Topic 1 Couples

  • Created by: Ali682
  • Created on: 06-04-18 22:59
What is the instrumental role?
The husband has the instrumental role, geared towards achieving success at work so that he can provide for the family financially. He is the breadwinner.
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What is the expressive role?
The wife has the expressive role geared towards primary socialisation of the children and meeting the family's emotional needs, She is the homemaker, a full time housewife rather than a wage earner.
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What does Parsons argue?
Parsons argues that this division of labour is based on biological differences, with women 'naturally' suited to the nurturing role and men to that of provider.
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Which sociologists have criticised Parsons?
Micheal Young and Peter Willmott (1962)
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What does Elizabeth Bott (1957) distinguish between?
Elizabeth Bott (1957) distinguishes between two types of conjugal roles: that is, roles within marriage.
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What is segregated conjugal roles?
Where the couple have separate role: a male breadwinner and a female homemaker/carer, as in Parsons instrumental and expressive roles. Their leisure activities also tend to be separate.
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What is joint conjugal roles?
Where the couples share tasks such as housework and childcare and spend their leisure time together.
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What did Young and Willmott identify in their study of traditional working class extended families?
They identified a pattern of segregated conjugal roles. Men were breadwinners. They played little part in home life. Women were full time housewives with sole responsibility for housework and childcare.
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What view do Young and Willmott take of the history of the family?
Young and Willmott (1973) take a 'march of progress' view. They see family as gradually improving for all its members.
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What is symmetrical family?
By the symmetrical family they mean one in which the roles of husbands and wives, although not identical are now more similar.
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Which feminist critisces Young and Willmott and what does she argue?
The feminist Ann Oakley (1974) critisces Young and Willmott. She argues that their claims are exaggerated.
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What did Oakley find in her own research?
Oakley found some evidence of husbands helping in the home but no evidence of a trend towards symmetry.
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What did Mary Boulton (1983) find?
Mary Boulton (1983) found that fewer than 20% of husbands had a major role in childcare. She argues that Young and Willmott exaggerate mens contribution by looking at the tasks involved in childcare rather than the responsibilities.
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What is Alan Warde and Kevin Hetherington's (1993) research?
They found that sex-typing of domestic tasks remained strong.
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What does Jonathan Gershuny (1994) argue?
He argues that women working full time is leading to a more equal division of labour in the home.
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What did Oriel Sullivan's (2000) analysis of nationality representative data find?
Data collected in 1975, 1987 and 1997 found a trend towards women doing a smaller share of the domestic work and men doing more.
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Ferri and Smith (1996)
Ferri and Smith (1996) found that fathers took responsibility for childcare in fewer than 4% of families.
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Dex and Ward (2007)
Dex and Ward (2007) found that although fathers had quite high levels of involvement with their three year old, when it came to caring for a sick child only 1% of fathers took the main responsibility.
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Braun, Vincent and Ball (2011)
Braun, Vincent and Ball (2011) found that in only three families out of 70 studied was the father the main carer. Most were background fathers; helping with childcare was more about their relationship with their partner than their children.
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What does Arlie Russell Hochschild (2013) call 'emotion work'?
Taking responsibility for other family members.
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What does Jean Duncombe and Dennis Marsden (1995) argue?
Jean-Duncombe and Dennis Marsden (1995) argue that women have to perform a 'triple shift' of housework, paid work and emotion work.
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Dale Southerton (2011)
Another responsibility is that of coordinating, scheduling and managing the family's 'quality time' together - a responsibility that usually falls to mothers according to Dale Southerton (2011).
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What does Southerton argue?
'Achieving quality time is becoming more and more difficult as working mothers find themselves increasingly juggling demands of work and career, personal leisure time and family.
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What do Rosemary Crompton and Claire Lyonette (2008) identify?
Rosemary Crompton and Claire Lyonette (2008) identify two different explanations for the unequal division of labour.
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What is the cultural or ideological explanation of inequality?
In this view, the division of labour is determined by patriarchal norms and values that shape the gender roles in our culture. Women perform more domestic labour simply because that is what society expects them to do and has socialised them to o.
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What is the material or economic explanation of inequality?
In this view, the fact that women generally earn less than men means it is economically rational for women to do more of the housework and childcare while men spend more of their time earning money.
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Gershuny (1994)
Gershuny (1994) found that couples whose parents had a more equal relationship are more likely to share housework equally themselves. He argues that social values are gradually adapting to the fact that women are now working full time.
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Man Yee Kan (2001)
Man Yee Kan (2001) found that younger men do more domestic work.
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The British Social Attitudes survey (2013)
The British Social Attitudes survey (2013) found that less than 10% of under 35s agreed with a traditional division of labour as against 30% of the over 65s.
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Gillian Dunne (1999)
Gillian Dunne (1999) found that lesbian couples had more symmetrical relationships because of the absence of traditional heterosexual gender scripts that is norms that set out the different gender roles men and women are expected to play.
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Sara Arber and Jay Ginn (1995)
Sara Arber and Jay Ginn (1995) found that better paid, middle class women were more able to buy in commercially produced products and services such as labour saving devices, ready meals. domestic help and childcare.
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Xavier Ramos (2003)
Xavier Ramos (2003) found that where the women is the full time breadwinner and the man is unemployed he does as much domestic labour as she does.
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Sullivan shows that working full time rather than part time makes the biggest difference in terms of how much domestic work each partner does.
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What does Michelle Barrett and Mary McIntosh (1991) note?
They note that men gain far more from women's domestic work than they give back in financial support and men usually make the decisions about spending on important items.
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What did Elanie Kempson (1994) find?
She found that among low income families women denied their own needs, seldom going out, and eating smaller portions of food or skipping meals altogether in order to make ends meet.
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What did Jan Pahl and Carolyn Vogler (1993) identify?
They identify two main types of control over family income.
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What is the allowance system?
Where men give their wives an allowance out of which they have to budget to meet the family's needs with the man retaining any surplus income for himself.
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What is pooling?
Pooling is where both partners have access to income and joint responsibility for expenditure for example a joint bank account.
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What did Pahl and Vogler (2007) find?
They found that even where there was pooling, the men usually made the major financial decisions.
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What is Irene Hardill's (1997) study?
Her study of 30 dual career professional couples found that the important decisions were usually taken either by the man alone or jointly and that his career normally took priority when deciding whether to move house for a new job.
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What is Stephen Edgell's (1980) study of professional couples?
His study of professional couples found that very important decisions were either taken by the husband alone or jointly but with the husband having the final say. Important decisions were taken jointly and seldom by the wife alone.
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What does Edgell argue?
Edgell argues that the reason men are likely to take the decisions is that they earn more. Women usually earn less than their husbands and being dependent on them economically were more likely to have an equal say.
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What did Laurie and Gershuny (2000) find?
They found that by 1955, 70% of couples said they had an equal say in decisions.
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What does the personal life perspective focus n?
They focus on the meanings couples give to who controls the money.
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What did Carol Smart (2007) find?
She found that some gay men and lesbians attached no importance to who controlled the money and were perfectly happy to leave this to their partners. They did not see the control of money as meaning either equality or inequality in the relationship.
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What did Weeks et al (2001) find?
Weeks et al (2001) found that the typical pattern was pooling some money for household spending, together with separate accounts for personal spending.
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What does the Home office (2013) define domestic violence and abuse as?
'Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality'.
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What did Kathryn Coleman et al (2007) find?
She found that women were more likely than men to have experienced 'intimate violence' across all four types of abuse- partner abuse, family abuse, sexual assault and stalking.
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Coleman and Osbourne (2010)
According to Coleman and Osbourne (2010) two women a week- or one third of all female homicide victims - are killed by a partner or former partner..
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Russell and Rebecca Dobbash's (1979:2007) research
This pattern is confirmed by Russell and Rebecca Dobbash's (1979:2007) research in Scotland, based on police and court records and interviews with women in women's refugees.
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What did Sylvia Walby and Jonathan Allen (2004) find?
They found that women were much more likely to be victims of multiple incidents of abuse and of sexual violence.
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Donna Ansara and Michelle Hindin (2011)
They found that women suffered more severe violence and control, with more serious psychological effects. They also found that women were much more likely than men to be fearful of their partners.
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Aliyah Dar (2013)
Aliyah Dar (2013) points out that it can also be difficult to count separate domestic violence incidents, because abuse may be continuous or may occur so often that the victim cannot reliably count the instances.
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Stephanie Yearnshire (1997)
Stephanie Yearnshire (1997) found that on average a women suffers 35 assaults before making a report.
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What does Dar argue?
Dar argues that victims of domestic violence are less likely than victims of other forms of violence to report the offence because they believe that it is not a matter for the police or that it it too trivial.
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David Cheal (1991)
According to David Cheal (1991) this reluctance is due to the fact that police and other state agencies are not prepared to become involved in the family.
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What is the radical feminist explanation?
This emphasises the role of patriarchal ideas, cultural values and institutions.
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What is the materialist explanation?
This emphasises economic factors such as lack of resources.
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What do Kate Millet (1970) and Shulamith Firestone (1970) argue?
They argue that all societies have been founded on patriarchy. They see the key division in society as that between men and women.
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Faith Robertson Elliot (1996)
She rejects the radical feminist claim that all men benefit from violence against women. Not all men are aggressive and most are opposed to domestic violence.
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Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett (2010)
They see domestic violence as the result of stress on family members caused by social inequality.
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Fran Ansley (1972)
Describes wives as 'takers of ****'. She argues that domestic violence is the product of capitalism: male workers are exploited at work and they take out their frustration on their wives.
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Card 2


What is the expressive role?


The wife has the expressive role geared towards primary socialisation of the children and meeting the family's emotional needs, She is the homemaker, a full time housewife rather than a wage earner.

Card 3


What does Parsons argue?


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Card 4


Which sociologists have criticised Parsons?


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Card 5


What does Elizabeth Bott (1957) distinguish between?


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