Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Sex Roles 28:5/6 (1993), pp. 295-315. Copyright © 1993 Plenum Publishing Corporation. Used by permission.


This research explores the work perceptions, both physical and mental, of women. The research finds that women’s perceptions of waged and nonwaged labor differ greatly depending on the work environment. Perceptions of physical demands of waged labor are almost solely dependent on the type of paid labor women engage in. For homeworkers, perceptions of physical labor are influenced primarily by the number of hours invested in housework. The mental demands of waged and nonwaged labor are also perceived differently. Women in the waged economy report significantly higher mental demands than do homeworkers. This too varies across labor segments. The closest parallel between physical and mental demand perceptions is between homeworkers and women in the service sector of the waged economy. Overall the assumption that women perceive their work roles in the waged market and the home market similarly is negated.

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