Family relations

Quick revision notes taken for family relations during a sociology revision class.

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  • Created by: Steph
  • Created on: 19-04-10 14:17

Family Relations!

The types of family relations to be mentioned are:

1) Divison of labour.

2) Emotion work.

3) The impact of paid work for women.

4) Decision making in households.

5) Domestic Violence.

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Division of Labour!

The different views on the division of labour.

Parsons: Instrumental & Expressive roles. Functionalist and New Right Perspective

Bott: Joint & Segragational roles.

Willmot & Young: Symmetrical family

Oakley: The rise of the Housewife.

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Emotion work!

Also refered to as a Dual Burden > when a person is responsible for two jobs. This is usually applied to women who are in paid work but also responsible for domestic labour.

Arlie Hochschild (1983) originally used the concept to describe jobs such as airline stewardesses. She notes women are more likely than men to be performing jobs involving emotional labour. Other sociologists apply this idea to the family. David Morgan (1997) illustrates this with caring for a sick child.

Emotion work is usually seen as a 'labour of love' because it involves caring for other family members. Nevertheless, it is work, and work done mainly by women. Jean Duncombe & Dennis Marsden (1995) argue that women are expected not only to do a double shift of both housework & paid work, but also to worl a triple shift that includes emotion work.

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Imapct of paid work for Women!

  • Increased female independence.
  • More power in decision making.
  • Women have less energy for emotion work/Dual burden/ Triple Shift.
  • The commerialisation of housework.
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Decision making in households!

Stephen Edgell's (1980) study of proffesional couples found that:

  • Very important decisions - such as those involving finance were either taken by the husband or jointly, but with the final say being from the husband.
  • Important decisions - such as those about children's education or holidays were taken usually jointly and seldom by the wife alone.
  • Less important decisions - such as the choice of home decor were usually made by the wife.

Like Pahl & Vogler (1993) Edgell argues that the reason men are likely to take the decisions is that they earn more. With most women being dependent on them economically, they have less say in decision-making.

Feminists argue it is because of gender role socialisation. And untill this definition is challenged, decision making is likely to remain unequal.

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Domestic Violence

Mirrlees-Black found that:

  • Most victims were women.
  • 99% of all incidents against women were committed by men.

Dobash & Dobash argue that marriage legitimaises violence against women by conferring power & authority on husbands & dependency on wives. Methods link : Dobash and Dobash used unstructured interviews.

Marxist feminist view - w/c men lack power at work so get it at home by beating up their wives.

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