Housework is something ordinary people do in everyday life, and the ini-tial concern of this research is to understand how people think about it. To elaborate this as fully as possible, this research employed qualitative research methods. Relying on qualitative heuristics that are open to the possibility of new concepts and changes from the researchers’ previous knowledge (Kleining and Witt 2000), the research questions have been educed in the process of analysis. That is, even though I explained three different dimensions of positioning this research in terms of concrete/ab-stract levels, the initial research question is only one. Focusing on actor’s perspectives and practices, this research, at the first push, investigates:
What are the values and social meanings of housework generated by actors: its cus-tomary norms?
By investigating this initial research question, I expected to compre-hend the core impetus of doing housework in everyday life, and by so doing find a way to re-organize it. However, while analysing the meanings of housework, I realized that meanings and meaningfulness are different, and that there was the loss of the meaningfulness of doing housework between the two generations from whom I generated data. Hence, draw-ing upon the fact that in contrast with the elderly, the young have perva-sively lost the meaningfulness of doing housework, the second research question was generated:
What are the dynamics that provoked the loss of meaningfulness of doing housework from the elderly to the young?
Lastly, entwined with the standard of gaining recognition (which shifts as time goes on) the dynamics of losing the meaningfulness of doing housework have revealed the harmful effect doing housework has had on achieving an individuated self (separated from others and embedded into society). In this context, in order to re-reckon the way of doing housework for a flourishing family and self, the need is to question the role of house-work in the individuals’ everyday life and to support the emergence of the individuated. That is, in relation to the purpose of the familiar-private area in becoming human beings (Elshtain 1981: 334), to illuminate ways in which people can take enjoyment from housework is needed. This educed the third research questions:
What is the housework for a thriving family and self in current Korean society? (Where is its value, what values from housework can people enjoy, and how?)
Because of the evolving nature of these research questions during the process of analysis and interpretation, a process very different from the conventional way of generating research questions, the evolving charac-teristics of the research process will be fully and carefully explicated. This is fundamental to the rigorous presentation of this qualitative research, lending it clarity and reliability.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Housework, Meanings, Values, Qualitative research, Work/ Activity/ Action, Freedom/ Care/ Justice
Promotor I.P. van Staveren (Irene) , K.A. Siegmann (Karin Astrid)
Publisher Erasmus University Rotterdam
ISBN 978-90-6490-092-1
Persistent URL
Koo, E. (2018, November 27). "Where is the value of housework?" : re-conceptualizing housework as family care activity. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from