Gender Roles and Relationships: Emotional Labour



- Emotional labour is work done to comfort and support the emotional needs of the immediate and extended family.

- Support for the well-being and emotional stability of members of the family unit.

- This includes children, partners, extended family members such as elderly relatives.

Who Performs the Emotional Labour?

- Duncombe and Marsden (1995): suggested that the emotional work of looking after the family often falls onto women.

- Men were focused on their role as a provider and did not openly express emotions for their partners and children.

- Women, therefore, are left with an emotional burden as well as paid employment and domestic labour, which is referred to as the 'triple shift'.

Parsons' Theory of Sex Roles

- Parsons suggested that the division of labour in the family was based upon biological characteristics.

- The male 'instrumental role' was focused on providing for the family and maintaining discipline in the household.

- Emotional support became part of the 'expressive role'- supporting and nurturing the development of…


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