The domestic division of labour

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  • Created by: Tasmin
  • Created on: 10-09-15 14:42
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  • The Domestic Division of Labour
    • Roles that men and women play in relation to housework, childcare and paid work
    • Parsons (1955): Instrumental + Expressive roles
      • *Men: Instrumental role - breadwinner success at work = provision for family
      • *Women: Expressive role - homemaker /housewife primary socialisation of children + meeting emotional needs of family
      • D.O.L based on biological differences. Women suited to nurturing role. Men to that of provider
      • D.O.L is beneficial to Men+ Women, to their children + wider society
      • Criticisms
        • Young + Willmott (1962): Men are taking greater share of domestic tasks + wives becoming wage earners
        • Feminist sociologists reject this view - argue that it only benefits Men.
    • Bott (1957): Joint and Segregated Conjugal roles.
      • Segregated Conjugal roles - couples have separate roles: Male=breadwinner  Female=homemaker Leisure time is separate.
      • Joint Conjugal roles - couples share tasks e.g. housework Leisure time is spent together
      • Young and Willmott found a pattern of segregated conjugal roles in their study of traditional working-class extended families in East London.
        • Men were breadwinners + played little part in home-life + spent leisure time with friends. Women were full-time housewives, they had limited leisure time.
    • Symmetrical family
      • Young and Willmott (1973)
        • Y+M take M.O.P view on history of family. Family life is gradually improving for all its members, becoming more equal + democratic
        • Argue that there is a long-term trend away from segregated conjugal roles and towards joint conjugal roles and the symmetrical family
        • In symmetrical family, roles are becoming similar: Women working, Men helping with housework, couples spend leisure time together
        • Y+M found that symmetrical family was more common in younger couples, those who are geo-graphically + socially isolated + the more better off
          • Young and Willmott found a pattern of segregated conjugal roles in their study of traditional working-class extended families in East London.
            • Men were breadwinners + played little part in home-life + spent leisure time with friends. Women were full-time housewives, they had limited leisure time.
        • Y+M  see rise in symmetrical nuclear family because of major social changes that took place in the past: *Changes in Women's Position - married women working   *Geo-graphical Mobility - more couples are moving away from hometown *New Tech + Higher *Standards of Living
    • Feminist View of Housework
      • Feminists reject M.O.P view. They argue that Men + Women are still unequal in family. This is due to a patriarchal society + Women have a dependant role in family and in society
      • Anne Oakley (1977)
        • Oakley criticises Y+M view. She argues that their claims are exaggerated
          • Young and Willmott (1973)
            • Y+M take M.O.P view on history of family. Family life is gradually improving for all its members, becoming more equal + democratic
            • Argue that there is a long-term trend away from segregated conjugal roles and towards joint conjugal roles and the symmetrical family
            • In symmetrical family, roles are becoming similar: Women working, Men helping with housework, couples spend leisure time together
            • Y+M found that symmetrical family was more common in younger couples, those who are geo-graphically + socially isolated + the more better off
              • Y+M  see rise in symmetrical nuclear family because of major social changes that took place in the past: *Changes in Women's Position - married women working   *Geo-graphical Mobility - more couples are moving away from hometown *New Tech + Higher *Standards of Living
          • Oakley found some evidence of husbands helping at home but none of the trend towards symmetry. Only 15% of men helped in housework + 25% helped in childcare
          • Mary Boulton (1983) found fewer than 20% helped in childcare. Argues that Y+M exaggerate men's help by looking at tasks that involve childcare than respons-ibilities
          • Alan Warde + Kevin Hetherington (1993) found that sex-typing of domestic tasks were still strong
            • Also found that Men would only do 'female' tasks when they were not around. Also found that attitudes of younger men had changed - no longer assumed women should do housework.

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