Quek, K. M. & Knudson-Martin, C. (2008). Reshaping marital power: How Dual Career Newlywed Couples Create Equality in Singapore. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 25, 513-534. ( 9/2007 - 9/2008 )
The persistence of gender as a system that privileges men is well documented (e.g., Tichenor, 2005; Williams, 2000). Institutionalized gender inequality continues to structure the domestic life of heterosexual women and men (Jacobs & Gerson, 2004; Moen, 2003). At the same time, Sullivan (2006, p.15) provides compelling evidence of a “slow dripping of change” in Western industrialized countries. She argues that gender change happens incrementally and that there is a need to understand these change processes. In the study presented here we examine shifts in power processes among newly married dual earner heterosexual couples in Singapore. This example is particularly interesting because this “Asian miracle economy” (World Bank, 1996) has experienced a rapid shift in policies that encourages women to enter the workplace, yet culturally, Singapore retains a traditional gender ideology (Quah, 1998). This study extends Sullivan’s interest in the processes of change to the industrialized East where collectivist values are an important part of the social structure.