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Dr Emily Christopher - Aston University. Birmingham, , GB

Dr Emily Christopher

Lecturer, Sociology and Policy | Aston University


Dr Christopher's research has explored the ways in which UK state policy is mediated through workplace policies and cultures.







Who is doing the household work and why does it matter?




Dr Christopher joined Aston University in January 2020.

Her research primarily focuses on the reproduction of gendered inequalities in paid and unpaid work, with a particular interest in developing innovative methods which take account of how domestic labour is conceptualised and measured.

Her research has explored the ways in which UK state policy is mediated through workplace policies and cultures across public and private sectors and the ways in which these influence couples’ negotiation of domestic divisions of labour and the reproduction of gendered inequalities.

Emily is currently working on a project which explores how involvement in different housework and childcare tasks may affect the likelihood of relationship dissolution between co-resident partners.

Emily is also developing a research project, in collaboration with Dr Katy Pilcher, which examines the impact of ageing on divisions of housework and childcare, focusing on intersections of ageing with gender, class, ethnicity, sexuality and place/space.

Industry Expertise (2)



Areas of Expertise (4)

Gender Divisions and the Relation Between Paid and Unpaid Work

Sociologies of the Family, Relationality and Kinship

Men and Masculinities

Visual Methodologies

Education (1)

University of Warwick: PhD

Media Appearances (1)

Who is doing the household work and why does it matter?

Aston University  online


In this talk Dr Emily Christopher discusses the value of this unpaid work and the wider consequences of how it is divided. She'll show that exploring the reasons men and women give for why they do different household tasks lies at the heart of tackling gender inequality within and outside the home.

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Articles (1)

Capturing Conflicting Accounts of Domestic Labour: The Household Portrait as a Methodology

Sociological Research Online

2020 Drawing on data from a UK study conducted in 2014/2015, based on qualitative interviews with 25 working parent, heterosexual couples on their domestic division of labour, I argue that the interactive methodology of the ‘Household Portrait’ not only provides data on the distribution of household labour but also reveals gender differences in how domestic labour is conceptualised and measured. Disagreements and inconsistencies between couples over who ‘mostly’ does various tasks embody gendered perceptions of the meaning of doing domestic tasks and the appropriate temporal frame for evaluating individual contributions. Partners’ joking competition over their respective contributions highlight not just the normative expectations guiding what women and men feel they should do but also the criteria that they think should be used to measure their contributions.

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