The Domestic Division of Labour

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  • Created by: Lilly K
  • Created on: 23-03-14 07:04
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  • The Domestic Division of Labour
    • Parsons (1955)
      • Funtionalist
      • Instrumental & expressive role
      • Roles based on biological differences
        • Benefits family's members & wider society
      • The New Right agree
    • Feminist view of housework
      • Oakley (1974)
        • Young & Wilmott's claims are exaggerated
        • Found some evidence of men helping in the home, but no evidence towards a trend of symmetry
          • Only 15%  had high participation in housework
          • Only 25% had high participation in childcare
        • Men were more likely to take part in more pleasurable aspects of childcare (e.g. playing)
          • Leaves women with more time for housework
      • Boulton (1983)
        • Fewer than 20% of husbands had a major role in childcare
        • Child's security & well-being is almost always a mother's responsibility
      • Future Foundation (2000)
        • 60% of men do more housework than their father
        • 75% of women do less housework than their mother
    • Joint & Segregated Conjugal Roles
      • Bott (1957)
      • Segregated Conjugal Roles
        • Male breadwinner and female homemaker
        • Like Parsons' instrumental and expressive roles
        • Leisure activities tend to be separate
      • Joint Conjugal Roles
        • Couples share tasks
        • Spend leisure time together
    • Symmetrical family
      • Young & Wilmott (1973)
      • Roles between husband and wife are more similar (not identical)
        • Women work, though this may only be part-time
        • Men help with childcare & housework
        • Couples spend more leisure time together
      • More common among younger couples, geographically isolated and more affluent
      • Due to major social changes in past century:
        • Changes in position of women
        • Geographical mobility
        • New technology (labour-saving devices)
        • Higher standards of living
    • Oakley: rise of housewife role
      • Has become dominant role for married women
      • Women who work are in low-paid work
        • Often an extension of housewife role e.g. nursing, childcare
      • Industrialisation led to the separation of paid work from the home
        • Women were gradually excluded from the workplace
          • This enforced women's subordination & economic dependence on men
            • Housewife role was socially constructed, rather than being women's "natural" role


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