Examine the Factors Affecting Power Relationships and the Division of Labour Between Couples. (24 Marks).

396 Words2 Pages
Power relationships are about who controls the family and who has the power to make the decisions. The domestic division of labour is the changing nature of housework and home-related activities related to changing roles of men and women and the idea of masculinity and femininity, both in and beyond the home. In this essay I will be talking about a Patriarchal society, In 1955, Parsons a functionalist sociologist suggested that the husband and wife have different roles within the family and that there is a clear division of labour and clear expectations from each spouse. The man’s role was called instrumental, this is where he is expected to have a successful job to financially support the family. Whereas the wife’s role was called expressive, this is when the wife is expected to look after the house and to raise the children emotionally and cook. However with increasing numbers of married women working in paid employment sociologists have looked more carefully at the division of labour and weather the increasing numbers of women working has caused the renegotiation of the traditional domestic roles. Whether a family live in a symmetrical family or not will have an effect on the divisions of labour. Theorists such as Young and Willmott argue that family life is gradually improving for all its members, becoming more equal and democratic. For example, women now go out to work and become wage earners, just as men now help with housework and childcare. However Feminists reject this theory, and argue that women remain unequal within the family. Anne Oakley argues that we still live in a patriarchal (male dominated) society, and that children are being taught from an early age that the traditional roles are the norm. She also rejects Parsons Theory of saying that it is controlled by biology she believes it is controlled by society. Overall it could therefore be
Open Document