Affording alternatives and settling for less were not the only money issues discussed in the interviews. The distribution of money within the household and the relative importance of who earned it were also discussed. Feminists have identified financial dependence as an important factor in women's oppression. In sociology, households and families are defined (at least partly) as units which redistribute resources both between adults and from adults to children. These resources include money, food and clothing as well as emotional and psychological support. Recent research (e.g. J. Pahl, 1983, 1989) has shown that this redistribution cannot be assumed to be equal and has highlighted the relationship between the distribution of financial resources and the distribution of power within households. 1

Lydia Morris (1990) provides a detailed review and discussion of this literature in both the UK and the USA. The characteristic of this research that stands out from my perspective is the extent to which it focuses on the relationship between the labour market and the household and takes for granted particular constructions of gender. Thus, for example, Morris points out 'that implicit in the asking of the question "why work?" is the assumption that for married women at least some alternative means of support is available' (1990, p. 117). In addition, this body of research focuses almost exclusively on married couples (or fails to distinguish between married and cohabiting couples). Only one study includes lesbian and gay couples (Blumstein and Schwartz, 1983) and there is no' discussion of other arrangements or household forms.