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Page 1

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Couples and Gender Roles

Perspectives on Gender Roles

Parsons (1955)

1. Instrumental Roles
2. Expressive roles.

Bott (1957)

1. Segregated Conjugal Roles
2. Joint Conjugal Roles

Wilmott and Young (1973)

The Symmetrical Family

Oakley (1974)

The Feminist View

Exam Question

Explain the difference between Segregated Conjugal Roles and
Joint Conjugal…

Page 2

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Sociologists are interested in whether this trend has led to a
more equal division of domestic tasks.

Why do you think men's higher earnings might mean that
they cant do as much housework?

Gershuny (1994)

Found that wives who worked full time did less domestic tasks.

Wives who did not…

Page 3

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1. Housework has become commercialised ­ Goods and
services that housewives previously had to produce
themselves are now mass produced and supplied by

What goods are available in supermarkets which reduce
the amount of domestic labour which needs to be done?

2. Women working ­ Means they can afford…

Page 4

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childcare in 4% of families based on sample of 1,589 33 yr old
mother and father where both parents worked.

Even when a woman works and her husband is unemployed,
there is little evidence of husbands doing more in the home.
Morris (1990) found men who suffered a loss of…

Page 5

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Hochschild (1983) Women are more likely to be performing
jobs involving emotional labour.

Suggest 4 situations where women might carry out emotion
work with their families.


Lesbian Couples

Dunne (1999) argues the division of labour continues because
of gender scripts.

These are expectations or norms that…

Page 6

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Men gain far more from women's domestic work than they give
back in financial support.

Financial support is often unpredictable and comes with strings

Family members do not share things such as food and money

Decision Making

Edgell (1980)

Very Important decisions ­ Changing job or moving house,…

Page 7

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Why is domestic violence `inevitable?'

Possible Essay

Item A
Some sociologists argue that a number of changes have taken place in
gender roles and relationships within families. They suggest that changing
attitudes to gender roles and increased participation by women in the
labour market have led to more equality in…

Page 8

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May be seen as old fashioned
The Symmetrical Family
Wilmott and Young

However a feminist may argue.....
However Gurshuny (1992) ­ Referring to Item
Things getting better for women
(AO1 A02)

Commercialisation of housework
Silver (1987)
However..... Crompton (1997)
Economic factors
(A01 A02)
Dual Burden…


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