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AS Sociology: Families and Households.

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on 19 March 2015

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Transcript of AS Sociology: Families and Households.

Topic 1: Couples

Elizabeth Bott (1957): Two roles within marriage


Young and Willmott (1973)- March of progress view of the history of the family
The symmetrical family:
-Reject Young and Willmott's march of progress view
- Argue little has changed, and men and women are still unequal within the family and in society.
-See family life and society as patriarchal and male dominated


A feminists view of housework
-Today, 3/4 of married or cohabiting women in the UK are economically active, as against fewer than half in 1971.

The impact of paid work:
Gershuny: The trend towards equality (1994)
Silver (1987) and Schor (1993): Two major economic developments in reducing the burden of housework on women
The commercialisation of housework.
The dual burden:
* Describes work whose main feature is the management of one's own and others emotions.
Emotional work:
AS Sociology: Families and Households.
The domestic division of labour:
Parsons: Instrumental and Expressive Roles (1995)
- functionalist model of the family
- favours traditional nuclear family
- Husband= Instrumental, the breadwinner who goes out to work so he can provide for the family financially
- Wife= Expressive role, takes on childcare and cleaning and cooking, and meeting the family's emotional needs. A home maker.

-Parson argues that the division of labour is based on biological differences, saying women a naturally suited to the nurturing role and men to be the provider.
- Says this is beneficial for both sexes, the children and wider society
-New Right agrees with this

Criticisms:
- Young and Willmott (1962) argue men are now taking a greater share of domestic tasks andmore wives are becoming wage earners

- Feminists say that the division of labour only benefits men!

Joint and segregated conjugal roles.
Segregated Conjugal Roles: Couple have separate roles, with males as the breadwiner and the female a homemaker. Leisure activities also tend to be separate

Joint Conjugal Roles: Where the couple share tasks such as housework and childcare and spend their lesiure time together.
EVIDENCE: Young and Willmott- Identify a pattern of these roles in their study of traditional working-class extended families in Bethnal Green, east Lodnon, in the 1950s.

-See family life as gradually improving for all its members, becoming more equal and democratic.
-Argue theres been a long-term trend away from segregated conjugal roles and towards joint conjugal roles and the 'symmetrical family'

-So, women now go to work
-Men help with housework
-Couples spend leisure time together.
- Women are more home-centered and privatized.

Study of families in London:
-Symmetrical family was more common among younger couples, those who are geographically and socially isolated and the more affluent.

- Young and Willmott see the rise of the symmetrical nuclear family as the result of major social changes that have taken place during the past centry:
- Changing position of women
- Geographical mobility
- New technology
- Higher standards of living.
Ann Oakley: (1974)
Criticizes Young and Willmott's view that the family is now more symmetrical, saying their claims are exaggerated.

In her own research on housewives, Oakley found some evidence of husbands helping in the hme but no evidence of a trend towards symmetry. Only 15% of husbands had a high level of participation in housework and only 25% in childcare.

Husbands were more likely to share the more fun jobs such as childcare than housework.

Mary Bolton (1983)
Found that fewer than 20% of husbands had a major role in childcare. Argues Y+W exaggerate men's contribution by looking at the tasks involved in childcare rather than the responsibilities.
Warde and Heatherington (1993): Sex typing of roles and domestic tasks

Wives were 30 times more likely to be the last person who did the washing, while husbands were 4 times as more likely to have washed the car last.

-Found that men would only carry out routine 'female' tasks when their partners were not around to do them.
- Found evidence for a slight change in attitude in younger men

Future foundations (2000)study of more than 1,000 adults found that 60% of men claimed they domore housework than their father, while 75% of women claim to do less housework than their mother.
Ann Oakley:
Rise in the housewife role:

-Says the housewife role has become the more dominant role for married women
- Industrialization and the rise of factory production led to the separation of paid work from the home. Women were initially part of the labour force, however they were gradually excluded from the workplace and confined to the home with sole responsibility for housework and childcare
-Enforced women's subordination and economic dependence on men, so the housewife role was socially constructed and not natural.
-Even though there's been an increase in the n. of women working, the housewife role is their primary role.

House wife role is socially constructed.
Man-Yee Kan (2001)

found income from employment, age and education affected how much housework women did: better-paid, younger, better-educated women did less housework.
Every £1000 increase in the women's annual imcome reduces her weekly housework time by two hours.
'DUAL BURDEN'

NEW MAN?
Found that wives who worked full-time did less domestic work.
- Wives who didn't go to work did 83% of the housework and even wives who worked part time still did 82%
- Wives who worked full time did 73% of the housework
- Couples whose parents had a more equal relationship were likely to share housework more equally themselves.
Gershuny explains this trend towards greater equality in terms of a gradual change in values and parental role models.
- Argues social values are gradually adapting to the fact women are now working full time
Sullivan's (2000)
analysis of nationally representative data collected in 1975,1987 and 1997 found a trend towards greater equality as men did more domestic labour.

***Similar to Young And Willmott***
Crompton (1997)
*Accepts Gershunys concept but describes it more in terms of economic factors rather than changing values or rolemodels.
* As women's earning power increases relative to men's so men do more in the home.
* However earnings remain unequal.
* On average a women's earnings are only about 3/4 of what men earn, therefore as long as earnings aren't equal the division of labour will be unequal.
* Housework has become 'commercialised':
-Goods and services housewife's previously had to produce themselves are now mass-produced and supplied by supermarkets ect.
- Fast food, microwaves, ready meals all reduce the amount of domestic labour that needs to be done.
* Women working
- Means that they can afford to buy these goods and services.
- As a result, they argue the burden of housework on women has decreased. Schor even claims these developments have led to the 'death of the housewife role'
Criticisms:
* poorer women can't buy these expensive goods and services.
* if commercialisation had reduced the amount of housework to be done, this doesn't prove that couples are sharing the remaining chores equally.
Feminists: Argue that women have simply acquired a dual burden of paid work and unpaid housework. The family is still patriarchal
Elsa Ferri and Kate Smith (1996)

* provide evidence of the dual burden.
* found that increased employment of women outside the home has had little impact on the domestic division of labour.
* sample of 1,589 33-year-old fathers and mothers, they found that the father took the main responsibility for childcare in fewer than 4% of families.
Lydia Morris (1990):
Found that men who had suffered a loss of their masculine role as a result of becoming unemployed saw domestic work as women's work and therefore to be avoided.
Xavier Ramos (2003)
Found that families where the man is not in paid work and his partner works full-time, male domestic labour , matches that of his partner.
Childcare:
Arber and Ginn (1995)
middle class women may be able to afford this, but many working class women cannot. As a result, they remain trapped in a vicious circle of childcare responsibilities and low paid, part time employment.
Hochschild (1983)
Notes that women are more likely than men to be performing jobs involving emotional labour.
* Emotional work is normally seen as a 'labour of love'
*Mainly done by women


Duncombe and Marsden (1995)
*Argue women are expected not only to do a double shift of both housework and paid work but also work a triple shift that includes emotional work
Lesbian couples and gender scripts:
Dunne (1999)
* Argues that the division of labour continues because of deeply ingrained 'gender scripts'.
* Dunne contrasts this with lesbian couples, where gender scripts do not operate to the same extent.
*Study of 37 cohabiting lesbian couples with dependent children, Dunne found evidence of symmetry in their relationship.
Compared with heterosexual women, lesbians are more likely to:
- Describe their relationship as equal and share housework and childcare equally
- Give equal importance to both partners careers
-View childcare positively
** In lesbian relationship household takss aren't linked to gender scripts
Jeffery Weeks (1999)- Radical feminist.

Argues same-sex relationships offer greater possibilities of equality because the division of labour is open to negotiation and agreement,not based on patriarchal tradition.
Resources and decision making in the household.
Barrett and McIntosh (1991)
* The financial support that husbands give to their wives is often unpredicable and comes with 'strings' attached
* Men usually make the decisions about spending on important things
* Men gain far more from women's domestic work than they give back in financial support
Kempson (1994)
* 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.
Graham's (1984)
* over half of women who were living on benefits after separating with their husbands said that they and their children were actually better off. See benefits as a reliable source of income.
Decision making
and paid work:
* One reason why men often take a greater share of the family's resources is because they usually contribute more money.
Pahl and Vogler (1993) - FEMINISTS.
* Identify two types of control over family income.
1) Pooling- where both partners have access to income and joint responsibilities for expenditure.
2) 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.
* Pooling is on the increase
* Vogler found pooling was more common among couples where both partners worked full time
Edgell's (1980)
* Study of professional couples found that:
- Very Important decisions, such as moving house , finance or a change of job were taken by the husband alone or taken jointly but with the husband having the final say
- Important decisions such as those about the children's education or where to go on holiday were usally taken jointly, rarely by the wife alone
- Less important decisions such as choice of decor were made by the wife.
* Argues the same as Pahl and Vogler, that the reason men are likely to make more decisions is because they earn more.
Criticisms.
FEMINISTS!

* Argue that inequalities aren't just from unequal earnings, but from a patriarchal society and the cultural definition of males as the decision-makers is deeply ingrained in both males and females and instilled through gender role socialization.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.
Defintion by the Womens Aid Federation (2008):
" physical, psychological,sexual or financial violence that takes place within an intimate or family-type relationship and forms a pattern of coercive and controlling behavior. It may involve partners, ex-partners, household members or other relatives'
* Domestic violence is too widespread to be simply the work of a few disturbed individuals.

British Crime Survey (2007)
Domestic violence accounts for almost 1/6 of all violent crime.
* Domestic violence doesn't occur randomly but follows particular social patterns and these patterns have social causes.
Kathryn Coleman et al (2007):
Found that women were more likely than men to have experienced 'intimate violence' across all 4 types of abuse- partner abuse, family abuse, sexual assault and stalking.
Dobash and Dobash (1979)
Research in Soctland, based on police and court records and interviews with women in women's refuges. Found that violent incidents could be set off by what husband's saw as a challenge to his authority such as his wife asking why he was late home.
Marriage legitimates violence against women by conferring power and authority on husbands and dependency on wives.
Official stats:
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