Families and Households-Complete revision pack


Families and household



The domestic division of labour-Refers to the roles that men and women play in relation to housework, childcare and paid work.

Instrumental and expressive roles

Talcott Parsons (1955)

Instrumental (husband) success at work (financially)

Expressive (wife) socialisation of children and family's emotional needs

Joint and segregated conjugal roles

Elizabeth Bott (1957)

Joint conjugal- share tasks e.g. Housework

Separate conjugal- separate roles e.g men work women do housework

The symmetrical family

Young and Willmott (1973)

Family life is gradually improving for all trend towards joint conjugal roles

A feminist view of housework

Ann Oakley (1974)

Oakley argues men may help but not regularly and with the same amount as men e.g. Only 15% of husbands had a major role in childcare

A feminist view of housework

Warde and Hetherington (1990’s)

Sex-typing of domestic tasks- wives are 30 times more likely to have been the last person doing the washing were as men where as men were more likely to be the last person to wash the car


Are couples becoming more equal?

The impact of paid work

Oakley (1970’s)

Oakleys study were mostly full-time housewives and now more women are working so this could lead to a more equal division of labour

The march of progress view

Gershuny (1994)

Argues women's working full-time is leading to a more quality division of labour in the home

The march of progress view

Oriel Sullivan (2000)

Dat collected in 1975,1987 and 1997 found that men were doing more in the home

The feminist view


Women now carry a ‘dual burden’ of paid work and domestic work

Taking responsibility for children

Boulton (1983)

Men may be helping with childcare tasks but women still take responsibility for child's security and well-being

Taking responsibility for children

Ferri and Smith (1996)

Found that fathers took responsibility for childcare in fewer than 4% of families

Emotion work and triple shift

Horschild (2013)

Emotion work is the taking care of families emotion needs

Emotion work and triple shi

Duncombe and Marsden (1995)

Women now deal with a triple shift of paid work, emotion work and domestic labour




Taking responsibility for ‘quality time’

Southerton (2011)

Coordinating, scheduling and managing a families ‘quality time’ usually falls to mothers

Explaining the gender division of labour

Crompton and Lyonette (2008)

The cultural or ideological explanation of inequality- patriarchal Norms and values that shape gender roles

The material or economic explanation of inequality- women generally earn less than men do so it is economically rational for women to do more housework

Evidence for the cultural explanation

Gershuny (1994)

Couples who have parents that had a more equal relationship are more likely to share housework equally

Evidence for the material explanation


Working full-time rather than part-time makes the biggest differences in terms of housework









Resources and decision-making in households        

Resources and decision-making in households

Barrett and McIntosh (1991)

-men gain far more from women's domestic work than


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