The private world of women

What role does housing play today in producing power relations between men and women? What is women’s position in the indoor spaces in which they live?

Recent developments in family structure and the world of work have changed the way people’s dwellings are implicated in the recomposing of gender identities and power relations. Has women’s massive participation in the labor market modified attitudes toward housing and home buying, renting and subletting strategies? Have relations between women and their living spaces been affected by the development of contemporary forms of domesticity and homeworking? Is the home still primarily a space of male domination?

Moving beyond a reified view of power relations in the private sphere, this work shows how in some conditions women’s dwellings are a place in which they can assert themselves. One group for whom it plays this role is underprivileged women. But it also shows how vulnerable such balance is. In their different analyses of dwellings as life spaces and more generally as a social environment, the authors stress the positive aspects of opening them up by connecting them with the work sphere.

This complete overview of the material, symbolic, economic and legal dimensions of the places women live opens up new research perspectives. 

Source: Anne Lambert, Pascale Dietrich-Ragon, Catherine Bonvalet, 2018, Le monde privé des femmes [The private world of women], Ined, Collection : Questions de population

Contact: Anne Lambert, Pascale Dietrich-Ragon, Catherine Bonvalet

Online: October 2018