In Talcott Parsons functionalist model of the family there is a clear division of labour between the two spouse, ‘Instrumental’ and ‘Expressive’ roles.. Talcott Parsons states that the husband has an instrumental role, geared towards achieving success at work so that he can provide for the family financial, he is the breadwinner. The wife however has an expressive role, geared towards primary socialisation of the children and meeting the family’s emotional needs. The wife is seen as the homemaker, full time housewife rather than a wage earner. Although some politicians and the New right share this view with Talcott Parsons, others have criticised Parsons for e.g. Michael Young and Peter Wilmott (1962) who argue that men are now taking a greater share of domestic tasks and more wives are becoming wage earners.
The men are the primary breadwinners, and the women stay at home to take care of the children and household. The general way of categorizing gender is Male and Female. But there are more in depth ways of categorizing these genders. Such as Masculinity, Femininity, and Androgyny. These are all considered to be “Gender Roles”.
They believe the number of symmetrical families is rising, with women going out to work and men helping with housework and childcare with the couple having joint conjugal roles. Also, Gershuny found that the more work women do, the less time they spend on housework, which suggests that tasks are being spread equally. Feminist sociologists believe there has been no improvement. They believe the division of labour is unnatural and is only to benefit men, with women carrying a ‘dual-burden’ of having to work full or part-time as well as take on the duties that are commonly
Parsons argues that the division of labour is beneficiary to the family and society. Division of labour refers to the way that male and female roles are divided within the family home, for example, housework, childcare and paid employment. He says that the division of labour is based on biological differences, so women stay at home to take care of the children because they have a more nurturing and caring personality, and men are tougher and so go out to work to provide for their family. However, feminists argue that the division of labour is not natural and that it only benefits men as they come home from work with everything done, and have nothing to do in the home. Young and Willmot argue for the symmetrical family, which is where the roles are more equal between men and women and where there is joint conjugal roles.
Gender Analysis of the Family As we move forward in our lives, we eventually come to assume the responsibility of parenthood and caring for a family of our own. It's often assumed that the habits of our own parents will be based down to us but I think that our generation will be much more open-minded and egalitarian. Our current generation of men and women have a completely different mentality and ideas of gender and sexuality compared to our ancestors. The old-fashioned perceptions of men and women are very much extinct in the 21st century but there are always certain unavoidable differences that will separate men from women, whether biological or social constructed. Society has played a huge part in defining masculinity and femininity through mass media, literature, and history.
They are the person who takes care of their children and shape their children's future and reproduce the perfect citizens of our world. In my opinion, women should not allow to work. Firstly, I think that there might be emotional imbalance and mental tension pervade women by going to job. Secondly, women also might not spare enough time to the family due to which negligence of children and husband might take place. This indirectly effects the relationship between husband and wife, children and mother, etc.
These traditional gender roles apply to married life and marriage in general, which is why it is so important to study. Gender roles, in effect, play a major role in the quality of a marriage and how people want their ideal marriage to be. There are egalitarian marriages, where everything is equal and there are traditional marriages, where the husband takes on the role as breadwinner and the wife fulfills the role of homemaker and does not do work outside of the home. These gender roles in marriage are the focus of our research project. The main purpose of our project is to see how college age people in today’s society view gender roles in marriage and to then compare those views to their background, to see if they were raised with these values or acquired them later on.
Using material from item 2b and elsewhere assess the contribution of feminist sociologists to an understanding of family roles and relationships. Throughout this essay I am going to be talking about how feminist sociologists have contributed to the feminist view of the family. The typical feminist view is that family life promotes gender inequality, I will be assessing how this view differs between feminist groups. Marxist feminists hold an opinion that it is unfair that women have to do the majority of the house work with no payment. Margaret Benston said that the amount of unpaid work done by women is very large and is very profitable for the people that own the means of production, men have to pay for the women and his own work.
They say that family is vital for 4 things in society: the regulation of sexual activity, reproducing and raising children, educating or socialising society’s way of life to the younger members and being an economic unit with clear divisions of labour between genders. With the decline in the nuclear family, they will believe that these four functions will diminish and society will not function in an adequate way. Where liberal feminists would not be happy about the decline in nuclear families as they believe that increasing equality exists between men and women, radical and Marxist feminists would think that it is a good thing. Radical feminists argue that men benefit much greater than women within the family environment. They say that gender roles which are allocated within a family are accepted by the women, which then goes on to disadvantage them in later life when it comes to things such as employment.
Outline and evaluate the view that the family benefits its members. For most people, the family is thought to be a caring and loving environment in which everyone involved is looked out for and each person has their own responsibility within the family unit which they use to keep themselves happy along with the others involved. Functionalists mainly agree with this, feminists however would look at the family differently, and state it’s a patriarchal system which holds women back and helps the man gain more from the relationship. There are also sides to the family we don’t see or think about as often, and this is the dark side of the family. This is where abuse comes into the family which suggests that people are not benefiting from their family.