Leisure and time
Feminist sociologists opened up research on control over time. Rosemary Deem’s (1986) pioneering research into the leisure activities of married women in Milton Keynes showed that men expected and took time for their leisure, whereas women only had time for their leisure if their male partner supported the activity. The dynamics of the households were such that men owned their time, and controlled the time of their partners. The importance of including time in any feminist analysis of the private sphere was emphasised by Barbara Adam (1996).
Across these nine areas of domestic life, then, feminist sociologists have opened up new research topics, and pioneered new ways of studying ‘the private’. This was not the result of neglecting all the traditional areas of sociological enquiry. It is possible to demonstrate the achievements of feminist sociology in other fields, such as education, health and illness, (and these are covered in Chapter 7) or work and employment. In education, for example, Amanda Coffey and I (Coffey and Delamont, 2000) have written a whole book on feminist sociological research of relevance to teachers. AltaMira Press has a whole series of books, each showcasing feminist work in an empirical area (The Gender Lens series, with eight titles already published). There is not room to explore them all here.