Complete Families & Households Revision Booklet SCLY1

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Topic 1: Couples
The main sociologists for this topic are:
Parsons: (Division of labour)
Bott: (Conjugal roles)
Young and Wilmott: (Bethnal Green study)
Oakley: (Feminist)
Gershuny: (Greater equality)
Dunne: (Lesbian couples and gender scripts)
Pahl and Vogler: (Family income control)
Dobash and Dobash: (Domestic violence)
*~*~*~*~*~*~*
The Domestic Division of Labour
PARSONS: the roles of husbands and wives were separate and distinct, arguing that the division is based on
biological differences: women are more suited to nurturing and men are more suited to providing.
Instrumental role: The man provides financially for the family, he is the breadwinner.
Expressive role: The wife looks after the home, the children and the emotional needs of the family.
BOTT: distinguishes two types of roles within marriage:
1. Joint conjugal role: Where couple share tasks such as housework and childcare.
2. Segregated conjugal role: Where couples have separate roles.
YOUNG & WILMOTT studied working class families in Bethnal Green and found that many working class families
had segregated conjugal roles, but saw family life as becoming more equal. Part II of the study found younger
families had a more symmetrical family (where the roles of husband and wife were more similar).
SHIFT FROM SEGREGATED TO JOINT CONJUGAL ROLES
Changes in Women go out to work.
women's position. They are now more equal to men.
Legal differences, cultural differences and political changes have contributed to these changes.
Geographical Moving around the country or from country to country (for a job?)
Mobility This leads to an increase in the nuclear family, however they are more isolated but more symmetrical.
New Technology Allows men to participate in housework.
Gives women more time and allows them to go to work.
Higher Standard Two income family (dual earner family), this allows families to have more money, so they can afford
of Living luxuries such as holidays.
The Feminist View:reject the MOP argument that the family is becoming more symmetrical
OAKLEY argues that Young & Wilmott exaggerate the extent of the symmetrical family as their research shows
that husbands help their wives with the housework once a week. They may also choose the easy or more masculine
jobs such as taking the dog for a walk.
She also argues that married women in paid employment are often concentrated in low paid, part-time jobs that
are just an extension of the housewife role, such as childminding, dinner ladies, cleaners etc.
GERSHUNY explains the trend towards greater equality in terms of a gradual change in the values of society,
finding that:
Wives who didn't go to work did 83% of housework. Wives who worked part-time did 82% of housework. Wives who
worked full-time did 73% of housework.
Improvements in the burden of housework
1. The commercialisation of housework: goods and services provided by housewives are now mass produced
and sold in stores, e.g. fast food shops, ready meals etc.
2. More women working: women can afford labour saving goods and services, however these goods and
services are mainly available to the middle class only.

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The Dual Burden
The increase in the number of women working has simply given women the dual burden of paid work and unpaid
housework.
Women also take care of the emotional side of the family, meaning that women actually do a triple shift of
housework, paid work and emotional work.
Lesbian couples and gender scripts
DUNNE: The traditional division of labour is deeply ingrained in gender scripts which set out the norms and
expectations of husbands and wives.…read more

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Suggest two reasons for the rise of the symmetrical family (8marks)
Explain what is meant by the dual burden (2marks)
Explain what is meant by emotion work (2marks)
Explain what is meant by geographical mobility (2marks)
Explain the difference between geographical and social mobility (4marks)
Topic 2: Childhood
The main sociologists you need to know for this topic are:
Benedict: (Cross cultural differences)
Aries: (Historical differences)
Shorter: (Historical differences)
Gittins: (Age patriarchy)
Postman: (The future)
Palmer: (Toxic Childhood)
Childhood as a social construct
Childhood is…read more

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Has the position improved?
The March of Progress View (! important)
Family and society have become `child centred'.
Children are better cared for in terms of their educational, psychological and medical needs.
Most babies now survive: the infant mortality rate in 1900 was 154; now it is 5.
Higher living standards and smaller family sizes mean parents can afford to provide for children's needs.
Children are protected from harm and exploitation by laws against child abuse and child labour.…read more

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Functionalism
It is a consensus theory which argues that there is value consensus in society which enables people to live
harmoniously together.
Functionalists believe that society is made up of different sub-systems that depend on each other, such as
health care, education, law etc.
4 basic functions of the family:
1. Stabilisation of the sex drive: If a woman is in a stable relationship, she will be more committed and may be
less promiscuous.
2. Reproduction of the next generation
3.…read more

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Unit of consumption: Parents are persuaded by children to provide goods they don't need. Family is the
ideal unit of consumption.
CRITICISMS OF MARXISM:
1. Marxists tend to overestimate the widespread nature of the nuclear family.
2. Feminists argue that Marxists ignore the importance of gender when studying the family.
3. Functionalists argue that Marxists ignore the positive aspects of family life.
Feminists
Feminists focus on the unequal division of labour and domestic violence.…read more

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Fall in the infant mortality rate
The infant mortality rate is the number of live-born infants who die before their first birthday.
In 1900, the IMR was 154, by 2007 it was 5.
A fall in the IMR may cause a fall in the birth rate: if infants survive, parents will have fewer of them.
Reasons for the fall:
Improved housing, sanitation, nutrition, knowledge of hygiene, child health and health services.…read more

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The Ageing Population
What are the consequences of an ageing population?
Public services:
Older people consume a large population of services such as health care. Older people are more dependent. An
ageing population may also mean changes to policies and provision of housing, transport or others.
One-person pensioner households:
The number of pensioners living alone has increased to 14% of all households. Most are female because women
generally live longer and they are usually younger than their husbands.…read more

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Topic 5: Changing family patterns
Divorce
3 kinds of changes in the law
1. Equalising the grounds (legal reasons) for divorce between the sexes.
2. Widening the grounds for divorce.
3. Making divorce cheaper
Other factors that have made divorce easier to obtain are
Irretrievable breakdown (the agreement between both spouses that the marriage isn't working)
Introduction of legal aid of divorce
Other solutions to getting out of an unhappy marriage
Desertion: Where one partner leaves the other but the couple is legally married.…read more

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Marriage
Serial monogamy is when an individual gets married, divorced then remarried multiple times.
One reason for the fall in the number of first marriages is the fear of divorce. Another reason is the changing
attitudes; there is still less pressure to marry and more freedom for individuals to choose the type of relationship
they want- leading to the increase in cohabitation.
Two reasons why young people are postponing marriage:
1.…read more

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