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19th century: victorian family was very patriarchal, men were head of the household and women when married were husbands property. A man could easily obtain a divorce where as a woman had to prove the man guilty.

-DOMESTIC DIVISION OF LABOUR: roles men and women play (housework, childcare and paidwork)

Socio's are interested in whether men and women share domestic tasks equally

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Parsons 'instrumental and expressive role'

In traditional nuclear family roles were segregated

-husband 'instrumental role' geared towards providing for the family financially (breadwinner)

-wife 'expressive role' geared towards primary socialisation and meeting emotional needs (homemaker) fulltime housewife

Parsons (functionalist) says the division of labour is based on biological difference that women are naturally suited to the nurturing role and men are suited to be the provider.

Says division of labour benefits everyones (new right thinkers such as murray also hold this view)

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criticisms of parsons

X- young and willmott criticise parsons, they say men are now taking a greater share of domestic tasks and wives are becoming wage earners

X-feminists says the division of labour benefits men

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BOTT says there are two types of conjugal roles (roles within marriage)

Segregated- couples have seperate roles, male breadwinner and female homemaker (instrumental and expressive roles) and leisure activities are seperate

Joint- couple share tasks such as housework and spend leisure time together

Many of these factors are linked e.g. married women with a wage raises standards of living and allows couples to make the house attractive so encourages men to stay at home and they can afford labour saving devices which makes housework easier and encourages men to do more

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EVIDENCE of segregated conjugal roles

young and willmott: studied w/c extended families in 1950's and found men were breadwinners and women were housewives who had limited leisure time

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EVIDENCE of joint conjugal roles

young and willmott (march of progress view) see family improving for all its family members. Long term move away from segregated roles to joint conjugal roles and symmetrical family (similar not identical) 

Say improvements include...

-women now go to work

-men help with housework

-couples spend leisure time together

-more home centred

Symmetrical families are common among young people who are geographically and socially isolated

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young couples who have moved away from extended family have a symmetrical relationship

Symmetrical familys are common due to many social changes :

-geographical mobility

-labour saving devices

-higher standards of living

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-reject MOP view

-little has changed

-men and women are unequal, women still do most of the housework

-inequality is due to the fact that family is patriarchal (male dominated)

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OAKLEY (feminist)

criticises Y+W , say husbands interviewed 'helped' once a week. Such as making breakfast on one ocassion but this is not convincing evidence for symmetry

15% housework

25% childcare

husbands would share childcare but only in its pleasurable aspects.

A good father was on who played with the children on evenings and weekends but that means mother has lost rewards of childcare such as playing with children and left with more time for housework

:) BOULTON- also found that 20% of husbands had a big role in childcare and Y+W exaggerate mens contribution. Its the mothers responsibility for a childs security

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SEX TYPING domestic tasks

WARDE+ HETHERINGTON: wives are 30x to be the last person to do housework and men 4% to be last person to wash the car

Men only carry out female routine tasks if she isn't there

Younger men didn't assume that women should do housework and thought they did less than their fair share

NATIONAL STATS: women do 2 and a half hrs of cleaning and cooking a day and men do 1 hr of DIY a day.

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OAKLEY: housewife role has become common for married women.

Industrialisation led to the seperation of paid work from the home. Even though women were apart of the workforce they were eventually excluded from the workplace and confined to the home- responsible for housework and childcare. Men were the breadwinners.

This encouraged womens dependency and subordination

The housewife role isn't naturally it is SOCIALLY CONSTRUCTED

Oakley says in 20th century more women are working but housewife role is still womens primary role and women who do work are in low paid jobs which are similar to housewife role such as childcare and nursing

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**** many more households have a second income from the wife. Women  are 3/4 ECONOMICALLY ACTIVE

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Sociologists are interested in seeing whether both partners working is leading to more of an EQUAL DIVISION OF LABOUR with a NEW MAN doing his fair share of housework and childcare or whether it means women have to do the DUAL BURDEN

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contin MAN YEE KAN

Women better paid, younger and more educated did less housework.

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-wives who worked full time did less domestic work

-wives who didnt go work 83% housework

-did go work 82%

-73% full time job

Longer wife was in paid work the more housework husband was likely to do

There is gradual change and more equality. Values are adapting to the fact that women are now working full time.

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contin. SULLIVAN

more equality now

men did more domestic work, increase of couples with an equal division of labour

men participated in traditional female tasks


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criticism of GERSHUNY


But explains it differently, in terms of economic factors, womens earning power increases men do more in the home.

Crompton says as long as earnings are unequal so will the division of labour

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-says two economical developments have reduced the burden of housework on women

1)  fast food outlets, freezers, microwaves, ovens, ready meals all reduce the amount of housework needed to be done. Women working means they can afford this

2) housework has been commercialised: goods and services that housewives produce themselves as mass produced and supplied by the supermarkets

They argue burden of housework on women has decreased and led to the 'deaht of the housewife role'

X-CRITICS say many poor women cant afford to buy these goods and services, it has reduced the amount of housework but doesnt prove that couples are sharing housework equally

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Many feminists say women working doesnt show any evidence of a new man who shares the domestic work equally. They say women carry out the dual burden (housework and paidwork). Feminists believe the family is patriarchal and men benefit from womens earnings and domestic work

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SMITH: found 4% of fathers took responsibility for childcare so there is little evidence of husband doing work even when he' unemployed


MORRIS: found men suffered a loss of masculine role as they were unemployed and saw domestic work as womens work therefore avoided it

RAMOS: found in families where man is not in paid work and partner works full time, male domestic work matches that of the partner

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ARBER AND GINN: found m/c women can afford childcare but w/c women can't so have to do the double burden.

Class differences between women are shown by

GREGSON AND LOWE: employment of domestic help by dual earner m/c, these couples find it economical to get a w/c mother as a nanny rather than m/c, w/c cant afford to get someone to carry out their housework so do the dual burden

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-management of ones and other peoples emotion 

HOSCHSCHILD: uses emotion work to describe jobs such as air hostesses and says women are likely to do jobs involving emotion work

Other socioligsts have applied emotion work to the family

MORGAN: gave examples such as caring for a sick child, physical care, handling fears and fustrations experience by a child.

Emotion work is seen as the LABOUR OF LOVE as it involves caring for other family members and work done by women

DUNCOMBE AND MARSDEN: says women are expected not only to do the dual burden but TRIPLE SHIFT: involving EMOTIONAL WORK

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DUNNE: says division of labour exists because of INGRAINED GENDER SCRIPTS (expectations that set out gender roles for men and women) in heterosexual couples (man and woman). Dunne says in LESBIAN couples, gender scripts dont operate to the same extent.

Dunne studied cohabiting lesbian couples with dependent children and found evidence of symmetry in comparison to heterosexual couples they are more likely to describe their relationship as equal and childcare as positive. Dunne says this is why lesbians interact differently. HETEROSEXUAL couples are under pressure to conform to gneder scripts.

lesbian couples- tasks aren't linked to gender scripts so they can create an equal relationship

SUPPORTS radical feminists view that relationships between men and women are patriarchal and women can only achieve equality through political lesbianism

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WEEKS: same sex relationships offer more equality and division of kabour is open to negotiation


DUNNE: when one partner did more paid work than the other, the time each partner spent on domestic work was unequal which suggests paid work has an influence on the division of labour

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Inequality in who gets what and how the family resources are shared. This is linked to who controls the income and has the power to decide on how its spent


-men get more from womens domestic work then they give financial support

-financial support husband provides comes with strings attached

-men make decisions about spending on important items

-research shows family members do not share resources such as food and money equally

KEMPSON: said in w/c families, women sacrifice their needs such as eating small portions

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GRAHAM: women living on benefits after seperating found it was a reliable source of income

Women weren't entitled to a share of resources so is likely to see money spent on herself as money that could be used for children. In houses with inadequate incomes, sources are shared unequally leaving women in poverty

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One reason why men have most of the family resources is because they earn more money

PAHL AND VOGLER: found 2 controls of income

1) POOLING: both partners have access to income, joint responsibility on how its spent e.g. a joint bank account (increase from 19-50%)

2)ALLOWANCE SYSTEM: men give wives an allowance, they have to budget from it to meet families needs and the man keeps the rest of the income to himself

POOLING WAS COMMON when both partners worked fulltime. But men still made the important financial decisions

HARDIL: for dual career professional couples men take the important decisions

FINCH: womens lives were structured by husbands career

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EDGELL: studied professional couples and found

VERY important: decisions such as moving house or  jobs were taken by husbands or jointly

IMPORTANT: decisions such as childrens ed and holidays were joint

LESS important decisions: decor, clothes and food were taken by wife

Reason why men have made important decisions is because they earn more and women earn less so financially dependent and have less say

X- feminists argue its not just due to inequalities in earnings but in society men as decision makers is instilled through gender role socialisation

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WOMENS AID FEDERATIONS says domestic violence is physical, psychological, sexual or financial violence which takes play in an intimate family type and may involved ex partners/partners, household members or other relatives

THE BRITISH CRIME SURVEY: says domestic violence is a 6th of all violent crime

-MIRLEES and BLACK: 6.6 million domestic assaults a year

-One pattern of domestic violence is that its violence mainly against women by men

-COLEMAN ET AL: found women were likely to have experienced violence across all 4 types of abuse FAMILY, STALKING, SEXUAL ASSAULT AND PARTNER ABUSE

-nearly 1 in 4 women have been assaulted by a partner sometime in her life...CONFIRMED BY:

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-DOBASH AND DOBASH: research on police records found women being pushed, beaten and slapped by husband and foundddddddddd..................................................................................

That it was set off by what husbands saw as a CHALLENGE TO HIS AUTHORITY such as wife asking why he was late home for a meal. They say marriage justifies violence by giving power to husbands and making women dependent on them

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OFFICIAL STATS: underestimate the extent of the problem for TWO reasons

1) women maybe scared to report it to the police, it was found that women would suffer 35 assaults before making a report. Domesitc violence is unlikely to be reported

2) police maybe reluctant to investigate cases as they aren't prepared to be involved in the family. they make 3 assumptions about family life:

1.The family is a private sphere so access by state agencies should be limited

2. family is a good thing so agencies neglect the darker side of family

3. individuals are free to leave so if a woman is experiencing abuse she is free to leave but male violence is paired with eco power so women are financially dependent on husbands therefore unable to leave

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MILLET AND FIRESTONE: say society has been found on patriarhy, men are the enemy and oppressors of women.

See family and marriage as key institutions in patrarichal society. Men dominate women through domestic violence or the threat of it.

Radical feminists argue that violence against women is part of patarchal system to protect power

X- ELLIOT: rejects radical feminists view that men benefit from domestic violence, not all men are aggressive and most men are against domestic violence.

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X- RF fail to explain female violence such as child abuse by women and violence against husbands

MIRLEES AND BLACK: 1 in 7 men has been assaulted.

X-there are other groups at risk NOT just women

*Children and young people

*lower social class

*rented accomadation

*low incomes

*high levels of alcohol and drugs

Some overlap e.g. child of a low social class may have a high risk of violence

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says domestic violence is due to stress on family caused by social inequality

inequality means families have less resources such as income and housing therefore experience high levels of stress and reduces chances of maintaining stable relationships. Increases conflict. E.g. worries about money may spill into domestic violence.

Lack of money and time restricts peoples social circle and reduces support for those with stress

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contin. (evaluation of Wilkinsons stress and domes

:D Wilkinsons sutdy shows inequality causes stress and triggers conflict which explains class differences

X-Wilkinson does not explain why women rather than men are the main victims

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