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AS SOCIOLOGY
UNIT 1 ­ FAMILIES AND HOUSEHOLDS
TEXT BASED NOTES
IN THIS GUIDE
SECTION 1 (COUPLES) .............................................................................................................................. 3
Couples ­ The Domestic division of labour ........................................................................................... 3
Domestic Violence ............................................................................................................................... 3
Feminist Theories ................................................................................................................................ 4
Resources and Decision Making ........................................................................................................... 5
The Impact of Paid Work ...................................................................................................................... 6
Theorists…

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SECTION 7 (FAMILIES AND SOCIAL POLICY) ............................................................................................ 23
A Comparative View of Family Policy.................................................................................................. 23
Perspectives on Families and Social Policy .......................................................................................... 23

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SECTION 1 (COUPLES)
Couples ­ The Domestic division of labour

There are three main parts to the domestic division of labour.

Parsons and the FUNCTIONALIST THEORY
Young and Willmott and the SYMMETRICAL FAMILY
Oakley and FEMINIST THEORY

Tallcot Parsons Functionalist Theory says that there is a clear inequality in the…

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Private Sphere or Private Beating

The police say that family is a private sphere. They see the family as good and if a woman has problems
with her situation she can leave.
This may not be the case though because men can hold all the woman's financial status.

Feminist Theories…

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Feminists believe that even though women are now working, there is still inequality in the household
and the family is still very patriarchal.
They say that working women are having to suffer a dual burden.
Lesbian Couples and Gender Scripts
Lesbian couples have been proven to share housework more fairly…

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Inequality
Research has shown that in low income homes, women will skip meals and spend less money to make
ends meet.
However, according to research, men don't do the same. This presents an inequality.

Control over family income
There have been ways that men have tried to keep control over…

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However sociologists still argue if it is resulting in a decrease in women doing domestic labour or if it is
just adding to the women's workload (the DUAL BURDEN)

Trending towards equality?
Jonathan Gershuny found that wives that worked fulltime did less domestic than part time workers or
housewives.
Wives…

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SECTION 2 (CHILDHOOD)
Childhood as a SOCIAL CONSTRUCT


Sociologists see childhood as something that is created and defined by society. This is called a SOCIAL
CONSTRUCT.

Modern Western Notion of Childhood
Western society says that childhood is a special time in life and this is where children are considered
different…

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Child Protection and welfare legislation, such as the 1889 Prevention of Cruelty to Children Act
The growth of the idea of children's rights. The Children's Act defines parents having responsibility to
their children.
Has the Position of Children Improved?

Recap
Sociologists agree that childhood is socially constructed by different cultures.…

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Neglect and Abuse ­ Excessive Control
Adult control can take the extreme form of Neglect and Abuse. Many of these are by their own parents.
Control over space
Children's movements in industrial areas has become severely limited.
Children are also banned from some stores.
80% of 7-8 year olds get…

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