Sociology

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  • Couples
    • Domestic Division of Labour
      • Functionalism
        • Parsons (1955) identified two conjugal roles
        • Instrumental Role - Male, Breadwinner
        • Expressive Role - Female, Nurturer/Carer/Homemaker
        • Argues gender dividion is functional for whole family, its members and wider society
          • See's it to be biologically based
        • New Right agree with Parsons that it is biologically based
      • March of Progress View
        • Bott (1975) identifies two types of conjugal roles
          • Segregated - Sharp division of labor between male breadwinner and female homemaker (also spent leisure time differently)
          • Joint - Involves couples sharing domestic tasks and lesuire
        • Young & Wilmott (1973) Symmetrical Family
          • Most women now go out to work
          • Men help with housework and childcare
          • Couples spen lesuire time together
          • Men have become more home-centred and the family more privatised
          • Rise of Symmetrical Family is  due to major social changes in the 20th century
      • Feminism
        • Reject the March of Progress View
          • See the family as patriarchal (male dominated)
            • Not symmetrical or equal
        • Ann Oakley (1974)
          • Found no evidence of symmetry in domestic labor
          • Argues that Young and Wilmott exaggerate mens role
            • Although husbands helps, this could just include ironing their shirts once a week
        • Boulton (1983)
          • Argues that we need to look at who is responsible for tasks
          • Wife is seen as reponsible for childrens welfare even when men help
          • Less than one in five husbands took a major part in childcare
    • Are couples becoming more equal?
      • March of Progress View
        • Most women today are in paid work
          • Argues that this is leading to a more equal division in labor
        • Sullivan (2000)
          • Found women now do less domestic work
          • Men do more traditional 'womens tasks'
          • More couples have an equal division of labor
      • Feminist View
        • Do not believe that women working has led to greater equality
          • Women now carry a dual burden of paid work and domestic work
        • Responsibility for Children
          • Although fathers helps with specific tasks, usually mothers take well being responsibility
            • Dex & Ward (2007)
              • Found that only 1% of fathers to the main responsibility for childrens well being
            • Braun et al (2011)
              • Found that most fathers were 'background fathers
              • They held a provider ideology
                • Role was breadwinner not primary carer
        • Responsibility for Quality Time
          • Women generally take responsibility
          • Working mothers find themselves juggling competing demands on their time
        • Triple Shift
          • Duncombe & Marsden (1995)
            • Found that women not only had to carry a dual burden but also a triple shift
              • Emotion work Domestic work & Labour work
      • Explaining the Gender Division of Labour
        • Cultural or Ideological explanation
          • Evidence
            • Equality will be achieved when attitudes, values and expectations, role models and socialization change
            • Gershuny (1994)
              • Couples are adapting to women working full time, establishing a new norm of men doing more domestic work
            • Kan (2001)
              • Found younger men do more domestic work
            • British Social Attitudes (2013)
              • Found a long term change in attitudes
        • Material or Economic Explanation
          • Evidence
            • If women earn as much as their partners we should see couples doing more equal amounts of work
            • Arber & Ginn (1995)
              • Better paid women ould byt in products and services
                • E.g. childcare, rather than carrying out domestic tasks themselves
            • Ramos (2003)
              • Found that where women is full time breadwinner and male is unemployed, they do equal amounts of domestic labour
      • Sane Sex Couples and Gender Scripts
        • Radical feminists argue that heterosexual relationships are hugely patriarchal and unequal
        • Dunne (1999) Gender Scripts
          • Heterosexuals
            • Socialised into gender scripts that set out different masculine and feminine roles and gender identities
          • Lesbians
            • Did not link household tasks to gender scripts, so they were more open to negotiation and thus more equal
    • Resources and Decision Making
      • Kempson (1994)
        • found that women in low income families denied their own needs to make ends meet
        • Even in households with adequate incomes, resources are often shred unequally, leaving women in poverty
      • Decision making & paid work
        • Pahl & Volger (1993) identified two types of control over family income
          • Allowance system where men work and give their non working wives an allowance from which they budget to meet the families needs
          • Pooling where parents work and have joint responsibility for spending (e.g. a joint bank account)
      • Professional couples and decision making
        • Edgell (1980)
          • Study of decision making among professional couples where both work full time
            • Very important decisions made by husband and less important decision made by the wife
        • Two main explanations for inequalitites in decision making
          • Material - Men have more power in decision making because they earn more (women are economically dependant so they have less say)
            • Cultural - Feminists argue that gender role socialisation in patriarchal society instils the idea that men are the decision makers
      • Personal life perspective on money
        • Nyman (2003)
          • Argues that different couples give money different meanings
            • These meanings reflect the nature of the relationship
        • Smart (2007)
          • Found that some same sex couples did not see the control of money as meaning either equality or inequality
          • This may be because they do not enter relationships with the same 'heterosexual baggage of cultural meaings' that see money as a source of power
    • Domestic Violence
      • Statistics
        • British crime survey estimated that there are 6.6 million assaults per year  (mainly men against women)
          • Nearly one in four women are assaulted by their partner at some time
        • Under-reporting
          • Domestic violence is the violent crime least likely to be reported to the police
          • BCS estimated that under a third of assaults are reported
          • Yearnshire (1997)
            • On average a woman suffers 35 assaults before reporting abuse
        • Under-recording
          • Police are often unwilling to record, investigate or prosecute domestic violence
            • As they are reluctant to become involved in the 'private sphere' of the family
          • Often take the view that individuals are free to leave if they are unhappy
            • In fact, many women cannot leave because they and their children are financially dependant on their partners
      • Radical feminist explanation
        • Men oppress women, mainly through the family where they benefit from the womans unpaid domestic labour and sexual services
        • Domestic violence (or threat) enables men to control women so is inevitably a patriarchal society
        • Men also dominate the state and this explains why the police and courts fail to take domestic violence seriously
      • Materialist explanation
        • Focuses on economic factors such as inequalities in income an housing to explain why some groups are more at risk
        • Children and young people, the poor and lower classes, and alcohol/illegal drug users are also at risk
        • Lack of resources (Wilkinson & Pickett 2010)
          • Argue that these patterns are a result of stress on the family caused by social inequality
          • Families that lack resources suffer more stress and this increases the risk of violence
        • Marxist feminists
          • See inequality producing domestic violence
          • Ansley (1972)
            • Argues that male workers exploited at work take out their frustration on their wives

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