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Keywords:

  • cross-national;
  • fairness and equality;
  • housework/division of labor;
  • social context;
  • social trends/social change

This paper examines gendered housework in the larger context of comparative social change, asking specifically whether cross-national differences in domestic labor patterns converge over time. Our analysis of data from 13 countries (N = 11,065) from the 1994 and 2002 International Social Survey Program (ISSP) confirmed that social context matters in shaping couples' division of labor at home, but also showed that context affects patterns of change. Our results suggested that, compared to the most egalitarian countries, the shift in housework patterns was greatest among the most traditional countries. This provides support for the thesis of cultural convergence, but the evidence did not suggest that such convergence will lead to complete equality in the foreseeable future.