Unit 1


  • Created by: tmanyena
  • Created on: 10-05-14 13:42

Parsons; instrumental and expressive roles

  • Wives + husbands roles = segregated
  • Husband - instrumental = breadwinner
  • Wife - expressive = socialises children & meet's family's emotional needs = home maker
  • Based on biological differences - women = nurture + men = provider


  • Wilmott & Young - men take greater shape in taks + wives = wage earners
  • Feminists - divison of labour is not natural + only benefits men
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Parsons; instrumental and expressive roles

  • Wives + husbands roles = segregated
  • Husband - instrumental = breadwinner
  • Wife - expressive = socialises children & meet's family's emotional needs = home maker
  • Based on biological differences - women = nurture + men = provider


  • Wilmott & Young - men take greater shape in taks + wives = wage earners
  • Feminists - divison of labour is not natural + only benefits men
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Joint and segregated conjugal roles

Bott (1957) :

  • Segregated conjugal roles = male is breadwinenr + woman is home maker
  • Joint conjugal roles = couple do tasks together and spend leisure time together

Wilmott & Young:

  • Study on tradtional working class in London (1950's)
  • Males= breadwinner (working in the docs)
  • Women = full time housewife
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The symmetrical family

Wilmott & Young (1973) - take the march of progress/functionalist view

  • family = improving for its members - equal & democratic
  • long term trend away from conjugal roles & symmetrical family
  • symmetrical family = ways roles of husbands and wives - similar
  • women now go to work- part/full time
  • men = help with childcare and houswork
  • couples = spend leisure time together

Symmetrical family = more common in younger couples - geographically/socially isolated.

Wilmott & Young = result of major social changes such as:

  • changes in position of women
  • geographical mobility - couples living away from communities
  • new technology - labour savinf devices
  • higher standards of living

All of the above = inter-linked eg, women working 

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A feminist view of housework

  • Reject march of progess view
  • men & women = unequal
  • women do most housework
  • family and society are male dominated
  • women = surbodinate/dependent role


  • Critises Wilmott & Young = exaggerated
  • Research - husbands help in home but no symmetry
  • Husbands more likely to share childcare
  • Father = only good if he played with children

Boulton - fewer than 20% of husbands had a major role

  • Wilmott & Young exaggerate
  • Father might help with specific tasks but mother = responsible for children

Warde & Hetherington:

  • sex typing of domestic roles= strong
  • men only carry female tasks when partners are not around
  • But found evidence that younger men = different attitude

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Oakley: the rise of the housewive role

  • Industrialisation in 19th century = separation of paid work from home
  • women = excluded from workplace 
  • men = the breadwinners+ women = housewives


  • surbodination
  • women = dependent on men
  • housewive role = socially constructed and not natural as Parsons claims

Even thoguh the 20th century saw an increase in the number of married women working:

  • housewive = primary role
  • women = low paid jobs
  • low paid jobs = extension of housewive role eg, nursing or childcare
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Impact of paid work

Man-Yee-Kan :

  • income from employement, age and education effected how much work women did
  • better paid, younger and better educated = less work
  • Every £10,000 decreases housework by 2 hours

Gershuny: the trend towards equality

  • wives who worked full time = less housework
  • wives who didnt work = 83%
  • wives who worked full time = 73%
  • longer the wife worked = more work husband would do around the house
  • couple's with parents with equal relationships = replicate this themselves


  • change in values 
  • parental role models
  • social values = adapt to women working full time
  • Even though men do housework = responsibility for different tasks


  • trend towards equality = men doing more domestic work
  • men participating in women's tasks

The views of Sullivan and Gershuny = optimistic compared to Wilmott & Young's march of progress view that conjugal roles are becoming more symmetrical.


  • women's earnings increase = men do more in home
  • earnings remain unequal
  • earnings remain equal = labour remains equal
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The commercialization of housework

Silver & Schor

Houseowork has become commercialised:

  • goods and services = reduce amount of domestic labour
  • women working = afford to buy goods and services
  • burden of housework has decreased ^
  • death of the housewive role^


  • poorer women = expensive goods + services is not an option
  • commercialisation = doesn't prove that couples are sharing roles
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The dual burden


  • women working = little evidence of the man helping out
  • women have dual burden of work and domestic unpaid work
  • family remains patriachal 
  • men benefit from women's earnings & labour

Ferri & Smith:

  • employment of women = little impact opn domestic work
  • father takes responsibility for childcare in 4% of the 1,589 families they studied
  • women at work and husband unemployed = husbands still don't do more


  • men who had suffered a loss of their masculine role as a result of becoming unemployed 
  • they then saw domestic work as women's work = avoided the tasks



  • familes where males are unemloyment + partner works full time = match domestic work of his partner

Arber & Ginn:

  • middle class women can afford full day child care
  • working class women cannot afford full day child care
  • working class women = trapped in a vicious circle of childcare responsibilities, low paid and part time employment,
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Lesbian couples & gender scripts


  • gender scripts do not operate in the same way as in heterosexual relationships
  • there is symmetry in their relationships
  • they describe relationships as equal + share housework + share childcare
  • equal importance to both partner's careers
  • view childcare positively
  • interact in different ways = unlike heterosexual couples who are under pressure to: conform to masculine or feminine gender scripts by perfoming different domestic tasks.
  • in a household, tasks are not linked to gender = equal relationships

Supports radical feminist viw:

  • men and women = patriachal
  • women can only achieve equality = same sex relationships


  • same sex couples = greater equality because of division of labour
  • not based on patriachal tradition
  • open to negotiation + agreement


  • Dunne = one partner did much work than the other
  • paid work = exerts an important influence on division of labour
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decision making & domestic violence

  • men earn more 
  • men = likely to make major decisions - even when incomes are pooled


  • form of patriachal power
  • does not occur randomly but follows social patterns 
  • most victims are women
  • 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence
  • 99% of incidents are committed by men

Dobash & Dobash:

  • violent incidents are set off by what husbands see as challenging their authority
  • marriage legitimises violence against women
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The modern western notion of childhood

  • children are immature and not pyschologically developed to be independant yet
  • children lack skills, knowledge & experience


  • childhood is separate
  • childhood = clear & distinct life stage
  • through laws, dress and products/services.
  • childhood = golden age of happiness and innocence
  • children = quarantined and separated from adulthood dangers
  • childrens lives = sphere of the family and education - where adults protect them
  • children = lead lives of leisure, play and excluded from paid work.


  • childhood is a separate life stage = not in all societies
  • different cultures construct childhood differently
  • children = vulnerable in western cultures
  • other cultures= no difference in children & adults
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Cross - cultural differences in childhood


  • children in  non - industrial societites = treated differently 
  • non-industrial cultues = less of a divide between behaviour of children + adults
  • child is not a fixed thing + not found as the same universally
  • socially constructed = differs in cultures


  • study of Soman village
  • too young was never a reason for why a child should not perform a certain task
  • dangerous tasks = parents will allow children to undetake


  • Study on the TIKOPIA of the western pacific
  • doing as you are told by a grown up = their choice


  • study in Trobiand islanders of the south pacific
  • adults = attitude of tolerance and amused interest when children sexually explored and carried out sexual activities.
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Historical differences in childhood

  • childhood differs from time to time


  • middle ages = childhood didnt exist
  • children = same nature/needs as adults
  • childhood as a separate age stage was short
  • after weaning = work began for children
  • children = mini adults because of : same rights, duties & skills as adults
  • law = children & adults face the same punishments.


  • high death rates = encourages neglect towards infants
  • wasn't uncommon to give a baby a dead sibling's name

Aries: from the 13th century onwards

  • schools = specialised in education of the young
  • children's and adults clothing became different
  • 18th century = child rearing books were available - growth of child centered families
  • we are now a world that is obsessed with childhood
  • 20th century - century of the childhood


  • critices Aries.
  • society had a different notion to what childhood was

- However, Aries work is valid because it shows childhood = socially constructed

- demontrates how childhood has changed over time

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Reasons for the changes in position of children

  • Laws = exclude children from work/child labour + children are financially dependant on parents
  • compulsory education 
  • raising of the school leaving age = extended dependency
  • child protection & welfare legislation: 1889 prevention of cruelty to children act = social services
  • Children's rights = parents have responsiblites.

Changes in society:

  • declining in family size/infant mortality rate = parents have greater financial/emotional investment into their children's lives
  • Children's health and development - medical knowledge 
  • Laws and policies: minimum ages eg, for sex & smoking = adults are diff to children
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Birth rate: used to measure births  defined by number of live birhts per 1K of the population per year.

  • There has been a decline in birth rate since 1900

The total fertility Rate:

  • total fertility rate is the number of children a woman will have during her fertile years
  • risen since 2001, but rose in 2006

Reflect that:

  • women remain childless
  • women postpone having children
  • older women may be less fertile
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Reasons for the decline in birth rate

Economic, cultural, legal, politcal and technological advances.

1) changes in position of women:

  • women's right to vote
  • increased educational opportunities
  • more women in paid employment
  • changes in attitudes to family life
  • easier to divorce
  • abortion & contraception

As a result - women see other things as more important than being a mother/housewive

2) decline in infant mortality rate:

  • imrpoved houses & better sanitation
  • better nutrition for mothers and babies
  • betetr knowledge of hygiene, child health & welfare
  • fall in number of married women working
  • improved services for mothers and children
  • medical improvements, eg immunisations

3) children have beome an economic liability:

  • Laws =banning of child labour, raising of school leaving age & complusory education
  • changing norms = what children have a right to expect from their parents

4) child centeredness:

  • childhood = socially constructed
  • parents now have fewer children abd pay more attention to their children

Future trends in birth rates:

  • slight increase = because of immigration & babies born outside of the UK.
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Effects of the changes in fertility

The family:

  • smaller families = women are free to go out to work = creates a dual earner
  • better off couples = larger families and afford childcare

The dependency Ratio:

  • the relationship between the size of the working part of the population and the size of the non working/dependent part of the population
  • earnings, savings and taxes of the population provide for the dependent
  • children = large part of the dependent population
  • fall in number of children = reduced burden of dependency
  • fewer babies being born = fewer adults + small workling population

Public services & Policies:

  • lower birth rate = bad for public services
  • fewer schools, maternity/child health needed
  • coss of maternity/partenity leave
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Death rate has fallen since 1900. 

Death rate = number of deaths pere thousand of the population per year

Reasons for the decline in death rate:

  • Improved nutrition
  • improved medical advances
  • public health and enviroment improvements
  • other social changes - decline in dangerous manual jobs.

Life expectancy:

  • refers to how long an average person born in a given year can expect to live
  • death rate fallen = increased life expectancy

Class, gender and regioncal differences:

  • Those living in the north havea lower life expectancy than those living in the south
  • working class men in unskilled jobs are more die first
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The ageing population

  • There are fewer young people + more older people
  • result of increasing life expectancy
  • decline of infant mortality rate
  • declining in fertility


  • Public services - older people consumer more of the public services eg, health
  • One person pensioner households - more single person households (most are females)
  • Dependecny ratio - pensioners depend on the young and needed to be provided for.
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Immigration - movement into area or society

Emigration - moving out of country

Net migration - difference between numbers immigrating and emigrating.


  • 1950's - black migrants arrived
  • 1960's/1970's south asians arrived

Consequences = produced an ethnic diverse society


  • more people go out than come in
  • economic push factors - unemployment at home, higher wages and better opportunities abroad

Recent and future migration patterns

  • highest immigration in 2004 - european union = allows to work/live here
  • immigrants and migrants = youing and male- 1/4 coming to study or work
  • Emigrants from UK are older -= likely to retire abroad in spain

Dependency ratio:

  • migrants are working age = reduces dependency ratio
  • immigrant women = higher birth rates - contributes to higher dependency rate = reduces the average working age of population and produces more workers.
  • the longer a migrant group spends in a country, it adapts to their fertility rate

Internal Migration:

  • during industrial revolution - jobs were based in the north, south wales and west scotland
  • produced a turn from rural to urban
  • later on, industries began to decline and shifted to the south
  • London & south east have exerted = finance and service industries are there
  • surburbanisation =large residential areas around cities
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Changing patterns of Divorce:

  • 1960's = increase in divorce - 1969 divorce reform act
  • numbers have fallen since 2001
  • 7/10 petitions come from women
  • couples who marry young, cohabit or have a child before marriage - at risk of divorce

Explanations of the increase in divorce:

 1) changes in the law 

  • 1969 divorce reform act = widening grounds of divorce, cheaper divorce, equalising grounds.
  • Desertion = partner leaves the other but are still married
  • separation = court separates couple
  • empty shell = married but still living together

2)declining stigma and changing atiitudes

  • more socially acceptable
  • divorce is a normal part of life


  • decline of influence of religion
  • fewer people go to church
  • churches have softened views on divorce

4)rising expectations of marriage

  • Functionalist - Fletecher = higher divorce rate - higher marriage standards
  • ideology of romantic love

5)changes in position of women

  • women are in paid work
  • equal pay of women
  • girls have greater success in education
  • availability of welfare benefits
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The meaning of a high divorce rates

New Right:

  • divorce undermines tradtional nuclear family
  • divorce creates more dependent female lone parent households
  • leave boys with no male figure


  • high divorce = desirable
  • women are breaking from opression of patriachal nuclear family


  • gives individuals freedom to choose
  • cause of greater family diversity


  • high divorce rate = because of high expectattions of marriage
  • high re-marriage shows peoples commitments to the idea of marriage


  • Morgan - we cannot generalise the meaning of divorce
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  • fewer people are marrying
  • more re-marriages than marriages
  • people marry later
  • couples= less likely to marry in church

Reasons for patterns in marriage:

  • changing attitudes to marriage - less pressure to marry and individuals can choose relationship type they want
  • secularisation = decline
  • declining in attached stigma
  • alternatives to marriage: cohabit, single, having children outside of mariage
  • changes in position of women - put education and career first
  • fear of divorce


Reasons for the increase in Cohabitation:

  • decline in stigma to sex outside marriage
  • young are more likely to accept it
  • increased career opportunities for women
  • secularisation

Relationship between cohabiting and marriage:

  • Chester - cohabitation is a prelude to marriage
  • Coast - 75% of all couples expect to marry in the future
  • most cohabiting couples marry if they have children
  • couples see cohabitation as an alternative to marriage
  • Macklin - cohabitation does not mean the same for all couples and is diverse
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  • increased social acceptence 
  • social policy starting to treat gay couples equally - eg gay marriages 2014.

One person households:

  • rise in people living alone
  • half = people who are pensioners
  • men under 65 = likely to live alone

Reasons for changes:

  • increase in separation and divorce
  • especially for men^ = children likely to stay with mother
  • decline in people marrying
  • people choose to live alone
  • widows


  • 1 in 10 adults lat
  • trend towars formalised relationships and families of choice
  • public attitudes towards LAT are favourable
  • Duncan and Phillips - Lat no longer seen as abornam; and no rejection of it
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Parents and children


  • 4 in every 10 children are born outside of marriage
  • women are having children later
  • women have fewer children
  • women remain childless

reasons for the changes

  • increase in children outside of marrigae = decline in stima and increase in cohabitation
  • later age women having children - smaller family sizes and women remain childless + women have more options other than motherhood

Lone - parent families:

  • 90% of families headed to lone motherhood
  • single women are biggest group of lone mothers
  • child in lone parent = twice more likely to be in poverty

Reasons for patterns:

  • the increase in divorce & separation 
  • increase to never married women having children
  • female headed lone parent families - expressive /nurturing.

Lone parenthood, the welfare state and poverty:

  • New right - Murray -growth = over generous welfare state
  • welfare estate creates a dependency culture
  • solution - abolish benefits 
  • Critics = lone parents are women, failure of fathers to pay maintainance, inedquate welfare benefits
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re-constituted families

  • makes over 10% of all families
  • ferri and smith - similar to first families but at greater risk in poverty
  • allan & crow - may face problems with divided loyalties  eg, with the non-resident parents

Reasons for patterns:

  • step families are formed when lone parents are form new partnerships - divorce
  • children are from woman's side=woman more likely to keep children after divorce
  • greater risk of poverty - more children to provide for
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