The Impact Of Paid Work

Can be used to answer questions in AS Socioology. E.g "Does it still make sense to talk about the patriarchal family?"

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  • Created by: Sophie
  • Created on: 22-12-09 14:07


Anne Oakley's research was carried out on 1970s women, so her research is getting old. Sociologists are interested to find out whether both partners working is leading to an equal division of labour, or whether it's forcing women into the dual burden- having to do housework AND payed work.

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Gershuny (believes patriarchy no longer exists)

Gershuny found:

  • Unemployed wives did 83% of housework.
  • Part-time wives did 73% of housework.
  • Full-time wives did 73% of housework.
  • The longer the wife had been full-time, the more equal the relationship.
  • Couples who's parents had an equal relationship were more likely to do so.

Gershuny states the reason for the change was a change in values and parental role models. Children are now socialised to believe that most women work full time.

Crompton, accepts that the division of labour is becoming more equal, BUT as a result of economic factors; not role models. Crompton states: "As women's earning power increases relative to men's, men do more in the home."

Although men are doing more housework, there is still a difference in the tasks carried out.

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Silver & Schor (also believe that patriarchy no lo

Silver and Schor say that the commercialisation of housework has brought about the change in the domestic division of labour.

Goods that housewives used to produce themselves (e.g. bread, full meals) are now being mass-produced for supermarkets, so a wife doesn't have to spend time of her day making foods, she can pop to the shop and buy it, and so can her husband. Freezers and microwaves also reduce the amount of work that needs to be done. Women working means the families can now afford to spend money on these goods.

However, for poorer women, buying these goods is not an option.

Even though commercialisation has reduced housework, it does not mean that the tasks are being shared equally.

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The Dual Burden (feminists believe that patriarchy

Feminists argue that the family is still a patriarchal insitution and than men benefit from women's earnings and domestic labour.

Feminists believe in the 'dual burden'. This means that there is a burden on women because they now are expected to do payed work AND housework.

Ferri and Smith say that women working has had little impact on the division of labour. The women is still the one known to do housework.

Morris syas that even if a man is unemployed, he will avoid domestic tasks because he sees them as 'girly'.

However, Ramos found that in families where the man is not in payed work, they matched their wives in terms of domestic labour.

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The Triple Shift (feminists believe that patriarch

Duncombe and Marsden say that women now have a TRIPLE SHIFT; not just a dual burden. The triple shift includes payed work, housework, and emotion work.

Emotion is the management of other people's emotions.

When a child is upset, it will cry for it's Mother, not it's Father. When a husband needs to de-stress, he will go to his wife for advice.

Emotion work is called the 'labour of love' because it means caring for other family members.

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