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Gender Roles in the Home.

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Introduction

Title: Gender Roles in the Home Syllabus Area: Family Life Area of sociological interest: The Symmetrical Family Thesis Hypothesis "Men do not help around the home any more than they did in the previous generation" Aims 1. Does gender equality exist within the home? 2. How is the family workload shared? 3. To compare male and female domestic labour responsibilities now and in the previous generation. Research Design Two main areas need to be covered for a project of this type: Firstly, some way needs to be found to measure the amount of domestic labour performed by males and females in present-day family groups. This may, depending on the overall focus of the project, include measuring things like who does what around the home, who makes decisions within the family group and time spent on domestic / paid labour. ...read more.

Middle

This involves asking your respondents to keep a strict diary detailing the amount of domestic labour they perform each day. If this method is used the respondents need to keep this type of diary for at least a week. Secondly, a questionnaire could be developed that simply lists various "domestic labour tasks". Each respondent is required to complete the questionnaire by indicating whether they, their partner or both partners mainly perform each task. The advantages of the second method are: A. It can be easily applied to two generations of family life. B. If each partner completes the questionnaire separately you will also gain a picture of what each partner believes they do in terms of domestic labour. ...read more.

Conclusion

You will need to think about defining concepts such as "generation", "equality", "symmetrical family". "Social Trends" (published each year by HMSO) sometimes contains statistical data about housework. Potential Problems If a questionnaire is used, it will be useful to ensure that each partner completes it "individually" (that is, they don't compare notes when completing the questionnaire). You may encounter problems when trying to construct a sample of "previous generation" families - you may have to use some form of snowball sample if necessary. An obvious reliability / validity problem with the "previous generation" questionnaire is that you will be asking people to "think back" to the amount of domestic labour they did... ...read more.

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