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Are roles of men and women at home changing?

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Introduction

Are Roles Of Men And Women At Home Changing? Aim/Hypothesis My aim is to explore the possible changing roles in the home for the domestic labours. Functionalists believe that women are naturally suited to the caring and emotional role so the sexual role of labour in the home is inevitable. Where as feminists believe that women are an exploited class, for instance the 'house wife' role is created patriarchy and is geared to the service of men and there interests. My aim is to find out whether the functionalist view is one that is still present in modern households. I will use non-participant observation and interviews to obtain this information. Concepts/Contexts Willmott and Young (1973) claim that the roles of men as bread winners and women as housewives/mothers was breaking down. The conjugal relationships (husband and wife), at least in middle class families were becoming more symmetrical/joint. Many female's attitudes have changed and they are now looking beyond the housewife/mother role as the women's movement has raised female expectations. In a 1976 survey, Sue Sharpe discovered that girl's priorities were love, marriage, husbands, children, jobs and careers, more or less in that order. ...read more.

Middle

male in their life putting input into daily tasks, and whether these women expect this to be a natural thing or whether they are happy to fulfil the role of being a housewife and predominant mother figure. Main Research Methods And Reasons Our study is designed to research the role of men and women in the home. To do this I have decided to use the research methods of observation and then interviews. The observation part of my research will be ethnographic and will be participant observation. This method appeals most to interpritvists sociologists. It will provide an accurate first hand portrayal of the roles of men and women in the home. For the observation study I would observe three family homes to see how they differ to each other on the basis of men having a role in the day to day household labours. I believe that although non-participant observation will give a clearer picture of the home as I will not be making any decisions or joining in with the household. Therefore the family will be less influenced by me than if I used participant observation. This method will also be less biased as I will not get drawn into the family group. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another problem, which I might face, is that families may act differently and alter their regular behaviour, as they know that they are being watched. Therefore their attitudes would alter making it harder to prove my hypothesis. Unstructured interviews may also influence the replies that I receive. A social desirability effect may occur where, the husband or wife may want to 'please me', and try to give me the answer I want to hear, which they would believe to be the 'right answer'. Also, they may try to 'impress me' which would portray a different attitude. Positivists see this method as unscientific as it is not standardised and does not produce quantifiable data. My facial expression or tone of voice may also lead to bias causing the interviewees responses to reflect my own opinion. The aim of the research process is to conduct enough interviews so that I can make a generalisation. However as my interviews are unstructured and more like conversation, each interview will differ due to the interaction that takes place with each one, it will then be hard to make generalisations. Also as my interviews would be recorded and then written up, it would be very time consuming. Richard Carter 12/5 1 ...read more.

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