Gender Roles and Relationships: Domestic Labour

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Introduction

- Sociological approaches to domestic labour have often focused on the role of men and women in the household.

- More traditional views, such as functionalism, have suggested that domestic labour is more suited to women due to their biological traits.

- Typified by Parsons' Sex Role Theory where women are encouraged to take on the expressive role.

Cost of Domestic Labour

- ONS (2016) valued unpaid domestic labour at £1 trillion a year, while other surveys have suggested that a woman will do between £25,000 and £35,000 worth of unpaid labour annually.

- Women's unpaid labour accounts for £700 billion of this total.

- Marxist feminists suggest that this serves the needs of capitalism as this is 'free labour' which allows finances to be focused on the wider economy and increases consumption of goods and services by families.

Women's Involvement in Paid Employment

- According to a 2019 Labour Force Survey, 3 in 4 mothers with dependent children (75.1%) were in work in the United…

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