Compare and Contrast the Concept of Social Division of Labour and Gendered Division of Labour

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Compare and contrast the concepts of Social Division of Labour and Gendered division of labour ‘Work’, can be understood in different ways by different people. To some it is a necessity to earn money to live, and to others, it can be a source of enjoyment, reaping benefits and rewards other than money. It can consist of paid or unpaid work and exists in different scenarios, such as private or public environments. The division of labour is a concept used to help understand how work is distributed and organised in a social context, highlighting public issues and private troubles (Banks et al, 2013). It is concerned with who does the work, and the way in which it is divided and shared. Theorists have different views on this division and claim that the tasks and people involved are differentiated depending on criteria such as gender, age, skill set, experience, class and ethnicity. I will endeavour to explain the social and gendered divisions of labour theories and provide examples to discuss the comparisons and contrasts between them. Karl Marx’s theory - ‘social division of labour’ developed in 1867, was based on social class divisions controlled by a capitalist social class of wealthy people such as factory and land owners who were only concerned in a ‘boundless greed for riches’(Banks et al, 2013). The concept claims that wealth generated from this division does not filter down to the workers, as the businesses are only concerned in profit making. Exploited, they do not feel their full fair benefit for the work they do, so forming unequal power relationships in society. They have no choice but to sell their labour power on the market and end up being exploited (Mythen, 2012, p108). Gender division of labour focusses on how unequally work is shared between men and women, with many of the jobs occupied by women not being seen as important and are undervalued.
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