The Division of Routine and Non-Routine Housework Among Migrant and Native Couples in Germany
Keywords:Couples, Division of housework, Migration, Germany, FReDA
Gender inequality in the division of household chores is a persistent issue over time and across country contexts, while differences within and between native and migrant couples remain largely unclear. Relying on the German country case, this study examines the association between partners’ migration constellations and the division of housework. We differentiate between natives and first-generation migrants, and within first-generation migrants, we differentiate by their regions of origin. For the division of housework, we analyse traditionally female routine tasks and male non-routine tasks. Following gender and resource explanations, this study expects gendered variation in the way native, migrant, and mixed (i.e., native/migrant) couples divide housework. Utilising novel data from the German Family Demography Panel Study (FReDA-GGS sample, 2021), the paper employs OLS regression models to predict the division of housework among 11,223 cohabiting different-sex couples. The study finds a gender-traditional divide in routine household tasks among migrant couples, with heterogeneity across regions of origin. Specifically, women in Asian and Eastern European couples tend to do more routine tasks than their native counterparts, while the division of routine housework in couples from Western countries is more egalitarian. In mixed couples, the division of routine tasks is highly unequal if the male partner is a migrant. Non-routine tasks in mixed couples are, however, mostly performed by the native partner, irrespective of gender. The results suggest that the division of routine housework conforms to traditional gender roles across most migrant groups, while non-routine housework, such as financial tasks that require country-specific knowledge, is influenced by the native status, which serves as a resource in itself.
* This article belongs to a special issue on “Family Research and Demographic Analysis – New Insights from the German Family Demography Panel Study (FReDA)”.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Theresa Nutz, Lisa Schmid, Reinhard Pollak
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