Are couples becoming more equal?

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  • Are couple becoming more equal?
    • Impact of paid work
      • Most women in Oakley's study were full-time housewives. Today many more wives go out to work - full time or part time
        • Is it leading to more equal division of domestic  tasks? march of progress view
        • Do women now have to carry a 'dual burden' of paid work as well as domestic work? Feminist view
    • March of progress view
      • Optimistic view - women working leading to more equal division of labour at home. Men becoming more involved in housework and childcare and women paid work.
      • Gershuny (1994) - women working full time = more equal division. Studies - found these women did less work at home.
      • Sullivan (2000) trend towards women doing less housework and men more. Increase in number of couples with equal division.
      • Trends reflect attitude to traditional div of labour e.g. BSA survey (2013) - fall in number of people think mans job to earn money and woman's job to look after children.
    • Feminist view
      • Little sign of men who do equal share of housework, women carry dual burden.
      • How much do men do?
        • 2012 - men average did 8 hours housework a week, women did 13.
        • Men spent 10 hours caring for family women spent 23.
        • Women do twice as much as men
      • Who does what?
        • Allen (1985) - women's tasks like washing are less intrinsically satisfying
        • couples divide household tasks, e.g. women more likely to do laundry and men repair house.
    • Taking responsibility for children
      • Boulton (1983) - although men may help with childcare, women takes responsibility for childs security and well-being.
      • Ferri and Smith (1996) fathers took responsibility for childcare in less that 4% families.
      • Dex and Ward (2011) - fathers had high levels of involvement - 78% played with children, when caring for sick only 1% took responsibility.
      • Braun, Vincent and Ball (2011) only 3 out of 70 families, father was main carer. Most helped with childcare more about relationship with partner. Most fathers thought role was breadwinner.
      • Feminists - women required to perform emotion work - responsible for emotions / feelings of family members.
    • Taking responsibility for 'quality time'
      • Southerton (2011) - women responsible for managing family's quality time.
      • Men more likely to experience blocks of uninterrupted leisure time but women's is often punctuated by child-care.
        • Also, women multitask showing they carry a dual burden
    • Gender division of labour
      • Material or economic explanation of inequality
        • Women generally earn less than men - economically rational for women to do more housework.
      • Cultural or ideological explanation of inequality
        • Division of labour determined by patriarchal norms and values that shape gender roles.
        • Women perform more domestic labour
      • Evidence for cultural explanation
        • Man Yee Kan (2001) younger men do more domestic work.
          • Future Foundation (2000) - most men claimed to do less than their mother. Generational shift in behaviour occurring.
        • Gershuny (1994) couples whose parents had more equal relationship more likely to share housework. Parental role models important.
        • BSA (2013) less than 10% under 35s agreed with traditional div of labour. 30% over 65s agreed.
        • Dunne (1999) lesbian couples more symmetrical relationships
      • Evidence for material explanation
        • Kan - every £10,000 a year a women earns, does 2 hours less housework a week.
        • Arber and Ginn (1995) better paid middle class women more able to buy commercially products and services e.g. labour saving devices.
        • Ramos (2003) women is full-time breadwinner and man in unemployed, does as much domestic labour as her.
        • Sullivan - working full time makes biggest difference in how much domestic labour is done.

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