My Money, His Money, Our Money: On Gendered Discourses of Household Money Among Heterosexual Polish Couples

Friday, 3 July 2015: 10:15 AM-11:45 AM
CLM.2.06 (Clement House)
Marta Olcoń-Kubicka, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warszawa, Poland
Marta Olcoń-Kubicka

Institute of Philosophy and Sociology at the Polish Academy of Sciences

My money, his money, our money: On gendered discourses of household money among heterosexual Polish couples

Based on qualitative research in 16 young middle-class households in Warsaw and on discourse analysis of Polish internet message boards, this paper analyzes the process of enabling forms of financial settlements between dual-earner partners. The study develops a micro-sociological perspective, one interested in the dynamics and conflicts within the household and one focused on generation of the young Poles who grew up during the transition from socialism to a market society and are called the “first free market generation.” The study is focused on the way in which young dual-earner heterosexual couples organize their economic resources by pooling them, keeping them separate, or using any kind of mixed system. After investigating the practices of establishing the financial arrangements the paper also analyzes what discourses and justifications related to gender are mobilized while keeping the half and half principle or moving towards merging finances and how these discourses are connected to social and economic factors in contemporary Poland. Specifically, I focus on the women's perspectives and women's notions of "my money," "his money," and "our money" as they relate to male perspective and justifications articulated when a couple is interviewed together.