Who Has It and Who Gets It?: The Role of Gender, Resources, and Transitions for Power within Couples
|Other Titles:||Die Rolle von Gender, Ressourcen und Statuspassagen für Macht in Paarbeziehungen||Authors:||Lott, Yvonne||Supervisor:||Huinink, Johannes||1. Expert:||Huinink, Johannes||2. Expert:||Brückner, Hannah||Abstract:||
Social inequality within intimate relationships is a central dimension of social inequalities in the wider society and is highly related to power imbalances. In couples, partners who have power are able to manipulate the distribution of gains and costs in the relationship. Furthermore, power manifests itself within partners interaction and, thus, is a dynamic process. Therefore, the power allocation has to be examined over time, especially in transitions, which have a high impact on the individuals life course. The Ph.D. thesis will deal with this topic and fill the gap, which exists in German research so far. Two research questions will be addressed: What factors are related to power within intimate relationships? And do transitions have an impact on power allocation in couples? Power will be measured on two dimensions of couples' lives: the financial dimension and the non-financial dimension. Financial power is measured with control over the income and financial decision-making. Non-financial power is captured with social influence and influence on results. Note that partners' perception of power is measured rather than the objective power allocation. For the explanation of couples power, rational choice theories and gender theory will be used as complementary theories. According to rational choice theories, the partner who has more power bases (resources and alternative social relations) and who is less committed to the relationship has power. With regard to gender theory, this relation is stronger for men than for women, because power primarily fits to the male gender identity. It is assumed that, in order to preserve their own and their partners' gender identities, women do not make use of their power potential or do not perceive this potential, even if they have more power bases and are less committed. Transitions, which will be considered as central life events within couples, are marriage, childbirth and changes of employment statuses. It is expected that marriage and childbirth, which often traditionalize relationships, reduce women's power. Changes to lower employment statuses also weaken power, because the social status and the access to social networks are reduced. Again, this effect is stronger for men than for women, since the male gender identity relies more on work in the labor market. The data to be used are the pairfam in 2010 for the analysis of non-financial power and the SOEP in 2004, 2005 and 2008 for the analysis of financial power. The methods, which have been applied in this study, were the multinomial logistic regression model for answering the first research question and the hybrid random effects model for answering the second research question. The analysis shows that financial resources such as individual income are mainly related to financial power and that non-financial power bases like commitment, gender role attitudes and alternative social relations are stronger related to non-financial power. Rational choice theories can be confirmed. But the results also indicate that different power bases are related to power for men and women. For men's power, the allocation of resources is more important, while, for women's power, the division of housework and child care and partners' commitment are crucial. Furthermore, when having a nontraditional division of housework or child care, partners cope with this violation of their gender identity by allocating power to the men. Gender therefore frames partners' power allocation. The analysis further reveals that marriage and childbirth do not reduce women's power, but increase partners' cooperation regarding their financial organization. Through marriage and childbirth the relationship becomes a collective enterprise. Interestingly, changes to a traditional arrangement, where he is main breadwinner, increase women's financial power. Two explanations are plausible for this result. First, when men become the main breadwinner, women's main domain becomes the household, where they have financial power regarding household decisions. Second, since it is mainly the men who perceive their partners' increase in financial power, the traditional arrangement goes hand in hand with men's perception of "she is wearing the breeches". This perception is not necessarily related to the actual power allocation.
|Keywords:||Gender, Power, Life Course Theory, Rational Choice Theory, Quantitative Methods||Issue Date:||6-Feb-2012||URN:||urn:nbn:de:gbv:46-00102542-13||Institution:||Universität Bremen||Faculty:||FB8 Sozialwissenschaften|
|Appears in Collections:||Dissertationen|
checked on Sep 28, 2020
checked on Sep 28, 2020
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