The questions were:
- "Examine the factors affecting the extent to which couples'roles and relationships are equal today." (24)
- "Using material from Item 2B and elsewhere, assess the view that the traditional functions of the family have been undermined by increased family diversity." (24)
Can you give a range of answers of what you can use so I know if what I wrote is correct.
1ST ONE- A grade essay
Symmetrical relationships is an idea presented that roles of husbands and wives have become more similar though they are not equal e.g. husbands are now participating in domestic labour as well as being breadwinners, and wives go out to work as well as being homemakers. In the past, men were predominantly bread winners which functionalist sociologists saw this as a natural way things should be. However, in recent years, the symmetry within the family seems to have increased, so men share domestic tasks instead of just helping out. Although there there may be a move towards greater symmetry in relationships men have greater financial and political power. Sociologists such as Young and Wilmott take a “march of progress view” and argue that there has been a long-term trend away from segregated conjugal roles and towards joint conjugal roles and the “symmetrical family”. However, many feminists reject this “march of progress” view, arguing that there has been little change, men and women remain unequal within the family and women still do most of the housework.Young and Wilmott have suggested that increased opportunities for women in work has made a positive impact on relationships as women have become less financially dependant on their husbands. If women are at work, they cant do all the household chores on their own and husbands begin to share the chores. Man Yee Kan found women who had a higher income did less housework the more they earned. It can be argued that middle class women who have careers are simply unwilling to put up with a partner who does not help out in the domestic area and greater financial power gives the women the ability to leave if unsatisfied with the relationship. The fact that many husbands are aware of this means that many do more housework than they would have done in the past. Therefore women working is a factor accounting for more symmetry in relationships. As the amount of women being in employment increased, the idea of a “new man appeared”. This is the idea that a new kind of masculinity which has been popularised by the mass media has developed where males can now show their feminine attribute and do more tasks such as participate in childcare and domestic chores, even to be a “house husband”. This new type of masculinity that is celebrated in the media by icons such as David Beckham may encourage grater symmetry in relationships. Connell argues that although men profess to be the “new man” under the surface they still have traditional ideas about women and housework. Although men have recently been shown as taking a more active role in housework, feminists argue that this is exaggerated by the media and studies convey that men help out with the more interesting chores such as cooking and taking the children out but dont do the harder and dirtier jobs. Radical feminists argue that women’s work is expanding to the “triple shift” taking on “emotion work” in supporting the family expressively and caring for other family members- as well as working and doing household chores, but this kind of emotion work is not done by men. Another factor that has contributed to the rise of symmetrical relationships are due to social changes in the 20th century. For example, increased help from technology in the home, such as washing machines, which have made domestic chores easier. Less time is therefore spent carrying out these tasks. However, Sclater disagrees because technology has changed the way the chores are done but not necessarily made fewer chores. Machines that are supposed to make domestic chores easier actually produce more work. This is because the level of cleaning expected is higher as they are seen as naturally suited to this role, therefore women have to spend a longer amount of time doing domestic duties. However, Silver and Schor suggest that the burden of housework has been reduced significantly by the “commercialisation of housework”, for example the availability of ready meals. Another factor that may have led to increasing symmetry in relationship is when the couples are both working full time and earning similar amounts. In many couples there are important differences in power. This may affect decision- making for the family, and how resources are divided. The most important factor here is earnings. For example, men take a greater share of the families resources because they usually contribute more money due to their high earnings. Pahl and Vogler found that pooling of incomes was more common where couples both work full time and acquire joint responsibilities. As both people within the relationship shared similar earnings, the domestic division of labour is symmetrical. However, if only the husband worked, or the wife worked part time, the husband had more control over the money. Edgell found that wives tended to only be in charge of minor household decisions. The main reason for these differences is that men are likely to earn more, so women are dependant. The other factor that affects symmetry within a relationship is physical power. Radical feminists interpret widespread domestic violence and state it is evidence of patriarchy.So there are many factors such as women in paid employment, and advances in technology that have led to increasing symmetry between couples. The most important factor to have affected symmetry in the twentieth century is the greater participation of married women in the workforce as it led to a change in attitudes about the roles of men and women. However, the extent to which symmetrical relationships are emerging is hard to decide. Some march of progress sociologists see it as becoming more egalitarian, but many feminists reject the march of progress view, they see the family as patriarchal not symmetrical or equal. Women still participate in the majority of housework and childcare. The office of national statistics indicated that in 2002 women still spent twice as long as men on housework each day.
Sozzz for it not being in paragraphs i copied it straight from my laptop can it pasted like this..