Conjugal roles revision

Revision on conjugal roles for AQA AS Sociology Unit 1: Families & Households. It includes:

  • Willmott and Young research
  • Conjugal bond evidence
  • Ann Oakley's criticism of Willmott and Young
  • British Social Attitudes Survey
  • Ferri and Smith
  • Gershuny
  • Sullivan
  • Edgell
  • Key definitions: Conjugal bond, dual burden, triple shift
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AS Sociology 27th April
Families & Households revision
Conjugal Roles
Conjugal roles are the positions that the husband and wife occupy in the home.
WILLMOTT AND YOUNG
They found that in the 1970s the symmetrical family (a nuclear family in which
both spouses perform equally important roles) was developing in society and
becoming more common
Domestic labour and leisure activity was shared equally between men and men
­ Conjugal Bond / Joint Conjugal roles
CONJUGAL BOND EVIDENCE
There is a rise of the `New Man' who is in touch with his feminine side
Home is more pleasant place to be therefore men more likely to stay at home
Technology has made housework more easier so men are more likely to help out
CRITICISM OF W&Y RESEARCH ­ ANN OAKLEY
Willmott and Young used inadequate methodology
Their conclusions were based on only 1 survey question
The question could have been exaggerated about the amount of housework
done by men
THE BRITISH SOCIAL ATTITUDES SURVEY
Found more sharing of child rearing rather than household tasks
However, there was a small move towards equality
FERRI AND SMITH
Using survey data, they found that women always took the main responsibility of
childcare, even when they were in paid employment
GERSHUNY
Found that the husbands of working women continued to do less than half the
total paid and unpaid work done by their spouses
This meant there was a double shift / dual burden ­ wives taking
responsibility for the bulk of domestic tasks as well as holding down FT jobs
Chris Cartwright

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AS Sociology 27th April
Families & Households revision
However, men did seem to be making more of an effort to do housework when
their wives were in paid work
SULLIVAN
Men spent a little more time socialising, sleeping, relaxing and eating than
women.
EDGELL
Interviewed husbands and wives
Women dominated in areas such as domestic spending and children's clothes
But Men dominated in areas that were considered more important such as
moving house and overall finance.…read more

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