#11 Couples

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  • Created by: Muy
  • Created on: 15-04-13 21:58

Functionalism on Division of Labour

  • Division of labour refers to roles of men and women e.g. housework and childcare
  • PARSON identified 2 conjugal (marital) roles -> instrumental role of the breadwinner and expressive role of the nurturing mother
  • These two roles are functional for the family and are being biologically based e.g. women are suited towards the nurturing role
  • The New Right agree w/ Functionalists, the biologically based gender division of labour is the best method of organising family life
  • Feminists believe that division of labour isn't natural, and it generally benefits men
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March of Progress view

  • March of Progress sees conjugal roles becoming more equal
  • BOTT identifies 2 types 
  • -> Segregated conjugal roles - theres distinct division of labour, likewise Parsons view
  • -> Joint conjugal roles - couples share labours
  • YOUNG & WILLMOTT - found segregated conjugal roles in working class extended families
  • -> Men were breadwinner, spending leisure with mates
  • -> Women were full time housewives, female relatives spent leisure together
  • YOUNG & WILLMOTT - see a trend towards joint conjugal symmetrical families because most women go work and the 'new man' helps with housework..
  • WHY? Higher living standards, labour saving devices, increase in women employment and smaller families
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Feminism on Division of Labour

  • Reject march of progress view, concluding families are still patriarchal
  • OAKLEY - housewife role is the primary role for a women which is due to industrialisation
  • Women are excluded and confined to the home -> economic dependance on men + housewife role has been socially constructed
  • Oakley argues mens input in the division of labour is minimal e.g. ironing their shirts
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Impact on women working

  • GERSHUNY - domestic tasks are sex-typed -> e.g. men do DIY
  • Mens spouses who worked full time tended to do more housework
  • Commercialisation means couples can purchase service to perform these housework e.g. ready meals
  • Feminists argue women suffer dual burden  
  • Ferri and Smith found under 4% of father were main child carers
  • Morris found even when the women was the breadwinner she did the majority of housework -> men suffered from crisis of masculinity, refusing to do domestic roles
  • TRIPLE SHIFT - Marsden found women carry the emotion work, domestic labour and paid work
  • Crompton argues division of labour gaps reduced due to womens earning power
  • Radical feminists hence argue hetereosexual relationships are patriarchal FULL STOP
  • Same sex relationships are more equal with division of labour as they didnt link tasks to gender
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Resources and decision making

  • KEMPSON found women were denied their needs to make ends meet, unequal shares of resources exited in adequate income families too
  • VOGLER identified two systems
  • -> The allowance system - breadwinner male gives non working wife an allowance from which the budget to meet familys need
  • -> Pooling system - partners work and have joint resposibility e.g. joint bank account
  • Nonetheless men tend to make the major decisions reflecting their greater earnings
  • EDGELL - found inequalities in professional couples too, wherein major financial decisions were decided by men
  • BECAUSE women are more economically dependant and gender role socialisation gives the idea men are decision makers
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Domestic Violence

  • British Crime Surveys estimates 6.5 mil assaults annually 
  • BCS estimates 25% of women are assaulted by partners some time
  • Domestic violence is UNDER REPORTED, under a 1/3 of violent assaults were recorded
  • UNDER RECORDING - police are reluctant to get involved in 'private sphere' of the family
  • Radical feminists see assault as a result of patriarchy BECAUSE threat of domestic violence enables men to control women
  • Radical feminists argue men dominate the state, the courts rarely take domestic violence seriously
  • NONETHELESS radical feminists fail to explain domestic violence against men
  • DOBASH found domestic violence was triggered when husbands felt they were being undermined
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