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

Access explanations for the inequalities in the domestic division of labour.

Extracts from this document...


ACCESS EXPLANATIONS FOR THE INEQUALITIES IN THE DOMESTIC DIVISION OF LABOUR The basis for the division of labour is a combination of biology, psychology and economics, all of which combine to determine couples activities. Societies within family life are organised around gender roles. Certain roles are allocated to family members dependant on their gender. What is masculine and feminine very from one society to another and overtime as cultures change? Sociologists argue that gender is socially constricted rather than biologically determined. Genes do not determine the way men and women behave or think and they don't force us into masculine or feminine pigeonholes. Our social and cultural environment shapes our gender characteristics. Societies create gender patterns and transmit them through the process of socialisation. Parents address boys and girls with different names and dress them differently. These differences are reinforced throughout society i.e. schools, work, media and peer groups. Ann Oakley observed that males and females fit into their own natural roles throughout society. Women are given lighter more gentle tasks and men are given the heavier work. But certain jobs reserved for the males of one society may be reserved for females of another society. ...read more.


Ann Oakley on other hand disagrees. She argues that this is not the case and although the women may go out to work she is still expected to look after the home and the physical and psychological needs of both her husband and their children. She is often made to feel guilty for working and not being there for her family. Many mothers give up work because they feel their husband and children may be suffering in the long run from her not being around. In 1978 it was estimated that three or four times as many families would be in poverty if the woman didn't go out to work. In the 1980's we saw economic repression and many fathers were out of work or on low pay. They found little or no opportunity to boost their pay with overtime. To be able to raise the family's standard of living so they could maybe raise their mortgage and afford a bigger house or to be able to afford holidays abroad. Industrialisation has enabled more women to go out to work as the demand for female labour has increased, although they are often low waged or employed on a part-time basis. ...read more.


In all of these studies it appears to be the mother that takes on the emotional feelings of all her family members. But what about what she wants? After all what would happen if she were absent. She must at some point consider her own needs and feelings and at least have some sort of social life. Society tends to give low status to women as housewives, but with an occupation they raise the stakes and give themselves a separate identity apart from the role of housewife and mother. Not only does this give the woman a certain amount of independence but also gives her self esteem a boost. If she doesn't look after her physical and psychological needs as well as the needs of her husband/partner and children then everything else begins to fail. Many women are attracted by the sociable, adult company, which the workplace can bring as well as the involvement in an interesting and worthwhile job. Some are keen to escape the boredom and depression of being isolated, and in some cases, only having her children or baby to talk too. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

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

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 GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Sociology - Womens and housework

    Consequently the 7 women who said that the division was fair are the 7 women who were happy and pleased with the domestic work. The other 3 women said that it was not fair because they had to do the housework and the job outside the house, which again links

  2. Using poverty and domestic violence as examples, critically investigate the different roles that 'the ...

    The assumption upon which this perspective is based claims that there are fundamental differences between men who use violence and those who do not, and women who suffer from abuse and those who do not. In turn, these differences are seen to originate in both the perpetrators' and the victims' families of origin.

  1. Outline and evaluate the arguments for and against the idea that there is a ...

    These include changes in woman's position, including married women going out to work, geographical mobility, new technology and labour saving devices and higher standards of living. These factors are inter-linked. For example, married women bring a 2nd wage in and this then raise the family's standard of living.

  2. Critically evaluate the main explanations of violence against women.

    Police policies and practices concerning domestic violence have been much slower to change. Domestic violence was viewed by police as a private matter, taking place within the family. It has been suggested that the police actively avoided arrest in domestic violence incidents (Hilton 1993; Bourlet 1990).

  1. Gender Studies

    In Library and Information Science ever since 1987 more women than men earned masters (79.9%) and now even doctoral degrees (68%).27 Women are undertaking in-service training and continuing education courses to improve on their skills and to stay abreast of the career needs and innovations in the field.

  2. Aesthetic Labour at 'Brewsters' family theme pub.

    If Hochshild (1989) and Filby (1992) are correct that emotion work is gendered women's work, then as a female it is highly likely I will be employed in a emotional labour role.

  1. Why is there unequal division of household labour in most of the society?

    While for men, they are more likely to perform non-routine tasks. For instance, from Chu's research on the household distribution between women and men in Hong Kong (1997) revealed that "wife alone" occupies the largest share in taking up the actual responsibility of all the regular housework such as foodstuff buying, meal making, dish washing and house cleaning.

  2. Look at domestic labour within the family and any possible changes of domestic labour ...

    * The increase of families in search for employment or better housing has isolated the nuclear family, pushing its member's closer together. The equality between men and women can be used against women in the household and at work in social places.

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