conjugal roles : feminist view

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  • conjugal roles: feminist view
    • Ann Oakley: The sociology of housework (1974) 70% of women interviewed were dissatisfied, most with housework (low levels of social interaction) house work if the most disliked thing as a housewife, long working week, 15% husbands had high levels of participation and 25% in childcare.
    • Evaluation
      • they ignore Young and Willmott's ideas on the symmetrical family (more equality)
      • Functionalists argue that feminists put too much emphasise on the negative side of family life and ignore the possibility that some women enjoy their role
    • SUPPORTING THEIR HUSBANDS by offering emotional support and guidance if there are any problems at work
    • DOMESTIC LABOUR Delphy and Leonard recognised that men do some housework but the extent of this is rather limited. women also make the largest contribution to family life, while men to the least but gain the most
    • Examples:
      • Mary Boulton in 1983 found that fewer than 20% of the husbands took a major role in childcare.
      • Elsa Ferri and Kate Smith - women were more likely than men to be responsible for childcare (1996)
      • ONS (2012) there were over 6,000 more full-time, stay-at-home dads than there were 10 years ago. while 44,000 women stopped being stay-at-home mothers.
      • Radical Feminists focus on patriarchy as the means of oppression within the home. Delphy and Leonard argued that it is men rather than capitalism who benefit the most from exploiting women and the family is central in maintaining this structure (1992)
        • men generally make the important decisions
        • the family is structured in such a way that men dominate it
        • women often have paid employments and then have to undertake household tasks ect (dual burden)


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