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Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y EmpresarialesFacultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales

The Household Division of Work in the Spanish Urban Families

Financiado por
Ministry of Science and Technology

Meil Landwerlin, Gerardo


The main goal of this research project is to provide a global perspective on how the new Family life is changing profoundly in Spain, as it is in many other countries. This change can be characterized as a process of privatization of individual life projects so that traditional social control of family life has been dissolved, bringing about a greater degree of freedom to those who are building a partnership, figuring out how to organize their lives in a household, or deciding to end a partnership. In this context, family as well as domestic roles are no longer culturally fixed but can be negotiated by spouses. One of the main aims of the project is to replicate a survey done a decade ago among young families in urban Spain (persons with children younger than 13 years living in the same household) in order to analyze how the scope and characteristics of housework sharing and the involvement of males in childrearing has changed over time. The last main issue to be addressed is how this process of negotiation and redefinition of traditional family and domestic roles is affecting marital adjustment and its effect on marital stability.



  1. To analyse how has men's involvement in housework and childcare changed between 1995 and 2003, in which specific tasks are they more involved, and what are the factors that promote greater gender equality in this domain of family life
  2. To analyse the involvement of children in housework and the circumstances under which this involvement is broader and more frequent.
  3. To analyse the effects of an unequal distribution of housework and childcare among spouses in relation to marital satisfaction and the risk of divorce

Meil Landwerlin, Gerardo


In spanish:

G. Meil, (2004), (Family and paid work) “Familia y mercado de trabajo” in López, María Teresa (2004), La familia en España, dos décadas de cambio, Fundación Acción Familiar, Madrid, pp. 95-142

G. Meil, (2004), (Balancing family and working lives) “Los desafíos de la conciliación de la vida familiar y la vida laboral” in Fundación Encuentro, España 2003. Una interpretación de su realidad social, Madrid, 2004, pp. 319-378

G. Meil, (2005), (The effect of unequal household division of work on marital stability) “El reparto desigual del trabajo doméstico y sus efectos sobre la estabilidad de los proyectos conyugales” in Revista Española de Investigaciones Sociológicas, 111, 2005, pp. 163-179 

G. Meil, (2005), (Household Division of Work in Madrid Region Families), El reparto de responsabilidades familiares y domésticas en la Comunidad de Madrid, Comunidad de Madrid, Consejería de Familia y Asuntos Sociales, 88 pp.

G. Meil, (2006), (Continuities and change in the division of household labour among spouses in the urban family) “Continuidad y cambio en la división del trabajo doméstico en la familia urbana” in Varios Autores, Estructura y procesos sociales, libro homenaje a José Cazorla, Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas, Madrid

Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales  · C/ Francisco Tomás y Valiente, 5 · Universidad Autónoma de Madrid · 28049 Madrid · España