Sociology- Are couples becoming more equal?

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  • Created on: 19-01-19 14:06
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  • Are couples becoming more equal
    • The impact of paid work
      • More women are working
      • Could lead to a more equal division of domestic tasks with a new man taking responsibility and ding an equal share of housework
      • Could lead to omen having a dual burden and having to do paid work along with domestic tasks
    • The march of progress view
      • They argue that women going out to work is leading to a more equal division of labour
      • In this view, men are becoming more involved in housework and childcare
      • Gershuny 1994 argues that women working full time is leading to a more equal division of labour in the home and,using time studies,found that these women did less domestic work than other women
      • Sullivans 2000 analysis of nationally representative data collected in 1975,87 and 97 found a trend towards more women doing a smaller share of domestic work and men doing more
        • Increase in no. of couples having an equal division of labour
      • British social attitudes survey 2013 found a fall in the no. of people who think its the mans job to earn money and the woman job to look after the home
        • 1984- 45% men and 41% women agree
        • By 2012- 13% of men and 12% women agreed
    • The feminist view
      • Believe women going into paid work has not lead to greater equality in the division of labour
      • Still little sign of the new man who does an equal share of housework and childcare,
      • A survey by the British Social Attitudes in 2012 shows men did on average 8 hours of housework a week, whilst women did 13 hours.
        • Similarly, men spent 10 hours on care of family members whilst women spent 23 hours,
        • Overall, women did twice as much as men
        • Survey also showed that couples continue to divide household tasks among traditional gender lines-> Women do laundry, care for sick family members do the shopping, while men do small repairs
          • Allan 1985 argues that womens tasks are less intrinsically satisfying
    • Taking responsibility for children
      • Boultons views are backed up by others
        • Ferri and smith 1996 found that fathers took responsibility for childcare in fewer than 4% of families
        • Dex and Ward 2007- Found that when it came to caring for a sick child, 1% of fathers took this responsibility
        • Braun, Vincent and Ball 2011 found that in only three families out of 70 was the father the main carer.Most fathers held a provider ideology, in which their role was a a breadwinner, whilst the mothers saw themselves as the primary carers.
    • Emotion work and the triple shift
      • Hochschild 2013 calls it emotional work.
      • Feminists have noted that women are often required to perform emotion work
      • Duncombe and Marsden 1995 argue that women have to perform a triple shift of housework,paid work and emotion work.
    • Taking responsibility for quality time
      • Sutherton 2011 says that this is a woman's task
      • Also notes that although some studies now show that men and women have more or less equal amounts of leisure time, they have different experiences of it
        • Men are more likely to experience consolidated blocks of uninterrupted time whilst women are more likely to have leisure punctuated with childcare
    • Explanations for gender division
      • Crompton and Lyonette 2008 identify two explanations
      • Cultural/ideological explanation - The division of labour is determined by patriarchal norms and values that shape the gender roles in our culture
        • Evidence- Gershuny 1994 found couples whose parents had more of an equal relationship are more likely to share housework equally, so demonstrates that social values are  important
        • Yee Kan 2001 found that younger men do more domestic work
        • Future Foundation 2000 sound most men claimed to do more housework than their fathers and women claimed to do less than their mothers--> Generational shift in behavior is occurring
        • The British Social attitudes Survey 2013 Found that less than 10% of under 35s agreed with a traditional division of labour, as against 30% of over 65s. This indicates long term change in norms,values and attitudes
        • Dunne 1999 found that lesbian couples had more symmetrical relationships because of the absence of the traditional heterosexual gender scripts ( Norms that set out out the different roles men and women are expected to play)
      • The material/economic explanation- The fact that women generally earn less than men means it is economically rational for women to do more housework and childcare
        • Kan found that for every £10,000 a year more a woman earns, she does 2 hours less housework a week
        • Arber and Ginn 1995 found that better paid, middle class women were able to buy in commercially produced products and services like domestic help, ready meals
        • Ramos 2003 found that where the woman is the full time breadwinner and the man is unemployed, he does as much domestic labour as she does
        • Sullivan shows that working full time has the biggest difference in terms of how much domestic work each partner does


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