Putting a price on housework

The Sociology of Housework and Housewife (both 1974) were the first sociological studies to look at housework as labour rather than simply part of women's role, using economic measures to analyse housework and compare it with other paid employment.

The research, carried out in the late 1960s by British sociologist Ann Oakley, was a landmark work in feminist research and in how we understand the social world. It highlighted how the social sciences ignored housework as work, and that very few serious studies of women's work in the home existed at the time.

The 1974 publications followed her first academic book Sex, Gender and Society from 1972, which introduced the term 'gender' as we know it today - distinguishing the social treatment of men and women from the biology of sex.

Ann Oakley's pioneering research contributed towards breaking down the boundaries between public and private, and including women's perspectives in social theory – with a lasting impact on academic thought, on policy thinking and on general public understanding.