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The first ever nationally representative study has looked at how housework is organised by couples across different ethnic groups in Britain. It finds that Black Caribbean men have the least traditional attitudes to gender roles and get stuck into the household chores.

Who does most of the housework in multicultural britain

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Meanwhile, Indian men report taking on a fairer share of routine housework than white British men – even though Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi women report spending significantly more time on housework than white British women.

The study by the University of Essex and the University of Oxford examined the attitudes and behaviours of almost 30,000 cohabiting or married couples taking part in the UK’s household panel study, Understanding Society.

Co-author Dr Man-Yee Kan, Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology, said: ‘Previous research in the UK has been focussed on the white majority population. Our results have challenged the widespread assumption that the British white population must be more egalitarian and liberal in their gender attitudes and household division of labour than ethnic minority groups.’  

The data provides a detailed picture of how much time couples spend on routine housework and their attitudes to men’s and women’s roles within the household and in employment .The researchers were able to see how education levels, employment status, socio-economic background and ethnicity played a part in determining how British couples divide up chores.

Read more on the University website (opens new window)