Sociology-The domestic division of labour

  • Created by: Daisymac
  • Created on: 19-01-19 14:06
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  • The domestic division of labour
    • What?
      • Refers to the roles that men and women play in relation to housework,childcare and paid work
    • Parsons; Instrumental and expressive roles
      • Parsons 1995 functionalist model of the family, there is a clear division of labour between spouses
      • The husband has the instrumental role-->Geared towards achieving success at work in order to provide for the family
      • The wife has the expressive role--> Geared towards primary socialisation of the children and meeting the families emotional needs
      • Argues that the division of labour is based on biological differences as women are more naturally suited to performing the nurturing role
        • Claims it is beneficial for everyone in society
    • Criticisms of parsons
      • Willmott and Young 1962 argue that mean are now taking a greater share of domestic tasks and more wives becoming wage earners
      • Feminist sociologists reject parsons view that this division of labour is natural- Argues it only benefits men
    • The symmetrical family
      • See family life as gradually improving for all of its members, becoming more equal and democratic
      • The symmetrical family is one in which the roles of husbands and wives are more similar
        • Women now go out to work, although may be part time
        • Men now help with housework and childcare
        • Couples now spend leisure time together
      • Willmott and Young 1973 take a march of progress view of the history of the family
      • They see it as a result of - Changes in women position, Geographical mobility as couples live away from where they were born, New technology and higher standards of living
    • Joint and segregated conjugal roles
      • Bott 1957
      • Segregated conjugal roles- Where couples have separate roles, in which there is a  male breadwinner and female homemaker
        • Leisure activities are separate
      • Joint conjugal roles- where the couple shares tasks such as housework and childcare and spend leisure time together
      • Willmott and Young identified segregated CR in traditional working class extended families in east London in the 1950s
    • A feminist view of housework
      • Reject march of progress view and argue men and women remain unequal within the family
      • See this inequality as stemming from the fact that the family and society are patriarchal.
      • Oakley 1974 criticisms Willmott and Youngs view that the family is symmetrical as she claims their views were exaggerated.
        • Says that when men "help out once a week" that could include simply taking children for a walk or making breakfast.
        • In her own research- 15% husbands had a high level of participation in the home and only 25% had high levels of participation in childcare
      • Boulton 1983 found that fewer than 20% had a major role in childcare
      • Warde and Hetherington 1993- Found that sex typing of domestic tasks remained stronged. EG.wifes are 30 times more likely to be the last person to do the washing up and men 4 times more likely to have wahsed the car
        • Men would only carry out female tasks when their partners  were not around


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