Stephen Hill, and Bryan Turner. 2006. The Penguin Dictionary of Sociology. 5th ed. London: Penguin.
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. 5th ed. 2011. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Bruce, Steve, and Steven Yearley. 2006. The SAGE Dictionary of Sociology. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Jary, David, and Julia Jary. 2000. Collins Dictionary of Sociology. 3rd ed. Glasgow, Scotland: HarperCollins.
Macmillan. (N.d.) Macmillan Dictionary. (https://www.macmillandictionary.com/).
Merriam-Webster. (N.d.) Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/).
Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).
Ravelli, Bruce, and Michelle Webber. 2016. Exploring Sociology: A Canadian Perspective. 3rd ed. Toronto: Pearson.
Stewart, Paul, and Johan Zaaiman, eds. 2015. Sociology: A Concise South African Introduction. Cape Town: Juta.
Thorpe, Christopher, Chris Yuill, Mitchell Hobbs, Sarah Tomley, and Marcus Weeks. 2015. The Sociology Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained. London: DK.
Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).
How to Cite the Definition of Domestic Labor
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “domestic labor.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved January 21, 2019 (http://sociologydictionary.org/domestic-labor/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
domestic labor. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from http://sociologydictionary.org/domestic-labor/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “domestic labor.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed January 21, 2019. http://sociologydictionary.org/domestic-labor/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“domestic labor.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 21 Jan. 2019. <http://sociologydictionary.org/domestic-labor/>.