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Canadian Families-Men's Involvement in Family Work: A Case Study of Immigrant Men In Toronto

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image of International Journal of Comparative Sociology
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The study presents empirical data, based on interviews with 117 immigrant fathers/husbands, about their involvement in family work. We found that their pattern of behaviour and participation in family work can be grouped into three types: (1) "Traditionalists" who refused to do more in compensation for their spouses' decrease in time availability for family chores due to employment; (2) "Situationalists' who did a minimal amount of domestic labour and believed that they had limited choice in the matter due to "situational constraints"; and (3) "Adaptors" or "prioritizors" who because of the presence of preschoolers and/or their wives being employed fulltime did a fair number of domestic chores as a necessary strategy to maximize their family's well-being. The involvement of these husbands/fathers did not support the theoretical underpinnings of the Exchange/Resource Theory in explaining the family relation/interaction between husband and wife within the context of family work. The analysis points to the need for a critical re-assessment of this theory. However, the findings suggest that changes in sex role attitudes and in the socio-economic and socio-cultural milieu as a result of their migration to Canada, and importantly, how they cope with these changes are important factors in explaining the division of labour in family work.


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