ROLES AND POWER RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN COUPLES

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  • ROLES AND POWER RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN COUPLES
    • Domestic Division of labour
      • gender roles that men and women play in relation to housework, childcare and paid work
      • Functionalism- Parsons (1955)
        • Segregated conjugal roles in traditional nuclear family
          • Instrumental- men go to work
          • Expressive- women act as homemakers and carers
          • Reasons
            • based on biological differences
            • women are naturally suited
            • :( out dated as men do more child labour
            • :( Division of labour is not natural
      • March of progress- Young and Willmott (1973) family is more equal
        • Move towards a more symmetrical family
        • Women- have a part/full time job
        • Men- help with housework and child care
        • Symmetrical family is privatised and more child centred
        • Reasons
          • New technology
          • Greater affluence and higher standard of living
          • Geographical mobility
      • Early Feminists
        • Oakley (1974) family is not smmetrical
          • 15% of men help with housework
            • 25% of men help with childcare
          • Many men 'help' out but seldom take responsibility for domestic tasks
          • women's work is mainly low paid and an extension of their housewife role
      • Recent Feminists
        • Family remains patriarchal
          • Dual Burden- women increasingly doing paid work and unpaid housework
        • Triple Shift- paid work, domestic work and emotional work
        • Reasons
          • Gender Scripts- social expectations of the gender roles that men and women play in relation to domestic tasks.
      • Recent Empirical Evidence
        • Sullivan (2000)
          • trend towards symmetry, increase in equal division of labour
            • Reasons- increase in number of women working
        • Silver (1987) and Schor (1993)
          • Housework is becoming less of a burden
            • Reasons- commercialisation of housework products
            • Evaluation-
              • Reasons- commercialisation of housework products
              • ignores variations in division of labour in terms of:
                • Social Class: better paid and educated do less housework
                  • :( often methodically flawed 1) women underestimate and men overestimatethe time spent on domestic labour 2) time studies tell us little about level of satisfaction gained
                    • Sexuality- lesbian couples- more symmetry in relationship
                • Sexuality- lesbian couples- more symmetry in relationship
    • Resources and decision making
      • Resources
        • Barrett and  McInosh (1991)
          • financial support men provide is worth less than domestic wrk women do
          • Financial support can be unpredictable and strings attached
        • Other feminists
          • women deny themselves food to feed their other family members
          • Women who are separate from men and rely on benefits are often financially better off
      • Decision making
        • pooling system- people in couples helps selves to money
        • allowence system- men control how much is given to the woman
        • Edgell (1980)
          • very important decision made by men- moving house
          • importnat decision are made by both men and women- schooling
          • less important decision are made by women- decore
        • Reasons for the inequality
          • men generally earn more- women beceom economically dependent
          • Patriarchy- believed that the husband is the head of the house
          • Enforced through threat or actual domestic violence
    • Domestic Violence
      • physical, sexual and psychological abuse between those in a family type relationship
      • Satistical evidence- Mirrles-Black(1999)
        • 6.6 million domestic violence assults each year (half of which are physical)
        • Most victims are women      1 in 4 women are assulted by partners
        • most victims are in working class, live in rented accomodation
        • violence is common against children adn the elderly
        • Problems with statistics
          • underestimation (size):                       a)victims unwiling to report  b) police and CPs reluctant to involve themselves in family life
          • underestimation(male victims) few report cases as they feel embarrassed or foolish
      • Reasons for domestic violence
        • Dobash and Dobash (1979)
          • Patriarchy
            • product of male domination, power and control
              • Evaluation:   overgeneralises- only explains violence carried out by men   - growing number of male victims
                • often triggered by the perception that women are challenging men
            • often triggered by the perception that women are challenging men
        • Wilkinson 1996- domestic violence is the product of stress
          • :( doesnt adequately explain why women are at greater risk than men
        • Ansley(1993) out let of mens fustration from the work place
          • :( economically deterministic

Comments

belinda john

Great resource and very helpful !!

Thhank you !!

AWalder

v. helpful!! defo would recommend it to sociology students!!

THANK YOU!!!

wngono

A great revision resources which summarises perfectly the issues of roles and power relationships within the family. The diagram identifies clearly the key points, explanations, theorists and criticisms. Excellent!

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