What do you understand by the concept of employment?
The Oxford English dictionary of Sociology defines employment as the action of employing, the sate of being employed or a persons work or profession (G. Marshall 1999) Although this broad definition is just an opinion it does give a rational explanation for the concept of employment and ensures that the concept is applicable to work within the private and public sphere. With time and the process of industrialization, an increasing division has been established between the public and private sphere. Men, because of their employment have spent more time in the public realm whereas women have come to be associated with 'domestic' values such as childcare and maintaining the home (A. Giddens 2001) Until recently sociologists have studied women's employment as outside the home but did not consider that the various domestic tasks such as cooking, cleaning and maintaining the home is work the same as any other kind of employment, Ann Oakley 1974 (see A.Giddens 2001)
If I continue to look at the concept of employment but take a much narrower definition then this could define employment as conventionally working for pay within the environment they find themselves (T. Watson 1987) However this definition can be disputed as it excludes people (mainly women) who provide unpaid work, A. Kuper and J. Kuper 1996 (see A.Giddens 2001)
Sociologists often ignore these precise and essentially economic definitions of employment in favour for the more general notion of work, which has a different wider meaning (G. Marshall 1999) Employment is just one kind of work, although it is commonly the kind that is recognized. A housewife could do copious amounts of unpaid work within the home yet according to some sociologists not be employed. This is certainly work but not employment and the distinction is very important (Abercrombie and ward 2000)