Domestic division of labour
Young and Wilmott (1973): they take a march of progress view of the history of the family, they see family life as gradually improving for all of it's members becoming more equal and democratic. They argue there's been a long term trend away from segregated conjugal roles and towards joint conjugal roles and the 'symmetrical family'.
The 'Symmetrical family' is one where the roles of husbands and wives are much more similar. They found that in their study of families in London the symmetrical family was more common among younger couples, those who are geographically isolated and the better off couples. They believe this change has been caused by changes in women's position, Geographical mobility and New technology (labour saving devices).
She disagrees with the march of progress view and believes the housewife role has become the dominant role for married women. She also argues women who do work have the low-paid jobs which are often an extension of the housewife role etc. nursing and childcare.
2. Domestic division of labour
Talcott Parsons (1955)
In Talcott Parsons functionalist model of the family there is a clear division of labour between husband and wife, the husband is said to have an instrumental role geared towards achieving success at work so he can provide for his family whereas the wife has an expressive role geared towards primary socialisation of the children and meeting the family's emotional needs.
-Young and Wilmott argue men are now taking a greater share of domestic taks
- Feminist sociologists reject Parsons' view that the division of labour is natural, they say it only benefits men.
Elizabeth Bott (1957)- distinguishes between the two types of conjugal roles(roles within marriage):
Segregated Conjugal roles - where both couples have seperate roles, the male is the breadwinner whilst the female is the homemaker. The couples leisure activities also tend to be seperate.
Joint Conjugal roles - where the couple share tasks such as housework and childcare and spend their leisure time together.