Sociology- Resources and decision making

  • Created by: Daisymac
  • Created on: 19-01-19 14:06
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  • Resources and decision making
    • What?
      • There is inequality in who gets what in how the family's resources are shared out between men and women
      • Barrett and McIntosh 1991 note that man gain far more from women's domestic work than they give back in financial support
        • Also, the financial support that husbands give to their wives is often unpredictable and comes with strings attached
        • Men usually make the decisions about spending on important items
      • Kempson 1994 found that among low income families,women denied their own needs and eating smaller portions of food to make ends meet
    • Money management
      • Pahl and Vogler 1993 identified two types of control
      • The allowance system- Where men give their wives an allowance out of which they had to budget to meet the family's needs
      • Pooling- Where both partners have access to income and joint responsibility for expenditure eg joint bank account
    • Decision making
      • The pooled income is controlled by the husband, and so gives men more power
      • Pahl and Vogler 2007 found that even where there was pooling, the men usually made the major financial decision
      • Hardill's 1997 study of 30 dual career professional couples found that important decisions were usually taken by the man alone or jointly and his career took top priority when deciding whether to move house
      • Finchs 1983 observation that women's lives tend to be structured around her husbands career
      • Edgells 1980 study of professional couples found that...
        • Very important decisions were taken by the husband alone or joint but with husband having final say
        • Important decisions, such as holiday, was joint or just by woman
        • Less important decisions, eg meals, were made by wife
    • Cultural vs material
      • Gershuny and Lauries findings provide support for material  explanation for  gender inequality
      • However, feminists argue that inequalities in decision making is not due to earnings, but argue that this patriarchal society instills in us that men are decision makers
    • The meaning of money
      • Pahl noted pooling?equality
      • Nyman 2003 notes that money has no automatic, fixed or natural meaning and different couples can define it in different ways
      • These meanings can reflect the nature of their relationship
    • A personal life perspective on money
      • Focuses on the meanings couples give to who controls the money
      • Evidence that same sex couples often gave a different meaning to the control of money in the relationship
      • Smart 2007 found that some gay men and lesbians attached no importance to who controlled the money and were happy to leave this to their partners
      • Weeks et al 2001 found that the typical pattern was pooling some money for household spending, together with separate accounts , together with separate accounts for personal spending
        • Reflects a value of co-independence where there is sharing but each partner has some private money
      • Smart Argues same sex couples have greater freedom as they do not enter relationships with the same 'historical,gendered,heterosexual baggage of cultural meanings about money'


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