Expressive and Instrumental roles
Talcott Parsons (1955)
- Husband does instrumental roles- acheiving and success at work. He is the Breadwinner.
- Wife does expressive roles- primary socialisation of children, meeting emotional needs of family. She is the Homemaker.
Division of labour is based on nature- women and men are naturally suited to those jobs.
- Willmott & Young (1962) argue men now take a larger share of domestic tasks.
- Feminists also reject this saying it's not natural- it only benefits men.
Joint and Segregated Conjugal Roles
Elizabeth Bott (1957)
Segregated Conjugal roles:- Couples have separate roles. Female is home-maker, male is breadwinner.
Joint Conjugal roles:- Couples share tasks e.g. housework & childcare.
The Symmetrical Family
Willmott & Young (1973)
- Families now have moved away from separate conjugal roles towards joint.
- "Symmetrical family" is where mum & dad have the same jobs.
- Women now go to work, men help with childcare and housework & couples spend more leisure time together.
This is due to:
- Changes in the position of women.
- Geographical mobility.
- New technology e.g. labour saving devices.
- Higher standards of living.
Feminist View of Housework
Anne Oakley (1974)
- Criticises Willmott & Young- she believes the family is still patriarchal.
- Only 15% of husbands had high level of participation in housework and 25% had high level participation in childcare.
Mary Boulton (1983)
- Fewer than 20% of husbands have a major role in childcare.
- Willmott & Young exaggerate men's involvement.
Warde & Hetherington (1993)
- Sex- typing of domestic roles is still strong.
- Women are 30x more likely to have been the last one to have done the washing-up and men are 4x more likely to have washed the car.
Rise of the Housewife Role
- Since 19th century housewife role is dominant in married couple.
- Women have been excluded from industrial labour force leaving them as home-makers.
- This has enforced women to be reliant on women..
- The 20th century did see an increase in working women but the housewife is still a wife's primary role.
Trend Towards Equality (1)
Wife who work full time do less domestic work.
- Wives who don't work do 83% of the housework, wives who work part time still do 82% of the housework.
- Wives who don't work did 73% of the housework. More housework is likely to be done by the husband.
- Couples whose parents had a more equal relationship were more likely to have one themselves.
Impact of Paid Work (2)
Rosemary Compton (1997)
As women's power increases around the workplace, mens power increases around the home.
Earning remains unequal however.
Commercialisation of Housework
Silver & Schor (1993)
They stress the importance of reducing housework on women.
Housework= Commercialised goods and services that housewives previously produced can be supplied by supermarkets.
- Can afford to use/ buy these services.
- These have lead to the 'death of the housewife roles.'
- Critics argue for poorer women these services are not an option.
- This doesn't means poorer couples share chores
Dual Burden- Going to work all day & raising kids and doing housework.
Triple Shift- Housework and raising kids, going to work & doing emotional work and support.