Couples for AQA Sociology

Short booklet for AQA sociology on the couples section

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  • Created by: Tiffany
  • Created on: 10-04-11 21:19
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There is inequality between couples when it comes to
housework; there is also inequality when it comes to
resources and decision making within the family too!!!
Resources and decision making:
Barrett and McIntosh:
o Men gain far more from women's domestic work than they give back in financial support
o The financial support that husbands give to their wives is often unpredictable and comes with
`strings' attached-women have to please their husbands
o Men usually make the decisions about spending on important items
Kempson: In low-income families women gave up their own needs to meet the children's needs.
Graham: Women living of benefit after leaving their husbands said they were better off as benefit
support was a more reliable source of income even when their husbands' income was not
necessarily low.
Decision-making and paid work:
Men often make important decisions within the house because they contribute more money as they
earn higher.
Pahl and Vogler: identify two types of control over family income:
Pooling: a joint bank account-both partners share income and expenditure
Allowance system: the man give their wives an allowance out of which they have to budget to
meet the family needs, with the man keeping the remaining surplus for himself.
They found from their study that pooling was more common among young couple who worked full-
Edgell: very important decisions were made by the husband alone, or they had the final say.
Important decisions were again made by men. Less important decisions were made by women.
1 By Tiffany George - Fontaine

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There is inequality between couples when it comes to
housework; there is also inequality when it comes to
resources and decision making within the family too!!!
Domestic violence:
Domestic violence: physical, sexual, psychological or financial violence that within a relationship. Common view justifying
domestic violence is that there are a few disturbed or sick individuals who carry out such acts, therefore the causes are
psychological rather than social. Criticisms: Domestic violence is far too widespread not be social.…read more

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The impact of paid work:
Is the trend towards both partners working leading to more equal division in domestic tasks, where the `new man' does his
share of the work or is it adding to women's burden of doing housework as well as paid work? It is very unlikely that paid
work can lead to equality in domestic labour, perhaps more equality is gained when women work full-time. Feminists argue
that women are performing double/ triple shifts which increase their burden further.…read more

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The domestic division of labour:
Parsons: instrumental and expressive roles:
Husband: instrumental role: the breadwinner
Wife: expressive role: full-time housewife
This division is based on biological differences where women are
naturally better at housework, while men are best at providing. This
division is beneficial for men, women, children and the wider society.
New Right hold the same view.
Young and Willmott: men are doing housework, women are
earning>>symmetrical family. A feminist view of housework:
Feminists: division of labour only benefits men.…read more


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