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Compare the difference in gender roles and socialization processes in relation to the Smith family.

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Introduction

The purpose of this assignment is to compare the difference in gender roles and socialization processes in relation to the Smith family. It will give a brief explanation of gender roles and socialization and will take into account the situation of Jane and David and it will also look at the thoughts of Jane's eighteen-year-old daughter Katherine. Gender roles are said to originate from birth with the classification of sex. As in all systems of ascription, even though most people believe that sex role behaviour flows naturally, from biological or inborn differences, societies do not leave that development to choice or possibility. Instead, from the earliest years, before they can understand a word, infants are told what their sexual identity is, and are praised for any behavioural evidence of appropriate activity. Adults will describe an infant as having ideal female traits, if told it's a girl (sweet, cute, charming) and as having ideal male traits if told it's a boy (strong, destructive, rebellious). What begins in infancy continues through the years. For generations girls have been praised for their maternal behaviour with dolls, and boys were told they were sissies if they showed the same behaviour. (The family, second edition, page 75). According to Connell in introduction to sociology Talcott Parsons argues that the biological facts of sex and reproduction limit the sex gender roles available to males and females. ...read more.

Middle

Secondary groups are large, more important, more properly structured, and exist for particular purposes. Secondary socialization involves learning how to organise and conduct oneself in formal contexts and how to behave towards people who have different degrees of position or authority. (Introduction to sociology page 3) Thompson, N (2001) states that the pressure to match to sex-appropriate roles within the patriarchal family is both a major part of the socialisation process and a significant aspect of sexism. Patriarchal beliefs promote the traditional model of the family, with the male breadwinner being the main provider, head of the household and defender of his territory, the wife and mother as nurturer and carer and their dependent children whom they socialise into following in the footsteps of the appropriate role model, boys like daddy and girls like mummy. (Anti discriminatory practice page 42) Jane feels that she is responsible for looking after her father. Pilcher (1995) cites Finch's evidence that women provide the great majority of personal care to relatives and that the parent to child relationship is the most important source of support after the spouse relationship. Children, mainly daughters, are a major source of support for elderly parents. (Age and Generation in Modern Britain page123). These feelings Jane is experiencing are possibly due to the behaviour she learned through her own socialisation within her family, For example, Jane believes that her ...read more.

Conclusion

Women are beginning to change their attitudes in the direction of greater approval of more equal gender behaviour, and as a result a more equal sharing of housework. In addition, as a clear indication of the future, younger women, women with more education and wife's with better educated husbands were more likely to move towards independent gender attitudes. (The family 133-135) In conclusion, the guilt Jane is experiencing and David's thoughts in deciding how to care for his farther is common and is a product of societies expectations. David and Jane haven't really giving any thought to the situation or consequences of their father. They are both acting on what they think would be expected of them by their mother and through their socialisation, that is to look after their father. Neither of them has taking the thoughts of their father into consideration, although Michael is getting very forgetful, he still has right to choice, maybe Michael wont want to live with them or wont want them to look after him, Michael if possible, might want to stay in his own home. Jane and David cant and shouldn't really try to make any decisions without firstly getting an assessment done on their father, this should happen once they get in contact with the social worker, and secondly they should also both speak to their family to find out how they feel about the situation, after all what decisions are made involves them as well. ...read more.

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