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Money, Power and Inequality within Marriage

Vogler, Carolyn, Pahl, Jan M (1994) Money, Power and Inequality within Marriage. Sociological Review, 42 (2). pp. 263-288. ISSN 0038-0261. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)


The growing body of research on the intra-household economy suggests that in couple households there are significant associations between control over household finances and more general power within the household. However, most earlier research has been based on relatively small samples. Here a major new British data set, produced by the Social Change and Economic Life Initiative, is used to examine the relations between money, power and inequality within marriage. Six different systems of financial allocation are identified. The results suggest that even when couples nominally pool their money, in practice either husband or wife is likely to control the pool. In only one fifth of couples was the pool jointly controlled, but these households were characterised by the highest levels of equality between husband and wife in terms of decision making, experience of deprivation and access to personal spending money. Findings from the study indicate a complex pattern of relationships between household income level, household allocative system and gender. Female control of finances, though it was associated with greater decision-making power for women, did not protect them against financial deprivation; however, male control of finances, especially when it took the form of the housekeeping allowance, did serve to protect the financial interests of men in comparison with women. Gender inequality was least in households with joint control of pooled money and greatest either in low income households or in higher income households with male control of finances.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Sociology
Depositing User: P. Ogbuji
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2009 06:15 UTC
Last Modified: 28 May 2019 13:58 UTC
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