topic 1 couples

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What is family?

can be defined in any way which cannot be disagreed with by sociologists. does not have to be related by blood, it is whoevee you consider to be your family.

What is a household?

'A person living alone or a group of people living together'

topic 1: couples  

Domenstic devision of labour 

Parsons:(1995) instrumental and expressive roles

'devision of labour is based on biological differences

women 'naturally suited' to their role 

Critisized by Young & Willmott(1962) - men taking a share of domestic labour - women earning

Femenist sociologists - only benefits men

Joint and segregated conjugal roles 

Elizabeth Bott: (1957) - two types of roles - joint/seperate 

Young & Willmott: identified men in the 50's were breadwinners, women created kin relationships with other women

The symmetrical family 

Young & Willmott (1973) - 'march of progress' - family is gradually becoming more equal - result of 4 major social changes in the past century 

  • geographical mobility
  • technological advancements
  • women working
  • higher living standards 

Femenist view of housework

Reject the 'march of progress' - little has changed - womem are subordinate to men in family and society 

Ann Oakley (1974) critisized Young & Willmott - 'their claims are exaggurated' 

Oakleys findings of percentage of men contributing to housework & childcare Men are more likely to take care of children in pleasurable aspects (playing with children)- gives women more time to do housework

Mary Boulton (1983) supported with research 

Oakley - rise of housewife role

'the housewife role has become the dominant role for a married woman'

 industrialisation- women experienced paid work from home - however subordinated by men into maintaining a housewife role, makes it socially constructed rather than being 'natural' as claimed by Parsons.

Housewife role is


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