Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The concept of the second shift describes an unequal division of labor prevalent among heterosexual dual-earner couples in which women perform the bulk of unpaid household labor and child care in addition to their paid employment. Also referred to as the “double day,” the second shift marks an important form of gender inequality brought about by changing gender roles. Over the past four decades, as women's labor force participation escalated, men's participation at home increased only slightly. Consequently, women's heavy responsibilities in paid and unpaid work expose them to role conflict and role overload, disrupt their attempts at leisure, and disadvantage their pay and promotion chances in the workplace. Social scientists have researched the division of household labor through time diary studies, surveys that ask respondents to estimate the time they spend on various tasks (less accurate due to inflated responses), and in-depth fieldwork on women's and men's relationships in ...