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Cognitive Dimensions of Household Labor

By Natasha Chhabra

Project Overview

Use qualitative methodology to develop quantitative measures to study Cognitive Labor and its impact on gender empowerment.

  • Conceptualizing decision-making as a multi-faceted, dynamic process
  • Thinking about the 'life-cycle' of a decision
  • Distinct dimension of labor- neither physical nor emotional labor
  • Can include anticipation, identification, and monitoring of needs within the household
  • Gendered, with women disproportionately bearing the load [even when joint decisions are made]
Cognitive Dimensions of Household Labor Diagram


  • Studying South Asian Immigrant Couples in the DMV area [1st and 2nd generation] 
  • Use of a Grounded Theory Approach to understand how decisions are made 
  • Qualitative Interviews & 'time-logs' of decisions [request a time-log of 3-4 major decisions and then interviewing both men and women in the same day] 


Photo by Paula Bronstein on Images of Empowerment