Relationship Formation, Division of Housework and Power Negotiation

  • Oluwafemi AdeagboEmail author
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Sociology book series (BRIEFSSOCY)


Having engaged with the historical contextualisation of same-sex relationships and relevant literature in Chapters One and Two, key findings of research conducted are discussed in Chapters Three and Four respectively. In order to understand the complexities and dynamics of interracial gay households in the South African context, this chapter engages with the relationship formation, division of labour and power relations, amongst gay couples. The main channels through which gay partners initiated their relationships were physical face-to-face encounters or social engagements and online dating. The impact of personal resources, such as income, education and race, were examined in the initial coming together of the couples but none of this had any significant influence on their familial arrangements. This chapter also examines how gay couples share housework and participate in the management of domestic duties. In this latter regard, no distinctive hierarchical divisions of labour amongst the participants were evident, notwithstanding their racial backgrounds and differential earnings. Lastly, this chapter suggests that scholars, gender and family experts, should pay attention to how gay partners are resisting and ‘redoing gender’ in their relationships, and theorise gay partners’ experiences distinctively rather than looking at them through a heterosexual lens. Overall, this chapter discusses the formation of relationships, division of household labour, how power is negotiated and what sustains intimacy in interracial gay partnerships.


Gender roles Power Housework Relationship formation Masculinity 


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© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology, Faculty of HumanitiesUniversity of JohannesburgJohannesburgSouth Africa

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