Premium Essay

Gender Roles and Relationshios

In: English and Literature

Submitted By cball14
Words 1222
Pages 5
Assess the view that gender roles and relationships have become more equal in the modern family life
The item suggests that ‘a number of changes have taken place in gender roles and relationships within families’ so in today’s society, there are a number of sociological views, which agree that change between equality has taken place in gender roles and between the relationships within the family, making it more equal. Some argue that in modern family life there is much more equality, while others think this is just exaggerated. In this essay I will assess these views through domestic labour, domestic violence in couples and through the childcare debate, to find what extent gender roles and relationships have become more equal in modern family life.
Functionalist sociologist Talcott Parsons (1955) thought that there was a biological division of labour roles within the family, and that this highly benefited the family within society. He saw gender roles being split as expressive and instrumental. This means that the gender roles were very unequal as the husband would have to play the instrumental role where he would have to provide financial stability for the family, while the wife would have to play the expressive role where she would look out for the emotional welfare of the family by socialising the children and being a housewife. In 1957 Elizabeth Bott put these divisions into joint and segregates conjugal roles’. This means that the family roles were divided between a couple, sharing tasks such as childcare, housework and providing financial support. The segregated conjugal roles view has been criticised as being too traditional by post-modern theorists who suggest that equality within the family is evident and that this ‘norm’ of gender roles is diminishing.
The item also says that ‘changing attitudes to gender roles and increased participation by women in...

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