Families and households - Couples

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  • Couples
    • Domestic division of labour
      • Functionalism
        • Parsons: Instrumental roles and expressive roles.
        • The division is biological based.
      • March of progress
        • Segregated conjugal roles and joint conjugal roles
        • Wiilmott's symmetrical family.
          • Most women go to work
          • Men help with housework and childcare
          • Leisure time is spent together
      • Feminism
        • The family is patriarchal, women still do most of the housework etc
        • Boulton argues that we need to look at who is reponsible f or the tasks not just who performs them.
    • Becoming more equal?
      • Statistics
        • DV is the crime least likely to be reported. On averge a woman suffers 35 assaults before reporting to the police.
        • Police are reluctant to become involved in the private sphere of the family and so are unwilling to record.
      • Radical feminist explanation
        • Menoppress womenand benefit from domestic labour and sexual services.
        • Men dominate the state.
      • Materialist explanation
        • Lack of resources cause stress increasing the risk of violence
        • MAle workers are exploited at work and so take it out on their wives
    • Resources and decision making
      • Decision making and paid work
        • Allowance system where men give their non working wives an allowance which they spend on the family.
        • Pooling eg a joint bank account
      • Professional couples and decision making
        • Men have more power because they earn more making the woman dependent and so have less say
        • Gender role socialisation instils the idea that men are the decision-makers
      • Personal life perspective
        • Nyman argues that different couples give money different menaings
    • Domestic violence
      • March of progress
        • Sullivan: cuples have a more equal division of labour
      • Feminism
        • Women carry a dual burden of paid work and domestic work
        • Dex and Ward found that only 1% of  fathers take main responsibility for an ill child
        • Triple shift of paid work, domestic work and emotional work
      • Explanation of gender divisions
        • Cultural explanation
          • Patriarchal norms shape gender roles.Society expects women to do domestic work.
          • Gershuny argues that couples are adpating to womens full time employement, norms of men doing domestic work
        • Material explanation
          • Women earn less so its rational for them to do more domestic labour
          • Ramos found that where the women is in full time work and the man is unemployed, they do equal housewrok
      • Same-sex couples
        • Heterosexuals socialised into gender scripts. Lesbians dont link household tasks to gender scripts


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