Using Material From Item 2B And Elsewhere, Assess Essay

1082 WordsNov 2, 20115 Pages
Using material from item 2B and elsewhere, assess the view that gender roles and relationships have become more equal in modern life (24 marks) There are a variety of sociologists that have different views about whether they think gender roles and relationships have become more equal in modern family life. A few are mentioned in item 2B, for example Gershuny. Jonathan Gershuny discovered that even women in part time work performed more housework over all, and couples whose parents had a more equal relationship were more likely to share housework more equally between themselves. He acknowledges the fact that women are now working full-time and argues that social values are gradually adapting to this. He also mentions that even though men are now performing more housework, they still tend to take responsibility for different tasks, for example pet care, gardening and DIY work. Young and Wilmott are also good examples of sociologists that believe gender roles have in fact become more equal. They carried out some research and concluded that by the 1970’s the roles that the husbands and wives in a family have, become more similar. Whilst conducting their research, they discovered that 72% of men actually performed housework other than washing up every week. Young and Wilmott saw this as a positive move and described it as ‘march of progress’. By this, they are suggesting that in the past, men were performing little or no domestic labour but now it is becoming more symmetrical. Anne Oakley (a feminist) criticised Young and Wilmott’s research and said that their questions were too vague and their conclusion was not accurate. She claimed that ‘’housework is exclusively allocated to women.’’ She also describes housework as ‘’non work unpaid, isolated and makes women economically dependant on men.’’ In the 19th century, industrialisation and the rise of factory
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