EXAMINE THE VIEW THAT DIVISION OF LABOUR BETWEEN COUPLES HAVE BEEN MORE OR LESS EQUAL. [24 MARKS] Domestic division of labour means the gender roles of men and women played in relation to housework, childcare and paid work. For example, men are expected to do more DIY work while women are expected to do the housework and take care of the child by providing emotional support to them. Some sociologists believe that families nowadays are moving towards equality and that the families are becoming symmetrical. A symmetrical family is a family where ale the chores are shared equally between couples.
Firstly, whether a family live in a symmetrical family or not will have an effect on the divisions of labour. March of Progress theorists (Liberal Feminists) 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, just as men now help with housework and childcare. However Radical Feminists reject the ‘March of Progress’ theory, and argue that women remain unequal within the family. Anne Oakley argues that we still live in a patriarchal (male dominated) society, and therefore women occupy a subordinate and dependant role within the family and wider society.
For example, women now go out to work, just as men now help with housework and childcare. However Feminists reject the ‘March of Progress’ theory, and argue that women remain unequal within the family. Anne Oakley argues that we still live in a patriarchal (male dominated) society, and therefore women occupy a subordinate and dependant role within the family and wider society. In addition in Mary Boulton’s research backed this, she found that fewer than 20% of husbands had a majority role in childcare. Overall it could therefore be argued that rather than partners becoming more equal, women now have to carry a ‘dual burden’, whereby she is responsible for two jobs of unpaid or paid labour.
Unfortunately, in thier adolescent years, girls and boys are influenced to take classes that are deemed appropriate for their gender. Most students in parenting or home economics classes are female. Males densely populate the agriculture and mechanic classes. Susan Jacoby wrote “When Bright Girls Decide That Math Is a Waste of Time” She speaks of how math and science are considered masculine subjects. Jacoby feels that this stereotype causes smart girls to under achieve.
Women carry out the triple burden in the household; the domestic labour, emotional labour, and paid labour. As shown in the item most of this work is ‘unpaid and hardly recognised work at all’. Oakley argues the only way women will gain independence and freedom in society is for the role of the housewife to be removed aswell as the present structure of the family. Wilmott and Young believed the family is symmetrical and that both husband and wife have joint conjugal roles making the family a functional institution and their research showed that men do help women with housework. Radical feminists such as Dobash and Dobash also disagree with Willmott and Young’s theory that the family is symmetrical.
As the former role was commonly seen as more valuable than the latter, this often meant that the husband held most of the power, such as deciding where they would live, how resources were distributed, etc. In theory, the distribution of power in the relationship has shifted due to both the integration of women into the workforce and the emergence of the “new man” who does a fair share of domestic labour. However, this is not necessarily borne out by the evidence. Dryden (1999) studied 17 married couples and found that women still do the vast majority of housework. This could almost be dismissed as a hangover from traditional values or the result of still-prominent stay-at-home mothers, except that it remains true when both members are working full-time, and even in some cases where only the woman is in employment.
Elizabeth Bott conducted a lot of research into conjugal roles and came up with the term ‘joint conjugal role’ which means that the couple share the housework and the childcare. This type of relationship has become much more common since the 1970’s, this suggests that there is more equality between men and women in domestic labour and gender roles. Controversially, Bott discussed segregated conjugal roles, the ‘instrumental role’ played by the man, meaning he provides for the family by going to work whilst the women play the ‘expressive role’ meaning that they cook, clean and look after the
The middle classes sit down together to eat a family meal. Working-class mealtimes are earlier and often in front of the TV. Reay (1998) stated that middle-class mothers influence their children’s schooling more than working-class mothers. Working-class mums have less time to devote to their children due to the demands of paid employment. Working-class mums lacked confidence in education/school due to their own negative experiences in school.
Children don’t listen to their school teachers as much as they listen to society. They learn more from watching television and celebrities. If society was serious about education, then the school year would be longer so that children could learn all-year-round and class sizes would be smaller so that teachers could engage with each student more. There is also a salary issue with education. American teachers don’t earn as much money as business professionals and teachers in other countries such as Japan, Canada, and Germany.
Our roles have been to become more equal through various means and matters. In today's society men may help with house work and women are having full time careers to help support their families. There is less of an idea that men are the only bread winner in the house hold, as well as women tending to only house hold matters. Now the two roles are more shared. Women are now accepted into traditionally labeled male occupations, and men are being more accepted in traditional female roles.