SYMBOLIC FUNCTIONS AND SOCIAL MEANINGS OF HOUSEHOLD WORK
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Household work has been often seen as a mere technique for fulfilling basic needs of households. This paper questions that reductionism in analysis of domestic activities. By presenting the works of Lévi-Strauss and Douglas the paper focuses on some symbolic properties of the household tasks. It shows how these activities express relations between nature and culture, give information about social categories and their boundaries as well as about exclusion and inclusion of individuals within and outside families. It is proposed that from the point of view of everyday life various social meanings of housework might be revealed. Domestic tasks are thus described as culturally relative activities whose social definition differs among families and phases of family course. In the conclusion it is suggested that such research approach could also contribute to the study of gender aspects of domestic labour.
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