More Work For Mother Summary

594 Words3 Pages
The book, More Work for Mother: The Ironies of Household Technology from the Open Hearth to the Microwave, is narrated from Ruth Schwartz Cowan’s point of view as she argues that even though the total amount of work required to uphold a household was seriously decreased by the advancement of technology and industrialization, the work load was only reduced for men, children, and domestic servants. The mothers and wives, however, became more isolated and were expected to do more work with the innovative technological household advances. Cowan clearly makes the distinction between the workload for women in pre-industrial households and the maintenance of the home during and after the Industrial Revolution. She describes how consumer goods, such as the microwave and cast-iron stoves, decreased the…show more content…
She is arguing that technology in the household brought about new expectations for women in the home and less tasks for men and children. Considering men and children’s traditional household responsibilities were taken over by machines, Cowan strives to prove that women soon became the only domestic producers. She explains that these household technological advances that were meant to lessen the amount of work for everyone involved in domestic labor did not quite end up doing that for women. In a study, Cowan found that women worked in the household an average of 52 hours per week in the early 1900s. That number then rose to 56 hours in the late 1960s and finally declined only to about 50 hours in 1987 (178). However, the accuracy of this evidence is highly uncertain. Also, those work hours are now clearly outdated, so it is difficult to see if the continuing technological advancements have affected the number of hours that are required by wives and mothers to maintain the upkeep of a

More about More Work For Mother Summary

Open Document