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Talcott Parson's Theory on Gender Roles

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Thresa Berte

on 27 September 2013

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Transcript of Talcott Parson's Theory on Gender Roles

Talcott Parsons' Theory on Gender Roles
The nuclear family:
a term used to define a family group consisting of a pair of adults and their children (usually two or three) in which gender roles are clearly defined as paternally dominant, with a passive home maker wife, the kids playing with their gender specific toys, and a husband who worked to come home to his happy family each day.

1940-50, Talcott Parsons theorized that a family is held together by gender socialization and complementary roles between men and women.
The mother would take care of the children and household
The father would labor in the economy
Parsons believed that children were socialized to develop certain gender specific attributes.
For little girls: "expressive attributes"
i. e. being sensitive to others' feelings and emotional needs.
For little boys: "instrumental attributes"
i.e. independence, leadership, and competitiveness.
Parsons and his complementary sex role theories are widely criticized by modern sociologists.
The theory is from a different era
The "nuclear family" he envisions is extremely untypical
This type of family is considered highly unequal with women being dependent on their husbands
Though Parson's theory is from a by gone era, we do still see his generalized complementary sex roles in modern society.
American Sociologist
December 13, 1902 – May 8, 1979
Talcott Parsons
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