Domestic Roles Remain Patriarchal and Unequal

1240 Words5 Pages
Examine the views that domestic roles remain patriarchal and unequal (24 Marks) The domestic division of labour refers to the roles that men and women play in relation to housework, childcare and paid work. In this essay I will ponder upon the various standpoints on domestic roles and on whether they are centred around patriarchy and gender inequality. Functionalists see an apparent division in the tasks that spouses must undertake. They view the role that a wife accepts as the expressive role; intermeshed towards the primary socialisation of children and catering for the family’s emotional needs. Whereas the husbands takes on the instrumental role; geared towards achieving success at work so that he can provide for the family financially. This interpretation can not be deemed as patriarchal and unequal as it is focal around the inkling of how separate roles work in the whole of society's favour. Therefore, not only does it benefit the men, but according to functionalists, it benefits the family too. A similar viewpoint to this perspective would be that the expressive role and instrumental roles help to craft a gender script, which cripples the progress in the division of labour. Therefore the domestic roles that men and women do still remain unequal and society continues to transmit the instinctive patriarchal agenda. Dunne acknowledges that there are expectations that different gender roles must conform to in a heterosexual relationship. Dunne contrasts this with lesbian couples. In a lesbian relationship, household tasks are not linked to a particular gender script; this allows lesbian couples to create a more equal relationship. In this case, the domestic roles are almost symmetrical and patriarchy has been abolished. This way of functioning relates to the term, joint conjugal roles; were couples share housework, childcare and leisure time together. A
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