• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Assess the extent to which roles within the family are becoming more equal or shared

Extracts from this document...


?Assess the extent to which roles within the family are becoming more equal or shared? There are many different opinions regarding the hierarchy of a family. As society has developed through the ages, numerous additions to the standard nuclear family have arisen. Because of this, sociologists are often coming up with new theories, including how power is shared within those families. In this essay I will be evaluating various judgements belonging to sociologists, regarding gender roles and whether influence is evenly distributed throughout families. Barrett and McIntosh state that men gain much more from women doing domesticated jobs than they give back in financial support from being the main breadwinner. This suggests that they believe women are the ones that really do the important things such as maintaining the home and looking after children. Following on from this, they also think that the financial support provided by the men often comes with ?strings attached?, so the women have to find a way to repay their husbands and show their gratitude. Also, they believe that men are the ones that usually take charge when making important decisions. ...read more.


So, the level of importance can be disputed as it is one?s personal judgement. Also, moving house it can be said that if not moving house is more of a decision for the woman to have the final say on because she is usually the one that will keep it tidy and make it feel homely. Another sociologist, Wilkinson, suggests that domestic violence, social inequality and stress are connected. He believes that social inequality gives rise to stress, which in turn, causes domestic violence. Using this notion, his reasoning is that people with low income or poor/overcrowded accommodation are more susceptible to domestic violence. Worries concerning little money and how to spend it on bills, food and other necessities lead to an overload of emotions, causing the person to react in the only way they feel possible: to let all the anger out. Although Wilkinson is not typically a Marxist, he seems to have a Marxist perception in the sense that he believes the social inequalities are caused by the economy. A criticism of Wilkinson?s idea is that he assumes that all violence is caused by stress, when there are other theories, such as the person having genes that makes them violent or that they just have insecurities, which leads to violence. ...read more.


There are numerous families that have a spouse staying at home in order to perform domestic tasks and look after children who may not be old enough to go to school. Therefore, their view excludes many people. Also, some families do not spend their money on fast food, as they take a healthy approach to food. In conclusion, there are various factors that affect roles within the family, and everyone has a different opinion as to whether they are becoming more equal. The sociologists that believe roles within the family are becoming more shared are Young and Willmott, and Silver and Schor, whereas Barrett and McIntosh, Edgell, and Wilkinson disagree. Taking this into consideration, it seems that while roles are becoming more equal, there is still a long way to go as parts of society are still patriarchal. However, it can be argued that the progress that role equality is so great that it should overshadow the areas that still have one spouse or partner in charge, as society has developed so much since wives were practically seen as property of their wives worldwide, where it is only in areas and environments now. Page ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Family & Marriage section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

This essay aimed to evaluate whether roles within the family are becoming more equal. The writer did well to identify authors on both sides of the argument, and illustrate their key points. The work could have been improved by giving a few more current examples of roles being similar/still divided.
Remember to give the year of the authors referred to and proofread carefully to pick up grammatical errors.

Marked by teacher Diane Apeah-Kubi 28/06/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Family & Marriage essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Critically examine the Functionalist idea that the nuclear family exists for the benefit of ...

    5 star(s)

    They argue that this is at its extremist inside the nuclear family. Finally, functionalist sociologist, Parson's argues that the nuclear family meets the needs of the industrial society. He argues that because of the decline of the extended family, due to industrialization, the nuclear family emerged.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Examine the ways in which laws and social policies affect family life.

    4 star(s)

    The ?nanny state? gives the single mother money to look after her child, which Murray disagrees with; he believes that the nuclear family would allow for the family to not have to depend on the state for extra income, as the father would earn it all.

  1. Examine the view that the nuclear family is universal. (24)

    After puberty, the Nayar girl began taking visiting husbands, often warriors who spent long period of time away from their villages acting as mercenaries. During their time in the village they were allowed to visit any number of Nayar women who had undergone the tail rite and were members of the same caste or lower.

  2. Sociology The Family

    Also there are many varying family types, even in one society, which have differences based on class, religion and ethnicity. In contrast the Marxist theory looks at the interests of powerful groups determining the way society is organized. The family is seen as part of the structure of society and


    Conflict sociologists such as Marxists and feminists argue against the 'March of progress' view that the position of children has improved dramatically in a relatively short period of time. They argue that society is based on a conflict between different social groups such as social classes or genders.

  2. Assess the view that the symmetrical family exists in modern day society

    Another view that suggests the symmetrical nuclear family does not exist in modern day society in is radical feminist Gillian Dunne's view. Dunne's view in 1999 was that little has changed in making modern day families more symmetrical due to gender scripts.

  1. Sociology Family Revision Notes

    Most still marry, children reared by natural parents Most marriages still continue till dea.l;th, most divorcees remarry ? divorce increased Cohabitation has increased but that is seen as a temporary faze before marriage and is likely to get married if have children.

  2. Examine the view that gender roles and relationships have become more equal in modern ...

    Magazines are a great example that men are no longer the soldiers and women no longer the happy housewives, at least not the way media has portrayed them. The decline in secularization has also had a great impact on the younger society, religion is no longer reinforcing traditional gender roles as it used to.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work