The Family

Power and Control in the Family

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Abi Prime
  • Created on: 12-01-11 14:03

The Family- Control and Power

Young and Willmot claimed that the segregated division of labour roles are disapearing due to the loss of extended families with the replacement of the -PRIVATISED NUCLEAR FAMILY- and further education/ careers avaliable for females Some sociologists began to be worried about the 'new man' syndrom However studies seem to ignore the females main work around the house which is ... EMOTIONAL CARE

1 of 13

Studies of Housework and Childcare

Dryden 1999- Qualative study of 17 married couples and the female did the majority of household and childcare tasks

Lader et al 2006- Time use survey 200521 hours on cleaning compared to 12 hours92% clean evryday compared to 77%Woman still do the general household tasksWhilst males still take control of the 'Male dominated' tasksBritish Household Panel Survey 2001 found that whatever the set up females do more household tasks than malesADDITIONALLY MCKEE AND BELL 1986- Even when males are unemployed they do less housework as they find it degradingSclater points out that new cleaning technologies puts emphasis on the 'ideal' house so puts an added burdon on the perfect home made by the woman

2 of 13

Decision Making

Bernardes 1997- Although theres joint agreement over having children the FEMALE gives up the most for example very few go back to the pre-baby career

Hardill et al 1997- The male is left to make most financial 'big' decisions e.g Moving house, holiday ect... But this is most comon where the male is the main breadwinner and they see it as the fanmilies reponsibility to move around them

Leighton 1993- When the females the main breadwinner she is seen to make the more important decisions

3 of 13


New Rights main concern is that single parent families lack father figures... Erdos et al 2000... the children lack discipline leading to delinquency and are influence more by the mediaThere is evidence that when a maritial split occurs one parent will have less touch with the child/ren with an estimation of 40% of children loosing contact completly after 2 years with one of their parentsUsually the mother has custody as it clearly states in the Children Act that the mother is rewarded custodySome commentators say we should look at the quality of the fathering and not the quantity, as in the 1990s there was a steep increase in the amount of fathers at their childs birth compared to the 1960s.. Burghes also suggests that in 1997 fathers have increased the time they spend with their children and Beck 1992 suggests one reason could be that a job isn't a big enough Identity

4 of 13

Fatherhood continued...

Warin et al 1999 found that in the research of 95 families all members still saw the father as the main breadwinner and the mother as the expert 'parentee' even with change in employment.Gray 2006 followed this up by finding that fathers WANT to spend more time to get to know their children and saw it as lesisure time rather than domestic workDex 2003 still found that 40% of males work a 48 hour week preventing them from quality time with their children compared to 6%.. this means we must NOT exagerate fathers childcare role as STILL MOTHERS are the main primary carer in most families

5 of 13

Social Capital Approach

In this approach parenting has been redefined as an investment in your childrens future and the educational and economic aspects. Fathers see it as quality time with their children more than mothers as they see it as an obligation more than a chosen activity

6 of 13

Patriarchal Ideology

This is a MAIN concern for FEMINISTS SURVEYS have revealed that females:

Feel bad for having a job and having children which results in some giving up work Many woman do not question having childcare and housework as their primary responsibility and having a career as their second

Even state policy encourages this such as maternity leave

7 of 13

Mother/Housewife Role and Work

Women are seen at a disadvantage compared to men... As they are more likely to have a job rather than a career -------------->

Therefore lacks economic benefits and less likely to be promotedSome employers see them as unreliable due to their family commitments meaning that they may discriminate against them.

8 of 13

Violence in Families

Domestic violence is one of the hardest types of violence to measure not only is it because it's behind close doors and can be unreported but as SCLATER states physical violence is recognisable and visable but sexual intimidation and psychological abuse is harder to determine

STANKO's survey found that domestic abuse is reported evry minute in the UK, with 70% of domestic violence being recieved by the female

MIRLEES-BLACK 1999- not all are reported for various reasons:

Scared of repercussions

Believes they can change the abuser

They feel they may be ignored or not taken seriously

Believes its their own fault

There has been an increase in the amount of males being the victimsHOWEVER this still only constitues to 5% of domestic violence PLUS Nazroo 1999 found females are MUCH MORE likely to live in fear of potential violence than men

9 of 13

Violence in Families

FEMINISTS believe the main problem is PATRIARCHYIn many SURVEYS the main reasoning for domestic abuse from a MALE is because they believed that the FEMALE wasn't a GOOD MOTHER or PARTNERThese roles are reinforced by the traditional roles and STILL men and boys are brought up around patriarchy leading to this problem.ONE MAIN problem that has been found is the believe 'MASCULINITY CRISIS' wheerby the 'main breadwinner' traditionally was the male but now due to unemployment their wife takes over the role and their anxieties of loosing power turns into VIOLENCEUp until recently the legal justice service have failed to punish abusers but in the last 20 years for instance things have turned around with it becoming illegal to **** your own wife

10 of 13

Violence in Families- British Crime Survey

Computer Assisted Interviews

This is where the victim reads the question from a laptop and writes there response meaning they dont have to talk to an interviewer

11 of 13

Theoretical Explanations of Inequalities in Power

FUNCTIONALISTS- see that the sexual division of labor as biologically inevitable-> Woman are seen to have a more expressive caring role-parsonsLIBERAL FEMINISTS- woman have made progress in education and economically and making movement, still men lack behind in the attitudes but there have been positive changes for femalesMARXISTS-FEMINISTS- womans housewife role suits the capital class as it produces the future cheap work force for themRADICAL-FEMINISTS- woman are EXPLOITED BY MEN, the housewife role has been built to suit a patriachal society and to look after their needs

12 of 13

Criticisms of these Theories

These theories fail to explain cross culture differences with rolesThe feminists approach particulary maybe guilty of devaluing the housewife role as to some it's a very important role they value to care for othersFeminists ignore the idea that maybe woman are more concerned on the emotional side of the males role such as the gratitude shown to them for the work they do... also the fact that more woman are divorcing men shows there has been positive movement for ending bad relationships. Hakim says that women may choose to do this role and not been forced into it and it suits them

13 of 13


No comments have yet been made

Similar Sociology resources:

See all Sociology resources »See all Families and households resources »